Categories
climbing plants garden arches garden design garden paths garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs roses Shrewsbury Shropshire shrubs South Shropshire water in the garden Yellow Book Gardens

My Garden Journal 2019 – June

As we reach the half way point in the year the garden really comes to life with bright green fresh growth and so much colour from flowers, herbaceous perennials, shrubs and  climbers especially roses and clematis. I began by writing, “At the beginning of June we were still worried about how dry the garden still was and longed for some rain. Luckily a few days into June and this is exactly what happened. And luckier still was that the planned group visits to our garden at that time were not interrupted by wet weather. After rain, until the droplets on their flowers and buds dry off, make roses look sad and dejected.”

I then shared a batch of Rose pics.

 

The next double page spread featured wider shots of borders and plant communities.

I wrote, I decided it would be a good idea to go out with my camera in hand to take wide shots of the garden borders to give an impression of the whole garden. But, as the overcast sky and rain didn’t go away, I went out into the heavy rain and took the shots I wanted.”

“Plant-a-Boxes – end of drive”                 “Herbaceous Violas – front door”

Then followed a set of 4 photos of our “Beth Chatto Garden”.

   

Next a set of photos of the Shrub Borders, and the New Garden finishing with a photo of out Hare who guards the lawn daisies.

“The New Garden”

“Our Hare Sculpture who guards the lawn daisies.”

Below are four photos of our Beth Chatto Garden.

“The Beth Chatto Garden”

The last two pics on this page show the Shed Roof Garden and the new Foliage Garden by the shed.

Turning over the page we move into the back garden, where I wrote, “To access the back garden you can go either side of the house. Access to the left and you can enjoy the “Shade Border” featuring ferns. Once in the back there are two paths to choose from both of which will take you the length of the garden.”

“Taking any pathway will present enticing views into the borders.”

 

Onto the next page I wrote, “The new Hot Garden has settled well and already giving pleasure.”

 

   

“Arabella’s Garden is now lush with growth and gives pleasure to her when she visits. She checks on it every time.”

 

Over the page I share my pencil crayon sketches of two of our smaller grasses, both Briza.

The final page for this month shows the Bog garden and the show of Alliums which dominates two borders in Jun. I wrote, “At the very bottom of the central path to its left lies the Bog Garden and the Wildlife Pond. Lush, colourful foliage is the order of the day, the tall reeds and Irises adding height.”

“Various Alliums dominate the Chicken Garden and Secret Garden throughout June and will continue into July.”

So there we have my June entries into my Garden Journal 2019, a great month in our garden.

Categories
climbing plants garden photography gardening half-hardy perennials hardy perennials

Simply Beautiful – part 21 of a very occasional series

While enjoying the courtyard garden at the Emma Bridgwater Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in mid-June and mid-heatwave too, we found the drying seedpods of honesty in different stages of drying out in readiness to spread its seeds. Gentle shades of grren decorated the circular pods of the Honesty, circles of fly away seeds sat atop allium stems and the drying pods of sweetpeas looked just like petit pois.

Categories
birds climbing plants garden design garden photography garden wildlife gardening hardy perennials ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs photography Shropshire trees village gardens wildlife

A Wander around our Garden in August

Our garden in August is a bright, colourful place full of lush growth, rich scent and so much wildlife to enjoy. Our wild birds are mostly quiet at present as August is the time when they hide away as they go through their annual moult. They have gone to ground and gone silent.

Above our heads however avian activity is busy and exciting. The Swallows and House Martins are feeding up in anticipation of their migration south. The sky is full of them, but the screaching of Swifts is absent as they began their own long journey a few weeks ago. For a few days there is a gap in the sounds – we miss them for their excited calls and aerial displays.

The calls of the young Buzzards can be heard above the Swallows and Martins, as they excitedly search out thermals and discover the joy of riding them. The Peregrines have reappeared now that their breeding season is over so we can watch the adult pairs rising in ever-higher circles until they disappear from view. Our eyes become incapable of seeing them as they become smaller, become dots and are then gone. They have the luxury of far better long distance vision than us – they will see the movement of their prey from hundreds of feet up in the air. A real treat is to spot them as they stoop, travelling down at speeds of over 200 miles per hour with a pigeon in their sights.

Yesterday when deadheading in one of our borders we were surprised by a low-flying, high speed Green Woodpecker who zoomed close to us, just a few feet away. A real treat!

Insect life is flourishing. On any warm bright day a variety of insects can be seen hunting out nectar and pollen. Butterflies, bees and hoverflies are attracted to Buddleias, Alliums, Salvias, Nepetas, Lavenders and Echinops. There are so many Peacock Butterflies around at the moment but you can’t have too many of them. The Holly Blues are much scarcer and flit continuously rarely seeming to settle.

Bees and hoverflies are attracted to our Lavender hedge which borders the lane which passes in front of our garden.

The ponds are full of life with shoals of young fish basking in the shallows, diving Beetles and Boatmen moving up to the surface and back to the bottom regularly. On the surface Pondskaters pace out the length and breadth of the pond surface. Young newts regularly appear at the surface take a gulp of air and drop back down. When Jude the Undergardener nets the duckweed and blanket weed from the pond she catches newts every time. She is delighted with every newt that graces her net. I am convinced that removing the weed is an excuse for her newt catching exploits. In August the majority of newts Jude catches are youngsters.

