Monday, 26 January 2015

Black is Black (Almost).

Henry Ford is reputed to have said you can have it in any colour so long as it's Black.
The plant breeders have been trying to develop black plants without much success.
Here are some of the plants in Our Garden@19 from the 'Dark Side'.

The Black seeds of the Myrtus communis growing in the sunshine in the front garden are on a special plant.  I purchased it during a visit to Great Dixter and foliage from it was used by Mary in Rachel's wedding bouquet. Myrtle has long been used in wedding bouquets to symbolise love.
 Queen Victoria had some in her bouquet which was then planted and sprigs from that bush have been used in all Royal wedding bouquets since.

 Phyllostachys nigra greets you as you enter the Oriental Garden...

...with its shiny  black stems...

...under planted with Opheapogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'.

Acer palmatum 'Pixie' glows with lovely red young foliage turning almost black as it matures.

 Lunaria annua 'Rosemary Verey' leaves have now lost their spotted look and turned almost black.

A similar strain is L. annua 'Chedglow' which can be seen by visiting Anna at Greentapestry:

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' grows in pots along with Violas...

...and the Tulip 'Queen of the Night', something to look forward too.

Ajuga reptans 'Atropurpurea' provides dark ground cover with pretty blue flowers in the spring.

A new shrub last autumn is Hydrangea quercifolium 'Burgundy', which is certainly living up to its name.

Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb' with its 'bad-dose-of-the-measles' look was the inspiration for this post which came from Cathy at Rambling in the Garden...

 ...please click on the link for Garden Bloggers Foliage Day: A bad dose of the measles.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Our Garden@19, please leave your comments, I look forward to reading them.
Please click on any photo to create a slide show.

If you don't wish to miss any of the events in Our Garden@19 you can sign up for emails.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

"Ring a Ring a Roses"

“But he who dares not grasp the thorn 
Should never crave the rose.” 
― Anne Brontë

I have to admit to a love hate relationship with Roses, I love them when they are in flower with their wonderful scent, when I am pruning them and the thorns penetrate even leather gauntlets to draw blood, I am not so sure!

We have mainly climbing or rambling roses, January is usually pruning month.

That looks better...

...hopefully they will look like this again next year...

...the pink one on the right is Irene's favourite R.'Albertine' with its coppery coloured young foliage and wonderful scent.

The one on the left and above came from my Grandmother's garden via my Mother, so it is a special rose for that reason. I have tried to identify it, the nearest I could match is R.'American Pillar', any help would be appreciated.

R. 'Iceberg' is trained on the dividing trellis in the White and Green garden... was still flowering in January when I pruned it...

...flowering in the White and Green Garden with Digitalis alba last year.

We have grown R.Iceberg in all of our gardens, it is very reliable and will flower continually until the frost or pruning stop it.

We have two standard roses in the garden, this is R. 'Worcestershire Weeping'

I tie its branches to a metal hoop when it is pruned to give the weeping branches extra support for when it is in full bloom...

...I don't seem to have a decent photo of it in flower, this picture shows it with Campanula lactiflora 'Prichard's Variety' in the background.

R. 'Goldfinch' covers the archway dividing the garden along with Vitis 'Spetchley Red' for autumn colour...

...this is one of my favourite roses, I love to see Goldfinches feeding in the garden, so it reminds me of them, it is a very attractive rose in flower and in bud, also because it is virtually thornless.

The other standard rose is R. 'Bonica' given to Irene when she retired.

This wonderful rose is R.glauca.syn.R.rubrifolia, with slaty blue leaves and beautifully simple flowers, it really needs no pruning, and should find a home in most gardens. 

R.Francis E. Lester.
I first came across R.'Francis E. Lester'  when visiting a garden, the first thing I noticed was the scent and when I saw the beautiful yet simple flowers, white blushed with pink, like apple blossom,
  I immediately ordered one from the local nursery.

This is a bare area of wall on the new extension, and our daughter Mary had given me a garden voucher for my birthday, a climbing plant had been on my mind for here...

... so what could be more fitting than the climbing rose R. The Generous Gardener, named to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NGS.

Planted with lots of TLC.

Alan Titchmarsh often recalls the instruction he was given by his old Park's Superintendent when he had finished planting, it was to stand back and say:
"Now grow you B..... grow"!

I hope you have enjoyed reading our blog, please leave your comments, I look forward to reading them.
 Please click on any photo to create a slide show.
If you don't wish to miss any of the events in Our Garden@19 you can sign up for emails.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Seed- heads & Cobwebs.

Molinia 'Karl Foerster' Seed-heads and Cobwebs in the winter sunlight.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Tree Following January.

The Acer negundo Flamingo in the Oriental Garden is my tree following choice for this year...

December 2014

...the beautiful slate blue grey branches in winter...

December 2014

...are one years growth, I have pollarded this tree for at least the last 10 years...

January 2015 maintain a manageable size, the lovely winter stems and wonderful leaf markings (It will sometimes revert to plain green leaves if left to grow full size.)

When you see the leaf markings in the summer you will see the value of pollarding this Acer.

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

Thursday, 8 January 2015

There's a Buzz in the air...

The weather has been beautiful today, warm with spring sunshine...

...the Mahonia has been covered with Honey Bees gathering an early spring feed.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Black Cap and Winter Sunshine.

Welcome to Our Garden@19 for 2015.
I have posted a few photos of what is happening in the garden this weekend.

The male Blackcap arrived in the garden on the 13th December, it has taken me until now to catch him on camera, he is a very elusive bird.

The Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida' has been flowering in the Oriental Garden for a few weeks now...

...when I was pruning the climbing roses on Saturday I notice the delicate flowers of Clematis cirrhosa balearica amongst the Mahonia japonica Beali.
It has wonderful Pixy Hat-like flowers with red freckles inside.

Sarcococca confusa (Christmas Box) reliably flowers this time of year, it is by the South facing front door, producing wonderful scent from such small flowers...

...I grew this shrub from seed several years ago, when I attended a propagation course at Pershore College, this makes it particularly pleasing to see it doing so well.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Winter Sunshine and all your garden wishes and dreams for 2015 come true.

For more birdie photos please visit Tweets' Diary on the Home bar.