Chaenomelis x Superba Crimson and Gold. I spotted this one below in a neighbours garden. Glad I am getting into the habit of having my camera in my pocket.
Flowering on the 19th of February, which is several weeks ahead of our plant in Aberdeen which was in the raised border in the patio.
I just love this plant and look forward to the late Winter, early Spring flowers, deep red with golden yellow anthers produced in abundance every year.
Planted against a wall and given plenty room for development of the seven foot long stems, you will be delighted with the result. unfortunately, as was often the case, the one in our garden was rather restricted, but still performed quite well.
Blooms so brightly coloured on otherwise bare stems are sure to catch the eye of passers by who may be surprised at such an unexpected sight in late February, in fact some may be tempted to sneak up your front path for a closer look.
Crimson and Gold is often described as a compact variety which is very hardy and after the flowers go over you will often be rewarded with a crop of fragrant fruits (Quince), tucked in amongst the glossy dark green leaves, are they edible when cooked? to be quite honest, I haven’t a clue.
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Height – 100cm Width – 200cm
Position – Does best of all in full sun in Aberdeen
February has gone and early Spring rekindles interest in the garden. Come to think of it February had days that when the sun broke through, it felt positively Spring like, well that is, in our front garden which is south facing. Head round back to the north facing garden and you will find it not quite so cheery, however by lunchtime the sun is now starting to creep in even in the back.
It will probably be late Summer before we get a chance to get stuck into the back garden, however we are all ready to make some changes to the front.
Quite a strange set up at the moment, the narrow front lawn extends right across to the house opposite with no dividing line marking which is ours and which is the neighbours.
I have now cut out a couple of new borders and placed a pedestal and planter right in the centre of the new dividing border, this had pride and place in our Aberdeen garden. We haven’t as yet decided what we will plant in these new borders.
There is quite a large number of perennial plants in the front and back gardens, I will pot up many of them from the back as there is likely to be considerable destruction once the builders get going.
Below is some pictures of what was in flower on the 21st of February.
First of all a couple of pictures of the front giving an idea of what I was up to today.
Crocus are dotted all around the garden,its good to see, we had no idea which bulbs would be popping through in early Spring.
We would normally chuck out these bedding type Primulas, however if you feel you have the room to leave them be, they can work a treat.
Most of the Daffodils are well budded, pretty sure this first one to bloom is Tete e Tete. Pulmonaria also just starting to flower in the back garden.
Plenty big clumps of Snowdrops, Myra was just lifting some and planting them around the unidentified tree in the front garden. Primula Vulgaris just started to bloom.
Bergenia also putting in an appearance alongside this variegated Vinca which has buds about to open. Several actually opened up in January. This Vinca is behaving strangely, not hugging the ground but growing upright about three ft tall.
The Berberis Ottawensis Superba which was in the front garden of our Aberdeen house made a bold statement.
Previously I just let it grow to its own devices, when it reached nine feet tall I decided to shape it up. I know the majority of gardeners may prefer this shrub in its natural form, for the front garden I think it suits the trimmed look.
The leaves of this deciduous shrub start to open in early Spring followed with clusters of small yellow flowers. If you decide not to keep trimming it like I do, you will be rewarded with clusters of red berries in Autumn.
To keep it in this more formal appearance I had to trim it several times throughout the Summer.
It did have a tendency to have an unsightly powdery mildew at times, never did the plant any harm and it may well have been caused with my continual shaping up of it.
•Hardiness *** Fully hardy
•Height *** 270cm/9ft
Plant given the RHS Award of garden merit
Apparently, when adding a mail order link, it should be made (nofollow). can anyone tell me how to do this on (wordpress)
Another Berberis (barberry) that found a place in our Aberdeen garden was, (Berberis Thunbergii Harlequin) an ideal deciduous shrub for adding contrast to the numerous shades of green in the garden border.
This variety has beautiful purple foliage marbled with pink,cream and white, also carries red berries in late Summer early Autumn.
Don’t position Harlequin at the very back of the border, chances are it will struggle to reach four feet in height.
Although very ornamental, beware of the sharp thorns. This Berberis will grow in partial shade, however, colours up best of all in full sun.
Position – Full sun/Partial shade. Any reasonable free draining soil
Height – 120cm/4ft
Hardiness – Fully hardy
The narrow upright habit is very appealing and the maximum height is around 4ft.
Small yellow flowers appear in Spring, but the dark red purple foliage would be the reason you would want this plant in your garden. In Autumn the leaves of this deciduous shrub turn a fiery red.
If it happens to be losing shape it can be trimmed up, there I go again, forever snipping, pruning and hacking away at plants that many of you would leave well alone. Ah well, you are not likely to change me now.
Last post I was showing you around the estate where our house is situated, lets have a peek at the old village today.
