Saturday, 31 May 2014

End of Month View May 2014

Here we are at the end of May and how time flies when you are having fun!  The doldrums I found myself in at this time last month seems to have shifted and I am now feeling a bit more positive.  I've accepted the fact that I can't split myself in 3 and at times somethings just needs to take a back seat.  Taking the back seat of late has been blogging and reading blogs.  Having said that, I am determined to continue with my committal to my End of Month View postings.  It will be great to see what I've missed in your gardens, I'm willing to bet I'll notice a huge difference.

End of Month View April 2014
The month of May continued to be exceptionally dry here, we've had a few showers but no where near as bad as it's been in the rest of the country.  The grass seed that had only just germinated in April's post is now looking good.  It's been mown twice - one thing we do well here in Scotland is lush fast growing lawn.  The natural stone edging is doing exactly as I had planned.  Just level enough for the mower to skim over without the need of edging each and every time.  The stones are still a bit grubby but will get a good going over with the power washer later in the year - some of the grass seed has also managed to germinate in amongst the plants.  I just need to be vigilant and remove it when I find it.  It seems I've unleashed a demon too!  Mares tails have started appearing.  That's one weed I don't want to take hold.  Again, vigilance will be needed to keep on top of it.  




Not so red Lupin!
The border is now filling out - some things I'm happy with and others are annoying me.  My discontent is 4 fold.  Oriental Poppies (Pattie's Plum), don't seem at all happy.  The cause of their unhappiness has me baffled - Oriental Poppies tend to do well here. Next on the list of discontent -  Helianthus Lemon Queen, I've used this to fill out the back section (until Viburnum sargentii Onondaga matures)  between the Deutzia and the Cardoon.   Of 3 plants only 2 are thriving.    I'm not sure if I need worry about that though.  At the rate they are growing, it seems I have seriously misjudged how quickly they will fill out!  Filling the gaps between the alliums to the right of the cardoon.  Planting in that area is rather patchy - again, due to my misjudgement on how their neighbours would perform.  I've temporarily used some Candelabra Primula I had growing elsewhere.  I had bought a peony (P. Fragrant Pink Imp) to do the job of filling in, then promptly changed my mind.  Another day, another purchase, Verbascum Clemantine (now planted at very back of top border) didn't do it for me either.  I think I'll leave it be for now.   My final disappointment is the red Lupins.  They have all settled in and are producing flower buds and the first bud to colour up just happens to be purple!  It will be interesting to see what the other 2 produce.    
End of Month View May 2014
Just before the sun goes down behind the house for the night
 

It's not all negative, I do have to keep reminding myself of that.  I find it difficult to focus on the positives rather than the negatives, I doubt I am alone in that respect.  Let's see what's pleasing me.



Viburnum sargentii Onondaga
 The leathery foliage is as impressive as the bronze coloured buds before they open
Geum Bell Bank and Primula beesiana
Aquilegia vulgaris William Guinness
If we stand to the back of the border looking back down towards the house, the yellow of the Euphorbia polychroma contrasts nicely with the purple of the Allium and Aquilegia.   
 
Allium Purple Sensation, Aquilegia William Guinnes and Euphoriba polychroma 
I took a huge risk in moving a couple of peonies into this border back in March, one was already well into growth and had buds, the other had just come out of dormancy.
Peony buds fattening up
3 buds on Itoh hybrid Border Charm
Up on the back tier the Cotinus I planted to contrast with the Sambucus nigra Black Lace is positively glowing!  I've added a Clematis montana Marjorie to the back corner.  I had previously ordered this at my local nursery.  I can't remember where I had intended to plant it but it's found a home here.  I've had to use some plastic netting to protect it from the cats, they will insist on climbing the fence in this corner.   


Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit and floppy Verbascum Clemantine 
To the right of the Sambucus is where I've chosen to grow my coral bark Maple - I've filled in round about with a selection of perennials, all growing elsewhere in the garden except Geum Flames of Passion.  Primula aurantiaca are just about to come into flower, Himalayan cowslips, Knifophia, Ligularia and Astrantia will flower later.   The rambling rose (R.'Félicité Perpétue') growing on wires (espalier) was originally meant to be fence cover and although doing a great job, I think is now out of place.  The jury is out until it flowers.  By which time I'll have a better idea of the impact it will make.  I fear that I may have too many white flowering shrubs in this area.  
 
Acer palmatum Eddisbury
Last and certainly not least for this End of Month View, although technically not part of my End of Month View, it is contained within the same border, therefore I've allowed myself to include it and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. 
 
I've longed for what I call a proper tree in my garden for a long time.  Space and telephone lines always put me off, scared me I suppose you could say.  I was having a wee wander around a local nursery, not really looking for anything specific, just browsing, as you do! I came across Sobrus Autumn Spire, tolerant of a windy site, columnar in growth habit, good autumn colour and suitable for wet situations (this area has on occasion flooded) - it ticked all the boxes.  I grabbed it with both hands and proceeded to the check out.  The Rowan was coming home with me come hell or high water!  There was quite a bit of juggling around in the car.  We finally got it in in one piece, phew!   Mum's options were to jam herself in a tight corner in the back of the car or have a cup of tea and wait for me to come back for her.  She chose the former and thankfully both mum and the tree got home unscathed!   
 
I'm fair chuffed with this and what a difference it makes, the height it adds really does 'finish' the area off - surrounded by Philadelphus Belle Etoile, Ligularia the Rocket and Astilbe Deutschland amongst others.  I hope it likes my garden. 
 
That wraps up my EOMV post for May, all that's left is for me to do is to thank you all for reading, wish you all a good weekend and if you want to join other garden bloggers who post their End of Month Views, please join us over at The Patient Gardener's Weblog, where Helen kindly hosts this meme on the last day (or there abouts) of every month.  

36 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking absolutely gorgeous Angie and you've put some lovely plants in it. Some of my favourites: Itoh peonies, Geum Flames of Passion and Philadelphus Belle Etoile to name but three. The Rowan looks like a good one too. Glad Mum got home unscathed!

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    1. Thanks Jessica - P. Belle Etoile is one of my favourites too. In it's 4th year here so I should really be seeing it making an impact this year. I'm glad Mum was unscathed too, otherwise, I'd never have heard the end of it ;)

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  2. Your borders are looking lovely Angie! It seems that many plants take 3 or more years to "settle in" and start acting like themselves - I've been very unhappy with certain things at first, only to fall in love with them over time... I try to remember to hold off on the judgment until they've been given a fair trial (but keep forgetting). Really love that geum!

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    1. Thanks for the compliments Spurge - like you I do forget. Patience is not my strongest point!

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  3. Your borders are so lovely. And you are so right. It takes time before a plant settles down in the garden.
    Enjoyed to see your wonderful garden.
    Have a nice Sunday Angie.

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    1. Marijke - the more I garden the more I learn, it is a learning curve and doubt it will ever be anything but! Hope you had a good Sunday too.

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  4. When I think back to how that area looked at the beginning of the year, I'm really quite gob-smacked. It has filled in so beautifully. The cardoon makes such a striking structural statement. I'm so jealous of your lush patch of grass. I sowed grass seed in my front garden back in March and it's still quite sparse. I hope your new tree thrives!

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    1. As I said above Alison, we do grass well here in Scotland. If I was ever to be lucky enough to move to sunnier climes I think lush green grass would be the thing I'd miss most. Thanks for wishing my tree well.

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  5. Your new lawn is absolutely fabulous! You wouldn't think it was so new, you must be so pleased with it! My Viburnum Onondaga isn't at all well, I wonder why, this year it has only put out a few leaves, it is sprouting near the base so maybe I will have to cut back to these shoots, I'm waiting to see what will happen over the next few weeks. You have bought some super plants so your border is going to be fabulous when they are growing to their proper size. I like your choice of tree, my mountain ash came courtesy of a passing bird!

