The Plant Pulley

Today was very hot and sunny. Until fatigue forced me inside I put in

more work on the stones of the Weeping Birch Bed footpath.

It is now possible once more to sit on the chair beneath the tree and look across to the Rose Garden. A raised stone sits in the foreground of this picture. I picked it out of the undergrowth with the intention of using it on the path. When the Head Gardener informed me that it was part of another path leading in the direction of the crow’s flight from the chair, I was somewhat disappointed. Ah, well.

In the Rose Garden we have, among others, Altissimo, foxgloves, Gloriana, Madame Alfred Carriere, and For your Eyes Only.

Red and white mimuluses are blooming in a hanging basket over the Heligan Path; yellow ones in a tub beside the decking.

White petunias share a pot with angels wings, and blue pansies in a hanging basket beside the greenhouse are almost fluorescent.

Planting was again Jackie’s main occupation today. Here she displays a tomato grown from seed.

She has also installed one of Shelly’s Christmas presents, namely a retractable plant hanger which, when attached to the top of the Gazebo can be applied to a hanging basket and retracted to a position giving the required headroom for passing husbands. This one certainly appreciates it.

We have a number of clumps of Erigeron and various peonies.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice topped with an omelette and served with two preparations of prawns – one tempura with sweet chilli sauce, the other hot and spicy. We both drank Concha y Toro Reserva Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc 2020.

Making Do

On another hot summer’s day visiting traffic continued to pour into our area, so we stayed at home and I made do with garden flower photography.

During the morning and later in the afternoon Jackie concentrated hard on irrigation, including filling the Waterboy’s shell, the level of which suffers from dehydration and thirsty birds.

Butterflies and bees didn’t seem to mind the heat as they flitted from plant to plant. There is room for both Small White butterfly and a bee on the hibiscus in the first picture; bees had sole occupation of the bidens and the saxifrages; the Meadow Brown and the Small White butterflies were unwilling to share space on the sedum or the verbena bonariensis.

Today’s lilies are the heavily scented pale pink double and the freckled beauty seen in better light.

It is the season for dahlias including the two-toned Puerto Rico.

The season for this rhododendron is long over, but the plant doesn’t know that.

Pale pink phlox coexist with rich rust-coloured chrysanthemums.

Lady Emma Hamilton and Ballerina dance on in the Rose Garden, while soaring Altissimo and an unknown pink climber once more reach for the skies.

Hollyhocks, rudbeckia Goldsturm, California poppies, petunias, and hydrangea Tricolor all lend their colour.

Much as the Head Gardener tries to train her clematises, some, like this Niobe, insist on trailing where they will.

As always, the galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image, each of which may be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it and further with another click.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth visited for a cup of tea and didn’t stay for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s egg fried rice, mini spring rolls, and tempura and spicy prawns. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Carles.

Shifting Light

This morning my gardening occupations combined dead heading and making photographs.

These roses Summer Wine and Altissimo, both coming again, were too high for me to reach with hand secateurs, and I couldn’t be bothered to fetch the steps.

Bigifying will probably be necessary to appreciate these bees on bidens, on Japanese anemones, and coming to land on crocosmia. Just click on any image to access the gallery and enlarge further with clicks on the ‘view full size’ box underneath and again if required. The bees swarming the Japanese anemones must be welcoming the plants’ early blooming.

Crocosmia blend well with other plants such as these bell-like alliums and the Japanese maple with its fingers singed by recent violent winds.

From beside this latter crocosmia I was able, through the maple, to view the petunias and pelargoniums featured alongside the kitchen wall.

We haven’t identified all the clematises in the garden. The first of this triptych above, for example, is a Lidl unnamed purchase; we do know that it is Niobe who shares the arch with the fuchsia, Chequerboard; the Head Gardener was determined to track down ‘clematis viticella purpurea plena elegans’, which took her some time, because when we arrived seven years ago this then weakly specimen was ailing in the rubble jungle that we eventually turned into the Rose Garden – it was fostered out in another bed until we returned it to its native soil, and has taken three years to reach the top of its supporting beam.

One of these yellow evening primrose blooms has survived the night well; this phantom hydrangea is also a survivor – it is the plant after which the eponymous path is named – first planted on one side of the Phantom Path it was really rather poorly for its first two years, until Aaron moved it into Margery’s Bed where it has enjoyed more light. We hope it will soon be in the shape in which we bought it.

Hemerocallis still thrive and we also have stargazer lilies in the main garden.

Four hours later, in mid afternoon I set out once more with my camera, giving me shifted lighting conditions.

A bee did its best to weigh down a verbena bonariensis.

Niobe could now sunbathe, and the clematis at the barrier between the garden and the back drive enjoyed light and shade;

the freckled lilies kept out of the direct sunlight;

sweet peas and hollyhocks could take it stronger.

My lens found the white flowers the best beneficiaries: sweet scented petunias, powerfully aromatic phlox, a clutch of dahlias, different Japanese anemones and the phantom hydrangea sheltered in shade this morning.

