Monday 30 May 2022

Welcome to Gertrude, Susan, Olivia, Geoff, Charles, Emily...

My favourite time of year and some of my roses. Top row left to right: Gertrude Jekyll, Susan Williams-Ellis, Emily Bronte; Middle row: Geoff Hamilton, For Your Eyes Only, Olivia Rose Austin; Bottom Row: Mary Rose, Eyes for You, Charles De Mills.

Emily Bronte is my latest acquisition and she has an apricot centre with pale pink outer petals and a lovely scent.  
Earlier in the month, all my roses had aphids on them, but I have noticed a lot of ladybird larvae helpfully getting rid of them.  
Here is Constance Spry, who only flowers once but looks wonderful while she does.  I have a few others which are not in flower yet - Jacques Cartier, Ferdinand Pichard, Blush Noisette, Cottage Rose, William Shakespeare 2000, so their time will come.  Lots more to enjoy.

Saturday 28 May 2022

Favourite Chelsea gardens, foxgloves and alliums

It is RHS Chelsea week again and it has returned to its normal time of year.  I have never visited in person and I don't think I probably will - I am not someone who enjoys being in large crowds of people. However, I do watch all the TV coverage and enjoy looking at the gardens and plants.
This was the People's Choice winner - 'The Perennial Garden - With Love'.  I like the relaxing green and white planting with touches of plum.
This was the RNLI garden designed by Chris Beardshaw, which came second in the People's Choice awards. He always has beautiful planting.
This was the Morris and Co Garden (designed by Ruth Wilmott).  Two of William Morris' patterns, Trellis and Willow Bough, were included in various ways. This was third in the People's Choice awards.
 All the photos above are from the RHS Chelsea website (information on the medals is here).  These gardens all have more traditional planting.
Judging from what I have seen on TV, more natural planting styles are very much the trend, which is a good thing for wildlife.
Back in my garden, the roses are starting to bloom, (but they deserve a post to themselves),  together with foxgloves (my latest favourite - I need many more of these and will sow some more seeds soon).
Two foxgloves in a pot just outside the window.
This foxglove was plonked rather unceremoniously into a pot last year but is looking lovely.
The alliums are still looking good too...
...with their vibrant colours of purple and green.

Monday 23 May 2022

Some of the 'A's

It's that time of year when the aquilegias and alliums start to flower.  I think the aquilegia above is a seedling from the original plant.
The alliums are also starting to make their presence known.
The way the raindrops were sitting on the miscanthus leaves stopped me in my tracks one morning.  
We had some much needed rain as it has been really dry through most of April and into May.  I like the way the drops of rain are just sitting there.
Aquilegia Navy and White, I think.  
They are pretty flowers.
Rhododendron Tinkerbird is in flower again and the lovely jasmine perfume is wafting around the enclosed patio space when the sun shines.  I potted this poor plant on recently as it was in a small tub and this may also have shocked it somewhat.  It isn't looking too healthy at the moment as the leaves are mottled, which after some research, seems to be due to the Pieris lacebug/Rhododendron lacebug. I shall give it a feed and possibly a spray with some invigorator once the flowers are over.  The roses are just starting and there will definitely be photos to follow.  

Saturday 14 May 2022

Early May in the garden and buying some plants

I have one clump of English bluebells which have grown at the base of a potted box bush.  
One of my camellias is in flower and looks beautiful.
I visited a local garden centre last weekend and just had a couple of things on my list - a salvia and some compost.  Well, you know what it is like - I came back with an osteospermum, a dianthus, lemon thyme...  
...a nemesia...
...three ferns, a salvia, some compost, some grit and some slow release fertiliser!  It was lovely to have a trip out and indulge in some garden retail therapy (even if I spent more than I planned!)

Monday 9 May 2022

Recent stamp carving

I have been trying some different materials for stamp carving, such as soft cut, which worked OK but was a little tough to cut with my basic lino blades.  I also tried EssDee Mastercut, which is a white material, a bit like eraser material and that cuts much more easily.  I saw some designs which I liked, so set about cutting my own stamps.  I used some mop up sheets from my acrylic paint experiments and I think they will make very nice collage papers.  Even though they haven't all printed perfectly, I like the result.  
I then had a go at a different design and after a little refining, am pleased with the second one.  I used black acrylic paint to print them and kept the paint wet until I cleaned them up properly.  I really like the way they look hand made.