Friday 19th July 2019

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It’s now time for Friday Group’s summer break at Garden House.  Some colleagues will be leaving, some remaining.  Sad to be at the end of another gardening year here, but just think what has grown in this fertile environment over the last twelve months.  Friendship, fun, knowledge, horticultural passion, seeds, flowers, fruit, veg., the compost heap, the pile of cake recipes…. the list goes on.

But, end of year celebrations can’t go ahead until we’ve done our end of year test.  Heck.

So, our Plant Ident. was to:

Name these

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It’s, erm….

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Oh, it’s on the tip of my tongue…

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Hang on, I’ve got this…

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Looks familiar…

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Surely, that’s the hot stuff marigold?

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I know, I know!  It’s a rose.

What do you mean, “What sort?”

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Only a tenuous idea about this one

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For some reason, I’m thinking Nigella Lawson?

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It’s silver-leaved.  It’s soft and downy.

It’s no good.

Its name escapes me.

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Bingo!  Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’

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Answers?  Here they are: 1. Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses’  2. Verbena bonariensis  3. Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’  4. Salvia ‘Amistad’  5. Tagetes ‘Burning Embers’  6. Rosa ‘Warm Welcome’  7. Stipa tenuissima  8. Nigella papillosa ‘African Bride’  9.  Plectranthus argentatus  10. Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early Flowerer’

Points mean prizes… 10 out of 10 anyone?  No?

Moving swiftly on then –

Jobs for the week: 

No rest for the wicked, so we crack on with a few things which need attention before enjoying our shared lunch together.

Sift, sort and turn that compost heap.

Tools for the job.

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Coming through!

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The engine room of the garden.

Work in the cutting garden

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Tie in new growth on the espalier apples

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Prick out the wallflower seedlings

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They need pricking out now, before they become too etiolated

Look it up

Weeding, watering, dead-heading in the sunken garden

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Little Dixter

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Prettification.  It’s a word.

Check all the summer planting in pots

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Check. Check. Check.

All good.

Remove self-seeded red orache from the dahlia bed.

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She’s in there somewhere

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It’s OK.  Rescue is on the way…

Sort through cold frame; clean, weed and water

 1.  Find the cold frame

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    2.  Here it is

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3.  Sort it, clean it, weed it, water it

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Sorted

Take a selection of cuttings for all to take home

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We’ll need quite a few

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A few more, maybe?

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Looking good

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Hey presto!  Plenty of cuttings to go round

Take a moment to appreciate the zen-like calm of the newly restored greenhouse

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And breathe…. and relax……

Tailor-made for precious pelargoniums

Down tools, everyone!  Time for lunch.

Someone’s brought a small bowl for hers….

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Just pop mine in there, please.  So kind.

Meanwhile, some have been busy with preparations

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Revealing a range of delicious delicacies

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Anything for afters?

Well, yes.  A morsel or two

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Good grief!

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Yum

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               So, so good

And summer pudding too?

But of course!

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Speechless

Then some fond farewells, followed by a Grande Finale

Keyboard at the ready…

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I give you….

  ‘The Wild Gardener’

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That’s the Wild Gardener singing

Of course, we all joined in with a rousing chorus

So, did it all go well?

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Frankly, my dear, it was outstanding

 

Until September then –

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‘May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 12th July 2019

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Back together at Garden House, after spending last Friday tending the gardens of two Friday Group members.  There are still roses aplenty in the garden here, but this week our Plant Ident. featured: No Roses!

These plants, however, are all coming into their own right now.

Plant ident.

Salpiglossis sinuata ‘Black Trumpets’

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Is it the deepest, plummiest maroon?  Is it black?  Burnished coppery-brown?  Whatever it is, this half-hardy annual is a beautiful, velvety thing with golden-yellow stamens.  Has the look of a petunia or nasturtium, because it too is in the potato family (Solanaceae).  Good in the border, in pots and also as a cut flower.

