Category Archives: Longridge


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



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.


Three of the blogs I follow all had ‘Adventure’ in their titles today, that’s the last thing that can be said about mine.

After lunch when the sun finally came out I needed a walk; didn’t want to drive anywhere, didn’t want to go in the wet fields so a local road circuit was ideal. This circuit of just over 4½ miles used to be one of my regular winter runs. I never did get below 35minutes. Today I was happy to see what was of interest on the way – no particular place to go.


At present there is so much housing development in town causing road closures and diversions. All the traffic is now coming down, the normally quiet, Halfpenny Lane at an alarming rate and causing queuing for heavens sake. Traffic becomes one of today’s bugbears, thats a strange expression. It is whizzing dangerously past me at 60mph in a 30 limit as I set off and continues to do so onto the main road, I felt uneasy when I shouldn’t have to. Too many cruising along rapidly with their radios on full blast. At one point the pavement was blocked by an overgrown hedge and stepping into the road was a scary experience. I think I’m going to avoid this stretch from now on, the automobile has taken over. I know I’m an old moaner but what have we allowed to happen to our villages and lanes, I can only see it getting worse. Who wants this hectic life?

Thankfully I entered Back Lane and all was peace and quiet by the cattery, must be a great life.

Other catteries are available – I have used David and Rita’s Champion Kennels nearby for 20 years. Amusingly I was on holiday last year with a couple who use Purrfection and their cat sent them a text message halfway through saying he was OK. I complained to my cat, in Champion, about his lack of thought but got no sympathy.

In the grounds I caught a glimpse of one of those old railway cabins used for storage on many farms and small holdings after their life on the track was over. Where did you buy them from?Along the lane a farmhouse, date-stone 1782, is being renovated and provides a contrast to its more modern extended neighbour. Ashley Lane winds through the fields with distant views of Parlick, Fairsnape and Longridge Fell. Overhead a pair of buzzards are wheeling and crying, there seems to have been an increase in these majestic birds in the last few years around here. My phone is not capable of capturing their image. The afternoon drifts on and I spend time picking and eating blackberries from the hedgerows though I didn’t have the patience to collest enough for a pie.  I spot an Inkcap Mushroom in the verge; these are edible when young, but react badly with alcohol as they contain the Antabuse chemical, I recall from my foraging days when I enjoyed them on toast.The occupant of this house obviously has a tractor obsession. They all looked pristine, there are lots of tractor shows in Lancashire.

I have commented on these pigs before, hog roast tonight?

Now heading home on Inglewhite Road the traffic increases once again and the tranquility of the countryside vanishes. I think tomorrow a fell walk would be preferable.








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.


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.


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.


Paul’s Himalayan Musk.

Bleu Magenta.



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

Campanula latiloba ‘Highcliffe’


Astilbe chimensis ‘Pumila’

Delphinium ‘Magic Fountain’

Achillea grandiflora.

Aconitum ‘Stainless Steel’



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…