Members Gardens April

We’re always pleased to receive reports from our members’ gardens, particularly when accompanied by photos. This month Annie H wanted us to share her delight with the Rose Cottage ‘Garden Party’ tulips in her front garden.

Rose Cottage 'Garden Party' tulips in Annie H's front garden

Nicolas shared this photo with us showing his Daphne bholua in February.

Continue reading Members Gardens April

April blog Euphorbia 2

I know we have had posts on euphorbias already, but these plants are such a delight in the month of April that I am adding yet more. The little Euphorbia Chameleon, below, self -seeds happily, but in such a delicate and restrained way that it is welcome everywhere I find it. In addition to this, it politely dies back and allows summer flowering plants to take over.

 Euphorbia Chameleon

The Euphorbia below (amygdaloides purpurea) is a stunning contrast with the lime green flower head and the stems which are an intense dark red. It has seeded itself in the gravel path and I’m not entirely sure where it comes from.

 Euphorbia Amygdaloides Purpurea

In Euphorbia, flowers occur in a head, called the cyathium. Each male or female flower in the cyathium head has only its essential sexual part, in males the stamen and in females the pistil.  The flowers do not have sepals, petals or nectar to attract pollinators, although other nonflower parts of the plant have an appearance and nectar glands with similar roles. Euphorbias are the only plants known to have this kind of flower head. It should also be noted that, when the stems are cut, they exude a thick white substance which is extremely irritating to skin.

And, of course, there is the magnificent Euphorbia Mellifera (Honey Spurge) which rightfully deserves its common name and is a delight to be near at this time of year when the scent fills the air. Every garden should have one – it keeps its shape well or can be cut back. Mine originally came from the garden of Jillian Smith, CABAHS ex-Chair, who many remember fondly. Jillian, if you are reading this – thank you!

 Euphorbia Mellifera (Honey Spurge)

Vija

Members gardens, March 2022

Anna's blue garden, with its Polyanthus flower clusters, hyacinths and Welsh poppy seedlings.

Anna has sent a picture of her blue garden, which she plants in late winter every year before the Eucomis take over in the summer. The Polyanthus flower clusters are going over but more buds are coming up, including hyacinths and Welsh poppy seedlings. What a striking effect!

And Sue has a succession of bulbs appearing in her pots as her ‘lasagne’ style planting  develops through spring.

March blog

Euphorbia myrsinites

Spurred by Kathy’s post on Euphorbia in the Old Pond Garden I have taken this photo of E. myrsinites which sits outside my back door all year round. As Kathy points out, Euphorbia are a large and adaptable genus and at this time of year are a real treat. I have found they do particularly well in my gardening conditions and now have several varieties.

In my front garden (such as it is) Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii is usefully seeding itself in a way which looks like I have planted it deliberately, but is actually nothing to do with me at all.

Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii
Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii

Vija

Helping the environment, one plant at a time…

On the latest RHS gardening update I have just read that, according to Sally Nex, the more plants you grow the more carbon your garden can store away, which is therefore another way of helping to create a more sustainable environment.

This suits my gardening philosophy just fine!

I am so often tempted at plant fairs to buy another addition for my garden, but often without any clear idea of where the plant will go. (And how wonderful to be able to buy plants at the Chelsea Flower Show this year!) Now the idea of packing yet more in makes me feel positively heroic!

Photograph of plants in pots
An example of the ‘always room for one more’ school of gardening outside the back door.

Vija

A photo a day

Clockwise from top left: lady's mantle, cucamelon, Virginia creeper, ornamental grape vine and dogwood, chillies, Japanese blood grass - or - Alchemilla mollis, Melothria scabra (cucamelon), Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea' and Cornus alba 'Sibirica', Capsicum annuum 'Cayenne' (chilli),  Imperata cylindrica
Clockwise from top left: lady’s mantle, cucamelon, Virginia creeper, ornamental grape vine and dogwood, chillies, Japanese blood grass – or – Alchemilla mollis, Melothria scabra (cucamelon), Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Vitis vinifera ‘Purpurea’ and Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’, Capsicum annuum ‘Cayenne’ (chilli),  Imperata cylindrica

Late in 2020 Ali H set herself a challenge: to take one photo a day in her garden for a year, and post it on Instagram. Her purpose was mainly to notice and appreciate how the plants develop and change, also to have a record of what is there and when (she’s always surprised to look back and see the bulbs in flower, or a covering of snow!). She tried not to set too many other conditions as she knew she wouldn’t get round to doing it otherwise – so they don’t have to be ‘good’ photos, they don’t have to be plants in flower, they don’t have to be anything other than a photo of a plant in her garden – including fruit and vegetable crops. She likes individual plants and looking at things close up, so that’s what they tend to be – but occasionally there’s a view or a combination. Here are a few photos from September (above) and October (below). Ali’s not sure what 2022’s challenge will be. She might just carry on!

Clockwise from top left: dogwood, cabbage palm, myrtle, oak-leaved hydrangea, Persicaria, maidenhair fern - or -Cornus alba 'Sibirica', Cordyline australis, Myrtus communis, Hydrangea quercifolia 'Burgundy', Persicaria microcephala 'Red Dragon', Adiantum venustum
Clockwise from top left: dogwood, cabbage palm, myrtle, oak-leaved hydrangea, Persicaria, maidenhair fern – or –Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’, Cordyline australis, Myrtus communis, Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Burgundy’, Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’, Adiantum venustum