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Fleurette's Garden

Fleurette's Garden

This is just a short update to say that since converting to Apple, it has not been possible for me to post an album to this site. The site does give you an opportunity to choose any pictures for an album.  So, all I can do is post lots of Journals where you can upload  up to 3 pictures.  That will have to suffice.


Such a pleasant surprise

12 November 2017 23:00:12

At the beginning of last week, I looked out the window as a blink of (very rare) sunshine caught a large plant with red flowers.  I had never seen this one before and it took me by surprise.  I didn’t manage to get out to see what on earth it was as the rain came on again.  

It was two days later that I went across a squelchy squelchy squelchy lawn to  investigate. The plant seemed to have appeared from nowhere.   Such beautiful fine red tubular flowers with a slight yellow tinge at the edges, which seem to give the whole plant a lively look.  The branches are quite long, the plant being about 3-4ft H.  What is really lovely are the side branches that just spread out and on these the individual flower components of the long flower spike face upwards.  Like candles on a cake.  I cut some of these as I was making a table centre arrangement for a friend and had already quite a selection of flowers from all over the garden. These were mainly in the soft pink and lilac colours, a few springs of a delicate pale pink fuchsia, etc etc. A bit of myrtle with blossom and the black berries.  Unexpectedly, I found that those side shoot upward facing  flower stems were quite simply magic in finishing off the circular arrangement like spokes of a wheel.  

So then, I remembered that this was the tiny plant of pineapple sage, salvia elegans, I had been given in a wee pot a few years ago, had totally neglected, then planted out and kept treading on it.  But it did not bear me any grudge and I am so impressed.  

The cosmos in front of it only started to flower last week too.  It grew to be huge and until recently there no signs of flower buds at all.  

 I have just uploaded the photos  and you probably think that “upward -facing “ flowers is a load of nonsense.  There were some further round at the back!!  And also as they matured in the arrangement, they turned the little flowerlets upwards.  The photos do not do the plant justice.

Does anyone grow this plant? I’m sure you do.  It is lovely to have a surprise such as this in the month of November.  By the way, when the weather is warm and sunny, there is a great smell from the leaves.  

I am now going to rant about the weather we have had this Summer and Autumn on the N. Coast.  May and June were v. Dry.  Drier than down South.  Then that was it!  Dull, warmish, nothing above 17°C on a good day, and showers and more ahowers and rain and deluges, and storms and wind and flooding.  And so it continues.  There hasn’t been a dry day in the past fortnight.  The pavement has never dried in weeks.  Bc Yesterday there was a heavy shower every 45 minutes.  But nonetheless, I just persevered and took shelter in the shed.  I managed to set 250 crocus corms. Only 750 to go!  Mary from Gracedieu, you are to blame for this madness.  


Jacinta D Jacinta D 13 November 2017 07:31:04

Wow, that looks super for a 'tiny' plant, Margot.

Fleurette Fleurette 13 November 2017 09:11:38

Haha, Jacinta. 

Of course, as this is a sage, I think it is termed a sub-shrub, and so, I don’t suppose I will tread on it again. It will be robust.  I am very happy with the position and outcome of this neglected/rejected plant  as the ground there is total rubbish and very stoney.  The height is very welcome.  

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 13 November 2017 10:50:03

Salvia I think has the common name of Pineapple Sage, Margot. My addiction for spring bulbs seems to be spreading to Donegal. Looking forward to seeing them in the spring. Gorgeous combination with the salvia and the cosmos and so late into the year.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 13 November 2017 12:58:08

That Salvia is lovely and great to get a surprise like that! I also love the Cosmos -I  haven't had one such a deep colour although I have grown them most years! The Salvias I have in pots are going into the ground shortly as the greenhouse is not much use since Ophelia took its roof off and it is still out of action! I hope they survive! I took some cutting earlier but they need the greenhouse too!

