Thursday, 22 May 2014

Garden Tour : it's Candelabra time!

This my favourite month, the narcissus and tulips are finished, the early woodlanders are dying back  and it is time for the candelabra primulas to come into their own.

Looking out of the back door we have Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' - One of my favourite shrubs, the only things against it is that it is not evergreen or scented. The tiered branches of deeply veined leaves are covered in white flowers which slowly turn pink. A few weeks later you start to notice the bright red berries which last until the winter. Next to it Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea' - one of the most common purple varieties. Will attain 4/5 metres if allowed to and is very quick growing. The yellow flowers look good against the purple but the scent is not good, it is a strange smell. Small red berries follow in late summer. In the foreground candelabra primulas, Meconopsis and Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum'.

Another view of the corner of the garden with Spirea japonica 'Golden Princess' in the foreground.

Looking across the other side of the central bed and into the raised area and "woodland".
Plenty of Aquilegias and the big Meconopsis paniculata on the center of the raised area. The Azalea is a Knap Hill/Exbury hybrid which is from seed and has shown a few flowers for the first time this year.
Foot of raised area.
At the foot of the raised area are a rather nice clump of Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom' and between them and the Meconopsis there are several Primula ellisiae.
Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
Meconopsis paniculata Ghunsa group
This is to the best of my knowledge the real thing but it has been grown from seed and not only that it is going to flower!

Looking to the right a bed full of Primulas, Lilies, Hostas, Azaleas, Meconopsis and Ligularia. 

Azalea (Rhododendron 'Persil')

Azalea (Rhododendron 'Golden Eagle')
Two more Knap Hill/Exbury hybrids both striking and pleasantly scented.

Another view of the same bed.

Meconopsis coming into flower in the same bed.
Meconopsis ' Kingsbarns' already in flower.
Walking on into the "woodland"
Middle of the area.

Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan's Variety'

Geranium phaeum 'Sambor'

Looking back.

This is the main drift of Candelabra Primulas.

This is, at least to my eyes, a poor colour form Primula Japonica which is at the front of the group shown above. The Society seed was meant to be of Primula poissonii which it obviously isn't. The flowers look good in bud and as they open but then the petals have patchy pigment which makes the overall appearance a little washed out.

Primula pulverulenta
Towards the back of the drift is Primula pulverulenta which although similar to Primula japonica has stems which are coated in farina.

Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'
Primula japonica seedling

Primula japonica seedling
A quick nip round to the front where the Camellia is just finishing alongside Choisya ternata (Mexican Orange Blossom)

Rhododendron hybrid roseum elegans

 Clematis montana 'Giant Star' has the rampaging tendencies of montana but has flowers which are 4" across and have a wonderfully powerful vanilla scent. 
More candelabra primulas to come in a couple of weeks time.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A couple of Erythroniums

It is pouring down with rain so I am adding this little post. Much has been said in the media recently about Erythroniums, I do not have drifts of them but find the individual flowers stunning.

Erythronium californicum 'Harvington Snowgoose'
'Snowgoose' was the first one I ever grew and is still my favourite even up against the ubiquitous Erythronium 'Pagoda'. Picture taken a couple of weeks ago.

Erythronium 'Pagoda'
These pictures were actually taken last year but show some variation in type.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tulip Time again.

Back to the wet weather again so not as busy in the garden. My one major gardening indulgence is that I buy in tulips every year, I don't do this to any scheme or colour coordination and to be quite honest probably go for bargain collections although not exclusively. I have my favourites like Tulipa 'Angelique' which I grow every year, also picked out on "Beechgrove Garden" this week, but on the whole I just grow what I fancy and treat them as annuals, growing in containers and discarding after flowering.

Tulipa 'Angelique' (Double Late)
'Angelique' is a firm favourite....

Tulip 'Double Flag' (Double Late)
....and I like 'Double Flag' also.

Tulip 'Estella Rijnveld' (Parrot)
Always have one parrot like 'Estella Rijnveld'.

Tulip 'Grand Perfection' (Triumph)
'Grand Perfection' isn't bad.....

Tulip 'Happy Generation' (Triumph) is 'Happy Generation'.

Tulip 'Havran' (Triumph)
Much darker in real life 'Havran' has a wonderful velvet sheen to it.

Tulip 'Leen van der Mark' (Triumph)
'Leen van der Mark' big and blowsy like the 'Carnaval de Rio', that I grew last year. I love these big strong growing tulips, the way the petals expand is fascinating.

Tulip 'Princess Irene' ('Prinses Irene') (Triumph)
A new favourite 'Princess Irene', neat, deep orange and scented to boot.

Tulip 'Rajka' (Triumph)
Not one I will use again 'Rajka'.

Tulip 'Silk Road' (Single early)
'Silk Road' has a lovely silky sheen as its name implies.
Tulip 'Washington' (Triumph)
'Washington' is nice but nothing special.

Now here is a really stupid thing to do. A couple of weeks ago on a windy day which was also promising rain I decided to lash on some Growmore, everything went perfectly, on with the fertilizer and only an hour or so later a really heavy shower. Job well done, or so I thought. A few days later whilst strolling round the garden with mug of tea in hand. What's this! the leaves of some of my plants were browning! It took me a while for it to register but the damage, mainly to soft leaved plants like hardy geraniums, was on the side from which I had been scattering the fertilizer which, on the day, would also have been the windward side. Yes you have guessed it, as I was scooping the pellets out the dust had blown onto the plants and subsequently scorched them. Idiot!