Blogs

April 2016

Early flowers are blooming in the garden: honesty and green alkanet:

green alkanet and honesty

forget-me-not:

forget-me-not

A deadnettle (the bees love them) has self-seeded in this pot which I had planted up with a foxglove seedling. Foxgloves are bienniel so will bloom the following year and I did sow the seeds last year but many of the seedlings are so small I think they may well consider this year to be their first and I won't have flowers from them until next year (2017). Luckily I have some much larger foxgloves which will bloom this summer. I must have planted them in 2014. Foxgloves are one of those self-seeders which will give you fab flowers every year if you just leave them to get on with it.

deadnettle

the cerinthe self-seeded from last year is looking magnificent, in additon to those purple flowers which the bees love, the leaves are a gorgeous glaucous green with shades of purple

cerinthe

cerinthe

looking forward to the tulips blooming, I've pressed into bulb service lots of containers

some mushrooms have been encouraged by recent rain

end of March/beginning of April

my handsome boys

I went to the garden centre yesterday and bought 3 weeds! ok, we can call them "wildflower"s. As soon as you call a plant a "wildflower" they are less expensive at the garden centre, in this case £2.99 each. Last year I got some good wildflowers there: milk thistle, viper's bugloss and sea holly, although only 2 of the 3 sea holly bloomed. I'm hoping the 3rd will bloom this year. These are Fox and Cubs which I've never grown before so was curious to try them.

fox and cubs small plants

I planted them today as I had room in the flower bed after some rearrangement

fox and cubs plants

The milk thistles from last year did well and I was able to collect seed and grow more. Unfortunately the slugs devoured them all except this one:

milk thistle

Victor enjoying the sun

Victor in the pussy willow tree

Victor on top of my mini-greenhouse

Fitzy who visits every day. I have never heard him purr. He hardly lets me pet him or hold him. Behind him, on the other side of the wall can be seen some building work my neighbour has been doing. He has a new landscaped patio like something out of Monty Don's Big Dreams Small Spaces. My garden is more like Blue Peter compared to it!

time for the tulips to replace the crocus

muscari in the front, my 5 remaining auriculas behind

honesty with the pink flowers, green alkanet on the right, teasel top right

Bergenia is as tough as old boots. Sometimes I don't appreciate it but other times, such as today, I remember how great it is for early flowers and how it survives any conditions. This morning I saw the pink from the front path and thought it was rubbish that needed picking up, only to discover a bergenia had self-seeded there - and bloomed! What a nice change from the usual rubbish and cigarette ends I see there.

bergenia near pavement

anemone and narcissus in the front garden - first year from new bulbs - always the best results (one of the combos from deJager)

this pic shows the orange cups of the Jetfire narcissus better than the pic above

jetfire narcissus and anemone blanda

3 hyacinths in this pot, 2 bloomed early and are now brown, 1 in full bloom, aren't plants annoying like that!

pink hyacinth

that tulip bud on the left above a few days later

the taller narcissus - also first year from new bulbs, think from bins at Camden Garden Centre, Polly Pocket to the left

narcissus

the other cats in the back garden (Victor and Socks) with more blooming bulbs

narcissus Tete-a-tete blooming in the compost pile, I've removed them and planted them in the garden

crocus and hyacinths

close-up of those beautiful hyacinths

delft blue hyacinths

that bulb with buds bottom left was looking good but it is now rotten

hyacinths

these are previously forced hyacinths from previous years blooming in the garden

previously forced hyacinths in garden

mid-March

it's cold and windy but the crocus are making a spectacular show in the sun

crocus

crocus

A very dark purple hyacinth, Kronos?, Peter Stuyvesant? these are the replacements from J Parkers for the Sky Jacket hyacinths, but they aren't Sky Jacket either! I did force the other bulbs I received (that's how I knew their colour) but received these later so planted them outside.

the flower on the right looks more uniformly purple than the one on the left which has blue at the base of the florets but I'm not sure

crocus and other spring bulbs

muscari

muscari

large Dutch crocus

crocus

tete-a-tete daffodils and crocus

crocus

some of the indoor hyacinths got planted outdoors, think they were from a bulb bowl? will check

hyacinths and daffodils

this is a better view of those fat fab hyacinth buds, Miss Saigon bottom left, other 2 Delft Blue

hyacinths and daffodils

White Pearl hyacinths at their peak

white pearl hyacinths

the crocus are blooming like mad (end of February)

crocus

crocus

crocus

the early daffodils are in bloom as well, tete-a-tete I think, those hyacinths are spent after blooming indoors

crocus

I still have lots of bluebells in the front flowerbed, the hyacinths are blooming so the leaves that look similar to hyacinths but without flowers are bluebells and I'm going to work at removing them

these are the "Sky Jacket" hyacinths which J Parkers sent me when the original bulbs weren't Sky Jacket - neither are these!

January 2016

spring bulbs outside

The pot of crocus (bottom right) are all the bulbs from the crocus vases and bulb pot (see gardenwithindoors) that did not bloom; I got tired of them on the windowsill so put them outside and planted them. Not sure if they will bloom but think they have as good a chance outside as inside. The hyacinths on the bottom shelf are prepared White Pearl but I ran out of room indoors for them. They are looking nice and fat and have big buds.

The pots on the left have muscari bulblets.

These were last year's crocus, blooming in a pot outside.

