My Garden Journal 2019 – August

Here we are with my journal entries looking at the last month of summer according to the the MetOffice. August has been a bright month with confused weather as has been this year’s norm. plants have continued to grow oversized and then flopped.

I began by writing, “August saw the arrival of some unusual pieces of garden sculpture to our garden, 3 corten steel panels and a bespoke bench made for us by sculptor Nik Burns.”

On the opposite page I continued, We both love Achilleas but sadly they are short-lived here, lasting 3 or 4 years only except for the tallest yellow cultivars ‘Goldplate’ and ‘Cloth of Gold’. All Achilleas partner beautifully with grasses and we love planting them together.”

 

I continued then by presenting a gallery of photos, where I wrote “An August Gallery”.

Garden wildlife features next, “August has been a great time for insects of all sorts. Butterflies are having their best time for years, seeing prolific numbers of all our garden favourites. Now we don’t grow veg we love the ‘Whites’ “

Over the page from my wildlife paintings, I continued “As usual during August we have plenty to do in the garden. I have now finished cutting the Buxus features. We spent hours tidying up in and around the pond and Jude weeded the two green roofs. We also added trellis to the Blackberry archway.”

Collecting seeds.                                                Taking cuttings.

Weeding the woodstore green roof and thinning the pond reeds.

Freshly trimmed cloud pruned box edging.

So that is my garden journal for August and now I am enjoying our patch in September and we will share that month in our garden in my next post in this series.

 

Over to the next double page spread and I

 

 

Posted in climbing plants, garden arches, garden design, garden furniture, garden photography, garden seat, garden seating, garden wildlife, gardening, gardens, hardy perennials, Hardy Plant Society, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, outdoor sculpture, sculpture, Shropshire, shrubs, South Shropshire, water in the garden, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simply Beautiful – no 33 in a very occasional series.

Here we are with number 33 in this occasional series about simple beauty. I took a series of photos of Rosa Shropshire Lad. I hope you agree it is simply beautiful.

Next time will be no 34 but as yet it has no subject. I await discovering simple beauty somewhere sometime.

Posted in climbing plants, garden photography, roses | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Tale of Two Gardens – Part 2 – Esme’s Garden

After enjoying a couple of hours and fine refreshments at Nancy’s home town garden we drove a short way to her other garden which is dedicated to her mother-in-law, Esme.

Through a gap between two rows of terraced cottages we discovered a narrow grass pathway between hedges on one side and gardens on the other. An open gate within the hedge invited us to enter the magical world of Esme’s Garden.

We thought Nancy’s home garden was something special but what awaited us at Esme’s was simply amazing, a large beautifully designed space packed with interest. Again the planting was beautifully and thoughtfully put together and the use of foliage exceptional. A network of paths, arches and path junctions directed us around borders packed with trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.

 

There were Gothic touches throughout the garden and Nancy herself had created a great folly at the bottom of the garden, which impressed us all.

There is so much to enjoy at Esme’s Garden that I think the best way to share the garden with you is to create a gallery of my photos. As usual click on the first pic then navigate using the arrows.

 

 

So now I have shared both of Nancy’s gardens with you and I now presume like me you think she is one amazing gardener. Just thinking about creating and maintaining two gardens makes me breathless!

Posted in climbing plants, garden arches, garden buildings, garden design, garden furniture, garden paths, garden photography, gardening, gardens, hardy perennials, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Gardens – One gardener two gardens!

Our gardening  friend Nancy has two gardens – the only gardener we know who has two gardens. They are quite different gardens in the way they are designed but the quality of planting, the use of colour and above all the original and most effective use of foliage are features in both.

We visited both of Nancy’s gardens with the HPS Shrewsbury and South Mini-Group and we all met up at Nancy’s home. Next year Nancy will be opening her two gardens for the NGS for the first time ever so lots more people will be have the pleasure of visiting it.

Later we drove for ten minutes to her other garden, which unusually is a garden with no house. The garden at Elmfield Road in Shrewsbury is small but full of interest and inspiration. The little front garden is based on a central circle surrounded with foliage and flowering plants. It is entered via an archway with a clematis climbing up it.

A little cameo against a blue fence invited us into the back garden where we were welcomed by the sight of a beautiful garden.

Nancy has a wonderful way of building borders to take advantage of the heights and colours of plants and effectively even within such narrow border.

Foliage plays such an important part in the design of Nancy’s plantings and throughout her garden beautiful pairings are evident.

Now you can see just how beautiful a garden Nancy’s home garden is you may want to enjoy my next post which will feature her second garden, Esme’s Garden.

Posted in climbing plants, colours, garden arches, garden design, garden garden arches, garden paths, garden photography, gardening, gardens, grasses, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, Hardy Plant Society, HPS, NGS, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, Shrewsbury, shrubs, town gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Garden Journal 2019 – July

We move into the second half of the year with this visit to my 2019 garden journal, where we shall see what the garden has to offer and take a look at some of our gardening tasks for the month.

The first double page spread featured borders in our front garden, beginning with a follow up look at the New Garden, where I wrote, “July began hot and humid so during the first week gardening wasn’t easy. Every job was tiring, but there is lots to look at. Let us visit “The New Garden” to see how it has developed over the last 4 weeks or so.”

“Three different Agastache, including A. ‘Kudos Yellow’ and A. ‘Kudos Gold’ and an unknown blue flowered cultivar.”

