ABC Wednesday - E is For...

...Exceeding Expectations

A lot of the plants in my garden early on were grown from seed, including this Monarda 'Panorama Mixed', which scents the top terrace bed at this time from July onwards. It disappeared for a couple of years, but last year's wet summer revived it to make a reappearance, and it's a welcome sight for me and the bees again this year. So this lovely cottage garden flower has well exceeded my expectations.

And so have you. I have some further donations to report for my Open Garden fundraiser. Anna, one of my regular commenters has come up with a very thoughtful idea. I'll let her tell you what it is in her own words:

I would love to contribute something towards your fund raising activities. As I am not a crafty soul and you already have some books, I would like to donate a membership to The Cottage Garden Society for a year if you think that this would be appropriate. It is an organisation that has given me pleasure and inspiration over the years. I have especially enjoyed their seed distribution scheme. I imagine that you may well be familiar with the CGS but if not they have a website which gives information about the benefits of membership :

Also Patient Gardener has donated some choice seeds saved from her garden - a selection of: white foxgloves, Primula japonica (which incidentally makes her 'desert island' plant choice over at Blogging from Blackpitts), Carex elata 'Bowles Golden' and Mathiasella. I hadn't come across the latter plant before, so it's great to make its acquaintance.

Last but not least, there was so much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over R. Pete Free's winning of Matthew Wilson's book on Monday, that Matthew has kindly agreed to donate another signed copy. So dry your eyes everyone, especially EmmaT - the game's still on! Incidentally, Matthew and his garden should be making an appearance on Gardeners' World this Friday - should be well worth a look. Friday is also the day for my next prize giveaway, so get donating if you haven't already - you have to be in it to win it!

Do hop over to the ABC Wednesday blog for more pictures on the theme of E.


  1. nice interpretation...

    Check out my Engine here

  2. What fun that the Monarda decided to come back into your garden, it looks wonderful. Does it suffer from mildew? Here that's a big problem with monarda's espcially in wet summers like this one. There seems to be a new generation of Monarda's about that don't suffer from mildew, must check that out.

    You must be very happy that you've reached your target right after the first weekend! Upwards and onwards!

  3. I am hoping that next year my garden is going to look fab. I have a question about grass... I seem to have 2 varietys going on in my lawn, one very dark green, with thicker leaves and a lighter coloured one that doesnt grow as fast. I have been cutting my lawn every 3 days!!! Is that normal? I did put on some evergreen weed and feed. I now have black patches where clover was and grass that is growing like crazy. Do you have a full proof way of making your grass lush and green?

    Also you know we should meet up. I am not that far away from you! Sounds all stalkery doesnt it!

  4. That's a really beautiful Monarda plant... Wonder how long I can remember that name...

  5. Exceeding Expectations is a very clever idea for ABC Wednesday letter E.

    Bear((( )))

  6. Hi - I'm a member of CGS, my local group are very friendly and my monthly posts on garden visits are generally as a result of club outings. I have also enjoyed their seed distribution scheme - many of my unusual plants come via this way.

    As for the Mathisella - its like the one that Monty raved about on GW when he was doing his green garden. It has gorgeous leaves abit like Angelica and sort of cowparsley flowers but its all green.

    The CGS will be mentioned on this week's GW as it is on a cottage garden scheme and I understand that some of the gardens featured are members gardens - but not mine, I suspect you had to be on the national committee!!!

  7. argh, (gnashing of teeth) now I'll have to give you another fiver...

  8. i think you must have extraordinary patience and energy to maintain such a garden - things I don't have.

  9. A great 'E'.
    I'm still enjoying popping over to visit your garden - there's so much that it takes several visits to really appreciate.

  10. What a unique take on the E today. And a gorgeous flower! Congrats on getting more donations - hope it all goes well.

  11. Isn't Matthew Wilson a great guy?

    Much more of a pussycat than The Tiger.


  12. Hi everyone from ABC - I'll check out your posts and comment there.

    Yolanda - it did when I first planted it. It's been OK the past 2 years - I think it's because we've had so much rain.

    SOL - we cut out grass once a week at best. Lush and green is a hit and miss affair here, though someone did compliment us on the state of our lawn the other day - in spite of the moss and clover we know's in there! Wherabouts are you then? I thought you were in Cornwall...

    PG - thanks for the forther info on the CGS. We seem to be getting all sorts of insider info on GW this week!

    Emmat - no you've already donated so you're definitely in...

    HM - so glad you're enjoying it and thanks for your donation :)

    GM - Meow indeed ;) And yes, he's one of my faves :)

  13. Beautiful Monarda. I planted some "petites" this spring, but so far they've been rather disappointing. I do hope they come back strong next year.

    Congratulations on all the success you've had so far on your fundraiser, and the kindness of friends who've donated some great prizes. Wish I was eligible for those seeds! By the way, I put in a plug for you on my last post; hope some more U.S. bloggers drop by.

  14. I have just tracked down the Matthew Wilson book in our local library -it looks as if it would be a great addition to anybody's bookshelf. Good to see a fellow CGS member here :)

  15. i don't know if i can be bothered with monardas. Ha ha! Finally one plant you haven't managed to convert me on!

  16. Rose - they're a lovely late edition to the garden aren't they. Thanks for the link over at your place - I've added you to the links list

    Anna - you're right, worth tracking down. And I'm glad to make the aquaintance of the CGS

    Emmat - I'll just have to work that bit harder then won't I ;)


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