Saturday, 15 June 2013

Pottering About!

What a great week I chose to take off work - nothing new there. Ever since my son was born 24 years ago, the first week in June has become a regular week off from work. Weather is generally great and this year was no exception. Temperatures were regularly high teens or early twenties - sweltering even, for Scotland, that is!

I had been trying to think of a word or phrase that could best describe how I spent my long sunny days when the phone rang - it was mum to tell me she was on her way and did I need anything brought in. After a quick discussion around what we were to have for dinner etc - she asked me.....

"What have you been doing today? - Are you still pottering about in the garden?"

That was it......Pottering About! For the first time in as many months - my garden had reached the stage that all I had to do (for now) was to Potter About!


Those two words 'Pottering About' describe my week to a T! Sitting down, reading a newspaper or book, listening to the radio or just relaxing on a chair with my eyes closed - listening to the birds chirupping around me, the distant sounds of lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, municipal vehicles coming and going and the occassional dog walkers making their way along the pathway to the local park and river walk. Mental notes for autumn planting were taken. Plant wish lists were added to.

The odd half hour, here and there, was spent dead heading. Secatuers snipped away at a few over hanging stems or branches. Lawns were edged at a more leisurely pace. A few badly placed plants were moved or removed. Climbers were tied in before they reached a tangled and unmanageable state. A bit of random weeding. The only 'major' job doing the whole week - not that you could consider it 'major' - but it did take me more than a mere 30 minutes, self seeded Snowberry (Symphoricarpos) was beginning to take hold, growing amongst my back hedge.  I spent a whole afternoon ripping and tearing it out - they tend to pull out easily provided they have not been able to take hold!  Since clearing it out - my hedge has been loosing it's leaves at an alarming rate - I don't know what has happened but it  now needs further investigation.  I can't see any obvious infestation or damage but it is concerning me.         

I've been Pottering about today too, taking some shots of what's blooming in the garden for GBBD this June. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is a meme very kindly hosted by Carol over at May Dream Gardens. Pop over to see what's happening in gardens around the world.


Please join me for a stroll around my little plot

Weigela Kosteriana variegata 
Polemonium caeruleum
Let's start in the front garden.  I should add at this point, my front garden will feature very little in my blogs.  I have yet to be inspired on what I'd like to do with this area.  I tend to heal in plants that have no permanent home or aren't doing too well else where.  A variegated Weigela and the Jacob's ladder is now large enough to be divided into quite a few plants this might make a rather nice 'drift' elsewhere in the garden.



Magnolia stellate mid June 2013
Through the side gate - The Rhododendrons are almost over.  Amazingly the Magnolia stellata is still producing buds - I declared in an earlier post back in May that it was only ever going to produce one flower - it has been producing a single flower every week since!!  Don't you just love getting proved wrong! Pinks and whites are the predominant summer colours in this border at the moment - the towering steely blues of the Aconitums will join in soon enough. 
left to right: Dicentra spectabalis, Dicentra eximia King of Hearts, Meconopsis betonicifolia Alba, Primula japonica Apple Blossom, Cortusa mattholli Alba and Geranium Sylvaticum Album
  



Pond Border mid June 2013
Still on the shadier side, in the back garden proper, is the area I call - the Pond Border.  In terms of ponds - it is probably best described as a 'puddle'. I did read somewhere once that even the smallest of ponds can have a beneficial effect on the garden, then again, I also read that whatever size pond you choose, go the next size up as they always look much bigger than they actually are.  How I wish I hadn't ignored that bit!!  I really would like a larger pond.
Let's take closer look at what's flowering this June - the Astrantia and Tellima have taken on huge proportions this year and are currently out doing the slow growing shrubs planted to their rear.  One day those fences will green up!

