Friday, 15 July 2016

Colourful July flowers - GBBD

It is the middle of the month and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day - and I have been pondering about what to call today’s post. I named the previous post ‘From a rainy London’ and I am afraid that title is still just as appropriate despite that we have been repeatedly promised better weather. OK, so we have had one day here and there without rain, today was such a day and it was brilliant the few moments when the sun was shining. We might be in for a week of better weather starting from tomorrow, but we have been promised hot summer weather so many times now so I am taking one day at the time. Yesterday I had my iPad with me out in the garden where I can see BBC weather for my postcode hour by hour and for every hour it said sunny intervals – while the rain kept coming and going and I had to seek shelter in the shed together with my camera. So much for local weather forecast!

I have so much in flower right now that I can't possibly show you everything, and even just one photo of each plant would have been way too many photos so today I have used the mosaic feature extensively. Fill up a mug of your favourite brew and come for a walk with me in my July Garden.

All the rain might make people miserable and longing for sunshine, but the garden is coping remarkably well with the extra water even though sunshine has been in short supply for months. Do you remember my previous garden and the ‘Jungle feel’ it had during the summer with the garden filled to the rafters with plants? I am not quite there yet with this garden but I am working towards it!

Look at the sky in the background…incoming heavy downpour!

Some of the roses are still flowering, but most are pausing just for a little moment after having had a great first flush. Soon they will all be flowering again. In the mean time I have alstroemerias and lilies dotted around the garden.

















In the Japanese inspired garden the Salix integra ‘Haukoro Nishiki’ has ended up enormously big, even though I pruned it hard in early March. Or maybe it is so big because I pruned it hard?  It will take a few years to learn how to take care of this mature tree, I think the trial and error method will be most useful – and after having read so many conflicting ways of how to prune these lovely trees I am more inclined to use a method I found on an American website. They simply recommended pollarding, chopping all the branches off every early spring.

This is how much I pruned it in early March. Maybe I pollard instead next year. It seems vigorous enough…but if I start to pollard it every year, maybe it will just grow even bigger every summer? Oh, I don’t know. Trial and error.

It is getting difficult to photograph inside the Japanese inspired garden, the plumtree is taking up a lot of space too, but here are some of the plants along the fence.

On the other side of the plumtree, along the wall is a quite sunny spot – well, that is of course when the sun is shining! But it’s quite a bright spot and here along the wall are my sunflowers and some goliath lilies – and I have planted some Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot Cream' that I sowed in early spring.

Only problem is that I don’t think this is 'Camelot Cream', they were supposed to be white with dark purple blotches…not pink!

I have something growing in a pot next to the plumtree that I don’t think I have shown you before. Remember all the fuchsias I had to get rid of due to Fuchsia Gall Mite? Well, some of the fuchsias didn’t have to be destroyed as they are not affected by the mites and one of them is this extraordinary fuchsia called Fuchsia boliviana ‘Alba'. I have had it a few years, but it hasn’t flowered yet. It thrives in cool, shady conditions and will be evergreen and flower almost 12 months a year in conditions with no frost. If we get winters like we have had lately I could possibly manage to keep it evergreen but it won’t die if exposed to a bit of frost, just loose its leaves. The reason why people grow Fuchsia boliviana is not for the flowers, although they are quite spectacular – but it is for the fruit which is said to be quite nice and can be found in markets in South America. I can’t wait to taste the berries for the first time, I have eaten many fuchsia berries over the years and some taste very little whilst others are quite OK. Boliviana is said to be the best fuchsia berries you can eat. Now I just need the plant to be big enough to flower and set fruit. Not sure if it will be this year but it is quite exiting! Here is what it will look like in a few years’ time. 

Let’s move out to the front garden for a moment as I have had help to finally get on with things here. All the beds that were in my new garden originally had gravel and grit with broken, rotten liners under, and over the last year all of it has been removed so planting could take place. All except the front garden beds, I never got around to start on them and didn’t have anyone to help me with it. But now it is done and ready mulched with bark. Doesn’t it look great!