“Step across the grass from “The New Border” and we come to one of our two “Doughnuts”. This one comes in two halves, an airy meadow of Dianthus and Briza backs onto our sun-loving ferns and euphorbias.”

“Dianthus carthusianorum”                  “Briza and Dianthus”

Festuca glauca flower buds.”

“Dianthus cruentus”                    “Rosa Prince’s Trust and R. Enchantress”

Foxgloves feature on the next page and opposite we look at the “Layby Border”.

“This year is definitely the year of the foxglove, and throughout June and into the middle of July Digitalis rule the border roosts.”

“Digitalis fontanesii”                                                            “Digitalis grandiflora”

“Digitalis lutea”

 

Across the drive we can have a look at how the “Layby Garden” is coming on.”

 

The next double page spread deals with some of our Achilleas, of which we grow many as we love them as much as the wildlife does, especially bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

I wrote, “Last year we decided to develop a section of our Beth Chatto Border, which is our gravel garden planted with grasses and herbaceous perennials which never need watering. We added a river of Achilleas.”

 

On the next page I concentrate on pink and white flowered Achilleas where I wrote, Variations on a theme, “Pink to White”, caused by so many self-seeded natural crosses made by bees and their colleagues. Thank you bees!”

Turning over to the next double page spread, We look at the perennials in the Shrub Border and then some of our jobs for July.

“Staying in the front garden it is noticeable how the perennials towards the front of the Shrub Border are giving extra colour.”

 

“July is a busy month, but this year it is extra busy as winds and frequent heavy showers mean lots of tying up.” 

“Ready to topiarise the box clouds”

“Low level and high level pruning.”

 “Deadheading climbing and rambling roses.”

Eryngiums or sea hollies feature next.

I wrote, “Mid-summer is when our Sea Hollies, Eryngiums, are at their best, their blue and silver stems, bracts and flowers take on their metallic tints.”

 

The first set of photos are of E.bourgattii ‘Picos Blue’

The next four photos are of E. Jade Frost.

The four photos below are of E. ‘Neptune’s Gold’ with its bright green foliage and metallic blue flower heads.

“Eryngiums add so much to the garden in virtually every month. Amazingly textured, coloured and sometimes variegated foliage plus metallic flowers and bracts.” 

These are exciting plants to finish off my entries into my Garden Journal 2019 for the month of July.

Posted in garden design, garden photography, gardening, gardens, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, July, ornamental grasses, ornamental trees and shrubs, roses, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, shrubs, village gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stone House Cottage Garden – rare plants and follies

A return visit to a garden that we have not seen for a few decades is a rare treat. We returned to Stone House Cottage Garden and Nursery as part of a day out with our Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group friends. In the afternoon we followed up with a wander around Arley Arboretum, another place we have visited before. Both gardens open for the National Garden Scheme during the year too.

We were greeted by Stone House’s owner and gardener, Louisa Arthbutnot, who invited us to wander freely but saying she would be around to answer queries. We entered through a round tower and were soon reminded about what makes this such a special patch, interesting plants combined well and brick-built grottoes.

Entering the garden through the first folly we are given a choice of paths straight away, so enticing.

But we did not make a choice straight as we were attracted to the unusual selection of plants growing right alongside the back door of the entrance folly.

 

Brickwork and follies feature so strongly in the is cottage garden and enhance it in a unique way.

 

As we moved through the garden we discovered unusual shrubs with loose meadow-style planting beneath them.

 

But what makes this cottage garden stand out as being something rather special is its collection of rare and unusual plants and the way Louisa places plants in communities so effectively.

 

As we left the garden we all made for the nursery where many unusual plants were waiting to tempt us.

 

 

 

 

Posted in garden arches, garden buildings, garden design, garden furniture, garden garden arches, garden paths, garden photography, garden seating, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, Hardy Plant Society, HPS, meadows, National Garden Scheme, NGS, nurseries, ornamental trees and shrubs, shrubs, village gardens, walled gardens, Yellow Book Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

seasonal visits to two very different gardens – mid-summer at Wildegoose nursery and gardens

We made one of our frequent visits to Wildegoose Nursery and Gardens in the middle of July on a warm bright day. We were pleased to find a new sign at the entrance to the nursery and garden, a beautiful coloured plan of the walled garden. Also new was an area of planting alongside the path to the sales hut.

This new planting reflected the planting style of much of the garden, new perennial style with thoughtful colour matching. The nursery beds also looked really colourful and inviting.

We made our way up to the top of the slope where the tea shop is situated, and we treated ourselves to a coffee and one of their special cakes. Then suitably refreshed we set about exploring this wonderful space. Every gravel pathway led to interesting plant combinations.

We will finish off sharing our visit with you via a gallery of my photos. The whole garden is an exciting example of thoughtful planting groups, sometimes pale and subdued colours others bright and red hot. To follow our tracks click on the first photo and then use the arrows to navigate. We shall return later in the year to see Wildegoose in another season.

 

 

Posted in colours, garden buildings, garden design, garden designers, garden furniture, garden paths, garden photography, garden seat, garden seating, gardening, gardens, gardens open to the public, grasses, half-hardy perennials, hardy perennials, light quality, nurseries, ornamental grasses, outdoor sculpture, pathways, poppies, sculpture, Shropshire, South Shropshire, village gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment