Murphy—?—26th July 2018.

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Rescued by Mary from the Dogs Trust at approximately 18 months old, Murphy has been our friend, companion and protector here at Our Garden@19.

His contribution to the team can be read in ‘The Garden – Garden Team’.                               He was always ready to play with his toys, leaving them conveniently around for us to trip over, endeavouring to keep the garden free of cats, letting us know when the Badgers were visiting the garden and joining in when the church bells rang!  He would happily spend his day with us out in the garden, either up in the potting shed or lay just outside the summer house and looking hopeful when we had tea and biscuits! During his later years the open fronted potting shed became his favourite daytime, summer retreat. One event transcended all this for him and that was going for a walk with his mistress.

Oh! he did not like having his photo taken.

The garden seems empty at the moment.

Blackmore Grange July 2018.

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On Saturday the Black Pear Gardening Club visited Blackmore Grange, owned by Doug and Anne Robertson. A total of £206 was raised and donated to St. Richards Hospice, Worcester. The Hospice has recently launched a fundraising drive to support its £5.3m expansion plan. You can find out more via this Link

41 members visited on a beautifully sunny day (another one!), to enjoy the garden and tea and biscuits (of course). Anne also invited members to bring along a picnic to enjoy in the garden.

Anne, a knowledgeable plants women, has previously opened her garden for the NGS. This quote is from the 2011 NGS Yellow Book.

Blackmore Grange. “All year round two acre rural garden surrounds the family home. Packed with a large variety of plants, shrubs and trees. The swimming pool has been transformed into the stable garden, an outstanding area of traditional cottage-style planting. Also a mixed orchard, woodland walk, mixed planting beds and kitchen garden”. Described by Chris Beardshaw as “A natural garden full of interest and variety”.

One entrance to the garden is along this woodland path…

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…where you arrive into one of many seating ares in the garden.

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From here you have views across the sweeping lawn in front of the house towards two curved borders one edging the west facing terrace, the other viewed across the lawn…

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These borders are packed with plants, amongst those enjoying the summer sun were fennel and lavender…

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…and this beautiful dark blue agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’…

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Following this path along side the border…IMG_3740

…past a thriving kniphoia…

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…you enter the stable garden…

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…where the teas were served.

The plants which caught everyones’ attention here were the dark red dahlias, ‘Chat Noir’, ‘Rip City’, ‘Sam Hopkins’ and with its dark foliage, ‘Kamar Choc’…

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Dahlia ‘Karma Choc’.

…a double Hollyhock…

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and this delphinium ‘Faust’.

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Delphinium ‘Faust’.

 

Verbena bonariensis, agapanthus and succulents growing in the gravel and broken pots.

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Climbers including, ornamental vines, roses and clematis, cover the pergola and scrambled up through support plants.

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This dahlia and hydrangea add a splash of light colour, providing a perfect contrast to the smoke bush, several of which were flowering in the garden.

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Leaving the stable yard garden for the woodland walk, some of the roses were still flowering with their hips just beginning to develop their autumn scarlet colour.

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A welcome bench in the shade…

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Anne, on the right with club member Betty Mills.

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It is important to read the plant label to ensure you have the correct name to go with the photo.

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Turning back towards the house you see the mixed orchard, which is underplanted with spring bulbs and roses growing up into some of the more mature apple trees. In the centre of the lawn, is a magnificent tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera.

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Near the house, down some steps, is Anne’s potting shed and the kitchen garden with its fruit cage full of ripening fruit…

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…and at the rear, an impressive pot display of hostas, acers and seasonal bedding plants.

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No one was in any hurry to leave, enjoying the weather and the setting in this “Natural garden full of interest and variety”.

Drought Busters July 2018.

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Those of you living and gardening in the UK do not need me to tell you that we are ‘enjoying’ one of the hottest June/July periods for some time, with day time temperatures reaching 30c. Whilst for many of you reading this in other parts of the world this may not be unusual, but here it is , testing both the gardener and their plants.

These plants featured are the drought busters in Our Garden@19. Interestingly I originally grew them all from seed, except for the allium, also some of them have since self seeded around the garden.

The wild chicory towers above almost every thing in the garden, here in the herb bed, growing through the standard gooseberry. It is a beautiful shade of light blue.

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Cichorium intybus. Wild Chicory.

Also towering above everything else are the teasels, this is the first year I have grown them. Listening to a talk by Fergus Garrett inspired me to plant them and they allow them to self seed around Great Dixter. They are good for wild life especially the pollinators and the seeds are said to be loved by Goldfinches in winter. I have only planted two in the garden, they can dominate if left to their own devices.

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Dipsacus fullonum Common Teasel.

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Dipsacus fullonum
Common Teasel.

The ‘thistle-like’ plants always do well in dry conditions, here Echinops ritro, is yet to bloom…

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Echinops ritro.

…also ‘Miss Willmotts Ghost’, I do like this spiky plant. It is I think, a little like the lady it was named after. Especially if you worked for her.

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Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmotts Ghost’.

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Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmotts Ghost’.

The wild carrot has seeded itself around the garden including here between two paving slabs, thus preventing anyone from sitting on this chair!

Similarly the Lychnis of both colours have seeded in the gravel…

…and the Linaria seeds around everywhere!

In a sunny spot by the banana bench and in the alpine boxes on the south side of the house, is Dianthus carthusianorum, with its clusters of diminutive deep pink flowers.

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Dianthus carthusianorum.

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Dianthus carthusianorum.

I am ending with this single Allium ‘Red Mohican’. I wish I had more!

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Allium ‘Red Mohican’.

An interesting fact about these plants is that several of them were for sale during our open weekend and very few of them sold, because, I guess, they were not in flower at that time.

I wonder if they would sell now?

Do you have any ‘Drought Busters’ in your garden?