Salvia ‘Amistad’

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A perennial sage (Lamiaceae family) which produces striking, deep blue flowers in the summer months.  Loves sun, but copes with partial shade.  Bees love it and it makes a great cut flower.  Cuttings can be taken from the side shoots (cut just under a leaf joint) – and in fact this is the best way to propagate them.  They are quick-rooting in a multi-purpose compost, either in a propagator or on the window-sill, with your bath hat over the top.  Sure, you will have wet hair, but also lots of lovely new plants.  Keep them, and yourself, frost-free over the winter months.

And here we see it en plein air

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Allium ‘Red Mohican’

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Featured in the top right of the photo

This variety is one of the last alliums to flower in the garden, so is good for extending the season of allium allure from May through to July.   Looks particularly good with its strong stems emerging from frothy blue clouds of nepeta.  Try it.   

Tagetes ‘Burning Embers’

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Half-hardy annual.  Also known as Tagetes linnaeus.  Long stiff stems make these good flowers for cutting, but African marigolds can also be used for companion planting to discourage greenfly – especially with tomatoes.  These little beauties come true from seed, so collect it in the autumn ready for sowing in the spring.  Reliable, and produces masses of flowers.

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‘Burning Embers’ – all aglow

Helianthus annuus ‘Magic Roundabout’

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A tall and multi-stemmed hardy annual, this sunflower is a stunner, with bi-coloured flowers which attract loads of insects.  Birds love the seed-heads during the winter.  A great cut-and-come-again plant.  Good in a vase, as it has stiff stems, but also very suitable in a front garden or the back of a border.  Not a bad idea to stake the plant as it rockets upwards; it can reach 1.8 m.

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Zinnia elegans ‘Meteor’

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This really is a zingy zinnia: bright red and in your face.  Grow this half-hardy annual in full sun for best flowers and impact.  Loved by butterflies.  Strong sturdy stems make it a good choice as a cut flower.

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Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Picotee Rose’

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A very pretty half-hardy annual; useful in the cutting garden.  White with a delicate wash of magenta-pink.  Dead-heading increases its longevity as it encourages further flowers to form.

Here they are as nature intended

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Jobs for the week:

Pot on abutilons and pelargoniums

(N.B. these are pelargoniums and NOT geraniums!)

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Pelargoniums.  Right.  Got it.

Also, check the new greenhouse.  Admire it in all its restored glory; no longer a listing building – more of a listed one.  Weed/water as necessary.

Prune the pittosporum.

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There’s a pittosporum problem requiring prompt pruning.  (Try pronouncing that after a glass of Pimms.)  It’s overhanging the compost heap, which cannot be blocked under any circumstances.  Take out some of the older stems and reduce its height.  And do take care!  Falling off the ladder could result in you being composted.

Prick out foxglove seedlings.  Some can be taken home.  Stand well back as the hordes descend.

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Finish sowing biennials

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There are verbascum seeds to sow along with a few others.  This is just about the last opportunity to sow biennials this year.

Cut out flowered heads of euphorbias in the apple tree bed

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Take out old stems to allow new growth to develop.  Take care with the milky sap which can cause an allergic reaction.  Water.

Work on the cut flower bed

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Remove the calendulas which have mildew and replace with new plants.  Weed, water , support.  Plant out nasturtiums.

Weed the herb bed

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Especially around Shailer’s White Rose.  Plant nicotiana and salvias.

Dead-head and tie-in the roses in the sunken garden

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Some of these are prickly devils, so wear armour and keep the first-aid box to hand.    Water and feed.

 

Another lovely sunflower in the garden at the moment is ‘Black Magic’.  Memories of a Little Mix of chocolates in a box….

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Careful.  All this ‘Black Magic’ could put a spell on you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 5th July 2019

Unkempt, untidy, absent-minded,
Soaked through with smell of dill and rye,
With linden-blossom, grass and beet-leaves,
The meadow-scented month July.

Pasternak

July.  How did that happen?

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This week Friday Group played away from home, working in members’ gardens.  The results?  Need you ask?

One team played in Hove.  Here they are, having a serious horticultural discussion, planning the day’s work.

