Apropos nothing in particular

We ventured out yesterday, obviously to a garden centre, because there’s nowhere else to go, is there.

It was to Tenaker Nursery in Chobham. It’s much more of a plant nursery than a garden centre. We, naturally, bought some plants, we only bought plants to fill up a window box and a garden planter. While oggling all the other plants I really wished I could buy, I came across some Veronica gentianoides ‘Tissington White’ on a plant mover. They were at eye height so that I saw them close up, and how lovely they were.

On the way to the nursery, via Fellow Green in West End, we saw and unusual covering of a post box – most amusing [thanks to Adrian Page who alerted me to it].

My last apropos of nothing in particular is this gorgeous old Ferrari.

Admiring the Earlswood Park display of rhododendron flowers

The show of rhododendron blooms at Exbury Gardens, Bodnant, and RHS Wisley are out of bounds for now. Yet, a mass showing of rhododendrons can be seen in all their loveliness near the Waitrose store in Bagshot.

They can be seen in Earlswood Park, which is the land given in mitigation to the adjacent housing estate and Waitrose retail development. See the background about this below in the photo of the map of the area – expand the photo to read the details. The land was previously occupied by Notcutts Garden Centre, and before that by Waterers Nurseries, hence the stands of mature rhododendrons.

I’ve taken many photos of these rhodo blooms, they’re being among my most favourite plants, and from what I saw when out photographing them, bumble bees as well. Below is a small selection of those photos, chosen for their colour. I’ve posted the photos without size reduction. Click on photos to expand and then for greater expansion click on the full size option at the bottom right of the screen.

I’ve written about the display of these rhodos before, and promised myself to identify some of them. It’s not just the flower that needs photographing, the leaves need to be done too, especially the underside, and that’s what I forget to do, having been overcome with the need to see as many flowers as I can. Well, here’s a lockdown challenge.

Boris says, ‘When the whole natural world seems at its loveliest’

Boris used the phrase, in his speech after coming out of hospital, “…. when the whole natural world seems at it loveliest…”, and surely he’s right.

It’s been almost weeks of warm sunny weather, such that our early spring has given us flowers to admire and enjoy. A couple of days ago, in fact in my last outing from home, I came across flowering cherry trees that I just had to stop and gaze at their loveliness – and take a photo of course.

I’m amazed at how our large Camellia ‘Italiana’ has flowered consistently from the beginning of January through to the last few days. The, much needed, burst of rain ended that sequence. Yesterday I took a photo of one of the few remaining blooms. Joy of joys, this flowering is being replaced with the first of our rhodos and azaleas.

While cancellations are understandable, nature lifts my spirits

My March and April diary was full of formal lunches and dinners, and how I was looking forward to them, and meeting with friends. Sadly, all now cancelled. Can’t be helped and were the right thing to do.

Nature does lift my spirits as our Daffodils ‘Saint Kaverne’ come into flower. The ones in the front garden are about to bloom. Those in a back garden planter that get more sun are showing in their full yellow glory. They were just a handful of bulbs left over from last autumn’s planting that I added to a planter. My guilt, about not planting enough bulbs, is assauged by their cheery bright yellowness. Think I need to plant Daffodil bulbs in clumps to get a bigger show, which is what I did when planting the smaller varieties.

They did get a chance to bloom

A number of pots in our garden contain the small but lovely Crocus ‘Giant Yellow’. In the photo, below, of one pot they are mixed with Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe’.

They have much to admire, exhibiting a vibrant and strikingly bright sunny yellow. In the last couple of weeks they’ve had few days to bloom in their full glory. Battered by rain they are now in a sorry state. I’m hoping that their blooming is not entirely over. If it is, at least, the daffodils are coming through strongly.

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.