ju1i3's blog

Welcome to my gardening blog

flowerpot for a pillow

 

I hope I can share a little of what I've learned - and there is so much more to learn.

If you want to share anything, please post at https://www.facebook.com/gardenwithoutdoors/.

 

Victor using a flowerpot for a pillow

mid-May 2018

My first scabious of the season. That centaurea montana in the background is pictured below.

scabious

one of my largest centaurea montana flowers ever

centaurea montana

My auricula theater didn't really happen this year. My patio was in disarray as a ladder had to be put up to repair the roof. I did buy 4 new auriculas last year; this is the best one (Blue Yodder), maybe even the only new one to bloom (one had died). I must admit I wasn't really able to keep track of them all. I am going to try to get it ready next year in time. (deadnettle self-seeded in the pot).

auricula

my chives are looking amazing

chive flowers

after my spectacular honesty flowers, lots of "coins", why it's called the money plant (I didn't notice the snail while I was taking the pic)

honesty coins lunaria

I have a red corn poppy - finally. I tried so many packets of seeds with only a couple pathetic flowers resulting so when I saw these at the garden centre in the inexpensive "wildflower" range I bought a few and they are looking great, tall, lots of buds and actually blooming.

red corn poppy

red corn poppy

I gathered together some of the forget-me-nots that have self-seeded in pots. I wanted to keep them until they finish flowering (they die back then) but wanted to free up the pots. I didn't want to throw them all in the compost pile, why not grow them ON the compost pile.

forget-me-nots compost pile

I added some ox-eye daisy

ox-eye daisy on compost pile

that magic time when a ceanothus is covered with flowers, lilac next to it has few flowers after a prune last year but the rosa rugosa next to it has lots of flowers quietly blooming every year with zero attention, it was there when I moved here 15 years ago

ceanothus rosa rugosa

close-up of one of the rosa rugosa flowers

rosa rugosa

a pink aquilegia self-seeded there

ceanothus pink aquilegia

I heard mention of  'dog violet' recently and realised I didn't know what that meant so googled it. Dog violet doesn't have a scent so it's not viola odorata which I assumed all violets were. I noticed these next door and picked one - no scent. So these are dog violets. I don't know how they differ physically, must research.

dog violet

a carpet of bellis perennis in a neighbour's front garden I thought looked so nice

bellis perennis carpet

knautia macedonica, one of my more successful growing from seed attempts, I planted these in a neighbour's derelict pots and they are doing great with little attention even watering, why all one shade of pink? they're supposed to be varying shades, one quite dark almost red

knautia macedonica

I saw this Bee Friendly Trust planter at a Highbury and Islington overground platform. (was there a plant in that gap that someone has taken?).

bee friendly trust planter highbury and islington

May 2018

one of my favourite flowers, always very happy to see the first centaurea montana in bloom, truly the start of the season

centaurea montana

difficult for my camera to capture that intense blue colour of the common field speedwell I'm seeing so much of, and loving, right now

common field speedwell

common field speedwell

it's difficult to notice the long leaves amongst the green alkanet (with the blue flowers) but I think that's my first comfrey of the year

comfrey

I guess I started my seeds and corms a bit late so I don't have much new yet, thank goodness for the honesty, green alkanet and forget-me-nots, and previous years' chives. Some of my seedlings have been devastated by slugs, some are looking promising, see my Seeds page for more info. Growing from seed does take a long time so there is that temptation for instant colour from the garden centre.