I love moss. I noticed this on the front garden wall yesterday.

moss

my average self-seeded pot, clock-wise from the top cente: green alkanet, thyme, campanula, deadnettle, foxglove, forget-me-not - and - a bit of moss

even though the echium seedlings were doing well, they've been eaten so now they are NOT doing well

bergenia flowers

bergenia

some unknown plants seen on a recent walk along the Regents Canal

Christmas week

It's cold today but the past week has been pretty warm for the time of year. I noticed a flower and buds on one of the blackberry plants. Much as I enjoy not being cold it is crazy weather and very confusing for plants.

blackberry flower

the nasturtiums are still coming out with the odd flower, they've been a great success this year: easy growing from seed and lots of flowering over a long period of time and they are self-seeding

nasturtiums

end of November

The easiest identification is a seedling like this where you can see the distinctive seed, in this case globe thistle.

globe thistle seedling

nasturtium: another seedling straight from a distinctive seed and nasturtiums have distinctive leaves as well

nasturtium seedling

This is a knautia melton pastels which I bought earlier this year in bloom, it has a new flush of  flowers late in the year. I love those pincushion flowers which the bees love so I bought a pack of seeds which are doing well as young plants so hope to have lots of flowers next spring/summer. I want some scabious as well (they're all the same sort of plant to me even if they are different scientifically) so will be sowing those seeds in the spring.

knautia melton pastels

I'm having more success with the echium and monarda seedlings, maybe the ones I planted earlier, in the summer, were overwhelmed by the self-seeded oeonothera.

echium seedlings

Narcissus Green Eyes. I could not resist this pack of bulbs yesterday, the colour is intriguing - blue shading - but possibly just in the pic, in the spring I'll see what they really look like.

green eyes narcissus

autumn colour

The scent of mahonia at this sometime dark and dismal time of year is exquisite. Mahonia is unobtrusive and easily forgotten until you happen to walk past it and get that scent and you remember why it is so welcome in the garden.

mahonia

Victor at the back door caught my attention as the sunset was so bright, it shows how surrounded by terraces of houses the sun is not consistent in my garden and they'll be times like this showing what it could be like

As things have quieted down in the garden I thought I would have another go with the echium and monarda seeds, esp as the seed company had given me replacement packets as I didn't have any germination with them the first time. The larger egg carton below has 11 germinated echium seeds (possibly not visible here) - hardly seedlings as they are so tiny but I can see green coming out of the seed. I only did the smaller carton at the top yesterday so awaiting germination of the monarda seeds.

I mistaken posted a pic of my "last" scabious flower the other day but now I have 2 more and some striking iris foetidissina seeds.

here's another view of the scabious flowers with a magnificent first-year foxglove (they're biennial so will bloom the following year), it's huge so looking forward to that next year - I love foxgloves!

I've moved a self-seeded centaurea montana (scraggly one to the left), as far as I've noticed I've not had any self-seeding before this year. I love them  so looking forward to more flowers next year. I've also moved the globe thistles so the centaureas should have more room.

centaurea montana

 

I can now see the self-seeded anemone is Harmony Orchid from the plants I received for Mother's Day earlier this year.

anemone harmony orchid

violas still looking good

self-seeded violas

this purple viola self-seeded next to this Melton Pastel knautia (I haven't grown them from seed before so looking forward to seeing how they turn out but so far good germination and growth and little slug damage)

dead-heading the nasturtiums (Phoenix) really has worked to keep the flowers coming and I'm very impressed with another grown-from-seed success

Chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

chinese lanterns

In trying to sort out some pots for tulip bulbs I thought I should do something about this pelargonium. It self-seeded from a plant I had a few years ago. This has been growing over a year, not sure exactly. That bare stem doesn't look very promising so I thought I'd cut it back and see if flowering can be encouraged.

pelargonium after pruning, there are also a couple of snapdragons in that pot, a foxglove and I think a scabious under the foxglove (just looked again, I think both of those (under the foxglove and near the edge of the top of the pot) are the early rosettes of horseweed), also the ubiquitous nigella seedlings

I don't remember where the calendula seeds came from, maybe a special offer, although not my favourite they've added some early autumn colour.

calendula

last scabious of the summer

This is the last scabious of the summer.

scabious

I am loving the rosemary flowers.

rosemary flowers

status update on the cyclamen coum (large brown bulbs, one is visible in lower left pot): all have flowers and at least some leaves, one was covered with leaves but slugs ate every single leaf, one on the right has a mass of stems close together along with some self-seeded snapdragons and another self-seeded plant in the middle, liverwort, violas and an unknown plant in the pot on the left, self-seeded nigella in the pot at the top

cyclamen coum flowers

a closer look at some seedlings in early October

This morning I noticed this pot by the front door had an abundant number of seedlings - more than I realised.

Some of the seedlings only have the basic 2 seed leaves. Some have the 3rd true leaf which shows definitively what kind of plant it is. That 3rd feathery leaf is distinctive of nigella. There is a distinctively leaved milk thistle at the bottom and another seedling of it to the right.

Until I uploaded this pic to my pc I didn't even notice the very small-leaved dark green seedling at the bottom to the right. In the middle it looks like deadnettle.

nigella seedlings

At first I thought it might be pellitory-of-the-wall. I picked some (below left with the red stem) from next door and placed it next to the unknown seedling and immediately I can see they are completely different.

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