Monthly Archives: October 2011

The rear associated with Hellebores

I was clambering around the border this weekend trying to take photographs of Hellebore flowers.  As is repeatedly bemoaned in garden magazines and blogs it is considered that the biggest fault with Hellebores is that the flowers droop down and so it is difficult to see the inside of the flowers.  However, it occurred to me when looking closely at the flowers that maybe in our pursuit to see inside the flowers we are overlooking something – the back of the flowers. We are so used to florists, artists, photographers and indeed the plants themselves presenting flowers to us so we can see the intricacy of the carpel and the colouring which is intended to attract insects but what about the rest of the flower?

I think these photos  show that the back of the flowers are incredibly beautiful as well.  I love the detail of the veining and the way the centre of the flower has a green tinge.  I also like the droopy nature of the flowers and the way that the flower buds are so much darker than the open flowers.

All these photos are of the same plant and they show how the colour develops and lightens as the flower matures.

So maybe instead of fixating on the ‘front’ of our flowers we should consider look at them from other angles.

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The Victims of the Winter

My personal programs with regard to these days had been thwarted once again through the rainfall therefore not a way We would obtain something carried out in the allotment. Rather We ‘pottered’ within the backyard basing personally close to the green house and so i might plunge within once the heavens opened up. This particular designed We had been about the outdoor patio as well as We couldn’t steer clear of the containers associated with squished vegetation anymore.

Unfortunately another severe winter season inside a strip offers place compensated in order to my personal Furcraea. We can’t keep in mind exactly where I purchased this particular however Personally i think this was in the Eden Task whenever we proceeded to go shortly following this experienced opened up. I am certain I’ve experienced because regarding 2001. To begin with once the grow had been little I’d take it within every winter season as well as maintain this within the surrounded patio from the aged home. The actual grow obtained larger as well as larger – not really developing higher however obtaining heavier as well as broader. This reached a place a couple of years back again exactly where it had been therefore large We battled to maneuver this therefore i risked this outdoors more than winter season. It had been good till this past year whenever a few of the external simply leaves had been broken through the snowfall which protected this however it do appear to improve. Nicely this particular winter season offers place compensated into it as well as my personal considered to proceed this inside most likely arrived too past due. As possible view it offers considered mush and also the odor is actually terrible. This required 2 people in regards to a one fourth of the hr in order to guy manage this from it’s container.

As possible observe my personal Phormium isn’t searching as well great possibly. It was grown upward within the part edge as well as had been performing peaceful nicely. This didn’t appear to be impacted an excessive amount of through the snowfall however it was rapidly then a few cold powerful wind gusts that squashed the actual grow. After i looked over this carefully the actual simply leaves had been curved to the stage to be damaged. I’ve reduce the actual grow back again so that as I’m unsure in the event that it’ll recuperate as well as I’ve an additional arrange for the actual edge We potted this upward. You can observe the actual change should you consider the picture belowI also have dropped a little Pittosporum as well as my personal Ceanothus is actually searching just a little i’m sorry with regard to by itself. My personal Eucomis vegetation possess just about all rotted aside despite the fact that the actual containers had been positioned on their own aspect as well as from the floor.

Another grow I’m truly worried about as well as ‘m prepared to end up being OKAY had been the buy final summer time through Swine Field Baby’s room. I really like my personal Ozothamnus as well as grown this upward inside a big container through the door. After i examined upon it’s pain this appeared to be much like Grevillia as well as my own is actually thriving within the entrance backyard and so i believed it might be OKAY. However as possible view it is actually searching wane as well as sagging! Fingertips entered. Actually my personal Rosemary has had the battering and also the finishes from the originates are burned.

On the other hand from the door is really a dwarf Bamboo bedding. We do not know which it’s when i have experienced this a while however once again it’s used the battering this particular winter season as well as I actually do think it had been the actual severe chilly blowing wind we’d from 1 stage. Nevertheless, I believe it will likely be OKAY as possible simply observe a few indicators associated with clean development.

