Wednesday 1 June 2011

Britney or Grace?

At the moment I don't know whether my relationship with the garden if more Britney Spears 'Im a slave for you' or Grace Jones  'Slave to the rhythm' either way it is being very demanding mistress. However I'm still on top of things and finding time to do good added value stuff... Its hard to stop digging as I had always said I would stop in May, but there is just a little bit more to do....

I'm getting into the swing of visiting NGS gardens at the of the great unexpected things about opening is that we get a card that gets us in free to all the other ones so we are making the most of things. It is certainly reassuring as they are all great 'normal' gardens! We saw a lovely one in Forest Hill (photos below) but I must admit I was more focused on going to see the exhibition on Balinese culture at the Hornimans museum which was very inspiring.

Anyway...I have a very picturey blog for you as I thought this was a good opportunity to take stock

Forest hill NGS garden...well designed, first half was gravel, no lawn!  but would it turn into a giant cat litter tray? They were brave people as they had entry through their house

If only Obama was there for a quick game of table tennis

Such good cake....I could have had one of each but that would have made me a bit of a fatty (and there were too many people watching)

This was their green roofed rabbit hutch...great idea, and the rabbits looked very happy

Back to me.....everything is a bit empty at the mo as its all been cleared out and dug over with lots of small plants (Ricinus are about 6inches with 3 sets of leaves) it will fill out and look jungly, I promise!

Tropaeolum brachyceras just flowering

End bed, bananas and Tetrapanax growing well

New bed (last year this was my veg patch) again everything is still very small

Clerodendron and Kniphofia caulescens and lots of baby Ricinus

Paulownia coming up, Tetrapanax looking grand. Opium poppies have just popped up so Im humouring them whilst things grow
Lots of evil blanket weed, but pygmy red lilly flowereing as is the white one. Cyperus alternifolius usually covers one side but it was decimated by the frost..

Iris that is a little OTT, bit like a blue Barbara Cartland on a stick

Eremus next to my hopefully large and impressive stand of Lobelia tupa

Tree ferns coming out..this area was soooo dry that I think it has been set back a bit

Sadly the one Musa sikkimensis which I had thought made it through the winter ok is actually dead :( I t will re-grow from the base to hopefully fill the gap...

The first passion flower of the year

Calla lillies...I probably like them more for the leaves, but looking so nice at the mo

Upper levels....eventually Ganesh should be surrounded by big leaves blocking the view

Just sorted this area making a more formal seating area from (very heavy) York stone. Difficult area as it should be shady but gets baked by the sun in the late afternoon 

Sunflower bed for cut flowers infront of the bog garden with Petasities growing bigger and bigger

Mum says the bean trellis looks like the thing you get at the end of rotary club firework displays....

I like this view as it looks very neat and NGS!

Perrenial foxglove in my not shady, shady area...

Terrace all in a bit of a jumble....bananas coming up, as is Cauteleya...Thalia looking big


  1. Your beds will fill up nicely come September for your opening day :)I find Musa sikkimensis doesn't always reliable come back when cut back to the ground, unlike M. basjoo.

    Try Cloverleaf Blanket Answer on your pond. You can hasten the clearing up by removing as much blanketweed as you can manually, otherwise just pour in the mixed solution. It will make the water cloudy for a few days but afterwards the water clears up and all blanketweed has vanished. Another one to use is Viresco Aqua.

  2. Everything looks like it is coming along wonderfully. Very exciting. The work you have all accomplished is amazing. Next I need you to come over here and help me:)I am sure that would be a wonderful vacation for you...

  3. Very impressive array of plants, especially the eremurus which is seemingly difficult to grow. Everytime I mention them to my (professional) gardening mate she shakes her head in sorrow... Did you grow the paulownia from seed and are you going to coppice it or let it become a tree?

  4. Cloverleaf seems to be working, thanks!

    The Paulownias I bought as plants, and have had some success with root cuttings although this year after i looked online as to how to do it properly they have all failed! last years throw them in a pot approach worked much better

    I am coppicing as I love the big leaves, the only thing I cannt decide is whether to coppice at ground level or at about 6ft