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Another team were over in Woodingdean.  Ditto the planning.  No mention at all of interesting films seen recently, good books to read, great restaurants to visit, politics, religion, the State of the Nation.  None of that.  As if.

So, straight down to it then.

Here we are, clearing and shearing.

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Lopping

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Digging

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Bending

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More bending

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Enjoying

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Weeding

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Removing the weeding

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And how are they getting on in Hove?

Here they are.  Gone.

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Here they are.  Back again.

Being fed and watered.

But it’s not all beer and skittles…

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More bending. (What is she doing?)

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Garden redesign

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  Before                   and                     After

Victory is ours!

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And mine!

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We’re always saying how Friday Group is a kind of horticultural support network.  This is another kind….

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Living proof that lessons learned at Garden House are absorbed and transplanted elsewhere

All back to Garden House next week

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Friday 28th June 2019

The summer mantra.  Water, weed, feed.  Water, weed, feed.  Repeat.

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The garden is starting to glow….

Plant ident.

It’s still June – so, obviously there are more roses to identify.  We’re pretty much drunk on roses by this stage….

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Rosa ‘Red Letter Day’

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A really good shrub rose from Peter Beales.  It bears double blooms of deep red (could it be the colour of a post van delivering the red letter?)  Healthy.  Reliable.  1.2 x 0.9m

Rosa x odorata ‘Mutabilis’

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Exquisite.  This shrubby China rose has petals like pink taffeta.  Long golden stamens set the flowers off to perfection.  Glossy foliage.  Flowers for months on long, lax, almost thornless stems.   Best in full sun. 1.5 x 0.9m

Rosa ‘Gloria Mundi’

Sprays of semi-double scarlet flowers adorn this small Polyantha shrub rose.  Repeat-flowering, but no great shakes on the scent front. 0.6 x 0.6 m

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Rosa ‘Alberic Barbier’

A Wichurana rambling rose which repeat-flowers.  Very disease resistant with lovely glossy, green leaves.  At Garden House it greets visitors as they arrive at the front gate, where it romps over the archway.

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Its semi-double flowers are creamy-white in colour, with a wash of yellow.  A great choice for a rambler – and good on north walls as well as other aspects.  And it’s scented.  Looks like you’ll have to get one.  4.5 x 3.0m

Rosa ‘Dorothy Perkins’

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The last rose to come out at Garden House – this is another Wichurana rambler.  Small, double blooms – not much in the way of fragrance, but a spectacular display of pinkness. Can get mildew, but if you cut back hard after flowering and water/feed regularly in growth and flower, then it should be fine.  3 x 2.5m

Rosa ‘Chevy Chase’

A strikingly beautiful multiflora rambling rose bearing large clusters of small, double flowers in the early summer. Vigorous.  Flowers profusely over a long period.  Deep crimson.  Fine on a north wall.  Little fragance.  4.5 x 3.0m

Rosa ‘Roundelay’

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A very good, healthy, Modern shrub rose.  Repeat flowering and very fragrant.  Its large, deep red blooms are fully double.  Good in the shade too.  1.2 x 0.9 m

Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’

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Award-winning rose, named for the Surrey home of the famous horticulturalist and gardener, Gertrude Jekyll.  This is a beautifully fruity-scented English shrub rose, bred by David Austin.  The petals are fully double and a deep, rich, velvety crimson.  Good disease resistance.  Much loved, praised, and purchased.  Good as a specimen or in a mixed border. 1.0 x 1.0m

Rosa ‘Graham Stuart Thomas’

Another stunning English shrub rose from the David Austin stable, named for the famous writer, horticulturalist and gardener Graham S. Thomas, who chose the rose himself.  Beautiful double, cupped, yellow blooms with a delicate scent. 1.3 x 1.3m

Rosa omeiensis pteracantha

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Sounds like a dinosaur.  Looks a bit like one too.  Terrifying thorns glow red with the sunlight on them – particularly spectacular in the winter.  (Not something most roses can boast about.)  Delicate fern-like foliage; small, single white flowers.  3.0 x 1.8m

Gillenia trifoliata

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This attractive perennial shrub lives beneath the apple tree in the garden.  But why are we talking about it here? –  you may well ask.  It’s because, (and here comes an Interesting Fact), it’s in the Rosaceae family.  Fancy!  Bears delicate, white, star-shaped flowers over a long period in the summer and its leaves have good autumn colour.  Likes part shade, so would look good in a woodland border.  Dies down in the winter months.  1.0 x 0.6m

Jobs for the week:

Prick out and pot on

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These are wallflowers – Erysimum, to be completely accurate.

