Category Archives: Garden

THE GARDEN IN DECEMBER.

Well I made it through the year with my garden diary.

Today is the winter solstice, seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight if you are lucky. Its pretty grim here today in Lancashire with drizzle and mist. I missed the classic photo of the robin in the snow last week. Not much else to show in the garden at the moment.

Picea koraiensis

Helleborus foetidus

HAVE A GREAT XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

 

THE GARDEN IN NOVEMBER.

 

Another month has flashed by…

As i wandered round The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley last week I was making a mental note of any colour for this time of year. To be honest not a lot stood out. The trees were resplendent in autumn colours as one would expect, there were some unidentified tall white grasses near the glass house but you had to look closer to spot anything that would be of use in my small northern garden.

Red Dogwoods were brilliantly coloured but more suitable for an urban park than my borders but there may be room for a couple at the back of a shrub bed. Pyracantha, Firethorn, seemed more colourful than the Cotoneaster in my garden, though with their thorns maybe a position against a wall would be best.  So that is two to buy in for next year.

But what about now, Last week we had the deluge for a few days and now morning ground frosts have become established.

Leaves continue to colour and then blow around the lawn and into my pond, which needs a good clear out.

Euonymus alatus.

Spot the fish.

Nerines are flowering still, as last month, but little else. My Mahonia Charity has started flowering and will do so over winter.

 

Hydrangea heads are drying out and showing pastel shades, I should get round to picking some.

 

The seed heads of Phlomis are worth leaving on the plants over winter for their intricate structure.

 

The holly berries have been eaten by the blackbirds but red berries on the Berberis shrubs are lasting well.

The trees are almost bare of leaves and this has enabled some lovely low sunsets on the last few clear evenings.

 

THE GARDEN IN OCTOBER.

Yesterday morning there was a heavy dew, the temperature had dropped to 6°, today it is wet and windy again.  I’ve just returned from La Palma where the temperature was in the high 20s – what a shock.

Wandering round the garden there is little to see, a few Asters and Japanese Anemones are giving some faded colour. Round the corner the Nerine bowdenii is suddenly in flower. The delicate Fuchsia magellanica Alba is hanging on.

Autumn colours have only just started but the strong winds, whilst I’ve been away, have already stripped some trees. The blackbirds are eating the holly berries so by Xmas there will be none left.

The clocks go back tonight. Little else to say really.

THE GARDEN IN SEPTEMBER.

I’ve been away most of September and the garden is looking neglected, but to continue my year’s diary…

Hedges need trimming and plants cutting back. Not a lot has changed since the end of last month and we are now slowly drifting into Autumn.

Sedums come into their own at this time of year.

As do Michaelmas Daisies [asters]The Monkshood [Aconitum carmichaelii] seem to have grown taller this year, they are probably the most poisonous plant in the garden.Cimicifuga simplex racemona brightens up a shady cornerand a late flowering Phlox paniculata Norah Leigh does the sameThe less showy Physostegia virginiana, the Obedient Plant named because it will stay in any position you twist it to, makes an effort to flower.

Otherwise it is seeds and berries.

The Cornus kousa fruit soon goes off but apparently can be used for making wine – next year.The birds love the Cotoneaster berriesand my Monkey Puzzle tree has started producing ‘cones’

But really we are heading into Autumn.

 

THE GARDEN IN AUGUST.

I’m not going to mention the weather. To be honest the garden doesn’t look a lot different this August from July but there are some interesting additions.

Many of the flowers from July are still showing, the Japanese anemones have a long flowering period…

 

 

 

 

 

… the Hemerocallis, Day Lily, has only a short one – as its name implies.One of the shrubs essential to any garden is Buddleia davidii not only for its fragrant blooms in late summer but for the butterflies it attracts.

Three more unusual plants in my side border are Crinum powelli,  Clematis heracleifolia and Cautleya spicata ‘Robusta’ [Himalayan Ginger]

Far less showy but giving good ground cover in rough shady areas is Persicaria campanulatum. The humble Montbretia has many varieties, all a little invasive, one particular favourite of mine is Crocosomia solfatareI have other varieties of this easy plant 

In my boggy area I grow this interesting plant, Kirengeshoma palmata, which is just coming into flower.

A small uncommon tree, Clerodendrum trichotomum, at this time of year develops strange fragrant flowers.  

The Fuchsia papoose is showing its colourful bells  and who knows with a little more sun plants like Helianthus Lemon Queen will brighten up the end of the month.

Anyhow back to cutting the privet hedge.

THE GARDEN IN JULY.

Continuing my monthly diary of the garden.

On the TV weather this evening Daren Bett has just announced  “there’s something wrong with the weather at the moment” and I have to agree with him. Most of my garden posts have started with the same complaint. In the last few days we have experienced, in a random order, everything it can throw at us. The winds today made photography of my poor flowers difficult and its getting to the end of the month.

The Hostas which give good leaf colour all season also produce stately flowers.In amongst them grows the everlasting pearl white flowers of Anaphalis triplinervis  Summer Snow, aptly named.Another unusual white flower appears in my pond – Houttuynia cordata ‘Plena’

My geraniums continue to flower and Buxton’s Blue is showy this month.The Japanese anemones have started flowering and will produce blooms for the next month or so.

This hydrangea hovers between pink and blue…… whereas this lace cap is a lovely shade of white.Far more brash is Crocosmia ‘lucifer’.and this orange/pink Phlox

In my Monkey Puzzle tree grows Clematis ‘Praecox’ which always draws comments from passing pedestrians as it hangs out into the road.Blues still dominate the colour schemes

A delicate shrub is flowering with pea like flowers, Indigofera pseudotinctoria from China.

Whilst elsewhere some of the showy yellow flowers of summer are beginning to dominate parts of the borders Inula hookeri and Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’

Lets hope for a drier warmer August to bring out those colours.

THE GARDEN IN JUNE.

At the beginning of June we experienced some wild and windy days which played havoc with climbing roses and small trees. Having been away I needed dry weather to catch up with the lawn and start on the hedges, dry days were in short supply. I struggled to complete before disappearing off to France for a couple of weeks, when ironically the weather was dry and hot in Lancashire. Since my return it has rained every day.

So I have been rather disappointed with the garden this June.

At the start of the month the yellow Allium Moly and the Bartley Variety Primulas harked back to Spring.

The Day lilies [Hemerocallis], Bowl of Beauty Peony and white Siberian Iris all have a short flowering period.

My Choisya Mexican Orange Blossom and Purple Leaved Elderberry are two of the shrubs flowering.

Fragrant Honeysuckle grows outside my bedroom window.

In amongst my shrubs I have the rambling Tropaeolum speciosum, Flame Creeper, which likes its roots in the shade and goes wherever it wishes, giving colour in the evergreens.I’m not one for formal rose bushes but I have several climbing varieties scattered through the garden and June is the month for roses.

Bobby James.

Masquerade.

Paul’s Himalayan Musk.

Bleu Magenta.

?

Albertine.

A few choice perennials are flowering but I don’t seem to have as much colour as usual.

Campanula latiloba ‘Highcliffe’

Phlomis.

Astilbe chimensis ‘Pumila’

Delphinium ‘Magic Fountain’

Achillea grandiflora.

Aconitum ‘Stainless Steel’