Saturday, 30 April 2016

End of Month View – April 2016

It is a whole year since I moved house and garden – amazing how time is flying! I had 2 moving days, one day with my house content where the huge lorry drove one trip with all my things from the house - and one day where the same lorry drove TWICE with all the plants from my garden. In my book that’s just the right priority!

This is how the garden looked the day after I had moved in. I took with me around 700 plants from my previous garden and got 100 crates for free from a company, and the crates turned out to be very useful for transporting the plants and storing them for a while in the beginning.

And here is the garden right now, after a whole year’s work. Still LOTS to do, lots to plant and many more ideas to try out, but I am getting there. One very noticeable difference is how late everything is now and how GREEN the garden was a year ago!

This photo is from March EOMV and I have done some small but important changes since last month. Spot the difference!

The most important change is that I have finally painted the white plastic tube with the electric cable to the shed which is hanging on the wall. It has been sticking out like a sore thumb on every photo I have taken from this angle, now it is painted in the colour I am planning for the fence and the tube is blending in better. When the plants start growing up the wall I hope the tube will no longer be noticeable. I have also removed another paving slab so I could move the bird bath one step further down, opening up for a path around the plumtree.

This area here is my Japanese inspired bed where all the plants are of Japanese origin. The lovely Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ has got leaves since my previous post and soon it will develop the cream and pink leaves that gives it the common name of Flamingo tree.

The new path is to allow me access to the plants so I can tend to them, the flowerbed is much too deep to reach from the edge.

I am looking at different style stepping stones to put down on the path, but for now it is just an opening between the jungle of pots and containers.

Some of these pots can be dug down in the ground eventually and that will help keeping them moist during the summer, but none of them can be properly planted in the ground as the soil here is almost pure clay.

I have bought some more plants for the Japanese Bed, here in the foreground is one of them, a perpetual azalea, I hope it will live up to its promise of flowering 3-4 times a year :-)

I have also got 2 dwarf rhododendrons, a nice investment since I had to leave my 12 year old dwarf rhododendron Dopey in my old garden. These two are also part of the 7 dwarf series and are Doc, I actually only bought one, but the nursery sent me two by mistake!

I have been working on the Wall Bed too, although there are more still to be planted here. But all the plants up against the trellis are now in – 3 roses, one clematis, one honeysuckle and one jasmine. I hope they will cover the wall nicely in a couple of years.

The Rose Bed is also getting filled, only 3 more roses to plant and this bed will be finished. On the obelisk in the middle I have planted ‘Gertrude Jekyll’, a David Austin rose I bought in February last year. It gave me two roses last year and was just a tiny plant in a pot, this year it is already twice the size by now.

It looks a bit messy at the base at the moment, but I am tying in branches as they become long enough and hope to be able to get them to go round in circles on the outside to maximise the amount of flowers. And together with this rose I have a clematis – 'Warszawska Nike', which I hope will look gorgeous together with ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I haven’t seen it in real life before, only online so I hope the colour is as I expect. Not long to go to see!

And which rose will be the first one to open here in my new garden? In my old garden it used to be ‘Crimson Cascade’, the huge rose I had growing on my fence. I left that rose for the new tenant as I couldn’t take such a big rose with me. It has been strange to go through the whole of April without any roses, but it has been so cold and everything is so late so in my garden there are only roses in buds. This bud is 'Susan Williams-Ellis'.

And this is 'Ingrid Bergmann' – and it is about time it warms up enough so the ladybirds can turn up, the aphids have been out for weeks munching on my roses so there is ample food for the ladybirds. Wakey-wakey ladybirds!

The roses might be very late this year, but I still have daffodils! I can’t remember ever having daffodils into beginning of May – a combination of very cold spring and me not getting around to planting them until just before Christmas. But even so, daffodils in May!! This is Narcissus 'White Lion'.

The strawberries I have planted in the raised beds are doing....not much at all. It is as if the garden is on hold, waiting for warmer weather. It has been very cold at night since beginning of February and many days in April has been colder than in January. The last week it snowed many parts of Britain and even though we didn’t get any snow here in London it was close to freezing in the evening and at night.

But some plants have slowly got there despite the weather, my inherited Syringe vulgaris is just about to flower.

As you all know, my cat died just before Christmas, but the neighbour’s cat keep coming over the fence and is keeping me company when I am outside in the garden. He likes to have a snooze in my Woodland Bed, and funnily enough, he has found his favourite spot right on top of a clump of mouse plants! Not sure if the mouse plants will like being flattened like that every day, but I am letting the cat sleep here for now. He could have chosen my expensive trilliums to sleep on – that would have been far worse!

The huge cherry tree in the car park next door is flowering right now, looking very impressive. This is probably a Prunus avium from what I have been able to find out, I am happy to be corrected :-)

The cherry tree looks like it is covered in snow here in the evening sun. I guess my garden will look like it is covered in snow, once all these flowers drop to the ground!