I’ve couple of sensitive vegetation remaining right now as well as I’ve arrived at the final outcome which i will most likely not really make use of all of them later on. There’s first of all the problem associated with room as well as someplace in order to shop all of them within the winter season and also the trouble associated with searching all of them upward as well as shifting all of them that isn’t simple once they obtain large. Or even a person depart all of them within the floor as well as be worried about the actual vegetation. Personally i think personally shifting much more in the direction of the milder method of horticulture, perhaps sluggish horticulture exactly where much less work is perfect for a great outcome. In addition We don’t believe the actual exotics truly attract me personally. I believe I’ve purchased a few simply because they’ve been marketed through press as well as simply because We observe additional bloggers’ fab landscapes. However We locate them difficult to put within the backyard as well as I really think that a person possibly proceed unique or even a person don’t, presently there isn’t the fifty percent method home. My personal flavor happens to be I guess old-fashioned: I love herbaceous perennials as well as I’m especially fascinated through grasses – this simply seems correct as well as in-born that the much more broad-leaved exotics in no way do.

And so i ‘m kind of to thank Nature with regard to pressing me personally within the path that is much better personally.

The Back of Hellebores

I was clambering around the border this weekend trying to take photographs of Hellebore flowers.  As is repeatedly bemoaned in garden magazines and blogs it is considered that the biggest fault with Hellebores is that the flowers droop down and so it is difficult to see the inside of the flowers.  However, it occurred to me when looking closely at the flowers that maybe in our pursuit to see inside the flowers we are overlooking something – the back of the flowers. We are so used to florists, artists, photographers and indeed the plants themselves presenting flowers to us so we can see the intricacy of the carpel and the colouring which is intended to attract insects but what about the rest of the flower?

I think these photos  show that the back of the flowers are incredibly beautiful as well.  I love the detail of the veining and the way the centre of the flower has a green tinge.  I also like the droopy nature of the flowers and the way that the flower buds are so much darker than the open flowers.

All these photos are of the same plant and they show how the colour develops and lightens as the flower matures.

So maybe instead of fixating on the ‘front’ of our flowers we should consider look at them from other angles.

Designing with Grasses

I’ve been progressively thinking about utilizing grasses within the backyard however happen to be somewhat anxious because they tend to be a good unfamiliar moderate personally as well as I’ve observed numerous terribly grown lawn borders/gardens then when Creating along with Grasses through Neil Lucas plopped with the letterbox We had been happy.

Neil has Knoll Landscapes baby’s room within Dorset and it is the well-respected decorative lawn professional also it exhibits through their guide. It’s used me personally a long time to see this particular guide since it isn’t 1 a person may wish to gloss over provided the quantity of info it has. There’s barely the squandered phrase. I’ve needed to go within phases when i required time for you to absorb all of the brand new info as well as suggestions I’ve received.

The actual guide starts along with Lucas explaining exactly how he or she found the entire idea of developing the best grow within the correct location getting didn’t maintain rhododendrons developing about the exotic dirt from their Dorset baby’s room! He’s certainly already been upon a significant trip and today thinks seriously that we now have much more environment as well as environmentally friendly methods to backyard especially by using exactly what he or she phone calls ‘functional horticulture’: rainfall landscapes, roofing landscapes, indigenous vegetation and so on. Particularly the repeating phone in order to hands with the guide is actually have to evaluation the utilization of trimmed as well as manicured grass that are source rigorous as well as within Lucas’s look at the “green desert”. He or she states which “many poor grass most likely remain these days due to the fact their own proprietors are not aware the choice options. ” The actual guide grows on this particular idea requesting visitors to think about decreasing otherwise getting rid of their own grass towards some thing much more fascinating, much more eco-friendly as well as follow the actual grassland theory exactly where grasses consist of 20-80% associated with vegetation inside a personal backyard. I’ve been totally fascinated through this particular concept as well as maintain taking a look at my personal exhausted weedy mossy reason of the yard as well as asking yourself exactly what the actual backyard will be such as basically simply dug this upward. I’ve the sloping backyard therefore mowing and trimming it’s effort an additional cause to express ‘Bye l8rs lawn’.

However the guide doesn’t simply concentrate on changing the actual yard along with grasses this discusses a number of various routines as well as talks about exactly what grasses, or even their own close to family members works. We had been very happy to observe dried out tone as well as boggy floor protected (in addition to drought circumstances as well as container developing) when i have a problem with each during my backyard as well as indeed you will find grasses that could get the job done and much more significantly grasses which i such as the appear associated with and may observe employed in individuals hard areas.