Tellima grandiflora, Heuchera, Astrantia, Polemonium, Polygonatum, Ajuga and Hardy Geraniums flowering in the border
In containers: Chiastophyllum oppossitifolium, Saxifraga cunefolia Variegata and Picea glauca J W Daisy's White 

Rhododendron Goldflimmer - not as floriforous as previous years is the last of the Rhododendrons to flower
     
Rhododendron Goldflimmer
  
Up onto the deck - a dwarf Azalea I've had for well over 15 years and long since lost it's label.  Clematis Nelly Moser usually compliments it but is very slow this year.

It's at this point in my blog I should have had pictures of some Oriental Poppies to show you - the wind today was making it impossible to get a decent shot.

A full 180 degree turn onto the sunnier side of the garden - my mid/late summer border is still very green

Summer border mid June 2013
    
Like the Astrantia on the shadier side - the Aconitums and Cardoon (top right of picture) are massive!  No need to guess which plants really benefitted from last year's rain.  Incidentally, most of us associate Aconitums with being shade lovers, if you have reasonably moist soil (not waterlogged) they will be just as happy in full sun as they are in shade.  


Clematis 'The Vagabond' has just started to add impact in the border, it will flower for most of the summer - Clematis 'Peppermint' will appear later in the year.  A disappointing Allium display - around 20 bulbs were rescued from flooding last year but only 2 survived and produced blooms.  A pretty little dwarf Geum 'Dingle Apricot' will be moved in autumn over to the pond.  I've tried some over there and it copes with a wee bit shade.  This will look nice planted beneath the Cotinus, I think.  Again, hardy geraniums on the sunny side are just starting to flower too, more on them in a later blog I suspect.

Flowering at the top end of the garden (where it flooded last year) a few plants that can and did cope with the weeks of excess water - the first of those flowering are some Trollius - these were planted new in the garden spring 2012 and the first time they have flowered.  Astilbes and Persicaria will follow later.

Trollius acaulis
This pretty little dwarf Trollius is native of China, despite being very small its sunny yellow flowers are very welcome. It's also popular with the pollinators.    



Trollius x cultorum Cheddar
Trollius Cheddar is a very soft creamy yellow and extremely difficult to capture a shot of, no matter what time of day!!  I'm hoping that one day this will make a lovely sized clump.  It's one of those plants that I was never quite so sure off but now I've seen it flower, I rather like it.  It's scented too an added bonus!

My new Primula bed is beginning to come to life - alongside a couple of slow growing Acers I've planted numerous Primula that will flower at varying times of the year.  I'm really pleased with this - considering I only finished planting it up a few weeks ago.


Primula beesiana, P. japonica Millers Crimson and P. bulleesiana
  
Also planted in this border is Geranium endressii Wargrave Pink it is a perfect little companion for purple leaved Heucheras - seen here with Heuchera Obsidian


That's it for a stroll around my garden and I'd like to end with a caption competition.  Please meet Titch - the smallest of my 3 cats, introducing himself to a new Nepeta (Blue Danube)  I've planted in the gravel bed.  I've no prize to offer but it will be fun to read his mind!



Guess what I'm thinking!
   

I should add that no cat was harmed during this shot - only his pride because he couldn't get at it!

Thank you for visiting - I'm off now to see what's been blooming in your garden!   
   
    

44 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed your well written post and photo collages of your gardens. The photo of Titch at the end with the Nepeta is priceless-so adorable! Thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad to have found you through Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!

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    1. Lee - it's great to find new blogs, thanks for visiting. Yes, Titch and his antics in the garden are often priceless but sometimes pricey - he does like to chase anything that moves and has caused many a casualty""

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  2. Cute photo of the cat! He looks like he's in love! :) Your description of 'puttering about' sounds divine! I am still adding on areas, and am looking forward to getting my garden "complete" so that I can spend my days puttering about, too. Your garden is so pretty - your borders look so neat and tidy, and the blooms are lovely.

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    1. Holley - yes, divine it is! I'm sure when you've finished all you areas you will enjoy it too. Although I could still find plenty more to do if I really wanted too.