These houses are clearly more desirable than the one which we chose on the estate. More expensive, on the other hand we are spending so much on the house of our choice I guess we could have gone for something like the one above. Mind you it would have left the piggy bank rather empty.
Here we have one of the few pleasant pubs which we have in the village.
Spent too much time in that pub, ah well you can repent your sins if you feel that way inclined.
If your head is still aching then you could well find an understanding doctor in this place.
Shame that a Sainsbury store is opening soon along side the co-op, which gives good service and is well stocked. Perhaps they could improve their window display.
On January 22nd the sun was shining, it felt just right to shove the camera in my pocket and go for a walkabout.
Walkabout, that’s a laugh, back home in Aberdeen I didn’t go anywhere without the car.
We now live in a village in East Cheshire, well, in the 1980s a housing estate was built in this once tiny village. Our house,above is within this estate, and this is where I will take you on our walkabout today. Some other time we can have a look around the old village.
Its now two months since we arrived here in Cheshire, and I can honestly say I have walked more in these past two months than I ever did in the previous thirty years. Every Monday and Friday I collect my grandson from school, its about one mile from our house, thoroughly enjoy it and find myself looking for other excuses to go walking, Myra would accompany me on these trips, however a near lifetime of serious back problems has left her unable to walk very far.
In spite of Cheshire being known for its high rainfall, I have not as yet had a soaking.
If you are going to have Winter Jasmine in the garden, this is how you want it to look, simply smothered in blooms, the south facing position makes all the difference.
I cant deny it, rain in Cheshire is more frequent than it is in Aberdeen. However I have noticed that when the sun does come out here in Cheshire, December or January you can feel a little heat in it, something we do not experience back home at this time of year.
Plants that you would have expected to have gone over fully were hanging on to a few blooms.
Cyclamen looking quite good, a plant that would not grow in our Aberdeen garden. Schizostylis! well I have seen it in December but not late on in January. What else do we have, Hydrangea still showing a bit of colour.
In our own back garden I spotted the blue flowers of a variegated Vinca, good as it is to see blue blooms, I have to say I am not fond of Vinca.
Its so good to be living so near to our eldest daughter, grandson and son in law. Make no mistake though it is very challenging moving away from the city where you have lived all of your life.
Ah well, no point in me getting all sentimental over the past. The move has affected Myra terribly and I was growing concerned for her health, I am pleased to say she is coming around and once we get the house into shape and with Spring around the corner I think it will make all the difference, mind you, she will always be an Aberdeen quine.
I have admired these umbrella trees for the past four years on visits, little did I realise that we would find ourselves living here.
Well I ask you! we move almost four hundred miles south (to England) and what do we find. Every road,avenue, terrace and close in our estate has a Scottish name.
My Winter walk isn’t quite showing scenes that you would expect. We haven’t had any snow, what frost there has been has been extremely light,no shortage of rain though, mind you, compared to the flooding experienced by many further south, we have got off lightly.
The only container plant that I left in Aberdeen was a variegated Yucca.
I always overwintered it in the greenhouse as there was little chance of it surviving the Winters of North East Scotland.
Imagine my surprise whilst on my walk, coming across a Yucca surviving outdoors here in Cheshire, and it had clearly flowered.
Its only about eight feet tall, I was really taken with the spent flower heads which looked very impressive in the Winter sunshine.
I feel I should know what it is, but I have to confess, I haven’t a clue, do you know?
Thanks to all who have identified it as a form of Rhus (Sumach)
I like this Birch tree with white bark.
I like this weeping form even more.
Didn’t expect to come across you, glad I shoved that letter in my pocket.
This is my daughters delightful house. They live about one mile away from us, just about everywhere I need to go to is about a mile away, except for the garden centre which is four miles, too far to walk especially if you need a couple of bags of compost. In the meantime bricks and mortar are more likely to be the current requirement.
Of all the Asters which we have grown, Frikartii Monch stands out as one of our favourites.
Although at the moment there is not so very much to tell you about our Cheshire garden, I can always continue with my plant profiles for the cooler temperatures of North East Scotland.
We may have left Aberdeen, however I still have many plants which we grew there and as yet I haven’t got around to talking about.
Whichever plant I talk about I will always make a point of stating whether it was grown in Aberdeen or our new Cheshire garden.
Many of the perennial Asters grown in Aberdeen, tend to be very late in the season before they come into flower. Frikartii Monch however, placed in a sunny position should flower from late July through till October. The pale Lavender blue flowers are quite outstanding, and this one does not suffer from the mildew normally associated with Asters.
The picture of Frikartii Monch above was taken twelve years ago. It was in the main border of the back garden, placed in a position where it received full sun, and by late July it did start blooming.
Three planted together will be more effective as I find Frikartii Monch although hardy, does not clump up readily, on the other hand this could be well to do with the fact that our soil was a bit too acidic.