patio

3 days later lots of the chive flowers opening, hope there'll be lots of bees there soon

chive flowers

a bee enjoying the green alkanet currently covering my back garden; I did see a different type of bee around this time so I think it's time to research what kind of bees I have in the garden

green alkanet with bee

self-seeded viola, not quite open yet

self-seeded viola

violet

violet

end of April 2018

Japanese Knotweed. How bad is it? I saw this around the corner, an isolated shoot in the centre of a front garden. Where did it come from? (I'll go back and take a wider photo)

japanese knotweed

I am so happy to see some fox and cubs in this flowerbed and looking good. I had removed the green alkanet just from this small area but I had to repeat the exercise as some had snuck in.  There were also forget-me-nots that had invaded the cleared space so I removed those as well. That left me a bit of room to plant in the ground a meadow clary ("wildflower" from the garden centre) and an oriental poppy (had bought 3 from Peter Nyssen but the other 2 are in slug damage intensive care). And I seem to have the globe thistles back. I do love them but not in the front there blocking the sun for the other plants. I did move some but more have self-seeded there. I'm going to have to be more brutal like I was with the green alkanet (believe me it is all over the rest of the garden! just not in this small space).

fox and cubs

While I was organising that flowerbed I potted up these 3 pincushion flowers: small scabious ("wildflower" from the garden centre, never heard of "small scabious" before) on the left; field scabious on the right (also "wildflower" from the garden centre) and a small knautia macedonica Melton Pastels which self-seeded at some point. Also one planted in the ground, top left above. Why are knautia and scabiosa two different genus?? They look so similar to me

pincushion flowers

these are the labels for those 2 plants above from the garden centre

pincushion plant labels

this pot just got a selection of the small plants around my patio: ox-eye daisy, aquilegia, campanula, sea holly and knautia macedonica Melton Pastels

Another knautia macedonica Melton Pastels (one of my most successfully grown from seed flowers) I potted up for a neighbour. I'll see how this pot and the one above look and put them outside their door when they are looking promising. I've put some of the corncockle and echium Blue Bedder seedlings around the edge.

Something very strange is going on in my front garden. One of the leaves of this artichocke has been completely stripped but the rest of the plant looks fine

eaten artichoke leaf

the upper leaves look fine

artichoke leaves

the same happened with one of the foxgloves, the one on the right is stripped but the one on the left is looking ok

foxgloves

Speaking of pests, these scarlet lily beetles have managed to find the few lillies in my garden: snakeshead fritillaries. I haven't done anything about them and am not going to. I think we should avoid chemicals in the garden.

scarlet lily beetle

one of my favourite flowers, centaurea montana, mountain cornflower, taken a while for them to get established, especially to the point of self-seeding, buds are those black balls, 4 in this photo

centaurea montana

3 more here

centaurea montana

4 more here in this nearby pot next to the lesser knapweed on the right

centaurea montana

mid-April 2018

I went to the South Downs one day last week and saw primroses in the wild.

primrose

I've never seen these horsetail in person before - very unusual - prehistoric-looking.

horsetail

Back in my garden, parrot tulips are my favourite and this Professor Rontgen also has a fantastic scent

Professor Rontgen parrot tulips

I haven't tried these Princess Irene tulips before but I think they are exquisite with that glaucous sheen.

Princess Irene tulips

these species tulips (Little Beauty and Little Princess) are usually in bloom earlier but they are overlapping with those latter ones above, I guess because of the crazy wearher we've had

species tulips

I especially like what's growing on the bottom shelf

my chives have fat flower buds

chives flower buds

this is the year of honesty, it seems to be doing so well, maybe it's benefitted from the cold weather? I have them all over the back garden and these are in the front garden next door I look after

honesty

these are in the garden next door to that which I helped with a few years ago now and shared honesty plants - they've self-seeded very successfully

honesty

in the back garden next door which I help look after

honesty

also in the back garden next door

honesty

at the end of the my garden where it's pretty shady

honesty

in the main flowerbed at the front of the garden

honesty

in the middle of the garden

honesty

in the shade

honesty

honesty

regular readers of my blog will know I love buds, almost as much as the resulting flowers, the honesty inflorescence (I hope I'm using that word correctly)

honesty buds

the snakeshead fritilary doesn't seem to have suffered with the freezing weather

snakeshead fritilary

snakeshead fritilary

the weather so far this year has been crazy; the auriculas were looking very poorly but at least a few have buds; 1 of the 4 auricula plants I bought last year appears to have died but the other 3 don't look very good, I don't think they'll bloom this year

auricula buds

auricula buds

I wasn't sure these hyacinths were ever going to bloom after thawing and refreezing at least twice but they are finally blooming and overlapping with tulips - crazy

hyacinths bowl

Since at least 2013 I've been trying to grow corn poppies from seed for the centenary of World War I but they proved to be extremely difficult to grow from seed so when I saw these in the "wildflower" range at the garden centre I bought some.

