Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Cyclamen Hederifolium

 In a cottage garden by Carol Klein is one of my favourite gardening books.     There is a lovely passage in the book that talks about the arrival of Cyclamen Hederifolium in Autumn.   Carol describes its appearance beautifully, so I will leave you with her words and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
 Occasionally you are aware what a perfect sense of timing plants have, as though they were waiting for  a specific window in the gardening year to make an appearance, determined to ensure they get the attention they deserve.    Autumn-flowering cyclamen are perhaps the archetypal opportunists.   Under the beech trees things are dull - apart from moss and the twisting leaves of polypody, it's all dank earth and dun leaves, but running through them are rivulets of pink and white, the massed flowers of Cyclamen Hederifolium.
 Their fat corns have been invisible since their foliage died down in April, gathering succour from the soil, but now with the rain and falling temperatures, they have been triggered into action, exploiting the vacuum and putting all their energy into flower production.
 In essence, Cyclamen Hederifolium is a shade lover, evolved with other plants and bulbs to exploit the conditions created by trees and make use of extra light  as the canopy thins out.
They make use of the same canopy that has kept its tubers cool, protecting them from fierce sun through the Summer.    As the leaves fall, light and rain filter through and flowers rush to capitalise ; pollinating insects are less frequent now.   The fallen leaves gradually rot down, providing the plants with humus rich leaf mould.   Leaves emerge, seed is set, the cycle continues.

The cyclamen in the garden are early this year.   The rain last week has pushed them into flowering.     At the moment it is just a trickle but over the next few weeks it will gather momentum, and the woodland floor will be dotted with large clumps of this very pretty little flower.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Too hot to handle.

 Not a cloud in the sky, I should be grateful but I am afraid to say this weather is getting me down.   It's not just the heat, it is the humidity.     Yesterday temperatures reached 32C (94f) and today they are expected to go higher.   Phew!!!
 The grass is brown, which I can live with.   It will come back  once the rain arrives.    Nella sleeps most of the day and who can blame her.
 Rabbits are out and about at all hours trying to find food.   I have been feeding them, also lots of water sites around the garden for the birds etc.
Each evening a hedgehog visits the garden.   He comes for his cat food and other hedgehog goodies.     I am not the only one struggling, our wildlife is having a difficult time.
 I water containers each evening.    I seriously must think about planting some of the plants into the garden during the Autumn.
 Perhaps just keep a few pots of annuals, which are easy.
 I love this paniculata.     I think it is Vanilla  fraise.    It has the most wonderful scent and stops me in my tracks as I enter or exit the shed.
 Sanquisorba lilac squirrel is coping well with the drought.   It is supposed to look like this by the way, it is  not gasping for water :)
During the Spring I bought some dwarf gladiolus bulbs.    I went with apricot this year.    They are dotted through the borders and are looking beautiful.

I am not watering any plants in beds or borders.
This year it will be survival of the fittest.
Weather is changing, climate change is here.
For me, it is no good planting something that will  struggle.
Nature is a great teacher and I am willing to learn.

Hope you are all managing to keep cool, especially those in the South where we are melting :)

Sunday, 15 July 2018


 Inula Magnifica will grow to dizzy heights.   Even in its demise, it has a touch of shabby chic.
 It is also a wonderful landing pad for insects.   This morning the female, beautiful demoiselle, took breakfast on a bloom.

This afternoon a beautiful peacock butterfly arrived.

Inula Magnifica is a wonderful addition to borders, it is drought tolerant and grows to around two metres high.
It certainly makes a statement in the garden.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Too hot to handle.

 I decided to work in the garden today.    Temperatures were high but I thought if I worked in the shady areas, it would not be too bad.
 A couple of hours later and I didn't seem to be getting anywhere.   The humidity was making me feel so weary, everything seemed to be an effort.
 The moss garden is now a grass garden.  Ha!!      Perhaps I should call it the green garden :)    That covers everything.
 The Eucalyptus is shedding its bark.   I love watching this process.    When it is completed the new trunk will be like a piece of art.    
 Beneath the tree is this lovely Hydrangea.  It has a beautiful blue/purple centre which I love.
 Last year I divided Crocosmia Lucifer.     They now run through every border and island bed and have really bought the garden together.    They will tolerate drought and the beautiful red blooms fit in perfectly with this very hot Summer.
 The garden looks lush and that is mainly due to the storm last week.   Here's hoping there will be more to come.
My darling girl is not happy in the heat and spends most of her time in the front garden.   Sadly she is slowly losing her sight.
We will cope.    She is my faithful friend and we will work through this together.
The rabbits are taking full advantage of her dwindling sight, and inviting their friends into the garden.     
Sadly her rabbit chasing days are over.

Stay cool, stay happy and enjoy these long Summer days, they seem to be passing very quickly.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

What a relief.

 It is lovely to sit in the shade of the jungle garden.   The extreme temperature we are experiencing at the moment is way too hot for me.
 It is said it will reach 31C in  our area today.   Phew!!!

 Fortunately Thursday afternoon we had the most amazing thunderstorm.
 I saw it coming from the North.   Dark clouds were forming and a pink tinge told me this would be a rain giving storm.
 I walked out into the garden and waited patiently.   Pitter patter, pitter patter and then the heavens opened.
 I was soaked but it didn't matter.
 It rained solidly for thirty minutes.   Torrential rain :)
 The drive flooded, the conservatory roof got a good clean (it needed it), it was wonderful.

 The whole garden seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

And the smell, that wonderful smell when rain hits dry soil.   Beautiful.
    All my water butts are full.
The pond has been topped up.     The garden will survive for a few more weeks after the deluge.   I am grateful.
Water is so very precious.


Thursday, 5 July 2018

Oh those Summer nights.

 Each gardening season I promise myself I will not buy any more plants.     The problem is I fall in love so easily.
 When I saw dozens of satiny midnight blue flowers over lacy leaves I was hooked.    The plants literally followed me out of the nursery.   What is a girl to do :)
 Delphinium Summer nights is a dwarf variety.   It grows to around 30cm (12") tall.   It is a bushy plant and is smothered in blooms.   It will flower from Summer - Autumn.
 Sadly it is short lived but I will enjoy for as long as it stays.
Be still my beating heart.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

 When youngest Grandson (5) gave me a gift for my garden, I was so touched.   He used his pocket money and chose the item himself.     A fairy house.     
 So Grandma collected items from around the garden from Poppi's (12) fairy days.
 I carefully selected an area that I hoped would add to the magic.
 I loved doing this project and hope that Dominic will be surprised at seeing a tiny fairy village.
This is the end result.   Thank you my dear Grandson for such a lovely gift.