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30.05.2016 admin
Our Pre-Planted 27cm hanging baskets contain plants grown pots at our nurseries in Jersey. All of these plants are ready for immediate planting - giving instant impact this year and for years to come! This variety of Begonia is more robust than most, with its larger flowers, larger leaf and more vigorous habit.
These bedding plants do not have to be grown on before being planted into your tubs or garden, but of course can be grown on if you wish.
For anyone who wants to know more, check in at The Wire Studio where you will find not only horses but swans, eagles, bulls, deer and even people!! Although still impressive, the miniature acer in the front garden has not been quite as spectacular as usual, and only kept its leaves for a few days. But while neither of the acers have required much work apart from some leaf sweeping, I have put in some serious spadework on both the geranium bank and the herbaceous patch. The wild strawberries (which do produce delicious fruit if you can get there before the birds) were a gift from the lovely Aunt Vi many years ago.
Anyhow, I spent a happy (if stiff-making) five hours on a glorious day last weekend, rooting out both, kept company by this chirpy little fellow who sniffed out the disturbed worms within about five minutes of me starting to dig! It just shows how warm the autumn is that the berries on the pyracantha have still not been eaten! Meanwhile, after listening to a programme on ash die-back I got really concerned about our lovely golden ash. In fact, having pulled down some of the lower ones, and watched a video on ash dieback I am pretty sure that they are all seeds pods (the ones I pulled down certainly were) but how come I have never noticed them before?….
And finally, I had to include the lovely pale pink rose (name unknown) which climbs up so faithfully onto the kitchen balcony every year and continues to flower right up till Christmas.
As you can see, I used two broken terracotta boxes to hold my construction in place and two redundant bird feeders, one (on the left) stuffed with twiglets (not the edible variety…) and the other (on the right) stuffed with dried leaves. Thanks to the really lovely September weather (coffee out on the very protected downstairs patio almost every day!) nothing has changed that much over the last few weeks. However, two definite signs of autumn – the little wild cyclamen and the pyracantha berries.
I have been gathering this together for some weeks, along with various bits of abandoned and rotting decking, broken flower pots and tree posts, to make a bug house!
This is one of the two pyracanthas growing down the left hand side of the garden who absolutely love it here. Sadly, it has been all downhill since then and I am now looking out of a very soggy garden. However, my proudest possession at the moment is my little apple tree which, like all its bigger brother apple trees, is loaded with apples. Thanks to some splendid Gaillardias (those jolly daisy-like things in the foreground which are not only flowering profusely but seem to be attracting loads of bees – an unexpected bonus) and the wonderful flori-abunda peach rose that D & D Chocolates gave us a few years ago, the herbaceous patch looks a lot more cheerful. See what I mean about the begonias – they certainly have perked up, haven’t they? For years, while my mother was alive and I tended her patio and hanging basket garden for her, I was entirely wedded to annuals.
Anyhow, with the exception of very enthusiastic climbing rose in one corner, a rampant jasmine in the mews outside (I think it had its feet in a sewer and just loved it…) and a couple of standard fuschias, everything else was annuals – non-stop begonias, petunias, geraniums,  bizzy lizzies and endless basket trailers – lobelia, bacopa, verbena, diaschia, helichrysum and many, many more.
So I come rather a late to perennials and am still slightly struggling with the fact that they do not, unlike those lovely nursery bred annuals, go on flowering all summer…. We have also, somewhat less glamourously and very much more energetically, cleared years’ worth bedraggled bark from the front garden, revealing some rather fine large chunks of York stone. I would rather like to leave it the way it is but I suspect that it will not take long for the weeds to invade.
This summer has gone very fast – from late freezing spring to sizzling, brown-grass high summer in the blink of an eye – and  I am not sure that many of my plants have really kept up.
The herbaceous patch is doing fine but is not yet quite in full bloom so just a few  – rather magnificent, though I say it myself – blossoms for you this week…. Thanks to ‘catch-up’ week last week, the mower has been left slumbering in its shed and the daisies have gone  mad! But meanwhile the climbing white rose and the pyracantha are fighting a fearsome battle with the tail end of the wisteria and between them smothering the old Albertine rose and even making inroads on to the acer…. However, none of them would dare to even attempt to eclipse my stunning red and white rose….
