Thursday, 30 June 2016

EOMV June 2016 from a rainy London

It is End of Month View again and I usually open to say something about the weather the last month, but what can I say this time to describe the miserable summer weather we have had, except call it…....MISERABLE! An afternoon or morning here and there without rain doesn’t in any way make up for the next 3, 4 or 5 days of rain. And that’s how it has been for ages now. I did water my garden a bit in May, but I haven’t touched the hose for a very long time, it hasn’t been necessary, not even for the pots and containers and they usually dry out even when it rains. But the kind of rain we have had lately has been buckets at the time so even the containers have been happy. In fact, the garden is mostly very happy with the weather – lots of rain and rather chilly, with max day temp of 16-22 degrees (60-71 F) – perfect for most of my plants. I am the only one not happy with a summer like that. Oh, and my dahlias, they are not happy either. Here in my new garden the soil is very different to my previous one, much more clay, so the soil, combined with heavily saturated ground made the dahlias rot, all of them – all the ones I planted. Those few I didn’t get around to plant are still fine growing in pots, but all 20-22 or so that I planted in the ground are lost, never even emerged. Oh well, maybe dahlias won’t be a feature here in my new garden then!

In today’s post I want to show you how my garden turns into a magical place after dark.

The photos are rather dark so I hope you will be able to see them - and they will possibly look better in full version depending on what kind of device you are using. 

They are all taken after it got properly dark and I have not used a flash so the only light source is the solar and battery lights you see.

This is a chain of lights I have in the ceanothus, where the huge branch broke off, the chain looks decorative in daylight too.

And this is the view from my living room window after dark.

I am rather pleased with those new snowdrop lights.

Even the birdbath has got lights for tonight, submersible tea lights.

The solar blossom tree looks more like a Christmas tree on a distance, but if you go up-close you can see the individual flowers. They look like glass.

I have several lights on the fence dotted around the garden and I will get a few more, they are not exactly reading light, but that’s not the intention – they give just enough light so I am able to safely walk around without putting the full-beam work light on (reserved for garden work after dark).

I have two movies for you today, the first one is a short one showing the view from my backdoor the other day when the weather was showing off its bad side again. Mother Nature was even throwing in some thunder while I was filming, just for good measure. If you listen carefully you will be able to hear it, although because it was right above me, the sound was so deafening that the microphone on my camcorder just gave up recording the thunder and the sound is much more quiet as a result. As the rain calms down you can also hear the sparrows squabbling in the background.



The second movie is filmed on one of those days in between where we actually had an afternoon with nice weather. I have had to plan filming, photography – and garden work carefully to get anything done the last couple of weeks, and even with careful planning I have often gone out - just to find the forecast is wrong and it starts raining after just a little while. But here was a rare day when it was nice, not as hot as you might get the impression of, but it was even sunny now and then!

The music for this movie is Nocturne from String Quartet no. 2 in D by Alexander Borodin, and this is a movie you absolutely should see and hear in full screen with your speakers on quite loud and at the best resolution your Internet connection will allow, the buttons for changing the quality and screen are down in the bottom right corner.

The cat next door is making a guest appearance in today’s film, he is keeping me company just about every day when I am outside, but will usually go home after a few hours to get fed as he has learned from experience that it’s no point asking for food at my house.

Oh, and have a lookout for the leafcutter bee around 1:33 min into the movie, I was filming the rose Gertrude Jekyll and saw this bee kind of in my side vision taking a big bite of a leaf and rolling it up! It was obviously not planned and prepared in terms of filming so it got a bit rushed and out of focus, but I decided to keep it anyway. I have never seen a leafcutter bee before, only the results they are leaving – and the first time I see one I am watching it through my camcorder whilst filming. Amazing! It’s very quick so blink and you’ll miss it :-)



One final photo from my magical night garden – I have a bowl on my table that comes to life after it gets dark, here with water pearls, submersible tea lights and a single oriental lily.