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  3. I too would like to putter! I'm just to pooderd out.

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    1. Greggo - I hope you get a chance to relax soon enough!

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  4. Hi Angie, I am pottering about in my garden almost every day :-) Although not today, it was a horrendous weather today here in London, with strong winds and horizontal rain, I am keen but not that keen! You have a lovely collection of early summer flowers, and so amazing that your magnolia keeps flowering, mine are still not producing any but I haven’t given them up for this year, they are both repeat flowering so there are still hope! I have put the Clematis 'The Vagabond' on my wish list, what a spectacular colour!

    I also have problem taking pictures of white flowers, if you can turn your pictures darker on your camera it might help, that’s what I do, just for white flowers, it makes everything darker but that’s OK, the foliage isn’t that interesting anyway.

    And as for your cat, I know what my cat is thinking when he lies like that – newly arrived plants or not: come and rub my belly!

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    1. Helene - Thanks. You wouldn't be disappointed with 'The Vagabond', it's a lovely clematis and flowers for the whole summer.
      Thanks for tip re taking photos. I've yet to master the camera but will look into your suggestion.
      Usually Titch is looking for a tummy rub but not when he is engrossed in the Nepeta - you get a swift claw if you get too close :)

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  5. To me it's so strange after 37 years of working that I have all the time of the world to putter in my garden now. I had plans to become a better housewife spending all the time cleaning my house, but these were only dreams, (lol). You have a lovely garden. I love the primula's so much. I have the nepeta also in my garden and my 3 cats love to eat it.
    Have a wonderful sunday Angie.

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    1. Marijke - the best laid plans and all that, eh!! I think that many of us have dreams of days concentrating on doing such things but I think that housework would be bottom of my list! thanks for visiting.

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  6. Hi Angie,

    Pottering is pretty much all I do, in fact a little too much and not enough actual work... Most evenings at this time of year - weather permitting - are spent lounging around on the grass either dozing, reading, listening to music or listening to the birds and of course, taking photos.
    Your garden is looking lovely, and who'd have thought MY garden would be hillier than yours! Hahaha, something seems very wrong with this scenario... I'd never really describe Edinburgh as flat........... Lucky you. It almost seems odd to me when I see flat gardens now :)

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    1. Liz - I had forgot you lived in Edinburgh. Up the southside if my memory serves me right. Yes, very hilly up there but I've been lucky to live with gardens that have always been flat. Although a bit of contour here and there would be nice, but not too much.
      I work evenings but do spend afternoons doing similar.

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  7. Lots blooming for you and your gardens are really lovely. That summer border is special and everything so well balanced. The cat is adorable.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Cher, thanks for the compliments. I'm not sure I'd describe it as balanced a few things in the wrong place here and there but now it has matured I can sort out things in autumn.

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  8. Hi Angie, what a delightful garden and blog which expresses your love of the place and its plants. I especially love the Trollius and Polemonium! Happy pottering :)

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    1. Thanks - I spent ages choosing the right Trollius. Some of the big bright orange varieties are just not to my taste. The conditions in that part of the garden are ideal for them and as I'm learning - plant for the conditions, not for what I like.

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  9. Your garden is looking totally fabulous! Love little Titch...such a sweet little face...I may have to cage my Nepeta in the future, as one of our cats loves rolling in it...it's looking pretty sad at the moment!

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    1. Scott - thank you. Covering the Nepeta like this is a good idea. It still allows the cats to enjoy it but stops them damaging the crowns of the plants. It doesn't take long for it to grow through and cover the wire.

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  10. I can't think of any better way to spend a vacation break than pottering about in the garden. Yours is beautiful!

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    1. Kris - yes an ideal way to spend vacation - doing very little. thanks for stopping over.

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  11. Titch looks so cute, but is not she allowed to roll in the Nepeta? (haha). Thank you for the stroll in your lovely garden and wish you a happy pottering around week.

