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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal May 2015

Last Post 969 days 6 hours ago

Bodnant souvenir

30 May 2015 22:30:31

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It's just over a year since our wonderful day trip to Bodnant Gardens ... and how different the weather was to today!  Their candelabra primulas looked so beautiful that we couldn't resist buying when we saw them in the plant sales area.

The plant I bought had one flower stem, almost going over.  This year there are seven!  So the plan is to elbow out some of its neighbours and make room for this lovely primula to spread.

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens

26 May 2015 23:42:31

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Still basking in our Chelsea visit, we headed out to Kew Gardens the following day and, after a delayed start due to works on the Tube line, had a lovely leisurely time exploring these vast botanical gardens.  You could spend a whole day here and not cover it all.

Highlights were the Waterlily House, the Princess of Wales Conservatory with its ten climactic zones, a beautiful rock garden, rhododendron dell, Mediterranean and bamboo gardens, Kew Palace with adjoining Queen's garden and the many acres of parkland surrounding it all.  We didn't get up to the treetop walkway (sure you have to leave something for your next visit)! 

Didn't take many photos but hope you enjoy the small album posted earlier this evening.

I also came away with a renewed sense of appreciation of our own Botanical Gardens at Glasnevin, which are free to visit (entry to Kew is about £15) and a national treasure that can be enjoyed by all.

Chelsea impressions

25 May 2015 23:24:37

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I tried to post this journal earlier but it crashed ... here goes again.

Where to begin...?  I visited the Chelsea Flower Show last Friday with my sister-in-law and a friend and we enjoyed every minute.  Yes, it was crowded, but after getting our bearings we got to see most of the show gardens and talk to people manning them and just soak up the atmosphere of this prestigious event.

You’re probably all Chelsead out by now after the extensive TV coverage, so I’ll try not to bore you!   A few impressions:  Most of the designers favoured a naturalistic planting style, though there was some superb block planting, notably in the Telegraph garden (Marcus Barnett), and a few wow features like the Rich brothers’ moving ‘gazebo’.  Orange flowers were everywhere, especially orange geums and California poppies, and the popularity of cow parsley shows no sign of declining.  Irish moss also featured (will post another journal on this later).  Dan Pearson was a worthy winner of Best in Show;  I couldn’t get any photos of his garden due to its size, shape and location but it was superb and looked like it had been there forever.  Sean who won the Chelsea Challenge equally deserved his place at the show and was there throughout to talk to visitors.  He made the sculptures and other quirky features himself and didn’t overdo them!  The floral pavilion was magnificent, all three acres of it.  The Fresh (conceptual) gardens and Artisan (small) gardens were interesting examples of creativity in small spaces.  The winner of the latter was an acer lover’s dream!

And I have discovered verbascums, a plant I know little about and will certainly try to remedy that after seeing lovely use of them in several of the show gardens.

We ended the day sipping Pimms while listening to music at the bandstand ... bliss! 

Celebrity spotting

24 May 2015 23:29:44

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Just back from a few days in London, the highlight being our visits to the Chelsea Flower Show and Kew Gardens. 

Spotted a few familar faces at Chelsea ...

We had a fabulous time.  I'll post a longer journal and more photos tomorrow.

Front Garden

15 May 2015 22:41:36

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Don't you just love the fresh green foliage of May?  I'm pleased with how this corner of the front garden is looking following last year's revamp.

Fran posted recently about Heucherella, they really are great plants.  This one is called 'Tapestry', which I bought earlier this year for its foliage and I also like the pink flowers just opening now.

Picea glauca albertiana 'Conica'

08 May 2015 23:24:49

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When we first visited Mount Congreve gardens late last summer, I was tempted by this little white spruce in their sales area, even though I knew nothing about these plants.  For a few years it will stay in a pot by the front window to grow on and then I will probably plant it out in the front garden.  The difference in just a month has amazed me; the new growth is soft and tactile and just lovely.

Mount Congreve nursery has produced great quality plants and it's so sad that it is closing.

Tulips at the Bots

05 May 2015 22:09:35

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I was able to make another short visit to the Botanic Gardens today.  There were lovely tulip displays both in the annuals bed near the entrance and in the dedicated tulip beds.

I've put up an album, with names for most of them, and will be interested to see which are your favourites.  The photos were taken with my phone, so not the best.

May Blues

04 May 2015 22:29:35

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From your journals it's clear that many of you like blue flowered plants and I certainly do.  Here are three in flower now:

Brunnera 'Jack Frost', lovely for its silvery foliage as well as cheery forget-me-not like flowers.

Corydalis flexuosa 'Purple Leaf', one of my favourite plants for this time of year.

Camassias ... it's hard to know when to photograph these as the flowers open from bottom to top; by the time the tops open, the bottoms have gone over.  Still, they add stateliness to the late spring border and I do like them.


Catching up

02 May 2015 20:44:47
Catching up

Catching up

After a week with no internet and an evening and morning trying to sort out problems connecting a new modem, I sure am glad to be back and will spend this evening catching up on journals and, of course, Rachel's videos which I really missed! 

Amid all that it was lovely to have ClaireE, Clare (Clara) and Myrtle visit here on Thursday for a wander round the garden and lots of good chat.  The sun shone for us and it was just a heavenly day for me.  They brought lovely gifts which I'll post about when I take more photos, including from Clare the perfect sign to hang in the greenhouse.  Thank you all, I so enjoyed your company.


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