Sunday, 28 December 2014

A walk on the wild side...

One of our favourite local places to visit is Croome Court (NT).
Ideally situated for a walk in the park land, visit to the house, church and end up with refreshments in the restaurant.

Croome Court

"Croome Park was Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s first complete landscape design. He was brought to Croome in 1752 by George William Coventry, the 6th Earl of Coventry, who had just inherited Croome Court and its deer parks together with 15,000 acres of Worcestershire.
The new Earl was 28 years old and full of ideas on the new movement towards classicism in architecture and landscape design and probably saw the young Brown as a man whose aspirations matched his own. Together they set about transforming the 17th century house and its Dutch style parterre garden into an undulating rural idyll set about with trees and lakes and rolling away to the distant Malvern Hills. At the focal point of this scene sits the house, Croome Court, which was given a total face-lift that changed it into the Palladian style mansion that we see today
But there is a practical reason behind all this beauty – Croome Court sat on the edge of a bog. Brown, though, had an instinctive talent for understanding drainage and water management, so he created a lake and a mile and a half long serpentine river to draw away all the surplus water. His scheme worked and so the basis for the creation of what seems an entirely natural English landscape was set."
From Friends of Croome website: 

The Temple Greenhouse was built in 1760.

Today we joined 60 others from Pirton village in their annual Christmas walk arranged by my brother Derek and his wife Di.
The village of Pirton was part of Croome Estate, Pirton Court was historically the home of Viscount Deerhurst.
Mulled wine and mince pies were served at Pirton Church...

...with its unique black and white timber tower. This small village has raised almost £100,000 to restore the tower for the future.

 Some local history was provided and carols were sang before setting off towards St Mary Magdalene Church, Croome D'Abitot, which is a redundant Anglican church in the grounds of Croome Court.

More carols sang and local history recited along the way...

before reaching Croome D'Abitot.

The original church at Croome was demolished by the 6th Earl of Coventry when he decided to replace his adjacent Jacobean house in the 1750s. His new house and park were designed and laid out by Capability Brown as was the church, set on a low hill nearby in Croome Park as an "eye catcher’.... 

...with wonderful views across the park towards the Malvern Hills...

You enter the church through some impressive wooden doors designed by Robert Adam.

The interior is described as 'pure Georgian Gothic' and acts as a mausoleum to the Coventry family.

The original bells were cast in 1651 by John Martin of Worcester and form one of the oldest rings in the country.
During 2011 the 6 bells were restored. Some second-hand wheels were given and used to repair those already in situ.

After some more carols and history we made our way back to Pirton Church.

Pirton Church through the trees.

The weather was ideal for todays walk, crisp frost and sunshine, a perfect way to remove some of the festive excess!

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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.

In the Alpine boxes...

Saxifraga 'Findling' the White and Green garden...
Viburnum f 'Candidissimum'

...along with
Rosa 'Iceberg'
All in bloom in the garden today. 
Isn't Nature wonderful?

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Our Garden@19.

Thank you for your encouragement in this new venture for us in Garden blogging.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winter Solstice...

Preparing for the party, inside:

The Christmas tree is decorated...

Mary has created a seasonal Mantlepiece arrangement...

Warming food has been prepared and the cellar! restocked.

The lights are on in the garden...

...will the weather be warm enough to sit outside?

You could throw another Yule Tide log on the fire...

...just don't sit to close or you may melt!

Our good friend Tina sent me this poem by Susan Cooper. 

Susan Cooper

“And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.”

― Susan Cooper
Happy Christmas.

For more Winter Solstice thoughts visit Helen, using the link below, at The Patient Gardener, seeking the sprit of Christmas.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

"April showers bring May flowers". English proverb. ( Biennials & Self Seeders.)

Following on from 'Bulbs'.

 Opening the garden at the end of May is bound to influence your planting scheme.
I have always grown a selection of biennials from seed. This year I have planned to grow more than usual. Here they all are in the green house, during October, waiting to be planted out.

One I would always have in my garden is the Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea.

 D.purpurea 'Sutton's Apricot' is another regular.

D. 'Pam's Choice' with its beautiful markings.

In the White and Green Garden, D. purpurea 'Alba' and Rosa 'Iceberg'.

New for this year is D. 'Silver Fox' from Sarah Raven's catalogue.
The leaves are said to be silver, with pure white flowers. It only grows to 18" and is longer lived than Alba.

Three varieties of Lunaria (Honesty) are grown.

Purple Honesty with Euphorbia palustris and Weigela 'Victoria'.

L. annua with its purple flowers and lovely silvery seed pods.

L. annua var. variegata, White Flowered Form, here in the White and Green Garden, is a particularly attractive plant.
The seeds for this strain came originally from Chiltern Seeds. I have saved my own seeds for a
few years now, for me it has always come true.

New this year from Hoo House Nursery is L. annua 'Rosemary Verey.' 
This looks very similar to L. annua 'Chedglow' from Avon Bulbs.
(See greentapestry Seedy Business). It will be interesting to compare photos at flowering time.

