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Showing posts from October, 2020

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Helianthus 'Lemon Queen'

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Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' is a late summer stalwart on my patio. I have a longish narrow bed in the corner, dominated by a fig tree and with a couple of winter flowering clematis growing up our neighbour's garage wall. This is a perennial sunflower, which grows to 5 or 6 feet tall, with lighter yellow flowers than most of its perennial and annual cousins. Personally, I think the lighter lemon suits the softer rays of autumn's sunshine.This area doesn't have a decent depth of soil, which is fine for the fig, but at the height of summer my sunflowers suffer a little. As a consequence this is the only garden bed which gets an additional watering, usually the waste water from our kitchen. I now have a couple of options to consider: either to build up the soil depth with a thick mulch so my sunflowers fare better, or to replace them with something else. Earlier in the year I was all for replacing them with raspberries as part of my Allotment at Home endeavours as that…

A mindfulness walk

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Two years ago we visited Rufford Old Hall whilst on holiday in Lancashire. I spotted they had a Mindfulness Walk leaflet at the entrance and when NAH said he needed his post lunch nap, I decided to try it. I found it most calming and since then I've adapted it for my own garden.I've found it a useful way to start the day, even when it's raining and seeing today is World Mental Health Day, I thought you might like to see it too. Note, I'm not a mental health expert, nor a trained practitioner in any way, but if the following helps just one person, then I'm happy it's done some good.I've deliberately created some cards rather than using photos of my own garden to help make it suitable for any time of the year and I hope that'll make it easier for you to adapt too. Feel free to choose a different order to the one shown for your own circumstances, and/or omit any steps that don't 'speak' to you, though I recommend doing the Breathe part as a min…

Dahlia delight at Chenies Manor

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I had a glorious afternoon at Chenies Manor House last week and here's a view of the delicious Grade I listed property from the gardens to show off its setting. Those twisted chimneys tell us it dates back to Tudor times and I later found out their maker went on to build the famous ones at Hampton Court.The place has a 'settled in' feel about it which sits perfectly at home with its surroundings and village, probably because there's been a manor house there since Anglo Saxon times, if not earlier. It makes for a relaxing place to explore.
The garden's planting is structural yet romantic and divided into several 'rooms'. It's noted for its dahlias at this time of the year and they were opulent and delightful.
Another strong feature were the sculptures which added a contemporary note to the Tudor influenced design. I feel I've been following a particular sculptor around the past few weeks - Jenny Pickford -  the creator of the floral sculpture you can s…

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: I would plant...

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I've made no secret of my love of apples and it gladdens my heart to see it's the best year ever for my crop here at VP Gardens. Despite giving up my ten trees up at the allotment, two out of the three I have here have outdone themselves this year.

Blossom time coincided with April's warm weather and the sound of happy bees droning through the flowers led to pretty much 100% pollination. Even with the drastic June Drop I showed you during the dry months of early summer, the branches of my 'Herefordshire Russet' and 'Red Windsor' are groaning downwards with fruit.
I've been harvesting them since late August and we still have hundreds of apples to go. Freezer space has been cleared so I can load it up with chopped, cooked apples to go with my winter porridge. This takes care of the damaged fruit and soon I'll wrap the perfect specimens for storage.
Of all the crops in my garden, apples are proving to be well worth their space in terms of both beauty and…