It is middle of June and it is 4 weeks since I came out of hospital – no idea where those 4 weeks have gone! Thank you to all well wishes on my previous post, I am getting better and have had help in my garden both from gardening friends and from the Great British Weather – it has rained and rained and rained and....good for my garden - and good for me so I haven’t had to water. The very cold and late spring made everything bloom much later than normal this year, I didn’t have a single rose in April which is very unusual for my garden, now I have roses, lots of roses – many of them presented here, but I thought perhaps showing you all 26 would be a bit too much....oh, yes, I have got a few more roses here in my new garden compared to my previous garden – more space, more roses. I think I might be able to squeeze in possible one or two more eventually! But here are today’s GBBD photos.
The garden looks so much fuller than just a while ago! That’s not because I have put any more plants in, it’s just because all the plants have leafed out and grown and emerged and so on. Just compare it with the photo below taken exactly 2 months ago, 15th April....
....and the garden looks so empty! Same amount of plants, a few more pots moved over to this sunny side but that’s all there is – plus all the leaves and flowers out.
On the shady side where my Japanese themed bed is there really is DEEP shade now, thanks to the enormous growth on the Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki' - Pink Variegated Willow, which is really living up to its name in terms of the colour. I pruned it a bit last summer, and then I pruned it a lot last winter, but I don’t think I will be attempting a winter prune again on this one, I think perhaps a careful summer pruning might be a better solution. I think it looks bigger now than before I started pruning it last summer – if that is even possible! Once it has changed to green later on in the summer I will snip and shape and then I will have to see next year what happens. Trial and error!
Sorry about the miserable wet photos, but it was raining on and off every day and finally I just had to take the photos. Here is the main rose bed, what you don’t see is that there are new roses planted behind these too, but they are still small and won’t reach up to this level for a few years, but eventually the whole wall will be covered in roses, clematis, and jasmine, and there are roses, lilies and daylilies in this main bed and towards the right along the wall.
Here is what’s been my absolute favourite rose since I got it in 2012, Scepter'd Isle. The scent is very different to the ‘Old Rose’ scent and possibly why I like it so much, I am not so keen on those ‘Turkish Delight’ smelling roses. But this one has a strong scent of myrrh, which is a fragrant gum resin obtained from certain trees (think Frankincense and myrrh and the 3 wise men....) – I think this rose is absolutely fantastic, but we all have a different experience in terms of smell so what I smell will be different to everyone else. Maybe you think ‘Turkish Delight’ roses are the only true rose scent?
Someone asked me why I have so many pink roses, they all look the same....and my answer was – but they are all different! This is ‘Wildeve’, with beautiful, large flowers, sadly not so strong scent but if you stick your nose right in then there is a faint scent there.
OK, so yes, this one is pink too, but my goodness, this is probably my new favourite!! After a feeble start last year in a container it is now making up for all that after having been planted in the ground and ‘The Generous Gardener’ is destined to cover part of the brick wall. The scent of this rose is out of this world! Again, what I can smell might not be what you smell, but if you like the myrrh scent of Scepter'd Isle then this is that - PLUS more! I would say in addition to the myrrh there is some musk, plus some fruity lemony hints as well which just makes this rose absolutely amazing in terms of scent. The fact that the flowers look like waterlilies and some websites describe this as one of the most fragrant of all English Roses and it is repeat flowering....well, you get a lot out of ‘The Generous Gardener’. I will try to take some photos of fully sprung flowers to show you the waterlily look, the rain had ruined all those already out so this was the best one today.
Ehrm....another pink rose? This one is slightly different pink, more strawberry pink, but all the rain is not really favourable to its beauty. This is one of my new roses and it is doing well, although still small – ‘Cornelia’.
I buy everything I need online and that includes all my plants. So when it comes to buying plants that should match in colour, well, that can be a headache, just try to Google these to beauties; Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and Clematis 'Warszawska Nike'. If you try this in Google’s image tab you will see how many different colour versions you will get of both plants, and I was trying to find one clematis I could pair with the rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ I already had. I must have looked at hundreds of clematis’ before I finally went for this one – and hoped for the best. I am pleased that the result was so close to what I expected and these two are now growing together on the tall obelisk in the middle of the rose bed.