Jackie Jackie 14 November 2017 07:26:13

I love getting these surprises and how beautiful it is too. Looks great with that deep Cosmos. I've still got some Cosmos flowering away despite the cold weather. I've a few seeds to collect now too. Great photos Margot! 


06 October 2017 22:57:59

I have been reading the long article in the new ed. of the Irish Garden.  

It is such a huge family, but anyhow, here is one given to me last year by James Burside, a noted flower arranger.  I have been watching this thing grow and grow all summer, loger and longer, more and more spindly; I staked it at abkut 2 1/2 ft. , and still it grew on and on.  Flower spikes appeared mid August , but the flowers did not open till last week: ie 6 weeks later.  

So, I’ve been having fun with a new tool on iOS 11.0?   and have drawn a red line around  this plant.  Do any of you grow it?  I don’t seem to see it mentioned in the article.  The flowers on the dark-stemmed are larger and have a more prominent yellow centre than Little Carlow.  In fact very similar to a, Mönch.  

Up at the top on this same photo is really good tall robust aster, deep pink that is really well behaved and which I have never had to stake.  I have told you often enough how much strong wind we get, so full marks to this lady.  I hadn’t the enrgy to make my way up to the top of the bank to take a close-up image.  

The next picture is of another so well behaved and very dear to my heart little aster.  I’ve had it since the mid 1960’s in various gardens.  It is only 18” high, and spreads only very slowly.  Great colour as you can see.  Also lovely to have a few sprigs in a glass on the table.    Good one to ”share”

 Any name?  

The yellow calceolaria integrifolia came from Malahide station a very very long time ago.  Same age as the aster beneath it.  

JoanG JoanG 07 October 2017 00:41:00

I enjoyed the article on asters, such a big family as you say Margot.  The black stems on your floppy one make a lovely contrast to the pale flowers and the tall pink one looks fabulous.  But I think I like the short one best of all, a pure carpet of pretty flowers.  No idea of the name, I'm afraid; I have a nice shortish one here called Aster amellus 'Mira' but it is taller than yours and a darker shade. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 07 October 2017 08:40:09

I think the pink one might be Aster 'Harvington Pink' which for me needs no staking. I also grow Aster 'Little Carlow' which along with Aster 'Monch' are my favourites. Don't have a clue to the 'mystery' aster, maybe a species one. They can be very difficult plants to photo.

Jackie Jackie 09 October 2017 08:07:57

Asters are a lovely shrub but the  smaller ones. Mine is flopping at the moment. I'm told it's 'little Carlow' but the wind got a hold of it one day and it needs rescuing. I do like that low growing one though. 

Scrubber Scrubber 09 October 2017 22:35:20

I have my beady eye on some in Glanbia but they are very tall and a bit spindly. Nice deep colour though. I wondered if I chelsea chopped them?????

Fleurette Fleurette 09 October 2017 23:31:22

Yes, Jackie, Little Carlow does flop and needs support.  As does A. Mönch, but this does it in an elegant sort of way and does not swamp and sit on its companions.  It is pretty to allow some bits to flop about.  

I am in 2 minds about the Chelsea chop for the red-stemmed one, Peter.  Remembering it was given to me by a flower arranger, I can see that it would be splendid in a huge arrangement such as you see At a Flower Festival, all frothy and airy.  


LindaB LindaB 10 October 2017 16:47:05

Lovely to have such vivid colour now.

My Three Indispensable Plants

27 September 2017 23:17:15

So, at Elizabeth's suggestion, I am going to recommend the 3 p,ants that I find are invaluable in my garden.  

Some of you may know that I am generally against self-seeders, especially any like columbine that inevitably set themselves right in the middle of a choice subject and you just cannot get hold of the long tap root.   

