I Went to Ashwood and….

image

….bought another scented shrub!

I’ve almost finished housing my poor, little homeless treasures, and you may well be thinking “Here she goes again!”

But this was no impulse buy! Cytisus battandieri (now renamed Argyrocytisus battandieri) has been on my wish list for ages  – nay, years – ever since reading that its flowers smelt of pineapple. Hence its popular name of Pineapple (or Moroccan) broom. I even have a container ready, and have earmarked a suitable spot – how disciplined and restrained is that?!

It’s a truly beautiful shrub! Apart from its scented flowers, it has lovely trifoliate, glaucous leaves, that have a delicate, downy coating. So not only does it please the senses with its beautiful looks and perfume, the leaves and flower buds are so very tactile – like stroking silk!

image

It likes a sunny, sheltered position, in a dry soil,  so should do well against our west facing brick wall, especially now that there is more light in the garden, since the loss of the overhanging ash tree. It is often grown trained against a wall, due to its lax habit. Indeed, the best example of this lovely plant that I’ve seen in the flesh, is grown against a brick wall in my brother’s new garden. What a specimen!  I hope mine will like its blue glazed pot and do well.

And now, less than one week on, it has started flowering, and looking and smelling gorgeous! Yes, it really does smell of pineapple!

image

How’s that for an “impulse” buy?! Truly worthy of its place next to our bench!

Bringing Chelsea Gold Home

image

It’s magnificent!

The florist, “Daisy Chain”, is opposite where I work and I was pleasantly surprised two years ago, to come face to face with a floral, crystal ballgown, straight from the show. Helena had won silver-gilt with her gorgeous creation.

A Chelsea Ball gown with a crystal theme.

A Chelsea Ball gown with a crystal theme.

The following year, she achieved another silver-gilt, for her “Alice in Wonderland” tree.u

image
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the pleasure of appreciating that one close up. It was far too big to bring into the shop.

Still not good enough, though – she was after her gold.

image

And now she has it with her beautiful carnival headdress!

When you get to see it in the flesh, so to speak, you can really see the intricate detail and the hours of work involved.

 

image

Orchids, dianthus, grevillea, and anigozan (kangaroo paw) are among the flowers used, set into a wire framework, filled out with red feathers and beads. Looking closely at the “horns” shows tiny green “pearls” wound around, which are actually the succulent, Senecio rowelyanus, or “string of pearls” plant, which she grew herself.  Really a work of art, well deserving of a gold!A real feather in Helena’s cap! (Groan!! Sorry!)

So is she happy now? Had enough?

No, she’s now going for “Best Floral Exhibit”.

Can’t wait to see how Helena does next year!

Helena wasn’t our only local Chelsea gold.

John Massey and Ashwood nursery also got, not just a gold medal, but also a Diamond Jubilee award, for their display of Hepaticas, in the floral pavilion.

image

It’s been a most successful Chelsea for our local exhibitors.

Congratulations, and well done!

P.s. I apologise for any disruption in this broadcast. I inadvertently published this post before I had completed it. So sorry!

The Bench Has A Partner

image

It didn’t take long before we realised that the bench needed a mate! To make best use of it, we had to have somewhere to balance our refreshments, while lapping up our surroundings. It took some searching. Hard to find a table for sale on its own, never mind one in that style and colour, and at a reasonable price. We discovered where we could get one made to order, but way out of our price range. We finally tracked down the best compromise – a table of a very similar pattern, only in cream. However, with our cream cushions on the bench, we think it works. So cheers!

The work done on removing the ash tree, necessitated moving all our pots out of the danger zone. So rather than put them back where they had been, I thought “High time for a different look!”. Yet another reshuffle! Mind you, part of the “rethink” was to find homes for our many impulse buys, and many of them were earmarked for containers, while their predecessors found new homes in the borders.

Then came the flash of inspiration! While pottering about, I noticed that the new foliage of the Zenobia – already in a blue glazed container – really picked up the colour of the bench.

image

And then, that the glaucous colouring of the Fothergilla “Blue Haze” was pretty close too! Maybe not quite yet, but the blue colour gets stronger as the season progresses. Should make a nice arrangement! And to finish it off, what better than the blue grass, Festuca glauca.

image

So, moving on, the pots on the “Link”, were replanted, and rearranged, this time hoping for a more streamlined appearance.

image

Hmmm! Maybe too “linear”?

image

Just a slight tweek! Is that better?

Scent in the Garden – On A Warm, Sunny Day

image

At last! Tuesday brought some warm sunshine! And time to enjoy it and make good use of it!

As you know, I have been threatening some far reaching changes for some time now. Last week, the 25 year old ash tree, was finally felled, leaving a stump – and a mushroom! Along with that, the garden reshuffle has moved on from the “thinking about it” phase, to the “getting on with it” phase. So the warm, sunshine made for a perfect day to make some progress.

It wasn’t just the sunshine that made the hard slog such a pleasant experience, but also the adjacent Viburnum carlesii “Aurora” pumping out its perfume. The beautiful pink domes of flowers are quite plentiful this year, and so the scent of pinks kept wafting my way.

And while trudging up and down the garden, passing the Osmanthus delavayii rewarded me with another perfumed delight – this time more heady, like jasmine. The tiny, pure white trumpets, en masse, create a stunning effect against the dark green leaves.

image

So I was distracted, and found myself, armed with my iPad, on a perfume hunt round the garden.

image

Clematis armandii, which had opened its first buds shortly after we returned after New Year, has now reached its peak and is starting to go over. Its new shoots are waving around, threateningly, daring me to tie them in. Their soft perfume can be detected quite unexpectedly.

image

Of course, true to form, the Coronilla in the front garden, was still blooming away happily. Such a pretty sight, with the lemon flowers set against its glaucous leaves.

image

Here’s one I moved earlier! Elaeagnus umbellata was a victim of my reshuffle, moving from its cramped position snuggled up against a Philadelphus in the Scented Shrub border. Here, its delicate form will mingle with the perennials in what was originally the Medicinal herb bed, and its silvery leaves should provide a lovely backdrop to the bright pink blooms of Rosa gallica oficinallis (the “Apothecary’s rose”). Its tiny, powerfully scented flowers can still be spotted in the photo. And smelt in the garden!

So, as you can imagine, I didn’t achieve as much as I’d set out to do, but who cares! That’s what’s important about gardening – taking time to enjoy it, as well as to do it!