A Retrospective

We need to be cheered up.  The weather has been appalling recently.  This part of the world has flooded.  There was a point when we thought that the only place with more water than us was Venice (and they’ve had a bad time, too.

For the 47-day period from 22 September to 7 November, we had half our average annual rainfall.  Eat your heart out, Noah.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been on the wrong side of the jet stream again, and the temperature has plummeted to January averages.  And it’s still raining and foggy and dank.

So, we definitely need cheering up.  One of our gardeners has sent me some images from his holiday in September and October, which included garden visits.  Let’s have a look at those.

Rob's Hutton in the Forest Penrith Lobelia A.jpg

This is Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith, Cumbria.  Those lovely red lobelias give a whole new meaning to the idea of container growing.

Rob's Ballyrobert Garden Rudbeckia A.jpg

Next stop was Ballyrobert Gardens in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with this colourful display of Rudbeckia.

 

Rob's Palm House Belfast Botanic Garden A.jpg

Then, the Belfast Botanic Garden.  This is the Palm House, with a lovely display of Aechmea fasciata – and it looks like more Rudbeckia outside.

Rob's Mount Stewart Giant Bolivian Salvia Salvia dombeyi A.jpg

This gorgeous Salvia is in the Mount Stewart Gardens, and it’s Salvia dombeyi, The Giant Bolivian Slavia.

Rob's Chelsea Physic Garden Euonymus alatus A.jpg

And it’s back across the Irish Sea and onto London for the Chelsea Physic Garden, putting on its autumn party frock.

Rob's gladioli A.jpg

This was home before the holiday, with gladioli and agapanthus.

Rob's seasonal dahlias A.jpg

And with those autumn stars, Dahlias.

Thanks to our group member who has really brought a bit of warmth and colour into this awful grey day.

Six on Saturday

It really hasn’t been the weather for taking photographs!  Still here are a few for this week.

1  Chatsworth House Christmas Tree

Glynis's Chatsworth House Christmas Tree

One of our group members visited Chatsworth, and took a picture of this lovely Christmas tree decorated with orchids.  Gorgeous.

2  Grow your own!

Glynis's Home mushroom kit

Grow your own mushroom kit!  This gardener is looking at some sumptuous mushroom recipes.  Yum.

3  Delayed autumn colour

Pauline's Greenwich Park.jpg

One of our gardeners  took a trip the Greenwich Park, and snapped this image.  I’ve had it for a couple of weeks (as well as the next one) because I only had 2 images to post, and had to wait for some more.  Sorry!

4  More delayed autumn colour

Pauline's Wathwood Drive Swinton A

What a colourful garden, snapped by one of our gardeners.

5  Leycesteria formosa ‘Gold Leaf’

Jo's Leycesteria formosa golden 2.jpg

This was taken in my garden a couple of hours ago, so the leaves are hanging on in there.

Jo's Leycesteria formosa golden.jpg

It has languished in a pot for several years, hardly growing and never flowering.  This year, it has put up some large, strong canes, with flowers and berries (uneaten as yet by any pheasants), so it’s either the constant rain that it likes or, more likely, the roots have pushed down into the concrete and I’ll need a sharp spade to get the pot up.  It’s supposed to come true from seed, so I’ll gather some berries for my groups of gardeners to have a go at.

6  Phormium ‘Platt’s Black’

Jo's Phormium Platt's Black.jpg

Another of mine.  This, too, languished in a pot for some time before going into one of the borders.  The experts say height and spread one metre.  It may not look like it there, but this plant, after three seasons in the border, is now almost as tall as me, and I’m definitely more than a metre!  Decisions, decisions…  Shall I leave it there, and risk having to get a JCB if it needs moving?  Shall I move it up to the orchard now, where it can’t get in anyone’s way?  I can feel myself dithering.

 

 

 

Six on Saturday

And what a miserable Saturday it is, too.  The rain is pounding down, I’ve had the lights on all day, and let’s not even mention the rugby.  Still, well done South Africa.

It’s half-term, so only a few photos from my gardeners this time.  I’ve made up the rest of the Six by going out, in the pounding rain…

Here we go.

1  Spoils from a stately home

Pauline's Wentworth Garden Centre A

South Yorkshire has one of the largest stately homes in Europe, Wentworth Woodhouse.  It has an illustrious past, but fell into terrible times in the latter half of the 20th century.  Now it’s on the up again.  But, during the bad times, Wentworth Garden Centre finished up with part of Wentworth Woodhouse’s garden, and when you go to the garden centre, you can also have a walk round this remnant garden.  One of our gardeners took this lovely autumnal picture there.

