Mid Week Review


Sometimes it’s the happy accidents that make the all the difference like this Euphorbia characias and Clematis macropetala, what a lovely colour combination.IMG_20170404_173008

Always exciting to see Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’ piercing through the ground. It loves my heavy clay soil.


The Fritillaria imperialis just before I spotted a Lily beetle!


Who says Hyacinths don’t grow well after being forced in pots. This one is five years old and getting better every year.

Echibeckia Update


The Echibeckia Summerina ‘Yellow’ was a big surprise this year. The plants from Hayloft survived the winter in pots plunged up to their necks in a raised bed but looked dead until April when a few small green shoots appeared. I dug them up and transferred them to the greenhouse where they took off! By early May they were ready to plant out and with a dressing of bonemeal they romped away.

I think they worked well next to the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’  but they were gradually pushed over by the thuggish Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ behind.

I will be interesting to see if they survive another, and perhaps harder winter.

Skipping into Summer


They say every picture tells a story. This picture therefore tells you about backache, blistered hands, a broken wheelbarrow and the dangers of an 8 yard skip on a block paved drive! It should also tell you that an area of the garden, previously grassed, is now rather different. All will be revealed soon!



First flowers on white Sweet Rocket, Hesparis matronalis alba

Going around the garden today I was struck by how many things I was seeing for the first time. Suddenly, things are happening.010

The first Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ not quite a round ball yet but getting there.014

The first fully formed flower of Aquilegia ‘Mrs Scott-Elliot’002

The first Leopards Bane flower, Doronicum grandiflorum, just beginning to open a month later than normal.021

Always has to be the first, the tallest, the most spreading and the biggest pest in the garden, hardy Geranium pyrenaicum ‘Bill Wallis’022

Not impressive yet but the first shoots of Lysimachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’ and Lysimachia punctata mingling with Geranium pratense023

The aforementioned Tree Peony flowering for the first time. Don’t know the name, threw the label away 7 years ago!030

The Guelder rose, Viburnum opulus, promising hundreds of creamy white flowers to come followed by bright red fruits which the blackbirds go mad for. Sadly,the dreaded Viburnum beetle larvae usually shreds the foliage into lace doilies by the end of June. As I don’t like using chemicals in the garden due to the potential harm to wildlife and to our dogs, we have decided to live with problems like that and I am growing a Clematis tangutica up through the Viburnum to take over and hide the beetle larvae damage. Should look good if it works.035

This Lilac, almost certainly ‘Madame Lemoine’ is a sucker from a previous tree we removed. I am happy to leave this one and try to contain it’s enthusiasm.039

The first shoots of Hosta ‘Touchstone’ about to be protected with garlic wash before our slimy friends find it.048

Osteospermum ‘Cannington Roy’, reliably hardy here against a west facing wall in gravel starting the show which will literally go on for 6 months non-stop.051

Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw flaunting her pretty underskirt.052

The first dahlia buds!053

The first flowers of Geranium macrorrihzum in the evening sunshine062

The first Gooseberries forming!085

The first flower buds on Clematis viticella ‘Rouge Cardinal’088

Possibly the first ever edible Brown Turkey figs if we get enough sun to ripen them!097

And finally…..the first lovely pure white flowers of Argyranthemum ‘Donnington Hero’, a plant I have just received in the plant exchange from Plant Heritage.