Here is another pink rose.... ‘Charles de Mills’ - but that’s a very different one to those above; old rose scent, non-repeat flowering....huh? Not really the kind of rose I would go for, but I got it in a plant swap so I have placed it in the middle of the rose bed and I know it will give a fantastic show every summer while it is flowering, and once it’s all over, there are roses all around it to keep the bed going. Just look at those flowers!
Here is a newcomer, it is still tiny and this is the second flower, the first one rained away before I could take a photo of it, but it is more cream than white despite what it looks like in my photo. It is Rosa 'Macmillan Nurse', and for anyone outside UK not knowing, Macmillan Nurses are nurses who have specialised in cancer or palliative care and who work either in hospitals or in the community.
This is a new rose in my garden too, ‘Iceberg’ shrub rose is growing next to 'Macmillan Nurse', and when they both have grown to full size I might have to lift one of them – difficult to say now how much space they will need eventually and I might possibly have tried to squeeze in way too many roses in that bed! ‘Iceberg’ is a well known rose, I grew it in Norway as a climber, but as a shrub it shouldn’t get much taller than just over 1m.
Another white rose, this one is 'Susan Williams-Ellis', a highly scented rose with gorgeous, small rosette flowers – but an annoying feature when it comes to drizzly petals. This rose must have the most amount of petals in any rose I have ever seen, and it is hard to tell when the flowers are off, one day they are buds about to open, next day they look fine, but oh, bump into them when cutting off the one next to it and ALL the petals will fall to the ground.’ Messy Susan’ is her nickname in my garden. But she is a keeper for now!
This one is a keeper too, I inherited this rose and I have no idea what it is called, but it is a nice rose with a faint scent. It is currently in my front garden.
This is one of my many miniatures – these small roses are excellent if you are short of space, or want many roses in a small garden. This gorgeous rose is named ‘George Best’ after the football player, and the rose will be around 50-60cm tall when mature - perfect for containers.
Another miniature and one of my favourite among the minis – this is Rosa 'Abigaile' and she will be maximum 50cm tall when mature. I have her growing at the front of the rose bed at the moment.
Here are also some great minis, these two were bought as 2 for 1£ at ASDA (Walmart) in November and I have bought quite a few of these over the years. They usually die very quickly indoors at that time of the year so this time I re-potted them straight away and put them outside. They have been in flower since November!! Sometimes with just one pink bud lasting for ages but even so – a lot for 50 pence each! And in between those two pink (yes I know, pink again!) roses, my lovely lemon tree is standing, looking a bit sad and not much bigger than last year. It is producing new leaves again this year too so it can’t be having that bad time, but I would have thought it would have grown a bit quicker.
But look here! A flower. ONE flower! There were two flowers, but the other dropped off before it opened. I can’t see any more buds. Maybe I will get ONE lemon? Well, it is a start!
One more miniature rose? This is my cream pot rose I often took photos of in my previous garden, I couldn’t leave such a lovely rose so I took it with me. It seems just as happy here in my new garden, despite looking rather like a wet cat in this photo.
Here at the front of the rose bed are things to come, I got 8 new alstroemerias which are just starting to flower, more about them next time I think, and there are lots of daylilies in this bed too, but I had not anticipated how well the two David Austin roses right behind here would do after having been container grown since 2012, they have grown to a size I have never seen before! They obviously like the clay soil here and are now making up for lost growth. If the roses are growing bigger than this I might have to dig up the daylilies if they are to have any chance of getting any sun!
Here is the rose bed seen from my shed, and you can just get a glimpse of some of the ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ roses in the middle of the black obelisk. Now imagine the whole obelisk covered in that pink rose and the dark clematis I showed earlier on, all the way to the top and cascading down. That’s for next year. Or the year after. Well, that’s the plan anyway!
