Felley Priory


Felley Priory seems to have been a popular day out for our gardeners this summer.  These came in two batches from the same person, so I’ve had some of them for a little while.  Still, they show how nice the gardens are, and some of the lovely flowers to be seen there.


Glynis's Felley Priory 1 A

Aconite and what looks like a cultivated form of rosebay willowherb

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 1 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 2 2 A

One of the newish hybrid foxgloves, Digiplexis ‘Firecracker’.  Yes, I can read the label… That’s a tutor’s best friend.

Glynis's Felley Priory 2 3 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 2 4 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 2 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 4 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 5 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 7 A

Geranium – sorry, the label is too out of focus for more!

Glynis's Felley Priory 8 A

Papaver somniferum, allium seedhead and geranium

Glynis's Felley Priory 12 A

Orlaya, I think

Glynis's Felley Priory 14 A

Variegated weigela and eryngium

Glynis's Felley Priory 15 A


Glynis's Felley Priory 17 A


Thanks for sharing!  I really feel as though I’ve been there this year…




Breezy Knees


We had a little look at the Breezy Knees Garden last year.  Now, another of our gardeners has emerged from lockdown and paid it a visit.

It’s a set of gardens within a garden – 20 different areas set in 20 acres, I’m told.  Afternoon teas are available, and there’s some real social distancing of 3 metres.  And a lot of walking.

Here are a few snaps of this year’s look.


Hugh's Breezy Knees (5)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (15)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (25)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (27)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (31)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (28)


Hugh's Breezy Knees (40)


Looks like a good day out.  Have fun if you go.

Thanks for sharing.

Chilopsis linearis


A little while ago, I was surfing the net over breakfast (well, okay, brunch), and came across Chilopsis linearis, the desert willow.  I’d never heard of it, but it looks very lovely indeed.  It’s a small tree with willow-like leaves, and large trumpet flowers.  It’s in the Bignoniaceae family, which includes the Catalpa, and the Trumpet Vine, Campsis.  I wanted one.

So, I checked the availability of seeds, and there they were, offered by a nice lady in Texas.  A fortnight ago, they arrived, in an envelope bearing some pretty stamps (Does anyone collect stamps?), but the weather was biblical rainstorm, and when they went into the mail box at the bottom of the drive, they plopped into a puddle.  The instructions are strict – ‘Do not overwater!’  Heigh ho…

I sowed them the next day.  Various sites had said they were tricky to germinate, or that they would germinate in about a month, although the instructions in the envelope were more encouraging.  And they needed a minimum temperature of 70F, when the temperature here has been November.

Here’s what happened on Sunday, 10 days after sowing:

Jo's Chilopsis linearis


Thank you to that lovely lady from Texas!

Will they survive and prosper this side of the Atlantic?  No idea, but we’ll give them a go, even if it’s only as bonsai!

Excited?  Me?  Yep – I’m always excited with new plants.

PS – have you noticed they seem to have four seed leaves?  Why is that, I wonder?  Looks like research time.


Lockdown has strange effects on people.  A lot of us have been starting projects we wouldn’t previously have time for, or doing things to keep ourselves amused (and sane) that require a bit more of a push on our bravery button.

One of our gardeners has spent time remodelling parts of her garden during lockdown, and has now taken the bit between her teeth and entered her project into a competition.  Well done!  And fingers crossed for success.

The competition is here:


It’s the International Garden Show run as a lockdown project themselves by the London College of Garden Design in Melbourne, Australia.

There’s a link to all the entries on that page.

Our redoubtable competitor is here (yes, she knows she’s going public here…):


Pictures of the project have already appeared in the blog here:



I hope it does well.  And it’s so good to see one of our gardeners putting themselves out there, having a bit of anxious fun.




Tuesday Treats


It’s time for Tuesday Treats again – the answers to last Tuesday’s are here:


This week, I have a single mystery for you.

One of our gardeners reports spreading damage to some of her plants, with no sign of a culprit.  I have some images, although it’s sometimes difficult to take close-ups, and these are a bit out of focus.

The damage is to the main leaf vein, and leaves the leaf broken and withering.   A couple of weeks ago, we had some very serious windy weather – up to 80mph, as I recall, and certainly my Cannas suffered from breakage of the leaves, but that wouldn’t appear to explain this.  The first affected plant was Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’, but I’m told it is spreading to Persicaria and Rodgersia.

Here are the images that I’ve been sent.  All are of the hydrangea:

Lesley's Hydrangea Hot Chocolate A


Lesley's Hydrangea Hot Chocolate 3 A


Lesley's Hydrangea Hot Chocolate 2 A


I think you can see that there is what looks like chewing damage on that midrib, although nowhere else.


Any ideas?

David Austin Roses


Today we have some images of David Austin roses, sent by their proud owner.

First is the hybrid musk climber, ‘Wollerton Old Hall’, introduced in 2011.  Pale apricot, fading to cream, this has one of the strongest fragrances in the range.  It’s named for Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire, which has one of the most beautiful private gardens in England.


Meg's rose Wollerton Old Hall A


Second is another climber, ‘Claire Austin’.  Named for David Austin’s daughter, and introduced in 2007, the flowers begin as pale lemon, then fade to creamy white.  This, too, has a strong myrrh fragrance.  Claire also has a nursery for hardy plants, specialising in irises, peonies and hemerocallis.


Meg's rose Claire Austin 2 A


Meg's rose Claire Austin 1 A



Thanks for sharing!


A Garden View


Another of our gardeners has sent me some lovely images of her garden.  I know she’s worked hard in the garden over lockdown, and I’m sure she can see the progress made.  That’s what photos are good for!

Here they are:


Pauline's Garden 1


Pauline's Garden 2


Pauline's garden 3


Pauline's Garden 4


And a few snippings from the garden make a lovely vase.

Pauline's vase


Thanks for sharing!

Teasers and Teasels


Although most of this blog is about plants and gardening, I occasionally do have other thoughts.  People might ask me not to, but what can you do?

So, here’s today’s thought.  I read that Covid-19 has (so far) cost £322 billion in the UK.  That’s a lot of money, I think.  And then I think, I wonder how many stars there are in the Milky Way galaxy.  The answer seems to be 250 billion ± 150 billion.  Therefore, we’ve spent on this wretched virus about £1 for every star in the galaxy.

Astronomical sums…

Right, plants.

I’ve been sent this image of a teasel, Dipsacus fullonum.

Sara's teasel A


Dipsacus is from the Greek for thirst for water, and refers to the cup-like formation where two leaves join at the stem, and a small reservoir is found.  This often has insects floating in it, which makes you wonder whether water is all they might be thirsty for.  And about Triffids.

The plant in the photo is definitely a bit of a Triffid, don’t you think?  The Guinness World Record teasel stands at 10ft 6.77 inches tall.  This one, in the garden of one of our gardeners, is just a little bit less, although accurate measurement is difficult.

For me, teasels are at their best when goldfinches are hanging off them, pulling out the seeds.  Not long now before the goldfinches get a feast.  :~))

Teasel gets its common name, and the second part of its botanical name, fullonum, because they were used by fullers in the textile industry to full, or tease, cloth by raising the nap on it. Fields of them were grown, with the cultivated form, the Fuller’s Teasel, having stouter, more recurved spines on the seed head.

And coming back to that cup of water with dead insects in it, research in 2011 seems to show that putting dead insects in the water doesn’t change the height or general stature of the plant, but it does increase seed set.  So yes, a partially carnivorous Triffid.

Well done for growing a goliath of a plant!