garden update

last year I was upset when a lovely dark pink flowering currant was blown over by the gales and died, when it was first blown down and there were live stems I took some cuttings and pushed them in around the garden I am happy that 3 have taken and are growing quite well,

the scots pine survived the gales though one side of it has brown needles and look it is putting on good new growth,

a clump of fungi seen in the garden

now a couple of questions, I always thought hart’s tongue fern was dark green in colour but mine goes this pale yellow green, I’m wondering why,

does anyone recognise these leaves, they are one of the following plants, the labels all went missing,
Lythrum salicaria Blush
Saponaria officinalis Alba Plena, Double white soapwort

I bought these plants many years ago for a damp boggy area and transferred some to the ditch garden this plant survives and multiplies by running roots but never flowers, it’s on it’s last chance this year no flowers and most of it is being removed as it is a bit of a thug,
the jungle side of the front garden, I call it the jungle as the plants have either died or become over grown and congested, last year grass moved in and I didn’t get time to do anything much, earlier this year I pulled off the top grass but didn’t get the roots up, I think due to the dry weather the grass has as yet not re-grown, the beautiful blue geraniums are just starting to come into flower,

now some colour from the lupin, I think I should change the name of the damp meadow to the lupin meadow, can you see the colourful spider in the first photo,

I like seeing the blue and red together, I usually edit photos so you do not see so much of the horrid heather and grass areas of the garden but in the next 2 photos I’ve left it in, it’s hard work trying to remove it, the traditional way is to do a controlled burning, I am too much of a coward to try that I’d probably set fire to the whole moor,

this lupin is trying to reach the heights of the New Zealand flax,

we have had a bit of rain this week but not much, if the cold winds would go away it would be really lovely, there have been a lot of holiday coaches going passed up to the top of Lewis and plenty of camper vans and cyclists so lots of people taking a holiday which is great for our island economy,


©Copyright 2012 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

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20 responses to “garden update

  1. paulinemulligan

    In answer to your question about your hart’s tongue fern, I think you may be too acid for it, I have some growing in the garden here, in slightly acid soil, but my best ones are up by the house where they have seeded themselves almost into concrete where they will be enjoying the lime in the mortar! On the other hand there is a variety called Golden Queen, so you may have a new variety!!

    • thank you Pauline, no I don’t have the new variety and I didn’t realise it might need a bit of lime, also didn’t realise they grow in relatively dry conditions like your self seeded ones, infact I had wondered if it was the dry spell we are having that was causing it, I will put a bit of lime around it, Frances

  2. Love your lupin meadow. I have wild blue lupins that grow here, they’re nice but the flowers don’t last very long, but I like fleeting pleasures, Christina

    • thank you Christina, I planted 2 packets of the native blue ones last autumn, so far nothing is growing, they need a cold spell to germinate and our winter was back to normal ~ not very cold, also the current dry weather may have stopped growth, nice that you have them local, Frances

  3. Beautiful lupin!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  4. Good morning, I was happy to see your post in my inbox this morning. Always a treat to view the progress in your garden. My Johnson’s Blue geranium is blooming just now so we are on track with you in the season even though we are across the ocean. Your unidentified plant looks like the saponaria I have in my garden. Mine is the common variety but I imagine the leaves have the same pattern of growth; double or otherwise. I love your lupine. The colors are gorgeous.

    • thank you MCH, the blue geranium in the photo I was told were Johnson’s blue but since I have seen the leaves of JB they are not the same, I have several geraniums that came without labels and I have been looking them up I plan doing a post one day later in the year,
      I wondered if it was the saponaria as I think the leaves are too wide for loosestrife, I had a list of about 8 plants to start and ticked them off after finding photos on the internet, the 2 above were the only ones left and I just could not find photos of their foliage, I also read that the saponaria suckers and can be invasive which is what this is doing, Frances

  5. so, blue wins the day! You have such a varied and beautiful garden, Frances. I think the BBC should do a special on just your garden! I’d love watching it. How to grow a beautiful garden in very challenging circumstances.

    • thank you Bex, I don’t think my garden is up to it but I wish the beeb would do programmes on more gardens by the coast and north of middle England, the UK is after all made up of islands so lots of people have coastal gardens and they don’t all have sandy soil, Frances

  6. Your lupins are really gorgeous! I’m really envious – like that, they’re fantastic…

    Your mystery plant looks a bit like my inherited saponaria – which I’m afraid I spend a lot of time trying to eradicate – but not completely; it might be the angle, though. If it stops raining I’ll go out and look at mine from above. Pauline’s reply about the ferns was intriguing because I have a lot and I’m on acid soil, and I’ve not seen any quite so yellow. Again, if it stops you-know-whatting, I’ll go out and double-check…

    • thank you Kate, I think from what I’ve read and the ID from MCH and you that it is the saponaria, soapwort, perhaps I should try picking it and using it for my washing, maybe my soil is just very acid with all the peat, I’ve never done a soil test,
      sorry you are having all the rain, here it’s gone from one extreme to the other, the clouds just keep blowing over and on their way south, Frances

  7. Frances I agree about the fern…it looks like the soil may be too acidic. Those lupines are just lovely. I love the colors and how they complement each other…and how wonderful at least the weather is good for visitors. The gardens are so resilient aren’t they.

    • thank you Donna, with the peat my soil is probably very acidic, I am amazed at how resilient some plants are, it’s nice that it’s dry for visitors especially the cyclists, Frances

  8. I too love the lupin meadow. They are such beautiful plants.

  9. Your hart’s tongue fern should be dark green. In the wild it grows in limestone boulders: Love the lupins and wish I could grow them.

    • thank you Carolyn, had I know it needed an alkaline soil I would not have bought it, growing in boulders sounds like it likes a dry soil too and I have put it in my ditch garden as I thought ferns liked moist soil, it’s not in the ditch but on the side, Frances

  10. wifemothergardener

    The lupins are pretty & look so nice in your setting. And I love the geraniums throughout the grasses.

    • thanks Julie, I love your ‘geraniums through the grasses’ it’s some strapy leaved plants like crocosmia and hemerocallis and weeds ;o) I’ve been out there this week removing some of the weeds but your comment has given me an idea perhaps planting some small grasses among them would be nice, thanks, Frances