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AN OPEN GARDENS PREVIEW

It's going to be a quick one this week.  I've been busy primping and preening ready for the village open gardens on Sunday and I've not left myself much time to write this post.  After weeks of trying to squeeze extra things into my allotted six, I'm now going to have to be brief.  Ironic, no? Numbers one to four are the Long Border.  I've written about it before, and how I based it on Gertrude Jekyll's design for her garden at Munstead Wood.  She trained as an artist before she turned to gardening and was au fait with the latest colour theories.  She designed these borders to start with white and blue.......... Snapdragon, Delphiniums, Rue and Aruncus moving from pale to deeper yellow... Coreopsis, Achillea and Monarda Then it's on to the reds and oranges... Lychnis, Nasturtiums, Lilies before returning to yellow and then blue. Agapanthus, Clematis, Anthemis My number five spot goes to these tomatoes.  I may have found the answer to our Six on Saturday comp

THE SECOND FLUSH


1. Roses - Part One

The roses are starting to flower again.  Here is Margaret Merrill looking stunning.  Rose catalogues are filled with photos like this and I fall for them every time: the boss of golden stamens, the buds with their peach flush, the delicate waved petals.






But in truth, by this time of the year the blackspot has badly affected the foliage and the plants look like this.



Not terribly attractive.  I'm pondering whether to replace them with a more disease resistant variety, but then there is the concern about rose replant disease.



2. Roses- Part 2

Much healthier is Rosa Queen of Sweden.  It's growth habit is uncommon. It is a very upright bush which produces upward facing blooms on the top of the stems.  




Rosa 'Munstead Wood' is also looking healthy still. The flowers are such a gorgeous deep crimson.  The flower heads hang down ever so slightly: full and voluptuous.


3. Dahlia 'Bishop of Auckland'

This is my favourite of the Bishop Dahlias. although they are all very attractive.  'Auckland' is a deep dark crimson, which my camera has lightened somewhat.


4. Hydrangea Paniculata Levana


A clay bank forms one side of the front garden.  It had been planted with shrubs which had grown together to form a bit on impenetrable thicket.  Unfortunately not impenetrable to weeds, so its had to have a radical cutting back just so I can tackle the ground elder/nettles/bindweed/docks etc etc.  

So having done all that, on to the fun bit - shopping for a new plant.




It's still mostly in bud, so hopefully it will make to another Six on Saturday post when it opens up fully.

5. Not a Plant


While I was digging out those weeds, I came across this Elephant hawk moth caterpillar.  They are huge (for a caterpillar).  I thought it had escaped from a zoo!  Apparently they feed on Rosebay Willowherb.  He won't go hungry in this garden.




6. Mr B's job this week

Boyed by his success in replacing the gate posts last week, there was no stopping Mr B who has now been replacing the rotten retaining boards which once kept the lawn and play bark areas separate.  It will soon be looking all neat and tidy again.  



That's all I've got room for this week.  There's plenty more to see on the Propagator who kindly hosts Six on Saturday.






 

Comments

  1. The elephant hawk moth caterpillar looks great! Nice find.

    The Roses are looking good. On the subject of Rose replant disease: I have (for a client) in the past replaced an old sickly rose with a lovely fresh new specimen. I dug a great big hole and changed the soil etc. etc. I'm afraid the new rose was a sorry sight by the end of the year. It may not be such a problem if Margaret Merrill hadn't been there too long - the rose I replaced had been there for many years. Let us know what you decide to do!

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    1. They have been there about eight years I think so it may well be a problem.

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  2. It's true that the roses are making a second flush right now...and we're taking full advantage of them. Regarding the dahlias, I don't have dahlias Bishop but I think I should remedy this by buying tubers next year. Nice shot of elephant hawk moth

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    1. There's some great seed you can by called 'Bishops Children' which is a mix of colours. Probably not quite as robust as the tubers but fun to see what you end up with.

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  3. I have a few roses that are suffering a bit from black spot, including Margaret Merrill. Her flowers are lovely though. A tv gardener suggested digging up an old rose and all of soil and putting a cardboard box in the hole, filling it with fresh soil/compost and planting the new rose in it, the theory being that that this box would protect the new rose and by the time the cardboard rotted down all would be well. That was the theory anyway. Why don't I have Munstead Wood?

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    1. There is another sickly rose which has to go so I will give that technique a go and see if it works. I'm going to replace it with Gertrude Jekyll which, like you with Munstead Wood, I cannot understand why I don't already have one.

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  4. My roses have blackspot too - not surprising in damp Cornwall, but they are supposed to be disease resistant! The return of flowers is a bonus though. Love the Elephant hawk moth caterpillar photo! They are fabulous moths, but I have yet to see one in real life. A shame you and your wonderful Mr B don't live closer to me, I have several wood replacement jobs!

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    1. The wood replacement has taken him a long time and he is now thoroughly fed up! I've not seen the adult moth either but I'm hoping I will.

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  5. Rose replant disease is so annoying, there are some ancient and very disease-ridden roses I would like to replace here but reading Andrew's comment it doesn't seem like a good idea. I've partially remedied the bare legs syndrome by planting lots of herbaceous stuff around them, like nepeta, geraniums and salvias, and this does improve matters (but maybe not the air circulation - can't win!). Every time I see your Munstead Wood, I think, Ooh I'd like one of those! That caterpillar is amazing.

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    1. Sarah Raven seems very keen on salvias as helping with black spot. I've not tried it myself. The roses used to have lots of Alchemilla mollis which did hide their bare legs, but I pulled it all out a few years ago as I thought it was killing off the lower branches (which are now dying off anyway). I replaced it with a very low growing geranium which is lacking in impact.

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    2. Yes I have read the same re salvias and roses in one of Sarah Raven's books. I am currently growing a new DA rose next to a large salvia Hot Lips, so let's see if it works!

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  6. We get elephant hawk moth caterpillars on fuchsias, I've seen several this year. Fuchsias and willow herb are both in family Onagraceae and somehow the caterpillars know that. I found a couple of pupae lying on the soil surface last winter, I put them at the base of Fuchsia plants with leaves over them. It did feel like I was making trouble for myself but they seem to grow huge without consuming vast amounts, which is good.

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    1. We have a few fushias he can move onto if he runs out of willowherb. I'm glad they don't do much damage in your garden.

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  7. I also found elephant hawk moth caterpillars this week, working their way through one of my few remaining Fuchsias. This is the third year that I’ve found them but have never seen the moth. I wish I had room for R. ‘Munstead Wood’.

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