Thursday, 15 October 2015

Colourful October in London

Today has been yet another fine October day with lots of crisp sunshine and that slight chill in the air where you are not really sure if you need a jacket or not. I have been outside for a couple of hours and I must have taken my cardigan on and off about 10 times. Towards the end we got a slight drizzle and my cat jumped down from the bench where he had been sleeping and came up to me looking rather indignantly as if it was me who had started the rain. He convinced me to pack up and go inside with him, most likely so that he could get fed slightly earlier than usual. Since my last post I haven’t done much in the garden, to be honest I have hardly been out here as I have been recovering from yet another operation. I am better now, but taking my eye off things for a short while, even just for 10 days, can make a huge difference in my garden.

We have had that nice weather for a long time now and it is set to last although with slightly lower temperatures – at the moment we have 14-16 C degrees during the day and 8-10 C at night – not exactly warm but in my sheltered garden in the sunshine it feels nice. The autumn colours are really setting in on the Virginia creeper on the wall, at this time of year it feels a bit shame to get rid of it, perhaps I keep a small part in a pot just for the autumn colours.

These heucheras normally have really nice colours, but in the autumn they pump up the colours and look even more spectacular.

Clematis ‘Mon Amour’ has a new flush again, I have lost count how many it has been now – it is obviously enjoying the much sunnier garden I have now, just think how much more it will enjoy getting out of that small pot and into the ground!

Alstroemeria 'Dandy Candy' is still flowering too, last year it flowered until Christmas, hopefully it will this year too.

My three tricyrtis’ are finally flowering, they are some of the latest in my garden and have just started. This is Tricyrtis hirta 'Lightning Strike' .

And this is Tricyrtis 'Empress' – I have always been fascinated by tricyrtis and here in my new garden I have an ideal spot for many more, under the ceanothus trees. There are lots of different varieties from the tiniest dwarf to tall ones almost as tall as me! They are not the cheapest plants to buy so I can see this becoming an expensive thing to collect. Perhaps I can find someone with tricyrtismania to swap plants with?

Just one more photo of that corner in my garden, this time after the sun had gone – the Virginia creeper still looks good even without the sun, almost like a tapestry. I will definitely save a few plants when I remove the rest, perhaps I can make a few more cuttings....

....so this Bonsai could get a sibling again? I gave away the other Bonsai I had and sometimes it’s good to have an heir and a spare or two, just in case something happens.

The magenta colours of the Virginia creeper Bonsai and the orange-yellow colours of the dwarf lilac are really brightening up the patio next to the kitchen door.

But not everything has gone into autumn modus, the rose growing entwined with the apple tree is still producing lots of new flowers, I can’t believe how many flowers there’s been on this badly treated, neglected bush.

Just think how lovely this rose will be next year after I have pruned it properly, fed it and sprayed it against blackspot!

All my roses are flowering or about to flower again right now, this is 'The Generous Gardener'.

And this is 'Susan Williams-Ellis', with is lovely scent.

And as for an amazing rose, ‘Rob Roy’ is quite high on my list. I have had it for more than 10 years and it has grown in a container all its life. I counted 12 new buds today and lots of new growth. Just think what this rose could do with its roots in the ground instead of in a 15L container! Soon I hope to find a space for it.

Speaking of buds, here is my tiny camellia, ‘Takanini', it is a winter flowering camellia, but this one has exceptionally long flowering and mine usually flowers from beginning of October to beginning of June – that’s an impressive 8 months long flowering period!

The first bud is only a day or two from being fully opened and I just love these dark red, peony shaped flowers. I am going to try to find another camellia in white with the same long flowering period, not sure if it exist but I will try!

Another come-back plant with red flowers is my gerbera, a £1 buy in Ikea many years ago, this plant rewards me with flowers every autumn and flowers through the winter until late spring. I suppose it is about time to find it a permanent home in the ground somewhere :-)

And more red in the same flowerbed, here are my sweet peppers, finally getting some colour! I have  taken one inside today, the rest are still a bit green here and there and can soak up a bit more sun first.

Not sure if I have showed my Sutera cordata 'Abunda Giant White' before, they are trailing out of the window basket so I have to snip off the ends regularly. I can imagine this one looking lovely over a low wall, just tumbling down.

