Monday, 12 May 2014

Please come along to this, it really is a wonderful day and the  money raised goes to local my usual notes are at the foot of the flyer!

My worries whilst on the windswept Somerset hillside had been unfounded; apart from a large twig on the Croquet lawn everything was in tact. If growth had been a little taller then I fear we would have been hit harder; but this and a combination of a walled garden with timely staking avoided serious trashing of the beds and borders. We were lucky though, a tree had come down further along the village, smashing a glasshouse. 
Wisteria in today's morning sun.
The Potager in spring is quite a sight with bright green new Box growth accompanied by the chaos of Aquilegias and Welsh Poppies, not to mention the crops we have growing......
  • Two beds containing three rows each of Giant Winter Spinach.
  • A large bed of Long Red Florence Onions.
  • A square centrally planted with Sweet Pea 'Prince of Orange' surrounded with Little Gem Lettuce and Savoy Cabbage.
  • Several beds of over wintered Chards.
  • A square with two intersecting diagonals of Long Red Florence Onion, the 'triangles' filled with Lettuce 'Marvel of Four Seasons'.
  • A block of Crimson Flowered Broad Beans.
  • A block of Bull's Blood Beets.
Frothy Chervil at the entrance to the Potager.
This spring chaos is lovely to behold; but beware it is a trap! Enjoy the scene; but all the time be aware that each view has a 'shelf life' and must be replaced with the next crop, the Potager is a vegetable garden. The two entrance beds filled with Chervil have been very useful during the leaner months, they are now starting to flower and although still looking good, look closer and they are starting to lean and over run the bed. I fear they will be removed by the end of the week, keeping one plant for seed, replacing them immediately with Courgettes. This cyclical clearance also exposes my nemasys....slugs and snails caught in no man's land.
Faux Kestrel above the Savoys, Ben's Lime top
 and Willow cloches can also be seen.

Eleanor picking Quaking Grass from the top of the Potager
 wall to be used by Ann in the house flowers.
The fine flower heads of the Chervil will be used by Ann, our resident Florist, so it's removal will coincide with her next visit. Ann is also encouraged to cut back any Aquilegias that are tall and on the verge of toppling as well as any wayward Smyrniums, this adds to the Potager's productivity. So any clearing whether wholesale or selective is done with the 'killing two birds with one stone' approach linked to gardeners employing forward thinking and using that most useful of skills ...communication.
Some parts of the Potager were looking quite sad at the end of the winter as we had succumbed to Box Blight, this came quite sudden as is the norm with this fungal disease; however we had gone unblemished for many years. Many gardens , some not far away, had been hit years ago. Needless to say we have removed the affected Box and burnt them. It is interesting that it is the Buxus sempervirens suffruticosa  that seems to get hit and we are lucky that quite a lot of our Box is not suffruticosa so the Potager is looking very green and healthy. We are not being complacent and have  replaced the affected Buxus with  Sarcococca confusa (Christmas Box), it is an experiment that I'm very hopeful about. It likes our slightly alkaline soil, takes clipping, it's evergreen and has honey scented tiny white flowers in late winter. We clip our well established Sarcococca confusa ball after flowering in March in contrast with our Box which wants cutting in the busier times of the year. We'll wait and see.

The Pond or Temple Garden is full of Rose growth, which is a picture of health and promise; sometimes I think rose foliage, pre-flowering, is the epitome of perfection, the perfect foil for Paeoni delavayi (Tree Paeoni) ranging in colour from blood red to a rich burnt orange that Mrs. Verey termed 'marmalade'. Around the pond is the Siberian Iris 'Tropic Night', will it be open for the festival?
Iris sibirica 'Tropic Night'
Paeoni delavayi,
 this colour form termed 'marmalade' by Mrs. Verey.
Most of the blobs of colour provided by the Tulips have faded and been picked away by the fastidious hands of gardeners, beds now dominated by the thrusting green clumps of herbaceous perennials......Phlox, Crocosmia, Persicaria, Centranthus et al. In Bed 4, bordered by blue railings and adjacent to the Pond Garden, there's a great grouping of Geranium Phaeum with a neighbouring small clump of claret red Astrantia 'Ruby Wedding'.

Central Astrantia 'Ruby Wedding'

The happy accident of aptly tonal blue Aquilegia self seeded in Bed1
You will notice that around the garden pockets of 'clearing' have been created by roving gardeners. Areas of tired bulb leaves, Tulips and Forget me Nots attract the attentions of gardeners who 'tidy them away', the vacant spots filled, as in Bed 2, with pink Margeurites 'Summer Stars', sooty purple Pelargonium sidoides, inky blue Salvia 'Armistad'  and more to follow as and when more spots become available. Lilies too in pots will be 'dropped in' to partner Roses and the Cornflower 'Black Boy' will be threaded through Bed 2.

I must point out that the acid yellow/green plant that pops up here and there; especially down towards the Frog Fountain is Smyrnium perfoliatum, a biennial or short lived perennial, common name Golden Alexanders and the purple flowered plant is Lunaria annua or Honesty another prodigious self seeder.

The Festival is well worth a visit; especially this year as our first 'normal' spring for some years has provided the conditions for a very good display that has been capitalised on by a hard working team of gardeners. If you do come and have any questions then John, Ben and Mark would be happy to answer them, they will be selling plants at the front of the house. The weather looks good too, so fingers crossed!
The last of our Tulips to flower is  'Alabaster'

No comments:

Post a Comment