a little of the foliage in my garden

I am joining in Christina’s foliage meme this month as there is some foliage that is giving me a great deal of pleasure,

in the middle bed front garden the artemisia I finally bought earlier this year is growing very well, I say finally as I ordered it a couple of years ago and the nursery had sold out and sent one of my substitute choices instead, the juniper always gives me pleasure to see and now it is in it’s spring/summer colours as new growth is a creamy yellow, it will eventually turn blue as it matures,
near by this combination is starting to look nearer to how I visulised it as the plants start to fill out a bit,
in the species rose border the rubrifolia rose and origanum vulgare aureum (golden marjoram) are contrasting beautifully (well imo),

as this is a foliage post I was determined to get a better photo of the amelanchier foliage, it has this wonderful warm rusts and reds before turning spring green,
hosta carnival in the jungle front garden has grown quite a lot this year and I just love seeing it every time I walk by, I have resisted buying hostas as everyone says they are a slug magnet, but I tried one at the tree edge 2 years ago and last year bought this for the area by the house which I have had problems getting anything much growing in, if the hosta continues to thrive them maybe that will be the way to go here,
a little further along and the black peppermint is doing what mints have a reputation for doing ….. spreading, in this case so far nicely, I like the way it is coming up between other plants, the leaves are purple underneath and bonus it’s an edible mint,
this view is showing part of why I call this bed the jungle, hemerocallis, pontentillia and crocosmia, the pontentilla could do with a bit more room and the crocosmia definitely needs dividing, the hemerocallis could also be moved/divided, the contrasting foliage looks fine with or without the flowers which will come later,
and last but far from least, olearia virgata, Christina mentioned that sometimes we buy a plant just for the foliage, well this is just such a plant, I love the soft needle like leaves the way the new branches move with the breeze and yet stand up to the gales, lots of people think when they see it that it’s rosemary, it is only like rosemary in the leaf shape, rosemary has stiff leaves these are soft, it is also much more grey than rosemary, the one in this photo is an off spring of the original plant in the middle front bed that I cut early this year, this one is with others as part of an internal hedge which I run the trimmer over towards the end of summer just to keep the sides in check, olearia virgata is evergreen, though in my garden it does loose some leaves during the winter gales,
there is a lot of foliage in the tweenie garden but it is just too wet and I didn’t feel like getting my feet and legs soaked,
thanks to Christina for hosting this meme and please follow the link to Christina’s blog to see more foliage posts,

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

a walk in my garden

I have finally taken the photo from the hill and made a map, of sorts, for the walk in my garden, all the photos in the walk were taken on May 31st. I also found a photo taken from the hill when I first moved here so have included it, I have included links to all the walks, it will hopefully give the reader a sense of what my garden was like when I started and how I have gardened in it,
the garden from the hill opposite,
June 2014
February or March 2002
very rough map showing the walks with numbers and direction arrows, I did the map on white paper but it shows a blue cast on the computer,

a walk in my garden 1
a walk in my garden 2
a walk in my garden 3
a walk in my garden 4
a walk in my garden 5
a walk in my garden 6
a walk in my garden 7
a walk in my garden 8
a walk in my garden 9

I hope you can make sense of it all,
have a nice weekend, x

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

a walk in my garden 9

at the top of the birch area is the species rose border, I am standing near the big blue gate you sometimes see in photos,
I mentioned when I posted earlier about the species rose border that the other side was a slope down to the birch area, here it is, again uneven so I have been trying to even it up, I had to even up the rose border with turfs and soil before I planted it, I have not decided what to do here except that I want a path along by the narcissus so I can easily access the rose border from this side without standing on it,
now I’ve walked passed the roses and the phormium in the previous post, the top of the shed path and a pile of bits and pieces that seems to be growing, to eventually reach the R.R. border which I mentioned in an earlier post,
I’ve enjoyed the alliums with the hesperis this year, not an intentional planting  the hesperis seeded in last year, but one I think I’ll keep,
the oil tank is across the path from the RR, the other side of the tank are the raised veg beds, this is the south facing back of the house, I had hoped to have a conservatory here but funds ran out, I would love a lean-to along the wall,
the other end passed the veg beds it is calluna again, a tail edge of the big bank, so I thought I would include a couple of photos of the big bank of calluna, I was going to cobble them together but then realised I’ve missed some in the middle so they don’t meet, this bank runs down the middle from the west boundary and right along the back of the house, so it can’t be ignored, it’s there all the time, the calluna over by the south boundary is away from the house the other side of the damp meadow so it is not noticeable,
this is the last in the walk in my garden series of posts, I will take a photo from the hill opposite and do a little map showing where things are and the route of the walk, however I’m not much good at perspective so sizes will vary,

