Tag Archives: Wisteria

Wow…. Garden Open Weekend 2015

Wow. What a weekend, it has been truly amazing. When we got up on Saturday morning it was already raining hard and had been all night, the garden looked sad, the wisteria had a limb practically lying on the ground and plants were also prostrate. Urgent attention was needed and quick. With the wisteria propped up temporarily, wet plants lifted out of legs way, we thought, know one in their right mind is going to turn up in this. How wrong we were…


The poor Wisteria after it’s propping up.

Our first visitors were Cathy and Mr Golfer from Rambling in the Garden, I thank them for coming all the way to see us in the pouring rain. Armed with hot coffee we had a wet walk around the garden and a catch up. Thinking this was going to be a slow day Mr Malc and I had our lunch and then, the visitors kept on coming. Wet and bedraggled these stalwarts trotted round the garden, asked questions, hopefully got the right answers and bought plants. Around 60 people came on Saturday. One couple, admittedly they were visiting family locally, came all the way from up state New York, I hope they weren’t too disappointed what with the weather. They did give me some nice feedback. Loving the roses and the perfume in the garden.


Nice couple from up state New York and a family member.


Still Saturday in the rain…

Sunday morning no rain and a bit brighter. Decided to put the bunting out and more signs etc, thinking this would be the better day. We got a bit worried for the first hour as only our friends arrived and some of our family. Then suddenly, that was it, the starting gate was open…..


Me in the middle with my back to you, chatting to Anne another blog follower who is creating a new garden from scratch…..


Such nice people…

For the next four hours we were full to capacity, there were folk every where, plants were rolling of the shelves and bags were filled. I was giving advise on anything from pruning wisteria to ‘how do you make your wire birds’ the questions kept coming and I was in my element.

We had some lovely visitors from whole families keen to know where to start with their plot to really knowledgeable folk whom I learned a lot from. I thank them all for coming, especially all those followers, be you Facebook or my blog followers, who all came to make this weekend truly great. We counted up and we had around 200 people through the gates on Saturday.  Thank you…

Some of the comments and questions I got …

‘I’ve never seen so many different bees in a garden’….

‘Where did you start’…

‘Who inspired you’…

‘ How long did it take the wisteria to flower’

‘What was it like when you came here’

‘Have you got any more Viola Cornuta ‘… no but just come with me and I will dig one up for you…

Thank you to every one for making what could have ended up being a very disappointing weekend, turn into a really happy friendly one….

So this evening we, the owners of the gardens that opened, will all meet up and go round each others gardens. This will be interesting as there are some new ones this year. It could be a long evening, but there are drinks at the end of it to make it all worth while. I will post again soon when I know the total raised this year for various charities….



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Cannot see the wood for the trees.

And yet another VERY rainy day, no gardening just a very wet walk round. So here is a view from my bedroom window, now showing only 3/4s of the garden as everything has gone berserk. We seem to have a huge overlap of plants in the garden, still have tulips and bluebells (the horrid Spanish type I’m afraid ) and now have roses and wisteria. Altogether a very confusing mix.


Still there is not a lot of bare soil around the plants so hopefully not too many weeds.

On a different note, a couple of folk couldn’t understand how my plant supports work. Simple really, place in amongst the plant and twist.


 This gathers up all the wayward stems.


I really like the rusty finish, blends in quite well.

Let’s hope tomorrow is a little kinder as I have some friends coming to see the garden….they may need their wellies…but we can always retreat to the conservatory for tea/coffee and cake…….




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Calke Auricula Theatre.

It was a lovely morning so we decided to take a drive to Calke Abbey to see the Auricula Theatre. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact a very nice guide, Tony Wood, took us behind the scenes of the the estate. We were taken into the new greenhouse that has been built to house the auricula during the winter months. In here there are the auricula and lots of canna and dahlia waiting in the wings.


All the auricula were in alphabetical order. The plants in the theatre don’t have labels for aesthetic reasons.




The blue of the shelves is ‘Calke Abbey Blue’. Fragments of it can be found on the walls in one or two of the gardeners bothys.


Another passion the Pelargonium.



Old brick walls covered in wisteria.


  Barrels of comfrey tea. Ideal as a feed or sprayed on the foliage.


A really good pale Akebia Quinata.


Cowslips in the grounds around Calke.



I hope you are inspired to go and have a look at the auricula, but be quick as the warm weather is bringing them on faster than normal. But for me Calke grounds and garden are never a disappointment. Rain or shine.



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A Bountiful Spring Garden.

It’s a damp and drizzly morning, and looking out of the window wondering if I am going to get out there this morning.


Stout shoes and my fleece and I chance it. It is amazing how in just a couple of weeks the whole garden has now taken on that healthy, lush green appearance.


                                   Looking out of my shed.

     It’s hard to believe that a few weeks ago I was having my yearly spring panic, just how am I going to get this lot weeded and tidied.

     The daffodils have now taken over from the snowdrops and crocus and the roses are showing tiny little embryo buds.

      For Gill at  Gardening At The Edge. In front is my medlar, now about 20 years old, stunning when in flower. Rosa Seagull grows through it.


             View from under the wisteria arch. The box topiary, and there are many, will need a first haircut soon.

             The cane hoops on the right are protecting the ponds from the heron, once the planting has grown the hoops are removed.

              I don’t like rearing fish for the heron ‘s dinner.


                                            Turning to go under the arch.

                      Through the arch and I have an area that has always been the most challenging. Getting full sun, so everything in here grows like mad. Sometimes my perennials have 3 ‘Chelsea chops’ in a season. This year however Mr Malc has dug some of it over and removed some of the more exuberant growers, giving me more room for something a little more choice.


                  Looking back at the house from the challenging area.

             Also living in this area are the play house and another auricula ladder and the new shelves. At the very back of these borders I have this year dug out a long strip to grow sweet peas. The greenhouse is just hidden to the right of the shelves.


                           The White Garden.

                          Or part of it. This is a very small area, behind the greenhouse, gated off with 2 reclaimed gates. This makes for a lovely secret garden that the granddaughters love. I plant only white /yellow and blue, but as you can see the pulmonaria has seeded. This needs replacing with Pulmonaria Sissinghurst.


                            Fritillaria Imperiarlis.

                                   And to finish a bit of sunshine…….


                                    Tulips bought off local market last autumn.

                              …….I hope I’ve managed to brighten you day just a little……









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