Saturday 30 May 2009


I returned from another week away visiting Dad and walked down the garden.

My idea of Heaven! A garden full of roses and the wonderful perfume that can be so intoxicating. Oh what joy!

Goldfinch is a lovely rambler.

This is a climber that was in the garden when we moved here. I never found out it's name. It flowers abundantly throughout the summer even during dry spells when the leaves all fall it continues to flower. It is my only rose without perfume but is forgiven because of it's splendid show. It is no good as a cut flower as it looses it's petals within a day. Any suggestions on it's name?

This little gem is Aviateur Bleriot another rambler. It grows on the arch Mike rebuilt over the middle steps. The perfume is delightful especially standing on the steps surrounded with roses.

I am so pleased Francis sorted me out a bit with my photography. I love these sort of shots with the oh so blue sky.

Cornelia is a lovely rose and I grew it in a wigwam. It was sold as Felicia and Dad and I have had many a discussion but agree it is definitely not Felecia whose flowers are much bigger. This is in fact a cutting but more vigorous than it's parent probably due to it's more open position.

Cecile Brunner what a little gem! Again one of several cuttings I took from Christina's rose and it took some time to identify it. Such beautiful baby pink buds and perfume.

This is Cottage Rose once again I have successfully taken a cutting.

Mayor of Casterbridge is a lovely vigorous rose repeat flowering and lovely big full heads.

This is Sweet Juliet which in fact opened later in the day.

Francis E Lester rather attractive with it's single petals and making a nice change from my other ramblers. It also has attractive hips in the autumn.
I really need to get some more tips from Francis on how to get better shots of the garden bringing the detail out. I realise the light was not the best for this shot.

Thursday 21 May 2009


The fight to survive is a powerful thing. These poor plants were posted to a friend of mine, Jane, knowing she had moved house and they would be a nice surprise to add to her new but not very full garden. They were well wrapped in moist tissue polythene and a suitable cardboard box. Posted the 10th April having been told they should be there the following day. They arrived today at my address. Jane had made a typing error and one digit in the post code was incorrect. It has taken the Royal Mail 31 days to return this parcel. So beware those sending any precious item in the post.
Now the plants ability to survive is amazing. The Hosta has lots of little embryo flower buds which is possibly part of its fight to survive. Many plants flower under adverse conditions wanting to produce seed before possible death.
At the end of this post I will tell you of another valiant fight for survival but first enjoy the photos.

I decided to make a start on these buttercups they have had their own way for the last couple of years but not any more I am having a rest after ousting some of them.

This lovely Poppy was grown from seed and I much prefer it to the gaudy red/orange one I have had in the garden for some years.

This geranium marginata is such a lovely plant, in and not in flower, with nice autumn colour on the leaves. It does not have a second flowering though like some geraniums.

This is the only type of Peony I have in the garden and I have split and divided over the years. It was here when we moved in.

Knowing Rob likes ferns I thought I'd show this on the side of the drive. Last but not least a marvelous plant, Gunera I know not in the right spot but where else can it go we already have some near the pond. Do you think we will be able to get the car out of the garage this year? It is already getting quite big.

Another fight for survival.
Jane my friend who didn't received her plants is the mother of three lovely young ladies. Jane's eldest Elizabeth spent from aged 9 suffering with ME/CFS. Due to her health she was home schooled but excelled in her studies. She became house bound and bed ridden with many symptoms but ending with swallowing difficulties. Jane was told of the Breakspeare Hospital in Hemel Hempstead, they were having some success with treating their ME/CFS patients.
Jane was advised against taking her daughter to the Breakspear by the ME/CFS charity dealing with children, but in desperation and at considerable expense Jane decided she would take Elizabeth there.
At aged 17 Elizabeth was diagnosed with Lyme Disease following blood tests. She was treated on a combination of IV antibiotics, antivirals and supplements for many months but made a good recovery.
Elizabeth remains well two years later and the last two winters has been working in a ski resort in Switzerland. Skiing by day , minding the bar at night and partying into the early hours of the morning. How amazing is that?
Many people with ME/CFS have been found to have Lyme Disease and helped to recovery on long term antibiotic treatment. How many people do you know with ME/CFS how many of them are tested or assessed for a bacteriological illness not just Lyme Disease. Many people with ME/CFS can point to an illness at the start, but the assumption is that the bacteria don't persist. Some pioneering Doctors throughout the world are realising that some microorganisms are in fact very difficult to eradicate with just short courses of antibiotics but can manifest as chronic ill health.
Just such a sad waste of a child's life but sadly there are too many similar stories.

