Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Aquilegias etcetera

Aquilegias are everywhere at the moment, and I love them! How can you not like a plant that self-seeds, survives harsh winters and drought, and doesn't need any care! They also survive the early Spring weeding because their new leaves are so distinctive that you can't really mistake them for anything else. They are looking good in my blue border at the moment. I say blue border, it wasn't meant to be blue, but these beauties have popped up, cornflowers have seeded everywhere, and various Nepeta and Geranium divisions that I've been given have found their way into the mix. Hey presto, an unplanned blue symphony.

Elsewhere in the garden, Geranium Johnson's Blue has enjoyed the hot weather.

And the Arum has had a bumper year, thanks to an absence of late frosts.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mid May-hem

It's all kicking off in my garden at the moment, as I'm sure it is in yours. Every day I notice a plant that seems to be twice the size it was the last time I looked at it. All the rain we've had has certainly encouraged some strong growth. Have a look at what's happening around my plot...

This chalky bank is filling out now, having been a bit bare in past years.

This clematis montana was new last year so it's done quite well.

My Island bed is full of self-seeded Aconitum.

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' is getting ready to flower.

The goldfish like to swim around the arum lily.

This Yucca has seen off some pretty harsh winters.

Iris and Lychnis coronaria are surrounded by Nigella.

This tricky shady bed is filling out well. The Acer was a gift from a friend who didn't have room for it anymore.

There's a slow but sure crescendo happening in the Summer Garden.

Veronicas make a welcome splash of colour.

Heucheras seem to like my poor, chalky soil, and come through every winter.

Cerinthes self seed in some of my borders.

The pondside is burgeoning with forget-me-nots, geranium, Lithodora and aquilegias

Another view of the pond.

These Geum rivale  have self seeded from elsewhere in the garden. Unusual because they are supposed to like moist sites, not my dry, chalky soil.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lost Gardens of Heligan - and Goodbye Cornwall

Well here we are at the final day of my trip around Cornwall's gardens. And what better way to end than with one of the best! The gardens were neglected from the World War One until 1990, when they were dicovered by Tim Smit and John Willis. A massive restoration programme began, and the garden first opened to the public in 1992. My first visit was about three years after that. The gardens have come a long way since then. You know you are about to discover somewhere special when the pots in the reception area are planted like the ones above and below.

I like the trunks of Rhododendrons as much as the flowers.

Rhododendrons with their skirts neatly lifted.

No birds around here!

This border hints at the fabulous jungle to come.

Pictured above is a collection of bee boles, which are the precursor to the bee hive. Straw structures called Skeps were kept in the recesses.

Camassias look good in a gravel bed.

A novel idea for a container!

A more formal part of the garden.

The beautiful Jungle Garden

Phormiums line a pathway near the jungle.

So that's it from Cornwall. Thanks for joining me on my journey around this stunning county!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cornwall Day Five - Pinsla Garden and Nursery

This garden is an artist's paradise. Both owners are artists as well as gardeners, and all around the garden are the products of their creativity. Starting with their mini Stone Henge.....

This homemade gazebo has mirrored tiles stuck to the ceiling:

Here are some more examples of the owners' artistic flair...

The garden has a rather wild, rugged feel to it, which I admire but would not find easy to adopt.

I loved this flight of steps flanked by bamboo.

At the garden entrance is a well stocked nursery with some unusual plants for sale. This garden made a welcome change from the Camellia / Rhododendron-heavy gardens which dominate in Cornwall.