Deja vu.

Many, many years ago, I visited a garden in the next village, along with lots of other members of the organisation Plant Heritage or NCCPG as it was known then. (The National Council of the Conservation of Plants and Gardens, thank goodness they changed their name!).

I remember that we had a wonderful time there and we were very impressed with the beautiful garden and the keen elderly gardener, she was probably as old as I am now!

We now have to scroll forward about 20 yrs when I went to a coffee morning in the home of one of the members of the village Women’s Institute. As soon as I saw the garden, I knew I had been before and I asked if they had bought the house from an old lady who was a keen gardener.  Yes, I was right, I had been before, I wasn’t imagining it.

A couple of weeks ago it was time for another coffee morning, we all went prepared for a very wet morning, with our macs and boots, but the sun shone and the garden looked really beautiful. This blue azalea was the favourite with most of the visitors.

I found an Acer griseum growing between the azaleas.

There were hundreds, if not thousands of English bluebells fronting most of the beds.

I spied a beautiful tree peony.

There were so many wonderful rhododendrons, I think this one might be Sappho. I know a lot of people aren’t fussy on rhododendrons,…….

……..but I think that even they would have been impressed by the wonderful selection that are in this garden.

Lovely streamside planting, their Lysichiton leaves are huge compared to mine!

Everywhere we turned there were more beautiful Azaleas to admire, it was all so colourful.

Maybe I need this one for my Sunset Border, what a fantastic colour!

On turning a corner, we suddenly caught sight of a wonderful Wisteria on the back of the house, it was a magnificent specimen.

The Wisteria on the house is a layer from this standard one by the steps.

Absolutely magnificent!

The garden was almost like a National Trust garden, obviously laid out by a very keen gardener, with lots of unusual trees and shrubs.

The perfume from Rhododendron luteum filled the garden, it was intoxicating!

One of two ponds in the garden.  Our stroll round the garden was finished, it was then time to go inside for our coffee and chat about all the wonderful shrubs and plants that we had seen.

I don’t think the old lady would have anything to worry about, her garden is in safe hands. Liz said that they have learnt a lot from their garden and visitors over the years have been able to identify lots of the special shrubs and trees for them.  The garden is beautiful and it’s a credit to Liz and her husband,  that they realised what a gem they had inherited and that they were determined should continue into the future. The coffee was good too and I’ll look forward to the next coffee morning!

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Fresh Foliage from Hostas, Ferns and Heucheras.

Fresh foliage is everywhere I look in the garden and it is all growing so fast with having alternating sunshine and rain.  There is such a big difference in all the ferns, hostas and heucheras,  in the garden since last months GBFD, kindly hosted by Christina on the 22nd of each month.

Harts tongue fern.

Harts tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium.

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GBBD for May 2016.

Mixed weather this month has made everything grow, including the weeds. Sunshine and showers have had everything rushing skywards, flowers have been popping open every day, bees buzzing, butterflies fluttering. The garden has also at times felt like a steaming rain forest with lush damp greeness steaming in the sun after a heavy shower.

Narcissus poeticus is my last narcissus to flower, it has such a wonderful perfume which carries quite a way on the breeze.

Narcissus poeticus is my last narcissus to flower, it has such a wonderful perfume which carries quite a way on the breeze. In the background is a Japanese Azalea.

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Sunset Border.

I find it much easier to plant up a border if it has a theme. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, whether it is a colour, sun or shade, dry or wet, as long as there is something to help decide which plants to use. Our overall soil is very heavy clay which has been improved over the 25 yrs we have been here, but still needs more leaf mould and compost adding each year. We get a lot of rain here in the South West corner of England, that is why everywhere is so green and lush!

Sunset over the village.

Sunset over the village.

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Flowers and Driftwood.

A quick look at the Yellow Book this weekend  for gardens open under the National Garden Scheme found a garden inland from the coast at Dawlish. It was also the  garden of sculptor Heather Jansch who uses driftwood from round the coast to make her fabulous horses and other animals.

A very realistic horse in the beautiful Devon countryside.

A very realistic horse in the beautiful Devon countryside.

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A mixed bag for April.

The month of April has been a strange month, some days we seem to have had all four seasons in one day. We have had lots of lovely sunshine, but also lots of frost, hail and sleet. We have had gales which have ripped off the lovely new foliage which has just emerged and flattened some of the flowers. Temperatures have been low for this time of year, even though the sun has been shining, the strong wind coming straight down from the Arctic has made it bitterly cold. In spite of all this, the garden has coped very well.

The clear cold evenings have given us some wonderful sunsets.

The clear cold evenings have given us some wonderful sunsets.

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New Growth Everywhere.

April is such a wonderful time of year with new growth bursting forth everywhere. Trees are beginning to look green once more and everything in the garden is waking up and showing new leaves. Even evergreens are showing new growth in a different colour from the old leaves. Once again, it is time on the 22nd of the month to celebrate the importance of leaves with GBFD. thanks to Christina.

Acer Sango Kaku

Acer Sango Kaku

This is my only Acer showing its leaves as yet, my others are still in tight bud.

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April flowers for GBBD 2016.

April saw a rise in the temperatures but also saw a few gales to batter the newly emerged flowers, tempted into flower by the warmth. The garden is definitely waking up and I can’t keep up with all the jobs that need doing! However some days I just wander round the garden and enjoy all the flowers with bees buzzing everywhere and we now have butterflies fluttering by, what could be better?

Chaenomeles

Chaenomeles

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Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

With the warm winter that we had, some of the narcissus were flowering way before Christmas, which seemed very strange. A cold spell in February put them back on track and once again N. St. Patrick’s Day was late again, not opening it’s flowers until April 1st!

Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

The experts say that this is the daffodil that Wordsworth saw in the thousands, “fluttering and dancing in the breeze”. I don’t have that many, but they make a nice show in the woodland. Continue reading

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Time for the Fritillaries to take Centre Stage.

A month ago, on March 11th, I noticed the first of the fritillaries to open in the woodland, just one solitary flower.

Fritillaria meleagris.

Fritillaria meleagris.

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