And just next to them are some of my many pelargoniums, still flowering, although a bit more sparingly now in the cooler weather.

This is Fuchsia 'Perpetual Falls', and although it looks like a picture of health it isn’t. All my ordinary fuchsias are infested with Fuchsia Gall Mite and I am soon going to throw them out, all of them, nearly 6o pots. I am just enjoying the last of the flowers before the inevitable has to happen.

My miniature fuchsias seem to not be affected though, and from what I have read online that’s other people’s experience too. What I have not been able to establish is if the miniature fuchsias can be a carrier of fuchsia mites, even if they are not affected by them. If they are, getting rid of all my normal fuchsias this autumn and buying a brand new stock next spring won’t help at all – the new ones will get infected again from my miniatures. I have tried getting an answer to this but over here, fuchsia gall mite is still rather new (and yet it turned up in my garden!!) – I guess I need to ask the questions to people living in southern US, where fuchsia gall mite has been a problem for much longer.

Fortunately the miniatures seem happy and healthy, and the birds are enjoying the berries – they taste nice and sweet and a bit peppery, but I must admit this year I haven’t eaten any berries, the whole thing with the gall mites have put me off a bit. I know the mites are absolutely tiny, you need a microscope to see them! But still....just the thought of the mites ruining my whole huge collection of fuchsias, millions or even billions of them all over the flowers, leaves and berries. No, I don’t think I will eat the berries for a couple of seasons yet, not until I have the all clear.

Do you like gladioli? A lot of people will turn their nose up at that question but look here, this is Gladiolus callianthus murielae, definitely a pretty glad! Although the description of ‘highly scented’ is yet another one I can’t fathom, there is absolutely not a smidgen of scent in this flower, not even nose-to-flower-sniffing. I even made sure to go and have a sniff while the sun was shining right onto the flower, just in case that would make a difference, but it didn’t.

Unfortunately I have not had much luck with them, they are said to be happy in pots, but of the 50 corms I planted last year, only 2 flowered, in 2 different pots. And it turns out the same thing happens this year, all 50 plants have come up, but only 2 are flowering. That means they have all survived, but I am not sure why they have come up blind. Perhaps planting in good, fertile soil will help, I am going to give them another year or two before I give these beauties up.

And now to the garden wildlife, which there is plenty of, some less of a problem than other. This is the squirrel hanging around in the area, I have never seen them carry walnuts before, amazing how they can squeeze such a big nut into their mouth. Most of the walnuts ends up in my containers and pots and no doubt will be dug up again very soon or over the winter. Squirrels have an amazing memory when it comes to where they have store food and even if the pot or container is moved a bit, they will still know that they have food waiting to be dug up again.

I found this caterpillar hanging on my skirt today, I was just about to brush it off with my hand but I just noticed it was hairy and I stopped myself – not sure if this one would have given me an itchy hand, but better safe than sorry. I looked it up and it is a Grey Dagger caterpillar (Acronicta psi) – a rather unassuming moth that looks like stones.

Moths and caterpillars are OK, far worse is the new infestation I discovered a couple of days ago of vine weevils. I had not been in the garden for quite some time and when I went outside last Sunday I thought many of the cyclamens looked rather sad and limp and none of them were flowering yet. And many of the other plants in small pots looked less than happy too. I lifted up a pot of cyclamen – and the whole plant just tipped off, leaves and corm just fell to the ground! The corm had no roots and I had my suspicion even before I took a bamboo stick and stirred around in the compost. The pot was full of small vine weevil grubs and they had eaten off ALL the roots of the cyclamen. I have no idea how many pots are affected but yesterday I treated all my plants with nematodes. It’s not that long since last time I had an outbreak, but treating your plants with nematodes in scorching hot weather in June is not the best time for it, so that’s probably why I have an infestation again so soon. Even though the grubs initially got killed back in June, any unhatched eggs would probably have survived as the nematodes would not have been able to cope with the heat and lack of constant moisture. This time I hope to have more success – not sure how many plants have died again though, the final tally is yet to come.

Oh, I must admit I am fed up dealing with pest and diseases, but with a whole garden in pots and containers I have more of it than most gardens would, that’s just to expect, container gardening is stressful for plants and make them more exposed to just about any pest and disease. At the moment most of my dahlias have mildew and are not fit for getting their photos taken, they look awful! And I have a rose with rust, never had that before. But dealing with vine weevils has been my top priority this week, to rescue as many plants as possible from a certain death.