Wednesday 20 May 2009


Some time ago I remember reading that light colours draw the eye and if placed say at the bottom of the garden can make it appear longer or further away.

A year or two ago I bought two Gleditsia trees which Mike planted either side of the bottom steps. With a Leyland cyprus hedge behind I thought the contrast would be good.
Some years ago a neighbour gave me many pots and plants before she and her husband moved away. The large pot at the bottom was one of them. It came with a Phormium for Mike knowing that he would like it. The year Julie died sadly long before her time the Phormium flowered superbly. Since it has declined each year until the snow this year nearly finished it off. The small piece left will be nurtured as best I can. However as the Acer needed a new home ( I have forgotten how to spell its name Shwa... It's too dark to look and I couldn't find in Google.) I thought it would be a good place for it especially as it was another plant from Julie.

This is the view the Acer has so I am hoping it will enjoy it's new home. I especially hope it doesn't get too much sun.

So a view down the garden seems to work with the three lovely lime like green trees. Shame about the propagating frame, but I do try to cram more in this small garden than I can find room for. I remember Julie who was a garden designer and had an amazingly beautiful but immaculate garden saying 'Yes lots going on but not quite getting there.' Hmm! I think she would still say the same 5 years later.

Josephine is for Catherine at A Gardener in Progress something for you to look forward too.

Josephine flowering in the hedge of Jasmine and Goldfinch Rambling Rose with Clematis Marie Boisselot to the left. Yet another job for my list is to cut back the Jasmine or else we will have no where to sit and drink tea. As if there's time for that!
My final photo had to be HF Young again because I liked it so much. Grown from a one year old seedling that Dad bought me it has many buds waiting to open.

Monday 18 May 2009


You may have gathered from earlier posts that I am quite fond of Hostas. The all green ones were grown from seed from my Dad's Sieboldii. I have so many in pots and not really enough room for them. The black half drum was in the way so I decided to get Mike to make another small bed. I know it won't be more than a year or so before the hostas outgrow their space but I will enjoy for now. I have Agapanthus on the left and the white Primula Seiboldii Snowflakes ( interesting different spelling Seiboldii from the Hosta) Also Cowslips grown from seed.
Candelabra Primrose, Primula Beesiana. I have wanted to grow these for some years but haven't really a damp site for them so we will see how we get on.

These two photos should not be shown they were taken a little late in the evening towards the light but I just wanted to illustrate how nice that from the bench I am sitting on after planting the purple acer by the new little bed I noticed how nice it looked with the Prunus Persica tree also being similar in colour. I then decide to put a pot another cherry in the right hand corner and they balance out beautifully. This potted cherry was a sucker that had run under someone's fence into the common I walk the dog in. One day realising it would get chopped by the cutter I went and dug several out it was hard work but I potted them out and now have two little trees for free. Now please don't look down too much because I know I need to have a good tidy and again close investigation shows more ground elder. These beds have not been weeded in several years apart from the odd very obvious weeds that I could reach to pull without too much effort.

These next three photos are variegated hosta names unknown that I have split and divided over many years. They look so lovely in their old wash tubs along the back terrace. I see the slugs have already had a meal though.

This last Siebaldii on the front doorstep looks lovely in it's pot and is doing so well but sorry about the clutter around it. Mike was so fed up of loosing tools he has sprayed them yellow good idea but looks awful. I don't mind the odd garden implement in photos but not with yellow spray.

Sunday 17 May 2009


Rachel and I visited Columbia Road Flower Market in London E2. It is held every Sunday and gets very busy by the afternoon. Anyone with a bit of free time in London may enjoy a visit. The photos speak for themselves.

Living so near such lovely flowers and plants how could you not dress your terrace?