Sunday, 18 August 2013

Weekend Colour

I took the opportunity to get an aerial view of the garden whilst I was cleaning the back windows earlier today - as I stood back, not literally or else I would have fallen from the steps, I realised how happy I am with my back garden this year.  It's hard to believe that 2 and a half years ago it was a blank canvas.



Since ridding my garden with most of the time wasters earlier this year, I find that I can truly appreciate how good a plant looks when it's thriving.  I am so glad that I got brutal!  I no longer feel the need to move things around to see if it will cope in another spot.  I don't consider myself experienced enough to offer much advice but if there was one piece of advice I would give any new gardener it would be - Plant for the situation.  Choose plants suitable for your environment.  A struggling plant isn't a pleasure!  Take it from me, I've learnt the hard way.  If there is one piece of advice you could give a new gardener, what would it be?

Let's take a closer look at what's doing well in my garden this weekend.  The first 3 are flowering for a second time this year, having benefited from a general tidy up after their first blooms they have rewarded my with another flush of flowers.     



Geranium endressii Wargrave's Pink


Geum Dingle Apricot
Nepeta Six Hills Giant


The long border, which I am now calling 'The Bee Garden'' is positively swarming with bees, hoverflies and butterflies.  I don't really have a scheme or theme going on in this border except for the fact that most of the plants have been chosen to attract beneficial insects.   There are lots of plants crammed in here, I consider my garden a bit too small to plant in drifts and I do like the 'shoehorned' effect!  I seem to be developing an aversion to seeing bare soil.



 We've got Veronicastrum, Monarda, Daylilies and lots more - join me for a closer look

Veronicastrum viginicum Roseum, Monarda Croftway Pink, Cirsium surrounding
Phsocarpus Lady in Red (Coppertina for those in the states)  
  
Monarda Prairie Night and white tailed bumblebee


Potentilla nepalensis Ron Mcbeath - bumblebee and hoverfly



Clematis Peppermint - not so prolific as it has been in previous years




Verbena Bonariensis
Verbena bonariensis, loved by bees and butterflies - grows as an annual here in my garden.  I
have read in numerous places that this self seeds readily, alas - not here!


Geraniu x antipodeum Chocolate Candy
A couple of hardy cranesbill have been flowering all summer, both very similar in colour but quite different in growth habit.  It's difficult to capture how lovely they look.  Both require full sun for best foliage colour.
Geranium x antipodeum Pink Spice
 
 
 
Hemerocallis Crimson Pirate



Hemerocallis Pink Damask
 
Scabiosa Beaujolais Bonnets
a must for any wildlife garden
Allium schaerocephalon another must for any
wildlife garden


Phlox paniculata Violet Flame
a shorter growing Phlox that flowers earlier than others here in my garden



Erigeron - flowering all summer


Cynara cardunculus
The first flower is opening on my giant Cardoon - I love it!!  Easily reaching beyond 7ft this year and has at least 20 buds to open.  Probably considered far to big for a garden small as mine - there is no way I would do without this in my garden.  It usually flowers a wee bit later here in Scotland and can succumb to the winds in September - not this year, conditions are perfect and I've not had to rush out to offer up last minute support (yet!)



Buddleja davidii Empire Blue
 
 
Buddleja, hoverfly(?) and peacock butterfly

This buddleja has now outgrown it's spot in my garden, I knew it would and have only ever considered it to be a temporary resident until the surrounding shrubs mature enough to fill the gap. I really need to reconsider and find it another home elsewhere!


Escallonia Iveyi (AGM)
Cornus alternifolia Argentea (AGM) and Dianthus Valda Wyatt

Dianthus Valda Wyatt grows comfortably at the base of my favourite shrub.  A Silver pagoda dogwood.  Still very small but will someday make a beautiful statement in my garden.

Nepeta Blue Danube


As we move up to the top end of the garden, it's hard to believe that this border was almost devoid of any plants this time last year.  Lots were lost due to flooding.  Planting out with moisture loving plants last August/September - I expected a lot of them to toil with the lack of rain this year but thankfully, they seem to be coping.   The white Astilbe Deutschland, doesn't really fit in and will find a new home elsewhere in autumn.




A new honeysuckle (Lonicera Fragrant Cloud) has been added this year.  I used some large stone to raise the soil level in this corner, I'm hoping that should sort out any flooding, should it reoccur.      

Across the way, continuing the hot colour scheme but minus the orange and yellow crocosmia I tore out last year, a mature clump of Persicaria and Helenium need a yellow companion but I know not what yet!!   

Hot bed and sun lovers growing in containers on the deck steps
Clematis Voluceau

I've chose a purple Clematis to scramble up the rose that grows against the shed.   It's still small but I like how it looks against the orange.