Working in the top garden – improving privacy.

Plant up the new raised beds e.g. veronicastrums.  Add compost.

Work on cut-flower bed.

The cutting garden isn’t really doing as well as we’d like.  I wonder why?

‘Coming through! Outta my way.’

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Ah ha!  That would explain it.

Stake plants where necessary. 

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Adjust the string support system.  Cut the flowers so they will come again – especially the  sweet peas

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Not so much string support – more a sculpture in string.  This one won the Mrs Joyful Prize for crocheting.

Work on Little Dixter

….making it even more decorative – if at all possible.

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Oh, wow!  It is possible!

Pot up more dahlias

More dahlias?

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Yes.  Like these.

Plant new rose and clematis outside the Garden Room

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Weed the bed first, adding any non-weedy waste to the compost bin.  All good stuff.

Plant tomatoes in a pot.

Stake.  Tie in.  Pinch out side shoots.  Once trusses form, feed every week with a dilute solution of tomato fertiliser.  Water every day.

Take a break

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 Strawberries?  What a good idea!

Weed the bed with the lion-head water feature.

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Cut back old flowered stems of euphorbias. Plant Nicotiana mutabilis.

Plant salvias in metal pot.

Then home for a shower and a restorative cup of tea

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Perfect Papaver.

Priceless.

Friday 21st June 2019

It’s roses all the way in June…

A perfect pink polyantha

As it’s Midsummer’s Day, we were reminded that this is the time to prune spring flowering shrubs, such as kerria, forsythia, lilac and philadelphus.  Cutting off the old flowered stems/wood promotes the growth of new shoots – and it’s on these that next year’s flowers will bloom.  If a shrub is too tall, take out 1 in 3 stems to the base in order to encourage new growth.

Plant Ident.

With 68 roses in the garden here, there are always more to look at.  So we do.

Rosa Mundi

Also known as Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’, this beautiful old rose has semi-double flowers splashed with pinks and white.  Bushy and compact; bears hips in the autumn.  Not many thorns – and fragrant.  Looks like raspberry ripple.  (Mmmm, raspberry ripple!)  Can’t beat it, don’t eat it.  0.9 x 0.9 m

Rosa ‘Clarence House’

Bred by Peter Beales in honour of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for her 100th birthday.  This Modern Climber is repeat-flowering, highly scented and strong-growing.  The creamy-white double blooms have pale yellow centres and the leaves are a lovely glossy green.  3.6 x 3.0 m

Rosa ‘The Fairy’

A little beauty, which, though small in stature, is perfectly formed.  Repeat flowering.  In fact it flowers prolifically almost continuously throughout the summer.  Great for ground cover, and has lovely shiny foliage.  Get a Fairy for your garden.  0.6 x 1.2 m.

Rosa ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’

An excellent climbing hybrid perpetual rose, much loved by the writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West.  Probably one of the best climbers for a north facing wall, because the deep red flowers are prone to fading in full sun.  Repeat flowering, few thorns.  Loves regular and plentiful feeding.  That makes two of us.  3.0 x 2.0 m

Rosa ‘Maigold’

Glorious yellow-copper/orange blooms with golden stamens open from small, reddish buds.  This robust, repeat-flowering climber has glossy green leaves and is strongly scented.  Thorny.  Can take any aspect, including a north wall.  Belongs to the rose family Pimpinellifolia.  No idea what that means, but it’s a lovely word.  4.5 x 2.5 m

