Tuesday View 1st November and more autumn flowers

Cathy at Words and Herbs has decided to stop her Tuesday View during the winter, I will continue to show the view but perhaps not every week. Continue reading

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Pleasing me the first week in June

The month has changed but the weather remains the same – unsettled! Continue reading

GBBD – Searching for blooms

November’s GBBD it seemed like spring, there is no deluding myself now.  With the change of month from November to December came, too, the change to winter.  There has been frost on the ground almost every morning since the 1st of December.  Maybe the coldest December since we bought this house and I began the garden.

The few rose blooms that remain seem almost petrified by the cold.

Rosa 'Sophie's Perpetual' frozen in time

No more Californian poppies defying the month to flower with their sunny faces.  Iris unguicularis has produced lots of flowers, usually only one at any one time, so not a profusion of colour but beautifully elegant never the less.

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No need for a slide show this month, you can see everything that is blooming in this post. (this isn’t a link, just wordpress being difficult!)

 

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Rosa ‘Sophie’s Perpetual’ frozen in time

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The beauty in the garden this month is mainly from seed-heads and foliage, I’ll be posting about what foliage is looking good on the 22nd.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams (I’m dreaming of May too now) for hosting this opportunity to link with gardeners everywhere to see what’s blooming now around the world.  It’s summer in the southern Hemisphere so we can enjoy some sunshine and warmth by sharing their walks around their gardens.

EMV – November a month to work in the garden

Thanks to Helen for hosting EMV; again it is so hard to believe it is the end of November already.

November has been the perfect month for a gardener; many days of warm sunshine interspersed with life sustaining rain.  Today (Wednesday) isn’t nice, heavy rain is falling, there is thunder and lightning which means that the internet is intermittent and it looks black outside, so not a gardening day today!

Not very much has changed in the garden since last EMV except that the walnuts trees have now lost all their leaves and the Mulberry will have done so after the strong winds today and tomorrow.

I have planted garlic (last week) and all the bulbs, except for 25 tulips, are all safely in the ground.

I have been tidying the beds, weeding and planting.  The smallest bed, the circular rose bed needed the most attention.  Gaura lindheimeri self-seeds profusely in this bed and I hadn’t cleared all last year’s seedlings which had grown so large they were swamping the roses; my plans to do a Chelsea chop didn’t happen so many plants were approaching 1.7 metres.  I potted up lots of smaller plants that should make good plants to swap and some with larger roots (almost rhizomes) I transplanted onto the slope where many of the existing plants had perished in the drought.  Gaura remains in the spaces between each variety of rose.  I also removed 3 large buckets of material to the compost heap.

From a distance all you can see is Gaura and Stipa tenuissima

You can see some of the Gaura in this image of R. Sophie’s Perpetual

I then decided to define the quadrants of roses more by planting Miscanthus Gracillimus midway to the centre of the circle between each type of rose and position a Pennisetum villosum in front of the Miscanthus.  There were already 2 Miscanthus and one huge Pennisetum in the bed.  I was able to divide one of the Miscanthus into 3 which gave me the required four; the Pennisetum is a bit of a thug, it spreads very freely so it was easy to divide it into four large pieces plus a dozen or so smaller sections that I planted onto the slope, replacing some Stipa tenuissima what had more dead material than green.  I think the Pennisetum will act well to hold the soil on the slope and they also make better ground cover and weed suppressant than the Stipa.

The finished bed

The bed is also very slightly sloping, so the edging helps contain the soil

Pennisetum villosum is drought tolerant in my garden and although it isn’t very pretty in mid-winter it soon puts on new growth in spring and then seems to flower until the first frosts.

The circular rose bed is (or was) the same dimension as the circular void in the middle of the formal garden and it forms the link between the formal front beds and the much more relaxed island beds.  Using a void and a positive space isn’t really to be strongly recommended because in fact you can’t SEE that they are the same, but it does give some rhythm so in this case it works.  The edge of this border has never been strongly defined before so I decided to use some crazy paving that had been on the front of the house (no, don’t ask why!) to sink into the ground to delineate the shape better.

Here are the roses that are still flowering in the bed this month.

Rosa ‘Queen of Sweden’

Rosa ‘William Shakespeare’

Rosa Sophie’s perpetual

Rosa ‘Tradescant’ also has a couple of flowers but I didn’t take a photo on the 24th November when I photographed the above.

Rosa ‘Veilchenblau’

Even my favourite rose ‘Veilchenblau’, which usually only flowers in early summer has put on a few flowers to charm me.

May Feast – The circular rose bed

Rosa Tradescant

R. Tradescant, full of flower

This bed was planted in 2009.  It consists of 4 varieties of Rose, quartered in the bed; in the centre is a standard Fejoa.  Between the roses, and wanting to take over completely, are masses of Gaura lindheimeri.  In front of the Gaura is Stipa tenuissima and geranium that I think I would like to propagate to add in front of all of the roses for continuity.

Rosa William Shakespeare

Both Tradescant and William Shakespeare have a delicious perfume, quite intoxicating.

Rosa Queen of Sweden

R. Queen of Sweden is very upright in its growth, could almost be a pillar rose

Looking down (May 9th) the formal beds are to the left and the large island is in the forground, with the small island behind

Rosa Sophie’s Perpetual

Rosa Sophie’s Perpetual, the darker outer petals outline the inner paler ones

Overflowing