My garden diary.




2000.


A new century and a new year for gardening. This is very exciting though to be honest I have not been able to do anything constructive as yet due to the wet and cold. However hope springs eternal and any day now the bulbs will appear and a new cycle start.
January 15th.
Went for a walk in the garden today. Rather cold and damp but it was good to see the hyacinhts had appeared above ground level as have some of the daffodils.

January 30th.
Mild and windy to day so walked the 30 foot estate!! The Japonica is still flowering, but the Kaffir lilies have at last finished. What value they have been over the past months. A few Iris reticulata are in bloom and some yellow crocuses are about to open. The Camellias all have big juicy buds and how I look forward to them. I have sown some seeds, not a lot but decided to try the Lab lab that I have heard of from my N.American friends. Also some Larkspurs, Texas bluebonnets and a variety of Hollyhock.
February 18th.
Great progress to report. Many of the daffodils are in bloom, especially the small ones. One of the camellia buds has opened and there are many more to follow.Pulmonaria is flourishing. Japonica still in flower. One decision I have made is to forget about crocuses. Every year I plant some but never achieve a good clump to make an impact. Seems they may need a far larger area than I can provide where they can increase and multiply to their heart's content. I have been doing a lot of manual work laying this crazy paving path.One more trip to get additional sand and the job will be done. I must also scource a few more polystyrene boxes and make troughs. My alpine plants are in containers that are really too small and would look better in a larger area.The birds have been wonderful to watch over the past couple of months. As I write there are two blackbirds having a feed, while finches, tits, blackcaps, sparrows and the local robin are flitting around.
March 1st
Well I got my box and will make a trough within the next few days. I think I will put lime free soil in it and keep it for acid loving plants.However back to the garden. A lot of progress has taken place and all is looking well. The path is very nearly finished. The daffs are in full bloom and there are too many budding plants to count! I have to say yet again that the Camellias are wonderful. Pulmonaria is also flowering and I got a white one this very day. I am looking forward to the days ahead and hope you are too.
March 16th
St Patrick's day tomorrow. Great activity in the garden. All the Camellias are in bloom and I am especially enjoying the creamy/yellow one called Brushfield yellow. Clematis alpina are about to bloom and each and every plant, shrub and tree is forging ahead. I finished the trough and my new plan is to divide it and have an acid and alkali side. There are pots everywhere, some have young plants which I will put in the ground later, others will just stay there! I will have to think up some way of grouping the pots ..mmm...food for thought there.
March 27th
Clematis alpina is in flower...a lovely blue. Clematis Markham's pink will be next and they look great together. Camellias are still doing well but there is an addition to the family. I bought one called Commander Morley, a double formal white ...really good. Pulsatillas are in bud, I love the *furry* feel to the buds!! A lot of work tidying up, seems to go on all the time. I finished the trough and planted it as I mentioned last time. Those fish boxes are a great idea for troughs and very easy to work with.
April 15th
Time has raced by complicated by house matters like plumbing and painting. But back to what really matters.Big news is my recent purchase of two bamboos. One is Phyllostachys nigra the black bamboo and the second P. aureasulcata a golden one. In fact they won't be delivered here until early next week as they were too large for my car. I have always wished for bamboo but considered my garden too small and the plants too expensive. Then came news of somewhere stocking very good value plants and , well I just surrendered. Space will be found!
Another plant that is giving a lot of pleasure now is Rhododendron "Curlew"; it is a lovely shade of yellow.Camellias are fading now but what a show I got..just love those plants. I gave them a feed of sequestrine of iron as a reward and to encourage them to form lots of new buds for next year.
May 1st
After what seems like weeks of damp/wet weather today was just lovely with warm sun. So out I went to do some work. I am trying to find a spot where I can put some of the pots that presently take up most of the patio. Decided on a corner and started to clean it up. This meant getting rid of Hebe Mrs Winder,,,,I hate digging up a plant but this had not flowered in about 5 years so the time had come...sad though. Clematis are doind very well with Macropetala, alpina Ruby, Willy and Markhams pink all in bloom. Montana is just starting so there should be a good show. I managed to track down clematis durandii, a wonderful herbaceous type so that had to be bought and planted. Camellias are finishing but what great value they gave.
May 13th
What great changes have taken place in a couple of weeks. The clematis mentioned above are finished now and C.Nelly Moser, The President, and Vyvyan Pennell are in bloom. Still a few flowers remain on the Camellias. Many hardy geraniums are flowering, and the Aquilegias. Rhodohypoxis and Pleione formosa are looking pretty, and Rose "Leaping salmon" is flowering while rose Zepherin drouhin is in bud.Jacob's ladder is also blooming and the Pulsatilla. I think that in two weeks time when next I report there will be too many plants to name them all. I just returned from a trip to Wales where I visited two specialist nurseries , one an alpine and the other hardy geraniums. I managed to get 16 plants and must now find homes for them. I also got a set of garden lights which I always wanted.
May 26th
As I write this it is a very chilly evening. However the garden continues to flourish. Clematis are still in full bloom and Zepherin drouhin is flowering. This has a lovely scent but the one rose I have got from Etoile de Holland must be one of the best scented roses..magic. This is the rose's first year here so I may not get many blooms but I look forward to the time it is really established. The golden flowers of Freemontodendron have arrived, I love this plant. Hanging baskets are planted up and ready to hang. Water Lilies are in bud, and the Lilac continues to bloom. I have a Lupin in my garden this year. I used to have them but not for a few years. The problem , as usual, is space. Hardy geraniums have come on a lot and many are in flower while others are in bud. Great thing about these plants is there are several of them in flower for most of the year.