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

a walk in my garden 8

looking along the east boundary from the shed door to the north, this has only started to have the closed feel of the 2 rows of trees this year, they are finally tall enough, without depressing myself too much this is what I thought the south east area with 3 rows of trees would be looking like too, oh well,
on the right is the leylandii border, on the left the downy birch garden, I used to link it all as being the birch area but the leylandii were not growing very much, then I learnt that they prefer a neutral to alkaline soil so I started liming around them, it has made so much difference, so now I have made them a separate area of the garden to remind me that the soil here has been limed,
as I cross the path that leads from the house to the shed I took a photo and I am including it as I know I often mention it, I would like it lined with small trees and shrubs, I’m learning that as the garden total is so big I need internal hedges as well as perimeter,
a different view of the lupins in the birch garden, remember this photo was taken 2 weeks ago these buds have now opened, I’m glad I have these blue lupin plants as the mother plant has been declining for the last couple of years and this year has died, she was a very hard worker producing blooms from summer into autumn for many years,
I saw and bought this monterey cyprus goldcrest nearly 3 years ago, the first winter there was some brown foliage from the winds but it seems to have hardened up as none last winter, it is said to be a very fast grower, I hope so, I like the colour contrast with the leylandii,
looking back along the leylandii to the shed, there is a dog rose between 2 of the leylandii, I’d like to plant some things to climb through the leylandii and give flower,
a view of the birch garden not seen before, I will post a few more and you will see that the cultivated part with the flowers is a tiny fraction of the area, looking up the hill, from the phormium at the top, to the left the top of the path between the shed and house, to the right the species rose garden, the ground is very uneven and so when I have removed turfs from else where I have started using them here to smooth the slope, I want a spring slope full of daffodils, this should encourage me to dig up all those clumps that need dividing, (she hopes), the 2 clumps of calluna you see I want to remove, there are actually 3, 1 is out of shot,
coming to the end of the good bit, this is where the calluna and moss are ….. well are there!
there are willows too on the birch side, I like this black stemmed willow,
approaching the north east corner, I think you can see now how much shorter the east side is compared to the west,
turning left along the north boundary, the north boundary is divided into 3, the east side here, the west side the F&B garden where the grey alder is, in the middle is the front garden, between the birches on the right I planted hawthorn that have never grown much, I’ve learnt they like a bit of lime too, I keep going/wanting to dig them out and move them, may be this winter, on the left are coloured willows, salix alba,
a couple of long views of the birch area, you can see the large area of calluna,
from the top looking diagonally across,
the next and last post will be the rose borders and raised veg beds,

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

a walk in my garden 7

the first thing I want to say is to remind you that all the photos on this walk were taken 2 weeks ago on Saturday 31 May, so this is not how some of the plants look now,
I finished the last post at the far end of the path between the tweenie and damp meadow, so I am starting this post by walking along to the near end, far = away from the house, near = closer to the house, a few photos of the tweenie,
I’m at a junction, I can go left back into the trees or right and right is where I’m going, before though a photo of the dogwood border which runs parallel to the tweenie going up to the trees, one of the things I like about the dogwood border is that it has 3 quite different shows, now the dogwoods being cut down are almost not seen it is the turn of the other shrubs, later they will be joined by the new growth on the dogwoods, then when they drop their leaves the rich colours of the dogwood stems make a beautiful winter show, then we start all over again,
the damp meadow from this side, I took the photos in the middle of the day so the light is the other side coming through the foliage,
the path does a little zig zag, after turning right, a few steps and I turn left in the direction of the house, there is a rosa rugosa alba and looking along the purple alliums are in the RR border which I hope will one day be as far along as the RR alba,
another twist, turning right, sounds complicated but what I’m actually doing is walking down the other side of the damp meadow back to the shed and the east boundary, I have several times cleared this grass but the recent years of long periods of wet don’t give me time any more,
as I go passed another view of the damp meadow from a different angle, I know some of you might wonder why I am so upset with the DM, it looks lush enough, what you can’t see in these photos is the amount of weeds and worse still the tough horrid grass,
looking back to where the compost bins are, this calluna and grass is between the DM and the shed,
on the other side of me, looking back at the RR border, you can see the mix of grass and calluna,
the front of the shed and east boundary, in the corner is rambling rose american pillar and a honeysuckle, they are doing well though I have not been able to clear the grass this year yet, I have some old ladders in the shed and I want to fix one leaning against the shed wall for them to grow through,
all for now, if you are still following thank you,

