August blog 1

‘Rubens Peale with a Geranium’, painted by his brother, Rembrandt Peale, 1801. National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA – Patrons’ Permanent Fund
‘Rubens Peale with a Geranium’, painted by his brother, Rembrandt Peale, 1801. National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA – Credit: Patrons’ Permanent Fund

I found this photo posted on the blog of Garden History Girl. It’s one of the blogs I have at some stage signed up to and now get regular posts. It is worth checking out (overlook the name) and this one contains some fascinating information on pelargoniums / geraniums and snippets of plant history. If you have never been clear on what are pelargoniums or geraniums, this is the one to look at! And there are some lovely pictures too!

Vija

Bedding Plant dilemma

I love Greenwich Park Flower garden and am full of admiration for how their gardeners have gradually adapted, from growing all their plants on site to whatever combination of outsourcing they use nowadays. It usually looks wonderful.

I understand it is a public garden and has to cover those who like the bedding plant tradition, those who expect a wow factor and those who want a bit of modern style.

But the current drought has really highlighted the bedding plant issue!

Bedding plant beds

It is eye-catching for all the wrong reasons, little oases of green with the rest of the park straw-dry.

Even traditionalists must wonder what on earth the point is of pouring water on these beds of Impatiens. There are other beds containing tree ferns and perennials and it absolutely makes sense to water expensive plants that will come back and cope in a (hopefully) more normal future year.

This is a personal viewpoint, not necessarily representative of the CABAHS membership, it would be interesting to hear members views..? Perhaps it’s a debate we can have at the Gardeners Question Time meeting on August 15th!

Kathy A

Members Gardens – July

I thought we should collect some pictures from members to show that despite the recent Armageddon heatwave, we still have gardens! There might be a few crispy edges here and there, but it appears a huge range of winners are out enjoying the sun.

Vija has sent in this lovely scented Pelargonium Pink Capitatum, container-grown.

Pink Capitatum
Pelargonium Pink Capitatum

Anna found a beautiful Jersey Tiger Moth in her garden, sightings of these seem to be getting more common. Pat says they like warm walls, and I have found them in my garden too. They are very eye-catching in flight, when the orange wings underneath flash out. Their caterpillars eat nettle, bramble and ground ivy, what’s not to like? Also in Anna’s garden, her Yucca plants love this heatwave.

Annie H says ” These Evening Primroses have been flowering continuously since early May. They appeared self sown in next door’s garden so I collected some seeds and this is the result. They open new flowers each evening which shrivel up the next day.”

Continue reading Members Gardens – July

OPG Diary – May/June

It’s been a while since there was an update on the walled gardens, it’s been busy! The Volunteers are going strong, and the Old Pond Garden is looking particularly wonderful.

Old Pond Garden 26 May
Old Pond Garden 26 May 2022

The Long Border started to run away with us, but is getting under control and looking incredibly full and interesting, even if it doesn’t quite have that “designer” look yet! We are waiting for the quote for works to the vandalised iron gates and hoping to create step-free access to the gardens.

We are continuing to point out a “Star Plant” each week. The latest is Silene armeria ‘Electra’, or Garden Catchfly. The Catchfly group of plants exude a sticky brown substance on their stems, just below the flowerhead, where insects get stuck. Have a closer look next time you pass by!

Silene armeria Electra
Silene armeria ‘Electra’

New ideas: we have started a “What’s in Flower” display in Frilly’s café, to entice visitors to come into the garden and see the flowers in situ. Also an Information table in the gardens (when we are there) showing a bit of the background and pointing out the plants coming into flower that week. Looking for more volunteers to do this, if anyone is interested? It’s a sitting-down job!

What's in Flower - display
What’s in Flower? Examples from the garden.

Kathy was very pleased to be awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Volunteer Centre Greenwich/ RBG, although she considers that the recognition is for all the volunteers, not just her! Terry accepted the award on her behalf from the Mayor of Greenwich. Thank you to the Trust for nominating us, we do feel appreciated.

And here are some more recent photos from the gardens this month:

OPG diary – August 2021

The Bank Holiday weekend was enlivened with a play “Family Tree” performed in the gardens, as part of the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival. Based on the life of Henrietta Lacks, it certainly lit up the garden!

'Family Tree' by Mojisola Adebayo, performed in Charlton House gardens as part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, August 2021

A very tall flowering plant which is just coming out in the garden has been catching the attention of visitors and volunteers alike. It is Vernonia arkansana ‘Mammuth’ and was featured this week on Gardeners World when Nick Bailey visited Knoll Gardens. Very appropriate as we bought our own Vernonia from Knoll Gardens back in May!

Together 21: Volunteers were in the garden for the borough’s Together 21 Festival. Very sad for visitors that it was such a drizzly day, but at least the garden liked all the water. Spirits not dampened but umbrellas were up!

CABAHS volunteer in the Old Pond Garden at Charlton House, August 2021

This is our bargain plant of the month – a Lysimachia clethroides specimen bought for £10 at Members’ recent trip to RHS Hyde Hall, and now split into 23 new plantlets. Filled up the whole corner of one bed, we are just so thrifty!

CABAHS volunteers dividing a Lysimachia in Charlton House gardens, August 2021
Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, August 2021
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail' in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, August 2021

OPG diary – July 2021

The garden is getting into it’s summer swing now, so much is in flower. It is amazing how complete it looks for a “first year”. Penstemon Garnet is just going on and on and on!

Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, July 2021

This is the view in July from the CABAHS 70th Anniversary bench:

Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, July 2021 - view from the CABAHS 70th anniversary bench

A recent initiative – Star Plant of the Week.  No contest: it was the teasels this week, they are gigantic, and covered in bees.

Dipsacus fullonium - Teasel in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, July 2021

Betony and Phlox demonstrating The Clash!

Betony and Phlox in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, July 2021

And now it’s the turn of the Echinacea purpurea “Magnus”, with white Erigeron annuus frothing at the back and a yellow Patrinia photo-bombing in the front.

Echinacea, Erigeron and Patrinia in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, July 2021

OPG diary – June 2021

3 June
National Volunteers Week. Thank you for the muffins Charlton House!

CABAHS volunteers celebrating National Volunteers Week 2021 in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House

Rheum and foxgloves in the Long Border (foxgloves courtesy of Greenwich Park – thank you!):

Rheum and foxgloves in the Long Border at Charlton House gardens, June 2021

30 June
The pomegranate is flowering in the Peace Garden (top left) the stag beetles are hatching and marching, there is a lovely Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’ annual in the Long Borders (bottom left) and the gravel garden has a new addition of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ to add some more zing!

Pomegranate, stag beetle, Malope, Geum - in Charlton House gardens, June 2021

Our Papaver orientale ‘Burning Heart’ have exploded into flower this week. They are fabulous plants, look at the size of them! They came as bare roots, all the way from West Lothian. Thank you Binny Plants.

Papaver orientale 'Burning Heart' in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, June 2021