Free draining soil is an essential requirement, however this does not mean it likes dry conditions, keep it well watered throughout the Summer.
Frikartii Monch was bred by a Swiss Nursery man named Frikart in 1918.
Frikartii Monch was reintroduced in our garden again in 2013, picture above shows it in early Autumn.
In spite of the numerous wider angled pictures which I took of Frikartii this time around, none of them were fit to publish, in fact even this close up above is poorer than my original old photo.
I so much wanted this perennial in our garden again, I ended up planting it in the only position available, which really was too shady. As a result, it didn’t bloom until we were into September, and to be quite honest if it hadn’t been for the spectacular Summer I think it may have struggled completely.
The Royal Horticultural society have given this plant there prestigious award of garden merit. Not that easy to find in local garden centres but definitely worth the search.
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Height – 90cm
Position – Full sun/partial shade (go for full sun in Aberdeen)
We still seem to be at a stage where we seek familiarity of home. The picture below sums it up. Tubs and containers placed at the front of our new house are all very familiar to us.
I am quite fond of this large tree in our front garden. At this stage I have no idea what it is. The birds love it, well especially the food we hang from its branches, the squirrels are also very entertaining, I have seen five of them chase each other whilst the birds enjoy the offerings we give.
At the front window we have placed this bird feeder with fatty balls. I wasn’t convinced it would be used as back home they preferred to enjoy this treat from a distance. Well, I was quite wrong, seems like our feathered friends are much bolder down here in Cheshire.
The blue tit shares a meal with its cousin the great tit.
In the back garden, close to the house we have this choisya aztec pearl.
I have seen Choisya (Mexican orange blossom) growing in Aberdeen, but they can struggle to get through the Winter. This one below is looking very healthy alongside the Rhododendron, which indicates the soil is on the acidic side.
Unfortunately the Choisya will have to go, as it takes up a position where the house extension will be. I will try to save it but I am not too hopeful.
Finally, a few weeks ago I was contacted by a lady in Aberdeen who had come across my Aberdeen gardening blog. She was telling me that she was a very keen gardener and was looking to start up her own blog. She wanted to name it, My Aberdeen Garden and as the title was very similar to my site she was asking if I would feel miffed. My first thought was, hmm, I am not sure about this. Then I realised, who am I to object. Well anyway My Aberdeen Garden by Annette is not associated to Aberdeen Gardening but it certainly is worth checking out. Happy blogging Annette.
Late Spring last year, Myra was searching on line for Hydrangea Paniculata.
We had this shrub many years ago and I was keen to reintroduce it. Recently we had been talking once again about moving house, however we decided we would pot it up and if we did move we would take it with us (well we did move,and we did take it with us)
She didn’t tell me that this form of Hydrangea Paniculata was named (Pinky Winky) Ah well, you cant judge a book by its cover nor a plant by its name.
Well anyway, the shrub arrived in early May, about 30 inches tall and leaves starting to grow. I potted it up in a decent sized container and cut it back to about 12 inches. I didn’t really expect it to bloom in its first year, but it did not bad at all.
The flowers at first open white and as they age turn a definite pink. .
Picture of Pinky Winky above shows how the plant was looking in the second week of August.
The RHS were less concerned about the naming of this plant than I was, in fact it received the prestigious award of garden merit.
I am informed that the blooms of pinky Winky can grow to a length of 16 inches.
By the time mid September came around all the blooms had turned to a distinct dusky shade of pink.
Later on in Autumn new flower buds started to open, giving the shrub a great show of both white and pink blooms at the same time.
I guess I have already forgiven whoever named this shrub Pinky Bloomin Winky, however if I am asked by any visitor the name of this plant I wont be surprised if I simply say Hydrangea Paniculata.
•Hardiness *** Fully hardy
•Position *** Full sun/partial shade
•Soil *** Loamy soil neutral to slightly acidic
•Height *** About 4ft if pruned back hard each Spring
Well, here we are, now living in Cheshire.
No doubt it is going to take some time to feel settled, I have been tiddling about in the garden, and as I have mentioned before it is very much smaller than what we had in Aberdeen.
Last time we moved house, which was twenty eight years ago it was the garden which received our attention first of all.. This time around the house is getting the works first of all.
Here below is a few pictures of the front garden. Its not any smaller than the front garden of our Aberdeen house, very different though and it has the added attraction of being next to a woodland area.
Here we have the back garden which is going to be a bit of a challenge. Not only is it small but by the time we have our extension built it will be even smaller, on top of that it is north facing. What have you done, I hear you say.
Well, there you go, that’s it. The woodland and Myra’s feeding has attracted masses of garden birds and an equal amount of Squirrels which she finds equally appealing, better plant the Spring bulbs deep though.
I will keep you up to date on what’s going on with us in Cheshire East.
ps never did find a way of adding the video of our appearance on Gardeners World, never mind, you didn’t miss very much.