Previous month:
June 2011
Next month:
August 2011

July 2011

Pruning summer fruiting raspberries

i've mentiond before that Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits and there's nothing better than having a fresh supply from the garden all through the summer.


during July, the summer fruiting varieties will finish producing, and need pruning.

if you're not sure which type your raspberries are, - these are summer (fruited raspberries) on the left, next to Autumn (about to fruit over the next few weeks) on the right.

at ground level, it's a lot easier to see.

The canes which have fruited were produced last year, - so are the old brown canes. Next year's raspberries will come on the newly sprouted green canes, - so we don't want to cut them out, just the old brown ones.

These summer fruiting types are slightly harder to work out what needs pruning compared to the Autumn fruiting types, which are just cut cut back completely in February details here.

The main thing is to get out there in the next couple of weeks to prune now, so that the next years growth gets the rest of the season to grow away. Also make sure the summer and autumn canes are separated so that it is easy to sort them out.

Happy raspberry picking


Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2011

it's the middle of the month already, so it must be time for a detailed look at what's flowering in my garden. Thanks to Carole at May Dream Gardens for this chance to have a look round the world at some July Blooms.

Most of my roses are through their first flush of flowers, - but this Rosa Surrey ground cover rose is in partial shade and is still looking lovely.

I'm very pleased that my eryngium is seeding itself round the garden, This particular bloom is from a plant in the paving next to the border.

My scented phlox and lily combination is fading fast because of the heat, but I was actually amazed that the lily had 3 big blooms bearing in mind it has been eaten by lily beetles all season. The clematis is Princess Diana.

it's not all pinks and pastels in my garden at this time, - I love this Mondarda, Helenium combination, and my geranium Rozanne is adding in a vibrant purple blue to this border as well.

My foliage bed has shone this season, with the Hosta's benifitting from very few slugs, and the flowers are now giving a display as well.

and looking closely at the beds has shown me that these have come out in the last couple of days - Cyclamen Hederifolium

I've also got Calendula, Verbena bonariensis, Sunflowers, Verbascum, Hydrangeas, Helianthus, Erigeron karvinskianus, Achillea ptarmica the pearl, and Aster frikatii monch flowering.

Border Planting - The view from the kitchen window

Have you got to that point where the inside of the house is done, but now you need to get the outside to be as stylish.


This was the point my clients had got to in March. The view from the kitchen window was a mismatched border with little light and a child's toy and pots dumping ground

Continue reading "Border Planting - The view from the kitchen window" »

Border Planting - Bold and Brilliant update

At the begining of the year, I showed you how my Bold and Brilliant border, planted last June had turned out so far. Now i've got an update as it's a full year since it was planted.


Last Winter started with a killing frost in October, that turned the dahlias in this border black overnight. But my clients were very sensible and put a thick layer of mulch over them straight away, to help them through the winter. The other half hardy plants - the Salvia Patens and the Pennisetum Fireworks unfortunately didn't make it through the frost

Of the hardy plants, the phormiums suffered the most. Although they weren't killed, they are not looking as strong this year.

However, the Verbena bonariensis, and the cosmos obviously LOVED the soil conditions and have multiplied profusely by seeding themselves.

The Stipa Gigantea and the miscanthus grasses have grown furiously, and the fennel - planted from 9cm pots, are now about 8ft tall.

By mid May with the Alliums in full bloom, the cosmos were big enough to be transplanted to fill all the areas that had spaces from the half hardy plants.


Last week, this was the border, full of bloom, - the only addition this year being one pack of Californian poppy seed.

This time last year, - this is what it looked like


It's also now possible to see that 80% of the Dahlias have survived the winter, - The agapanthus, Sedum and Helenium, and the other grasses, particularly the red Imperata (at the front of the picture above) have done very well

Here's another view


If you'd like a border that reflects your house and personal style, and will have plants that thrive in your soil conditions, get in touch - - 07813 456854


Catching all the rain

Well it's been duck weather today. Almost Monsoon type showers, with sunny patches (short patches) in between.

i'm now drying out my second set of clothing, so it's time for some more reflection of my day at Hampton Court Flower show on Tuesday.


I always suggest to clients that they get waterbutts to put on their house downpipes. However one of the downsides of waterbutts is that they can look - well decidedly Plastic.

These Wooden Barrel butts seem infinitely more stylish than a plastic bin, and will be just the job for watering all your hanging baskets and pots that sit in the rain shadow of your house.

Now this might look a tad silly next to the house, - but if you've a shed or greenhouse in a woodland corner of the garden, - this could blend in nicely


Don't forget that you need to be able to either dunk, or put a watering can under a tap to fill. Having 2 decent watering cans means you can be filling one, while emptying the other.

