GARDENING TRUMPS BLOG!

Goodness , I have no idea where the time goes. It is already Friday Saturday! This week there was so much to do in the garden. The pruning of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas & Hydrangea paniculata, along with some Clematis… Still not done with all the ‘Annabelles.’ Every year I have the same lament. When I am pruning I have too many….when they bloom there are not enough!!

                                                                                           

Much weeding in the potager where I am growing salad ….delicious! A few stragglers from last years tulips popping up between the lettuce… and much weeding ….

                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                          

 Spring is going forward at breakneck speed, it seems. Viburnum burkwoodii in bloom. If I could share the fragrance, you would know why it is so cherished among gardeners.

                                                                                           

It does get  large, with a beautiful vase shape. There are several Clematis planted at its feet. Reminders of a lovely day, shared with dear friends, in a beautiful garden.

                                                                                          

The new kitty is at the vets with serious upper respiratory infection…….

© All photos 2011

THE COUNTESS & THE CLEMATIS

                                                                     

If you have been following this blog you already know I have a passion for Clematis .

                                                                    

( if you missed them see under categories) they are planted  at the base of almost all the  viburnums  in the garden. So, no surprise today when I came across new growth on Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam ( photographed above in May)  and saw…

                                                                   

FLOWER BUDS!!..

I am so looking forward to this re bloom.  Which brings me to my post today.

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail through the ‘contact me’ page on this blog. Cheryl Purdin  requested  seeds of  Clematis Catherine Clanwilliam. Her plan was to have the gardener start the seeds so her employer, who just celebrated her 87th birthday, could see the plant bloom again. It was to be a surprise. Her employer is Her Ladyship Catherine, Countess of Clanwilliam for whom  Barry Fretwell named said plant.

                                                                  

 The Countess seen above in a photo from 2008, “is a very keen gardener who has made interesting and delightful gardens both in Northern Ireland and in the county of Wiltshire in South Western England.” -Attributed to Barry Fretwell.

Since it would take several years for the plant to bloom if started from seed; my friend Graham, in the UK, helped me locate a mail order nursery in Germany & year old plants were ordered.

 So the countess & the clematis named for her were reunited once more.

 

Don’t you just love a story with a happy ending?

The Countess’ photo appears with the permission of her 6 daughters.

HYDRANGEAS & GARDEN UPDATE

Hydrangea paniculata looking particularly lovely…

 taking on its autumn hue

                                                                   

  So is Hydrangea macrophylla below.

                                                                 

AND I am loosing the groundcover war @ the Mourning Bench.                                                                     

Some critter is digging up all my transplants and I have to fix them every morning. I have resorted to laying chicken wire over the lot & hope it deters whatever. My guess is a racoon digging for the worms in the compost I spread.

                                                                  

 Perennials need so much maintenance.I think I remember why I thought the vinca could take over!! I cannot spend every day replanting & trying to save what has been dug up with so many other tasks to attend to. AND, I am directed to economise and unfortunately gardening help is very low on the list of priorities. Good thing is, I am getting into shape.

Moving on…

The Perilla I allowed to stay…

                                                                 

 MUST be out of here before it sets seed. So far I have loaded the ‘dump truck’ and I am not done yet.

                                                                       

It served its purpose ; which was to shade to roots of the clematis planted around the perimeter of this garden room.; and, with no effort from me , will return again next year so will the cleome. My garden philosophy is to let the self seeders do their thing.  I can look after the shrubs & clematis. When this part of the garden, The Viburnum Court, is between bloom & berries, the clematis, perilla & cleome really liven it up; then the perilla & cleome take over & keep it ‘furnished’ till the berries show.

                                                                   

What I did Labour Day Weekend… below

                                                                    

  I really like it , It just recedes into the background without calling any attention to itself.

 The To Do list gets another check mark.

And finally… more plants I will be rushing to banish before they set their seed. But oh, the butterflies & Hummingbirds.

                                                                    

not to mention I love the colours!!

© All photos & text 2010

GARDEN & HYDRANGEA UPDATE

It was my relationship with Penny McHenry* that instilled in me the love of hydrangeas.

I have to confess I always found the blue mopheads rather  flashy, I much prefered the delicate lacecaps. Working over a period of time with Penny on reinventing her garden, I had the opportunity to observe the plants closely in all their stages of growth. When they began to fade and look like this…

                                                                        

  and this …     

                                                                                                                                    

I was hooked!  Suddenly I appreciated the versatility of this shrub and how many months of beauty it contributes to the garden.

