Tuesday, 16 June 2015

More May Ramblings

In the stumpery

Tucked against the north-facing wall of The Bunker is a small raised bed bounded by decaying sycamore stumps, The Stumpery. It is shady, with a rich humus soil and I is planted with various ferns, a [i]Geranium sylvaticum[/i] and a few cyclamen. Which I haven't seen this winter come to think of it. Bugger. It disintegrates into a soggy brown mess of dead by the winter, but then you cut off the mat of dead leaves in April and get this extraordinary phoenix act in the spring and early summer, surging back upwards.

Over the decades we acquired quite a few old-fashioned roses – can't be doing with scentless ones, really – and they are scattered all over the beds and hedges. I have to shovel loads of grit into the planting holes for most things, but the compacted clay of this garden really suits roses of all kinds, and I've actually lost count now. 

The only way I get to 'remember' varietal names (this one might be 'Geoff Hamilton') is if I leave the label on, but just recently I've managed to grow a couple from semi-ripe cuttings, and I haven't got much more than the faintest idea what they are. 

Nemisia 'Vanilla Lady'

This is an unexpected pleasure, a tender plant that made it through the winter. The flowers are small and delicate,
but there are plenty of them, and the scent of vanilla is pretty amazing. I put the pot on a wall by the south steps for easy hooter access.

Late bloomer

This 'Firebird' (? – not kidding about being lousy on varietal names) broom, planted last year, took me by surprise,
started budding weeks after the others and is still going strong now, when their flowers are over.

Iris sibirica


Old Glory

Rosa 'Gloire de Dijon' was recommended to us by Terry, Chip's neighbour in the 1980s, as a climber that was both fragrant and extravagantly beautiful.
We grew it by the front door at our house in Oldland, but it wasn't suited to the location.
I've given it a go here and trained it properly, and have been rewarded with at least one perfect flower, although
the rest are already looking the worse for wear and black spot.

Achillea 'Cloth of Gold'

Always something pleasing about the froth of flowers in a head of yarrow.

The Engine Room

Down the side of the house is a parking space for two cars leading to a half-built-to-make-sure-the-planning-did-not-run-out garage. A tool shed, compost bins,
table and chairs and a whole load of rubbish and vital things fills the 'garage', and the rest is adapted to process plants in pots. 

In the top right, behind the hellebores, you can see, side-on, the Stumpery.
Which brings a neat circularity to the post