corn poppies

They do seem very crowded in the pots but as the label said they don't like root disturbance I decided to just plant them as they were.

corn poppies

my rhubarb is unexpectedly flowering, I only bought them last year and I read they flower when they are older

flowering rhubarb

flowering rhubarb

I'm going to leave it to flower as I'm quite curious to see what it looks like and if bees like the flowers

flowering rhubarb

Plant Identification

The large plant bottom right is an unknown to me which I've been waiting impatiently for to become identifiable. After I took this photo yesterday (9-4-2018), I thought it would be interesting to look at all the plants - some I didn't notice until I was at my pc. 1. mint?? 2. first unknown 3. garlic mustard? 4. unknown 5. herb robert 6 strawberry 7 greater celandine 8 willowherb?? 9 green alkanet (click for a larger view)

If we can't identify the smallest plants, we may weed out some wonderful self-seeding wildflowers: green alkanet, forget-me-not, common field speedwell, deadnettle.

deadnettle common field speedwell forget-me-not

common field speedwell

common field speedwell

forget-me-not buds

forget-me-not buds

forget-me-not flowers just opening

forget-me-not flowers

some shoots of my beloved chinese lanterns

chinese lantern shoots

green alkanet on the left, honesty on the right

honesty green alkanet

honesty

honesty

I love centaurea montana and have it planted in my flowerbed but at some point

centaurea montana

it self-seeded either directly in this pot or in another pot and I put it this one (I can't really remember) but I was able to keep it as I recognised it

centaurea montana

this I don't remember, what was it/is it?? (the brown dried stalks in the square pot); I'll have to look at pics from last year

I'm embarrassed to say, I did not know what this was - but I didn't dig it up until it became identifiable

veronica beccabunga

it greened up with some fresh leaves and finally I realised it was veronica beccabunga spreading from the nearby pond

veronica beccabunga

- update 20-4-2018 - 2 weeks later

they are looking quite like fox and cubs now, which I'm happy about, I had some here before but they haven't successfully grown since but maybe my banishment of the green alkanet has allowed them to grow

fox and cubs

 

veronica beccabunga spreads like mad - definitely one to thin out; the tiniest flowers that don't make up for the thick mass it makes

veronica beccabunga

Sometimes I forget, the most likely id is from something I already have in my garden (Occam's Razor?) Like the veronica beccabunga above which spread from nearby, this plant that self-seeded in my wall, looks remarkbly like wood avens which I only just realised. It's likely to be that as I have lots of wood avens, in spite of pulling it out every chance I get. That is one wildflower I just don't like. At the bottom is the seedling in the wall, above is a wood avens plant I pulled up from the garden to compare it with.

wood avens

April 2018

yellow wallflower Camden Town Parkway

above, outside a cafe on Parkway, Camden Town, below, forsythia, Park Village East, Regents Park, amazing how these bright yellow flowers suddenly cover the shrub at one instant in the spring

forsythia

below, back to my garden, muscari

muscari

for some reason my camera cannot get all these muscari in focus at the same time but I spotted  bee on them this morning so posting anyway

muscari with bee

I can't keep track of what I planted where and the snakeshead fritilary look very grass-like before the buds appear, luckily I didn't "weed" them out. 

snakeshead fritilary

snakeshead fritilary

It's finally good enough whether to go out into the garden, or at least it was for a few hours today, raining again now. I planted out my spent, previously forced, hyacinth bulbs. It reminded me that if you dig or plant in the garden, weeds will respond! I planted some small plants last autumn and I had so many creeping buttercup to dig up today. 