Ok, lets’ move on to something nicer! One more photo of my garden in all its autumn splendour?

A close-up of the tapestry of different colours, nature does colours so well!

Which reminds me, I have been thinking of what colour to choose for my shed and the fence. I had a very dark brown colour on my fence in my previous garden, a nice enough backdrop for most plants, but that wasn’t my choice, it was my housing association that painted the fence and chose the colour – we all had the same colour. I am now renting a council property and the council doesn’t paint fences, I will have to do it myself. At the moment the fence and shed is a golden brown colour, I think it is too orange and would not have chosen it. But since it is up to me, why choose brown at all, why not choose something completely different?

Like this colour called ‘Summer Damson’ for example?? I can imagine this colour beeing a nice backdrop for just about any flower.

I have a short movie for you today too, I actually made it last month but when I made my previous post I already had 3 other movies so I thought I would save this one for today. This is my resident robin that comes and eats any goodies unearthed by me digging in the garden. It’s not scared of me at all, and walks around me while I work so I have to be careful not stepping on it. I looked up Robins online today before writing my post, and I was surprised to see that there are American robins and Australian robins too – none of which are the same type as our European robins. So when I write about the robin in my garden I am referring to an Erithacus rubecula, and when my blogging friends in US are writing about robins in their gardens, they are referring to a Turdus migratorius. The Australian robin belongs to the genus Petroica, members of a family whose relationships are unclear. Well, whatever kind of robin you have in your garden, here is my resident robin – this time I can assure you watching it in HD full screen will be worth it :-)





The music was ‘Maid with Flaxen Hair’ by Claude Debussy.

I am linking my posts to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, please visit her for many more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts.
That’s it for this time, next post will be End of Month View on the 31st October, when it will be less than 8 weeks till Christmas! Time is flying, Until then, take care.

49 comments:

  1. Hej Helene! Alltid lika intressant att besöka din blogg. Förundras över den mängd av växter du har, och de ser så välmående ut. Trodde inte att de trivdes så bra i krukor. Synd att dina fuchsior inte mår bra. Vildvinet har otroligt vackra färger, och tycker att du skall spara en bit av den. Är imponerad av det lilla bonsaivildvinet.Din lilla rödhake är så söt, hade en rödstjärt som dansade omkring i trädgården, men den var mycket skygg.
    Ha det fint! Marika

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    1. Hei Maribel, jeg har hatt mange planter i potter og kontainere i en del år mens jeg har lett etter et bedre sted å bo, noen har ikke egnet seg til det, men de fleste går fint med litt ekstra stell – men vi har jo ikke frost her i London da, det hjelper jo litt :-)
      Min Bonsai var veldig enkel å lage, en vanlig stikling som grodde i en liten potte de først årene.

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  2. Hi, Helene!
    Despite of Autumn your garden is pretty and bright.I love this Gladiolus callianthus and I love all gladioli :0), grow them in containers too. I plant 3-5 of them on one tub and they bloom well. I agree Virginia creeper is beautiful in this season and especially your Virginia creeper bonsai is stunning.
    I'm sorry your plants are exposed to diseases and hope they will be more healthy when you plant them in a ground.

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    1. I have decided to try to save some roots of the Virginia creeper when I dig up the rest, and plant in one of the big containers I have roses in once they are freed up. Failing that I can always take some cuttings, it grows well from cuttings too. And being in a container I can move it out of sight in the winter when there are no leaves and move it back again when the leaves come back – best of both worlds.

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  3. Helene you must be tired fighting these diseases and pests...it definitely must be tiring. Fighting some invasive weeds is weary for me. I adore seeing that bird bath area, and those heucheras are gorgeous. Of course my favorite is always your roses. A beautiful purple for your shed if you decide on it. Lovely post and garden.

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    1. I guess you will like my birdbath area even better when I am finished planting then, as most of my roses will end up there too :-) Yes, I am fed up fighting pest and diseases, I must admit I have had to choose which ones to fight and which to just leave as there has been too much lately. But some are fine to just leave, won’t hurt the plants for next year, just be unsightly this year, like the mildew on the dahlias. I just haven’t kept up with spraying and now it’s too late to rescue them for this year. But they will come back just as nice next year.

