Thursday, 28 January 2016

Medinilla Magnifica.

In 2008 we visited the Royal Greenhouse in Belgium.
 The Belgian Royal Greenhouses are situated just outside Brussels at The Royal Family's Summer residence at Laeken.

 The greenhouses at Laeken are open for 3 weekends only in May and the monies raised go to charity.  The third weekend is for disabled people only.
 Built between 1874 and 1905 by King Leopold 2nd, who had a special love of plants and flowers.
The Winter Garden Dome, 25.6 m high is supported by 36 pillars, constructed between 1874—76, 
it required 651.5 tons of steel.

 There is a Palm greenhouse built between 1892—95 and a Congo greenhouse.  The King was fascinated by the mystery of Central Africa with its exotic fauna and flora and its wealth of ivory, copper, rubber and tropical hardwoods. 
By the time of Leopold's death the royal greenhouses were the largest and housed the most remarkable private botanical garden in the world.
The Belgian Congo was transferred from being a royal possession to a Belgian colony in 1908 and remained so until 1960.

One of the plants that caught our eye was Medinilla Magnifica, seen here inside the Embarcardair 
greenhouse... is a tropical plant from the forests of Java and the Philippines, the large ones in the greenhouses are more than 30 years old.

 The Chinese vases were brought back from the Far East around 1860 by Leopold 2nd.

We had not visited a Garden Centre since well before the Christmas madness. 
Tempted by a 2 for 1 breakfast offer and a voucher of £1.81 (I know, I am easily led!) and telling myself it was too wet to do anything in the garden, we enjoyed a very good breakfast.  The  restaurant was packed and everyone appeared to have the breakfast voucher.
While needing nothing much for the garden? we went in separate directions, me to look for seed potatoes and bird food, Irene to the deli and to admire the orchids where she found...
Medinilla Magnifica plants for sale, well...

one had to come home and take pride of place in the corner of the dinning room.

I know some of my fellow bloggers have taken the pledge not to purchase any plants this year, 
not something I could do!
Have you been tempted?

Please click on any picture to create a slide show.

I have a slide show presentation based on our visit to Belgium.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Following 'Jacks' visit.

Today Jack Frost visited Our Garden@19 for the first time, to any effect.
Inspired, it was on with the layers and out with the camera before the sun became too bright and chased him away?
A misty view through the rose arch.

The window of the summer house is not looking to summery!

Euphorbia 'Glacier Blue' living up to its name.

The alpine Phlox doug. 'Red Admiral' with flower buds just starting to form.

Aries Koreana, with a lovely dusting of frost,

Cobwebs over the box hedge,

Erica arb. 'Alberts Gold', looking like a snow capped mini forest.
 In complete colour contrast to
Pittosporum Tom Thumb growing in a pot below.

Christopher Lloyd, of Great Dixter, often sang the praises of...

...Cotoneaster horizontalis, who could argue with that at this time of year?

Those grasses left standing are making a useful, bleached contribution to the garden,

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' with its many flower heads.

Calamagrostis x a. ' Karl Foerster ' always stands up well throughout the winter.
Chionochloa rub. provides colour all year round.

A frosted bud of
Magnolia x soulangeana 'Lennei'

A late surviving flower on
Lycesteria formosa 'Goldern Laterns', also known as the Himalayan Honeysuckle, therefore -4 is probably nothing to it.

The tips of the
Thuja occ. 'Smaragd' look like frosted deer antlers.

In the Oriental Garden the buds of
Magnolia 'Stella'

along with the flower of Hamamelis Moll  Pallida (Witch Hazel),

and the catkins of
Corylus avellana 'Contorta' have all been dusted by 'Jack' as he passed through.

Acer  shirasawanum 'Aureum'  showing promise of things to come.

A dusting of icing on the leaves of Ilex x Altaclerensis  Golden King.

Cobwebs on the back of a garden chair,

a rather frosty 'Lady of The Bottle' statue.

Did 'Jack' visit your garden today?

Please click on any picture to create a slide show.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Aberglasney (Part 2) The Flowers.

I described the gardens of Aberglasney in a previous blog Here

Part 2 contains photographs of just SOME of the flowers in bloom when we visited on a lovely sunny day in September.

This bed is on the site of an old vine house...

...the wall is covered with Boston Ivy...

...and planted with annuals such as Calendula,...

...this pink dahlia, much enjoyed by the bumble bees,..

...along with Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens'...

...Melianthus major and Canna providing the foliage contrast...

...and occasional flower, this is looking towards the very good cafe area.

I mentioned in Part1, how impressed I was with the pool garden with its reflective pool and simple planting scheme.

...Kniphofia provided the main colour in September...

...blending nicely with Verbena bonariensis and I think, here, a shrubby salvia and... each of the two corner beds was a young Acer davidii 'Serpentine' with delicate pink stems along with a snake bark main trunk.

The Upper Walled Garden, designed by Penelope Hobhouse, planted predominately with perennials...

...and Yew Cones providing an evergreen punctuation mark.

...I do like fennel when in flower, here, with white Anemone and Eupatorium purpureum...

...or  joe-pye-weed...

...and Helenium, all providing insect food...

...with the lovely dark pink Anemone hupehensis 'Hadspen Abundance'.

There are several woodland walks within the gardens, in one area there was a mass planting of Begonia grandis subsp. evansiana. This is a new plant to me, I thought the leaf makings were beautiful.

Clerodendrum bungei has been on my wish list for some time... is a late flowering shrub, said to be hardy only down to a few degrees, (I have planted one this autumn!)

A selection of different Hydrangeas were in full flower and...

in this picture providing a colourful backdrop... a mass planting of lilies.

Rosa rugosa Alba showing both bloom and hips...

...along with one of the best Roses for hips, R. moyesii 'Geranium'.

A late brood of swallow's lining up for a feed!

I hope a view of these flowers will help to brighten up what is a dull, wet day/week/month here in the UK. We can look forward to the garden visiting season starting again soon.

Please click on any picture to create a slide show.