My first two are in fact self-seeders, but "in the nicest possible way" !!! Also, they are easy and "good-doers"  

The 1st is:  double white Feverfew.  This plant is sturdy, weather proof, always in flower,  from early season right through and probably still a bit during the winter.  It is a great filler (I don't do annuals), and it combines and enhances all the colour schemes.  There is much less smell from the leaves of the double than of the single.  What you need to  do is to cut back old flowered stems.  The lovely sturdy seedlings are quite prolific, but easily removed and planted on if necessary, but I just love how they find a great wee spot  I would not have considered.  When the surrounding plants grow and take their turn in the sun, the feverfew can be cut right back and come againn a month later.   Years ago, I consistently weeded out every plant with single flowers.   

The 2nd is Linaria purpurea  and also Linaria purpurea Canon Went which is pink. Again,   although a seeder, as this is a slim specimen, it is perfectly accepatble in any position, even at the front of the border. Tall, slim and graceful. Pink and purple both seed well.  I have had a white one fir a few years now but I haven't spotted any white seedlings.  What a pity.  This season I bought  Linaria purpurea "Peachy". I wonder whatvit will do?

sorry about the upside -down picture.   It is one from last year when I was inadvertently  holding the iPad uoside down.  Pcon has explained it all to me!  

The 3rd: Crocosmia Solfataire.  Why?  It gives me interest and joy from late spring till mid October.  Lovely spikes of bronze/green foliage, then come the well-held spikes of apricot flowers.  This soft apricot  blends in and enhances so many other dominant colours in the border.  Just now, in a stemmed glass on the table in front of me are a few stems of Fuchsia Genii with its yellow-green foliage and pendent flowers that have up-curved cerise petals.   Amongst  these are a few stems of Solfataire.  Delightful, because of the colour of the fuchsia foliage, I think?  

Book now for a share out at Johnstown!  I might even pot ip a few for you if I have your name on it.  

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 27 September 2017 23:46:38

I love that Crocosmia Solfataire - I think I got some from you maybe? I have it in a pot at the moment and pop it into any bare spots and as you say the soft shade of the flowers seems to enhance anything it is beside!

Fleurette Fleurette 27 September 2017 23:53:08

Perhaps you did Hazel. I have noticed that it flowers better in not too dry a spt, .. as if that were possible this year! you can have more!

I'm still searching a picture of the double feverfew, which I know is there, somewhere.  i saw it an hour ago.

Jacinta D Jacinta D 28 September 2017 08:49:29

Great contrast in that second photo, Margot.

LindaB LindaB 28 September 2017 09:34:05

Super Margot, so difficult to choose 3, I must have a look.  Yes I would love some please Margot thank you.  Won't be long until our gettogether!

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 28 September 2017 11:53:22

I did not realise that the double feverfew did not smell as bad as the single one. I think Crocosmia 'Solfataire' is the best of the crocosmia. Three beautiful photos of your garden, Margot.

Jackie Jackie 29 September 2017 08:43:52

You gave me some of that Crocosmia Solfataire and I just love it. It's flowering away here still. Also the double feverfew!! 

Oh I need to choose what I really REALLY like !! It'll be hard! 

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 29 September 2017 11:00:20

So interested that you too like the Feverfew.  Linaria is a plant not often mentioned but if it rates selection from all your fab plants I must keep an eye out for it!

I would love a piece of Solfataire please , do you have Severn sunrise ? That too is a wonderful Crocosmia if you would like some.

JoanG JoanG 29 September 2017 20:11:00

Yes, interesting that you and Elizabeth both chose Feverfew; I must check it out.  Unless you have an endless supply of Solfataire, Margot, you have probably run out with the requests above but if there's any left, I would love some at Johnstown. Gorgeous photos of your garden! 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 29 September 2017 22:49:16

I have Crocosmia ' Solfataire' if you want some, Joan. 

Elizabeth, are you looking for Crocosmia ' Severn Sunrise'? If you are I can give you some.

Fleurette Fleurette 29 September 2017 23:08:07

Aren't we having fun with this batch of posts?  

I fully intend potting up your requests for Johnstown.  Hazel,  "you will, you will,  you will " won't you? ...  Organise us all?  