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  4. Your resident Robin is a little curious guy, so cute! Summer and autumn colors are mixed in your garden. I also still have some flowers blooming.
    Stay warm, Helene!

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    1. Thanks Tatyana, I think it’s nice to have the robin around. The autumn colours seems really good this year.

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  5. Oh, your little robin friend is so cute. Your tapestry of fall foliage really caught my eye! This time of year in the north really gives us plenty of eye candy. That Summer Damson color seems like it would look very nice in your garden--just deep enough to be a good background color, yet unique enough to add garden interest. I like it! To answer your question about Gladioluses: Yes, I do like them. When my garden was sunnier, I had rows and rows of them. But they just don't do as well in partial sun. My next garden will have more sun. ;-)

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    1. I am going to buy a little tester pot with that fence paint and test it out first, I have only seen it online so far and have no idea if it is the same colour as I see on my computer – I fear it is much lighter, which I really don’t want.
      I used to say the same….. ‘My next garden will have more sun’ – and it did – my garden is actually very sunny, so sunny I feel I don’t really know what to plant where as I am so used to more shady planting. But it will be fun to grow plants I haven’t been able to before, once I have got all the plants I already have in the ground – I keep telling myself ‘don’t buy anything new until everything here is sorted!’ Not sure if I can manage that, I have already bought raspberry and strawberry plants, but that doesn’t really count, I don’t have any from before :-)
      Have you got as far as choosing a place to move to? Or was it just a general wish of more sun for your next garden?

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  6. Dear Helene, first the fuchsia gall mite and now vine weevils, I would be fed up dealing with pests as well! But that is life of a gardener, I guess...
    But at the same time there are so many wonderful things going on in your garden. The heucheras truly look fantastic, your clematis ‘Mon Amour’ is a dream and your roses, especially the one that came with your new garden, are stunning.
    I haven't heard of Tricyrtis, but the flowers are certainly fascinating and I can see how they can stir the collector in everyone.
    Your are lucky that you can choose your own fence color. We are also bound by the selection that our home owner association makes for us, which isn't the greatest :-(. I have been once in a small garden with a dark green fence, which looked great, because it wasn't so obviously where the boundaries between the plants and the fence were. I think it lets appear the garden considerably larger.
    Last but not least: Your robin video is so sweet! These birds are so adorable and entertaining. Lucky you that you have one flitting around in your garden.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. I have been thinking about the fence and shed colour for a while, and I totally agree, a darker colour makes small gardens look bigger – besides, a dark colour makes green plants and colourful flowers stand out better. The colour palette I have in my garden is based on the plants I like, not what’s in fashion so I basically have lots of different colours – but predominantly towards red/pink/purple and cream which all would be great towards a dark damson. But even yellow, lavender and blue are great together with that damson colour so I think it would be a perfect fence colour. And I like doing something different than everybody else, wouldn’t mind being known for that mad woman with the purple fence – perfectly fine by me!!

      As for tricyrtis, you might have heard of them as Toad Lilies – you can grow them in your garden too, in a shady, damp spot where other things struggle, that’s where tricyrtis do well. And the best thing is that they flower so late, when other things in the garden is winding down. They are related to Lily of the Valley and looks just like that when you buy them, just a mass of roots with some new shoots.
      Have a great week-end!

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  7. Your garden is magnificent. Congratulations on its progress.

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, it’s moving forward, slowly but surely :-)

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  8. Always a joy to watch your garden, the Heucheras have such a wonderful colours, I almost envy you, because they won't grow in my wet garden. A Camellia which shows already a beautiful flower, flowering roses and even a Gerbera which is many years old. Pests and diseases are always a trouble and will always be, but when plants are planted in the garden by next year it certainly will be less. Strange your Gladiolus callianthus does not smell, they really have a great fragrance, you can smell them even from a distance. I think this has something to do with warm or cold weather.
    The robin is such a lovely companion in your garden but be careful it's a delicious snack for your cat.
    Wish you a good long weekend!
    Janneke

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    1. It’s promising what you say about the Gladiolus callianthus, I will plant them in the garden and hope they flower a bit earlier next year – and place them in full sun – hopefully I get more than 2 flowers next year! If not they are really cheap bulbs so I will replace them.

