A super low maintenance plant for ground cover

In our front garden – the bit that sticks out into our cul-de-sac road – we’ve a Cotoneaster horizontalis, otherwise known as wall spray or rockspray, that has grown to cover the area.

I mention this here because of its good value in the garden. To keep the plant prostrate, as in the photo, I prune any upright shoots. It’s been covered in these lovely red berries for weeks. Luckily blackbirds have yet to find it.

June 2019 local events diary No9: Frimley Green Gardens Open: Sunday 9th June

A big oops – have omitted the floriferous Frimley Green Gardens Open Day event on Sunday 9th June. We’re regular visitors to the gardens, always begining with cake and tea on the Green.

I’ve added the event to my diary recap list HERE.

I love grasses, but one has run rampant

Not everyone will be as keen as me on grasses. If we had the room in our garden I’d have a Piet Oudolf style landscape of grasses. Here’s a tale of what can happen with a love of grasses.

In our small front garden we’ve a variety of grasses. Looking out from our kitchen window I see the tall golden oats – Stipa gigantea – gently wafting in the breeze. By its movement it tells me how windy it is. I love the way that the tall fronts grow from nothing, till in early summer they reach their full height – 6-8 feet.

We have, or I should say I’ve, as my dear wife isn’t as keen on grasses as I am, a tall feather reed grass – Calamagrotis ‘Karl Foerster, which is good value, as it doesn’t spread, and grows tall in a stately fashion, just like the Stipa.

Then we have quaking grass – Briza maxima, whose pale green flower heads dance even when there is almost no wind. I planted it quite a few years ago, and nothing much happened, I thought it had died. How wrong I was, this is the second year in which it has become rampant, seeding itself everywhere. At least it has shallow roots and can be pulled up. But, when it’s taken over, then I think it maybe time to reconsider the desighn of our front garden. It is lovely though, so I may reconsider.

One to please me, and one to please the bees

It’s taken a good few months for our Iris Red Ember to come into flower. and happy that I am it has done so. It’s quite a dramatic colour, the darkness being relieved by the bright yellow spot.

And for the bumble bees and honey bees there’s our Cotoneaster horizontalis over which they’re swarming in absolute delight at the mass of small flowers, and for me it’s terrific ground cover that minimizes weeding.

Visiting Westways Farm gardens in Chobham for NGS

Yesterday, being such a warm and sunny day, was a perfect day for a National Garden Scheme garden visit.

Which garden to choose, that was the question. There were so many open – eight in Hampshire and six in Surrey. Should it be near or far? Hampshire or Surrey? We plumped for Surrey, and for local over far.

Result, we visited Westways Farm, Gracious Pond Road, Chobham. Described as a,

6 acre garden surrounded by woodlands planted in 1930s with mature and some rare rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias, underplanted with bluebells, lilies and dogwood; extensive lawns and sunken pond garden.

The outstanding feature of Westways Farm are the collection of mature rhododendrons and azaleas set in a woodland setting. The colours of the azaleas were enchanting, plus the tea and cake were what I always look orward too.  Here are my photos of our visit, focus naturally on rhodos and azaleas.

Spring flowers looking resplendent before storm Gareth arrives

The daffodils in our front garden, the recently planted Narcissus ‘Giant Yellow’ and the established Hawera variety, along with the cherry trees in our village, are putting on a grand resplendent show.

I hope that the coming storm Gareth doesn’t reduce their fine show.

Daffodil Giant Yellow, which I’ve said before is a new planting for me, is big and blousey, while Hawera is of a subtle and more refined variety. Both are good value. Here are photos of them to enjoy – click to enlarge.

Along comes the rain and spoils things

I wondered, when writing about the opening of spring flowers, whether I was tempting fate? Seems so.

Our large Camellia ‘Italiana’ has over the last few days burst into flower, only for those flowers to be spoiled by today’s rain. Luckily, not too much rain that all the flowers are spoiled.

Here are a couple of photos of the blooms. Interestingly there are a couple of pink blooms among the myriad of white tinged pink ones [ click to expand and enjoy].