Do you have a favourite plant combination?
Viburnum davidii with hakonechloa macra aurea is a handsome combination - apart from cutting back the grass in late winter, needs no maintenance at all. I have it by the front door.
Do you have a favourite plant combination?
Blissfully unaffected by Covid, the greenhouse is a place to feel normal, and as part of my staying sane plan in this Covid-Crazy world, I am spending as much time doing things which feel normal as I can!
A good place to be if you are lucky enough to have one, and perhaps house plants or a window box, or helping someone on their allotment could provide this welcome normality for you if you don't have a garden?
The white gypsophila 'Covent Garden' were sown very late June to go with the sweet peas (which never materialised!) but five small pots of them prettied up the greenhouse, and made a nice addition to posies. I will do this again next year. The yellow rattle is parasitic on grasses, moderating their growth and allowing the wild flowers a better chance - worth a try.
Sitting contemplating the meadow in July it occurred to me that the blue of a few cornflowers in among this cat's-ear would be stunning. I've sown them in a tray and will prick them out into plug trays and let them overwinter in the greenhouse. Hope springs eternal! Gardeners are optimists.
A late little sprinkling of summer..
..if you grow this!
The scent is heavenly but the leaves of the heliotrope have given me fingers which burn. I've had an allergic reaction - my index fingers and thumbs, and my nose cheeks and forehead where I have touched them are bright red and painful. Gloves are a must now when I am handling this plant!
Has anyone else been Kondoing? This week is books. I have an awful lot of books. I love my books, but I can't read so well as I used to.....
The thing is they might come up with a cure for my eye condition! (AMD). So I think I must ask of each book If I could see again clearly would you still spark joy?
Letting the grass grow ha saved me hours of work over several months, and I have loved the wilder look, but meadows do need managed and it's time to cut them now.
Mouse nests and little mouse routes are revealed after the first cut (with hedge trimmer - I can't manage the strimmer). If the little creatures only had the sense to stay outside!
It's really important to remove all the cuttings - you get more wild flowers if you keep the fertiltiy low...Good ecercise!
..that there are buds on the sweet peas?
My three big black pots are usually planted with lush and fulsome bedding plants, but the usual choice was not available this year and I have filled them with lobelia from the supermarket, and all the straggly little seedlings I managed to raise! A few cornflowers, poppies which were in an envelope marked Dark Plum (they are red), dill, gypsophila which must still be hidden in the middle and my feeble sweet peas.
The effect is quite ethereal and pretty and if the sweet peas flower I will be very happy with it.
It quite suits the wilder look of the rest of the garden.
Have finished Kondoing my wardrobe! There is a surprising abount of stuff to part with...
Do you have a favourite tray? Why not set it with your best dishes and a pretty flower and send a photo of it to a friend with an invitation to join you ? Ideally in person but even if it's WhatsApp or Zoom, or Facetime..
I just did and she said yes! Not face to face this time, but soon....
Making a Beeline - an interesting wildflower/wildlife article today.
I don't grow nearly as many plants from seed as I once did and decided to partly re-purpose the 6' x 8' space into a 'sitooterie' - a wee place to sit out in.
I had to make do with what I could find....
Jasmine (£5 from the supermarket) Also from the supermarket lemon balm, trailing lobelia, scarlet gerainiums and pinks.
From seed I have gypsophila, dill and night scented stock. I had such pathetic germination from all of these usually easy seeds that they were not worth putting in the garden but I potted them up individually and grew them on, and they have really prettied up the greenhouse. One little nicotiana seedling appeared from somewhere and I gave it a pot to itself too.
Plants were difficult to get online with long waiting times for delivery, but by ordering a special selection from Fibrex Nurseries I got five scented leafed geraniums quite quickly (good service, good price and great plants). I had now realised that scent was the thing to go for.
I ordered the heliotrope from Srah Raven at the same time as the sweet peas and although they have only just come they are good plants and fill the air with scent already.
Nothing rare or difficult or expensive but all sparking joy!
..and through the roof. My garden goes everywhere!
The quaking grass loves the gravel under the table, where it seems a bit wasted so I crawled under there to pick some for a vase where I can appreciate it more..
And I need stepladders and long handled shears to stop the golden hop going, literally, through the roof. You can see I missed it last year....Can't reach those bits that got away!
The germination of my sweet peas was so poor this year that I splashed out on some expensive seedlings from Sarah Raven (I justify extravagances lately with 'Well I'm not spending on aything else these days!'
The stonking plants (a Sarah word!) were well worth the money with fabulous root systems. The foliage had yellowed a little in transit but that will sort itself out.
They are Windsor, very dark, and Prince Edward of York, a brilliant pink.
I had gone to the trouble of repainting the red canes, so I had to have something to grow up the wigwam and I hope these will look spectacular before too long. I had to shade them from the hot sun when I planted them yesterday..
I had to shade myself as well and the garden fork made an easily moved stand for the umbrella.
In my early morning walk around the garden I try to look for what's new and beautiful..
Being joined by Jennie was new and beautiful in itself and made me very happy all day! She spotted the fritillary on the fox and cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca).
And there are two new orchids, very pale, almost white.
And more heath bedstraw (galium saxatile) than ever before, like fairy dust sprinkled on the grass.
Well not a toy exactly...I bought a cord free, lightweight (a relative term!) hedgetrimmer which I can use five minutes at a time. I call it a toy because I like playing with clear cut shapes against the wilder parts of the garden - getting the right balance, getting good shapes..it absorbed me - in five minute stretches - all day today. It's a bit like drawing with a giant pencil! And quite hard work - long hot soak required now.
Nearly got a perfect circle
but only from the front..
Am loving your reading suggestions - do keep them coming!
Here are a couple of my own: The Summer Book and The Winter Book by Tove Jansson and Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie - in fact anything by these two authors whose writings I can read over and over again.
..all over again, with my garden!
From the start (see here) it was a labour of love, but it's also a gift from nature and has taken on a life of its own..
Two orchids appeared in a patch where they have not been before, in among the speedwells
Likewise in the front garden mini-meadow, only one so far...
It's the gift that keeps on giving and it's what gets me out of bed in the mornings. Devoting all my attention to it, giving it the tender loving care it has been missing , has made it a magic place for me once again.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)