      My cat is not the slightest interested in birds, he is 14 years old next month and perhaps he has learned over the years that chasing them is a waste of energy as they always fly away? He isn’t interested in chasing anything else in the garden either, and is happy for the squirrels to jump around almost in touching distance from him. I have a great photo from my old garden of a squirrel walking around on the fence and eating bird food while my cat is sitting still on the ground just watching.
      I filmed about 40 minutes of the Robin, but I didn’t think anyone would be interested in watching it for that long, even though it is cute (!!), so I edited the footage down to 2:45 min. But while I was filming the robin, my cat was outside with me the whole time, mostly sleeping on the bench. I think Robin will be safe from my cat, not sure about all the other cats in the neighbourhood, my neighbour’s young cat included :-)
      Have a good week!

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  9. Hi Helene, the garden is looking fabulous. Have you considered raising the gladioli bulbs one inch? I am wondering if they could use a bit more cooler temps overnight to encourage some blooms.Your garden is well protected within the walls and probably warmer than a neighbours.

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    1. Hi Patty, no, I had not considered raising the gladioli corms, in fact, I had considered LOWERING them as I have read they should be planted deeply and I thought maybe that was the reason why they didn’t flower – but I didn’t have any deeper pots than this so this is as deep as they could go. It is interesting you are suggesting the corms are kept too warm, in the pots they would of course be warmer during the day than in the ground. Perhaps they will like life in the ground better – although over here Gladiolus murielae are advertised as perfect for pots and containers. I will try again next year :-)

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  10. I love your robin. So do he and your cat coexist peacefully or do you have to mediate? I'm sorry to hear about that the fuchsia problem continues and that you're now plagued by vine weevils. I'm sure you're right and that getting your garden moved from pots into the ground will help tremendously (once you're up to the task). Take care of yourself!

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    1. Thanks Kris, I am battling on and back in the garden trying to keep on top of things. Vine weevil grubs are now gone, I am keeping the soil moist so any unhatched grubs can be killed too, so hopefully that’s only a few cyclamens that died from this, nothing major this time. Phew!
      As I wrote in my answer to Janneke, my cat doesn’t seem to be interested in chasing anything in my garden, he is happy to lie on the bench snoozing when I am working and if there are birds flying around or squirrels jumping about he couldn’t care less. I don’t have to act as a peace envoy :-)

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  11. Hei Helene

    Så vakre Heuchera du har! Jeg liker de veldig godt, men de med lyse blader trives dessverre ikke så godt her. Jeg misunner seg så dine Camellia! Tenk å ha blomstring i ni måneder :) Jeg har satt mine i en kald kjeller med lys over de, og håper de overlever vinteren. Problemet er å få de til å blomstre.
    Nydelig rødstrupe du viser. De er her også.

    God helg!

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    1. Hei Marit, vi har ideelt klima for camellia, og i min forrige hage hadde jeg også ideelt jordsmonn. Her i min nye hage er det for høy pH så jeg skal ha min i container, men den vokser så langsomt at det ikke er noe problem. Innen den er blitt stor har nok all barken jeg bruker i bedene gjort sin virkning og senket pH-en litt – det tar minst 5 år, gjerne mange flere.
      Ha en fin uke!

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  12. Helene....it is always such a pleasure to visit your gardens. Your variety of blooms are amazing, especially the roses and Clematis ‘Mon Amour’...wow!!! Happy GBBD to you.

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    1. Thanks Lee, I am fond of ‘Mon Amour’ too, but it is not an easy clematis, very prone to mildew so I have had to cut it to the ground 2-3 times a year every year I have had it. Hopefully it will be happier out of the pot and in the ground when I get as far as finding a space for it.
      Happy GBBD to you too!

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  13. The robbing film he is lovely.
    I've been thinking about planting alstroemeria. The Dandy Candy colour would go well in my red and yellow bed how tall does it grow?

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    1. Alstroemeria ‘Dandy Candy’ is a rather compact variety and gets to about 40-45cm tall, some of the other varieties cam be much taller. If you are thinking of putting ‘Dandy Candy’ with other plants it is worth noting it is not actually red, more like a warm magenta or dark pink. It would go well with all shades of pink from the lightest to the darkest and also with pale yellow and cream.

