Friday 22nd April 2022

Cydonia oblonga, the Quince tree, is in full flower at Garden House. Nature’s way of reminding you to save all your empty jam jars now, ready for the benison to come in the autumn.

That’s if you actually managed to eat all the quince cheese you made from last year’s bountiful crop…

Plant ident.

Brought to us today courtesy of Paul Seaborne of Pelham Plants fame. A Nursery not to be missed.

Geum ‘Princess Juliana’

Geums are popular herbaceous plants which develop mounds of neat, dense foliage. Apricot-orange semi-double flowers are held on tall, wiry stems from April/May through to August. A great plant for the spring-early summer border. H. 70 cms

Pulsatilla vulgaris ‘Rote Glocke’

Pelham Plants describes this as the reddest of purple Pasqueflowers. Restrain yourself from dead-heading it, as you’ll want to enjoy the fluffy seedheads later on, and maybe even collect the seeds. ‘Pasque’ relates to Easter time, and it is sometimes known as ‘the Anemone of Passiontide’ for this reason. Loves chalky soils. Plant in full sun.

Lunaria annua ‘Chedglow’

Honestly, it’s ‘Honesty’. Rich burgundy-black leaves and seed pods contrast with glowing lilac-purple flowers. An easy biennial with decorative papery seed cases forming later. A fantastic choice for the spring garden; looks stunning with a froth of forget-me-nots around its feet and offset by a few white Honesty plants planted nearby. A must-have.

Osteospermum compactum ‘Irish’

Fantastic in a container or on a sunny bank. Needs well-drained conditions. Low growing silvery-grey foliage contrasts with bright purple/pink daisy-like flowers from late spring through to autumn. Compact in habit. Good in poor, sandy or gravel soils; it thrives in full sun in the summer. Hardy in well-drained soil. Ht 30 cms.

Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’

Large, scarlet-orange flowers provide a hit of rich colour at this time of year. This form is a sterile hybrid and is an introduction from 2016 by Elizabeth MacGregor; reliable and repeat-flowering. Grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Deadhead regularly. 50 – 60 cms

One wonders if there is a Mr MacGregor, and whether this plant is rabbit-proof? Peter Rabbit would know.

Jobs for the week

This weekend the garden is opening for the National Garden Scheme on both Saturday and Sunday. The call has gone out for plates of cakes (please), and for many hands to make light work of the refreshment stall.

And for Friday Group, today is all about preparation. We call it a V.E. Day, as the aim is to provide the perfect Visitor Experience.

But, oh dear! We’ve already been diverted by the tantalisingly tempting plants set out and ready to sell on the Pelham Plants stall.

Prick out seedlings

Artichokes looking good in the top right of the picture

An esteemed Friday Grouper looking good in the centre of the picture

And lots of little seedlings coming on a treat all over the picture

Clean the Cathedral Greenhouse until it gleams


Tidy the top garden

Glue individual petals back onto Tulips. (The recent windy conditions have taken their toll on some of the early flowerers.) Spray fully flowered Tulips with hairspray to maintain the display for as long as possible. Caution: these techniques are not widely recognised; do not try this at home.

Deadhead, feed and water the Pelargoniums in the upper greenhouse.

Little Dixter

Tidy and sweep area. Prettify the pots

Plant out Sweet Peas

These are Lathyrus ‘Mollie Rilstone’

Plant around the base of the finely crafted Sweet Pea Teepee. It’s a woven wonder.

Weed the cut flower bed and plant out more hardy annuals

General V.E. titivation

To encompass deadheading, weeding, sweeping paths and under no circumstances looking longingly at the plants for sale.

Meticulous weeding going on here

A beautifully posed reminder that perennial weeds go into a black trug for the garden recycling bin. Not into garden compost.

Pots being prettified

Beds weeded. Paths swept

The Boiled Sweets Tulip Bed

Looking delicious!

Peak pink perfection in a pot

And here are some photos from the N.G.S. opening. Photos courtesy of a genius photographer from the Fantastic Friday Forum….

A happy weekend was enjoyed by all