Friday, 1 May 2009


Below is a corner of the wildlife pond, with Marsh Marigolds.

My garden has been more than taking up my spare time recently. I have been spending just about every waking moment out there. This is paying dividends and the flowering part of the garden is starting to look really good. I still have my work cut out on the intake plot in the paddock as the grass and the chocolate mint are now getting their revenge, after a good few days of rain, but hey-ho, the years of virtual abandonment have been turned round. I have dug, weeded, edged, got brutal with the thugs I will no longer tolerate - mainly Michaelmas Daisies and Achillea Ptarmica and have taken great pleasure in creating new beds and broadening the ones I have already. I have ordered 3 bare root roses frm the David Austin nurseries (they were cheap in their sale!) and they arrived today, so are currently soaking their roots in a bucket of water. I have been looking through their catalogue and lusting after so many new roses - but those are for the future, when we downsize elsewhere. I spent some of my birthday money on Cardinal Richelau, a deep purply red rose which David Austin sells, but on this occasion Wyevale actually had their own cheaper. It has its first bud already and I am ridiculously excited about seeing it bloom. The Blush Noisette climber is destined to go beside the gateway into the paddock plot - when we have moved some post and rail fencing down from the top field to enclose it - and built the gate! The Sir John Betjeman and Tuscany Superb will be incorporated into the wider flower beds.

I have fallen for the charms of various Heucharas too - having spent a lifetime thinking they were rather boring plants as they don't have a very spectacular flower. I have finally grown up and realized that foliage colour is important too. I have some gorgeous ones - a really purple one (Prince?) and one like burnished copper (Peach Flambe).

I had to buy an extra seed stack this year as I have so many seeds. The best grown ones are now in the Lidl tomato tunnel, which is housing trays of runner beans and peas. Earlier this week I sowed Nigella, Night-scented stock and Larkspur in the borders and just hope that the slugs don't get them as they did a whole packet of Stardust which I sprinkled on the rockery.

I also started off some Tarragon, more Coriander, about 40 Italian Cucumbers, more Courgettes etc, and the excess will go to car boot sales along with various other potted things I've grown such as Asiatic lilies and Feverfew and Lemon Balm. I have my Nasturtiums coming along now - a deep red one called Cobra, a creamy yellow called Moonlight, which I have planted beneath a deep purple Clematis to clamber up through it I have a tray of Ratibida, which look like Plantain only with big red petals - they're also known as Mexican Hats.

In the reinstated Herb garden in the paddock, I have strewn two packed of Pot Marigolds (years ago I had them self sown everywhere), and I have just planted fresh pots of Thyme, Santolina and Rosemary.

This year I have had a sudden desire for Aubretias in every suitable corner, and they are certainly brightening the place up.

I have masses of cowslips and about a million young plants in trays . . .

Some of my deep red Cowslips.

A corner of the widened bed by the Magnolia Stellata.

These used to be called Wallflowers and sold by the bundle for pennies. Now they are potted up and called Erysimus to try and fool the gullible public into paying up to £5.99 a pot (Wyevale prices!!) Couldn't resist this pretty colouring, and it wasn't too expensive . . . I shall take seeds too!

This side of the garden was planned for years, with a picture from a magazine held on the fridge door with fridge magnets. I never got around to the sundial unfortunately.

I can see it all in my mind's eye, and I can only hope a keen gardener buys our smallholding when it's on the market, but meanwhile I shall take photographs this summer for the buyer's booklet about the history of our house and how it looks through the seasons and of course, for our Master Copy!


nancy said...

Jennie, It is all so beautiful!!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Oh, just lovely...what a nice set of photos! I felt like I was wandering through your garden and the plants and colors are right out of a "fashion' magazine...purrfect!

Mara said...

How lovely! I especially love the red cowslips. :)

it's me said...

nice entry--fun to compare your garden with ours in Louisiana--I am unfamiliar with many of your garden plants--but do have roses--I really enjoy your blog--especially your history walks--wish we had the walking paths that you have!


MrsL said...

The erysimus should be perennial - they've bred some really pretty ones in teh past few years. The classic one is the Bowles mauve. They last about 5 years or so, nice plants, and "good doers", so worth the money I think.

Looking good :)



Kelli said...

Oh, what a beautiful garden, Jennie! Very enchanting.
P.s. I send you an email...let me know if you got it.

Arlene Grimm said...

I would like to take a stroll in your garden is lovely.

GeraniumCat said...

Wonderful cowslips, I am deeply envious.