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  14. Your little robin is so sweet! I remember the first time I saw a robin on another UK blog and thinking he looked nothing like the robins we have--thanks for clearing up that mystery. So sorry about all the pests you are dealing with, but your garden is looking lovely in spite of them. I just love all your heucheras--I'm addicted to them, too, which is another expensive obsession:) Hope you are feeling better, Helene, and have a speedy recovery!

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    1. Thanks Rose, I didn’t know about the different types of robins either until now, so it cleared up a confusion for me too. As for heucheras – I think there will be more in my garden next year, I just can’t get enough of them, they are so gorgeous!
      I am getting better, thanks for your well-wishes :-)

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  15. Helen, I have been enjoying how your garden has been progressing since you've moved. I also enjoy your comments about your cat. I have one as well - 18 years old. He doesn't go outdoors, but he does love to sit at the door and smell the scents from the garden. I'm so sorry you haven't been able to go out much due to your operation. I just returned from a 1 week trip to visit family in Pennsylvania and the first thing I did upon my return was run off to the garden center to freshen up the garden and get things ready for Fall. I had a 6 hour flight and a time difference, yet there I went to buy fresh flowers to pot up the next morning! It's amazing the difference just a little time away makes. It must have driven you crazy!! But the good news is, it will still be there. A work always in progress. I enjoy seeing your Pelargoniums. I started to collect the scented-leaf pelargoniums over them summer. It is addicting! I wanted to buy them in every scent... I am not sure how many I have now, but it is a lot. I do need to add some of the ones like you have that are more showy with the flowers. Do you have a recommendation? Which Pelargonium is your favorite?

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    1. I like all pelargoniums, but I think the ones I have enjoyed the most this year is the ‘Apple Blossom’. It is a zonal pelargonium, a very old variety popular from the Victorian age and I can see why – it is just so lovely! Mine are still flowering and will continue if we don’t get frost. I like all rosebud pelargoniums (look up ‘Black Rose!), but I am also very fond of the Aristo pelargoniums, these are the ones in the photo you saw in this post.
      You can see ‘Apple Blossom’ on my GBBD post for September here:
      http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/autumn-flowers-in-my-new-garden.html

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    2. Yes I remember seeing your Apple Blossom Pelargonium and it caught my eye. I'l llook up the Black Rose too. Thank you Helen and I hope you are doing well. Best, Danielle

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  16. That is too bad about all the pests in the garden. It definitely is worse with pots. I've been battling spider mites and thrips and who knows what else in the greenhouse this summer. That is so sad about all your beautiful fuchsias! I'm so amazed at how long some of your plants bloom. I have mixed feelings about many gladioli, as so many of the tall ones require staking, which I don't have time for. I do love and grow murielae, though, as it's so pretty. I had some last year which didn't bloom, but I lifted and overwintered them, and this year they bloomed and looked lovely. It's possible they need extra time to grow or are more picky or something. The ones I have in full sun do much better than the ones that get some shade, too. That is so interesting that your robins look so much different than ours, despite the same name. I hope you are recovering swiftly and feeling better!

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    1. I have definitely got more hope for my gladiolas now, I will plant them in a sunnier space and hope they flower next year – if not they are very cheap to buy here so I might just replace them.
      I am feeling better, recovery is slow but I am getting there – I am back in the garden trying to get a bit done every day though, and it seems I have got rid of the vine weevils at least! Easier now than in the scorching heat of June :-)

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  17. Your October garden is looking great Helene - despite the lack of attention. In answer to your question re gladiolii. I am not a fan but purely because they don't survive winter here so would not choose to grow them.
    Your little robin is a real cutie. There are three here always fighting one another and there is one thing that is not is cute. They are really quite vicious. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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    1. Hi Angie, I didn’t realise gladioli would not survive the winter with you, I suppose you would have to dig them up then – well, I would not grow anything that would have to be dug up every year so I can fully sympathise with you there :-)
      So far I have only seen one robin in my garden and I think it is the same one coming back (but I can’t be absolutely sure of course!) – I know they are very territorial and can fight each other and other birds for the space.
      Thanks for your well-wishes, I am getting better :-)

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  18. I remember your 'Takanini' camellia from last year and you've reminded me to go looking for it again. To have something that exotic looking through winter really Is a treat. I'm sorry to hear you've been in hospital again and glad your recovery is going well.

