How the garden looked on village open day

There's nothing like being stuck in an airport to make you get on with some blogging. I've been meaning to post these for days, but I've been whizzing around Toronto with a bunch of Canadian and American garden bloggers, having a wonderful time.
Now, however, I am stuck at Toronto Pearson, where the rain is lashing down and my British Airways flight has been delayed by the storm. Never mind...


I should first say a big thank-you to Pianolearner, who took most of these pictures. In my experience,  one never gets around to taking pictures on open day, you're too busy doing other things. Pianolearner (aka known as the husband of Louise Curley, author of The Cut Flower Patch) has commented regularly over the years both on my blog and my daughter's blog, so it was great to meet him and Louise at last. I loved Louise's book, and would recommend it to anyone thinking of starting a cutting garden.


The picture above shows the alliums in flower, and the picture below (which is mine) shows the verbascums. The idea is that the purple shade at the centre of the verbascums picks up the colour of the alliums, but I didn't manage to get a proper picture of the two next door to each other.


This verbascum variety is 'Clementine', and it seems very reliable so far. If you cut down the flower spikes when they start to fade, you get a new flush - last year I had three lots of flowers.


The view looking up the garden. Immediately behind the house, the garden is much more formal and (hopefully) manicured. In the foreground is the "not-a-hedge", which is composed of fastigiate yew, white broom and phlomis, with assorted grasses and irises. I wanted some kind of demarcation here, but not a solid wall or hedge or fence.


This border includes Euphorbia characias subs wulfenii, which has gone bonkers this year. It looks terrific with the Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve', but the lime-green flower heads grew so big, they took a bit of a hammering in the wind and rain. The white is yet more white broom - Cytisus praecox albus. 


The pond is beginning to look really established now. I've tweaked the planting a bit to include more big leaves, such as Rheum palmatum tanguticum and lots of hostas. The candelabra primroses were looking good just before I left, but unfortunately, the pictures are still on my phone.


This is the view looking down the garden to the pond. Earlier this spring, I planted two Magnolia stellata 'Royal Star' either side of the urn. Their blossom has faded and they are now in leaf, but the cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is doing a great job of providing a flowery substitute.


I love succulents, and like to arrange them in shallow terracotta dishes. This is stonecrop, which most people regard as a bit of a pest in the garden, but it's fine in a pot, and looks great with sempervivum, as here, or with echeveria.


The colours of the stone wall suggested this colour scheme to me: the lichens turn the stone orange, white and black. Here the white flowers are Libertia grandiflora, the dark leaves are Sambucus nigra 'Black Tower' and the grasses are Stipa (or Nasella) tenuissima and Anemanthele lessoniana (formerly known as Stipa arundinacea).


I mentioned echeveria, and here is some, growing with Sedum reflexum 'Blue Carpet'. I don't know which variety this is, but I do have lots of different ones, and no, they don't all look alike!

Comments

  1. Wow, absolutely gorgeous, you have been working hard. The border by the house is beautiful, and I love the planting in front of the stone wall in the penultimate photo. The pond is doing really well, I bet it's a lovely place to sit and think.

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    1. It's a lovely place to sit and fish out blanketweed, CJ, although that is relaxing in itself. I tell myself I'm doing something useful, but it's really just an excuse to potter around.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Veronica! It was so lovely to meet you in Toronto.

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  3. Oh my, it's so lovely Victoria. I missed you terribly because I couldn't come to Fling this year. Hope to see you next spring. ~~Dee

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    1. I missed you too, Dee! Are you coming to the UK next spring?

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  4. Lovely! What a wonderful garden and a treat to have you share pictures of it with us. You've done a lot of work on it, and your efforts are paying off!

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I think of you every time I mow those lawns xx

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  5. Wow, wow, wow, so much has changed since I saw it last June! It looks so great. You must be very happy with it, Victoria! It was so great to see you in Toronto.

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    1. It was really good to see you too, Jean, and have a chance to catch up. Look forward to seeing you here again sometime!

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  6. Your garden is gorgeous. I would have oodles of sedums if I had a place to winter them over. Most don't survive in my zone 6 garden here in the States. I do admire those that can.

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    1. Lisa, the echeveria don't really like being outside when it's freezing, even here in the south-west of the UK. They are fairly hardy, but they hate sitting in cold wet soil, so I put them in the cold frame. It's not heated, but it keeps them dry. I admire people who garden in Zone 6!

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  7. Victoria, Your garden is beautiful (I am not surprised) and the pond looks fantastic for being so new! You have been busy and what a great design eye...

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    1. Thank you, Gail! It looked a little overgrown when I got back - I have already filled two wheelie bins with armfuls of weeds.

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  8. Glorious! I look forward to seeing it for myself one day :-) It was great to spend time with you in Toronto.

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    1. Cindy, you would love it here. You must come some day and visit. It is always so great to see you

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  9. Thank you for the tour of your lovely garden. I'm sorry your flight was delayed, but we are the beneficiaries!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy - I got home eventually. I left the hotel in Toronto at 6pm on Friday night and got home at 9.30am Toronto time on Saturday (2.30pm English time). The plane banked so steeply as we were going into the "holding pattern" (i.e. hanging around in the air for an hour above Heathrow) that my orange juice tipped over and spilt all over me. Not the best flight ever!

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  10. Beautiful garden! Lovely to see the euphorbia and erysimum combo as well -- I have the latter and had been wondering about pairing it with a lime green euphorbia but wasn't sure if it might look a bit garish. Seeing your pictures has spurred me on to head straight to the nursery to buy one this weekend -- it's just a brilliant combination!

    What a lovely space you have, very inspiring indeed.

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  11. My gardens are becoming water logged.It is hard to keep them weeded and groomed. Rain is predicted every day this week. We have 700 acres of grain farms and they are suffering from all of this rain. Soon will be to late for replant.I love your gardens and especially your pond. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I love your pond. It is amazing how rich and established it looks. Gorgeous.

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  13. Hi Victoria, my first comment on your blog despite reading your tales for ever or at least since Independent and your backyard days. Your garden is looking great, I love your planting style and your attention to detail and colour. I love your ponds too and enjoyed seeing the construction photos. It reminded me of when we had our pond dug here with a
    viewing deck. Have a wonderful summer in your gorgeous garden.

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  14. OK, here is my list:
    Sissinghurst - check,
    Hidcote Manor - check,
    Next: Great Dixter and Awkward Hill, or Awkward Hill and Great Dixter?
    If seriously, Victoria, your garden already looks intriguing!

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