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More Spring to Summer flowers


At least the lockdown has given my garden a decent weed, in most places anyway, there are still quite a few to go which have thistles and nettles to clear.
The Nepeta has been staked for the first time ever I think, before it gets to flop everywhere and then has to be dragged into some sort of shape! The bees don’t mind if it is upright or lying flat, but on the off-chance that we might (big might) get some rain, it will stop the flowers getting muddy.

How I could write the above and think that anything is going to get muddy is almost laughable! I have had to put out a tray with mud in it for the swallows, just in case they can’t find anywhere else to get it. It dries up so quickly, it’s amazing! The first time I put it out, checked it in the morning for any footprints of birds or mice and discovered the flipping (not what I said) visiting cat had used it as a litter tray. Soaking wet soil – who knows! How can I encourage birds if the cat smell is everywhere? If you see swallows and don’t know where they can get some mud, think about putting out a tray for them.
This was put beside the old boat mould wildlife pond which is starting to look more natural now.
Some planted stuff and some which just came on it’s own! The creeping Potentilla which we have everywhere has even spread into the soggy soil in the end of the boat. Will probably never get it out now, it’s a right pain, even if it is pretty.

The Pineapple Broom tree (Cytisus battandieri) is flowering with its wonderful pineapple scent. I have two of these and they certainly brighten up the garden, a bit like a Laburnum on steroids!

The potato vine (Solanum crispum) is slowly taking over the old Leylandii hedge which is good. It now grows about fifteen feet up and about the same spread.

Buddleia alternifolia with a lovely shade of lilac flowers, in little bunches on the stems. Drooping, and a bit straggly habit and not in the right place, so I might have to take some cuttings and put them elsewhere.

A couple of Cardoons are starting to do their thing. Something else in the wrong place probably, but I needed somewhere in full sun for them at the time – we’ll see!

Iochroma australis is the plant of the moment for me, it has lovely, brilliant blue, small trumpet shaped flowers like miniature Datura. A tree of about 16 ft if you can keep it alive to get that big! This one is about five years old and has survived outside for that time, though the winters have been mild. Not sure you could keep a 16ft tree in a pot!

Few more photos of oddments. Libertia, small Rhodendron, Iris (I think) or is it a Lily? Lovely orange Honeysuckle, bi-colour Azalea, Geums and chunky Foxglove, short but thick!

Up on the field are cast-offs from the garden, Red hot pokers and orange Day Lilies. The wild Elder is smothered with flower this year and this one is probably 15 ft tall.The really pretty flower of the red flowering Horse Chestnut is delicate and with stunning colours if you look closely.

Last but not least are a couple of nest boxes. The first a bought one which looks as if it is occupied by a spider with his web across the entrance hole.
The second is a hollow trunk of the old Poplar tree which had to be removed. It was only the bark and a little wet soggy pith holding a 30 ft tree upright! The nest box was made with a bit of board across the back and the same halfway across the front and nailed up. Just to prove birds don’t care what they nest in this one has a Robin in residence.

Our back garden has a workshop running along one side and is extremely sheltered. the sun beats down all afternoon on this area and I have always wondered why I can’t keep hanging baskets alive on the workshop wall. This is by no means the only day that this spot gets this hot, no surprise that plants died!

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you've got micro-climate thing going by the work shop... do you think you could grow bananas... or maybe a citrus tree..lime or orange? or peaches? espalier on the wall? I really like cardoon... and have grown it in my town garden. Our growing season isn't long enough for it to develop well, here. Rufus would love your huge Nepeta. I have it in my herb bed now and last summer, Rufus would lounge and munch. found him napping in the garden a few times lol... How is Peter Peacock... and the Goose Girls? I realize this is a flower blog but they're such a part of your little eden.

31 May, 2020


Your garden is a dream Honey. Some really nice things there. I think Nepeta has done well this year. Mine are huge too and full of bees which is very encouraging. I've wondered about the goose ladies too - any progress with a gander yet?

31 May, 2020


Goodness! Its amazing to see all those wonderful plants...most of which I can't grow, but the ones I can I have to wait until mid July to see them flower like the Pineapple Broom, the Solanum and the Red Hot Pokers. I love your beautiful pink Aesculus. I had one similar in my first garden..loved it. How beautiful is that Iochroma? It's like an exotic. Well done for growing something so beautiful and unusual. And the nesting boxes....lovely!