                                                                   

The paniculatas are late blooming, above & below, Pink Diamond (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’)

                                                                    

Right now this is a magnet for butterflies and several species of bees. When the sun shines here, the area is all a flutter.

AND THE REST…

                                                                   

The oak Leaf hydrangea turns amethyst, true to its name. (Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Amethyst’)

                                                                    

Annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’) is that lovely Chartreuse colour, blends beautifully with the hosta. Notice there is no foliage left on Annabelle. The deer love her. 

                                                                         Hydrangea ‘Snowflake’ is still flowering..

                                                                     but starting to show some browning.

                                                                   

The berries on the viburnums are ripening, these above  will be red…

                                                                  

and these are the yellow berries of Viburnum ‘Michael Dodge’ starting to colour up.

                                                                   

More delights, the seed heads of Clematis. Once described as curled up little terriers.

                                                                  

Figs are starting (above)… and below, ongoing blueberry harvest.

                                                                  

with more to come. The late blueberries are just starting. 

                                                                   

Ah, summertime!

* Penny McHenry dear friend and founder of the American Hydrangea Society.

© All photos & text 2010

NOT A GOOD THING!

I tried to grow some Clematis with Hydrangea paniculata, the late-blooming  panicle hydrangea, (sometimes refered to as ‘Pee Gee’ or ‘Tardiva’.) but this is not successful.

                                                                   

  Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans In Hydrangea paniculata ‘Pink Diamond’    ( above & below)                                                               

This hydrangea is pruned drastically early spring. When the clematis starts to grow, the branches of the hydrangea are low and bare .  There,  they intertwine. The hydrangea however, keeps on growing, thus  the clematis  blooms deep in the shrub and not in front, where it is wanted.

 Here Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’  hidden in  foliage.                                                                   

 Another lesson learned.

CLEMATIS CRUSH

I previously mentioned my Clematis Crush ( here and here ). Beside the beautiful flowers,  the fact is they require only vertical space. That makes them the perfect companion to any shrub or small tree. Most shrubs have a limited bloom time so a well-chosen  flowering vine can really extend the season of beauty. Also, from a design point of view, any element seen at eye level has tremendous impact.

 I thought I would showcase some of the clematis blooming in the garden now.

                                                                         

Clematis  viticella ‘Venosa Violacea’ climbing through a viburnum.

                                                                     

 Clematis texensis ‘Catherine Clanwilliam’ on an obilisk till it reaches into the branches of Styrax obassia. Below, looking up into the flowers.

                                                                      

                                                                      

Clematis ‘Piilu’ or sometimes called ‘Little Duckling’, an Estonian hybrid with smaller flowers.

Most of  the above are blooming in viburnums that are passed their peak.  The clematis fill the  gap between bloom time and berries in this part of the garden.

Below, Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’ being trained to clothe Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’.

                                                                     

Finally, Clematis purpurea plena elegans, chosen to bloom with the roses. Below.

                                                                     

I hope you consider adding some to your garden.

© All photos & text 2010

AN INVITATION

To a peek through parts of my garden. Nothing is styled here, this is real-time. Hoses snaking around beds and weeds.

                                                                           

Poppies, from a dear friend who acquired them from a 90-year-old gardener 40 years ago. End of this month we will celebrate her 94th birthday.

                                                                     

 some semi double, some single,  all stunning.

                                                                       

I spread the poppy seed on cultivated soil in the late fall, after a rain. These seeds need light to germinate. If they were scattered in cultivated dry soil & then watered the soil would cover the seed, excluding the light.

I always allow the seed pods to ripen. After extracting the seed to be used in bread making and saving some for the garden, the pods are used in  dry arrangements. This is an annual show.

And there are more Clematis.

                                                                     

This  Clematis is ‘Multi-Blue’,  the Viburnum  is ‘Michael Dodge’.  The viburnum  flowers will turn to clusters of  yellow berries in the fall when HOPEFULLY, the clematis will bloom again.

                                                                      

Another clematis, ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’ cascading through a Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans).

And finally,

                                                                      

The Potager. Growing now, Onions, Leeks and garlic. All the beds are enclosed with wire to keep the rabbits out.

© All photos & text 2010