Monday, 15 June 2015

June flowers in my new garden

I can’t believe I have lived in my new house for over a month, time seems to fly and I have been so busy – and I still have boxes to unpack. Downsizing isn’t easy and I must admit I don’t really know where to put everything even though I have sold, given away and thrown away stuff already. In the garden I have been mostly pruning and tidying up. Every time I look under a new bush I find stuff, just old pieces of wood, broken plant pots and rubbish really so clearing the garden is going to be a long process. In the mean time I am watering my nearly 700 pots and hoping the plants will survive, the hot and windy weather we have had was hard, luckily it has cooled down a bit and now that we got low 20s C for a while it makes it easier with the watering. A good few days with rain would have helped but there is no rain in sight for the next 10 days and beyond.

I am still moving plant crates around according to what the plants need of sun, but many of the crates are now emptied and the pots are out. Every time I empty a crate it feels like a little milestone.

The grass in the garden will eventually go, I have made that decision, but I am no further to decide on where the beds are going and where the paths should go. I have ended up making a path in the grass between the backdoor and the shed from all my walking so I suppose some decisions are rather obvious in the end.

This corner in the garden was completely full of weeds, a huge acanthus and an old, spindly spirea. Look at all the space now that it’s all gone!

Here in the middle of the garden I am planning to make a central bed of daylilies, miniature roses, alstroemerias and possibly some structure with two of the climbing roses I have. This is the view from my living room window so I want to make it as pretty and full of flowers as possible. I also want to create an all year interest so I will put some of my many snowdrops and crocuses in between when I am planting.

But first I have more pruning and weeding to do. Here is this week’s load ready for the council’s garden compost collection – 8 bags.

But let me show you what’s flowering, after all it’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day :-) The roses have been flowering for nearly a month now, ‘Rob Roy’ in this picture is very tall this year, not sure why, but he is almost as tall as me, despite growing in a container.

He is very difficult to photograph and my camera does not give the right red colour, it is much nicer in real life!

One of my new roses, 'The Generous Gardener' is really taking off, it is a climber and I should of course have planted it on a pergola so it could do what it does best – climb. But I haven’t got one yet, and I am probably months from knowing where this one will end up.

I hope it will be happy in the container for the summer, the buds look promising.

The rose next to it is 'Scepter'd Isle', one of my absolute favourite roses and despite being 3 years old it is doing remarkably well in this container. I bet it would rather be in the ground though. Sorry for the washed out colours, sometimes it is impossible to take good photos on a distance.

There, that’s better. The flowers don’t last very long and it is a rather messy rose that drizzles petals everywhere, but I love it for its scent and the cupped flowers so it is forgiven the mess.

Another of my David Austin roses is 'Wildeve' and it is also doing well so far in the container I squeezed it into after digging it up earlier in the spring. It will get a permanent home soon, getting the roses in the ground is my number one priority, many of the other plants can wait till next spring but the roses need a home soon.

'Wildeve' has beautiful flowers when still not fully open.

But it is the fully opened, quartered roses it is famous for.

Next to 'Wildeve' is my temporary kitchen garden, the tomatoes are flowering and I need to plant everything soon. Yes, I know it is a recurring theme, I have so much to do in the garden....

Another of my new roses is 'Gertrude Jekyll', I have heard so much hype about this rose so when I decided to get two roses for the arch I had in my old garden – before I knew I was going to move and no longer have an arch (!), I decided that 'Gertrude Jekyll' was definitely going to be one of them. Two days ago she flowered for the first time and I stuck my nose right in to smell this wonderful scent I had heard so much about, but never actually smelled. I got rather disappointed I must admit, the smell is strong, but it smells exactly like Turkish Delight, and I hate Turkish Delight! It has lovely looking flowers, but that smell is not for me, I much prefer the scent of 'Scepter'd Isle' :-)

There are more new roses in my garden, I bought a couple of miniature roses and one of them has been flowering for a while, this is 'Abigaile', a lovely tiny rose with beautiful, rather large flowers for a miniature.