June 6th
Guess what , we are still awaiting summer. The forecast for tonight is 3 - 9 C and this is June!!! Anyhow there is a lot of action in the garden. Many hardy geraniums are in bloom as is my lupin, poppies, campanula, astrantia, rock roses, and foxgloves that are about 7 feet high. The sad news is that 3 of my clematis have died of wilt. One of these was nearly 5feet up an arch when the dreaded lurgy struck. Hopefully they will come back next year. Oh the roses are in flower too and Zepherin drohuin is doing really well for its first year. Clematis Nelly Moser, the President and V. Pennell are still in flower though the latter is on its way out. However it will bloom again with single flowers later in the year. I put up another arch in the garden leading from the patio to the path which leads to the end of the garden. It will look well when covered I hope. There is a dicentra scandens already attached to one side and a white ecrocarpus to the other.
June 26th
Well it is over two weeks since I made an entry. My excuse is that I was away on holidays for a week. On my return it was fun to see what had changed in the garden. Happily I had not missed anything. The Foxgloves had grown to about 10 feet!! Two Verbascum that had self-seeded are growing by the minute and threaten to outgrow the foxgloves; seems these plants are having some sort of competition. I am delighted at the progress made by the new roses I planted. Zepherin is forging ahead and Etoile de Holland though slower has produced several magnificent blooms; they look like crimson velvet and the scent is wonderful. The Passion flower "Antiquiensis" is also leaping up the wire. I am so looking forward to when it flowers as the blooms are gorgeous. I hope to put some pictures on my site when the time comes. My beloved Hardy geraniums are thriving....so many in flower just now. Thats all for now.
July 9th
July is here and still we have not had any *real* summer weather. A couple of warm days now and then has been our lot. The plants don't seem to care and are doing well. This year I planted Catmint but despite the flowers being pretty it has attracted half the neighbourhood cats. It is one thing seeing my own Poppy cat enjoying it but it seems every time I look out I see a foreign tail sticking up from the clump! Pleasant surprise is the new clematis Alba luxurians, such a pretty flower, pale grey with a pale yellow stripe on each petal. The flowers are quite small but the clematis seems to be very vigorous. I am pleased to see that my Black bamboo is sending up three fat stems,,so it must be happy where it is planted. No flowers on my Passionflower yet but a lot more growth has been made. I am reclaiming a corner of the garden. There were a few hardy geraniums there but I think I can make better use of it; I shall move the hardies and am still considering what may happen next.
July 20th
This weekend I am off to the west of Ireland for a week. While there I will be visiting several wonderful gardens. So what has been happening here over the past couple of weeks. The weather has been very good for the past days,in fact summer seems to be visiting us. The Dierama is in bloom and as always looking lovely. Knautia macedonia is in flower and great value as it spreads over the border. I bought a new clematis, Polish Spirit and have planted it at one of the arches. It will bloom later in the summer. I also got a Japanese blood grass which I have planted amongst the hardy geraniums. Lily Casa blanca is in bud and I hope it waits until I come home before bursting into bloom.
August 1st
Home again having enjoyed a lovely week. Pleased to find the Casa blanca lilies have not opened yet. It is fun to look and see what changes have taken place. Most notable is the blue Agapanthus that has sulked for years but is now in flower. To my great surprise I find that two Rhododendrons, Curlew and Princess Anne are about to bloom again. Both are growing in pots and though I think I should probably remove the buds have decided not to. Rose New Dawn has grown very tall and reached the top of an arch but no sign of flowers. But the biggest thrill was to find that a friend of mine had got me the new geranium "Rozanne" while on a recent trip to the UK.
August 25th
I just can't believe it is 3 weeks since I wrote...my excuse is that I was a bit under the weather...honestly! The big news from garden land is that the Casa Blanca lilies are blooming and how magnificent they are..and the scent...fabulous. Seeing as it is near the end of August I am pleased to have so much colour still in the garden. Many hardy geraniums still bloom that means they have been going non stop since May....pretty good. Larkspur make a great splash of blue the roses are blooming again. Another wonderful value plant is the herbaceous clematis Integrifolia which has been flowering for several months and looks set to continue. Phlox is at its best now and I have white and pink. I think I must get some other colours as they seem to like my garden.
September 12th
Back from holiday in Italy...and a great one it was. Only thing is that now I yearn for an Oleander or two. I comfort myself by saying they probably would not look so good here. On my return the garden was rather like a jungle but an hour or two with lawnmower and secateurs has tamed it a little. There is still a lot of colour with anemones , aster Monch, fuchsia , and still many hardy geraniums. Of the latter I must say that Mavis Simpson , Little Gem , Aspheloides and Sea pink have a wonderful flowering period. Others that I cut back are flowering again. Cosmos is great at this time and the Kaffir lilies are yet to come so things are looking good.
September 29th
It is interesting reading my last entry that I can report much the same plants in bloom. What I forgot to mention was the Asarina which is climbing over an arch; this has a very pretty pink flower. I have planted some small daffodils wherever I could find a piece of ground. Also I have planted some Alliums but these had to go into pots. One of these called Chrisotphii has wondefull seed heads. I saw it in a friend's garden and just had to have it! I have started reconstruction of the bottom left corner of the garden. There was a large Choisya Sundance growing there and it has got a mighty pruning giving me a lot more room. For now I am planting Hollyhocks , Meconopsis and a few other plants that I had in pots. They can all be re-arranged next year but for the present have their feet in the soil.
October 15th