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Last year the smoke bush failed to flower so no smoke. This year however it’s making up for this. After our first rain in quite a few weeks the smoke bush is looking lovely, lots of rain drops clinging precariously. Would have been nice to have a little sunshine to make them glisten.

I’m not complaining though,we really do need more rain.

#rain #cotinus coggygria #dark foliage


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I’m back

Well it’s been a long time but I’ve managed to get my blog on my phone. This will be easier as I don’t download any pictures to my computer now. So here goes.

Yesterday we had a lovely trip to Calke Abbey, our first proper trip for months. The weather was great and the walled garden was stunning as usual. We ventured out on a good long walk around grounds and through the woods. After a trying couple of years this was just what we needed. I’m really looking forward to starting up my blog again and taking you around my garden again..thanks for joining me. Until the next time. Sue


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It’s Been a While

It seems ages since I did a post, the weeks have flown by. The garden has now shifted into summer mode and it seems like everything is growing at twice it’s normal pace.

The new arch is up and running and my much photographed Wisteria is filling the larger space nicely. I lost a couple of Clematis from here but that means there’s now room for new ones.

We got up to a beautiful morning yesterday ( Sunday ) after having a small amount of very much needed rain during the night. We desperately need more…. ***

There’s loads to see here, but it’s always difficult to convey in pictures my view of it. Three peony have been and gone ‘Molly the Witch’, P’ Lutea and P’ Cambessedesii. Five different perennial wallflowers are flowering their socks off and the delphiniums are already head high. All the roses are responding well and saying thank you to all the TLC I gave them during the autumn and early spring. Baby blackbirds have flown the nest, running after their worn out parents begging for food, but the villain of a magpie is lurking about. I’ve already seen it pulling something apart in the tree, possibly a fledgling…..

Still seeing evidence of a hedgehog but only a fleeting sighting earlier in the year. Have a cheeky  field mouse again, pinching bird food.

All in all it’s a great time of year. Let’s hope the next few months give us as much pleasure….plus a lot more rain…..

***  Monday…They always say be careful what you wish for, well we have just had a good down pour and there’s much more to come this week….. I am grateful but it probably means working in the greenhouse.


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Hot and Cool

Now I know I should be happy that we have got rid of the early soggy summer but a gentle gradual ease into this hot spell would have suited me better. With temperatures soaring into the 30s this week it’s been nigh on impossible to enjoy either working or sitting in the garden.

This morning, early, I had a wander round while the trees were still giving me some respite. I managed to take some pictures that hopefully do a little justice to the plants that are managing to cope with the heat.

Here in my White Garden the plants are starting to fill out. Now the garden is filled with the perfume of Primula Florindae and because of the surrounding trees some plants are reaching skyward, the Verbena bonariensis for instance is at least 2mts tall and still growing. The Dicentra I’ve had for years, grown from seed it can reach 3 to 4 mts in a season, it gets cut down by frost only to emerge again the following spring. All the Thalictrums have done really well this year, as we have also seen in other gardens too. It’s taken me along time to become happy with this area, as you know you win some and you lose some, so trying to concentrate on those that do survive and not be too ambitious I think  may be happier with it next year …we’ll see.

Around the seating circle I have my ‘Hot Beds’, badly named when it’s so warm. Here I have grown lots of tall perennials, surrounding the area making it a little more secluded. The tall C’ Lucifer makes a great backdrop for all the various coloured foliage here, which includes Canna ‘Cleopatra’ sporting black and green striped leaves, the round jagged foliage of Ligularia hiding their red undersides. The Lychnis this year making a spectacular show, L’ Cognata looks illuminated amongst the leaves of a golden form of our native meadow sweet,Filipendula ulmaria and L’ Lipstick has the biggest flowers I’ve seen on a Lychnis. This space has lots more to come, planted for all year colour as we sit out here as often as possible even on mild days in winter.

With the school holidays upon us we will be spending one day a week entertaining our g/daughters, this should include trips out to parks and gardens along side visits to Grampsie’s allotment to pick the abundant produce he has been growing. This also includes climbing the apple tree to check if the apples are ripe. Then hopefully going home with a bag full of fresh produce……Happy holidays …Sue


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White is Cool

Some of you may know that I have quite a liking for white flowers. This being the case a good number of years ago, 25 to be precise, I started to gather together lots of interesting white flowering and variegated plants. These were dotted around the garden and then got lost in the mayhem. So we turned an area behind the greenhouse into what has now become my sort of white, blue and yellow garden.

I have read over the years lots of books on white gardens and visited several, including Sissinghurst. I soon realised that you cannot have a white garden featuring all white flowers, this ends up looking too washed out and lacking interest. So with this in mind I have tried to bring together plants with this limited three colour palette. It’s very hard to be strict here as not only do you have to think about the colour, but the seasons also play a big part in here, for instance, I have Rosa Glauca here and I know it has pink flowers , and I tell myself, they are on the blue spectrum, but it’s the foliage I love. In any case during the autumn months when I am slowing down in the garden the birds can have the hips. Back to keeping the faith I also love plants that grow in more moist conditions, so I have dug out and lined the middle of this area so as to accommodate lots of primula alpicola, florindae and denticulata, along side specie thalictrum via Plant World and Elizabeth Macgregor plants, eucomis and spring specials like actea, iris and polygonatum verticillatum. Viola cornuta in it’s white and blue shades cover some of the edges along side geranium kashmir white and phlox may breeze.

It’s a very challenging area being quite small, getting all the morning sun and again in the late afternoon, positioning delicates takes patience. I would say that this area and my ponds and rill are my most challenging and I call them my life’s work…

The following pictures are from this area.

Top left is an unknown Gentianella I have grown from seed collected by Ray Brown at Plant World Seed on his 2014 Nepal Expedition, the flowers of Actea pachypoda or dolls eyes, white Galega, Dierama Guinivere, a seed grown turks cap lily, Phlox May Breeze, Rosa Banksiae and the lovely buds of Thalictrum delavayi purple stem form.

I hope that I may have helped to encourage you to try a limited palette area in your garden, it’s challenging, but isn’t that what gardening is all about.

By the way I am going to Sissinghurst and Great Dixter this month can’t wait…. Sue


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