November Sunshine.

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.


Sorbus Eastern Promise
Vitis ‘ Spetchley red’
Wisteria floribunda ‘ Alba ‘
Cotoneaster horizontalis
Solidago Fireworks
Miscanthus sinensis
Molinia ‘Karl Foerster’
Lunaria annua ‘Rosemary Verey’ Seeds
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?

Ten February Favourite Blooms.

Chloris at The Blooming Garden encourages us garden bloggers to venture out into the garden in all winds and weathers to take pictures of our favourite ten blooms each month. My ten include the inevitable Snowdrops, of which I have the grand total of three varieties,  (Chloris is the one to visit to enjoy a Galanthus feast), the common Nivalis, its double and the third which I think is Galanthus S. Arnott. This is also Hellebore season, with the orientalis adding their charm and colour to the February garden.

I am very impressed with the Hamamelis in the oriental garden, it has been flowering since December.  I do have a degree of admiration for the variegated ‘Laurel’, which at this time of year lightens up the rear of the oriental garden. It was a rescue, ‘no name’, plant when we were living in our previous house. I could not decide where to plant it therefore it remained in a pot until we developed the garden here. I do like to see an underdog succeed!

This is the beginning of the Crocus season, there are more still to flower in the garden. ‘Gypsy Girl’ is I think a bit special with its brown stripes, it is in pots along with an unknown Iris Reticulata. A favourite Iris this time of year is ‘ Katherine Hodgkin’, I have had it in the garden since Carol Klein sang its praises during a lecture at Pershore College.

In the White and Green garden there is a nod to the seventies when we all grew Conifers and Heathers. The Erica Carnea ‘Whitehall’ thrives due to it not requiring ericaceous soil, it sits below the fragrant flowering Winter Honeysuckle.

A special plant for me is the Lunaria Annua ‘Rosemary Verey’, its dark leaves providing a contrast to the snowdrops. I purchased one plant four years ago and have saved seed each year to raise plants for the garden and to sell at our open days. It has also self sown around the garden, coming true each time even though we have two other varieties here. Rosemary Verey was the first garden designer to influence me, from visiting her garden, at Barnsley, Gloucestershire, experiencing the style of planting within the borders and the pottager. Then through her books, with the plan of her Chelsea garden in 1992 inspiring the original layout of what I now call the blue border. (It has changed somewhat since 2005).

While Christmas now seems a while ago the flowering Hippeastrum was a gift to Irene from a friend. We were very impressed with its three blooms.

These are my ten favourites for February, please visit Chloris to see what she and other bloggers have chosen. Do you have a favourite February flower?

Ten Top for November.

I am joining Chloris and her many followers in posting my Top Ten for November, please visit The Blooming Garden to see what their Top Ten are.

Number one, the seed heads of the Lunaria, which provides a silvery shine in the low November sunlight. This plant provides interest through out the whole year, from the young leaves with their maroon spots, the dark purple flowers and now the seed heads.

Lunaria annua ‘Rosemary Verey’

…growing in front is a young Cotinus, we lost a mature one a few years ago, therefore we are looking forward to this one developing and flowering in the future.

Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’.

These two ‘Grasses’ make a striking feature at the end of the pebble river in the Oriental Garden. I originally saw this plant combination when visiting The Bressingham Gardens, Nr Diss, Norfolk.

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, hakone grass and Opheapogon Nigrescens, black mondo grass.

This Viburnum, in the White and Green Garden, is one of the earliest flowering shrubs in the garden. It flowers from early autumn through to late spring, and looks particularly good when there is a blue sky behind it.

Viburnum f ‘candidissimum’

Anna from the The Greentapestry was recently singing the praises of this rose, mentioning that it flowers from July to November.

Rosa ‘The Fairy’

Here it is in the Iris bed on the south side of the house…

Rosa ‘The Fairy’

…along with ‘ ‘Geoff Hamilton’, I am hoping this bud will open.

Rosa ‘Geoff Hamilton’

I will always have Viola’s in the garden, whether it’s the diminutive ‘Heartsease’ which I  grow from seed, (it does also self seed), or ones purchased from garden centres to provide colour through out winter.

Viola ‘Heartsease’

We were given two Clivia three years ago, one flowered the first year, none the next year and one, (yippie!) so far this year.


I am not sure if Number ten qualifies for a November favourite, although it is one of mine and it is in the garden. The first sighting, today, of the female Blackcap on the bird feeders. I always like to see the arrival of this aggressive little bird, she always arrives before the male and tries to defend the feeders from all comers. the down side is that it heralds the arrival of winter weather, ‘Up North’ which will eventually make its way here. 

This is a picture from 2014, they are quite nervous and therefore difficult to photograph. You can see more ‘Birdie” pictures by clicking the Wildlife Category.

That is my Top Ten in Our Garden@ 19, for November, I wonder what will be around for December?