These were shown on the Getting greener stand


Hampton Court flower show 2011- my show garden highlights

I spent a lovely day at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, with my friend Helen today. As we were unemcumbered by other halves, we were able to focus solely on plants and gardening, with no gadgets or time out for posh lunches needed, - so here are my thoughts about the gardens which we had time to look at in detail.

This is the Tudor Rose winning (best in show) I am, because of who we are, by Caroline Comber with Petra Horackova. I loved the planting, - not least because there would be something there all  year round with the Bergenia and Euphorbia. Not that those Digitalis would have room to seed for next year.

The rusty metal curves were very striking, and that material was used again in the Vesta Wealth's Gary's Garden by Paul Martin


The Blue agapanthus in this garden were stunning and the pathway, really led you round, although I wasn't that keen on the Pavilion.

This clear Blue was used again with a stunning yellow daylily in this small garden, - the name of which I completly missed, - if someone can let me know i'd be grateful. (Update, thanks to Michelle of Vegplotting, I now know that this is the Deptford Project Garden, An Urban Harvest)

I love that thyme path.

There were several more paths that I noticed. - This Hoggin style surface and planting would look great in a communal space, and I wanted to stroke that sculpture.


This path was also impressive, - even more so when you realise that instead of being raked gravel, it is a resin bound surface. I found out as I watched someone walking over the ridges, - and they didn't move. - Low maintenance design at its best, - just blow away any trimmings from the Buxus balls


I've watched Fiona Stephenson's WWF's garden being built, via Blog posts from Lisa Cox, and on Landscape Juice, so it was great to see the finished product with clear chalk stream - a very successful combination of wild without being too messy.

And from very clear water, to very black water

I wasn't the only person thinking "how would you cut that grass" - on the World Vision Garden.

Best bright colour award. Has to go to the Control the Uncontrollable garden.- Designer Jill Foxley - The 2nd time a pink tap has been shown at HC to highlight this cause.


And last but by no means least (although there is no photo for obvious reasons) was the Garden by night, which we walked past 2ce, before seeing the queue to go in. This Cube lighting sponsored display (designed by Kari Beardsell) is a light excluded marquee. It shows how lighting can make a garden usuable at night, and I was suitably impressed by the different styles of eco friendly LED lights highlighting shurbs, trees and scented bedding like Nicotiana. The entrance to this is opposite the Chalk Stream WWF garden, - and I would really advise a visit.

If you're visiting this week, I hope you have a great time, - My normal park and ride carpark (Tiffin's sport field) was closed this year, so I used the Kingston Grammar sports field (£6) and took the ferry across the river (£1.80 each way) - lovely and near to the gate, and we parked in the shade, so highly recommended.

A new set of garden friends

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that we lost our 3 chickens to the fox last week, - In daylight with me in the house.

Unfortunately like last time, - The fox didn't take the chickens for food, - he just broke their necks and left them there.

We were going to wait until we had completely redone our outer run, - but by the weekend I was missing having company in the garden, and there was noone to feed the slugs to, - so we phoned our Chicken Guy, Dean, and he'd just had a delivery of rescue chickens earlier in the week.


Here are 2 of our new girls (they wouldn't all stay together to get a picture of all three of them.)

They are really nervous to start with, making it quite difficult to catch them, but they'll get used to us in the coming months, - and will soon get used to running up to me to catch slugs.

When they arrive with us, these rescue chickens look in a rather bad way, but by the time they've been with us for a few weeks, they will have plumped out, and have all their feathers back. particularly if they get to sun themselves.


After spotting Mr Fox again last night (they were all safely locked away, but made enough fuss to make me look up) we won't be letting them out except when we're in the garden,

I've had lots of suggestions for helping to deter foxes, - Human hair will get tried, we will look into an electric fence, but I think the shotgun may be a step too far.



Wisley - Sunday morning inspiration

Summer Sunday morning - time to meet with family and friends outside in the sun. I feel fantistically lucky to have The RHS garden at Wisley just 10 minutes down the road. So my Sunday mornings often include a wander and coffee at this world famous garden.

This was the view along the glasshouse borders.

In case you didn't know, - RHS Wisley opens at 9.00am at the weekend. So you get to have fantastic views of stunning borders including the new Rose garden (so good all the Roses have to be smelt)


With the garden almost to yourself.

Then there's the Wild at Wisley playground, where an hour of Den building was the perfect way to let 7 year olds enjoy themselves outside.