The actual guide is actually filled with pictures in order to demonstrate the actual factors Lucas can make. I believe they’re mainly through areas in america however the reason being they’ve the actual prairies as well as make use of grasses on the large-scale within city and county growing a lot more than all of us perform right here in the united kingdom. You will find UNITED KINGDOM good examples as well as Lucas’s personal backyard from Knoll, in addition to Beth Chatto’s backyard have a great deal. He’s additionally excellent from detailing which although the grow might prosper inside a moist atmosphere within Ca state, exactly the same grow wouldn’t achieve this nicely inside a moist atmosphere in the united kingdom.

Getting already been totally influenced to create much more grasses in to my personal backyard with plenty of suggestions associated with exactly how to get this done We had been very happy to visit a area close to the back again upon sustaining the actual vegetation. I’ve currently learned which Stipas don’t like to become raised to become split as well as you need to noticed away a little within situ – with no this isn’t that simple I will guarantee a person. There’s a listing associated with grasses that is intriguing since the prosperity associated with vegetation obtainable is actually mind-blowing.

Lucas’s viewpoint accords perfectly having a way of thinking I’ve been gradually building. I’ve stated prior to We don’t such as the custom associated with trimmed hedges as well as parterres as well as choose winter season curiosity through start barking as well as grasses. Because Lucas states “the lithe, bending nearly constant movement as well as rustling sounds…. is really a perfect feature from the lawn loved ones. ” Provide me personally which any kind of day time within the stiffness as well as solemnity associated with trimmed container as well as yew.

I possibly could continue permanently along with every thing I’ve discovered out of this guide and also the suggestions it’s motivated but rather I’d desire a person if you’re just partially thinking about utilizing grasses inside your backyard to possess a study associated with Lucas’s guide – We don’t believe you’ll be let down.

Oh no not a white garden!

I have noticed a worrying trend in my garden and I think I need to take some remedial action sooner rather than later before people start calling me Vita!

The problem is that the amount of white or very pale flowers is increasing out of all proportion to any other colour  and I hadn’t even realised.  Just looking through my seed packets bought for this year there is: White Cleome, White Corncockle, White Antirrhinum, White Honesty, White Foxgloves.  The narcissus I have planted this year are the very pale ones and even the Camassias planted in the Autumn were white!

Why am I so perplexed by this? After all many people purposefully have white gardens.  Well, I am naturally someone attracted to bright colours.  I frequently wear reds, purples and I love the rich colours of late summer: the purples of  Dahlias, coppers of Rudbeckias and the red of Lobelia Cardinalis.  Luckily I have found some Rudbeckia seeds and also some pinky Cosmos seeds (oh but look at that I also have white Cosmos seeds!) so hopefully these will offset the purity and paleness and there are many colourful plants in the garden.

I think part of the problem is that I haven’t quite got the idea of seeing the garden as a whole sorted.  I come up with plant combinations, often from a magazine or from a garden visited and make a note which I then pick up on in the winter when I am seed ordering.  Many of the seeds listed above have been bought with a specific location identified so  it won’t be a case of trying to find them homes- well most of them have!  I need to learn to see how one area links to another so it doesn’t become predominated with one look or one colour or tone of colours.

Having written this post and thought about it I am reminded of a post that VP wrote on the BBC blog about colours in the garden.  She mentions that her summer bedding last year was mainly light colours or white and she suspects that this is because she needed some coolness from the heat of the summer.  I think that my inclination towards white is due to a need for calmness in my life during winter when I was ordering the seeds.  I know I was pretty stressed and unhappy around then and I wonder if when choosing colours  of say the antirrhinum that white sounded so much more calming than red!!

Many years ago I saw a homeopathic practitioner and one of the techniques she used was colour therapy.  Depending on the combination of colours you selected she was able to identify the part of you that needed healing.  I can’t remember how this worked but I do wonder what a predilection for white would signify.  It really is an interesting subject which I  think I might investigate further.

Tulips are going up

The Tulips have been flowering in my garden for at least a week now and seem to be a good couple of weeks earlier than last year but then so is everything else.