That was it for today, next post will be Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th July, but you can see short updates about my garden on my Facebook page, just send me a friend request to see all my posts.

I am linking today’s post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.
Until next time, take care.

33 comments:

  1. Hej Helene!
    Ser magiskt ut i mörkret med ljus och lampor. Spännande att se biet rulla ihop bladet, har aldrig sett något liknande. Hoppas du får lite sol och värme, till din fina trädgård.
    Ha det fint /Marika

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    1. Hei Marika, hyggelig at du likte videoen – og spennende med bien ja, det var bare et lykketreff at jeg fikk filmet den! De neste 10 dagene er vi lovet ganske bra vær, ikke så veldig høye temperaturer men i hvert fall ikke regn så det lover godt - på tide! Ha en god helg :-)

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  2. Hei Helene!
    Vakkert med lys i mørket, og snøklokkelampene var utrolig fine! Så uheldig dere i U.K. har vært med været i sommer. Her har alle rosene fått tørkeskader, for det har omtrent ikke regnet skikkelig på lange tider. Men i dag regner det her også, og det er så godt. Nydelige roser du har!

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    1. Takk Marit, ja nå har vi fått regn så det holder for en stund, nå kan dere overta litt! Min rosekolleksjon vokser stadig, og jeg titter på flere, har lyst på ‘Darcey Bussell’ og ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ og kanskje 'Claire Austin’ og 'Munstead Wood'…..men det er så mange jeg har lyst på! Håper du får fine dager i hagen – og så kan det regne om natten :-)

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  3. Hi Helene, that is certainly very unusual to do a blog post showing the garden at night, but it is very interesting. I love the oriental looking lanterns in the first photo and also the oriental Lily in the glass vase, so beautiful!
    I know you complain about all the rain, but when you don't have it like we do in Southern California you long for it sooo... much. Your garden looks so peaceful and lovely in the "rain video". I think I would enjoy having a cup of tea and watching all the beauty from the inside of the house very much. The rain definitively makes British gardens very lush and full, which really stood out to us when we were visiting the Cotswolds about two weeks ago. And you don't need to water your containers so often by hand, which is a real plus as well. Here because of our heat I am seriously thinking of reducing the amount of containers that I have in the garden and as a matter of fact have started to do so already.
    Still I wish you some sunny days to come!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thank you Christina, I am a rather nocturnal person and can often be found working in my garden at night – I have flood light in the main part of the garden so I can see and work whatever the time is :-) That’s why I also enjoy decorating the garden with lights, it looks so different at night!
      I enjoy watching the garden when it is thunder and lightning and the rain is hammering down, but we have had too much rain lately, too much and too little is just as bad and I can remember years in the past when we have had drought and watering ban and plants have died – it is hard work to keep things alive over a long period. I hope it gets a bit more evenly spread out for the rest of the summer between us :-)
      Have a good weekend in the garden!

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  4. How wonderful to capture the bee actually in the moments of cutting a leaf!

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    1. Yes, that was a true serendipity moment – in my garden which I have named The Serendipity Garden :-)

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  5. Mother Nature is so unfair! I wish there was a post office box to receive complaints about her service. We could do with a bit of your rain and I'm sure you'd be pleased with some of our sunshine (although I wouldn't wish that horrific heatwave we had almost 2 weeks ago on anyone). In any case, with the exception of those Dahlias, your garden clearly appreciates the rain, while unfortunately I can't say that my garden appreciates our hot, dry conditions. It was fun to see your video of the leafcutter bee - I've never seen one in action before either.

    I hope you get a good break from the rain and can enjoy some sunny days outside in July!

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    1. Well, if you find out where to send your complaint please let me know, I have a complaint to send off too! The weather here in London has become rather extreme over the years, just like many other places – we have too much of either one thing or the other and although it is not that many years since last time we had a drought and I was hand watering like mad it seems like ages ago now. A bit more evenly spread out would have been nice. I just long for a good few weeks with stable, nice warm weather and proper sunshine. Ahhh, we haven’t really had that yet this year, just the odd day here and there.
      The leafcutter bee moment was sheer luck, one of those things you can’t plan for – just happened to be there at the right time. If my camcorder hadn’t been recording already I would have been too so sheer luck!

