December Rain.

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In the Garden, December 2018

T’is the season to be merry, of turkey, tinsel and snow with visits to Santa’s Grotto.

I cannot promise you any of the above, we can though visit Our Garden@19 following a rain shower, looking for some winter cheer and colour. In the Oriental Garden the Witch Hazel is in flower, although it is not looking too cheerful due to its habit of retaining all the old leaves.

Hamamelis Moll Pallida (Witch Hazel)
Phyllostachys Spectablis

The golden bamboo always adds a cheerful glow in the corner.

Two of the Cornus are brightening up the back of this border, reminding me that the fence panels could do with re-staining!

Cornus Alba ‘Westonbirt’ syn C. alba ‘Sibirica’ Cornus sanguinea Midwinter Fire

In the White and Green garden the Viburnum f ‘candidissimum’ is in flower, this wonderful shrub flowers all through the winter…

…the Mohonia has grown through the trellis to add a splash of yellow to this ‘carefully’ colour co-ordinated garden…

Mahonia Bealii

…the standard holly is an attractive centre piece here.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Margenata’ Standard

In the Blue Border the ornamental grasses provide an interesting straw coloured contrast to the Thuja occ. ‘Smaragd’…

…where the Rose ‘Charlotte’ has a rain drop covered bud surviving.

Rose ‘Charlotte’ Std.

The bark of the Prunus is always very attractive this time of year.

Prunus serrula

The winter jasmine and the clematis are providing a splash of yellow, with the clematis climbing through the wisteria.

Jasminum nudiflorum
Clematis cirrhosa balearica

The skimmia’s are also a welcome sight with ‘Rubella’ very popular with the flower arrangers at Christmas.

Skimmia Hermaphrodite
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’

‘The Holly and The Ivy’, with a cloud pruned conifer by the entrance to the Oriental Garden…

Ilex × meserveae ‘Blue Angel’

… with moss appropriately growing in the crux of an acer tree.

Hydrangea flower heads, in December, make wonderful flower arrangements and photographs.

The title of December Rain is best illustrated with this picture of pine needles with jewel like rain drops, especially the close-up one below.

Reflections on the year!

I hope you have good reflections of 2018. Sadly we had to say goodbye to our faithful companion Murphy.

On a happier note our youngest daughter, Mary is joining her partner James on the 22nd in their first home together. It will all seem a little quiet around here. The Hanley Swan NGS open gardens had another successful year, with totals raised since we started four years ago reaching £8,500. Looking forward to the new year, we have a new garden opening with us along with ‘plans’ for our garden.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year from all of us at Our Garden@19: brimfields.com

November Sunshine.

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Blogging has had to take a back seat recently with a wedding, holiday, a kitchen refit and decorating taking precedent.  I lifted all the Dahlias from the raised beds last week, replacing them with tulips, also filling all the tulip pots. With the sun shining, I took a quick tour of the garden with the camera.

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Sorbus Eastern Promise

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Vitis ‘ Spetchley red’

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Wisteria floribunda ‘ Alba ‘

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Cotoneaster horizontalis

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Solidago Fireworks

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Miscanthus sinensis

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Molinia ‘Karl Foerster’

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Lunaria annua ‘Rosemary Verey’ Seeds

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Rhodochiton atrosanguineum ‘Purple Bell Vine’

Hopefully I can soon catch up reading some of your posts, there is quite a list in my inbox.

What has been catching the November sun in your garden?

Autumn Colour in Our Garden@19

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The Blue Border.

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Parthenocissus tripcuspidata (Boston Ivy)behind the Banana Bench.

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Dahlia ‘After Eight’ & ‘Bishop of Llandaff’

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Dahlia ‘Snowstorm’

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Rose The Generous Gardener.

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Rose Climbing Iceberg

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Aster divaricatus

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Cirsium rivulare ‘Trevor’s Blue Wonder’

 

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Symphyotrichum n.a ’ Harringtons Pink’

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Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’ & Solidago Fireworks

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Symphyotrichum na ‘ Barrs Violet ‘

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Fuchia ‘Mrs Popple’

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Fuchia magellanica alba

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Ipomoea lobeta with Verbena Bonariensis

 

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Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’ & Amelanchier ‘Lamarckii’

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Sorbus ‘Eastern Promise’

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Hydrangea 

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Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’

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Polypodium Bifidomultifidum

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Cotoneaster horizontalis & Cyclamen hederifolium

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Malus ‘Golden Hornet’.

The National Garden Scheme has posted this quote on their website.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878)

You can view their Autumn Smile here

What is making you smile this Autumn?

The season of Mellow Fruitfulness & Pooh Sticks.

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The end of the summer holiday saw us, with the grandchildren, visiting the Knapp and Paper-mill reserve of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Link                                              The reserve lies in the Teme valley and the Malvern Hills area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

After a picnic at the entrance to the site, where we were watched by a cheeky Robin, we set off to explore, our youngest granddaughter could remember visiting with her school, they do have an educational facility on site. You come first to the old orchard, where some of the trees were laden with apples, which I assume previously belonged to Knapp House…

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You can venture down to the stream at several different places with a willow hide at one, placed specifically for viewing Kingfishers.

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Leigh Brook

The Knapp weir was originally used to divert water to the watermill.

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There are meadows…

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…and steep wooded banks.

 

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The hedgerows were bearing clusters of autumn fruit, which I am sure the bird life will appreciate later in the year.

The Elderberry has long been a favourite for making into wine. We made some many years ago, I have to record it was a nice but powerful drink.

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Sambucus nigra

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The GuelderRose was looking spectacular, already developing its wonderful autumn leaf colour. The berries contain one seed which is distributed by the birds.

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Viburnum opulus

Wild Hops gracefully covered many of the hedgerows and trees. It is of course cultivated for the flavouring of beer. (There is an alcoholic theme developing here!) There are male and female hop plants, the female grows the flowers that we associate with beer brewing while the male has catkins. Worcestershire and Herefordshire was historically an important hop producing area along with Kent.

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Humulus lupulus

Also covering the trees and hedgerows was ‘Old Man’s Beard’, this is the country name given to the wild Clematis when it is covered with its whispery seed heads.

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Clematis vitalba

Standing on a small bridge over the steam the girls decided to play Pooh Sticks…

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…The only problem was we could not tell which stick belonged to who, so they both claimed to have won!

IMG_3987The visit made a fitting end to the summer holidays, reminding us that autumn is on its way and like nature we should be filling the store cupboard. (Not least with wine to fight the winter chills!)