Every year I buy bulbs of a couple of different  varieties for the pots which go on the patio or by the front door.  I used to throw the bulbs after flowering but it seemed a terrible waste to me so about 4 years ago I started to plant the bulbs out in the border on the basis that they might do Ok but if they didn’t – well nothing was lost.  As my soil has quite a bit of clay in it I was worried that the bulbs would rot over winter so the first year when I was planting out the Princess Irene bulbs I was careful to put little piles of gravel at the bottom of each planting hole!!  As you can see in the photo above four years on the tulips are bulking up and doing well.  I have noticed that the stems are generally shorter when the tulips are planted out in the borders than in pots.

I know a lot of people who throw their bulbs each year as they say they don’t do as well in the second year.  I have to disagree mine do very well – yes some of the flowers may be a little smaller but I don’t think that matters at all.  Plus slowly but surely my garden is filling with tulips and my spring display is getting better and better.  It has now reached the point where the tulips I choose for the pots is influenced by what colours I want to add to the border the year after.

As well as colours I will be thinking about leaf size for next year and looking carefully at tulips I see in borders to see what sort of leaves they have.  Why – well one of the tips I got at the garden school last week was that if you are going to plant tulips out in your garden then it is better to have tulips with small or narrow leaves so they don’t smother the perennials you are planting around.  Apparently at Dixter they, like me, plant tulips up in pots to assess them and see what they are like and then decide where to plant them out the following year.  Maybe the bulb sellers need to start thinking about describing/showing more than just the flowers?

I think next year I might add some more blowsy  tulips like the Angelique above.  I think they make a nice contrast to the tighter flowers.  I have also noticed that I have a lot of burgandies, although they are all slightly different so I need to come.

Next autumn I will be adding Ronaldo (another burgundyish tulip) and Abu Hassan to the mix and Cairo (but this isn’t flowering yet so no pic).  Abu Hassan will need careful placing I think.  Though if Narcissus Cheerfulness is as late as this year it might help to counter the gaudiness!!!

The only problem I have encountered with growing tulips in the borders is the occasional case of tulip breaking virus which I wrote about last year .  Last year I had to dig up a few of my burgundy fringed tulips and bin the bulbs to try and prevent the virus spreading.  However, I have noticed when taking these photos that one of my Princess Irene’s has developed the virus  (see left) which is a pity since these bulbs have been in the longest.  Sadly I will have to dig up this bulb and bin it.

I will continue to add more tulips each year to the borders, in fact I think I prefer them in the borders to being in pots.   But I am also starting to add other bulbs such as Camassias as these are a nice vertical contrast to the tulips and work well with grasses which are creeping into the garden more and more.

Flowers to Commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During this time, people all around the country recognize the brave men and women who fight this deadly disease by raising money for research and to ease the burden of expenses that come with care and support systems to help patients and their families.

There are a number of initiatives that support breast cancer research, and buying pink flowers could be a fabulous gesture. As an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds from these flowers will go to help Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This foundation has invested nearly $2 billion into breast cancer initiatives since its inception in 1982. So order a floral arrangement for your mom, a bouquet for your sweetheart and keep a few of these ideas in mind this month.

1. Lilies. There are few flowers with the aesthetic brilliance of lilies, and they are a sight to behold as they go through their life cycle. Pink lilies are a fabulous way to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Additionally, they can provide an instant boost to your recipient’s interior design or be used to decorate her office and instantly become the envy of her co-workers.

2. A preserved wreath. While many people are breaking out their autumn decorations, you can make a statement with your indoor or outdoor accents by purchasing a pink ribbon preserved wreath for your home. This jaw-dropping wreath is perked up with a number of colorful flowers to show your support for the brave people that are fighting breast cancer. Best of all, these wreaths can be used year after year, so you can spread awareness every time October rolls around.

3. Orchids. Whether you’re sending this divine flower to your sweetie or as a surprise for your mother, these exotic flowers are fabulous accents that are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face. While they do require a bit of tender loving care to ensure that they stay healthy and continue to bloom, that hard work will pay off every time this potted plant blooms and reaches its full potential.

Before October comes and goes, make sure that you do your part for the many people whose lives have been altered by this deadly disease – and don’t stop there. Anything you can do in your own community to help patients and their families get through this process will be appreciated in more ways than you’ll ever know.