Showing posts from August, 2020

Wildflower Wednesday: Fox and Cubs

As promised last month , here's the latest wildflower addition I've found here at VP Gardens . We don't need to go far to see it because it's popped up at the edge of the front lawn, just a few feet away from our front door. There aren't that many orange wildflowers here in the UK in my experience*, so this time a simple Google of 'orange wildflower UK' came up with the instant answer. We're looking at Pilosella aurantiaca aka fox and cubs, the latter name is so much easier to remember! **   I guess it was only a matter of time before this plant arrived in my garden, as I've admired quite a few broad swathes of it on the grassed areas on our estate here in Chippenham. I now have a dilemma; whether to leave or not as it's invasive. The site linked to above has dire warnings about it, despite its attractive appearance: "This attractive member of the daisy family makes a wonderful display in summer when it appears on roadside verges and bank

Postcard from Poole Harbour

I'm back from a few days in Dorset where we combined some clearance of NAH's aunt's house with using it as a Covid-safe holiday cottage for some much needed rest and relaxation. We both agreed it worked better than expected and plan to return again in a few weeks. It was a bittersweet time, especially on our final day when I set off to walk around the Holes Bay part of Poole Harbour and realised I was reprising the walk my aunt-in-law and I had undertaken over 30 years ago to Upton House , when she was around the same age as I am now. It made for a thoughtful and mindful walk. I love the relationship between sky, plants and water Poole Harbour provides - summed up in this postcard - and how easy it is to leave the centre of Old Poole behind in this particular walk, which started from the back door. It's a special place.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Mind the Gap

I must admit I've not been that brilliant in the past at filling the gap that always appears in the top terrace bed mid summer. The alliums like it here so much the initial couple of packs I planted have grown into 150+ blooms this spring. Down on the lower terrace bed asters and anemone 'White Swan' manage to fill in admirably, but I've yet to get it right at the top. My attempts so far struggled to grow past the dense leaf cover the alliums throw out at the start of the year. Fast forward a few weeks and I was pondering a couple of gaps and thought some dahlias would fit in just right . I scoured the local nurseries and garden centres, but either their offerings had been snapped up, or the problems we've heard suppliers had during coronavirus meant they never actually appeared. Fast forward another couple of weeks and I never expected the perfect solution to leap out at me as soon as I entered the supermarket to do our weekly shop. It was the pictured dahlia, so w

In the garden with Jane Moore and Planting for Butterflies

It's that time of the year again when there's the perfect excuse to pop into the garden for a break, a cuppa and to take part in the Big Butterfly Count . It's even better when your friend Jane Moore has written a book about them and invites you to join her where she works  to do the count there in the hotel's meadow. Of course mother nature conspired against us on Friday and produced the third hottest day of the year ever in the UK. As a result the butterflies decided to flutter off elsewhere with only the odd tired cabbage white or two plus a gatekeeper putting in a brief appearance during our time together. As you can see we retired to the gazebo instead to shelter from the heat and chat merrily away about the garden and all things butterfly. There was also time for a cuppa, where I spotted Jane's handy butterfly guide pinned to her notice board in the greenhouse. I also got the full tour of the hotel's three acre garden (you can also read Jane's guide h

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day: Ah! Sunflower

I couldn't resist another visit to the sunflower field at Kellaways after my recent Weekend Wandering   there. The first four lines of William Blake's poem are the perfect sentiment to accompany our return and you can read the full poem here .