31 May, 2020


Your space looks wonderful - the pineapple broom looks amazing and the plants are obviously thriving. I've never heard of Iochroma but the colour makes it very covetable.
Every year I think my Nepeta has disappeared but it staggers up to about 6inches and gets pounced on again by my moggies and the black cat from round the corner...

31 May, 2020


In front of the workshop Lori is a small bed which just covers the fact that the w/shop is raised off the ground. It was here when we came and the bed only has about nine inches of soil depth before it hits solid clay ground. It bakes in the heat and though I have Sedum acre and Thymes in there, even they are wilting from the heat. Under the w/shop is space enough for the rabbit to breed and I have had baby rabbits burrow up through this silly little bit of garden to have another entrance!
Peter is moaning a lot at the moment (as are the other two) not sure why. Because of the lockdown there has not been as much traffic about and what there is seems to take advantage and speed! Even the tractors belt past and any little noise sets him off! Or perhaps he's just getting to be a grumpy old man! The two goose girls are fine, they miss Boris and would much prefer to sit up on my back lawn than spend any time on the field where they are supposed to be! This year we did debate giving them some eggs to hatch, taking theirs away and replacing them with fertile eggs, but the pandemic put an end to that. I suppose I could have bought some on the internet, but next year perhaps.

1 Jun, 2020


The garden might look a dream Stera but it will never be one of the 'open to the public' type, too many hazards! The lawns are full of buttercup, selfheal and moss and if you overlook that as re-wilding, they are also full of Vole holes to wring your ankle in. The end of the bungalow and the bit where the shrubs are has wood-chip to keep the weeds down, it also breaks down into something that is soil rather than solid clay! It also is much easier to burrow through so more Voles and the bungalow end has a Mole. All those tunnels underground suddenly sink and the ground feels 'mushy', The Mole has been so industrious that a large concrete block, left from levelling the shed, has sunk several inches into the ground! The Nepeta as you say is doing really well this year and full of bees while they wait for the Lavender to open up the millions of buds it has.

1 Jun, 2020


I didn't realise that the climate was quite so different Karen. The Solanum has been flowering for what seems ages and the Red Hot Pokers are doing well up on the field, better than in the garden, I think they get more moisture from the wood-chip even if they they do get more sun too. The Iochroma is a beautiful delicate looking plant, not too delicate in habit I hope. I would also like it to grow a bit taller so I can raise the crown to make it less straggly. The pink Horse Chestnut is just one of the trees that we have planted that I shan't see to maturity, but I can enjoy the flowers and eye level for a while and it's a nice shaped tree whether 12 ft tall or 40 ft.

1 Jun, 2020


I had never heard of Iochroma either Anget, but saw it on the internet (like you do) and indulged in a couple. One didn't make it, but this one I hope has now got bit enough to survive. I covet Daturas, but don't think I will manage to keep them alive through the winter and this is a small version of those, one of the Brugmansias.
The Nepeta was grown really for the bees, we don't have a cat ourselves and try to discourage the one that appears from somewhere, not sure if it is a stray/feral or just plods down here from somewhere else. So why did I grow something that cats adore?

1 Jun, 2020


Well, 'cos you like the nepeta, and it's always good to share...

1 Jun, 2020


You have lots of nice plants, some I've never heard of before. They all seem to be doing well in spite of it being so dry.
I'm not surprised you can't keep hanging baskets in that temperature, they always dry out quickly.
Your pond looks interesting :)

1 Jun, 2020


It might be good to share and we do plenty of that Anget! The young Crows line up on the electricity wires in the morning and wait for my OH to finish feeding our three chickens before flocking down to steal it. We were brought up with cats, farmyard, outdoor cats, but I don't remember them eating baby birds like these visitors do. But perhaps it's selective memory and I only thought that they ate mice and rats but nothing else!

2 Jun, 2020


Thanks Hywel. You know how it is, you see something unusual and think you must have it, but I have some common plants too that put on a show without any fuss, probably the best to stick with.
The pond looked good up until recently when the local Herons also thought it looked good for morning snacks. Now it has some netting over it, I will do a blog on more trials of the pond and the Herons!
The plants in the garden, especially the shrubs have lots of woodchip mulch over them and this helps to keep the ground moist and don't tell the local water board, but I do put the hose on - no bans yet!

2 Jun, 2020

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