Two weeks ago I had a visit from Rita, Alva and Nore, here in the photo - and Ingrid and Steinar, they all helped me to get the front garden cleared and ready for planting.

All the grit and gravel was filled in the white bags ready to be driven off to the recycling station. Thank you to all of you for very good help!
The roses to the left are going to be planted here in this bed, but that will be a winter job for someone strong to do as the ground is too hard to dig big holes in now.

One of the roses are already in the ground, I inherited it with the house and don’t know what it is called.

Another waiting to go in here is this gorgeous ‘Chandos Beauty.

On the outside of the front garden I have window boxes with lobelia and lavender growing. My front garden has not been a priority yet so I hope to prioritise it next year. There is just too much to do still in the main garden, but getting the front garden ready for planting was a huge step in the right direction.

Back in the main garden the pot roses I bought from ASDA (Walmart) last November are still flowering – they haven’t stopped flowering since I got them.

The trick is to not take them inside – not here in UK at least, just pot them up in a twice as big pot as the one they arrive in and then put them outside. The same day is not too soon as every day they spend indoors they will deteriorate. I still have pot roses I bought for £1 - more than 10 years ago and they flower for longer than any David Austin rose!

When they have outgrown their pot, just keep potting up - to a container size, feed like normal roses and the result will be like these in 6-8 months.

These 2 pot roses can hardly be called pot roses anymore, but they behave just like any miniature roses do. A very inexpensive way of getting roses in a small garden. And now over to the daylilies!











I have of course lilies too, lots and lots of them - this is probably the most fascinating lily in flower right now, ‘Blueberry Crush’.

This is ‘Prescott’, an enormously big flower!

And this lily doesn’t flower a lot yet, but my goodness is she pretty – ‘Lankoon’ is an interesting new hybrid, still a baby in my garden at around 1m tall, but apparently it can grow to over 2m tall. I hope it will be a bit bigger than now because the downward facing flowers make it difficult to photograph so a metre more would make it much easier.

This lily is greeting me every time I go in or out of my backdoor, beautiful ‘Guardia’ with a heavenly scent.

And these two are also right next to my backdoor so I can enjoy the lovely scent. I don’t think there is any better scent in the garden than lilies and with all the different lilies I have, I get lilies in bloom from June to end of September.

The path to the tool shed is just about negotiable, any bigger plants and I will need a machete to get through.

In the lilac bed there are lots of hot colours right now, with daylilies, alstroemerias and a red miniature rose – mixed with asters. Never thought I would put bog standard asters with daylilies but I had 2 pots with asters and they needed to go somewhere sunny so I just put them down here between the daylilies. And now I like them so much here that I will get them planted here once the daylilies are finished flowering. Sometimes the garden just decides for you :-)

Another combination that just happened is just across from the asters, over here with orange and yellow daylilies, dark leaved Lobelia cardinalis and colourful zantedeschias.

And just behind that combo are two types of agapanthus, just about to flower. Yes, things are REALLY late this year.

Aren’t these two together just amazingly zingy?!

Moving a bit further down towards the tool shed you can see my second-year old cannas, still without flowers but I haven’t given up hope yet. If I ever get to see these flowers they will be PINK, which is a bit different to the usual orange or red. Behind the cannas you can see my ENORMEOUS size tomatoes.

They have even started to grow into the strawberry bed. All this rain and cool weather has made the tomato plants grow much bigger than any year before instead of concentrating on producing tomatoes. There are some tomatoes, but by mid-July I should have been able to harvest the first ones soon.

The third tomato plant I have is also growing out of all proportions, this one called ‘Lizzano’ is usually a nice tumbler draped over the edge of the black container. At this rate I will have to start doing some pruning soon, even if that’s not really considered necessary with tumbler tomatoes. But I can’t have them growing into tree size!

Let’s move back to some more flowers, this is miniature rose ‘George Best’.