Elizabeth and Mary, you mention C. Severn Sunrise.  No, I do not have this one.  I do have a Hesperantha/schizostylis by the same name.  Salmon colour with the biggest widest flower petals.    Stunning plant that I have in the wrong place.  

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 29 September 2017 23:23:00

Thanks Mary but I have Severn sunrise and was offering some to Margot or anyone else.

JoanG JoanG 30 September 2017 20:57:50

Thanks Margot and Mary; whoever has some to spare, I'd be delighted for a wee one at Johnstown. 

Help, please

18 September 2017 22:56:42

Can you please identify this plant?

I try to keep very good lists of my plants: name, year, where planted and also, quite important, who gave it to me or where acquired.

Be that as it may, this one has slipped through the net.  It has been very deliberately positioned in the hall door bed where I would see it, and I think that was in early summer.  But I can find no trace of a name.

Picture 1 shows the foliage and some fallen fuchsia  flowers.

Picture 2 shows the delicate very dark flower which I had to bring indoors And stick in a vase.  3lower petals and 2upper ones.  The flower stem is wiry, in definite segments with nodes.  The individual little flowers do not last long, but the buds have all opened in succession.  



Hosta Hosta 18 September 2017 23:05:33

It's Pelargonium sidoides :-)

Fleurette Fleurette 18 September 2017 23:20:35

Well, that is a turn-up for the books!  I am absolutely not aware of acquiring a plant of this name. 

However, I shall wait and see if some good ier.  wags a finger at me and tells me she/he was the donor!  

I have just now checked it out on the RHS site, and find it is a medicinal plant.

OMG .... I am just seeing on the RHS site "Buy from £21.99 at the RHS plant shop. ". 

I may bring well pot up this one, cosset it and bring it to Johnstown, but not for swapping ......  for sale to the highest bidder or quite simply  for the Kris Kindle.  

Hosta, Do you grow it?  Is it a common plant?  

Hosta Hosta 18 September 2017 23:30:39

I have it here and I would think it is fairly common.  It comes in pink as well.  I wouldn't pay £ 21.99 for it though !

I think perhaps it would be best to bring it in for the winter.

Scrubber Scrubber 19 September 2017 19:47:05

Hurrah not alone Margot have you discovered the name of that very 'spensive flower but Hosta has materialised again! Was I the only one who thought she had vanished. Sorry Hosta! And well done Margot. Oviously an eye for the exclusive!!!!

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 19 September 2017 20:56:15

Margot - I also got this delightful little plant from a .ier - so own up whoever has been spreading this little cutie around!

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 19 September 2017 21:09:01

I think it is Joan!

JoanG JoanG 19 September 2017 22:16:43

No, not me; perhaps Liga, our pelargonium queen? 

Jackie Jackie 20 September 2017 08:17:49

Margot I gave it to you when I visited in May :)   Originally I got it from Yellow Rose (Bernie) about 2 years ago in Johnstow.  A gorgeous little plant with delicate looking wine coloured flowers on tall stems. I've a few here now if anyone would like some. I keep it in the greenhouse over Winter but it has been outside all Summer. Hazel I also brought it to you too ;) 

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 20 September 2017 09:00:46

Thanks Jackie! I thought it was you who brought it but I hadn't updated the database!!! Its doing well for me too but I'll take your tip and bring it into the greenhouse for the winter!


07 September 2017 12:44:08

Last week, I spent 2 days, if not 3, gathering, sorting into different buckets, thinking, and then doing the actual job of decorating for the Harvest Thanksgiving, which came a month earlier than usual for us.  Co

I was given some gladioli: Bordeau wine colour and yellow.  

This is one of the arrangements before I tweeked it.  I wanted the 2 sides to rise, the glad. at the back to be more to the sides as well, and the white phlox in the middle to be lower.  I think I got there in the end, but didn't take a nother picture for fear I would see other flaws!  I would actually like to start all over again.  

I used gladioli, well that is obvious, buddleya globosa, crocosmia Solfataire and Rodgersia superba leaves.   Oh yes, lovely spikes of Lythrum salicaria Robin.  