Persicaria and Helenium


Persicaria amplexicaulis J S Caliente


Helenium Moerheim Beauty 


Sedum telephium Purple Emperor (AGM) and bumblebee
Whilst I advocate choosing plants suitable for conditions in the ground.  It is worthwhile knowing that some plants can and will be just as happy in containers if you want to give them a go.  Sedum are one group of plants that doesn't cope well in the borders in my garden and suffer what I believe is root rot.  I've had reasonable success keeping them in containers.  I don't mind making the extra effort for the insects.  This year I've chose to give some Lavender and Eryngium a go - I've used a good quality John Innes based compost with some grit added to aid drainage.  Whilst I foresee no issues this year, how well they come through winter will tell me if they are keepers or not!    


Lavendula angustifolia Hidcote  (AGM)
Eryngium bourgatii Graham Stuart Thomas
In another container is Agapanthus - I bought a bare root plant 3 years ago, just to give it a try.  Each year it has increased in bulk and always puts out plenty of foliage, until this year that is!  It was supposed to be a deep blue - not that it matters, it has flowered.  I love it when my effort is rewarded. 


Agapanthus (African Lily)
   

5 Agapanthus flowers
I received a couple of pots of Leucanthemum Victorian Secret as a gift a few weeks ago.  Unlike the tall ones, which more often than not collapse in a heap, these are quite short and seem sturdy enough.  They are in pots, flanking either side of the path.   As you can see already attracting visitors!

Leucanthemum Victorian Secret and Small Tortioseshell Butterfly
In my Sempervivum and Sedum trough - Sedum Chocolate Ball and a sempervivum are about to flower.


Down by the pond foliage provides most of the colour at the moment.  The Hostas have struggled at bit this year 


  

Cotinus Dusky Maiden, Stachys Wisley White and Alchemilla erythropoda flowering 



Hosta Devon Green and Bog Pimpernel in the pond


Astilbe Red Sentinel
Veronica spicata Heidekind
Thalictrum actaefolium Perfume Star
 I hope you've enjoyed your wee stroll around my garden - tell me, are you as happy with your garden this summer as I am?  Enjoy the week ahead!

51 comments:

  1. Thanks for risking life and limb to get that aerial shot. It really helps to give context to the close-ups. I am only beginning to reach a point where some of my beds can stand up to the long shots...maybe next year.
    Oh, the advice: get in touch with fellow gardeners. Blogs are great for that, and so much fun. You look pretty well qualified to hand out advice from what I can see here.

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    1. Thanks Ricki - I will be looking forward to seeing some long shots of your garden
      I agree talking to other gardeners and reading blogs has been a great help to me. It's amazing how many tips we can pick up.

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  2. Oh, how lovely to see the whole garden in one photo, your garden is huge compared to mine! It's all looking very nice, I am so jealous of your daylilies, I have put both of them on my wish list! I also keep some plants in containers that won’t do well in the borders, lavender is one of them, not suitable for my shade garden so I keep it on the patio. My best tip for a gardener just starting out? Start small! If you buy a lot of plants and aim for an instant garden it can be very costly, better to learn as you go.

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    1. Helene, thank you. I do see my garden as small compared to some I see online but it's ample for me. I didn't think yours was much smaller mind you.
      Great advice, one I wish I had taken when I first started out!

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    2. My garden is 4.7m wide and 11.7m long including the seating area but not including the short, narrow corridor down from the backdoor where I have my nursery shelves. In total 55m2 or 592 square feet. I bet your garden must be twice of that?

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    3. Thanks for that Helene - I really didn't think your garden was that small. The way you have it laid out makes it look bigger. You are possibly right about being twice the size - I'll measure it one day, if nothing else, out of curiosity.
      When I lived nearer to the City Centre - my last garden was roughly the same size as yours, although more square.

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  3. Your garden is feeled with treasures. The overvieuw is great to see. How huge your garden is. Love the Geranium chocolat I never seen it before.
    Have a wonderful day Angie.

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    1. Marijke - thank you ever so much. I don't think it as huge, just 'big enough'!
      Those geraniums are rather lovely, even more so with the names they have given them.

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  4. What a wonderful bee garden! It looks mature for its age. The hot border is fab - I especially enjoyed the Persicaria/Helenium combination. I agree with you about selecting plants for soil/aspect/climate/your particular environment. I believe that getting to know your garden/soil well is vital. If nothing else, it makes financial sense. Lovely post. I am particularly impressed with your ladder-climbing/photography talents.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the bee garden. Growing conditions have been optimum this year and I suspect the plants benefitted from all the rain last year.
      I think the bees like this border because there is lots of variety. What I'm finding is that as one plant goes over they all swarm to another.