But when it comes to dropping flowers, I do have one in my own garden too – or two trees to be correct. The two ceanothus’ have an enormous amount of flowers and have already started drizzling blue dust everywhere. It is an amazing sight though, just give it another week or two and they will be completely blue. Can you see the apple tree in the foreground? When I moved in a year ago, the apple tree was completely finished flowering.

This year it hasn’t even started and all the buds look like this. A few days with sunny warm weather and they will all pop open I think.

But as long as we have such a cold weather, things develop very slowly and some of my plants still have to go into the shed at night. Here they are tucked up for what I hope will be the LAST night in the shed this year. But I said that last week too so I don’t know. Will this be it??

According to the forecast - YES! Just look at what we are promised the next 10 days – finally!

I have a movie from the garden for you today as usual, and today’s movie is in two parts with very different modes. I have used music from my homeland Norway this time, and I hope you enjoy it. As always, my movies are best viewed in HD in full screen.




The music was ‘In the hall of the Mountain King’  from Peer Gynt and ‘Sarabande’ from The Holberg Suite, both pieces by Edward Grieg.

That was it for today, next post is GBBD on the 15th May and I hope I will have lots of flowers to show you. Some sun and warmth will help, and especially getting warmer nights and mornings will do wonders. Even though I have had no snow in my garden this winter, and only two nights where it dipped just below freezing, it has still been the coldest 3 months I can remember in many years. I am ready for a change!
Until next time, take care.

I am linking today’s post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.

34 comments:

  1. So much progress in only a year! I hope you get the warmer weather you'd like soon.

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    1. Thanks Renee, it is already much warmer, this weekend will be almost summerlike :-)

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  2. We still have daffodils too and everything is well behind. Our mean temperature got April was the same as for January.

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    1. I hope you got the same nice weather this week as we have here in London – this week-end is set to be up to 25 degrees down here. Lovely!

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  3. Det har blitt kjempefint hos deg! Det ble bra med en mørk ledning i steden for hvit, ja :)
    Flotte lønner du har, og en veldig søt nabokatt!

    Ha en fin maisøndag!

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    1. Takk Marit, her hos meg er det mest hagearbeid og lite blogg skriving så kommentarer og svar blir det ikke mye av. Prøver å skrive litt av og til men kveldene går så altfor fort. Regner med at dere har fått det fine været vi har hatt her hele uken. Deilig – og på tide! Ha en fin helg!

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  4. I'm glad to see the temperatures are finally picking up. The immediate thing I noticed from your post is how much greener it was this time last year! But it's more than that. All the progress you've made really shows too. A garden is an ongoing process, never finished. Take your time and enjoy it as well, it really is looking super.

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    1. This week has been lovely down here, I hope you have had summer weather too! And this week-end is set to be even warmer, makes wonder for late plants and I will finally have the first rose open this week-end!

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  5. What a transformation you have accomplished in a year. It really makes me feel quite sheepish about my own gardening efforts, but rusty duck is right: gardening is a process that is never complete - we gardeners just love tinkering with things. Your video, as always, was marvelous.

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    1. Thanks Dorothy, I love tinkering with things in my garden – my favourite thing of all things to do! Just the other day I had 6 more paving slabs taken up to create a bigger rose bed - I have thought there were too much paving and bigger flowerbeds means I can squeeze in more plants!

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  6. I still have no daffodils in my garden, Helene. There are tulips, hyacinth, chionodoxa, but no narcissus. Ha ha!
    Love your roses, I'm sure they will start blooming in first warm days, Helene. The weather is strange, I agree. We had thunderstorm and hail in the same time.
    Your video is wonderful, Edward Grieg is my favorite and the first melody I know as 'Dwarfs dance'. Happy may day!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda, I wonder if you are thinking of ‘March of the Dwarfs’? That’s a different piece of music, but also by Edward Grieg. The English translation for his music is often very different than the original Norwegian titles and makes it difficult to recognise them. ‘March of the Dwarfs’ is actually ‘Troll procession’ and ‘King of the Mountain Hall’ is about a Troll king that gives out good and aspirational advice although always with a catch. In Norwegian the title refers to the name of this troll, ‘Dovregubben’ and the word hall is the same as in English – the full title is ‘Dovregubbens Hall’.

      I hope the warmer weather is coming your way too, have a nice week-end!

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  7. yours looks all sorted and organised, my pots are still a bit chaotic and trying to work what is in which pot??

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    1. I also have a few pots I don’t know what is, thanks to the squirrels! They seems to nick my plant labels, no idea what they do with them but they don’t leave them lying around in the garden, they take them! So far I am missing more than 20 labels....

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  8. Here daffodils are still blooming too, but the roses are very late and only some of them have formed buds by now. Finally we had a lovely sunny day today after a wet week with lots of short hailstorms.
    Happy gardening!

