Thursday, 30 June 2016

The magnificent peony

I bought this peony three years ago and this year is its first flowering. I take a long look at these pictures because with all the rain we've been having, they didn't last long. The flowers are magnificent, but the plant only flowers once in June, adding its beauty to that of the roses.

Once established they will come back year after year and blend beautifully with other cottage garden flowers.  This one is in a pot. They don't like being moved, but in order to get the best out of it, I wanted it close to the house. It graces the patio.

If you haven't tried growing peonies, I recommend you try. They require little maintenance, stand up to our bad winters and are relatively trouble free plants.

Happy Gardening

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Runner Beans are climbing the poles

After a slow start and a fight to keep the slugs at bay, the beans are finally going up the poles. It won't be long before we get to eat these delicious vegetables.

Runner beans give a good return for the small space occupied and can be grown in any type of soil so long as they receive an adequate amount of water.

The beans should be sown at the end of May in drills 6 inches wide, each to take two staggered rows of seed, 6 inches apart.

You won't need to apply any heavy manure before sowing, but the soil would benefit from some sulphate of potash. Apply as shown on the container.

The beans need to be staked with poles, usually of bamboo, 6 ft. tall with a gap of 18 inches between them.

When the beans are cropped, you can look forward to many nutritious meals.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Clematis - The President

'The President' is a large-flowered variety of clematis. They usually start flowering from the beginning of June.

These large-flowered varieties produce their blooms from the previous year's growth.

The best time to prune this clematis type is in February or early March. When you can see buds of new growth starting to develop - that's when you can reach for the secateurs.  Trim away weak or dead bits and trim the stems lightly.

There are different rules for other types of clematis but it is important that you prune each one correctly.

Do you have a clematis? How does it perform?

Happy gardening.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Cottage Garden Plants - Lysimachia Punctata

 Don't you just love these yellow glories? Lysimachia Punctata, a hard perennial, perfect for a cottage garden.

They love to grow in moisture retentive, well-drained soil that does not dry out, in summer.

As their colour suggests, they love to grow in full sun, but will also thrive in partial shade.
It spreads quickly and will soon need dividing. That is best done in the Spring so during the summer, make a note of where you want some next year and then, come Spring, you will know where to plant the divisions.

Enjoy the sunshine.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My Mum

This rose is called 'My Mum' and it is a rose for a special moment. It is in only its fourth year in my garden and flourishes. Here is the description:

'Bushy and healthy floribunda.  My Mum carries gorgeous scarlet blooms with a delicate silver reverse set against lush mid-green foliage.

Height 75 cms (30 inches)

Position: Will thrive in most types of well-drained soil but needs an open, sunny situation.

Planting:  Water thoroughly or stand container in water for an hour before planting.  Plant in hole large enough to avoid disturbing root ball.  Back-fill with soil previously mixed with peat, or a suitable alternative and a recommended fertilizer.

Plant Care:  Roses benefit from the addition of organic material to the soil  Feed in Spring after pruning and again in July.  Water well when dry.'

I think it lives up to its promise, don't you?

Happy Gardening.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The sound of the blackbird.

Have a treat and listen to the sound of our English blackbird.  It is my favourite songbird and many other people's I'm sure.

With two cats, the birds are wary when coming into my garden, but we have trees so they can escape when danger is near.

The birds have been particularly hungry this year so I continued to feed them longer than I usually do.

Which birds do you have in your garden?  Are you still feeding them?

Happy birdwatching.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

A creamy white rose

This beautiful white rose grows in a shady part of my garden. I've had it so long I've forgotten the name of it. If anyone recognises it, please advise. It has a yellowy tinge on opening, but later on it gains a blush as you will see from the last picture. The flowers are large and beautifully shaped.

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Lilac confetti

We have had some quite high winds over the last week or two. They shook most of the blossom off the lilac tree and it looked so pretty that I couldn't resist taking some pictures of it. I thought it looked just like confetti. All we needed was the bride!