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  6. Thank you Helene for a beautiful tour of your garden. It is truly beautiful. I love both your videos,the daytime one my favourite though. I have just bought Munstead Wood rose and wondered if you could suggest what colour of Clematis I should plant behind it. Hope you get more sunny days to si and enjoy your garden. Regards, Ruth Hargraves.

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    1. Hello Ruth, ‘Mustead Wood’ is a lovely dark rose, I haven’t got it yet but it is high on my wish-list. It is a shrub rose so you won’t need a very big clematis to go with it, I would also consider pruning group before thinking of a particular variety if you want it to grow together and entwined with your rose. If you go for a clematis pruning group 3 you can just cut the whole thing down to about 30cm above ground and pull out everything you prune off when you prune the rose – that’s what I would go for as it will be the easiest option. If you go for a pruning group 2 clematis you will need to carefully entangle the clematis every year before pruning the rose and just prune the clematis to shape, and small clematis’ from this group will need minimal pruning. For me that would be too much fiddling about, but if you are prepared to do that then either type will do.

      As for colour I would go for a contrasting one, in pink, light pink or white. I would stay clear of lavender or purple - that will crash with the colour of the rose. The best thing will be to go and buy one where you can see the flowers, I didn’t get to do that when I bought the one for my ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and I found it very difficult to choose colour from online photos as the same clematis is shown in many different colour shades online – pretty hopeless to choose! In the end I just used elimination and I am happy to say I made the right choice for my rose.
      If I should suggest some I can ‘lend’ you my clematis wish-list with those I have mind for my own garden for the same use, all are pink or white in pruning group 3 and small, hopefully you will be able to find some of them where you live. If you Google them you can find info about each.

      Clematis 'Countess of Wessex'
      Clematis ‘Pink Delight’
      Clematis 'Alionushka'
      Clematis integrifolia 'Alba'
      Clematis ‘Kaiu’
      Clematis 'Chantilly'
      Clematis 'Corinne'

      But you could also be a bit more daring and go for something a bit more shocking and although I have only seen this one online, I would love to put Munstead Wood together with Clematis integrifolia Rooguchi – look it up and you will see why!!
      Good luck with choosing your new clematis :-)

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    2. wow thank you for your help, you've certainly given me a list to look out for.. I'm putting the rose in a pot on my deck in front of a trellis which I hope to grow the Clematis against. I don't want it to go rampant so thanks for the information about grouping. I never Knew about that. Come summer I will put some photo's on my facebook page.. Thanks again Helene.

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    3. The pruning group has nothing to do with how tall they grow every year, only how - and how much you prune them in the spring (autumn for you). A pruning group 3 clematis can grow to anything between 1m and 4m every year, even if it is cut down almost to the ground every year. Look for information about each, it should say how tall they grow – all on my list are 1.5-2m and will fit on a trellis.

      If the clematis is growing in a container too I would look for pruning group 3 and as short as possible – and a big container. Clematis’ need good space. The container needs to be shaded by other containers. Roots in the shade, flowers in the sun :-)
      I look forward to seeing what you choose!

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    4. I deleted the last comment as I saw I had so many spelling errors.. I'm sure it's my computer playing up rather than me...lol I wanted to ask you your secret to keeping your plants so healthy in pots. You have a lot of pots. I am thinking of getting more plants for pots. Do you buy a special kind of potting mix...

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    5. No, I don’t buy a special mix - I mix it myself as it makes it much cheaper. I always buy 3 types of compost: an ordinary, cheap multipurpose compost, an ericaceous compost and John Innes no:3 compost. Depending on what type of plant I am potting up I will use a mix of John Innes and one of the other – or just ordinary multipurpose. The longer a plant is staying in the same pot, the more John Innes I will use, up to 50% for roses or clematis for example. John Innes is much more expensive so only the more valuable plants get that, annual plants get cheap compost and nothing more!