creeping buttercup

the buttercup have gotten into this sea holly seedling's pot, as has oxalis and the ubiquitous forget-me-not on the other side but I just leave the forget-me-not, they flower early and die back and aren't a problem (to me), the buttercup has to go - it just takes over

I also had grass, two types, one that spreads and one that appears to be self-seeding and makes a clump. I think the clump type is couch grass but I must look into them further. Another spreader underneath is snowberry. It spreads like mad.

weeds

speaking of weeds, teasels can go a bit mad, but I do like them and happy to have them in the garden but not everywhere, the small pot bottom right has a small teasel seedling

teasel and monarda

I pulled it out and one can see how it copes so well, with that long root

teasel seedling roots

I didn't catch this one in time and it grew to be a monster - in one of my hosta pots so it had to come out.

teasel

It's early enough that there's some room in the garden for the previously forced hyacinth bulbs to be planted, before the green alkanet has gone mad - lots of small plants in the next 5 photos.

previously forced hyacinth bulbs planted in the garden

more hyacinths planted, some of previous years' in bloom

previously forced hyacinth bulbs planted in the garden

more spent hyacinths planted

previously forced hyacinth bulbs planted in the garden

more hyacinths planted, some of previous years' in bloom

previously forced hyacinth bulbs planted in the garden

previously forced hyacinth bulbs planted in the garden

Spring 2018

This is my kind of Easter activity. How many plants / weeds can be identified? (this is also on Facebook so you can comment if you want)

with labels added

I think this must be the largest hairy bittercress I've ever seen. The long spiky bits are the seed pods. There is a tiny hairy bittercress in the centre of the pic above.

hairy bittercress

this is the first green alkanet I've seen this Spring, one of my favourite flowers

green alkanet

forsythia is magnificent for a brief period in the Spring

forsythia

Hampstead Heath was a rather disappointing place to see plants this week (ground too trodden on by people and their dogs) but around Kenwood House I saw a few small bulbs including this chinodoxa. I love the intense colour of the closed buds.

chinodoxa

close-up or one of the chinodoxa flowers

chinodoxa

view from Hampstead Heath, Post Office Tower far right

view from Hampstead Heath

best buys from the garden centre (free from the skip!)

I bought some plants from Peter Nyssen, Bear's discovered the nepeta (catnip). Between the cold and snow recently and Bear, they aren't looking too good.

a couple more colours of polyanthus are blooming, and that blue "zebra" one I couldn't resist from the garden centre

polyanthus

angelica I bought from the garden centre last year as a "wildflower", good value, it's a biennial so will bloom this year after last year's planting

angelica

the cyclamen coum has survived the slugs, campanula and other seedlings near it

cyclamen coum

I plant out my previously forced hyacinth bulbs, they do bloom again but in a very subdued way. The garden withoutdoors overlaps with the garden withindoors

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garden

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garde

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garden

I now have a huge pile of spent hyacinth bulbs to plant in the garden. I think it's warm enough now - for the moment - before the latest cold snap due before Easter.

spent hyacinth bulbs

bulbs want to grow! these tiny bulbs were on the patio or somewhere last autumn and got accumulated in this pot, I had forgotten about them and this spring started doing what they do

tiny bulbs

March 2018

I love these small daffodils. Tete-a-tete as far as I know but they're only small like this in the right conditions, otherwise they can be tall and leggy. These have been outside all winter.

small narcissus

from a packet of mixed colour polyanthus seeds, yellow; seems to be the strongest colour from any mixed packet of seeds (annoyingly)

polyanthus

It's hard to believe that this bulb bowl of hyacinths,

hyacinth bulb bowl

was under snow a week ago

bulb bowl under snow

garden under snow

end of February 2018

daffodils covered by last night's snow

daffodils in the snow

tête-a-tête daffodils in the small amount of snow we had a couple days ago

tete-a-tete daffodils

tete-a-tete daffodils

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