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  5. So much to treasure, Angie! Your garden looks so neat and well organized and well cared for. Very clever design too and makes the garden seem very spacious. The hot border is great but I also appreciate the different foliage by the pond. No wonder you're happy with your plot. I'm also very happy with my garden and love to see it thrive. Have a good week too :)

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    1. It's good that many of us are happy this year - perfect growing conditions (for most things) has made it all a pleasure!

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  6. Your garden is looking lovely with some beautiful flowers. I think you're right to be brutal when you'd like to change things; I'll have to be for next year because I've several flowers now that need to be moved or are just looking too tired. It's wonderful seeing the bees and butterflies loving your garden - and I think that would be my advice for new gardeners; please plant as many flowers as possible for pollinators. Apart from anything else, they just add to the beauty of a garden.

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    1. Wendy I absolutely agree, attracting bees and other pollinators is paramount. There is little to compare with a garden full of bees and butterflies.

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  7. Your gardens are lovely and you have lots of blooms now. I agree plant for what works and for me what is not as much maintanence.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Thanks Cher - that's good advice, low maintanence is also important. Particularly for new gardeners until they learn the do's and don'ts

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  8. This is my second time commenting so hopefully it will work this time! I love all of the diversity in your garden. You have plants I have never seen before! I'm glad you have happiness with your hard work! I would advise a new gardener to do a few things ~ add structure to the garden and research plants by reading and observation. If one likes roses, visit a rose garden and make a list of your favorite roses. Visit again a month later, note which favorites are repeat blooming and which are not. And walk your neighborhood ~ that will also give an idea of what is blooming in different seasons. Hope you are having a good day!

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    1. Sorry you were having trouble Stacy - I often find that, or press the delete button in error.
      Your advice - brilliant! It's good to know what thrives in our environment and remembering the diversity of each genus.

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  9. Hi Angie,

    Such a lovely garden you have... Nicely 'designed' compared to my mash of things shoved anywhere. There's no real flow to mine, but that's mainly down to it being tiered, and the steps being in a set place that I cannot change. So it's difficult to follow it as such.

    So glad to see you have so many insects, similar to mine. I just wouldn't be happy without them. It's perhaps the single biggest thing that's making me not want to move -the worry that where I move to is devoid of Bees and butterflies. So I'm hoping to live near woods/park/field to try to ensure some sort of wildlife visits. At the moment I realise I am so incredibly lucky to have so many butterflies constantly fluttering around and hate the thought of never having it again.

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    1. Liz - Whilst images in my head of a tiered garden might well be idyllic - I know that from a practical point of view, they would not be!
      I hope you never have to encounter a garden without Bees and Butterflies - that would be heartbreaking!

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  10. Your garden looks fabulous from the birds-eye view! And all your plants look so healthy. Very smart of you to be 'brutal'. I need to learn to be a bit more brutal in my garden - in the end, I bet it is actually much more satisfying and almost a relief to not have to see struggling plants any more.

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    1. Holley - thank you. It is such a relief not to be constantly fretting over whether a plant is going to survive or not. I was exhibiting some obsessive behaviour last year. Never again!!

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  11. Your garden looks amazingly lush , I can't see any bare patches. You have all the things I can't grow with my dry sandy soil. I did a cull of all the water lovers last year. Which has set me back a bit. You're right the plants I now have look much healthier . I like your 'Miss Jekyll's boots!

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    1. How opposite our gardens are Linda - the flooding set me back a bit last year but hopefully not too much!
      Glad you like the boots - a work collegue was just about to pop them in the bin and I immediately thought 'I could use them!'

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  12. Oh, I can see why you're happy with your garden--it looks fantastic from all directions and all angles. How wonderful to have an aerial view! That succulent trough is great!

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    1. Janet, how I wish I had the foresight to take a proper shot before I got started on the garden The google earth image doesn't really show up how bad it is.
      I'm well pleased at the trough and imagine that once it fills out a bit more it will look even better.

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  13. I would be very happy with your garden too, it is looking beautiful! All your plants look very happy together. Having so many plants close together means there is no room for weeds and that makes for a happy gardener! The best advice I got from Beth Chatto's books was Right plant , right place, and following that has meant far fewer plants turn up their toes and die!

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    1. Pauline - Although I haven't read Beth Chatto's book - it's a lesson all gardeners should learn!

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  14. For a yellow companion with the Helenium and Persicaria, how about a Heliopsis (very long-blooming, on the tall side but you can cut it back to make it more compact). If you want something shorter, Achillea (a variety like Coronation Gold) or Coreopsis. Or maybe some yellow daylilies? Just a few thoughts. Overall, your garden looks great and you should be very pleased.

