Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Cut flowers magazine article

I have received my July copy of 'Gardens Illustrated'; it has an article about cut flowers. Very inspirational.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

In my garden

The weather continues to be very hot - mid to high twenties celsius. No rain.

I haven't done much in the garden as it has been so hot - mostly weeding and deadheading. After reading a couple of magazine articles, I have pinched out the tops of a couple of asters. They don't have any buds forming yet so this should stop them growing any taller but they should grow lower down. Hopefully, they should not (or be less likely to) flop over.

Looking around my garden for space for cut flowers has made me look at it with new eyes. One area that needs some attention is the bench. It is underplanted with Alchemilla erythropoda and has Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' behind it. To the left is Sambucus 'Black Beauty' which is now too big for the space. It all looks a bit overgrown and untidy. I think I will grow the rose as a climber, push the bench further back and use more leftover bricks to make a hard surface in front of it. The sambucus will have to come out.

I am pleased with so much in the garden. One of my favourite plant combinations is Salvia nemerosa 'Amethyst' and Stipa tenuissima (picture above). I originally bought the salvia a couple of years ago but it succumbed to the winter weather of 2008/09. I didn't get round to replacing it until recently as it is so difficult to find. The Stipa was dug up from seedlings in my neighbours garden, I now leave it to seed around mine.

I don't grow any fruit and vegetables apart from this blackcurrant. I love blackcurrant jam but it is hard to find the fruit on sale. It was planted last year so I have my fingers crossed for enough fruit for a batch of jam this year.

The roses are all in flower, including the two new ones I bought for cutting. 'English Miss' is a rose I bought from a local greengrocer. It smells heavenly, and the foliage is a nice dark green. I really like it. The vase was a recent purchase from a charity shop, it only cost £2.

As I have written before, there is a lot of Alchemilla mollis in the garden. It makes a nice cut flower on its own. Some of the sprigs in the jug have been there for a couple of weeks. I added a bit more, the only difference is the freshly picked is slightly brighter.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Cutting Garden

Nearly all the seedlings have been planted. I have dotted them around although I cleared a space next to the brick path.

The plants have been in pots too long, the Ammi and Nicotiana look a bit sad but they should recover. I got a bit carried away when I pricked out the seeds and did too many. Still, I have taken some to my volunteer garden, larkspur to mum's garden, and a few have gone in the front garden.

The 'English Miss' and 'White Gold' Roses have buds that are almost open.

At the moment I am picking odd stems of perennial, enough to make a jug for my kitchen windowsill which is my favourite place for cut flowers. Although the kitchen overlooks the garden, there is nothing like having fresh flowers by you when you tackle the washing up.

 The jug contains Alchemilla, Nepeta, Astrantia, Verbena, Roses 'Felicia' and 'Gertrude Jekyll' and Nemesia 'Confetti'. I also added some green Aquilegia seedheads. I read an article on cut flowers and the florist had used them so I thought I would try them. They do look nice. I picked the Alchemilla and Nepeta 5 days ago but they still look good so I put them back in the vase.

I went to the BBC Gardeners World Live show at the NEC in Birmngham yesterday. The only plant on my list was a scented leaved pelargonium to add to my cutting garden. I bought 'Lady Plymouth' ( on the left of the picture above) and 'Mabel Grey', both from a specialist grower who had several varieties. I also bought Matthiola from another nursery, this is a perennial white stock. I grew this a few years ago but it died. I don't know why it has taken me this long to replace it, it has a lovely scent. I also bought some seeds which were being sold off, Scabious 'Border Mixed' and Nigella papillosa. Both good for cutting. The Scabious is similar to Scabiosa 'Perfecta Blue' which I have recently bought, and is pictured below.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

In my garden

The weather has continued to be topsy-turvy with temperatures in mid twenties celsius down to mid teens. Lots of much needed rain over the past few days.

This is the path I laid last year. I have never tackled anything like this before and its a bit uneven but I am pleased with it. It was inspired by a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show last year. It has transformed this part of the garden.

Lupin 'Gallery Rose'

The warm weather has bought out the bees. I grow bee friendly plants with single open flowers which 
they like. Doubles are not good as the insects can't get inside the flower. I only grow one double,
Geranium himalayense 'Plenum' and some roses.

This small patch at the side of the path has several self sown seedlings. Foxgloves, Aquilegia, Clary, Stipa tenuissima, Alcemilla mollis, violas and Rosa glauca. I'm not sure whether to leave them until they are bigger or move them now.

This is another self sown seedling, although I don't know where its come from as I have never grown it. It seems to be a dog rose, Rosa canina. I really like it. Unfortunately, its growing in the middle of an escallonia next to the path. Not a good place for a thorny plant, I keep having to cut bits off so that I don't get caught when I walk past.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

In my garden

The weather has been very changeable lately. After the cold snap at the start of the month, there was a heatwave 21-24 May with temperatures reaching 27 degrees c. The temperatures fell back down 10 degrees or more with some chilly nights. It's raining today and not very warm. Summer is scheduled to return tomorrow (according to the weather forecast)

I seem to have a garden full of Aquilegias and Alchemilla. I do love both these plants but I have pulled a lot out to make room for other plants. The Aquilegias are in flower so I cut them off and placed them in a vase. They lasted over a week so I am adding them to my cut flower list.

I have been allocating space along the side of paths for the cut flowers.

I've cleared most of the plants from this area but I don't want to move these until autumn. 

I already have Roses and Penstemons alongside the new brick path. The Alchemilla in the bottom right corner has now been removed.

We now have 4 baby Great Tits to add to the Sparrow family. No sign of Robins or Blackbirds yet.

A very untidy looking parent. All the birds love these fat cakes.

Baby Great Tit waiting for food