The non-hardy zantedeschias has been a bit hit and miss, some didn’t even emerge, some are just leaves and some are flowering really beautifully. 

I don’t think the difference is down to me as all the corms were planted in 2 identical containers and treated the same way.

The apple tree is loaded with fruit, most of the branches have bent down due to the weight of the fruit, only two are still facing upwards giving the tree these ‘horns’.

Under the tree are still pots and pots and more pots. I have so many plants still to get in the ground and some of them are suffering from having been in pots for such a long time since moving last year.
The pelargoniums are happy as long as they get watered enough.

The pink boots are filled with Bacopa.

Down at the seating area the hardy Zantedeschia aethiopica is in flower again – I think it must like the new container I gave it earlier this year, the container is so big you could give a child a bath in it!

The Bonsais on the table has got an overhaul – new compost and a haircut for all of them. These are all quite old, the one to the left is made from Virginia creeper and was started in 2004 – it is much smaller than normal right now as I have cut it down, but it will grow back again over the next year or so. The two on the top-right are made from Jasminum officinale – ordinary jasmine, and they were started in 2006. They flower a bit every year but in order to keep them small I have to prune off new growth which means flowering is rather sparse. The bottom right Bonsai is made from a honeysuckle and was started in 2005, it flowers every spring, but again to keep it in check I don’t let it grow too big.

Turning around from the seating area, the hardy fuchsia to the left is growing like MAD – I must have pruned it 3 times already and I will probably have to cut it several times more. Next spring I will cut it to the ground and see if I can get a better shape and growth.

Here in the woodland bed are the last of the Lilium regale, they are almost done. It is a brief but oh so spectacular flowering when they all open at the same time.

I usually let all the last flowers on each stalk set seed and I sow lily seed every year. It takes up to 8 years for each lily to flower like this, so now you know why Lilium regale bulbs usually cost a bit to buy. You can make them absolutely for free if you have a few bulbs already - all you need is time and patience!

This is a beautiful clematis I inherited, slow to get started so quite likely it is pruning group 3 – which is good, I like that, easy to deal with. Next to it on the left is the same honeysuckle I had a Bonsai of, this honeysuckle is made from an offcut from the Bonsai a few years ago! I had it as a mature big plant in my previous garden but it was impossible to take with me. This small plant will soon grow up to be a big plant – although the Bonsai will never get bigger. On the other side of the clematis is a new rose, 'New Dawn’ still very much a baby, but it does produce flowers already. I am expecting big things of this rose in the years to come.

Can you remember the plants I had over the arch in my previous garden? The one with small scented flowers called Dregea sinensis? I tried to dig them out and I took with me one plant and gave the other one away. That one is now living happily on Isle of Wight, but my part didn’t get planted and was not happy with container life so it died last autumn. But look – I got a new baby Dregea! I got it as a present from Hayloft nursery because they asked if they could use my YouTube movie for their month long promotion of this plant back in April. I said yes to that and got a free plant in return. Now I just need to think carefully where to plant it – I know how big it gets eventually, I had the 2 on my arch for 10 years so I know exactly how big it gets! But for now it is just a baby, more than happy to hang in a pot on the wall :-)

Last photo today – of my succulent collection which despite all the rain seems to be still alive. I suppose this could be a good way to round up today’s post, just as a reminder that the garden seems to cope with whatever is thrown at it in terms of the weather. It might be a bit slow this year, but nothing gets left out, we just have to be patient. Oh, and let’s not dwell too long over the 22 Dahlias that never emerged, they are the only casualties of the wet spring and summer as far as I can see. I think I know by now that my new garden is not going to be an ideal place to grow dahlias in the ground. Container dahlias it is then!

I am linking today’s post to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, please visit her for many more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts from around the world.
Until next time, take care.

50 comments:

  1. I took your advise and planted one of my Dregeas directly into the ground last summer, although the growth has a long way to go to match those in your last garden some flower-buds have formed. My main lilies are also on the verge of showing some colour although some patio hybrids are in full flower. Some mornings here are positively autumnal, what happened to summer?