This evening we dined on prawn fish cakes, peas, and fresh crispy bread and butter with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carles from a second bottle.

Fruits Of Labour

I am close to deciding on my final cut for the Everton Festival Photographic Competition. Many painful decisions are being made now, concerning which shots to leave out.

In order seriously to consider the deer having her nose scratched I have converted this image to Black and White, thus giving a sharper silhouette. This is, incidentally, quite a small crop from the original picture. Does anyone have an opinion?

Jackie has been working very hard all this week on planting and replenishment of soil.

Here she tidies what she has achieved against the kitchen wall;

this side of the patio, all of which has been repotted, leads through the Dead End Path,

Earlier plantings include this allium in the Palm Bed and clematis climbing the Wedding Day (formerly Agriframes) arch.

While I think of it, I have been calling the clematis wandering up the wisteria arbour Niobe; we now think it should be named Star of India.

It faces the bright red Chiliean Lantern tree.

Rose Altissimo stands sentinel between Elizabeth’s Bed and the

Rose Garden where Laura Ford’s yellow pigment splashes onto the heuchera border, and

Special Anniversary

nods to the numerous gloves the foxes have scattered therein.

Creamy yellow Summer Time makes its bid to support the peeling old shed;

Jacqueline du Pré plays on;

and the deep pink climber Elizabeth rediscovered races Roserie de la Haie to the skies.

The Weeping Birch Bed bursts with burgeoning blooms.

This evening we dined on chicken breasts roasted in sweet chilli sauce; creamy mashed potatoes; and ratatouille with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.

Not Cold Enough

Perhaps it was the very light overnight frost that led the blackbirds to investigate the neglected crab apples in the front garden.

This one turned its back on them and considerately stayed just long enough for me to photograph it.

We still have plenty of colour in our plot.

There are winter flowering plants such as this viburnum bodnantensis Dawn in Margery’s Bed,

and the tiny clematis cirrhosa Freckles dotted over the gazebo.

Hardy autumnal chrysanthemums we do expect;

maybe some of these fuchsias are tough enough to make it through the winter;

but self seeded bidens?;

still perky nasturtiums?;

sturdy penstemons?;

varieties of geranium not sheltered in the greenhouse?;

roses such as ascending Altissimo,

blushing Schoolgirl,

marvellous Mamma Mia,

and blooming Absolutely Fabulous?

To send these beauties packing it is not yet cold enough.
This evening Jackie produced a fillet of pork laced with powdered mustard, flaked almonds, and brown sugar, served with roast potatoes and parsnips; colourful rainbow carrots, firm Brussels sprouts, and tender runner beans. Having enjoyed a beer beforehand, neither of us imbibed.
 
 
 

Can It Be Mid-October?

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The lingering virus from which we have now recovered has really rather reduced gardening for a month. Today, I wandered around on a survey mission, and was pleasantly impressed.

View across grass

The grass could do with cutting, but there is also colour in abundance.

Dahlias we would expect;

chrysanthemums

and chrysanthemums;

but clematises?;

roses Just Joey, Margaret Merrill,

Penny Lane, or Altissimo?,

Begonia

begonias?,

Geranium

geraniums,

Fuchsia

and fuchsias in abundance?

Honeysuckle

Not to mention honeysuckle,

Bee and asters

or bees frequenting asters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious pasta beef arrabiata. Her beverage was Hoegaarden, and mine Santa Julia malbec 2015.

 

Around Our Patch

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Yesterday, I took a tour around my  Social Work patch from the 1970s and ’80s. Today I took several around the domestic one I share with The Head Gardener.

Back door

I began by stepping through the kitchen door into the patio. The large window box filled with mimuluses and pansies stands in earth which was so poor that we believed it to have been used as a midden in more recent times than one would imagine. Jackie did a very thorough job of getting rid of the rubbish and replenishing the soil under and around the planters. The plentiful erigeron plants have populated the rest of the garden. Between one clump and the window box can be seen flowers of one of the two thriving thyme plants I transplanted from the blue painted Butler sinks in our first year. The wall by the path to the right is crammed with an assortment of planters.

Rose (patio)

This little patio rose has responded to feeding,

rose peach

as has this peach coloured beauty.

rose peach stems

There were just two blooms on straggly stems when we arrived. They will soon be cascading from stronger limbs.

Rhododendron

We have a new rhododendron in the Palm Bed.

Passing this on the way to the Rose Garden,

rose Altissimo

where Altissimo stands sentinel,

I was reminded of a visit to  a perfumer in Bergerac. This was with Emily and Alice a few years ago. They spent ages choosing a present for their mother, Heidi. The scents were most enticing. But they couldn’t match those emanating from our living blooms.