2   Fungus walk Part A

Glynis's Earpick fungus Auriscalpium vulgare

This strange and rare little beast is the Earpick fungus, Auriscalpium vulgare, snapped by one of our gardeners on a guided fungus walk. Rotting pine cones are about the only place it’s found, and it’s the only known auriscalpium species in Britain and Ireland.  Auris is the Latin noun for ear, and scalpium is the Latin verb for to scratch.  I got that from first-nature.com and the site observes drily ‘ The specific epithet vulgare means common (and can only be interpreted as the most common of the handful of species in this genus worldwide).

Quite a find.

3   Fungus walk Part B

Glynis's panther cap Amanita pantherina A

This isn’t quite so identifiable.  It’s an agaric, said the guide, clearly unwilling to be drawn.  Could be the Blusher (edible), the False Panther Cap (edible but not worth the trouble) or the Panther Cap (hospitalization required).  Better stick to the mushrooms in the supermarket.

4  Guelder rose – viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’

Jo's Viburnum opulus roseum

In real life, it’s a rather deeper shade of red than this, and I wish it would be planted more often, for the spring snowballs, and the autumn fire.  In my garden, it’s doing a sterling job of hiding the bins – the Council has now given us 4, so they do take up some space.

5   The teasel thicket

Jo's teasel thicket

Yesterday there were goldfinches here, but today it’s just too wet.  They’ll be back, as will young teasels next year.

6   The blackbird’s Acanthus

Jo's Acanthus

This acanthus is growing on south-facing pebbles over concrete.  Where it’s putting its roots, I won’t even speculate, because under the concrete the site for the house has a concrete raft over a bed of smashed up engineering bricks.  The plant was grown about a decade ago from a packet of ‘Acanthus mixed species and cultivars’.  I think it’s probably A. mollis, but one of the cultivars with very long flowering stems.  This year it carried 34 stems, most of them over 6 feet high, with pink and white flowers.  And it never, ever has powdery mildew.

Jo's Acanthus blackbird's nest

What it does have is a blackbird’s nest.  This was found when cutting back the flowering stems and old leaves a few days ago.  I thought the blackbirds had spent a lot of time under the foliage!

And that’s it for this week.

To see how to post your own Six on Saturday, go to

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

 

 

Six on Saturday

There are more lovely images from the gardening groups this week, I’m happy to say.

1  Giveaways are good

Our first gardener is rightly pleased with plants that came as freebies, plus a cheap buy from Tesco (other supermarkets are available!)

This bright and cheerful Cosmos was a giveaway, as a seedling, from another member of the group.

Julie's class giveaway Cosmos A

This Hesperantha was another freebie from a group member

Julie's class giveaway Hesperantha A

This Mexican daisy, Erigeron karvinskianus, was a freebie from Chatsworth House.

Julie's Chatsworth giveaway Mexican daisy A

Colouful violas, and supermarket specials.

Julie's Tesco viola A

2  Holiday snaps

This gardener took time to check out the local pomegranates in Turkey.  Delicious!

Glynis's Turkey pomegranate 3 A

 

3  Cloud pruning

This recently planted Chinese Holly, Ilex cornuta, is carrying a pleasing crop of berries.

Glynis's holly A

 

4  There’s still colour in the garden

Here are some Phlox from another member’s garden.

Phlox ‘Bright Eyes’

Shirley's Phlox Bright Eyes

 

A white phlox that was a giveaway from another group member, still flowering strongly

Shirley's Phlox from Hugh

 

5 Something warm and something minty

Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’

Shirley's Alstroemeria Indian Summer

 

And Dahlia ‘Twynings After Eight’.  Scrumptious!

Shirley's Dahlia Twynings After Eight 2

 

6  Crocosmia ‘Golden Ballerina’

From a gardener who is smitten with Crocosmias.  Lovely!

Crocosmia Golden Ballerina

 

And there’s our crop of goodies for this week.

To see how to post your own Six on Saturday, go here:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday

 

Glynis's botanical painting of poppies

 

It’s taken a while to gather contributions from a few brave souls in the 2 gardening groups, but in the end there was a little flurry!  So, I’ll keep some back for next week.

 

1  Poppies

The first of our Six on Saturday (above) is painted by one of our group members, who clearly has talents other than gardening.  This is her botanical painting of Poppies.  It’s beautiful.

 

2  Amaryllis belladonna

Judy's Amaryllis belladonna

From a group member who probably has the most exposed garden of any of us.  Despite that, these Amaryllis seem to be doing very well.

 

3  Nerine bowdenii

Rob's Nerine bowdenii from Glenarm Castle Walled garden A

One of our members has just spent a week exploring other gardens.  This is Nerine bowdenii showing herself off in the Glenarm Castle Walled Garden.  Luscious.

