Gardening News

Primula Vulgaris

Written by  on March 29, 2014

Everyone loves Primula Vulgaris. Our native Primrose has possibly been the subject of fellow bloggers more often than any other plant.

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I will put in my tuppence worth here, not only because I am very fond of  this plant but also for the reason, that I made a decision some time ago to profile every plant which we have in our garden now, or have had in the past.

This task, if I take it seriously enough, should help see me through to a time when I should receive a letter from the reigning monarch.

Primula Vulgaris, starts to bloom very early, in Aberdeen more often in mid/late March. However even in Aberdeen I have seen blooms start to open in February.


Primula Vulgaris

The pictures of this one were taken in our Cheshire garden, where the first blooms did indeed start to open early in February.

Over the years we have grown many of the brightly coloured Primulas and Polyanthus, which give a good show in Spring. These plants are generally treated as annuals and replaced with Summer bedding come late May/early June.   I suspect here in Cheshire it should be safe enough to plant out the Summer bedding at least a couple of weeks earlier than this.


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Being a native plant, Primula Vulgaris gives more garden satisfaction.

Its dependable, perennial, in fact most years it remains evergreen, and reading your comments, it seems they are capable of blooming all year round . It grows in soil which is either on the acidic or Alkaline side.

Looks good at the front of the border or sensational at the edge of a woodland area.  We have such a woodland spot, which I have claimed, as it seems to be  in no man’s land.  It actually looks really good from our garden, I just have to create a method of access.

Well anyway, these Primula Vulgaris with their pale yellow blooms are dotted here and there in our front and back garden.  Blooming profusely now in late March, I expect they will still be going strong well into April.

—Mail Order—


Back garden March (4)

I spent such a long time ridding our Aberdeen garden of Leylandii.  Guess what, well you don’t really have to as you can see for yourself.

Yes, Leylandii running the length of our Cheshire back garden.

For the past three months I have been kidding myself that this was kind of all right.  The mild Winter resulted in continued growth of this monster through the season.


Back garden March

I am feeling less troubled by it now as, its COMING OUT, roots an all,  so glad we have come to this decision. I am not keen to tackle this job myself so I have arranged for the heavy squad to deal with it, hopefully next week.

In its place we are putting up wooden trellis, where we will grow climbing Roses and Clematis.


Front garden March (2)

The front garden, although there isn’t much in the way of blooms at the moment, I am rather fond of it.

I have been continuing to cut out additional borders where we can add a bit of colour in Spring and Summer.

All the main existing borders had been well planted up, and to be quite honest was quite easy on the eye, even in the dead of Winter, well, we didn’t really have a Winter, but you know what I’m  getting at.

There are a few shrubs that will need replacing, and I will probably see to this soon. That’s the Hydrangea Pinky Winky in the tub, apparently I have to find a place for it.


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Cant say these guys have been making a nuisance of themselves, in fact they are very entertaining.

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 I was contacted by the producers, who are at the moment looking for gardeners like myself to put their names, or should I say gardens forward for the Alan Titchmarsh (Britain’s Best Gardens)

They had come across my blog as they may have done with yours. Anyway, after seeing pictures of our Aberdeen garden they were asking if we wanted to participate or nominate anyone else.

As we no longer live in Aberdeen, I had to decline, however I have many blogging friends with beautiful gardens, perhaps you would like to check it out, go on, click on the link. Britain’s Best Gardens


Chaenomelis x Superba Crimson and Gold

Written by  on March 1, 2014

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.

Although the first blooms may appear in February, the full flush will come  March/April especially for those in the Aberdeen area.

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

Mail order and pruning instructions


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.

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Crocus are dotted all around the garden,its good to see, we had no idea which bulbs would be popping through in early Spring.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


Berberis x Ottawensis f purpurea Superba

Written by  on February 15, 2014

The Berberis Ottawensis Superba which was in the front garden of our Aberdeen house made a bold statement.

Berberis Ottawensis Superba

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.

 This variety of Berberis is rather vigorous and would make an ideal barrier to prevent unwanted visitors gaining access to your property, the spikyBerberis flowers stems are lethal.

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

Mail order

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.

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Don’t position Harlequin at the very back of the border, chances are it will struggle to reach four feet in height.

Berberis Thunbergii Harlequin 02

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

—Mail Order—


Finally (Helmond pillar) was another berberis which graced the main border of our back garden.Berberis Thunbergii Helmond Pillar This one is ideal for the small garden.

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.

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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.


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Here we have one of the few pleasant pubs which we have in the village.


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Spent too much time in that pub, ah well you can repent your sins if you feel that way inclined.


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If your head is still aching then you could well find an understanding doctor in this place.


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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.


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