Sweet Rocket, Hesperis matronalis is a wonderful biennial, similar to the ones above, they can be short lived perennials.
Sweet Rocket flowers freely for months, the scent is enjoyed by both us and the insect world.
I have grown the white form from seed this year for the first time.

All of the above will self seed in the garden, there are others who need little encouragement, but I do like to see them in the garden.

The Welsh Poppy Meconopsis cambrica is one of several I welcome.

Here it has seeded itself among the Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker'.

Eryngium giganteum, 'Miss Willmotts Ghost' is a spectacular, spiky plant, a plant with attitude. I can understand why Miss Willmott spread it around wherever she went. Here it is with Lychnis coronaria...

with its soft white, velvet like leaves.

Linaria purpurea 'Canon Went' copyright Sarah Raven.

Linaria purpurea seeds itself around with reckless abandon. 'Canon Went' is a pink form, the seeds came from Sarah Raven's catalogue.

And finally, the one I would always have is Aquilegia, in all its varieties, which given half a chance with Linaria and the Welsh poppy, would take over the garden. What a colourful garden it would be!

One side of the White & Green Garden planted ready for Spring.
Along with bulbs we look forward to a colourful display at the end of May.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tree Following.

New to Tree following this year, the tree I have chosen to follow is the Acer negundo Flamingo, growing in Our Garden@19. We purchased this tree as a twig growing in a pot many years ago at an NGS open garden on Breden Hill, Worcestershire. It came with us when we moved here in 2004, and is a firm favourite.

This photo was taken on 13th December 2014.

Acer negundo Flamingo.
To visit other blogs Tree following click on the link to Lucy Corrander's Blog Loose & Leafy

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Dear Father Christmas....

We gardeners' are often given garden related presents that are not always useful or something we would desire!

If you have someone in your life who would welcome guidance in choosing a useful garden 'stocking filler', I would highly recommend the Jakoti Shears complete with their seasonally coloured holster.

Along with most gardeners, I have purchased many gardening tools over the years, that after the initial enthusiasm, remain in the shed.
I use these shears almost every day, therefore I would recommend them, they are very sharp and excellent for cutting back plant growth one handed.

They are available from their website:
I am not connected to the manufacturers or on commission.

I just wish you and your stocking filler a Peaceful and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Another welcome Winter visitor.

Long Tailed Tit on the fat ball feeder.

For more Birdie photos please click on Tweets' Diary on the Blogs Header Bar.

Friday, 5 December 2014

The First Winter Visitor.

Defending the feeders.

Female Blackcap.
For more Birdie photos please visit 'Tweets' Diary.'

Saturday, 29 November 2014

"April showers bring May flowers" English proverb. (Bulbs)

I have always tried to have something of interest in the garden all the year round. Opening your garden on a specific date certainly concentrates the mind on what 'should' be in flower and looking good at that time of year.

Alliums have long been a favourite, with Purple Sensation, as you can see from the header photo, always providing a good show during May - June.

A.Purple Sensation with Euphorbia palustris.

I have planted Euphorbia palustris as a companion to Purple Sensation after reading Carol Klein recommending it. I was a little concerned how well it would grow in our conditions (free draining soil under the shade of mature trees), You can see from the photograph, so far it is thriving.

A. Mount Everest.

Allium Mount Everest is planted in the White and Green garden. Although the cost of the bulbs prohibits planting on such a grand scale as with Purple Sensation.
I have planted a few extra in the garden this year and in a bowl with Lychnis coronaria alba, one of my favourite self sowers along with the red form.

Allium christophii creates a sparkly addition to any border.

Allium kartaviense is a dwarf variety with lovely long lasting metallic coloured leaves.
I first saw this one at Ivy Croft in Herefordshire, growing in their alpine scree. Ours are planted in bowls in the front of the house (South) alongside the alpine boxes.

Allium kartaviense. copyright Avon Bulbs.
A new one for this year is Allium Red Mohican. It was one of my treats from Harrogate autumn show. It is available from Jacques Amand.

Allium Red Mohican Copyright Jacques Amand.

Because it is both new and different, the bulbs are £2 each but I have purchased five and they are planted in the old tin bath on the patio so that I can keep an eye on them.  I don't think squirrels eat alliums, better to be safe than sorry!

The majority of Narcissi will be over long before the end of May, the old pheasants eye, poeticus recurvus, is one exception flowering in May. We already have them planted in the garden and I have added some more. I think they are always worth having, both for their beauty and extending the daffodil season.

Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus is a corm that always delivers a splash of magenta in May/June to brighten up the border.

The two raised beds edging the patio are usually planted with Dahlias and Annuals for the summer followed by Tulips and Wallflowers. I know its traditional but it works.

However this year with the garden open at the end of May the Tulips would be past their best.
I have experimented planting Camassia quamash with Siberian Wallflower in the one raised bed, the Camassia 'should' flower May/June.

Camassia quamash.

In the second raised bed I have planted the dependable Allium Purple Sensation with  Siberian Wallflowers.

 I hope the raised beds will look a little more exciting in May, and the bulbs will have read the garden books!

 I purchase the majority of my bulbs from Avon Bulbs in Somerset.

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