Rosa ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’

A repeat-flowering Rugosa old shrub rose.  Robust – good in coastal areas.  Large, perfumed crimson/purple flowers are followed by wonderful autumnal hips.  Good autumn colour too.  A beauty.  1.8 x 1.5 m

Rosa ‘Little White Pet’

Lives up to its name – a real little pet.  A repeat-flowering Polyantha rose, with many trusses of small white-cream flowers throughout the summer.  Fragrant.  0.6 x 0.6 m

Rosa ‘Harlow Carr’

David Austin Rose Harlow Carr

A fragrant English shrub rose bred by David Austin.  Bushy habit; strong, upright growth; flowers well all over.  1.0 x 1.0 m

Rosa ‘Ballerina’

Repeat flowering hybrid musk rose.  Generous sprays of small, pink/white, single flowers cover this attractive rose.  Good for ground cover/front of border.  Little fragrance but showy.  1.0 x 1.2 m

Rosa de Rescht

Portland rose family.  The roses of this shrub are the most beautiful, deep magenta-purple/pink.  Very fragrant, repeat-flowering.  Its flowers almost have a pompon dahlia look about them.  1.0 x 0.6 m

Rosa ‘Shailer’s White Moss’

Shailer's White Moss (Shrub Rose)

Another old rose.  This one is a Moss shrub rose, and is the white form of Rosa centifolia ‘Muscosa’.  Intensely mossed, this semi-double rose is strongly scented and has pure white flowers.  Summer flowering.  1.5 x 1.2 m.

Thanks to David Austin Roses for photo of R. ‘Harlow Carr’.  Thanks to Peter Beales Roses for all other rose photographs.  

Jobs for the week 

The garden was to be the venue for an event held by the Brighton Oasis Project in the afternoon, so had to look at its best – especially as the Mayor of Brighton was coming!  Tidying, clearing the pond, weeding, feeding, watering, cutting back were the order of the day.  All in aid of maximising  a marvellous Visitor Experience.

The feedback was Very Positive!

For some, the heat of the day proved too much, so a spot of immersion was called for.

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Very funny

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Come here and say that….

I think he’s just told her that old Two Ronnies joke about fork handles…

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Little jewellery boxes of succulents

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Such treasures

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Here are two more treasures

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Pricking out and potting on

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Planting

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Pondering

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Perfecting

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Potting up.

We must take time to notice the delights of little flowers

Like Nigella

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She’s a lovely girl.

Friday 14th June 2019

“…he who dares not grasp the thorn

Should never crave the rose.”

                            (Anne Bronte)

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Ah!  Looks like we crave roses at Garden House

Plant Ident.

We continued the theme of roses; Bridge has counted 68 different varieties in the garden. Can anyone beat that? This week we looked at:

Rosa ‘Wollerton Old Hall’

A wonderful, fragrant climber – its scent is said to be like myrrh with a hint of citrus.  Sounds mysterious!  Repeat-flowering, its large apricot blooms fade to cream.  Another winner from David Austin. 1.5 x 2.4m  (This photo courtesy of David Austin Roses.)

R. ‘François Juranville’ 

François Juranville (Rambling Rose)

A Wichurana rambler, 4.5 x 3m.  Many prefer this to R. Albertine.  Spectacular.  Double.  Dark pink.  Not much in the way of fragrance, but by way of compensation, the Peter Beales catalogue says it can be grown on a north facing wall.  (Thanks to Peter Beales Roses for all other rose photos in the Plant Ident section)

R. ‘Meg’

This is an outstandingly beautiful modern climber.  Its large, single flowers are buff-yellow flushed with apricot; repeat flowering and fragrant.  The foliage is dark and glossy.  The one in the garden here was planted in memory of Margaret Blyth, a member of Friday Group for many years.  2.4 x 1.2m,

R. ‘Veilchenblau’

This multiflora rambling rose is vigorous in habit, growing to around 4.5 x 3.6m.  Clusters of semi-double violet-blue flowers scramble through trees when allowed to do so, creating an extraordinary effect.  As they fade they turn blue-lilac then lilac-grey.  Few thorns.