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

a walk in my garden 6

I finished the last walk in my garden post at the south east corner, I walked part of the way along the east fence, as far as the shed then branched off towards the damp meadow, the east fence is divided as there is a stone shed along it, the two areas are quite different, this end is still part of the far heather area, it too had 3 rows of trees planted, we should be walking among trees, looking along the fence (what is left of it) to the back of the shed, this wall can’t be seen from the house and is south facing, so having learnt that compost needs warmth to do it’s thing and break down the debris, I decide to put my compost bins here, I have found that these large ones made from pallets positioned on this south facing wall have made a big difference and material is usually a ready compost after a year, it used to take 2-3 years,
there are a few trees still alive and just surviving, I would love to tend them but know there is already too much to do,
I just love the way some primroses manage to seed into the moss and grass and grow!
more trees,
now from the back of the shed I turn left across the calluna to the damp meadow, the other side of the red lupin is the path between the damp meadow and tweenie and where I turned off to go behind the conifers and along the south fence,
I am thrilled with this euphorbia, it has done well and I liked it from this angle with the primrose at it’s feet,
a closer view,
and closer to the red lupin,
the last photo is to ask it anyone knows what this weed is, I have never let it get to the flowering stage before except in some of the wild areas, this is in the damp meadow, it sends out white runners just under ground, when you pull them they are like elastic and stretchy, it’s about 8-9 inches tall in flower, I have found when I’ve dug down there is a more woody under ground runner deeper in the soil, it’s a real pain!

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.


as I am on this enormous learning curve called gardening, there are occasional moments when I realise I’ve finally found a way through, and the small area of instant gardening I started last year in what I now call the birch garden is definitely a way through, it’s no good dwelling on ‘I wish I’d tried this earlier’ for a start I didn’t have the plants, I can see this area through the window in the side porch,
what took my eye this morning and has thrilled me is the first oxeye daisy flowers, I went outside and took a closer look, these were small plants moved from the alder terrace bed,
I love this russian comfrey, the beautiful violet colour of the flowers, I had bought some root cuttings years ago which never grew, so 18 months ago I bought some seeds, I sowed some last year and only 4 germinated, I had them in pots and when I saw signs of new growth put them here, unfortunately one didn’t care for the move and has disappeared, one is in flower another is just sending up a flowering stem and the other one is making lots of foliage, I sowed the remainder of the seed this year, nothing,
2 of the white lupin off sets I took last year have survived the slugs, when I moved some of the aquilegias to this new part I also dug up these 2 lupins as I thought they would be better here, they clearly like it as they are growing well, the white ones do not grow so tall only about 2 feet,
I was pleased to see there are several foxgloves and some are starting to open,
the big blue lupin and the last view of the red campion, too many seedpods after this photo I started cutting it down, I haven’t finished as rain stopped play, infact that is why I am writing a blog post and not out in the garden,
round the other side on the path to the shed to take these photos as the oxeye daisies are facing that way, facing south,
there are 10 amelanchiers along this path, they were planted 2 years ago, they are lovely and I keep trying to get a photo, the new foliage is reddish and it some how catches the light, it’s really beautiful but I just can’t get it on photo, anyway I think you can see in this the new reddish foliage as it emerges,
lastly a close up of the blue lupin which has a yellow centre, this post is totally spur of the moment, I just wanted to share,
I will post the next part of the walk around my garden tomorrow or Thursday,

©Copyright 2014 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.