Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tall Dreamy Spires

Very little of my garden is in full sun and generally I struggle to get delphiniums to flower well but for some reason this year, despite it being so cold and wet for so long, they're the best they've ever been.

The bees have been loving them today as well.

The bees have also been loving the foxgloves.

All my foxgloves are self sown digitalis purpurea and come in the usual variety of pinks, purples and whites but for the first time ever I've got a pure pale lemon one too.

And also this one that looks rather scraggly as a plant

but has the most amazing, very narrow and delicate white trumpets.  I've never seen another foxglove like it before.

I'm hoping it will set lots of seeds for me to scatter about, maybe it might even cross with the lemon one!

Monday, June 24, 2013

First of the Harvest!

Today I ate my first homegrown pea of the season.  It was a mangetout, Shiraz.

It's been flowering for a while, then the first tiny pods appeared and today one was ready to pick, ready to eat - so I did!  And it was quite delicious too.

I don't have a large veg plot but I manage to grow quite a lot. This year, as well as planting by the moon (more about that another time), I also tried the 'square foot' gardening method for planting.  It sort of works in that it made me more ordered, but I don't like trying to weed between veg planted very closely together.

However everything is looking very healthy, the courgettes have flowers and baby courgettes,

the tomato jungle is growing rapidly (and does actually have flowers although I can't see them in the photo!)

and the beans (runner, borlotti and climbing french - fosse violetta) are all growing cheek by jowl with a red climbing rose and foxgloves,

the runner beans even have flowers.

The frogs are doing a good job of keeping the slugs down, although I have just spied a snail amongst the beetroot.

I've been cropping salad leaves for several weeks and have discovered that self sown rocket is incredibly fiery.

Now that I've had my first tastes of salad and pea I'm looking forward to many, many more harvests this year. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Garden Visiting

Earlier on in the week Celia tweeted me asking 'do you fancy visiting Fullers Mill?'.  A quick google, a 'yes' reply and some provisional (dependent on the weather) arrangements were made.  Fortunately the weather today was good so off we set.

The 7 acre garden is on the banks of the River Lark just north of Bury St Edmunds, tucked away down a Forestry Commission track through the forest.

I loved the huge swathes of planting of one plant,  the bees really loved this gernanium (macrorrhizum I think)

and the alliums growing through the grass were very effective too.

All through the garden were beautiful colour and texture combinations

In the middle of the garden is a mill pond, which I didn't realise (until I got home and read the leaflet) would have originally have had a water wheel that powered mallets to pound locally made cloth to make it thicker and fuller (hence the name Fullers Mill).

Now the mill pond (just visible on the left of the picture below) has a beautiful range of planting around it (both Celia and I loved the dark Astrantia, Claret, and both wondered how they got it to flourish when neither of us could!).

I also liked how the shrubs had been pruned to enable paths and beds to be created under them

and the silver birches under planted with elaeagnus in the top garden were simply stunning.

It's a garden I want to revisit at different times during the year as I'm sure the planting is such to enable new plants to take over when the current ones are finished.  (Actually I'd quite like to live there as it was definitely my sort of garden, and the cake was rather good too!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bursting Into Life

Despite the cold spring my garden has been bursting into life over the last week or so. The colours are vibrant and despite the lack of rain in this area the plants still look lush. 

Patty's Plum is one of my favourite oriental poppies and I love how a self sown euphorbia is nestling next to it, a perfect colour combination by pure chance!

The roses are just starting to open, this one is Lady Emma Hamilton and has a delicious fruity scent.

Even the plants in the densely shaded bed are doing well.  Lots more self sowns here, all the aquilegias have arrived by themselves, as has the purple heuchera peeping through them.  I generally leave self sowns, especially in areas like this that are difficult to find plants for.

More Patty's Plum dot their way through this bed on the way down to the pond.

 And in the greenhouse the tomatoes are doing very well., some even have a few flower trusses on!

Cup of tea anyone?