Category: garden

The Garden – a photo review of the summer so far

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I know it isn’t over yet but I had quite a few photos taken over the last three months that capture the light and some of the plants we have grown and allowed to self sow this year.

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A self-sown borage plant in amongst the potatoes.

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My very favourites catching that early June light.

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Beautiful foxgloves. The white were planted by us, the pink joined the party themselves.

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Shining star with a deep green backdrop. This is a Geum flower following the sun.

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Evening light on Campanula.

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A helping hand.

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The first Dahlia flower from ‘Karma Choc.’ This plant is a stunner.

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First tomatoes.

And not forgetting this…..

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‘Bellus Buddii.’

Hope your summer is floriferous and warmer than ours!

Sunflower watch

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We are growing a new sunflower this year. Helianthus ‘helios flame.’ I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to sunflowers and didn’t fancy growing this bi-coloured variety but Gav wanted to try it so we did.

So far I must say I like it. It has produced blooms quite early for this garden which is good and it’s not too tall and the flowers are bright and cheery.

The first bloom began to unfurl on 4 July and I took a photo, the one above, using the macro lens. When I was looking at that picture I found that I’d already taken a picture of the same bud a few days earlier and I thought why not capture this bloom as it develops and then wains.

So here is the sunflower watch 2015.

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We had quite a warm day when it was unfurling because it went from the picture above to the one below in 24 hours! Pop and there it is.

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Lives up to its name.

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Here it is at a distance. Shining out all on its own.

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It is starting to wilt a little now as if it has had enough of this showing off. You can also see other buds are getting ready to flower too so that’s good.

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As the petals fade the centre seems to get bigger. We had lots of rain and I think that speeded up its demise but it did give a good week of floriferous wonder.

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This last photo was taken 3 August which I think is amazing. For almost a month I have had pleasure from this one little bloom.

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I’ve told Gav he did well picking this variety to grow and they will be added to my list for next year a lovely addition to my sunflower growing obsession.

The Garden – planting combinations

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If you are a gardener or a lover of plants I’m sure you have leafed through books or wandered around other gardens and thought how wonderful the planting combinations are that they have created.

Over the years I have been visiting gardens I’ve taken so many photos of colour and shape combinations thinking that I’ll look at them for inspiration when planting up a new area of the garden. But I never do. I forget. And that is a shame, to waste all that information.

So in the spirit of trying to learn and remember to look at all those photos I thought I’d share a few planting combinations from here in my own garden.

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This one I love for the contrast between the yellow/lime of the Alchemilla and the blue of the Campanula with the added interest in both leaf and colour of the Senecio.

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This combination was a total accident. We bought the creamy white Lavender recently and just sat it down on the patio right next to the hosta. The tiny purple flowers nestled within the flower spikes pick up perfectly on the traditional lavender flowers you can see in the background and the hosta pulls the two together. So pretty and cottage garden-y.

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In design terms you wouldn’t put two plants side by side with the same sorts of flower. These two, Sisyrinchium and Linaria have spikes of flowers so both similar in shape and form but I adore the delicate pink and the buttery yellow together. Sometimes you have to break the rules.

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Here is another total accident as the foxglove self seeded but I think the vibrant blue of the Delphinium and the pink of the Digitalis go together great with a subtle white tinge in each flower that ties them together.

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And finally more of a foliage group although the Spirea is flowering its socks of at the moment. Spirea, Cotinus coggygria  and Pieris japonica. Each leaf different and proving a contrast for the others.

What combinations do you love in your garden?

Bloom 2015 – garden update

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The summer is in full swing. I’d like to say it was wall to wall sunshine here in Leeds but alas that is not what we get, well not very often.

We have had a few good weeks and one great week where the temperatures were in the twenties for days. The plants seem to be growing regardless of sun.

The sweet peas have recovered from the fox incident. I have two rows of these situated along the edge of one side of the ‘allotment’ and am hopeful for lots of wonderful flowers.

Here is a photo I took a couple of weeks ago showing the patch of land we tend in the wood behind our garden.

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And here are the sweet peas the other day.

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I once again placed netting horizontally over the cutting patches as support and the plants are merrily growing up through.

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Really don’t know why I didn’t use netting years ago. I said the same last year and am sure I will next year too!

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Here are a few flowers I gathered yesterday.

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As well as these blooms we also have Scabious, Helianthus, Rudbekia and Dahlias growing away.