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    1. Janneke - thanks. He can roll in the Nepeta but not so much as to kill the plant. He's the dark destroyer in the garden. Chases everything that moves with plants left sprawled in his wake!

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  12. Few things are more pleasant than pottering in the garden. It's something you can do when that frantic sense of too many things tasks has worn off. Your garden is looking gorgeous, by the way, I love that Primula!

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    1. Jason, wholly agree with you there! What's not to love about that Primula. They are wonderful plants and do well here in Scotland.

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  13. Pottering is the best time spent in the garden. Your primulas are looking super, mine are just beginning to open too, lots of mine came back with me from a holiday spent in the north of Scotland,( a lovely reminder) they seem quite happy here in the south!

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    1. Pauline, what a lovely reminder of Scotland. I'm pleased they do well for you down south. They tend to grow will here.

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  14. Angie your gardens are gorgeous. I hope to reach that pottering stage one of these years. I also love that primula as mine seem to have been lost somewhere in the garden this spring.

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    1. Donna - I'm sure you will one day! What a shame yours have disappeared. Slugs or Vine Weevil are the major pest here! I hope the reappear.

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  15. Hi Angie - your garden is looking great! How lovely to have a week at home to potter about and take your time over things. I had to smile when you said you had failed to photograph the poppies - I seem to spend all my time chasing flowers in the wind. The photo of your gorgeous cat is hilarious!

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    1. Chasing flowers in the wind is a past time of many a garden blogger, I would suspect! Titch says, thank you and he certainly knows he is gorgeous ;)

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  16. A well spent vacation I would say. My favourite days are of the pottering type.

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    1. Bridget, yes, well spent! Pottering and Satisfying kind of goes together, don't you think!

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  17. I too spend too much time pottering about in the garden and not getting much done. Your garden looks great at the moment and I love that cardoon in the corner.

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    1. Rosie, I wish I could spend more tie pottering, instead I choose not to by doing too much at times! I love the cardoon too and look forward to it flowering each year.

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  18. What a fabulous tour of your fabulous garden! Lots of 'I want one of those' plants....truckloads of 'why haven't we got one of those?' plants and a visit to the nursery now imminent! Thank you x

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    1. Jane, the down side to visiting garden blogs is temptation and want! I suffer too! You must let us know what you buy

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  19. That's a great post. There's a great splash of colours all around your garden and that's why I'm lovin' it!
    www.metro-greens.in

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    1. Thank you - splashes of colour is just about right at the moment!

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  20. Oh My God! What an immensely lovely garden you have!!! How long did it take you to build that? Okay I am coming to Scotland to visit your garden and other gardens you recommend. Wanna come here to have some lovely dance and build my garden like yours :-D? Potter around? I was going to potter, dance, limp, walk, sleep, sit, jog, run, basically do everything in that garden 24 hours.

    The cat is thinking how to get rid off that fence to pounce on that lovely tree to annoy mum and see her dancing angrily :-P

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    1. KL - thank you ever so much! You are more than welcome to come visit in Scotland anytime - I'd even lay on a piper or two for you ;)
      I've been working on the garden for a little over 3 years now. I'm pleased with how most of it looks (still a bit to doo though). I'd gladly give you a helping hand.
      You've got the cat's thoughts down perfectly there!

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  21. Angie your garden is looking really lovely, a good relaxing holiday is just the thing, nice to know all your hardwork in the garden has paid off,
    titch is adorable and probably thinking what a dreadful tease you are planting tantalising and inviting plants only to put them in cages, of course he could also be going 'ner, ner, na ner your in a cage look I'm free' to the nepeta ;)
    Frances

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    1. Frances - thank you. I'm not being a tease, just practical. He would destroy it otherwise! It's now well and truly pushed through the wire basket and he can get at it now!

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  22. You really have a wonderful garden!
    Best wishes
    Elis

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    1. Elis - thank you ever so kindly for the compliments and visiting

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