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    1. The dregeas in my previous garden took a good few years to really take off – but then I had to prune really hard to keep them in check on the arch! I gave mine slow-release fertiliser once every spring and that was all they got. I hope you have gloriously summer weather by now just like us!

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  2. You really have green fingers HELENE, your plants look so healthy. And I can't understand how you fit so many lovely plants in . One might imagine your garden is huge!
    I love Alstromerias and they flower so long, never mind being good for cut flower. Some of mine were wind blown and Brenda cut them for the house.
    Your willow loves all the rain you are enduring.
    I am just fretting because predicted rain is passing over yet again

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    1. Thanks Roger, my garden is actually twice the size of my previous garden, if you count every part including front and side. I have more patio and un-planted areas here though, so it’s not as if I have twice as much space to plant on, but definitely more than before. I am planting quite densely and using pots and containers in between, and I am still short of plants for my woodland area but the kitty is empty for now, it has been expensive to move house. I am going to try to get some woodland plants by swapping as I have cuttings in need of a new home. My salix is in for a second pruning, and it might get a third one too if necessary!

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  3. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a break from all this rain?
    Your garden is absolutely bursting with colour goodness knows what it will look in a few years time when everything has settled in. The difference but you have made in just a short time it's quite dramatic.

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    1. Hi Sue, I hope the glorious weather has reached you too – the 10 days forecast for us has not a single raindrop on it, quite amazing, I haven’t seen a forecast like that since January I think!

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  4. What can I saw as I am in overload after seeing it all....my heart is doing a flutter at your lilies, daylilies and my favorite of yours right now, the alstroemerias....my they are stunning! And those long shots of your gardens so lush and colorful even with the gray skies....the water seems to have been welcome.

    What a sight to see your friends helping prepare the front bed. Your neighbors are lucky to have so much beauty there....with more to come. You amaze me every month Helene with your gardening gift. I wish I lived close by to enjoy your garden, and help you if I could...of course I would learn so much from you too! Happy Garden days to you!

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    1. Thank you Donna, you know my garden is the most important room in my house and I spend more time there than any other room in my house, except for in my bedroom. So my aim with the garden is the same as the previous one: I should be able to turn in any direction of the garden and see plants in flower, every single day of the year. I am not quite there yet here in the new garden, but not that far off, in my previous garden I fulfilled that every year. You are more than welcome to my garden, even just to visit if you are ever coming to London :-)

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  5. You could have called this post your "colorful, glorious, joyful summer garden," Helene. It is spectacular! I was amazed at the collection of Alstroemeria you have and then you showed the roses, the daylilies, and the delights just kept on coming. I'm glad you got some help and look forward to seeing the front area as it develops.

    P.S. Please redirect those rain clouds my way! I hope sunnier days are in your future soon.

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    1. Thank you Kris for your kind words, most of the plants you see are from my previous garden, but many are happier here. I have much more sunshine and many of the plants lived permanent container life in my previous garden – here they finally got planted, like all the roses. But most of the alstroemerias are new so that’s a bit of a gamble getting that many, but I was smitten by them, they are so beautiful and flower almost year round here! They grow very big so has to be dug up and split regularly – I will have many offspring to give away in 4-5 years’ time :-)

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  6. Så mye fint du har i hagen din, Helene! Så mange nydelige Alstromeria. De kan jeg bare drømme om å ha her.
    Så god hjelp du har fått! Er de fra Norge alle sammen? Navnene hadde i alle fall norsk klang :)
    Bonsai er veldig fint, og de tar jo liten plass.

    God helg og nyt finværet! Det er vi lovet her også.