Since this weekend is being spent under canvas, so to speak, at the Allergy Show at Olympia, I am afraid that I can only offer last week’s view of the  herbaceous patch gradually waking up and getting underway.
Well, the Ice Follies’ flowers may have gone, but they are still making a fine crescent down the middle of the garden. And even though Tawny Pipit is rather sorry that I finally got round to mowing the grass, he does enjoy an early morning chat with the blackbirds.
I understand that summer came – and went – last week while we were away enjoying a heatwave up the Troodos mountains in Cyprus. And, for those who are interested in such things – the pure white camellia, which has now been in place for 30 odd years, is very gradually turning rosy red. The other interesting thing about it (for those who are interested…) is that it has absolutely no right to do so well here at all! Although it is in the ideal position in that it is overhung by the cherry tree so is never in full sun, it is growing in heavy north London clay  whereas camellias should like a loose, well-drained acid soil with lots of peat and sand which gives their roots plenty of room to breathe! As you will have seen from the main blog, the daffs did recover – indeed recovered to so well that  they got given a whole post of their own!!
And here they are again, making a backdrop to the wonderful hat brought to my by my good friend Janet, from Grenada – made from palm leaves!! Apart from the snow-locked daffodils, the foolhardy camellia down at the bottom of the garden has braved the snow to put out one blossom at least…. However, at least the dunnocks have survived the freeze – and have made good friends with Tawny Pipit! The snow came – and actually seems to have gone again pretty quick although a return is threatened. In a desperate attempt to tempt them back I have changed all of the seeds to Bill Oddy’s favourite wild bird seeds, bought a new coconut shell of fat and yesterday, some house guests brought us this lovely little oak carved bird feeder.

And now it is already shedding those leaves – helped by  Boris who shook off a good few dozen as he emerged from, beneath it!
My good friend Prudence Nuesink, author of the excellent booklet about mind-body medicine that you can now buy via the FoodsMatter site, comes of Dutch parentage and was horrified when she heard that I had totally failed to persuade any bulbs to flower in my garden.
Well, 350 is a lot of bulbs – and she was very dismissive of my tentative suggestion that we should plant them at the bottom the garden.
For those who fancy something more cheerful – how about the younger tasters at the FoodsMatter summer tasters’ party here. 22nd September  We did get a reasonable day last Sunday for our Awards Tasters’ summer party – just about warm enough for a few brave people to sit out in the sun for a little while at least and enjoy the remaining roses and, much to my delight, a second flowering of one of the delphiniums!
Meanwhile, down the bottom of the garden Tawny Pipit is enjoying the last of the summer sun…. 7th September   We are having a splendid late flowering of our roses – this is the amazing floribunderous little rose given to us last year by Steve and Barbara from D&D Chocolates when they came to stay – and which had settled in amazingly well! And this is our lovely weather-worn heron, looking rather startled that he has finally managed to stick his head out from behind the miscanthus and is now crowned by a lovely purple cardoon flower! The only flowers that seem to be glorying in the swing cycle of boilingly, steamy hot and October chill with April storms are, as you can see, the non-stop begonias in the hanging basket. However, there is not a lot else happening in the garden so I thought that maybe it was the moment to introduce you more comprehensively to Frodo…. However, some cheer – my agapanthus which have been in for three years now have at last made a sort of decent showing, as you can see (never had more than two blossoms before) and the third lot of delphiniums, thanks to about three boxes of evil slug-killing-turquoise stuff, have survived! Meanwhile, the non-stop begonia basket (see below) is ‘doing grand’ as, of course, are the wonderfully indestructible fuschias! The only bit of the garden which is managing to keep its end up is the green roof on the summer house and the non-stop begonias in the hanging basket – a welcome splash of colour down at the bottom of the garden. Meanwhile, here is a red admiral who took up residence on Tawny Pipit’s back – and check in here for more shots of young foxes breakfasting.
And down in the herbaceous patch our lovely, battered, rusty and pigeon-spattered heron is looking rather startled at how fast, yet again, the vegetation has grown up all around him. However, very excitingly, we have also acquired a family of what we think are house martins in the little bird house that has been snuggling under the eaves of the summer house for the last five years, totally uninhabited. The clematis is so lush and gorgeous that I really feel that it could have snuck into that Great Pavilion at Chelsea Flower Show. Incidentally,hard though it may be to believe, the big white camellia which graces the front garden and which appeared on these pages on the 10th March (see below) is still flowering… Everyone else’s has long since given up but we still have (a few) new buds!!