While we are standing here on the side, let me show you a couple of heucheras in flower. I usually cut off the flowers as they are not really interesting, but 'Strawberry Candy' to the left here has got really nice flowers – and bright green leaves. I have planted it next to Heuchera 'Miracle', which has pale pink flowers and right now has lime green leaves, but the name ‘miracle’ refers to the fact that this heuchera changes colour 3 times during the year, so come back in the summer it will be green and burnt orange and in the autumn the leaves will be purple!
The strawberry plants in the raised beds are doing fine, growing into strong plants. I have pinched every flower off as I am supposed to for 1st year plants, but it has been with a heavy heart I have done it. I hope next year’s harvest will be as amazing as described, for it must make up for no berries this year. A long time to wait for berries, but I can be patient when it’s necessary!
Opposite the raised beds I have containers with some of the plants I sowed as seed earlier this year, here are cosmos – and bacoupa I have bought as plug plants.
And before we leave this corner, let me just show you this bug hotel I found on Amazon, I should probably have a few more but one is a start at least. I am trying to replace some of the habitat I probably have removed by taking out all the Virginia Creeper from the wall around half the garden. This bug hotel is mainly reserved for Ladybirds, I hope all the other bugs understand that, I want lots of ladybirds and I want them to stay, eat and reproduce. Fast. The Goliath lilies next to it should have been planted in the ground last autumn but I still have lots of pots to plant from my previous garden. The lilies are doing well though, despite how crowded they are in that 15 litre pot!
Moving a bit further down to the woodland bed, here the lilies have come up too, all these are Lilium regale and they need individual staking as by the time the flowers are big enough to open up, they will be so heavy that each of the stalks will be horizontal so staking is a must, I just have so many to do. I wonder how many lilies I have now, how many have survived and come up this year? I think I need to count one day. Looking at this woodland bed you should think everything is coming along swimmingly....
....but those of you who follow me on Facebook will have seen these photos from early May of the ceanothus, where one branch simply gave away after 2 days of rain and the branch splintered in pieces and broke. A huge part of the ceanotus that covered the woodland bed like an umbrella simply broke off.
I have had help to cut off the branches and tidy up a bit, but it is still a huge gap in what was like a dome shape and there is nothing to do with that. Actually, it doesn’t look too bad in this photo, but when you stand next to it and look up it looks bad, awful. You could park a bus in this gap and not touch the sides, that’s how big this hole is. It won’t grow back the way it looked, but it will soften over the years. I made the woodland bed under these two ceanothus having in mind the shade created by this dome and the plants under are selected specifically for this environment.
With half of the ceanothus gone there is too much sun here and some of the plants are suffering. A couple of my beautiful Arum italicum have simply just crisped up in the sunshine and even here in the rain they haven’t recovered. I never though too much sun in my woodland bed would be a problem!
Further back in the bed it is still shady, and I am so pleased to see that this exotic looking Arisaema ciliatum liubaense has survived being dug up from my previous garden, lived a whole year in a pot and then planted again in this bed. I had 3 originally, I could only find 2 bulbs when I was looking for them in February last year, the 2 came with me and one has come up now. I hope it makes lots of seeds so it can spread, good to have more than one in case of disasters in the garden. This arisaema gets up to 60-70cm tall, very different to low growing Arisamea amurense which I have many of. The flower is a bit shy on this photo, I will try to get a better one when it isn’t raining.
Here is the tail-end of the shade garden, where the left side is sunny and the right side is in the shade of the house and has absolutely no sun at all.
It was therefore an experiment to install this arch with clematis, and I didn’t dare plant them in the ground, I thought best to plant them in containers for a year or two to see if the clematis’ would be happy here in this shady spot.
And happy they seem! This is Clematis ‘Piilu’, which has received no sun at all since arriving in my garden, after emerging.
And this is Clematis ‘Mon Amour’ which I had from before and took with me from the previous garden, it receives a bit of sun on one side, but nothing on the other side. I think the flowers on the shady side looks better, with a deeper colour and I am so pleased they both are doing well here. When both are reaching the top they will get sun, but down at the level they are now there will never be much at all.
