OPG diary – November 2021

Winter is coming, it’s all still very beautiful!

Central bed, Old Pond Garden (Charlton House), November 2022

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Removing the green hazel, making an enormous hole and then replanting with a bronze one! It will all be worth it.  

Removing the ivy on the walls is going to be more of a long term project. Look at that wonderful brick work though.

CABAHS volunteers removing ivy from a wall in the Charlton House gardens, November 2021

Members’ gardens, November 2020

This is Harry & Val’s Eucharis amazonica, which is flowering for them for the fourth time this year!

Here is Jean’s rose “Compassion”, still blooming away in November:

Penny has sent in a picture of her Cobea plant, which she says is sited in a cold part of her garden but still insisting on flowering in November. It is beautiful, and usually grows as an annual in this country, so it must love her!

Cobea scandens

Carolyn’s Salvia “Hotlips” is providing late colour and cheer in her garden, having been flowering all summer long.

Salvia Hotlips

Viv has sent in her star performers, Schizostylus coccinea in two colours. Or Hesperantha as I suppose we should call them. Also known as Kaffir Lily or River Lily.

Early November blog

It has become a bit of a truism to say that gardens and open green spaces have become a lifeline to many during 2020. A survey examining life under lockdown as measured by Natural England’s People and Nature Survey, conducted in May 2020 found the following:

Our own project to renovate the Old Pond Garden at Charlton House has shown that many volunteers have appreciated the opportunity to get out into the open air and to be with other people. It has become the perfect community project.

Sue Stuart-Smith’s (many gardeners may be more familiar with her husband Tom Stuart-Smith, the garden designer and Chelsea gold winner) ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ was published earlier this year. Sue Stuart-Smith is a prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist and her book examines neuroscience and psychoanalysis in the context of gardening and makes a strong claim for the benefits of gardening for mental well-being. Monty Don has long argued for the role of the garden in relieving depression and several episodes of Gardener’s World have featured individuals whose lives have been supported by the activity of gardening.

Gardens do not stand still; they are dynamic and ever-changing environments. Gardeners are always planning and looking forward. At the moment many of us, if we haven’t already done so, are ordering our bulbs for next spring. I am thinking about colour combinations (again) and I have a plan to move around my dahlias and make room for new varieties. On another recent visit to Great Dixter there was a stunning variety which, on enquiry, turned out to be Dovegrove. If I can find a supplier, I would like to include this in my borders next year.

Dahlia Dovegrove in borders at Great Dixter, Oct 2020
Dahlia Dovegrove in borders at Great Dixter, Oct 2020
And this is how Elizabeth von Arnim felt about looking forward to the spring!
Quotation from "Elizabeth and her German Garden"
Quotation from “Elizabeth and her German Garden”
And so we look forward to the next year.

Vija