I also sowed Salvia, Larkspur and Malope but they were unsuccessful. I mostly put this down to the fact that we were away for three weeks and couldn’t tend to the seedlings.

I would like a few longer stemmed plants to harvest for bigger arrangements but all in all so far so good.

Photo a Day – week twelve

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Something different this week. A week of Hosta’s.

I adore Hosta’s. I apologise in advance for not knowing the variety’s I have pictured here. Well I think I know two. I have tried to look them up but goodness there are so many Hosta’s out there I didn’t know where to start. (Note to self – keep plant labels!)

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My favourites are the glaucous blue coloured ones. Pretty sure the big leaved one in the photo below is aptly named Big Daddy.

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Apart from the blue/grey/green leaved ones my next favourites are the deep green and creamy ones. This is a delicate little one and fabulously named – Night before Christmas.

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Just love these plants and making a little photographic collection here has made me realise I need more!

The click, tick list – plant a living fence

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I’m making some progress on crossing things off this year. Hooray. Next up was to plant a ‘living’ fence.

We ordered Salix viminalis rods from here. Ours were 2.5m tall and we got 100. That was a rough estimate based on my idea for the pattern and the length of the finished of the fence but I think we’ll end up with quite a few left over.

They advise that you plant through horticultural membrane to help with the weeding so we prepared the area and laid it out. Then we measured out the spacing, cut slots into the membrane and used a poker to make the holes. We have three rods closely planted together.

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We got so far and then I tied in the first couple of crossovers using soft string. This should eventually rot away and the structure still be strong after a bit of growing time.

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This is something that needs a little bravery, for us anyway because it’s a statement and we have chosen to use this fence as a divide between one part of the garden and another but I know we’ll be wondering why it took us so long to do it by the end of the summer.

Little roses

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My Mum bought me a bunch of pink roses for my birthday. I have been in love with short packed vases of flowers for a while now but never really tried one with roses like this before.

There wasn’t much about in the garden to pick but I managed with a few stems of Viburnum tinus and some Lamium.

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I need practice but I think the roses are enhanced by the additional foliage and being more compact packs a bigger punch. Must remember to try this in the summer.

The Garden in February

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It was funny. The minute I typed up that post about the new Mac it dawned on me I had taken more photos last week than I had for ages and the reason for that? More daylight hours. Ha! About five minutes after I figure out why I haven’t been blogging as much the problem is almost over, well the part about the winter at least, not so much the part about the Apple…

Anyway I took a few garden pictures and thought I’d share. Of course no garden chat would be complete at this time of year without a nod to my adored Euphorbias. The shot above is a Wulfenii variety.

Leeks still hanging in there.

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And something is sprouting in this pot apart from the weeds that is. I think it might be a Hosta.

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I couldn’t resist this light.

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Looking forward to these wallflowers blooming.

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And finally.

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No lettuce here but there are a few other biennials next to the terracotta label and few Tulips are just peeking through the soil.

The balance is tipping. Spring is almost, almost on its way.

The Garden in October

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Things are slowing down out there but Gav has planted his winter pots and been making some repairs.

The plants growing up the arbor had really started to take over and the top of this structure had been slowly falling down for a couple of years. We bit the bullet and chopped everything back.

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Then in about an hour he replaced the top structure!

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Hooray. Now all we need to do is a really good tidy up as the garden and half finished building work had got out of hand.

And while Gav has been busy with all the hard labouring I’ve been planting bulbs.

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You have to gloss over the mess around this end of the garden too. But if I waited to plant the bulbs till it was tidy and finished it would be next autumn. I got on with it now in the hope it will look slightly better come spring.  In this bed I have added Queen of Night, Princes Irene and Black Parrot tulips. Then I planted Fire King and Blood Red Wallflowers and a few Euphorbia oblongata.

Just a quick glimpse at what’s been going on in the garden.

The garden in late September

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I was like a bee to the honey pot when the sun came out last week. I happily snapped away making the most of the pretty light.

An apple now eaten and enjoyed.

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Love the combination of these two deep pinks. It’s good to capture things that go well together for reference next year. Here is a Knautia and Antirrhinum.

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These Dahlias have done really well in pots this year.

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Next doors Eucalyptus tree hangs right over into our garden.

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You know I can’t resist a bee.

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And someone else can’t resist a spot of sun bathing.

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He just flopped down in amongst a load of wood and rested his little head on it.