We started at East Lambrook Manor where Mike Werkmeister greeted us and gave us an outline of the development of the garden and how it is being looked after now.
Monday, 30 May 2022
Saturday, 28 May 2022
The sun is strong but the air is fairly cool, perfect weather. Sixish things in my garden to join in with Jon, as do many other gardeners Worldwide.
1. However small my garden, I just cannot resist growing a few veg. For instance today we had a delicious cucumber the first of the season. My friend grew on some seeds and shared the plants around. They were such good plants, and as she has a green house, all the tomato and cucumber seeds are being passed along for growing on.
|Cucumber growing in the conservatory|
Two tumbling tomatoes in a large ceramic pot have started to set fruit.
2. I opened my garden for 'paying' visitors for the first time this week. Actually they were donating some money to have tea and cake to raise funds for our gardening club. They also happened to have a tour of the gardens front and back. I managed to find a spare Semiaquilegea for Maggie, and another plant is already promised for Anthony.
One of the plants one the side in the conservatory was Crassula Falcata Buddha's Temple. I received my original plant over ten years ago, and every few years I go in for some renewal in the form of cuttings, throwing the mother plant away. Here is the bowl with some very long terminal leaders removed. .
Usually I use the pups, but this time I am also trying some 'slices' of the main stem. I'll report back with updated pictures later in the year.
|Rose Munstead Wood|
|Cheddar Pink - Dianthus gratianopolitanus|
Having seen the Cheddar pinks recently at Bristol Botanic Gardens, I realised that when I had visited the Gorge previously, it would have been either too early or too late to even catch a glimpse of the flowers. Yesterday I did, and I reckon they will be even better in a week's time as there were still many in bud.
Half along the eastern edge of the gorge, we happened to come across a ranger whom I asked about the Cheddar Pinks. I think he was a little wary of pointing them out and he did caution me to take extreme care as they are at the top of the very highest cliffs. They are just over the lip of the cliff up to about one metre down. Mr S was panicking, but I advanced prostrate, crawling on my belly to spread my weight, and also to avoid the strong wind being funnelled up the side of the cliffs.
I had taken my smaller camera a Canon IXUS 12x, but it is probably better at the macro pictures that the other camera. It was extremely windy at the very edge of the cliff and these are the best I had.
On the way down towards Jacob's ladder, the rock roses were just starting to open.
Tuesday, 24 May 2022
Bristol University Botanic Gardens are not too far away, but it takes an effort, we thought to go by public transport but I don't think we could have done it easily. My dearly beloved drove us there a few days ago and now we know the route down through Bristol Gorge avoiding the City Centre, I predict that this will be the first of many visits. There is so much to take in and admire, from these well laid out gardens, including all the botanic and evolutionary information forming the basis of the their collections. We were given a small plan however next time I must see if there is a more detailed guide or book. Meanwhile their website is worth spending some time reading. I found for example a great post on bluebells. We were so enthralled that I did not really focus on taking many pictures or notes, realising that there will be further visits and more opportunities for that.
On entry we couldn't be more amazed by the setting with the many mature oak trees on the periphery, but the large pool, where later the Marliac Hybrid waterlilies will be flowering, formed a central point around which many collections were grouped.
We spent quite some time looking at the rock garden with plants from close to us such as the Cheddar Pink, rockroses from Brean Down, Alliums and Whitebeams. I realise I have probably been out looking for the Cheddar Pink far too late.
The plant evolution walk starting with liverworts and mosses, ferns and horsetails, and trees ferns found Mr S captivated. We happened to do the walk in the wrong direction, going back in time as it were!
We ambled along the beds finding much to enthral, such as emerging dragon flies in the pool by the Angiosperm Phylogeny collection.
The Mediterranean section of the gardens as well as their website gives some valuable details on plants in those zones. As well as having visited them, I am using the theme in the front garden to use plants that will tolerate that hot dry sloping aspect. I was delighted to come across a large clump of Lathyrus aureus, to give me an idea of what the plant looks like. A friend gave me a small piece of this plant a couple of weeks ago and it is destined to go in the front Mediterranean style front garden.
In the Tropical and Sub-tropical sections of the glasshouses and was delighted to recognize various plants from my childhood garden and also the Pamplemousse Botanic Gardens, which was the name of the gardens when I visited very frequently, I particularly liked
working visiting when I was acting as my father's little field assistant during the school holidays.
A few names of interesting forms of succulents were noted of course. I rather liked the form of this Aeonium goochiae which would contrast nicely with my other aeoniums! A few are on the wish list, but I may well have to wait but looking for suppliers or waiting to see them in the flesh and for sale that is the question!
A few of the blooms found on the floor from the Jade vine made their way home, reminding me of the pergola dripping with the flowers in my friends garden, in the same way as people have wisteria growing in England. There were and still are in my eyes such a strange and 'unnatural' colour with turquoise blooms and silver.
