Mid Month News - there's a novelty!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011




Well here's a novelty: a mid-month News Item - and pics. too!! What is happening? My guru Ed has sorted me out and after a lot of reloading and updating seems to have solved the problem so I am posting pics from April and May.


After the weather we have had in June, oh! to be in April again. I joked at the time it might be our summer but amidst all the wind, rain and cold temperatures of June (1C on last Saturday night!) we still carry on gardening and entertaining the first of our visitors with 6 groups already having visited the gardens. Mostly the weather was OK but last Saturday with a big party from Garden Tours Holland in the gardens we had thunder, lightning and hailstones for a time. Were they daunted - not a bit. Lovely people the Dutch and we had a very kind e-mail from the tour guide when they got home saying how much they had enjoyed their visit.


More on the visits at the end of the month by which time we will have had 12 groups and already raised a substantial amount of money for the National Gardens Scheme with still nearly 3 months to go. If we get some magic sunshine - remember that? there are lots of flowers about to break. I will cover this too in my usual format in my June news item.






There are plenty of buttercup family members in the garden (family ranunculaceae) and this pic records some of those in flower in mid April. From left to right they are aquilegias, anemones and buttercups (3 rows) and hellebores and clematis



 Blue Poppies

 The blue meconopsis from Lingholm Hybrids seed were wonderful in April (4 weeks earlier than usual)and are proving to be reliably perennial with good clumps building up and more planted this spring. Sadly too early for our visitors. They have loved the damp conditions of the last month. 



 Tall bearded iris

Bearded iris in May flowered better than ever with huge drifts in a lovely shade of blue. All from a couple of plants from Cayeaux Iris bought in the plant fair at Chateau de Courson near Paris in 1999. A really sophisticated scent of vanilla and "je ne sais quoi". 




 Here's something different from our friend Tony of www.shadyplants.com He is a major grower of aroids and the one below is ariseama consanguineum. Commonly called the cobra lily they enjoy conditions similar to our native arums and we now have at least 15 species dotted all over the shadier parts of the garden. Interesting flowers, architectural long lasting foliage and many with marbled stems, and in the case of consanguineum, red seedpods which last well into winter. Tony was very pleased to know that most came through the severe weather last winter proving their hardiness in the right spot in the garden.



Oriental Poppies

In yer face, deep red, tall, gorgeous papaver orientale "Beauty of Livermere" 4 feet of sumptuousness (is that a word?) for a brief few weeks in May. Also growing this year "Royal Wedding" a really good white for flowering hopefully next year. Hardy as they are in the ground they don't like being overwintered in pots so I will be looking after those that I don't plant out this winter



Isoplexus sceptrum

 Looks a bit like a pineapple but it is a member of what used to be called the foxglove family. Isoplexus sceptrum comes from the Canary Islands. Tender which is why it stays in the polytunnel, it is the first time I have flowered one since I acquired it in 2003. I donated the mother plant which never flowered to National Botanic Garden of Wales and took this cutting which flowered within 2 years. That's plants for you! It is really beautiful and my favourite plant of the year so far 



 Aquilegia chrysantha

A lovely North American yellow spurred aquilegia. Late flowering - it is still in flower now, it makes a good 3 feet plus and generally comes true from seed unlike most aquilegias.



Clematis koreana "Blue Eclipse" 

Back to the ranunculaceae for this lovely clematis hybrid from the species koreana called "Blue Eclipse". Not difficult to see where the name came from. It isn't that floriferous like the early large flowered group but has really choice flowers on a 10 foot plant with more to come in late summer




Hope you have enjoyed being brought up to date with some of the star plants over the last few months and will update you with the June stars and all the other news in a couple of weeks.