Here is a fully open flower on 'Abigaile'.

My favourite miniature from my old garden came with me, the cream pot rose is now in a pot, flowering away like usual.

And now to something not a rose. The alstroemeria I bought last year has doubled in size, it is called 'Dandy Candy' and last year it flowered until December. I am determined to get a few more, definitely a white one and perhaps a pale pink.

I have lots of geraniums I bought as cuttings, they sorely need re-potting but are flowering away. They were meant for my window baskets on the wall in the front garden at my old house. Not sure where they will go here in my new garden but as soon as they get a bigger pot each they will be a bit happier.

And do you remember all the geraniums I used to have on the brown shelf in my old garden, I gave away some and some went in the bin but 4 are still with me. I was meant to give them a bigger pot with fresh compost and fertiliser but haven’t got around doing it yet. OK, I know, this is becoming a theme of this post! Anyway, the geraniums seem to completely disregard the lack of fertiliser and absolutely jam-packed pots and have decided to start flowering anyway. These geraniums have spent life outdoors since March 2013, never seen a greenhouse since they arrived back then. Tender geraniums are certainly tougher than given credit for.

My two Daphne x transatlantica 'Eternal Fragrance' have decided to put on a flower show for the second time this year, they are both small plants and I was surprised they even flowered the first time, a second flush is even more surprising. When they get more mature, repeat flowering is quite normal for this particular daphne.

The Zantedeschia aethiopica in a container is still flowering, I keep watering it buckets and it seems happy, but I suspect the container is getting rather small for it.

Not sure where in the garden this one would be happy finding a permanent home, but a sunken bathtub might be a solution?!

Finding such a gorgeous clematis in my new garden was a nice surprise, especially since I had to leave two of my mature clematis’ behind, 'Ville de Lyon' and 'Gravetye Beauty'.

The colour if this one is so deep purple and I am planning to pair it with a pale pink one. I would love to have ‘Josephine’, it has been on my wish-list for a while, but I suppose I should rather choose a clematis in pruning group 3 to make my life easier :-)

Out at the front I am still hogging the space in front of my fence, but no one else is using this space so I will keep the plants here for now.

In my fuchsia garden the fuchsias are flowering away and it is so nice to have fuchsias again!

But all is not well. Do you remember only 2 weeks ago I proudly showed you my 2 fuchsia standards Mr Popple? Look at them now, they are barely alive. There has been quite a few fuchsias dying since I moved here, and a few hellebores also simply just dying. I have been expecting some loss and put it down to under or overwatering.

But when the 2 standards suddenly started showing signs of rapid decline I knew something really wrong was happing and I lifted one of the standards out of the pot and guess what I saw? Lots of vine weevil grubs! I suspect all the plants that have died have been for the same reason, as they just wilted and the whole plant fell off. Yesterday I treated the whole garden, all 700 pots with vine weevil nematodes, something I have been a bit too relaxed about the last couple of years. I used to do it, but because they are quite pricey I haven’t done it for a few years. I hope I have treated the rest in time to save them all.

Despite the grubs probably munching away on everything planted last year and before, the fuchsias still alive are flowering well. Once I have battled the vine weevil I will have to tackle the fuchsia gall mites, they are back, you can see what it looks like on this plants, the bottom leaf in the middle has damage from them, the distorted leaves. This is what it looks like in the beginning, but when it is a bad infestation the whole plant dies. I can’t treat the plants for gall mite until the nematodes have done their job as they will die from the treatment I have to use for gall mite. In 2-3 weeks’ time the nematodes will have eaten up all the grubs, hopefully, and the whole thing will be over, if I can keep them watered, the pots have to be moist at all times to keep the nematodes alive but as long as that’s catered for the nematodes will feast on any vine weevil grub they can find. Yeah!

Luckily, fuchsia gall mite only attack fuchsias, there is no risk to any other plant so the plants around the fuchsia garden are safe. There is another 2 roses out here, this is 'Susan Williams-Ellis’, yet another messy David Austin rose.