 

4   Chatsworth House – A Celebration of The Dog

Glynis's Chatsworth The Dog sculpture A

This gardener visited Chatsworth House, and the Celebration of The Dog.  Just shows that you can make a sculpture out of anything!  Even in scaffolding, this is has all the personality of a Scotty!

5  Don’t let the garden stop at the wall.

Glynis's new roadside bed with box and cypress A

This gardener has just made a striking new roadside bed with Box and Cypress.  I hope we’ll see another picture as it grows up a bit.

 

6  Kew Gardens : Dale Chihuly exhibition

Another of our gardeners visited the Chihuly exhibition at Kew Gardens, and came back with some lovely images.  I’ll keep a few back for next week.

Lesley's Kew Gardens Chihuly 6 A

I’m afraid of heights, so I’m glad I wasn’t taking a photo of this striking glass sculpture.  Do we think it bears a passing resemblance to a delphinium?

 

Lesley's Kew Gardens Chihuly 1 A

Remember when your Mum told you ‘You’ll have somebody’s eye out with that thing’?  Echinops, do we think?

 

Lesley's Kew Gardens Chihuly 4 A

How on earth is that held together?  I think it looks like an Aloe.

 

Lesley's Kew Gardens Chihuly 8 A

My, but that’s an eyecatcher.  Looks like a Kniphofia, don’t you think?

 

Lesley's Kew Gardens Chihuly 9 A

This is my personal favourite of the Chihuly images – the sculpture is so pretty.

 

So, that’s our Six on Saturday.  The whole idea was started in this blog:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Go check it out.

Thanks to all the contributors from my Gardening Groups.

 

Six on Saturday

It’s nearly time for term to start, and the gardening group is getting in early.  Here are Six on Saturday from my students.

1  A brand new potting area for this gardener, and she’s confessed to catching the propagating bug.  Looks like she’ll need a plant sale soon!

Glynis potting area 2

Glynis potting area

2  The group took a trip to Felley Priory.  If you’ve never been there, what are you waiting for?  Lovely gardens, a nice tea room, and loads of plants for sale at very reasonable prices.  Here are a couple of images from one of our gardeners.

Lesley Felley Priory 2

Lesley Felley Priory 1

3  The same gardener, who has recently joined the group, sent these images of her garden, which has been getting  bit of a makeover,  The pond is a new addition, and spot the Melianthus major, doing well.

Lesley's garden 2Lesley's garden 3Lesley's garden 4Lesley's garden

4  A shot of this morning’s garden from one of our gardening couples.  Love that white gladiolus.

H and J garden

5  For some reason, this image from another of our gardeners got left behind last year.  I’ve just spotted it this morning, so it qualifies!  It’s his mother’s garden, which he tends, and what a lovely clematis.

Rob's mother's clematis

6  That’s it for student contributions this week – well done, guys,  on getting stuck in early.  So, I’ll finish with one of mine.  This is Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Herbstsonne’, lounging horizontally rather than vertically, with the last flowers of the fabulous Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’.

DSC04721

The Six on Saturday meme is the brainchild of thepropagator, and the guidelines are here:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/

A Hardy Perennial

 

DSC04717
Crocosmia x crocosmoides ‘Castle Ward Late’

 

I like plants with a story. With history. Plants that stand the test of time. And this is one of them.

Sometime before 1895, Max Leichtlin (he for whom Camassia leichtlinii and others are named) was hybridizing Crocosmia at Baden Baden. Crocosmia paniculata x Crocosmia aurea produced Crocosmia x crocosmoides seedlings (not to be confused with Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora, the much-maligned Montbretia).

Apparently only 5 of Leichtlin’s hybrids survive, and this is one of them, Crocosmia x crocosmoides ‘Castle Ward Late’. I believe that another one is ‘Vulcan’, a red-flowered hybrid introduced in 1897. If anyone knows the identity of the others, please do share.

‘Castle Ward Late’ is a soft burnt orange that makes a real statement in the autumn border. It has elegant, spidery flowers on tall, strong, dark stems with lovely pleated leaves. I haven’t had the measuring rod out, but this clump must be 40 inches tall. It’s been flowering for at least three weeks now, and should keep going until October.

DSC04718

It’s a survivor in more ways than one. This summer has been one of record-shattering heatwaves, interspersed with deluges of biblical proportions. This ‘Castle Ward Late’ isn’t staked in any way and most of it is still perpendicular, unlike much of the border around it. Hopefully, I’ll get round to treating it better next year.

Which brings me to its naughty side. It’s robust. A good do’er. Slightly assertive. This clump was a rather skinny potful only two years ago. Looks to me like there will be a bit of digging out later this autumn, so there will be giveaways to any of my students who like the look of this historic treasure.