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    1. Jason, useful ideas for companions - I used to have a yellow daylily and Achillea terracotta but the wet did for them last year. I will look into your suggestions and see if they might cope with the conditions.

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    2. OK, I didn't realize you had wet soil. You could try an Oenothera. Oenothera tetragona 'Sundrops' is supposed to be less of a spreader, which can be a problem with some Oenotheras.

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    3. Jason, thank you for suggestion Trollius. Believe it or not I did buy one to plant there but ended up putting it elsewhere and I had completely forgotten about this as an option. I'll be on the lookout in spring :)

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  15. I looked at the first picture of your garden -- the one you took from top -- and started doing a scottish+american+indian combined dance sitting on my chair. Hallelujah!! what a garden, what a piece of art that is. Did you create that whole thing -- the design, and everything? It's marvellous. I am going to print it out, put it in front of me, and using your ideas, I am going to create my garden. Absolutely beautiful...stunning...gorgeous....I have to come and read this piece again...

    Hmm...my advice will be to follow Angie's Garden Diary to get hold of plant names and see the design of her garden.

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    1. You should have had your OH video your dance for us all to see KL - I'm sure we would have loved it!
      I'm glad you've been inspired - that is the best compliment I could ever expect.
      All my own work and I've had great fun experimenting and suspect it will continue to evolve. Thanks again for you enthusiasm :)

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  16. So many beautiful plants! And such a good overall design too! Where to start?!? I love the Cornus alternifolia, your red-red hemerocallis, Clematis 'Peppermint' (I have that same thing happen with my clematis, but they usually make up for the next year.), Geraniums, Helenium (love that one for summer!) and Agapanthus. For your design, I love the pattern you created with your circular shrubs and stepping stones.... engaging and definitely makes me want to step over and take a little walk around your garden :)
    Great work, Angie!!
    ~Julie

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  17. And my advice:

    Do not be afraid to cut your plants back when they are looking tired or just terrible! It is almost always exactly what a plant needs to renew itself. :)

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    1. Julie, thank you for your lovely words. They are very encouraging. It is a good idea to cut back plants that are finished and tired - doesn't take long for them to look just as good again.

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  18. You have some beautiful flowers - like you in our garden drifts are not an option.

    Our verbena bonariensis self seed - even coming up in gaps in the paving stones but not where I decided to sprinkle seeds - contrary or what?

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    1. Sue, thank you. I think plants that tend to set seed often grow where we don't want them and not where we carefully spread the seed. Sods Law I suppose!

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  19. Your 'Bee Garden' looks stunning Angie and doesn't look overcrowded even if you do "pack 'em in". Any plants which need sun and a free-draining soil have to be grown in pots in my shaded garden, and I find lavender is not worth the trouble unless you have ideal conditions.

    My advice to anyone starting off would be to have a good walk round the local area and see what grows well so at least they can start off with something that should be OK.

    My butterflies and even a couple of dragonflies arrived two days ago as I was on the point of giving them up for this year!

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    1. Rick - thanks very much. Being totally honest, I'm not a lavender fan, can't stand the smell!! I know how much the bees love it so I'm willing to make a wee sacrifice. I will not be mamby pampying it in winter though!
      Another good piece of advice - mind you by the look of some of my neighbours gardens, I would only be growing weeds ;)

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  20. Hello Angie! Your garden is like heaven!! Love it from macro to micro :-D Love what you planted, how you arranged every patch and the whole area is a magnet for all creatures in this world... I am speechless now. You have the loveliest weekend!! Cheers, Stephanie

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    1. Stephanie, I'm pleased that you liked my garden. Didn't think it would make anyone speechless though....that's a very nice thing to say :)

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  21. PS: TQ for you kinds words for my small garden :-)

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  22. Your garden looks so beautiful - you've done a wonderful job with it!!

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    1. Thank you. It does make me feel ever so good to received so many lovely comments and everyone is truly appreciated!

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  23. Your garden looks well-loved and full of interesting sections to explore.
    I like the creative use of the pair of boots.

    My advice to a new gardener would be to try growing some plants from seed - it's so rewarding.

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    1. b-a-g, thank you. I'm very pleased with the boot experiment.
      Good advice. In fact, I've done my first ever seeds a few weeks ago. I can see green and I'm getting more excited by the day. I just hope they are the seeds and not weeds!!

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  24. Fabulous garden..mine is overgrown and weedy as I am not able to garden at all this summer...but I will be yanking out lots soon. I like your advice. perfect as we usually try to grow things not suited and they rarely survive.

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    1. Donna, yes you have had a busy summer and I bet you can't wait to get stuck in. I know I would be!

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