Not that anything much else is happening – but then we have only had one day of sun, so I live in hopes. Even the trees are reluctant to show too much leaf with the birch, acacia and ash tree all remaining almost completely leafless. As, hopefully, will the stunning double blue-lilac clematis which is growing up our trellised mirror and while was already in bursting bud when the March heat wave ended – since when it too has gone onhold, not prepared, reasonably enough, to waste its beautiful flowers on a nasty rainy day. However,  the somewhat younger pieris which shelters beneath it (and I fear clashes with it….
Meanwhile, out in the back garden, Tawny Pipit is working his way down the garden, really enjoying the new grass and not minding the rain one bit! Meanwhile, this rather beautiful white camellia lives in the shade under the cherry tree in the front garden.
This Begonia Sparkle Trailing Mix has been Pre-Planted into a re-usable 27cm Hanging Basket for your convenience. This Hanging Basket contains Begonia Sparkle Trailing Mix Plants, compost, FREE Plant hydrator and feed treatment . Our Pre-Planted 25cm and 27cm hanging baskets contain plants grown individually in pots at our nurseries in Jersey.
All the hard work is done just water, hang and enjoy.A consistent performer year after year,in a wide range of colours and semi double flowers. Although his leaves have now all but gone Tawny Pipit cannot quite bring himself to move up to the sterile balcony for the winter, the foxes seem to have deserted us (maybe Camden has instituted a secret cull), the squirrels are still disporting themselves up the top of the trees and it is not really cold enough for the birds to make more than the occasional visit to the replenished bird feeders. And, guess what – the climbing rose has popped out another few blossoms to contrast with the slowing turning acer.
As you can see it has lots of what could be dying brown leaves (now much more obvious as the other leaves are turning yellow). Or do ash trees only seed when they have reached a certain maturity – or every few years? As you can see from this picture taken from the soggy, rose-swept balcony outside the kitchen, the garden is looking distinctly autumnal.
I am not sure whether the bugs will think it is that successful – and, in the nature of bug houses, I am never likely to know as, once they get stuck in, they are not likely to stick their noses out again! The rest was made up with some deliciously rotted board and bits of decking, a few bricks and assorted logs. The acer and the ash tree are just starting to turn but the herbaceous patch still looks very lush!
I am not entirely sure that any bugs will really want to live on that cold side of the garden, no matter how nice a house I build them – but the houses are such fun that I thought I would have a go anyhow. In fact, this very lush, droopy one survived through all of that ice and snow from last summer. Tawny Pipit grazing under the fairly laden apple tree and the daffodil tick finally growing back. The wet, freezing spring, followed by a three week heat wave and now torrential rain has left it looking a bit like George Forman after several hard rounds! For now I have planted some Creeping Jenny to creep down the slope towards the window and stop all the soil from being washed off and will wait to see what happens between the stones.
Not that Tawny Pipit, who is still enjoying the long grass of the daffodil ‘tick’, minds one bit! Maybe ten years ago it was all pure white, now about 10% of the flowers have a pink flash, or maybe a few pink petals.
Has anyone else suffered the same or is the Lawn bird restaurant just thoroughly out of fashion?
This is one of the bushes in the front garden caught, early in the morning again, when the frost was still upon it.

For some reason the foxes obviously feel that night time is much safer than day as, in daylight, you would never be able to get this close.
To rectify this, she had a bag of no less that 350 Ice Follies bulbs delivered to the house and arrived, the Sunday before last, to help me plant them out….
The petunias are soldiering on (although, as I write, they are being lashed by the rain…), we have had a second flowering of roses and the Heavenly Blue morning glory has finally made it  up the stem of the climbing rose, although somewhat reluctantly. Although I suppose that, tucked under the roof of the summer house, they do get the best of the sun and protection from the worst rain and wind.
The petunias have, as you can see, made a very gutsy effort to overcome the onslaught on the snails and slugs…. Or maybe so much rain had fallen into the beer that  it was too diluted to attract the main contingent…. Just look what they did to once vigorous and health marguerites and cosmos… Looks like a desert garden!!