And while we are talking of clematis, here is another newcomer I got this spring, I have wanted it for a long time and finally got an ideal spot for this one – it likes shade and here at the outside of the fence it won’t receive any sun until it has reached the top of the fence. However, it looks nothing like all the photos I have seen so I am not so sure I have received what I ordered, this is supposed to be ‘Pink Fantasy’ – it is more like a lavender fantasy. Nice enough, with single and double huge flowers – but I don’t think it is what I ordered.
Back in the shade garden for a moment again, the huge fuchsia I inherited with the garden has done a comeback after I cut down 2/3 of it. I was afraid of chopping off too much after it has probably not been pruned in 10 years. I probably needed not have worried, it is growing like mad. Next year I will chop it to the ground and pinch and shape it when it comes back, it is still rather straggly and sprawly – but who wouldn’t be after so many years without pruning!
Did you notice that little square bed in the previous photo? That’s where I have my Arisaema amurense, sorry no photos of them this time, but I also have lots of Saxifraga stolonifera which Jessica at Rusty Duck kindly sent me. They are doing great and multiplying like......well, like saxifrage usually do, no wonder these plants are called ‘Mother with thousand children’ – but that’s why I planted them in this little bed – to contain them so I wouldn’t get them all over the garden. They are really lovely, but I just want a small area with them!
Speaking of fuchsias, you might know I don’t have any regular fuchsias anymore, I had to get rid of all mine (all 86!) because of Fuchsia Gall Mite, but I do have miniature fuchsias, as they are not affected by the mites. I have 4 different miniatures and they are all doing great and producing flowers now. Later on they also get black, edible berries, but will continue to produce flowers until frost or around January next year. Troupers in the garden! This is Fuchsia bacillaris 'Cottinghamii'.
Another plant doing great in the woodland area is this Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’, I used to have Lamium in my previous garden and just ripped up a few pieces of each of the 3 varieties I had and potted them up before moving last year, here is the result of one of those pieces.
I just need to show you my waiting room – this bench area is where my plants wait to be sorted, usually to get planted or re-potted and if something is really urgent they get to sit on the bench and wait. This bench has not been empty since I moved in here in May last year. There are always plants here that need rescuing!
I sowed grass earlier this year and they are flowering right now.
They are so lovely! To the left is Bunny's Tail Grass, Lagurus ovatus and I would bet that if you had it you would be tempted to go stroking it against your chin just like I do! The grass to the right is not properly flowering yet and will look better next time, but it is called Greater quaking grass, Briza maxima and is equally lovely.
Here is a plant I haven’t showed you before, I have had it for a few years, but every time it is in flower I forget to take a photo, this time I remembered. It is Lewisia cotyledon, and I could swear this one was warm pink/orange last year, certainly not white. I wonder if they change colour each year? Perhaps so they don’t get bored??
This one is a newcomer to my garden, I was looking for some salvias but I didn’t want anything too big for my relative small garden. And as half the blogosphere seems to have ‘Salvia 'Amistad' I thought perhaps I should choose something different. This is Salvia greggii 'Icing Sugar', an impatient customer on my waiting room bench – hopefully soon she will be in a bigger and more suitable pot!
But the real positive surprise has been the first salvia I bought, back in February. This is Salvia x jamensis 'Nachtvlinder' and my goodness what a salvia! You don’t even need to bruise the leaves to smell it, it is enough to just stand nearby! The scent is to me....how can I describe the scent.....think of blackcurrants, lightly crushed with more than enough sugar, then put the bowl on a window sill so the sun can shine onto and warm the crushed blackcurrants....and then smell them. That’s probably the closest you get, but this is of course not blackcurrant, it is a salvia, and there is a distinct undertone of something ‘salvia’ there too, in addition to the blackcurrant. I can’t pass this one in the garden without having a good sniff. I can warmly recommend it, but have no idea yet as to how well it will grow as it gets older and woodier. Final height is around 70cm so both of these salvias will be container grown.
One last rose photo? This is ‘Wildeve’ again, together with my solar powered snowdrop lights. More roses next time!
I better stop here, even though there are LOTS of more plants in flower I would have liked to show you – but I simply have too many different plants to present them all in one post at this time of year.
I am linking today’s post to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, please visit her for many more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts.
Until next time, take care.