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    1. Hei Marit, ja jeg hadde besøk fra Norge så det var flott å få hjelp til den siste biten som skulle prepareres. Det blir nok ikke noen planting ennå for nå må vi ha litt høstregn og kaldere vær så bakken ikke er så hard, men veldig fint å ha det klart. De fleste alstroemeriane er nye, jeg hadde en fra før av som jeg hadde delt i tre potter – de gror så fort og må splittes hvert 3-4 år, er litt som dagliljer i røttene. De nye har avstemte farger i lilla og rosa og de rosa skal etter hvert gå i et annet bed, alle de lilla er plantet i rosebedet. Vi nyter sommerværet her, tirsdag er det meldt 33 grader, og i hagen min er det gjerne 2-4 grader mer enn det som er meldt. Håper du har fint vær også!

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  7. Colorful indeed. Your July garden is beautiful. I especially liked the alstroemeria.

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    1. Thank you Dorothy, most of the alstromerias were new this spring, got them in late February and they will probably flower until Christmas or possibly end of January.

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  8. A lovely, gorgeous garden you have Helene. I had the Alstroemeria's
    too. But they don't like the soil in my garden.
    Lets hope august will be the summermonth. Also overhere lots and lots of rain. But the garden looks beautiful green like never.
    Have a fantastic weekend.

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    1. Hello Marijke, I am not sure if the alstroemerias will like my garden soil either, it is an experiment for now and only next summer will I be able to tell if they survive the winter in my wet, cold clay soil. I planted them with a good amount of old compost so I hope that’s going to help them, but the soil here in my new garden is a constant headache and something I haven’t really got used to yet.
      I hope you are having just as nice and warm weather as we have here, really hot here now!

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  9. Oh, Helene, your garden is stunning in mid-July. I loved Alstroemeria, I wanted to plant it but...a cold winter kills it. Very pretty flower!
    I also liked the lilies, and roses in your front garden. What good help you had, you really needed it.
    Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thank you Nadezda, the new alstroemerias will be a challenge to grow here in my new garden with clay soil, I have only grown alstroemerias in pots before and that’s no problem here in London – flowers almost 12 months a year.
      I hope you have just as nice weather as we have here in London!

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  10. You've worked miracles you really have! Oh those lilies.
    As an aside I'm having real difficulty sourcing plants. There are few decent places down here so I've resorted to online with decidedly mixed results. Where do you go? I need large plants (2 or 3 litre pots) to fill the spaces created by clearing new areas, not the three inch high specimens that most retailers seem to want to supply.

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    1. Thank you, it is mainly plants from my previous garden you see, I haven’t bought many since coming here in May last year. But now many of my plants are in the ground so they look better and have grown bigger than they ever were when living in containers.

      I use a range of online nurseries, depending on what I need. One of my favourite places to just do window shopping is
      https://www.gardeningexpress.co.uk
      they have quite normal prices for their range, but they also have a special deal section and I usually only buy from that. You can pick up real bargains there if you are not looking for anything too specific. I have also ordered from
      http://www.longacres.co.uk/plants
      For something unusual you can be sure to find it here:
      https://www.mailorder.crug-farm.co.uk
      although their delivery charges are extortionate so you need to buy a lot to justify and order.

      Other places I have bought from:
      http://www.cgf.net
      http://www.jacksonsnurseries.co.uk
      https://www.ashwoodnurseries.com/shop/plants.html

      I hope that’s some useful to start with, they all sell some plants as plugs or small plants, you just have to look at pot size for each plant. Whenever I can afford to buy some plants I always check GardeningExpress’ special deals first.

      And apart from buying plants you can also swap some of your surplus plants or cuttings with plants you need – there are lots of people willing to swap and many will send in the post to you too, me including :-) If you haven’t signed up to 'Green Plant Swap' yet, perhaps it is about time? Here is my grower page there:
      https://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/growers/Helene-U-Taylor
      Happy plant shopping!

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    2. Sorry these are not clickable links, that’s Bloggers fault preventing us from having it. Just copy and paste each link into your browser :-)

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    3. Thanks Helene, I will look up some of these.