I could not resist including this picture as right down at the back, sunning himself on the corner of the verandah, is one of our new family of fox cubs… Four very tiny cubs – still at the bounce rather than run stage! But no more… I have not yet managed to catch them with a camera in hand but busy parents are in and out on a regular foraging trips. However, I fear that it may have one glorious week (there are currently about ten open flowers) and then sink into leafy greeness for the rest of the summer.
Anyhow, off to Columbia Road flower market tomorrow morning to see what cheap bedding plants are on offer.
With the exception of the knee high grass (which, as you can see, Tawny Pipit is thoroughly enjoying)  the garden has more or less gone on hold… Only our little apple tree has really struggled into flower while a few tentative bluebells are testing the air.
However, bizzarely, but excitingly, a wisteria which already looked old when we arrived over 30 years ago and which has never done anything at all, has suddenly leapt into life and is winding its way through the acer and the pyrancantha. Our lovely old cherry tree is definitely regretting being conned by that warm March weather as it is buffeted by the wind and the rain – but at least it means that the blossom is lasting. I know that you are not meant to be able to have clashing colours in nature, but these two definitely do!) is doing fine, thank you very much.
Early spring is not a great time in our garden as I have somewhat of an issue with daffodils. I know that forsythia is the harbinger of spring– but I always find it a bit vulgar….
The pink one of the main  page lives in a pot at the bottom end of the garden, behind the summer house – and also in lots of shade.
Winter has hit us just an enthusiatically as it has hit the rest of the country – as you can see. With an extensive range and variety, you'll be sure to find the trailing plant for your garden here on our website! It will provide you with a profusion of large blooms in shades of yellow, gold, orange, red, pink and white from May until the first frosts.
If you are going to have ground cover, it might as well be productive!’) Whatever about productive, they are certainly seriously vigorous and have migrated a good 100 feet from where they were originally planted – and would happily take over the whole garden if given half a chance! It still looks a bit new but a few more days like today and it will soon ‘weather down’! You can tell that it is still very warm as normally, all of those berries have been whisked off by the birds within days of ripening, and this year they have remained there fore nearly two weeks scarcely touched.
They had their noses put entirely out of joint when the Free From Food Awards went all professional and just had two weeks’ worth of judging sessions in February each year. The year before Cressida took them all off as she said we had to let the tree use all its energy for growing and not for ripening apples!! I had assumed that I would lose them all so did not even make any attempt to protect them but, come planting out time, there they were, large as life and sprouting away happily. Frustrated by my beer pots from getting at the delphiniums, did they take it out on the cardoon? However, fortunately, both the camellia and the pieris had just come into flower before we left and I had nipped out with the camera…. I am just hoping that their resilience has not been entirely exhausted and that, as long as it stops raining, they might gather themselves off the grass and rise up again…. Strangely, about six weeks ago, we had one morning when  the bird feeders were positively groaning with tits, robins and dunnocks – two or three on each feeder, several on the fat balls and several more, plus a couple of pigeons, on the ground.
However, I am having a serious dose of early memory loss as although I knew its name for years, I just cannot remember what it is called…. The petunias, marguerites and even a cosmos are making noble efforts to recover but whether they will ever make it…. Well, as you can see, they made short work of the lovely pink double petunias which I had planted in the ground. We are not quite sure where they live and they do not come out very often – but when they do they are very sweet, although quite shy as this is the closest that we have managed to get.
In a warmer spring, once it is out, just a couple of hours of strong wind and we have lost the lot and have a pink-carpeted front garden. Well, actually, its not so much that I have an issue with daffodils, but they have an issue with me… They produce lots of lovely green leaves – but no flowers!
This is my lovely Japanese acer which I just caught before the sun melted the snow – and below is our summer house with icicles dripping from the roof….
This variety will look absolutely stunning cascading over the sides of this hanging basket.
Anyhow, two weeks later, the squirrels have given up their rather half hearted attempt to dig up our sods of turf and the sods themselves have settled down so that you can hardly see where they were dug up any more. I have now rescued what is left of them and put them into yet another pot in the hope that I might be able to protect them and that they might recover – although how any petunia is meant to survive the combined onslaught of the slugs, torrential rain, freezing cold and no sun I am not quite sure…. I have a few more down in the ground beside the much-munched parsley and they are completely untouched! The forsythia (about which I was so rude…) is full flower and the acer is just breaking into leaf.

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