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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal June 2012

Last Post 2034 days 8 hours ago

Levens Hall Gardens, Cumbria

29 June 2012 20:09:33
Levens Hall Gardens

Levens Hall Gardens

Hi all, have tried to post this journal to go with photo album uploaded Tues evening 26th; no luck before today but hopefully now...

I'm back from a week in England's beautiful Lake District.  If only the weather had cooperated; after a couple of fine days to start, it was rain and more rain.  Fortunately we escaped the flooding that other parts of northern England experienced and I hope garden.iers in the Cork area escaped this week's floods too.

Finally, on the morning of departure it dried up and we got an all-too-short visit to Levens Hall Gardens, famous for their magical topiary and with lots more to delight the visitor.  The gardens date from the 1690's and have been lovingly developed and tended ever since.  I certainly hope to get back one day to take it in properly and see the areas we had to miss out this time.   Have posted a photo album (on Tues 26th).


Fennel - for Ladygardner and others

15 June 2012 19:41:56


Just catching up on comments on my journal of 13 June.

Anne, the fennel is from a small plant I bought a few years ago.  It died, or so I thought, in the cold winters but popped up again last year and has come through this past winter in fine form and is now about 5 feet tall.  Yes, it can get bushy but you can easily cut away the fronds you don't want; some of them turn yellow and die off anyway.  I like it in cooking and originally bought it to have purely as a herb; now I appreciate it for its frothy texture and ornamental qualities, it makes a great backdrop to flowering plants.  If you leave the yellow flowers/seed heads on, it should seed around for you. 

They're out!

15 June 2012 19:28:40
Wrens' nest in buddleia

Wrens' nest in buddleia

In all this miserable rain, the wrens fledged early this morning.  When I opened the curtains there were two little ones flitting around the borders and I think possibly a third being fed in a conifer.  They stayed just a short while before heading for higher cover in the trees behind our garden. 

I feel so privileged to have had them nesting with us these past few weeks and wish them well on their little life's journey.  I couldn't photograph the birds, though now they're gone I can show you the nest.  (Photo taken in the rain this afternoon, so not the best).


Different foxglove

13 June 2012 22:17:22
Digitalis 'Pam's Split'

Digitalis 'Pam's Split'

I grew two lots of foxglove from seed for planting out this year, one mixed packet which has provided a nice display and Pam's Split, which was new to me.  

Just four of the Pam's Split germinated and survived.  I'll reserve judgment until they open fully but at this stage the split flowers look ragged to me and not as nice as other varieties.  Opinions welcome!

I've also added some more photos to the May-June album. 

Wrens update

09 June 2012 21:44:01
Buddleia has wrens' nest

Buddleia has wrens' nest

As you can imagine, I was worried about our nesting wrens over the last two days of dreadful weather.  I thought the nest itself should be okay in its well sheltered spot but knew the birds would have great difficulty finding any food for their chicks in the pelting rain and gales. 

Thankfully all seems to be okay as today the parent birds have been coming and going as usual, bringing in insect food, and I can hear cheeping youngsters.  This is the buddleia where the nest is; it's inside on the right, close to the wall, about a metre or slightly more up from the base. 

Fingers crossed for the coming week.  Not sure of the timing but reckon they may be due to fledge by the end of next week. 

Bloom photos added

05 June 2012 16:13:41
Supergarden winner by Leonie Cornelius

Supergarden winner by Leonie Cornelius

Finally getting round to uploading photos from my visit to Bloom last Thursday.

From all your journals it seems everyone who attended over the five days enjoyed their visit and I did too.  Nice to bump into some garden.iers and see the other photos posted so far.  Happy planting everyone. 

Great day at Bloom yesterday

01 June 2012 23:10:39
For those who like primulas

For those who like primulas

... and I'm still catching up with myself.  I really enjoyed this year's show, despite slightly damp conditions which didn't spoil the day, in fact it was very calm and the show gardens were looking superbly fresh.  Like Rachel, I thought the standard of show gardens was better than last year (or maybe there were just more of the kind of gardens I like) and my favourite was also Jane McCorkell's 'My Garden'.  Also liked the Japanese Tea Garden, the Lyric FM garden, the Green House cottage garden, and the sweet little dogs and cats garden designed by a ten year old girl - a joy to see young talent. 

Nice to bump into Rachel & Liga, Bill, Jurgita & Violeta and sorry to miss other .iers who were there.  Am reliably informed that Fran bought at least one other fern (surprise, surprise).   Can't believe I restrained myself to buying only three plants, one of which was smilacina racemosa which I had admired in the Bay Garden recently, so pleased with that. 

Hope everyone going over the weekend has a great time too.  Have photos of the show gardens to post when you all have chance to see them in reality first, so here's a pic of one of the floral display stands. 


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