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?
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…
…where you arrive into one of many seating ares in the garden.
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…
These borders are packed with plants, amongst those enjoying the summer sun were fennel and lavender…
…and this beautiful dark blue agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’…
Following this path along side the border…
…past a thriving kniphoia…
…you enter the stable garden…
…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’…
…a double Hollyhock…
and this delphinium ‘Faust’.
Verbena bonariensis, agapanthus and succulents growing in the gravel and broken pots.
Climbers including, ornamental vines, roses and clematis, cover the pergola and scrambled up through support plants.
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.
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.
A welcome bench in the shade…
Anne, on the right with club member Betty Mills.
It is important to read the plant label to ensure you have the correct name to go with the photo.
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.
Near the house, down some steps, is Anne’s potting shed and the kitchen garden with its fruit cage full of ripening fruit…
…and at the rear, an impressive pot display of hostas, acers and seasonal bedding plants.
No one was in any hurry to leave, enjoying the weather and the setting in this “Natural garden full of interest and variety”.
I am, sadly, old enough to remember Max Bygraves singing the cheerful song ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’.
Tulips along with Dahlias are a vital element to providing year round cheer and colour here in Our Garden@19
The dahlias are all now lifted and safely stored in the small greenhouse, this one is kept frost free. There are two electric tube heaters in here, with a new heated propagating sand bench, at the rear, containing some seedlings which I am hoping to carry through the winter. These have been joined by the Aeoniums, Cotyledon Orbiculata, Colocasia ‘Black Dragon’ and Pelargoniums.
The dahlias on the bench are labeled and waiting for the ‘head gardener’ to box them up in compost similar to the ones you can see on the shelf below.
The raised beds that edge the patio have been home, during the summer, to the dahlias and annuals, it is my nod to the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter. I wrote about the dahlias I grow here.
Tulip ‘Abu Hassan’, now follows into the raised beds along with a few Erysimum x allionii (Siberian Wallflowers) and Myosotis (For-get-me-nots.) Hopefully these will be putting on a show for the early May Bank holiday open gardens.
The pots contain more tulips to dot around the garden in the spring, they are wintered on the patio to help keep the squirrels away.
The Tulips carried over from last year are Tulip clusiana ‘Peppermintstick’, Tulip ‘Calgary’ ,Tulip ‘Orange Emperor’, Tulip ‘Prinses Irene’, Tulip ‘Red Riding Hood’, Tulip ‘Spring Green’, Tulip ‘Tres Chic’ Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ and Tulip ‘China Pink’. These were lifted or emptied from their pots after flowering and laid out to dry in the small green house rotating with the dahlias.
Tulipa ‘ Ballade ‘ is left in the main borders.
These bulbs are new for 2017, adding to the ones already in the garden.
Allium ‘Beau Regard’, Allium Karatavience ‘Ivory Queen’, Iris reticulata ‘Polar Ice’,
Muscari ‘Siberian Tiger’, Scilla siberica, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and Tulip ‘Angelique’.
Some tulip pictures to show what we are hoping for.
Have you planted any bulbs for a spring spectacular?