Which brings me to making a comment about these super plants: Lythrum.  

There are quite a few on the market just now, and earlier in the season, I asked myself what the difference was between the ordinary/wild one, and the ones you pay good money for.  For instance "Robin" featured in the arrangement.  As the season ahs worn on, I can see a definite difference.  The wild one did not flower as long and when cut and compared at close quarters, Robin is fatter and sturdier.  Now, I don't see much, if any, difference between "Robin"and " Rosy Gem".  I bought another lovely one on my visit to Scotland with Maghera Garden Club during July : "Blush". Beautiful soft pink, H80cm.  What is your experience of these? 

Then there are also all the salvias, and ..... the veronica spicatas.  So many spikes these days that fit in so well in a border.  There are times, that from a distance, I haven't a clue as to which they are.  A fantastic veronica spicata is "1st Love"  tall - 3ft -   with branched spikes that are long and slim and hold their colour very well.  They add a little spice amongst other herbaceous plants in a very graceful way.  

What about Verbena Hasata?  Do they do well for you?  Rosea and Alba.  They seed easily.  

I have successfully managed to delay my return to cleaning and housework!  

Dick Dick 07 September 2017 15:08:58

Great display Margot. Not all would go so far to make an arrangement like it.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 07 September 2017 15:15:02

A lovely arrangement, Margot  and your colour choice is refreshing, as at this time of year everything is russets and yellow. Crocosmia 'Solfataire' is the best of the croscosmia. The foliage colour and the colour of the flower contrasts so well. I have seen Lythrum 'Lady Sackville' in a few garden I have visited this year and it seems to be a good strong colour and lasts for a long time. I don't have it, but am tempted. Verbena Hastata is a gorgeous plant, looks good in flower and seed heads also look good. It seeds around and always in the right place. Don't overdo the housework.

Scrubber Scrubber 07 September 2017 18:23:55

Quelles sont les couleurs exquises! Margot vous etes unveritable artiste!Leglise doit avoir ete belle!

Jacinta D Jacinta D 07 September 2017 20:01:15

Wow, Margot! What a gorgeous arrangement. I love the colour of the Gladiolus.

JoanG JoanG 07 September 2017 21:37:23

A beautiful arrangement Margot, all credit to you. I've also seen Lythrum in a couple of gardens this year but don't know which varieties they were and agree with Mary about Crocosmia 'Solfataire'.  I'm not a fan of gladioli for growing in the garden, though they can look great in floral arrangements. 

Fleurette Fleurette 08 September 2017 10:23:34

Thank you for your generous comments.  

First, apologies for indicating bergenia leaves, which I suppose they could well have been. It was Rodgersia superba And I should not have included the 2 flower heads

Cr. Solfataire is the very best one, with good depth yet soft colour that blends very well.  The clump gently increases and is so well behaved. In my top 10 plants.  Has anyone grown Cr. Maori Sunrise?  Really Spectacular colour, ..... but .... in my sandy soil, totally uncontrollable.  I am having to lift everythig in the vicinity of where I had placed it to find any little stray piece of root.  I have heard it is okay in heavy clay.  

So now, a day after writing this journal, I can tell you that I bowed to the great wisdom of the Lass from Gracedieu - she who is to be heeded - and quit the housework.  The showers were relentless yesterday and it is the same today.  

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 08 September 2017 13:05:51

Glad that you took my advise, Margot. I grow a Crocosmia 'Severn Sunrise' well behaved in my clay soil. I also have Crocosmia 'Dusky Maiden' dark foliage and deep orange flowers which is very well behaved and Crocosmia 'Rowallane Yellow'. If you would like any of these I can send them to you.

TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 14 September 2017 21:21:19

I decided long ago that Housework and Gardening are incompatible! Totally essential household tasks can be tackled (a) after dark (b) when there is non-stop rain. Otherwise it just has to take its turn!


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