For those on a tight budget and can visit on a Wednesday there is an option of paying less than the current £9 or maybe like us have the Gardeners World two for one ticket. Although the coffee was excellent, and I would buy a drink in their café, next time I would take a snack and spend more time in the gardens.
Monday, 23 May 2022
A little posy from garden flowers. I had been catching up on my Facebook this morning, when I came across one of those shared posts with a saying. I'm not always that happy to like these, as I wonder whether someone is looking at who knows who. I am not paranoid, and of course respond when I feel like it to 'original' material. Sometimes the sayings are rather apt and I do enjoy them. I think it was one from my cousin what got me going, and I was thinking of her when I picked the flowers. It was something about if it takes only a few seconds to think of someone, it also doesn't take long to tell someone you are thinking of them, meaning it takes seconds to say like to someone on a Facebook message.
Quaking Grass: Briza Maxima
Achillea x lewisii 'King Edward',
Scabiosa columbaria 'Pink Mist
Fleur de pensée or Wild Pansy Viola 'Tricolor', Heartease
Saturday, 21 May 2022
It has certainly rained this week. I am sure we shall have weather reports as well as six things in the garden on The Propagator's weekly 'American Supper' of a gardening get together. With all the rain forecast, I decided to move the succulents onto the shelf inside the shed from the shelf outside! With no watering required one would think a little more time for the garden. There was not much gardening in this garden, but I have enjoyed just looking at mine, and visiting other gardens this week: Bristol University Botanic Gardens with Mr S, and East Lambrook Manor and Avon Bulbs with the Somerset branch of the Alpine Garden Society.
Here the plants in the garden has moved on visibly after the rain:
1. Baptisia australis Exaltata is very slowly increasing; from two spikes, I have six this year, though I did see ever such a big clump in the botanic gardens. However there is no point comparing my new tiny garden to the likes of anything larger. It is still at the bud stage, but I just love that soft green and the promise of a blue pop of colour.
3. What a disappointment: the ant sowed seedling of Linaria at the edge of the gravel turns out to a hybrid. The bees on the Linaria 'Canon Went' last year must have been to other gardens, a sort of American Supper. Maybe this is the wrong term but the sort of supper where you go from house to house for a course, enjoyed by many during the early seventies, sometimes driving some distance from house to house. These types of suppers with friends may well come back now that the tenner isn't what is used to be and restaurant prices rising, but maybe everyone will bring a dish to one house to share, cos the fuel is too expensive! This blue Linaria may well be 'edited' this week, in the meantime I value it for the 'architectural' element'! 'Designer Speak!
4. It was on the naughty step having not flowered since its first season in 2018, the Iris sibirica 'Silver Edge has earnt a reprieve. Another week or so it would have been added to the 'To Be Edited' list.
6. Some seed can be viable for a long time, as I discovered with the rocket seed my son gave me a few years ago. Someone who I shall not name, told a group of us at a talk that one should keep seed in the fridge and throw it out after one year, and buy new. I've never followed that: our fridge is too small, and I am always game to try old seed, and love going through my seed collection if only to dream about what I could grow. The reality is that the garden wouldn't be large enough to accommodate all the plants. Thinking that germination would be low, you can see that it certainly wasn't and I sowed a little too thickly close to the peas.
Monday, 16 May 2022
Yesterday was a little too damp after lunch, and since the morning had been spent taking a walk along the lanes edged with the white froth of of blossom on elderflower, Queen Anne's lace and Hawthorne, I had to get up early. Early to choose flowers from the Garden to join in with Cathy for this Vase this Monday.
Just as I thought the sun would shine on and on and on, we have at last had rain, We have a good amount, with a rumble or two of thunder overnight. The garden at six this morning has a completely different feel and the hem of my dress is wet from brushing against plants.
When I first read about this rose Shine On, it reminded me of a rose my parents grew in Mauritius in the early Sixties. That rose was called Super Star Brigitte Bardot. I read that soon after introducing the name Brigitte Bardot was prohibited...not in our household! Under the tropical sun its orange was quite stunning. My father had imported it from France, and we always used to tease him about it as his pinup was Brigitte Bardot, though of course I was too young to know what a pinup was. He was extremely fond of cinema, and would often go on a Saturday to watch three blockbusters all on the trot! Shine On is much smaller but with similar dark green foliage, which comes up with a strong bronze tint on new shoots.
It is mid May and the roses are out. Iceberg for a fortnight, Deep red rose Munstead Rose if fully open as is Grace, but at this moment too heavy with rain. Open Arms is waiting for the myriad of bees to visit and the little orange coloured rose Shine On *is the one for this morning.
I sauntered round the garden trying to find just the right piece of greenery or even a couple of companions, however nothing pleased either myself or the rose, so here you have it, three little stems in a bottle.
It seems far too early to have roses in bloom, I am not ready to say goodbye to the late spring feeling, time is slipping away far too fast.