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    1. I hope the good weather has reached you too this week, has been lovely here and more good weather to come this week-end. Happy gardening to you too Janneke!

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  9. Your garden is looking so lovely, and you've done so much work in the past year! The cat is so cute, and how nice that it keeps you company in the garden. That is too bad the one bed is pure clay. That's the worst and takes so much work to amend! Here's hoping the weather turns nicer for you!

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    1. Thanks Indie, the weather has turned and the last few days have been lovely and there is more to come. Absolutely amazing how much it means to the plants with good sunshine, warm weather during the day and not too bad at night. I can almost hear them grow!

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  10. Your garden gets lovelier every time I see it, Helene. I do feel as though I'm living, not just in a different time and climate zone, but in an altogether different season, though! My Narcissus and other spring bulbs are already a distant memory; my roses are done with their first flush of bloom; and my Agapanthus, which signal summer's arrival here, are putting up more buds daily. I was very envious in looking over your weather forecast too - we could do with just a little of that rain!

    The neighbor's cat looks right at home in your garden - watch out, he may adopt you. What's happening with your painting plan? Have you firmed up your color choice?

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    1. My painting plan has finally taken off, I think you will like this month’s GBBD photos :-)
      I think you would have like the rain we got earlier this week too, more than 48 hours of relentless rain! I have a washing-up bowl in the garden I use when dead heading and it was half full with water, more than 2 litres. It doesn’t rain like this here in London very often.

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  11. Love to see the rose buds, they must be beautiful roses.

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    1. The roses are flowering now, one by one – soon they all will be in flower.

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  12. The Ceanothus must be a real sight for sore eyes Helene. You must be very pleased with how everything is coming together. I admire the way you put so much thought into your planting schemes. Unlike me where everything is a bit of an after thought.
    I had to admit to not noticing the colour change in the pipe, I did try to tell the difference between the two images but had to rely on you telling us what you'd done. Great video and nice to see all those birds.

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    1. Thanks Angie, the speed of how I do things is mainly down to my physical limitations – and not careful thinking and planning, even if the latter might sound much better! But it does give me time to reflect about what to put where and how things will look at different times of year. Colours are important to me so I will happily dig up something that clashes too much, although in a small garden there will always be clashes to live with.

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  13. Oh, I like your obelisk! I'll look forward to seeing your roses unfurling. It must smell wonderful in your garden when they're blooming. :)

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    1. Thanks Beth, that obelisk will hopefully soon be covered in roses and clematis, not long to wait now!

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  14. Tack för turen i din fina trädgård, våren har varit kall hos oss också, värmen kom nu i Maj, så nu kan det hända saker i trädgården här med. Du har mycket fint som blommar trots kylan, din Ceanothus är så vacker, har letat om man kan få tag på den i Sverige, men den är inte härdig här, tyvärr. Önskar dig en fin Maj månad.
    Ha det bra /Marika

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    1. Hei Marika, nei jeg tror ikke du kan gro ceanothus i Sverige – tror det kan bli for kaldt i enkelte vintre. Vi har også hatt både varm og kaldt mai måned og nå er det ganske kaldt igjen. Er på tide med litt stabilt vær! Men hagen gror uansett vær, håper du hygger deg med vårhagen din, ha en god søndag!

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  15. My word it all looks lovely and similar to my garden although you are certainly ahead. Our weather forecast is almost the same which is warm for me. I love seeing the progress...so much patience and work pays off. How sweet the neighbor's cat is to keep you company too!

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    1. Thanks Donna, everything is very late in my garden, but finally things are taking off. My GBBD post will show you a big leap forward :-)

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  16. Gosh your garden is coming along wonderfully. It's starting to look quite established now, even if the cold spring has delayed leaf and flower growth. I too planted young strawberries in Spring and it's only been in the last week I found that I'm getting some growth out of them. So I'm sure yours will catch up soon. I love that acer that's with the Rhodo's. It's leaves look like they are creating steps up the tree. Very effective. You must be pleased with how much you have achieved in the last year. It really is looking good.

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    1. Yes, my strawberries have taken off really well the last 2 weeks, I have lots of flowers – but as they are young plants I am picking all the flowers off, although with a heavy heart! I am being assured it will give me much more strawberries next year….are you doing the same? The acer is called Acer palmatum ‘Ariadne’ and I love the shape and size and colours of it – it is amazing!

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  17. We're having the same weather you are but I don't mind it. It's amazing how much progress you've made in such a short time. Excellent idea to plant the strawberries in raised beds. It will make harvesting them so much easier.

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    1. Yes, the raised beds were initially just a dumping ground for the excess soil after planting, but after buying a second raised bed I realised it would be a great place for growing strawberries. It is in full sun, and my tomato tumbler plants are now growing in containers in front of them, soaking up the warmth from the black plastic :-)

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