Guests, invited or otherwise.

Campanula is a lovely family of plants. Some are bought by me, some are passed along by friends, some arrive on the breeze, some are well behaved, some misbehave and some are so good they are really welcome to stay as long as they like!

Golden leaved Campanula

Campanula garganica Dickson’s Gold.

I’ll start with one that is so well behaved, a little golden leaved one called C. garganica Dickson’s Gold.  It is on the alpine scree and I must have bought it about 10 yrs ago. It never seems to get any bigger, it doesn’t seed around and must like the conditions in the semi shade where it is. I have just read up about it and it prefers semi shade and doesn’t like hot sun, so without knowing it, I gave it the conditions it likes!

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Makeover finished – for now.

A couple of weeks ago, the last of the new permanent planting was done in the Sunset Border.

Planting all done for now.

Planting all done for now.

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Another mixed bag.

Having a few photos that couldn’t be made into a post by themselves, I’ve put them together to make a mixed bag for June.

Each morning, at exactly the same time, I get a wake up call.  Not from the clock radio, which starts with gentle classical music to ease me into wakefulness, no it is this fellow (why am I assuming it’s male?) a large baby bird which was sitting on the back lawn the other day.

Crow, rook or jackdaw?

Crow, rook or jackdaw?

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Foliage for June GBFD.

The garden is now, in this month of June, filled with flowers of all description, but if we stop for a while, we can see that foliage still has a large part to play in the garden, even if it is in a supporting role.

Rogersia

Rogersia

My Rogersia in the bog garden, has now turned green from the beautiful bronze colour that it was a month ago, which I think is a shame. Even so, the large leaves contrast with the divided leaves of the ferns and astilbes planted around it. I’m going to have to move the Japanese painted fern from behind it as it is too small  and can’t be seen properly.

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An amazing afternoon.

Last Saturday we had the most amazing afternoon visiting a garden in Devon, or actually one garden was in Devon and the other, next door, was in Somerset! I found it in the Yellow Book for the  National Garden Scheme. Not only was it two gardens, but there were sculptures and originally there was a railway line with the station buildings, that have now been converted into houses, somebody was a happy bunny and I don’t mean just me!

Entrance to Venn Cross gardens.

Entrance to Venn Cross gardens.

As soon as we stepped into the garden, we could tell that we were in for a good afternoon, the planting looked wonderful.

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Blooming marvellous!

The weather this month has been very variable. Lots of very cold winds, coming from the east, a bit of sunshine which became very hot and humid a couple of days ago, coming up from Africa. Then it all went downhill with rain, thunder and lightning! In spite of all that, the flowers weren’t put off, they said it was June, so they were going to flower, no matter what the weather was doing, some of them are a bit battered, but they are still flowering.

Mdme Gregoire Staechlin

Mdme Alfred Carrierre

The pergola is bursting into life with Rosa Mdme Alfred Carriere doing her bit. She has lots of flowers at the moment, simply because we forgot to prune her when we were going to the hospital each day, just didn’t have time to do the roses on the pergola. I think maybe we will just get the hedge trimmer to her in the autumn! Later in the year  Clematis viticella  Perle d’Azur will join in.

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Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

The Rhododendrons and Azaleas have been amazing this year. Usually we have a problem if the garden is too dry in the previous summer, the plants then abort their flower buds which means that we don’t have many flowers during the following May/June.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

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The beauty of a bog!

When we moved here 25 yrs ago, I didn’t know much about gardening, it has been a very steep learning curve and I’m still learning.  We discovered that part of the garden never dries out, even in the summer when we occasionally have a drought. I soon learnt from talking to people in the village, that the farmers field, that is now our garden, was very wet in one corner.The farmer wouldn’t risk his new tractor there, so out came the horse and plough instead. So many people told me to drain the land before planting, but I tend to take the easy way out. Thank goodness I bought Beth Chatto’s books about her garden, there was all the information I needed, how to plant a bog garden.

Ferns and hostas

Ferns and hostas

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Swan Lake.

The undergardener planned a lovely day out for my birthday yesterday, in Dorset. We took a bit longer getting to our favourite fish restaurant in West Bay, Dorset, due to the main road being closed, which meant a long diversion, but made it eventually. West Bay is where the recent TV series Broadchurch was filmed with its spectacular red sandstone cliffs.

West Bay scallops.

West Bay scallops.

My starter was West Bay hand dived scallops on a pea puree -absolutely delicious! Food miles travelled, about 200yds!

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Time for a Makeover. End of Month View.

The Rhododendron bed, or the Sunset Bed, is in urgent need of a makeover, so I’m making this the subject of my End of Month Review. Plants have been seeding around and the end result has become rather a jumble. I have been buying a few plants recently that are meant for this area, but first, before they can be planted, the muddle of seedlings has to go, along with all the weeds that are there at the moment. The soil will then need improving with our own compost and then eventually will be mulched with our own leafmould.

Rhododendron.

Rhododendron.

This Rhododendron is the first to go, it was moved about 10 years ago and has never really established itself and hardly grown at all. Compared to the other Rhodos next to it, it looks positively unhappy! If plants aren’t performing, then I’m afraid they have to go!

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