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    1. I bought my ‘Takanini’ from Duchy of Cornwall nursery, I just had a look and can see they don’t have it in stock right now, but Burncoose has it in stock in two pot sizes. It grows rather slowly so I would recommend splashing out on the 2litre pot size if you can. Total height and width varies hugely dependant on which site I look at, I have seen everything from 2x2m to 10x10m – I am going to grow mine permanently in a container so that will keep it compact (I hope!)
      https://www.burncoose.co.uk/site/plants.cfm?pl_id=5306

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  19. The 'Empress' is absolutely exquisite! It looks like a very pretty spider. Does it have a scent?

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    1. None of my tricyrtis have scent, but I think there are some that have scented leaves if you crush or bruise them.

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  20. I am sorry you had to have another surgery; best wishes for a speedy recovery. I know being back in the garden lifts your spirits, for all your garden's challenges. I also have ‘Takanini,' and it is full of buds. The first one is just beginning to open. I bought it at the end of its blooming season last year, so I am excited to see what it can do. Despite the various ills, your garden looks wonderful. I love the fall colors. Look how far you have come!

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    1. Thanks Deborah, nice to meet another ‘Takanini’ owner! I bought mine in February 2014 and mine was very small as I could not afford to buy a larger specimen, but it has almost doubled in size since then. I love the fact that it flowers for such a long time, it will be wonderful when it gets bigger and has lots of flowers instead of just 2 or 3 at the same time.

      Thanks for your well-wishes, I am slowly getting back to my ‘normal’ – back in the garden this week-end I hope. Everything takes a lot of time with me though but I am getting there eventually :-)

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  21. p.s. I love your little robin!

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    1. Yes, he is a charmer – I am quite sure it’s a HE :-)

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  22. I hope you heal quickly from your operation. I grew the same glads and they like very well drained soil and hot, full sun. But the flowers are just so beautiful! Good luck with those vine weevils. What little pains in the butt!

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    1. It seems I have managed to kill off the vine weevils for now, it’s easier at this time of year for those nematodes to do their deed than in baking hot June! But they will probably come back so I am going to be a bit more vigilant with applying nematodes from now on. I have decided not to give up on those gladiolas, they will get their sunny space, somewhere, just not sure where yet.

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  23. Helene, your Autumn post is a pure delight, so much stuff going on worthy of comment. Interested to see that Gerbera is hardy with you in London, I have always fancied giving them a try, they wouldn't have survived in Aberdeen, perhaps its worth having a go in Cheshire.
    What about this Camellia, ‘Takanini' such a long flowering period, I hate using the word envy but growing conditions in London get me going.
    I do like your Tricyrtis, aren't they such an unusual looking plant.
    Sorry to hear that you have had to undergo more surgery, take care.
    Glad I did take the time to click on your video, marvellous clear footage of the real Robin.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Alistair, I know I am fortunate to have a good climate down here and it seems I have inherited another nicely sheltered garden. My previous garden had a nice microclimate and although I haven’t been here in my new one for a winter and spring yet I can already say that this garden is at least as sheltered as my old one.

      As for ‘Takanini’ I think you would get at least 4-5 months of flowering, depending on how exposed you plant it. You can buy it from Burncoose right now and they say flowering from January to April, shorter than other nurseries – but they also so final height and width 9 x 8 m, which is much more than any other nurseries have! Just give it a go, it will in any case be earlier and flower longer than other camellias. Another feature I like with it is that when the flowers are off, the petals don’t drop to the ground one-by-one, instead the whole flower drop, much easier for me to pick up!

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    2. Thanks for the information Helene, I will give Takanini a try, final height 9mtrs! suspect they are mistaken.

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    3. So do I, - although final height of C. japonicas are often around 6m unpruned, but 9m sounds a bit excessive. I have seen some really tall ones in Kew though, possibly as tall as 9m. I am growing mine in a container, at least until the pH in my soil has dropped a bit, in my last garden it took 6-7 years the way I did it, with mulching with pine bark and just leaving it to it.

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