R. ‘Crépuscule’

A Noisette rose.  Almost continuously flowering, producing orange-apricot blooms through the summer.  Few thorns.  Scented.  Can take partial shade.  3.6 x 1.5m.

R. ‘Jacqueline du Pré’

Another modern shrub rose, semi-double, repeat flowering and with strikingly lovely pinky-red stamens.  Musky fragrance.  Just beautiful…

R. ‘Bonica’

A modern shrub rose which repeat flowers over a long period.  Its semi-double blooms are fragrant and a lovely soft pink.  Grows vigorously, so is good for ground cover and hedging, but can be grown in a pot too.  An excellent little rose. 0.9 x 1.5m

R. ‘New Dawn’

New Dawn (Climbing Rose)

A lovely pale pink climbing rose.  3 x 2.5m.  Scented – and suitable for growing on a north wall.

R. ‘Buff Beauty’

An exquisite long-flowering hybrid musk rose.  Apricot-yellow and fragrant.  A vigorous sort, it can be trained as a small climber.  Lives up to its name – a beauty.  1.5 x 1.2m.

R. ‘Peter Beales’

A modern shrub rose.  Clusters of bright-red, single flowers are set off by attractive yellow stamens coming from the yellow centre.  Fragrant, repeat-flowering and produces decorative hips in the autumn if not dead-headed.  So, don’t dead-head.  1.2 x 0.9m.

R. ‘Mermaid’

Glossy leaves contrast well with the stunning pale yellow fading-to-white flowers of this lovely climbing rose.  Long-flowering and scented.  Can be grown on a north wall.  Take care though – it’s prickly!  6 x 4.5m

R. x odorata ‘Bengal Crimson’

Single, light-crimson flowers adorn this China rose, which grows with a lax habit.  Should flower every day of the year!  Get one to check this out.  2 x 2m.

– and here it is in the garden

 

As usual, everyone at Friday Group was hard at work.  See evidence below:-

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here

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here

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and here.

Excellent stuff.

Friday 7th June 2019

 

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Dear old Flanders and Swann.  Their weather forecasting is sadly proving to be more and more appropriate.  “June just rains and never stops.  Thirty days and spoils the crops.”  As optimistic gardeners, we can only respond with the age-old adage: “We need the rain.  The gardens will be glad of it.”

The Garden Room provides a cosy shelter as we wait for a gap in the showers…. everyone is keen to stay indoors.

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Well, I’m certainly not going out in that, thank you very much.  Indoors for me.

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Purrrfect.  Lovely and dry

Even the pots are taking shelter

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Well, it would be potty not to

So, on with the Plant Ident.  And given the huge numbers of roses at Garden House, this week we looked at more of them.

An extravagance of roses

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Rosa ‘Chevy Chase’

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This multiflora rambling rose is fragrant, vigorous and produces small, crimson, double roses in great profusion.  Flowers from early summer to autumn.  Holds its colour in full sun, but also able to contend with being planted in woodland.  (4.5m x 3m).  A big favourite with Bridge.  Get one.

Rosa ‘Pompon de Paris’

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Oh, là là! The name alone conjures up images of Gay Paree; a laugh, a song, a tiddly om pom pom.  A small, early-flowering climber.  Very pretty.  Lovely delicate leaves, which are described as “fern-like”, offset beautiful, bright pink blooms. (3.6m x 1.8m).

Rosa ‘Leah Tutu’

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Bred by Peter Beales Roses as a tribute to the wife of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, this is a repeat-flowering modern shrub rose.  Fragrant, golden-yellow, with glossy, dark green foliage.

Rosa glauca

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This species rose (wild rose) is sometimes known as ‘Rosa rubrifolia’.  The simple but elegant single flowers are carried on arching stems.  The foliage is glaucous in colour.  Lovely red hips appear later on, in the autumn.  (2m x 1.5m approx.)

