A selection of photos from my perambulations over the last few months. Continue reading Come into my world
So much happens in May, you blink and you miss it. When you open your eyes in June though, everything has gone from dull browns to a multitude of bright greens and the first pin pricks of colour from Lupins and Alliums. Continue reading We’re back in business
I can’t be very observant. I’ve been visiting Regent’s Park my whole life but only paid attention to the incredible planting last summer. Thousands of roses, tropical paradise borders, Japanese areas and more. It’s like visiting Kew Gardens without the fourteen quid entry fee. One of London’s best free attractions. Look… Continue reading Regent’s Park a high summer stunner
Stepping onto Great Dixter soil is like stepping into a dream world of wispy, airy meadows, curvy Dali-esque hedges, alien jungles and a colourful patchwork of plants you’ve never seen elsewhere. Continue reading Great Dixter – a garden outside of time
It started with a lama and ended with an allotment of Delphiniums, with wildflower meadows and immaculate fields in between. Enough said really. Continue reading A walk on the South Downs at dusk
On the first morning of our summer holiday in Sussex we were diverted by rain from Wakehurst to nearby Standen House, and I’m glad we were. If it weren’t for the rain, we probably wouldn’t have visited and what a mistake that would have been. Continue reading Standen House, East Grinsted
I was just moseying around Brighton at lunch and four houses caught my eye down a street by the North Laines. They don’t have gardens but that didn’t stop them. Dahlia-tastic. Continue reading Brighton Pots: who needs a garden to garden?!
The National Garden Scheme (NGS) is brilliant because it raises money for charity and lets us snoop around other people’s gardens! It’s great fun and, once you get past the awkwardness of going into a stranger’s garden, a great way of meeting other enthusiastic plant obsessives! Continue reading 35 Turret Grove Open Garden
Back at the start of the year we spent ages trying to decide the type of window boxes to get for our bay window and what flowers to go in them. In the end, opting for slate blue/grey resin for a contemporary but weathered look, which is light to carry and frost resistant.
For flowers, this year I wanted something simple, to create a single line of colour with a single type of plant. It worked well for our previous neighbour and I’d seen how striking keeping it simple can be. I also wanted the flower to be blue and to last throughout the whole summer. I stumbled upon Brachyscombe Blue, an Australian daisy like plant. Perfect as daisies type flowers against green foliage looks quite modern.
The first day on 1st April looked like this…
I was immediately pleased with the look as it was quite sleek and modern. Brachyscombe is apparently not particularly hardy in the UK, so treated like an annual. We’ll see come winter.
Immediately after planting the flowers all vanished but after a month or so, they were back and it’s flowered constantly ever since.
Here are the window boxes after a month or so, which looked great from the street:
Deadheading and cutting back
I’m not sure if Brachyscombe definitely need dead heading, it’s hard to find the advice online. However I did notice that if I didn’t deadhead, the number of flowers seemed to slow down. After a month or so of deadheading individual flowers, I soon found this to take far too long. Also, the clumps were becoming a little straggly, flopping over the side and pulling unsightly gaps into the plants. So I followed some advice from online, which recommended cutting annuals back hard.
Just a tad brutal…! I actually quite liked these little tufty grass-like mounds. Anyway, two weeks later they bounced back with more flowers than ever and currently look like this:
As you can see, they came back better than ever!
All in all, I’d recommend Brachyscombe iberidifolia blue for containers and window boxes. Their flower power is strong and they keep on going all through summer with a little liquid feed each month, I guess until the first frosts.
There are some downside though which mean I’ll try something different next year: the type I have aren’t exactly the sky blue they were originally, more a light mauve (although bluer than the photos show); they close up in the evening, so you only see the full display in the day time at weekends really. That’s it.
In July 2014 we went on a road trip around the north of England and Scotland, covering off some of the most beautiful areas of country the UK has to offer. A real highlight for Chris and I was Cragside in Northumberland. Continue reading Cragside, Northumberland
In the summer of 2014 we had a staycation in the UK, roadtripping it to Yorkshire, Northumberland, Scotland, the Lake District through to Buckinghamshire. We’d recently joined the National Trust and we massively made use of our membership on this road trip, visiting more than a handful of manors and estates in the week. But one that stood above most, inspiring me greatly was Biddulph Grange. Continue reading Biddulph Grange