Saturday, 28 February 2015

Signs of Spring.

A stroll through Our Garden@19 looking for signs of spring.

Galanthus nivalis

Galanthus nivalis 'Flore Pleno'

Galanthus 'S Arnott' ?

Iris 'Katherine Hodgkin'


Helleborus orientalis with Eranthis hyemalis in the background.

Helleborus foetidus

Viburnum f. 'Candidissimum' still flowering.

Also Lonicera fragrantissima.
I hope you have enjoyed a stroll through Our Garden@19 looking for signs of spring.

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

A wet day in Worcestershire. (Orchids)

Some of Irene's Orchids help brighten a wet day!

Mary's pencil sketch of the White Orchid.

Pencil sketch by Mary Jane Skeys.

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Friday, 13 February 2015


"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
 Nelson Henderson. 

My choice for the tree following meme, the Acer negundo 'Flamingo', has not changed much since January. For February, I have decided to post about the other trees in Our Garden@19.

In my dreams if there is one addition I would make to the garden it would be a small Arboretum.

We do benefit from a shared landscape of our neighbours trees, a large copper beech.

and a Silver Birch, which look wonderful in Autumn.

and during Winter.

We also inherited a flowering Cherry...

...and a Magnolia soulangeana.

We have planted quite a number since we have been here, in what is a relatively small garden.

Malus Golden Hornet.
Which has beautiful blossom...

...and fruit for the birds.

Malus Worcester Pearmain was an obvious choice also the Herefordshire Russett, Kidd's Orange Red because of its sharp/sweet, juicy flavour and an espalier trained Blenheim Orange.

Blenheim Orange behind a raised bed.
There are also two pears trained over an archway leading off the patio... 

...the flowers of which are as pretty as any in the garden.
Pyrus 'Invincible'
I am gradually planting more shrubs and trees, in the hope that the garden and I 'mature' slowly together and therefore remains manageable!
The two most recent ones are...

Acer griseum.

And The Snake Bark Maple.

Bud of the Snakebark Maple.

with its beautiful bark and acid green spring leaves.

A. tegmentosum Snakebark Maple.
In the area I call the never ending woodland walk (Delusions of Grandeur) is a Sorbus Eastern Promise...

...and a Liquidamber slyraciflua 'Stella' with its wonderful autumn colour.

Finnishing with what I like to call our 'Champion Tree'

Prunus serrula with its wonderful bark.

Everyone who visits the garden likes to stroke this tree.

We are fortunate to have near us an excellent nursery specialising in trees and shrubs.
 For contact information of Grange Farm Nursery, click on the link below:

For more tree blogs please visit the Tree following meme at

I hope you have enjoyed reading our blog, please leave your comments, I look forward to reading them.
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Monday, 9 February 2015

A Winters Tale.

We have just returned to Our Garden@19 having migrated south for a week, to Dartmouth, unfortunately bitterly cold winds were there as well.

Looking across the river Dart to Kingswear.
This colourful planter was outside a shop in Dartmouth, we could not believe how fresh and healthy the Pelargonium leaves looked.

The weather forecast for Monday was dry, cold and sunny so we set off to visit Castle Drogo, Drewsteighton, Nr Exeter, owned by the National Trust. The Castle, closed until March, is under going a massive restoration project.
There are several walks around the estate, ideal for Murphy to get some exercise.

The formal garden described by the RHS as  “A major 1920s garden, made to match the last castle built in Britain, one of Lutyens' most remarkable works. Up on the edge of Dartmoor, the gardens are the highest owned by the National Trust. Sheltered within tightly clipped yew hedges, George Dillistone’s exuberant planting complements Lutyens geometric formal layout of granite terraces, steps and walls. The garden design reflects Lutyens’ Indian influences, derived from his work in New Delhi as well as his war grave work for the Imperial War Graves Commission in the aftermath of the First World War”. 

Walking from the visitor centre the first garden you encounter is the circular Croquet Lawn, formerly the Tennis Court…

…then a quaint Bunty House (an early Wendy House) set in its own miniature cottage garden...

...with clear instructions as to who is in control here!

There is a timber and thatched building known as the Luncheon Hut, which was used by the family for meals on visits to the site before the house was completed.

Stone steps leading down to the Rose Garden have Yuccas either side with the original Wisteria sinensis trained horizontally along the wall. 

The formal garden is Grade II registered and is a good example of the Arts and Crafts style.
The lower terrace comprises a lawn with square rose beds and paving to create a chequered pattern at each corner. 

Lutyens four corner cast iron frames, originally planted with weeping Elm…

…now with pleached Parrotia persica (‘Persian Ironwood’) trees are a unique feature…

…creating pavilions, underplanted with ferns and surrounded by yew hedges. 

The Upper Terrace, which runs down both sides of the garden, is planted as an herbaceous border, the paths are a geometric Indian pattern copied by Lutyens.

The slate edged corner beds are planted with Lavender and Herbs.

Leaving the formal garden via these impressive wooden gates...

...past some brave Snowdrops... the Rhododendron Garden, this was added later in the 1940s by Basil Drewe, with wonderful views across to Dartmoor…

…and the first signs of spring. 

A summer visit has to go on the calendar.

Passing through the plant centre I couldn't resist this Little Gem…

Sarcococca 'Winter Gem'

…and then it started to snow.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Castle Drogo in Our Garden@19, please leave your comments, I look forward to reading them.
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