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    1. Pauline, I've noticed the cats seem rather fond of V. Onondaga. They were making a beeline for it every day and indeed I had to snip of a few stems they had damaged. I wonder if the same thing is happening with yours. What ever it is, I hope it recovers for you. They are lovely aren't they.

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  6. So many positives but we all tend to focus on the negatives don't we?

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    1. We sure do Sue - and worse too always make a point of pointing them out!

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  7. Angie, your garden looks magnificent regardless of your various misgivings. (It always annoys me too when a plant I've bought with a promise of one color turns out to be another!) I think the new tree is perfect and I'm beyond envious of your success with the lawn. I tried reseeding one of the worst areas of mine and the outcome has been so pathetic that I'm inclined to take all the front lawn out. As you've noted, there's always something to get our goat...

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    1. Thanks Kris. I do tend to buy perennials when they are in flower or just about to come into flower, that way you can guarantee the colour but the Lupins were bought as small plants way back in spring. It will be interesting to see what the others turn out to be.
      If there's one thing we do here in Scotland is good lawns! There's never much to worry about in that respect!

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  8. So glad to read that you've emerged from the doldrums Angie. Your new lawn area looks as if it's always been there. I've not heard of viburnum sargentii Onondaga which looks most pleasing on the eye. I can imagine the fun you must have had bringing your new tree home. We're spoilt as we have a camper van - the bathroom compartment is the perfect plant storage area :) It sounds as if it will be the prefect specimen to thrive in your garden Angie. Look forward to seeing more photos of it as the year goes on.

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    1. The viburnum is a lovely one Anna - I saw it in a picture and immediately fell for it. Lucky you having a camper van to transport plants home. Did the exact same today with a Hawthorn. It seems that now I know I can get a tree in the car - there's no stopping me :)

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  9. Your new corner and lawn look fabulous! And with all the plants you have put in it looks nice and established already. My oriental poppies are not doing so well either, I wonder if all the rain in the winter have made them suffer a bit. And because they are not doing so well, other plants have taken over in my garden so now they are not getting as much light as they normally would have, not sure if I will get much flowers at all this year. Oh, there’s always something, isn’t it? Every year brings new challenges! Love your ‘William Guinness’ and your new Sorbus should be perfect for your garden :-)

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    1. My established Oriental poppies are doing well and should be flowering pretty soon. The poppies don't usually act like this. We have not had the wet winter we normally have - it's been incredibly dry here all winter. I'm hoping that is the issue. But you are right, there's always something!

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  10. Hi Angie,

    Just to put your mind at ease, you are not the only one struggling with Patty's Plum. I've had mine 3/4 years now and still it's a straggly little thing and never one bloom on it. You're not alone.

    How on Earth do you have such a nice lawn, so quickly???!

    When starting out with your garden, it can all get too much. Don't worry, soon it'll be very full and mature. I remember being over-whelmed with mine and decided to just work on one border at a time, so I could focus and stop the panic that I don't know what I'm doing. Now I'm just used to not knowing and go with whatever I want.

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    1. Liz, how do I have such a nice lawn so quickly? It's the good old Scottish climate! You had the right idea. I'd do worse than take a leaf from your book. We are always told gardening is a learning curve aren't we - but I'm not sure how much of the learning is actually sinking in.

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  11. Che bellezza, è fantastico quello che hai creato! Le piante perfette nei posti perfetti! Quel Viburnum poi non lo conoscevo! Un saluto :)

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    1. Grazie Pontos - felice di aver introdotto il Viburnum a voi!

