Monday, 12 May 2014

It finally flowered

It has been 2 years since I planted my deciduous azalea (red kosas)

Here's when it went in 2 years ago, gosh it all looks so bare.

Well it imeediately begain to suffer from mildew and I thought it was a gonner but I nursed it through.

Last year the Spring was so cold so late that it just didn't flower at all, but luckily no sign of mildew so I was relieved about that.

So it was with great excitement that I have been waiting for it to show itself off in all it's glory and my long wait was finally over this week.

It is not quite all open but it is quite a spectacle, such a rich colour and it draws the eye everywhere you are in the garden.

Not sure a photo can possibly do it justice but I just wanted to share it with you.

Other things I have done today are to plant my gladioli bulbs which were already sending out roots in their paper bag. I have actually moved my small camellia from the back garden to the front, I realised that I had planted it in the wrong place as it would become overcrowded once it grew and now I have the large new bed in the front thought it was better to move it now before it starts to grow over the summer. So the gladioli have gone in where that was. I have no memory at all what sort I got, but I think there are two sorts, a red and a white. Time will tell.
That's all for today.
Thanks for all the hedge suggestions, it is on the back burner while I mull it over and decide exactly what I will do with the whole front garden.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

I'm turning my attention to...

my front garden. Finally after 2 years it is time to get down to the nitty gritty of sorting out my rather neglected front garden.

It started off like this

This was the only flower bed (I added the plum tree 2 years ago and this was when this picture was taken. The bed was an uninspiring mix of groundcover plants, heathers, cotoneasters and unnamable beige and brown things none of which I liked. However I left it and for the last 2 years, as you know have been spending a lot of time in the back. Now this has changed, the back is happy to just grow now as all the hard designing work has been done, so over the last 2 weeks I have been working in the front.

I cleared everything from the bed as I didn't want to keep any of it,

and in so doing discovered this cute little 'wall' that I didn't even know was there. It took a lot of work and many trips to the tip with garden waste (was far too much for compost) until I had it completely removed apart from the plum tree and a lavender.

I have added lots of well rotted garden compost as well as horse manure. to this bed and the soil was looking good and healthy.

So today I have been planting it up. Lots of my plants from the greenhouse were more than ready to go in and as I had so many it has been great because it is such a big bed.

So here is the result of my labours

and a close up

4 big chrysanthemums (red wendy) at the back left, 4 more chysanthemums (gompie pink) at the back right. Foxgloves dotted about that I have been growing on for an age, 3 good sized lupins in the middle. Some red bacopa and a red trailing geranium which will hopefully trail down the wall and a ton of mini white chyrysanthemums (snowland) at the front. Just out of shot on the left are 6 shasta daisies I have been growing from seed.

When it all fills out it should be really lovely. I still have a large gap on the far right and I think I will put in a floribunda rose.

Now I have to keep my fingers crossed that I don't have more sheep visiting as I know they could decimate this bed in about 10 minutes.

So I have plans afoot to put in a hedge accross the front and down the side. I can't decide if whether to just be boring and put in a privet or to actually use a bit of imagination and plant a load of different bushes that can be shaped nicely. I am erring on the latter but I have to wrack my brains for lots of bushes that will fit the bill.I think it would be the nicer option. I still may use privet on the side. When I drive around and look at other 'open plan' front gardens I like lots of bushes I see, the ones that shape beautifully like big pompoms, just never know what any of them are, so all suggestions for nice trimmed front hedging bushes are all welcomed.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Long long overdue garden update.

I always seem to be apologising for my lack of posting at the moment, time is just running away with me as I have been busy. That is probably a good thing however so no complaints.

Anyway, as we are nicely into Spring now every day seems to bring fresh joy in the garden and I have at least been keeping up to date with my photographs of how things are changing.

My bath of tulips of a mysterious colour finally came out and it turned out I had planted...


Or had I?

Once the white had been blooming for a good couple of weeks and began to get past their best I noticed I had obviously thought a contrasting pinky red would go nicely with them. Clearly miscalculated on timing though as they are not really appearing together.

Oh well, better luck next time. I will cut the whites heads off when they are completely finished and then enjoy the pink.

My other tulips have been wonderful though, three long tom pots of creamy yellow that have just gone on and on for weeks and are still going strong.

They are an absolutel pleasure to look out on.

My most exciting thing in the garden at the moment is my beautiful azalea. I have been waiting 2 years for this to flower as last year it didn't ever make it with our peculiar Spring weather. This year flowering is imminent and every day I look hoping today it will have opened. It still hasn't but any second now magnificent scarlet flowers will appear. I will capture the moment when it happens.

The forget me nots around the base of the azalea don't photograph well enough to show off their wonderful blueness.

The alliums (30 purple sensation) should put on a great show later in the season. I have interplanted these with some pink astilbe so the two should look lovely together I think (hope).

Hanging basket gone up now, with a proviso that if it looks like it is getting very cold again I can whip it back into the greehouse. I have never planted up a hanging basket before (hard to believe I know) so it was all a bit experimental. I tried to keep to pink and yellow but I have a sneaky suspicion that I have accidentally put something else in there. Time will tell.

My herb pot has filled out nicely and I have used all of them in something or other so far.
Also bought some tarragon (French) and am trying again with another rosemary, something that I have successfully killed off (hard to do, I know) in the past.

This photo cannot do justice to the glory that is the bright orange berberis next to the greenhouse. It has put on quite a display this year.

Meanwhile I have started work on clearing out the hideous front garden beds. This has all been completely untouched in the 2 years I have lived here so this Summer I will start to make it look nicer, hopefully. It will look worse before it looks better though as you can see.

Finally here is a shot of the garden as it looks today, from the usuall spot.

It's going to be a good gardening Summer I think.