      Also remember that plants in containers need feeding more often than in the ground, and they need more frequent watering. It is a stressful life for large container plants so make sure they never dry out completely. And never ever use garden soil in containers and pots, only clean compost.

      The clematis you have chosen, 'Countess of Lovelace' is pruning group 2 which means minimal pruning – only tidy it up, remove dead and spindly growth and prune just above the first pair of healthy buds.

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    6. Thank you Helene. I will take some photo's in Summer

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  7. Oh, your garden looks so beautiful and entrancing at night! And it is as gorgeous as ever during the day. That is too bad your dahlias didn't make it with the rain. I wish you could send some of the rain our way! I love the video of the leafcutter bee, and your roses are just so stunning.

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    1. Thank you Indie, the weather has been a bit better the last week or so, but now we seem to be facing another spell of daily sunshine and showers. I would be more than happy to send some rain your way!

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  8. Your garden is fantastic at night Helene. I liked your last photo of magic bowl with light and lily - it's a good idea to have it on your table.
    Your first video is interesting - I heard all sounds of thunderstorm. I liked another film and the music - I wasn't familiar with this composer.

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    1. Thank you Nadezda, I think Alexander Borodin was most famous for having written and composed ‘Prince Igor’, I like his music and the individual pieces are easy to use in my videos.
      I hope you have great summer weather on your dacha :-)

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  9. Your garden has really come along Helene. It looks like it's been there for years! Too bad about the weather. London must be hoarding all the rain because, we have none. My garden is parched and thirsty.
    I love the night lighting! Lights for the evening hours are on my own wish list. Enjoyed your film and the roses especially. The leaf cutter bee is awesome. Man, he wastes no time cutting up that rose leaf!

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    1. The leafcutter bees have been busy in my garden, you can see the ‘work’ they have done everywhere, but I somehow don’t mind so much anymore, now that I have actually seen one in action. Let them have those pieces of leaves, I won’t really miss them – as long as they leave my evergreen plants alone :-)

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  10. Thank you, Helene, it's such a lover garden and beautiful photos, videos and music. You're love for the plants shines out.

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    1. Thank you, I always say that the garden is the most important room in my house :-)

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  11. Hi Helene,I think we are all suffering with the weather this year. Love your "electric garden":-)

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    1. Thanks Rick, I have my eyes on next weekend, seems the weather is going to improve – for a while at least!

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  12. Love the way you make use of illumination in your garden Helene. Shame about the Dahlias, I was going to chance leaving ours in the ground, I dont think the Winter cold would have seen them off, it would have been the wet.

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    1. I never lifted my dahlias where I used to live before, but I had a nice area around the big conifer where I grew dahlias and in the winter that area was nice and dry. You are right, it is the wet that kills them, not a few degrees below minus. I have had dahlias in pots under my garden bench for many years through winters with down to minus 5 without any problems.
      I didn’t plant the dahlias I took with me from my previous garden until February or so, but they died anyway – in my heavy clay soil and with all the rain we have had it was almost inevitable I suppose.

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  13. Amazing that you caught the leaf cutter bee in action! It worked so quickly! Your roses are wonderful. Your garden looks magical, especially at night. I hope the weather cooperates so that you get a chance to sit outside at night to enjoy the special evening atmosphere.

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    1. I feel lucky to have seen that leafcutter bee, and it seems a lot of other people have never seen it before either. The weather is still not exactly brilliant, blustery, with showers on and off most days and 18-22 degrees C. Not really summer to be honest. We are promised an improvement next week, but we were promised that last week too and it didn’t happen so we’ll see!

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  14. just peeking in for a 'hello' ... i love your night ambiance lights, so magical! Warm Greetings from Gone Tropical, Myrtle Glen, Florida :-)

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    1. Hello, nice of you to peek in, welcome to my blog!
      I post twice a month, on the 15th and on the last day of the month, please feel free to come again :-)

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