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  11. What a marvelous job you've done Helene. Gardening here must be so different to your previous garden, I'm imagining that it's an absolute delight to get out there rain or sun!
    And just look at all those sun loving plants you are now able to enjoy. I hope the weekend was a bit better for you. Now you know how it feels to live in Scotland...lol!

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    1. Thanks Angie – gardening in my new garden is different in many ways, the two main differences are that the soil is horrible and there is much more sun – when the sun is shining that is. Both are a challenge to get used to, it will take time – and it will take some years to get used to what will survive in such a clay soil. One part of the garden will probably never be planted, the soil is perfect for pottery but not many plants will be happy there. I hope you are able to enjoy some of the fine, warm weather, I can see it is heading your way for Tuesday!

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  12. Your marvelous garden obviously loves your gentle climate with all its rain! I agree that Fuchsia bolivian a is worth waiting for, but your hardy fuchsia on the wall is breathtaking! And the Lankoon lily is gorgeous; I love its spots. Really, there is too much to comment on! Thanks for posting all the lovely photos, including the collages. This is a feast for my eyes!

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    1. Thanks Deb, the hardy fuchsia is just a bog standard one you can find in many gardens over here. I am expecting a lot from Fuchsia boliviana in the years to come so that’s going to interesting to see as I have not seen anyone growing it so far.

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  13. You never cease to amaze me with your gardens Helene. I am in awe as I look at your photos over and over again and take in all the magnificent blooms. I wouldn't even know where to start in saying which blooms are my favorites but I must say those lilies are gorgeous! I think you have out done your previous location and will continue to do so. You have your own botanical garden right there in your back yard! Happy Bloom Day!

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    1. Oh, thank you Lee, I try to grow the plants and flowers I like and that look interesting one way or the other – sometimes I grow plants simply because they are photogenic as my garden blog is an integrated part of my gardening. I think my daylilies definitely belong to that category!
      My new garden is definitely more suitable for my type of gardening, although the soil is not – I will curse the soil for the next decade until my mulching and planting has improved it.
      Happy GBBD!

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  14. Hi Helene, it is such a joy to see all the flowers in your garden. I love your alstroemerias, you picked so beautiful varieties. I really have come to appreciate them in my climate, because they are one of the few plants that are able to bloom through the summer heat, given that they are watered and fertilized enough.
    Of course, I love your roses. Too bad that you don't know the name of the light pink one that you inherited with the house. It is such a pretty one. I also grow 'Chandos Beauty' in my garden and it produced a lovely spring flush, but right now it is throwing out long octopus canes with no flowers :-(. The rose doesn't seem to like the Southern California heat.
    Your lilies are out of this world! Sooo... beautiful! I bought a Casablanca Lily bulb this spring, but it is still sitting in the garage, probably dead. Shame on me!
    So sorry to hear about the loss of all your dahlias! I hope you have more luck next year when you try to grow them in containers. I have just planted a tuber into a pot last week, I know way too late, but I hope at least it will survive and hopefully bloom next year.
    Wishing you lots of sunshine for the rest of the summer!
    Warmly,
    Christina

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    1. Thank you Christina, before ‘Chandos Beauty’ started flowering I thought perhaps the unnamed one in my front garden was that – but placed side-by-side it is easy to see that my inherited rose is not ‘Chandos Beauty’ – I still don’t know what it is. Probably an older type of hybrid tea, it is plagued with blackspot and requires treatment but so does other roses I have so I just treat them all. Some roses are worth the extra work as they are so pretty.

      I have Casablanca too, I planted a mix of lilies in the ground just as a test to see if my clay soil was to their liking. The Goliath lilies came up and will flower next month, but none of the Casablanca lilies have come up so they are probably dead. I still have some growing in pots and many of my lilies will need to be in containers for forever.
      Hope you have great gardening weather right now,
      over here it is too hot and I am gardening at night :-)

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  15. All looks so beautiful! I can stop to see your flowers, a great treat for me. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Endah, June and July is when my garden has an abundance of flowers.

