Sunday, 12 March 2017

March: I'm back! current growth and an overview of how things were protected

Sorry for being a rubbish blogging is a bit like the garden in that as the year begins and plods on there is loads to do and everything is exciting. The season then reaches its climax and I sit back and enjoy it, and then as winter extends its icy grasp I hide inside and put off thoughts of doing anything until the new year.

Suddenly it is once again sunny and things are growing again, including about a million sycamore seedlings. Being outside with the sun warming your soul and earth between your fingers is an amazing tonic and the oomph has returned. In this post a few pictures of how things are at the moment and a bit of an overview of how the more tender things have been looked after

So much of what makes the garden is annual growth and things are pretty desolate at the moment

One thing looking amazing is giant fennel....a bit of an experiment and something I grew from seed. They emerge at this time of the year as a huge frothy mound and then die as summer starts. Below the Tetrapanax starts to re-emerge

This is the sparce terrace with the Schleffera keeping us entertained. The big Musa sikkimensis are still wrapped for winter in fleece and covered by a piece of bubblewrap, very loosely, to keep the rain off. In the corner is a simple plastic greenhouse to keep the worst of the cold off in a very sheltered part of the sunken terrace. 

Although it is incredibly moist due to rain draining into the area and huge amounts of condensation, things have survived.

The big experiment this year is can I keep the red ensete in pots with leaves and roots and will this get them started quicker than the ones which I chop all the leaves and roots off. This is inspired by my neighbour whom just left his out all winter unprotected and it survived! Amazingly so far they all look fine. 

This is the Ensete whose leaves and roots were removed....looking very sorry for themselves, but alive!

The other place I keep things is in a covered can see the red Ensete and also a tree tomato which is still in leaf. Sadly one of the tropical musas (bordeleon) seems to have rotted at the base

Friday, 21 October 2016


The garden is now firmly in its downwards slide to the end of the year. The Paulownias are loosing their leaves and the bananas are decidedly battered. There is still an overwhelming voluptuousness, and things such as the Cosmos and Nicandra have finally come to life. However, the voluptuousness is more like that of a charismatic drunk trying to make his way home from the pub gradually loosing possessions with a high chance of falling in a ditch

But, there is still a need to enjoy it whilst we can! hopefully Ive got at least another month before the frosts...fingers crossed

Friday, 14 October 2016

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

Last weekend as part of a birthday escape we went for a weekend away to Norfolk, the main driver being to visit East Rushton Old Vicarage Garden. I had heard a lot about the garden from friends who had said how wonderful it was, and they weren’t wrong!

Despite it being a drizzly day I was blown away by the garden, it is certainly now one of my favourites…jostling with Great Dixter for the top spot.

What impressed me was the scale and overall design. It was laid out as a series of garden rooms with lots of unexpected drama resulting from breath-taking vistas and contrast. The planting was amazing and there was great contrast from densely planted ‘rooms’ with empty spaces of lawn and simple topiary. 

There was much to excite and exoticist…in particular I was blown away by the size of their Tetrapapax, many of which had incredibly thick trunks. The succulent /arid garden was also inspiring…I will plant out some of my Agave! Then to top it all the best selection of cake I have seen in a long time and a great nursery with some exciting plant buying opportunities.
If you haven’t been go next year as it is AMAZING!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

All Done! 2016 NGS opening is over!

So our 2016 National Gardens Scheme opening is over! In the end we had 196 visitors and made just over £1500 for charity.

I love the opening as it is a bit like a giant party, and it is so nice to see people enjoying the space from kids running around to brave people climbing up the lookout mound. There were lots of first timers whom were suitably surprised by the size of the garden and the 'secret' bit and lots of returners impressed by progress.

Overall the garden was also looking super jungly and definitely wasn’t a floriferous year. The slugs and slightly cold summer had set the dahlias way back. My seedling ALL sucked as the Tithonias were all only just thinking about flowering and Ricinus were tiny. I had also put a lot of faith into Polygonum orientale, using it a lot to fill gaps and add colour but all had failed and were only 1ft tall despite being planted in March! However, despite these issues all was very lush. 

14 people helped out on the day which was wonderful, and this enabled us to open the 'Cava Cave' for the first time offering gin fizz and rhubarb Bellini’s. They were a wonderful bunch.

THANK YOU to everyone who came and helped out

So some pictures of everything at its best....