Rosa ‘James Galway’

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A short English climbing rose, bred by David Austin Roses.  The large, beautiful, pink double flowers become lighter towards the edges and have an Old Rose scent.  Easy, disease resistant and an excellent repeat bloomer.  Can be grown as a large shrub.  (3.75m x 1.2m)

Rosa ‘Francis E. Lester’

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This delightful climber is from the Moschata family of roses.  The numerous single white flowers, with bright golden anthers, are washed pink at the edges of the petals.  Highly scented.  Has glossy green foliage.  Small, decorative orange-red hips in the autumn.  (4.5m x 3m).  Gorgeous.

Rosa ‘Alan Titchmarsh’

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Another David Austin rose, named for the well-known horticulturalist, writer and broadcaster.  An English shrub rose with large, deep pink, fragrant blooms held on slightly arching stems.  Tough and healthy with good disease resistance.  (1.2m x 1.2m)

Rosa ‘William Lobb’

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A Centifolia Moss rose – ‘Old Velvet Moss’.  A vigorous shrub, which needs support.  Can be trained into a sort of spider shape by pulling down its branches and staking them.  This encourages flowering along the horizontals.  The buds have the appearance of being covered in moss, and open to reveal large, double, purple-magenta blooms.  Deliciously fragrant, but a somewhat thorny customer!

Rosa ‘Compassion’

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This  superb Climbing Hybrid Tea rose was Geoff Hamilton’s favourite.  Best grown up a wall rather than on an arch, as it has a rather stiff, upright habit and its stems can snap when being trained.  Vigorous, healthy and with a strong, sweet fragrance, the flowers are pink/coral pink in colour.  Repeat flowering; disease resistant.  A good ‘un.

Rosa ‘Phyllis Bide’

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This rambler bears sprays of small, semi-double apricot/pink flowers flushed with yellow at the centre.  Unusually for a rambler, it’s repeat-flowering.  Fragrant.  (3.6m x 1.8m)

Rosa ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’

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A Musk Rambler, and another one that repeat flowers.  Very attractive, with glossy, green foliage – and few thorns!  Profuse clusters of flowers which fade from apricot-pink to cream.  Can be grown successfully over an arch – as at Garden House.  Bridge loves this one.  (2.4m x 2.4m)

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And here she is, the lovely Ghislaine, having a rollicking time of it out in the garden.  Breathtakingly beautiful.

Our favourites?  Well, we loved R.’Chevy Chase’ and R. ‘Francis E. Lester’ and also the wildness of Rosa glauca.  But ask us again next week, and we’ll probably have three different answers.

Jobs for the week:

In theory, despite the rain, we are going to ….

Plant and stake dahlias

Feed the roses

With Uncle Tom’s Tonic – and check that each rose has the correct label. (There are around 70 different types of rose in the garden now, so good luck!)

Water and feed our summer display pots

As per

Remove the alliums

…from the bed next to the greenhouse, as they have now finished flowering.   Do this carefully, ensuring their stems and seed heads are kept intact.  Add compost to the bed.  Plant Nicotiana, Amaranthus and Hordeum jubatum.

Prick out foxgloves and black violas

Sow more foxglove seeds and other biennials

Deadhead all euphorbias

…being careful of the milky white sap.  It’s highly toxic and an irritant to skin and eyes.

In fact, what actually happened was this…..

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Just kidding

In reality we were out and about in wetsuits, snorkels and flippers

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The fruits of their labour

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But we’ll have to wait until next year to appreciate them in all their glory

Like this

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In the meantime, pop the seedlings into the greenhouse on regulo 2

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Meanwhile, somewhere else in the garden…..

Now, these must all be the same length

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Don’t worry.  It’s simple

As easy as the C major scale on the piano

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Around about there?

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Crikey!  Watch out for my fingers…

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Oh, sorry.  Do you play the piano?

It’s OK.  Someone’s keeping an eye on things

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So, another good day, in spite of the rain

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In fact, maybe because of it

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A weekly account of the activities of the Friday Gardening Group at the Garden House in Brighton