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  16. Good morning Helene from here in New Zealand. I have thoroughly enjoyed your beautiful garden photo's with my morning cuppa. I love your alstromeria's too, lovely choice of colours. I have just ordered some Asiatic lillies today. Soft pink ones and white. I will have to learn how to upload photo's from my mobile phone to my computer so I can show my garden off on my facebook page. I may even learn how to join the blogging family. :) Hope you get a bit more sunshine to enjoy, not too hot but just right..Cheerio.. Ruth.

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    1. Thanks for visiting again Ruth, I can warmly recommend that you start to write your own gardening blog, once you start you won’t stop – I have been writing for 5 ½ years! Asiatic lilies are good for bringing early flowers and they are usually cheap, but I would recommend oriental lilies as they are always scented, often bigger and with bigger flowers, and if you choose carefully you can have lilies for any type of soil and situation, even complete shade or full sun. Also, if you have many lilies like me, you can have lilies in flower for 4 months :-) Oriental lilies are super!
      We are having soaring temperatures, 33 degrees C (91F) today, not a cloud in sight. It will be hot tomorrow too, but then it will come down to more normal temperatures over the next few days. I am fine with that, 33 is a bit too high for me :-)

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  17. I couldn't help but remember what your garden looked like when you first arrived when I looked through these pictures Helene. What a transformation! Everything looks so healthy despite or perhaps because of the rain. Here we have had little to no rain. My garden would be dead if I didn't water regularly. I wish I could get my roses to look as good as yours do. Love the new ‘Lankoon’ lily! Your daylily collection is amazing.

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    1. I think it is more because of the rain that my garden is so green and healthy in these photos – now, one week later with scorching summer sun and temperatures into the 90s the lilies and roses are not so happy. Our heatwaves don’t last that long, after the weekend it’s back to more manageable temperatures. But it has been good to finally have summer for a while!

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  18. Helen your "garden" is absolutely stunning ... so beautiful it must be almost a full time job it is so well kept!
    Having too much rain has not affected it negatively .. it is healthy and vigorous!
    We here in south eastern Ontario are gasping for rain still.
    If I didn't have the sprinkler system well hand watering would have to happen (which oa bit of it does anyways? haha)
    I have a question about your willow (I have the same kind but it is a shrub) did you start out with yours as a shrub and trim it to a single stem/trunk ? .. and I agree with the method of pollarding .. I used to do that to my Stag Horn Sumac and it worked very well. I would love to train my willow to be like yours ! it is so pretty ! and I have a thing for small trees : )

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    1. Welcome to my blog Joy!
      I moved house – and garden in May last year so this garden is very much a work in progress. I kept some of the trees and shrubs that were here from before, the rest have been lifted out and either given away or simply chucked away – some of them were really nothing special and old and neglected. I also got rid of the lawn to make way for many more and bigger flowerbeds. And finally, I made a woodland garden as a separate part on the side of the house. I brought with me around 700 plants from my previous house and garden so I haven’t bought much this year, but this garden is nearly twice the size of my previous so I have room for more – just got to plant the rest, I still have LOTS of plants in pots that need to get in the ground before I do some more shopping or swapping.
      I am disabled and have mobility issues so it is limited what I can do, but I try to get out in the garden every day, and in London we can work in the garden all year round, November to February is actually the best time to get things done. I have help from a few gardening friends and fellow plantaholics to do some of the heavier stuff, but apart from that it is just me on my own doing things my usual turtle speed, pottering around and having one little task for every day.

