Friday, 17 November 2017

York Museum Gardens by Night or Day

We are due to visit York in December to walk around the museum gardens at night with our grandchildren so we had a little recce. We had had the coldest night of the year and I needed to scrape the ice off the car. Most of our plants have somehow escaped the ravages thankfully but this post is about the lovely autumnal colour in the museum gardens. Hydrangeas are sensational at this time of the year so I snapped one I liked against a brick wall.

 Of course, we were able to see the preparations for the night spectacular. As I mentioned to Jan, it's much better to see the gardens in daylight when it's free. Maybe the kids will be happy with the photos.

And I'll throw in the calf we saw in the University grounds.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Memories of Wentworth Gardens, May 8th 2016

I have written here before about the saddest gardening event of  2017 - the closure of the historic Wentworth Gardens.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Clumber Park Yesterday

Clumber Park looked a delight in the pale sunshine.  Four miles, or thereabouts, and my Sony A6300 at hand. We ended by popping into the Walled Garden and Conservatory, hence the chrysanthemums and odd scrap of colour. To rephrase Miranda: "O brave new world, That has such plants in it!"

Monday, 6 November 2017

Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)

My knowledge of wild plants and native trees is lamentable so I have had to look up just what this striking tree or shrub is. I have always wondered but never got round to it. The Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) may be common enough and native to the United Kingdom but it has uncommonly handsome berries and autumn colour. The lucent berries seem wired into the national electricity grid. As November takes us ever nearer winter there is still beauty to behold in our woodlands.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Our old pond and a graveyard for plants

Before the grandchildren came along I had inherited a fiberglass circular pond that I established some 25 years ago. This photograph dates back to something like 2000. The camellia suggests the time of year. I had a few fish in there but it was not deep enough for Koi. I had intended digging a much deeper pool though I never got round to doing it. I also had a few maples, a beautiful if fragile plant in my hands. With one exception they are gone now, as are the hostas, the spiraea, the dwarf conifers. Indeed even the camellia though I did see a shoot funnily enough when I was picking apples from the site last month. The golden Berberis is still there, the stones are under the new shed, the chairs are due, at last, to be recycled and I suspect many of the pots are in bits inside other pots. Sadly all the fish are dead after a drought whilst we were on holiday. And the pool went when Rose arrived on the scene and she is a teenager next month. Judging by today's post, my gardening has been an unmitigated disaster. It's disheartening to look back though the fountain is easier to maintain.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Brodsworth Hall: woodlands, topiary and spring bedding

We use the nearby Brodsworth Hall as our local park. It's a well maintained, inspiring place to visit. Yesterday the woodland looked almost swept by hand, the fallen leaves carpeting the earth, beneath which we know are naturalized bulbs ready to burst out in Spring. Very peaceful.

The orderly nature of the garden may be determined by this view from the folly and looking down on the house and gardens. Lovers of topiary should get out the sat nav.

The summer and spring bedding is a thing of joy. There are no omelettes without broken eggs however and, as the woman on the reception desk told us, thousands of plants and bulbs have just been planted.  Alliums, polyanthus and myosotis were mentioned. Lots of wire netting for the rabbits.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Flowering Dogwood in Autumn

My variety of Cornus is variegated, stunning in autumn, and has never flowered. I have certainly had it for more than ten years and it is, I believe, a red flowered variety though I wouldn't bet the house on it. I live in hope for those elusive flowers. But back to this very morning. I'll forgive it anything with leaves like these, despite a loss of some foliage in the past fortnight.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cotinus coggygria "Palace Purple"

There are few more vivid colours in the autumn border than Cotinus coggygria "Palace Purple", pictured here at Hardwick Hall yesterday. It's a relatively inexpensive shrub that I have had in my garden until I did a clear-out. "Regrets, I've had a few..." I certainly would not have removed it had it been at its very best and it may be due a renaissance.

And while I'm on about Hardwick, here's a little filler that looks rather good for the time of year -  simple, honest to goodness, nasturtiums. And they taste nice with salads.

Not to be outdone, there are alternative fillers and very seasonal at this time of year.

Finally, a colour to die for.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Woodsman, spare that tree, or Dahlias

Nostell Priory on Monday and the gardeners were cutting down the dahlias to enable them to plant their winter bedding. I'm not sure if these particularly fine specimens survived the day. I know frost is the grim reaper but the little guy with the long secateurs was wading into some obviously spent yellow plants and I did try to distract him by admiring the two gorgeous varieties shown here. They must be good because Jan more or less gave me carte blanche to buy some in the Spring. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Front Garden 2005 (detail)

Old photographs are so much more interesting than contemporary ones. I forget things. For example, the agaves. I loved these plants and had others in the back garden. The grandchildren came along and I couldn't risk them impaling themselves on the barbs. So I gave them all away to a contractor working on the outside cladding.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Old photograph and reminder

Our front garden: August 2005.

I cut the grass today and felt the blast of winter. Who knows, maybe the last cut of the year. Some of the plants had to come out. The bulbs have to be given a chance. However I note that many of the shrubs have grown too large and drastic surgery is called for. The above photograph, "discovered" when I commenced uploading all my many, many snaps to Google Photos, spurs me on. It also reminded me that it's time to recommence the blog and record my winter garden as the year progresses.