The front garden is looking good! So much colour! The Hot Border is HOT!

The “Beth Chatto Garden”, our gravel garden, is full of interest with Agapanthus taking centre stage. These Agapanthus were actually bought from the Beth Chattos Gardens nursery.

Early in August the front garden was dominated by yellow – even Jude the Undergardener was wearing yellow – but after a few weeks all the other colours caught up.

In the back garden the growth in our Secret Garden is exuberant to say the least. The foxgloves are going over but the achilleas, lychnis and alliums are still giving us a full performance.

Elsewhere in the borders of the back garden the seedheads of our Snakebark Acer add rich reds, Crocosmias give every shade of yellow, orange and red, Achilleas add subtlety and the spiky Erigeron flowers provide silver.

In the greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicums are adding sweetness and freshness to the cut-and-come-again mixed leaves of ours summer salads.

The world beyond our garden is changing this month as in our borrowed landscape the hay in the paddock has been cut and baled and the wheat fields turn gold and are being harvested one by one. By the time my September garden wander comes around the skys will seem empty as the Swallows and Martins will be on their way to warmer climes, but the garden will be getting busier with mixed feeding flocks of titmice and Goldcrests, and others of mixed finches.

Categories
garden design garden photography garden wildlife gardening hardy perennials photography Shropshire wildlife

Plant Portraits – August

This post is dedicated to portraits of the blooms that are starring in our garden in August. The individual stars which shine out of the borders.

Categories
garden design garden photography grow your own hardy perennials ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs outdoor sculpture poppies Shropshire shrubs trees

A Wander around our Garden in June

Half way through the year already where these monthly garden wanders are concerned. It should be warm and sunny as befits the Summer season but it has mostly been raining. We get occasional dry, pleasant days but they have been few and far between. Just look at this interesting early evening light colouring the landscape beyond our garden gate. One field is in the spotlight, I wonder why it was chosen?

In the garden I shot this photo looking up at the sky above our big, white-flowered rambling rose.

But, one afternoon as the rain went quiet for a while out I went camera in hand to follow my garden wander. The borders are burgeoning, blooms are getting bigger and brighter by the day and we enjoy every moment in our June garden.

Spires reach for the sky in every border, Foxgloves, Antirhinums and Lupins.

Let us visit the front garden and see how the borders have developed since our May post. There is far less gravel visible now as foliage increases sideways and upwards.

The ferns in the Stump Circle have grown considerably and the grasses in our other circle are now a good 4 feet tall.

The Hot Border is full to the brim with colour, rich colours against vibrant greens.

Jude’s Border is also full of colour from the blooms of shrubs such as this Weigela and Syringa.

The Shade Garden continues to glow with colours against vibrant greens.

 

Anstrantias love it here in the shade but we do grow them throughout the garden. They flower best in the shade and grow  taller. There are so many to choose from starting with whites through all different shades of pink to the deepest reds.

The Freda Garden is at its peak in June, when our orange-flowered Honeysuckle creeps along the fence top, the Pyracantha and Weigela flower together, and the border is full of Oriental Poppies, Foxgloves, Aquilegias and Euphorbias all doing their own thing.

Throughout the garden the promiscuous Aquilegias self seed and create new plants in various colours, shapes and sizes. Now this little white one was a surprise! At just 1 cm across it is the tiniest I have ever seen – a true gem! And to top it all it grew alongside this Euphorbia.

When I had finished my garden wander and taken all the photos to select from, the weather deteriorated, heavy rain and strong wind lashed our garden. The Fennel in the picture below was tall and healthy around 5 feet tall but the weather bent all the stems down. The fresh stems of our rambling and climbing roses which would carry blooms next year were snapped off at the base. I only hope they have time and energy to make up some new growth.

All the borders in the back garden are full of interesting foliage with varied texture and colour as a foil for the plethora of flowering perennials.

The most beautiful plant must be our miniature chestnut (Aesculus) which is now 3 feet tall, a third of its final height, covered in blooms, spires of salmon.

Alliums are stars throughout the back garden. They have only been in a few years and are so happy they are spreading like wildfire. They really need thinning out!

I shall finish this garden wander with a few shots of some of the borders, as a taster for my next blog, “Another Wander Around our Garden in June”. There is simply too much to show, too much I want to share.

Categories
garden photography gardening hardy perennials

Alliums – our own tumbleweeds!

We have planted hundreds of allium bulbs here during the 7 years we have been gardening in Plealey. We have planted about seven hundred in our newest beds, the two Secret Gardens. Obviously they look wonderful when in flower and when the seed heads dry to pale biscuit colours but I have been finding the magical circles of seed heads all over the garden in the last few days as they migrate in the wind. Just like tumbleweed.

This one has rolled around gathering up the fallen leaves of autumn.

This one has found a dark place to hide.

And this one has snuggled up to the softly felted leaves of a foxglove.

While this one found a little playmate.

This one has taste – it settled beneath a Hydrangea querquifolia.

This one ended its journey hiding behind a chair in the Chicken Garden.

I must keep an eye on them and see where they go next!!