It is very sweet with rather small flowers and a lovely but somewhat faint scent.

The second rose out here is one I inherited, I don’t know its name but it is a hybrid tea with no scent. Very pretty though.

When I moved in I was told that under those two huge acanthus’ would be a pond. I have been looking forward to a pond with waterlilies, so cutting down the acanthus’ has been one of the things I have done lately.

And look at it now! It turns out the pond is filled with a ton of soil and paved over, I will need some help to get it emptied, in the meantime this area is now temporarily named the Hot Garden. The name is partly because the sun is baking here, but also because all the plants have flowers in strong hot colours like magenta, red, orange and yellow, with the exception of one blue clematis that was allowed a pass for now :-)

I am not sure how well the heucheras will do here, I might have to take them out and place them somewhere else, but as long as they are well watered they should be fine – at least the darker leaved ones I think. Perhaps ‘Apricot’ and 'Marmalade' would have preferred a shadier position but I will keep an eye on them.

I have always wanted a Leptospermum – now I got three! I got them very cheaply last autumn and I am not at all sure I can manage to keep them as they are very particular in terms of watering, but I will have a go.

Leptospermum 'Strawberry Crush' is the first one to flower and it looks absolutely lovely. These are also called Manuka honey bush as this is what Manuka honey is coming from.

And here is that blue clematis, it is called 'Mon Amour' and is a short climber that can happily live in a container.

More roses? I can’t get enough of that rose I inherited, the one climbing up my apple tree. When it is about to open it looks like this.

Fully open it looks like this.

And when it is almost going off it turns pale pink like this. Absolutely gorgeous, but troubled with blackspot so I plan to dig it up from the awkward spot it is growing in now and plant it somewhere else so I can treat it properly against it’s problems.

I keep discovering my garden every time I am out here, the other day I found a secret door behind the shed when I started cutting down the Parthenocissus! The door leads to a path behind the shed and I could just about squeeze in there sideways if I wanted to – not that I would like to, the path is riddled with brambles and all sorts of weeds and the amount of spiders in there is unimaginable. I assume this was to enable access to the cherry tree behind the shed, but that tree is too tall by now so won’t be possible to pick anyway. More about this and other things my garden has revealed in my next post which I am planning for next week, where I will show you what I have found and ask all you knowledgeable gardeners for help and tips about what to do with some of the issues. There is a whole queue of issues waiting to be dealt with so there should be plenty for everyone to have a go at. In the meantime, please visit Carol’s blog at May Dreams Gardens to see many more June gardens around the world. Until next time, take care.

36 comments:

  1. Helene, I think this garden will keep you busy for the next twenty years! (and that is a good thing.) It will be a lot of fun seeing what your garden says to you and how everything take shape. But as one slightly broken gardener to another, take as good care of yourself as you do your garden, and don't overdo! I love your roses, especially Wildeve.

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    1. Yes, I also think it will keep me as busy as I want to, I am trying to rein myself in but it is difficult!

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  2. Så mye du har fått gjort allerede! Kan tenke meg det er en tung jobb, men du må bare være fornøyd så langt med alt du har fått gjort så langt. Nydelige roser du viser! Mine favoritt roser er Austin og atter Austin. Kjøpte 'Gertrude Jekyll' nå nettopp. Ikke to som deg, men er veldig glad for å få kjøpt den ene :)
    Kjøpte nettopp 3 stk. av 'Munstead Wood', og kan nesten ikke vente på at de vil blomstre en gang ut som sommeren.

    Håper du får litt regn om natten fremover! Det har blitt tørt og fint vær her også, og da er det vanning og atter vanning som gjelder.

    Ønsker deg en fin ny uke, Helene!

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    1. Hei Marit, gratulerer med 'Munstead Wood', kunne godt tenke meg den også. Jeg har bare en av hver David Austin rose, men har 5 totalt, med en så liten hage som jeg har så holder det med en av hver :-) Er ikke mye det har regnet de siste 3 månedene, er nesten bare på ert, kunne tenke meg en uke med regn sammenhengene, men det er det kanskje ikke alle her som vil ha! Ha en fin uke!

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  3. Gertude Jekyll has been all over Instagram lately, I have started to think I really must have it as well! I have plenty of roses to plant this winter and also cuttings I took in summer so I really don't need another one, but that's no reason not to right? Interesting that you don't like the smell. It's really an individual thing I have found, whether you like the smell of a particular rose or even if you can smell it at all (I often can't!) I have taken cuttings of Compassion which I like, and I smelled a beautiful one at our Botanical Gardens called Blue Sky, unfortunately I've phoned around and it doesn't seem to be available anywhere. Maybe I should try looking up Sceptre d'Isle :)

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    1. Smell is so individual! I also have plants with flowers supposed to smell but I can’t smell a thing. And I agree, no reason not to buy a new rose just because you already have plenty. If you got the space then why not :-)

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  4. I liked your roses, Helene, especially this one 'Abigaile'. It's very pretty!
    The view from your new living room looks nice and I think when your plan is carry out it will be wonderful with climbing roses, day lilies and others flowers. I also am glad that fuchsias are well and no disease, their bud are so soft and delicate.

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    1. Thanks Nadezda, I am still clearing weeds and pruning the garden, but creating a flowerbed I can see from my living room window is top priority, I want to be able to see my garden on days when I can’t be out there.

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  5. You sound to be having great fun except for the weevils.

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    1. Oh yes, I am having fun – I hope the grubs will be going soon, I will inspect the pots in two weeks’ time, hopefully the nematodes have done their job.

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  6. Fancy giving poor old Gertrude a hard time Helene, it is one of the few roses that I grow because I suffer terribly from blackspot and it has remained free for the two years I have had it. Your problem is that you moved to the wrong place, if you had come up here you could have had all the rain you wanted:-)

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    1. I am sure I would have got all the rain I wanted Rick, but I could not have grown all my plants – dilemma :-)

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  7. I haven't visited for a bit and can't believe I've missed all the excitement! New house, new garden - wow. You sound very calm, collected and organised and your roses are looking lovely. What fun to have the planning of a totally new layout. One thing you can be sure of, though, is that your old neighbours are going to miss your stunning window boxes.

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    1. Thanks, and welcome back – yes I have been busy, very busy – still am! But I am trying to do a bit every day and not get too overwhelmed, I have a LOT still to do both inside and outside before I can start planting. I haven’t really got a good place for similar window boxes, unless I get something built for them, but I have thought about it as I have lots of plants suitable for them. I know my window boxes are missed, some of my previous neighbours have been in touch and said so :-)

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  8. Setting up your new garden is so exciting - such a great adventure. It makes me tired just thinking about it!

    I love all your luscious roses and, indeed, all of your blooms. Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, it is a daunting task, but I have no deadline so I am just taking the days as they come. Besides, working in the garden isn’t really work to me, I go outside in the garden to relax and have fun!

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  9. You are managing very well Helene and apart from the weevils everything seems to be coping well. I can just imagine how exhausted you must be after a round of watering! I'm tired just thinking about it.
    Your roses as always are gorgeous and you've inherited a couple of nice ones despite their lack of scent. I was not impressed by Gertrude when I had a sniff at the GC, so you are not alone.
    Your managed a fair bit of work thus far, a little at a time I think is the way to go. I hope you are managing to rope your son into helping out. How is the cat coping with the move so far. I think this is the first post I've seen that she's not been included in on your blog.

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    1. Hi Angie, watering the garden takes just over 1 hour, it is a task I don’t really take pleasure in I must admit. My cat is doing fine, still hasn’t tried to jump the fence so he is just staying in the garden. That’s fine by me, he is 15 years old in November, perhaps he is too old to climb these tall fences. He is rather possessive about the garden though, he scares away any cat that tries to enter while he is outside.

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  10. Despite they are in pots your roses are doing quite well and I'm surprised you have so many of them. It must be fun discovering hidden places in your garden and thinking about the lay out. I am sure it will take months or even years before you have it the way you want, a garden keeps us busy. When I think of 700 plants in pots, I think of watering and feeding, quite a job to maintain pfffff.
    Wish you happy gardening and lots of success!

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    1. Yes, it is quite a job to water them all, but in terms of feeding they have all had slow-release fertiliser and I don’t intend to give them anything else for now, hopefully they will all be in the ground before they need more, apart from the vegetables, they will be fed. I hope to have the garden cleared soon so I can start planning, it is not easy to imagine what I can do with it when there is so much still to clear away so that takes priority.

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  11. You have a lot of work ahead of you but it's good, enjoyable work (despite periodic setbacks like the vine weevils) and I'm sure you go to bed each night reassured that you're making steady progress. New gardens are full of surprises - I still come across the occasional surprise in my current garden, even after 4 years here.

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    1. I like what I am doing so it doesn’t feel like a chore – well apart from watering perhaps. But I must admit I have to take a day now and then to recover as even though I work very slowly and only for a short time every day it still gets too much for me. This will be a long term project, rather long :-)

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  12. Oh Helene what a treat to see what is blooming and to see what you have been up to....I have to get out there in my garden and finally clean up my garden as now the containers and veg agrden are all in...and then maybe move plants around....I love that you have yours in pots so you can actually move them....so much possibility...the 'Dandy Candy' is really beautiful as are the roses. Your plants seem very happy in their new home.

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    1. Thanks Donna, having plants in pots and containers are good – but also sometimes much more difficult than in the ground. They need more water and more fertiliser, and are easier to dry out completely – and then there is the dreaded vine weevils….I hope they all will be happy in the end though, bar a few casualties.

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  13. Helene-your new garden is wonderful and wow...you have been keeping busy! You have so many roses and they are looking beautiful, as well as all your other blooms. It will be such fun following and watching your new gardens develop. Continue to have fun exploring and enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Lee, I am enjoying myself, and trying my best to do a bit most days, slowly working my way around the garden. There is so much to do here before I can even think about planting anything!

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  14. Beautiful!
    it seems all your plants are doing very well in their new home.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

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    1. Thank you Lea, and the same to you!

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  15. It's already looking very impressive, Helene. Your roses are stunning! I don't have many roses in my garden, so I think I need to make a trip to the local botanical garden. June is the best month for roses here. Some of mine are blooming, but the others haven't started yet. Congratulations on settling in to your new house and garden!

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    1. Thanks Beth, June is also the best month for roses in my garden, but I have roses flowering from May to December and I could not think of a garden like mine without as many as I could possibly cram in. There are so many lovely to choose from, looking forward to seeing what you end up with :-)

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  16. Wow... I really like your garden, so many flowers and so many colors. The blue clematis is so stunning. Beautiful roses, and thanks for sharing me your fuchsia. I've been missing your fuchsia s... :)

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    1. Thanks Endah, the fuchsias are flowering again, they are not as happy as they used to be but I hope to rescue them all eventually. The blue clematis was bought 18 months ago so this is the first year it flowers so profusely.

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  17. It's a huge task you've taken on Helene. Do take it slowly, a bit at a time. It's all too easy to feel overwhelmed when there is so much to do, as I know to my cost. The roses are rewarding you with their blooms and the inherited clematis is gorgeous!

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    1. Yes, I do feel a bit overwhelmed but I go out in the garden every day and just pick one task and do that and tell myself that this is good enough, Rome wasn’t built in a day and so isn’t this garden either. And when I am finished with my task I water the garden, which takes an hour and then I am happy for what I have done. Every day I get a bit more done that way.

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  18. So many beautiful roses! I am amazed at how well everything does in containers for you, but it's wonderful that they do. As long as they are happy, you can take your time to plan your garden. I know you want to get everything done as soon as possible, but I've learned the hard way that rushing isn't always a good thing. The inherited clematis is lovely!

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    1. Most of my roses are fairly young, that helps when squeezing them into containers. They won’t be happy in them for years to come so I hope to make some decisions about where they should go pretty soon.

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