Four Garden Plans

A few notes to remind me…

Sweet Peas

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Sweet peas from last year

I’ve just got rid of a container of everlasting sweet peas; they haven’t done very well at all this year. Whether this is because of all the rain we had a few weeks ago, or whether the plant has just run out of steam, I’m not sure. In any case, I’ve decided to replace it with a winter-flowering honeysuckle, which can now (I hope) start to flourish and climb the shed wall. However, I am hoping to grow some sweet peas from seed next year. Here’s a picture I took at the weekend when I visited a flower show; with any luck it will inspire me!

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Beautiful and delicate: sweet peas

 

Nerines (Guernsey Lilies)

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Nerine bowdenii, Oxford, December

As I mentioned in my post ‘Now Wait’, I planted a Nerine bulb in May. The picture above, of a Nerine bowdenii,  was taken in December 2015, in the wonderful University of Oxford Botanic Garden. The colour! Even though these plants were clearly coming towards the end of flowering, I found them beautiful and inspirational, so I thought I’d try one bulb in my garden to see how it went. Unfortunately, I think that very area has been trampled somewhat by someone cutting a hedge. It’s just a case of waiting and hoping now; they’re supposed to flower in autumn so you never know! I’m definitely going to try again next year, though, and make sure everyone knows where not to stand.

 

Red Tulips

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Snapped outside a bakery!

In spring, I kept noticing red tulips in so many local gardens; they provided a bold splash of colour and a change from all that (wonderful) yellow. Had I just not been looking before, or have they grown more popular? I don’t believe I’m easily swayed by fashion in gardens, but I thought they looked incredibly bold and cheerful, so – I’m in!

Lupins

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Lupin leaf

Lupins always seem to me to be such old fashioned flowers. I remember seeing them in my grandmother’s garden years ago. That’s probably where I found out what they were called, come to think of it. Anyway, I’ve loved them ever since. They look impressive in borders, with their spires of clustered flowers; the leaves are interesting too, particularly when they cradle water droplets, like pearls, in their centres. Definitely some lupins next year then.

So, I’m hoping this post will remind me to make the garden a more beautiful place next year. If anyone has any advice about when I need to buy or plant any of the above, I’d love to hear from you!

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Oh, yes, the camera problem. I’ll need to return my Tamron lens for repair, but I do have another lens which will do the job in the meantime. So not as bad as I’d feared!

Aspire

Twelve days ago, in my post ‘Into the Light’, I asked myself what I would achieve in the coming week and the rest of my holiday. So, although it might not sound like much so far…

  • I’ve made time to catch up with some old friends.
  • I’ve visited one of my favourite places: Ely Cathedral.
  • I’ve made a significant start on getting rid of the mountain of clutter in my house.
  • I’ve started to plan a writing project. (Excited but nervous about this one.)
  • I’ve done quite a lot of reading.

There’s much more to do, though, so here is a picture to encourage me to aim higher!

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Progress

 

I thought it looked like a good year for apple blossom. And then, to confirm my suspicions, this happened!

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It might not sound like much, but there are nine small apples on the (container-grown) apple tree this year. Eight more than last year. Definitely progress!

Peace?

Last summer, a new neighbour gave us some (very useful) old plant pots and a gnarled piece of wood. Rejects from the previous owner’s regime. Turned out the wood had roots, and was the base of an ancient rose bush. Would it grow? Would it flower? Although it looked most unpromising, we planted it in a large container and forgot about it over the winter.

Until this week, it looked doomed, the only signs of life being a few weedy stems bearing somewhat spotty leaves and equally unappealing buds. Then the first flower appeared. Followed by the second. Different colours. And inevitably, a third, a different colour again! What was going on?

Obviously I don’t know much about this. I tried to dredge up any faint memories or scraps of knowledge about grafting or scions or rootstock. Nothing took shape. Then, one of those strange internet coincidences: I saw a picture of a rose called Chicago Peace, which had flowers of different colours! When I checked it out, I found that, in fact, Chicago Peace looks more orange or pink than this one, which is predominantly yellow. So, I think it’s probably a variety called, simply, Peace. Which I like, because I can remember my father mentioning that one when I was a child. It’s also known as Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’.

Of course, I could be wrong, and would love to know if anyone can positively identify it!

Here are links to some information about Peace:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Peace

http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/rosa-peace-madame-a-meilland/classid.1240/