Rose garden entrance

Petunias and geraniums in the foreground urn lead us to the entrance arch bearing Summer Wine, Madame Alfred Carière, and honeysuckle;

Chris Beardshaw, Festive Jewel

Chris Beardshaw introduces Festive Jewel;

Rose Magic Carpet

and Magic Carpet is beginning to fulfil its function.

Cordyline Australis cabbage tree

Even these wonderful aromas, however, are not as far-reaching as the sweet, heady, scent of the Cordyline Australis. Anything smelling less like a cabbage, (it is also called Cabbage Tree) I cannot imagine.

Jackie planting Elizabeth's Bed

One of Jackie’s major tasks today was further planting of Elizabeth’s Bed. She can be seen in the centre here working on this.

I have mentioned before that geranium palmatum has taken over from honesty in its ubiquity. It can be seen dancing in synchronicity with

geranium palmatum, clematis Rouge Cardinal, rhododendron

clematis Rouge Cardinal and rhododendron;

geranium palmatum, rose Compassion

with rose Compassion;

Clematis Natacha, geranium palmatum, aquilegias

with clematis Natacha;

Foxglove, geranium palmatum

and with foxgloves.

Bee in antirrhinum 1

Lazy bees were about this afternoon. This one dusted its rear in an antirrhinum.

Waterboy Bed

The pieris I brought in a pot from Sutherland Place is thriving in the centre distance of this bed, that also contains heuchera, marguerites, geraniums, bronze fennel, and, further right, out of shot,

Iberis

iberis.

Solanum

We have a solanum under the dead snake bark maple,

rose Félicité Perpetué

and Félicité Perpetué is now opening in the front garden.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack and vegetable risotto followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.

The Darling Buds Of May

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Today being drier and a little brighter than yesterday, there were enough glimpses of sunlight to be more conducive to garden photography.

New clematises are emerging daily.

clematis Piilu

Mostly, as with this Piilu, I am grateful for the identity labels, because they all look so much alike.

clematis Star of India

Star of India, blends well with geranium palmatum.

Petunia

Petunias abound;

Pansies, petunias, and honesty

some share their pots with pansies. The new urns, like this one, are all planted up now. Everywhere, honesty is turning to seed medallions.

Lilac

Lilacs are in full bloom;

Tree recovering

and this tree, that had only one leafing branch when we first arrived, is making a remarkable recovery. New trunks have begun to swallow the original pock-marked member.

Bee on poppy

A few bees, such as this one plundering an orange poppy

Bee in pansy 1

and another burrowing into a somewhat perforated pansy risked getting wet for the good of the hive.

Rose Altissimo

On the edge of the rose garden, a single Altissimo bloom lives up to its name,

Rose For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only burgeons within,

Roses Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary

and most other bushes, like Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary, are on the verge of bursting forth the darling buds of May.

Rhododendron

This rhododendron

Grass bed

enhances the Grass Patch Bed, at the end of which stands the recovering tree mentioned above.

View from behind viburnum plicatum

This pivotal patch can be viewed from the tree peony hiding behind the viburnum plicatum;

View from Dead End Path

from the Dead End Path;

View across grass

and from the Brick Path.

Palm Bed

Elsewhere, sculptural alliums, like these in the Palm Bed, are opening out all over.

For our dinner this evening the Culinary Queen produced pork chops coated in mustard and demerara sugar and topped with almonds; boiled, sautéd, and sweet potatoes; cauliflower and carrots; and  peppers, tomato, leek, and onion sauce; followed by bread and butter pudding and custard. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

After The Rain 1

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read to the end if you are watching the rugby recorded.

Chrysanthemums

This morning Jackie weeded and planted chrysanthemums in the front garden, whilst I dug out the remaining roots of the ficus in preparation for planting the pansies.

Roots of ficus

In the event, a heavy thunderstorm ruled out putting the pansies to bed. They were therefore plonked in their trays. Even though the rain ceased, enabling us to finalise the preparation and wander round the garden, the soil was far too muddy.

The sun emerged for a while. The rain ceased, but continued to drip from the trees and the shrubbery. Battered blooms bore watery blisters.

Raindrops on geraniums 1Raindrops on geraniums 2

These included geraniums;

Raindrops on Ginger lily

Ginger lilies;

Raindrops on rose peach

roses unknown,

Raindrops on rose Altissimo

 Altissimo,

Raindrops on leaves of rose Deep Secret

and the leaves of Deep Secret;

Raindrops on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Raindrops on sweet peas

sweet peas;

Raindrops on Verbena

and verbena to name a few.

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums, and others in Elizabeth’s Bed have been well watered.

View along dead end path

Here are views down the Dead End Path;

View along Brick Path

across the New Bed to the Brick Path;

View across Heligan path

and across the Heligan Path.

Our dinner this evening, consisting of Jackie’s superb chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, was taken on trays on our knees, as we watched the opening match in the rugby World Cup, in which England beat Fiji by 35 points to 11. I drank more of the malbec while Jackie drank Hoegaarden. I didn’t spill too much curry down my sweatshirt.