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  12. Your garden looks stunning, Angie. Lemon Queen favour fresh soil, maybe it was to dry up to now? I spotted the same Viburnum in a garden recently and like it a lot, beautiful foliage too. Some marvellous verbascums were at Chelsea this year...I could get quite addicted ;)

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    1. Annette, my curiosity got the better of me today and I lifted the one plant that was failing to thrive - I had actually forgot I was given some H. Lemon Queen by a friend last year and it was doing ok in the front garden so I swapped them around. The small one, I think must have been getting nibbled - the stems all snapped of at soil level. I shall see how it's replacement goes.
      The verbascum will need to be treated as an annual - they don't like the soil here. An expensive annual mind you!

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  13. Looking good! Congratulations on your new tree, I hope you will be happy together. Is this a sorbus that has orange berries? Also glad you were able to accommodate both the tree and your mother. She sounds like a very reasonable person.

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  14. Looking good! Congratulations on your new tree, I hope you will be happy together. Is this a sorbus that has orange berries? Also glad you were able to accommodate both the tree and your mother. She sounds like a very reasonable person.

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  15. I have been missing you. Coming here after so long. Need a lot to catch up slowly over the next few weeks.

    You really know about plants. Impressive. I can hardly pronounce them, and I also think of how to fill out the various parts of the garden, but my limited knowledge hinders my progress.

    What are those white flags in the first picture? The garden is looking amazing as usual.

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  16. wow Angie you have done well with all your changes to your garden, there is so much going on, I can understand feeling down I get like that too sometimes, it's hard to try and stay positive, how annoying for the lupin not to be the colour you expected, can you complain to the nursery, I had some 'yellow' primulas last year come up orange! I e mailed the nursery and they sent replacements, Frances

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  17. I think things are looking great for you there. I really like the new tree. Isn't it fun trying to fit something sizey into our cars. :) I believe I recall you putting in your Cotinus last year. If so then next year you will see significant growth on it. Mine looks fantastic this year, put in 2 years ago. It's now almost as high as my 6 foot privacy fence. Stays that spectacular color all summer.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  18. I think your garden is looking brilliant! Planning a garden is not easy is it, things rarely grow to the size you expect (or as stated on the label) and the flowering time can vary too. So it has to be a lot of trial and error which in a garden takes a lot of time. I feel very much the same about my garden, but I think writing a blog is really beneficial as it does make you look for the positives, at least most of the time and you get all these lovely people telling you how good it all looks (little do they know what the bits they don't see look like!)
    As for Scotland being good for lawns - well my little bit of Scotland is good for moss! I have leant to love that too.

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  19. You have everything to be positive about Angie looking at the latest pictures of your garden but unfortunately the negatives tend to niggle us more. I always find it best to be pessimistic so at least when things go well it is a wonderful surprise :)

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  20. Your garden is looking fabulous Angie, you must be so pleased. I can see you have worked so hard in it.
    I hope you will show the Itoh peony in bloom. I love the verbascum, what a gorgeous colour.

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  21. Hi Angie, that grass is looking amazing. What a difference from April.

    I had two plants of H. Lemon Queen last year and they grew massively and I was picking bunches of flowers for the house for about 5 months. I've actually got rid of one of the plants as they do take up quite a lot of room and the thick foliage blocks out the sun from anything nearby. So a thug, but a nice one if you keep cutting it for flowers.

    I think the planting is looking good and rather than be negative about it, maybe take a step back for a few months and allow things to develop and see how you feel?

    The Sorbus looks great, such a lovely tree and as you say, adds height and another dimension to the planting.

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  22. Angie, it's all looking great - I'm well impressed! I sense you are a bit of a perfectionist. Like me - a plant cannot rest until I'm completely happy with where its to end up! I, too, have been concerned about my "Patty's Plum" - all set to flower, and suddenly the buds and stems seem to have started rotting and turning black. First time that's happened for me. Sob! But, there's always something! You should be chuffed with your Rowan - it looks great and should do well.

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  23. As always...impressed, inspired & in NEED of the contents of your garden too!

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  24. Angie I am loving the look of this garden...it is growing in nicely. Funny how your helianthus is not doing well. I have mine in sun and normal to moist conditions...they seem happy and multiply. Hopefully yours will also take off eventually.

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