      Regarding my Salix integra, I am sorry to disappoint you, but if yours is growing like a bush you will not be able to train it into a standard as far as I know. I inherited mine with the house and I think it is around 10-12 years old, but I have read about them since coming here and Salix integra is either grafted onto a solid stem and sold as a standard - like mine, or it is sold as a bush and will forever grow as a bush. The stem of the Salix is apparently not strong enough to carry the branches so as a standard it needs a different type trunk to grow on. Sorry about that, maybe you can get a second one? I know they cost a fair bit as ready standards, but it’s the perfect thing to put on your Christmas list :-)

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  19. I know you have said your garden is small, Helene, but oh my, every square inch--or centimeter, I suppose--is filled with so many lovely blooms! I love all your Alstromeria; that is something I've never tried to grow, and I'm not sure it would do well in my zone 5b garden. I do grow lilies, however; you have such a beautiful collection! I would gladly give you some of our sunshine if I could--it's been so miserably hot here that I either have to work in the garden before 8 AM or after 7 PM. Needless to say, not much is getting done these days:)

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    1. Thank you Rose, I know my garden seems quite full by know, but I can assure you there is room for more, much more! I am currently looking for more plants for the woodland bed, something that can flower in the autumn and winter. Lots of space there. And I haven’t started on the front garden yet so I am sure I can squeeze in many more plants here!

      If you want to grow alstroemerias you would need to grow them in pots and take them into a greenhouse during the winter, they are not happy with more than a few degrees below freezing. But the smaller varieties like I have a perfectly happy in 3-5L pots, and growing in pots they are much easier to deal with when they need splitting.
      The last week we have had incredibly hot weather here – it’s often from one extreme to the other over here. Temperatures into the 90s is not something my garden is used to, lots of crispy flowers and I have had to water every day. But it only lasts for a couple of weeks and then it’s over.

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  20. Hej Helene! Att du får plats med så mycket fint i din trädgård, rosor, liljor och allt annat. Är full av beundran, och tack för rundturen.
    Ha det fint/ Marika

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    1. Du er hjertelig velkommen Marika, jeg sier ofte at jeg stabler mine planter og løk som sild I hagebedene; andføttes og oppå hverandre – akkurat som i en hermetikkboks med sild (sill) :-)
      Målet er at man skal kunne stå i senter av hagen min og se i hvilken som helst retning og kunne se planter i blomst hver eneste dag, hele året rundt – inkludert desember og januar. Slik hadde jeg det i den forrige hagen min og det prøver jeg her også – er ikke helt der ennå, men neste år kanskje.

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  21. Your garden has indeed taken up. Wow! It's so beautiful I think you should enter it in a RHS show. I'm sure it will win prizes. Absolutely stunning.

    Hope you are doing a little better now.

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    1. Thanks, I am doing a bit better again since my last spell in hospital in May, but my main condition is not going to improve, I just try to cope as best I can.
      The new garden is now 14 months – this year here in the new house has gone so quickly! It will probably take another 2 years before everything has settled and matured to look like it will in the future. I don’t think RHS would be interested in my amateurish pottering around playing gardener – over here there are thousands if not hundred thousands of gardens much better looking than mine – but thanks for the compliment :-)

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  22. Absolutely stunning! Your garden is so after my taste, I love it lush and full with not a centimeter of free space, all must flower and grow :-) Your Roses are so beautiful, I wish they would grow for me, but at most I can have Antique Roses and even those need time consuming pampering. All your photos are beautiful, but I especially like the photo of your Lilium Lankon :-)

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    1. My previous garden used to take on a jungle feel at this time of year, I am not quite there yet here in my new garden but working towards it – and I look forward to all the new plants I will be able to squeeze in here and there! I think you will like this month’s video, it will be available here Monday morning and shows the garden this week-end :-)

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  23. Helene.. just having another peek at your gardens.. So glad you had help to get the front gardens done.. I was thinking that a nice Archway over the path would look lovely with something fragrant climbing over it. What's your thoughts...

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    1. Hello Ruth, my front garden is a project for winter and next early spring, as I can’t do any more digging until it starts raining again – the ground is rock hard now! I am considering a lot of things and it has to be practical as well as possible for me to maintain and suitable for this sunny spot so many things to consider :-)

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  24. I think the willow looks wonderful! I love how full it is. Your garden looks incredible! You have so much in bloom. :o)

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    1. I absolutely love the Salix, but it is a bit too big and for that small area, I have read that some people trim them 3-4 times a year so that’s possibly what I need to do too.

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