Category Archives: Longridge

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.

CREATE LONGRIDGE. 2017.

It has rained most of the day. I have just come in from walking round the town admiring all the artists’ works – ‘Creating Longridge’. This is the second year this event has been staged and up to a hundred artists registered to paint and draw in the streets under the public view. A great showcase for local artists and a social occasion for us residents. Shame about the rain and all the jokes about water colours.                                                                                                             Berry Lane, the main street, had the highest concentration of artists some braving the outdoors under umbrellas whilst others sheltered in shops and under canopies. There was a wide variety of styles with some professional pieces, many of the scene in front of them. All the artists were cheerful and communicative despite the weather, it is Lancashire after all. Judging will take place later for the public’s choice.

On my way into the town I had passed the football club who were holding a beer festival, the tents looked bedraggled in the rain but no doubt the punters were having a good time despite the notice at the gates stating ‘no alcohol beyond this point’.

A good effort by the town. Next year the sun will shine.

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’

 

THE GARDEN IN MAY.

I was away the first week or so of this month and noticed how many plants had come into bloom and soon past their best. I was able to photo the ordinary red Peony but my splendid yellow Tree Peony was finished.

As you can see from my header photo everywhere is very green at this time of year. The Hostas add to the verdancy.

Rhododendrons and Azaleas in full bloom in May, I haven’t had time to label everything …

Alliums are spring up everywhere and the larger ones give a good dried display when the foliage dies back later in the year. Of course the more humble chives I grow in a pot are in the same family

In the pond and damper areas delicate iris flowers never seem to last long Free colour is provided by the number of Aquilegia variants that I allow, can’t stop, to spring up in the borders. Geraniums are beginning to flower in all parts of the garden, they seem to thrive in the NW.

I’ve a varied selection of Euphorbia with their diverse and unique floral structures.

Of course it’s Lilac time

Other shrubs are showy

Viburnum plicatum Mariessii

Laburnum watereri vossii

Choisya ternata.

Cornus kousa Gold Star.

My Clematis are not doing well, too much winter cutting back but Nelly Moser always puts on a good display.

Each day you walk round the garden something new appears

Papaver bracteatum

Gladiolus byzantinus and Libertia formosa.

Roses are just beginning to bloom but they will be better in June…

THE GARDEN IN APRIL.

Magnolia Susan.

Its been a dry but rather cold month. Scarifying the lawn produced masses of moss, lawn sand was heavily used and had to be watered in. The resulting black areas look awful at present but I’m hoping will pay off. I was in no rush to start mowing.

Shoots are appearing everywhere, tree leaves are a lovely fresh green, ferns are unfolding and young cones colouring up on the conifers.

Clumps of bluebells bring colour to shady areas. Early herbaceous plants are slow to flower but a few ‘weeds’ are already blossoming, that is why I leave them to seed in a few spaces.  Cambrian Poppy, Honesty and the Yellow Dead Nettle.

As one cherry blossom is blown away another appears.Of course spring is when the Rhododendrons come into their own and the best time to visit some of the famous gardens where they flourish. My favourites were Dunge Valley Gardens close to Windgather Crag in the High Peak for a bit of apres bouldering and Muncaster Castle on the edge of the lakes. It was to the latter we retreated on a rainy climbing trip in Eskdale 20yrs ago and I purchased Rh. Unique and it is always one of the first to flower in my garden. Good to have a bit of history involved in ones plants – that was the weekend Princess Di was killed. Others are flowering in a shady area at the back …

May Day.

Bo Bells.

Usually the first clematis to flower is an Alpina variety with a delightful shade of blue …Dotted around are several different Corydalis

and  Dicentra …

… they need very little attention and provide low colour.

The prehistoric looking Darmera peltata thrives in my boggy area and produces interesting flower heads before the large leaves appear.At the end of the month the spectacular blue Camassia quamash starts to open, a sign that the garden will be in full bloom next month.

Sparrows and tits are occupying all my nest boxes and the swallows were back on the 20th.

Around the block.

I can’t believe I was climbing a few days ago in a T shirt as this morning the cold dull weather continues towards Easter. I rouse myself to do a favourite short walk from home to see what is happening in the countryside. Longridge Fell looks broodingly down on the start of my walk into a field full of seagulls, they are unusual so they must be feeding on something – possibly recent muck spreading.

A glance at the 1:25000 map shows many small ponds in these fields, they are the remains of Marl Pits dug in the 19th century to provide lime rich clay for spreading on the fields to improve the soil. They now provide an interesting habitat for wildlife and plants. One near here unfortunately is used by the duck shooting fraternity, today the mallards were paddling happily. A couple of larger ponds used to keep my children happy for hours fishing for god knows what.

I passed a few metal gates which are for access to a line of aqueducts crossing this area, the Thirlmere aqueduct to Manchester and the Hodder aqueduct to Blackpool. Generally the former has black gates whilst the latter green. A useless bit of information.

On the lanes Blackthorn was in flower before its leaves appeared, the reverse of the Hawthorn, May Blossom. The phrase “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out” was particularly pertinent today in the cold wind.  Better information.

Blackthorn.

Sheep were with lambs and the cattle were being let out into the fields. I came across a particularly threatening breed of sheep.

Pit Bull sheep.

Since I was last this way a memorial seat has been erected – “he loved this farm” a lovely sentiment.

Passing three popular hostelries …

Ferraris Country Hotel.

Derby Arms.

The Alston.

… shunning them all I arrived home in under a couple of hours. The weather shows no sign of improving but at least I’ve had some exercise.

 

THE GARDEN IN MARCH.

From the first day of March the frogs were busy mating in my pond and bats started flying round my house at dusk. There are lambs in the field at the back of my garden. Feels like the year has started at last and we have had a few sunny days at the beginning of the month.

Spring bulbs continue to appear, Muscari, Anemone blanda, Iris reticulata and Snake’s Head Fritillaries all were a joy to see again. The taller daffodils come into their own for picking for the house.The low lying Pulmonaria brighten several gloomy areas – officinalis , Pink Dawn and Azurea.

This pretty little blue flower seeds itself around the borders – Cardamine pentaphylla…Of course the cherries have come into flower, lets hope there is not too much wind which destroys their petals… as has the Magnolia stellata…

The delicate primrose flowers of my Corylopsis shrub soon fade…… and the petals of Camellia are susceptible to the morning sun on frosty days.I’m just back from the Canary Islands and looking forward to April’s offerings but first there is some hard work to do on the lawn and those weeds have started growing.