Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – March 2017

Oh what a delight it is seeing colour in the garden and to be able to take lots of photos for GBBD this 15th March 2017.

We are experiencing a few mild days here on the Sussex south coast,  which is warming up the garden and bringing everything into life.  However, while writing this there is a news report on the TV about snow blizzards and icy winds on the East Coast of the USA, and I do hope it doesn’t come our way.  I am all too aware of snow in April, but there is always hope that it won’t happen.

I am really happy with the variety of daffodils and narcissus in the garden, and there are many more waiting to burst into flower, so plenty opportunities to take more photos.  It really is adding brightness around the back garden,albeit hosting minute slugs which are nibbling away at the petals.

Rather than write any more for you to read,  I am just going to post photos instead in colour sections to enjoy.

BLUE

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CHINIODOXA

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YELLOW

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FORSYTHIA

PINK

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RIBES

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HELLEBORES

PURPLE

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PRIMULAS

WHITE

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PIERIS ‘Forest Flame’

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PRIMULA

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TULIP KAUFMANNIANA ‘ACILLA’
I have a ‘wild’ bit at the end of the garden, which is quite overgrown with ivy and a pile of wood that I leave as a bug hotel.   In amongst all of this there arie some proper primroses, which along with daffodils, I see as a true harbinger of spring.

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PRIMROSES
On the 15th of each month Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts this meme.  Please hop over there and take a look at all the contributions to Carol’s GBBD as well as looking at her lovely garden.

End of Month View – January 2017


Not one of the best days for taking photos of the garden, it’s dull and drizzling, but I got out there for this January 2017 End of Month View  ( EOMV).

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The garden is very wet and I have done very little in the garden save for filling in holes in the flower beds courtesy of foxes and cats. I have spoilt the aesthetic look of the garden with sticks and chicken wire to try to protect all the bulbs, but sometimes even these don’t thwart the wretched animals.

dsc_0126The flower bed above I recently extended following the removal earlier in the year of the raised bed.  I have filled it with daffodil and tulip bulbs and hope that they will produce an impressive display.  The idea is to grow more flowers in 2017. 

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Taking photographs of the garden is an important way of seeing things differently.  The photo above has shown that I need to reshape the border slightly, I think it looks a bit odd.  However, although it is a small garden, I think I have proved you can still have an interesting walk around the garden and see things from different perspectives, rather than stand at the top of the garden and view everything at once.

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May 2004
Out of interest I thought I would add a photo of the garden taken in May 2004 – 13 years ago. There was a lot of lawn with straight borders.  The ivy is still on the Victorian stone walls but along with my neighbour we are beginning to eradicate it although it is a long job.

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There is a small bed to the left of the back patio which in the last 5 years had raspberry  bushes.  I am cutting out a lot of them, not only because they produce more raspberries than I can cope with they have taken over a flower bed in a great sunny position.  In the summer, after the strawberries finished, I moved them into this bed and they have taken to their new home.  I put a cage over them, again to protect them from being dug up.   This is another bed full of bulbs, covered with chicken wire.  It is my intention to have a small cutting patch here.

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Just to finish off the view of the back garden is a photo of the other border which faces north and has very little sun in the summer with none in the winter.

The side patio is full of spring bulbs filled pots with just a few green tips poking through.  Looking back they appear to be a little later than usual in past years and there is, disappointingly no sign of the Iris Reticulata.  Below is a photo of the very pretty iris from a post on 8 February 2015.  You can see from the photo how much further advanced the daffodils were then.

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The first week of February 2015 – Reticulata Iris
Finally a quick visit to the front garden.   Those of you who follow my blog may remember that the front garden belongs to the flat upstairs, although the tenants have never been gardeners so for the last 15 years I have been lucky to be its custodian.

Last year  (2016) was different because the tenant planted a tomato plant in the bed under my window, which is her prerogative, but it grew rampantly and unchecked so took over the bed and I was unable to plant any summer flowers, which was a shame.  I am wondering if she will do the same again in 2017, I expect she will because despite the dry west facing aspect, clay soil, never watering, or pinching out, she had an excellent crop of cherry tomatoes – very annoying!  At the moment, the Day Lillies are producing healthy shoots and the tete-a-tete narcissus are looking as though they have survived the tomato plant onslaught, although there are not as many as previous years.

Finally, I can’t complete a January End of Month View without showing the snowdrops in the front garden.   A strange thing has happened though.  I always hang bird feeders on the lilac tree, but this year the inevitable drop of seeds have produced grass!  This has choked some of the snowdrops and will give me another job to dig over this bed to remove the grass without disturbing the snowdrops.

The EOMV meme is hosted by Helen of The Patient Gardener.   Please pop over to her blog as many gardeners across the world contribute to this meme and it is really interesting to see how others are doing at this time of the year.

Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day

When the Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day post by My Hesperides Garden popped up on my WordPress Reader, Christina’s opening words “…I encourage you to look at the foliage in your garden and give it the appreciation it deserves”, encouraged me to go out in the garden this afternoon and take a look.   It is all too easy to miss what is under your nose.

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I have had a battle growing Alstroemeria in my garden, thanks to the snails and slugs, so during the summer I dug up a clump and put it in a pot.  Despite the frost and snow it is looking good, which I am delighted with.

dsc_0120Although I have a large Choysia outside my kitchen door it was only this afternoon that I saw it was in flower!

Now I find  Agapanthus an interesting plant.  I have both deciduous and evergreen varieties.  The deciduous ones are beginning to poke their shoots through, the frosted ground doesn’t appear to deter them.   The evergreen Agapanthus in the open south facing floor bed has some of its bottom leaves going mushy but I know from experience it will pick up once it starts to get warmer.   The ones in the bed next the house, where it is sheltered, are looking very happy.

I am not usually one for plant collections but I am always drawn to Heuchera at plant fairs and am seriously contemplating in buying a few more this year.  I like their names and have ‘Marmalade’ and ‘Berry Smoothie’ on my list.  Annoyingly I have lost the name tags for the ones above.

The ferns in the shady part of the garden haven’t died back this year so no photos of those triffid-like fronds uncurling, although I expect if I were to cut them back I would be treated to some.

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Moving around to the more sheltered south facing side patio, the Pieris is covered with small cream bell-shaped flowers in large branched clusters that are supposed to appear in the spring but have been on the plant all winter.

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Another good foliage plant that I always forget to use it the Olive.  This little tree I bought from the local market last year for £10, a plant of similar size was on sale in M&S for £25 – bargain!

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Finally, I couldn’t leave this post without a lovely  Polyanthus.  I have a number of them in the new flowerbed and regardless of the frost and below zero temperatures they survive undaunted.  I do have some true Primroses, they have slightly larger and longer leaves which have gone floppy in the cold and the flowers are yet to appear.

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Walking around the garden, however, I had the feeling that spring is definitely in the air.  In case you are wondering the chicken wire is to deter cats, squirrels and foxes from digging up the bulbs.

In a Vase on Monday – It’s Hot! Hot! Hot!

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Following on from last week’s In a Vase on Monday I have used another mug from the kitchen cupboard.  In the past few posts I’ve found a container and then picked the flowers.  This time I knew I wanted to use the last of the hot flowers in the garden.  Once I had my selection I searched for the best way to display and compliment them and found this cheerful mug at the back of the mug cupboard.
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The crocosmia is almost over but I was able to retrieve a few sprigs with flowers at the top of stems.
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The Calendula is also slowly coming to an end, and sadly it is falling foul of mildew.  Now is the time for the nasturtiums to start taking over the flowerbed and is winding its way around every thing at the moment!

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For a little bit of greenery I have used Cosmos leaves.

Here is my list of my Hot! Hot! Hot! In a Vase on Monday:

  • nasturtiums
  • calendula
  •  crocosmia
  • cosmos leaves

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Thank you Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme, which ensures I do regularly pick flowers from the garden to enjoy indoors.

In a Vase on Monday – Cheerful Cosmos

 

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” – Oscar Wilde

One of the greatest things about blogs and Instagram is that it is full of ideas which sets the mind racing, well it does mine anyway.   You can see something and think wow, I could do that, and this is exactly what happened when I saw my blogger friend Elizabeth Musgrave from Welsh Hills Again had posted  a pretty photo of flowers in a mug on Instagram.    I ask her forgiveness for taking her idea and posting my version for In a Vase on Monday.

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After a considerable amount of heavy rain, and an unseasonable wind,  there is a lot in the garden lying flat, including the Ladies Mantle Achemilla Mollis which is now almost past its prime.   I find if I use it for arrangements when it gets to this stage, it just sheds seeds and makes a bit of a mess.   Fortunately I managed to cut a few sprigs that were still a lovely lime green before it changed to a manky khaki.

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The one lesson I still need to grasp is that anything will make a vessel for flowers.  I am still in the mindset that a flower arrangement equals the need for a purpose made vase.  This, of course, is total rubbish!  The above mug is a very pretty shape and from Laura Ashley.  I chose it because the colours match the shades of the Cosmos from the garden and is an ideal height for a small posy.

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This is an ‘aerial’ view of today’s posy.  I have grown from seed a large and varied selection of Cosmos this year, some have single petals and others have the interesting double petals known as Sea Shells.  I have added some Verbena Bonariensis, which is always good for colour without taking up space.

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You see, I am beginning to learn a few things about making an In a Vase on Monday. Pop over to Cathy’s blog In a Vase on Monday.