I hope the weather doesn't spoil your gardening weekend.

Friday, 17 June 2016

It's rhubarb growing time.

We picked some lovely rhubarb today. All the rain we've been having has helped the stalks to thicken up. Remember the leaves are poisonous!

The plant looks a bit dessimated now but it will soon recover.

We like our rhubarb in a crumble with hot custard but there are other nice recipes too.  My mother-in-law gave me a tip years ago. To sweeten the rhubarb, add some honey or golden syrup. The syrupy texture makes it even more delicious. I like to cook mine with a sliced or chopped cooking apple. Rhubarb on its own can be a bit hard to digest!

Rhubarb is root propagated. The crowns can be bought for Spring planting. When you plant them, keep the crown just above the surface of the soil.  Plant the crowns in March, 2 1/2 ft. apart.

Ground that is to receive rhubarb roots should be very deeply dug and well manured, as after this preparatory work the roots will not be disturbed for several years. During wintertime you can add a top dressing of rotted vegetable matter. Remove any flower heads that appear.  In the first year don't pull; pull sparingly in the second season. In future years, rhubarb can be pulled until August.

Later on rhubarb roots will need to be divided. You can lift them in the Spring or in the Autumn. Cut them into small pieces with a sharp knife and replant. You must have a crown attached to each portion for the planting to be effective.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A visit from Mr. Toad

We have a very large toad in the garden.  I think he lives under the shed because we don't see him/her all that often.  When we do see him, it is such a treat. He compliments our little pond and sits there quite happily all day, catching flies. Then he disappears into the shrubbery until another day.

Still no news on my new grandchild. My daughter-in-law was in hospital all day yesterday and she is still there this morning. I have my phone handy waiting for the call!

Happy Gardening

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Lilley Flower Festival - 2016

This years Lilley Flower Festival was as good as ever. The tiny village of Lilley always surpasses itself when it comes to decorating their beautiful church. The smell inside is glorious.  This year's theme was 'Pub Names'. See how many you can identify today? Those of you with keen eyesight will pick up the names from the clues, no doubt!

Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

In the vegetable garden - June 13th 2016

In the vegetable patch we are growing peas. They have only just flowered because the weather here in England, has been quite rainy lately.

We are also growing spinach and have already cropped quite a lot of it.

I have over planted the new raised bed because I doubted that everything would come up. I was wrong! Ever seed I planted came up. Here you see beetroot being squashed against the carrots.

Millie is my cat. She is ten years old and not very interested in gardening. She helps where she can.

The big, red, oriental poppies have started flowering. These showy plants bring tongues of fire to the flower garden.

These slugs are not my friends, but everything has its place in my garden and somewhere there is a large toad with a big appetite.

This is a new blog. If you view my pages, please leave a comment so I know who you are and can return the visit.

Happy Gardening!

Monday, 13 June 2016

My English Garden in June 2016

Hello! This is a new blog and I welcome you to it. In here I will be blogging about my English Garden and related issues.  I am looking forward to seeing what other people are doing in their gardening blogs.


The strawberries are ripe. I did have these in a strawberry pot, but during the bad weather in the winter, the pot fell to bits. I rescued what was left and popped the plant into this old terracotta pot.

We ate the strawberries for tea yesterday and they were very delicious.

This old pink rose bush has been flowering each year since 1985. It is so old I've forgotten what it is called.

A couple of years ago I planted a climbing red rose. This is the third year and there are lots of blooms to see.

The yellow climber is always full of blooms. I have sprayed it with Rose Clear to make sure it doesn't get infested with aphids and so far I have no problems.

A couple of years ago I had lots of blue Nigella (Love in a Mist). Then I noticed that one of the flowers was white instead of blue. I kept the seeds and planted them in the Autumn. This gives the plants time to mature and the result is more flowers. This year I have more white ones than blue ones and they look so pretty.

In amongst the Nigella is a pink rose bush. You can just see it peeking out.

Happy Gardening!