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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Scented Garden - Lavender

Scent in the garden is an elusive delight, but a powerful one.  Lavender has been grown in gardens from late medieval times, and the essential oil used for perfumes.  The oil is a powerful, natural antiseptic.  Perhaps this is why the Romans used it in their baths; its name comes from the Latin verb lavare, meaning to wash. (Anna Pavord)
"ladies fair, I bring to you
lavender with spikes of blue;
sweeter plant was never found
growing on our english ground."
Caryl Battersby I have a small Lavender hedge in the garden whose fragrance gives me great pleasure.  It is planted at the edge of the path so that when I walk past I brush against it .  On a soft summer evening the the garden fills with its scent.
"lavender, sweet lavender;
come and buy my lavender,
hide it in your trousseau, lady fair.
Let its flovely fragrance flow
Over your from head to toe,
lightening on your eyes, your cheek, your hair."
Cumberkand Clark Flower Song Book 1929 Each year I take a few cuttings and …

Flower of the Month

  I didn't realise,  until I started taking photos of the garden, just how many different types of Geraniums I had.  I love them for their hardiness, and for the fact that the slugs don't bother with them, they flower for ages and repeat flower if you chop them back.  The are easy to take cuttings of or to split the plant to make several others.  A definite godsend for the garden.

Top row:  Ann Folkard - Wargrave Pink with Johnsons Blue in the background - (not quite sure of the name of the third one.
Middle row:  Kashmir White - scent leaf - scent leaf
Bottom row:  Pelargoniums - varieties unknown

I have no idea what the spikey pink one is - it was given to me by a friend and is planted under the damson tree in the shade - it seems to thrive there, after it has flowered I use the shears and chop it back quite hard and it flowers all over again - eventually.

There is one missing from the photos - an early one - with lavender flowers - my favourite

This was taken at th…

An English Country Garden

If you want to see a typical English country garden then visit Coton Manor in Northamptonshire.  The garden covers 10 acres on a hillside location extending down from a 17th century manor house built in  mellow Northamptonshire stone.
I went on a visit there yesterday with a friend as it only takes about half an hour to get there from where we live.We struck lucky with the weather - it  was a gloriously sunny day - I know - a rare occasion - just right for strolling round the gardens, woodland and meadows.
The reason I like this garden is that it is do-able - you can translate areas of the garden into something you can achieve in your own garden.
There is a stableyard cafe which services delicious lunches and afternoon teas - with a resident parrot who you can have a good chat with, and where there are plenty of plants for sale.

There is a beautiful three acre wildflower meadow which was full of ox eye daisies, clover, vetch  and wild carrot.
The herbaceous borders are beautifu…

Fancy A Walk?

When I am busy in the garden I don't have much time for walking  - but after being stuck indoors on Monday I felt like re-acquainting myself with the village where I live.  There is a circular route that takes you right around the village - fancy taking a walk with me to see what we can see?

Turn left at the end of the road and you come to Dag Lane, only enough width for one car and fields on either side.  This is where all the 'dog walkers' seem to congregate.

The views across the Laughton Hills are wonderful, especially on a sunny day or a winters day when there are no leaves to disturb the view.

The hedge banks are full of wild flowers - foxgloves

and vetch

at the end of Dag Lane you follow the road round and come to Laughton Lane and the village Cricket pitch

past lovely pink Campions

and a cathedral of trees, especially welcome shade on a hot summers day

where the Elder are just coming into flower

at the end of the road is the abandoned Wesleyan Chapel

at the crossro…

Keep Your Eyes Down

As I have only just got back from holiday I haven't had a chance to go out in the garden to see what has happened whilst I have been away so I thought I would add an article published by
Helen Dillon - On Gardening until I am able to check out what has changed over the past week.

"The chief problem of gardening is one of application.  How often does one set off with the firm intention, say, of watering the beans, only to be so distracted en route that you never get there?  Well, there was the rose that needed deadheading, so you had to go back for the secateurs.  Going to fetch the secateurs, you spot some seedlings crying out for water.  Returning with the watering-can you pass petunias, in even more urgent need of water.  Now you may as well deadhead them whilst you are about it.  Now back in the deadheading mode, off again for the secateurs.  But on the way to the shed you notice a hairy bittercress, loathsome weed, its seedheads just about to burst.  Imagining all the va…