Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Photo Medley - July

I'm early with this month's round up of photos but I won't be around at the end of July so here's the photos I've taken this month which haven't yet made it on to the blog.

This is the second year I've had my Golden Wings rose and it's absolutely fabulous this year, lots of blooms and the perfume is beautiful.

A few more photos from our visit to Harlow Carr earlier this month. I can't resist taking lots of photos of Allium Christophii, they're so photogenic.

This poem is placed right beside the stream, I can't remember hearing it before.

Salvia Hot Lips. I bought one of these when I visited the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in 2008, they're pretty plants so it's a shame it didn't survive the winter.

Californian Poppies are dotted around the Kitchen Garden and elsewhere at the moment.

A photo from the Yorkshire Dales where we spent out Silver Wedding Anniversary on the 7th of July. It was quite dull for most of the time but we still enjoyed our special day.

It's spring onion time and there's plenty to share with my dad, they're his favourites.

This will be my last post for a while as we go on holiday on Saturday. We're staying closer to home this year, in fact we're not going very far at all at first. Our first week will be spent in Pickering, from here we can head off for days on the Yorkshire Coast and the North York Moors as well as visiting the Dalby Forest which Archie will love. After a week, we're moving further north for another week to Northumberland, somewhere I haven't been since I visited with school thirty five years ago. We should have wi-fi in both cottages we're renting but I don't intend to use it very much so I'll see you all when I get back.

Monday, 20 July 2015

After The Rain

We haven't had much rain this month but I have managed to capture a few flowers after they've been doused by the wet stuff at various times.

I'm sure they're much happier when they're watered by nature rather than a watering can.

Friday, 17 July 2015


Mick brought home the first courgette of the year when he went to the allotment on Wednesday. I'm sure that now they've started producing we'll get a steady supply until the glut arrives in a few weeks' time. We're getting a few strawberries each time we visit but we really need to make a new bed and get some new plants, the ones we have are definitely past their best now. Another first was the asparagus kale. I've never grown this variety of kale before and I can guarantee that we won't be growing it again, yuck! It's supposed to taste of asparagus, hence it's name, but it definitely doesn't to me. We'll stick to curly kale and cavolo nero in future, though I'd like to give Russian kale a go at some point.

More potatoes have been harvested. My main varieties this year are Arran Pilot and Anya but I've grown a small amount of another three varieties to try too. These are Vales Emerald, a first early. I did enjoy them but I still prefer my two main choices.

The other two varieties of potatoes I'm trying this year are Bonnie and Sherine so we'll have to see how they do in the taste test.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Harlow Carr In July

There's so much to see at Harlow Carr at the moment that you really need to allow plenty of time to get round everything.  I'm really pleased that we decided to make a visit each month this year as we see so many changes each time. The grounds are looking really fabulous just now, all the trees are fully clothed in beautiful greenery and the flower beds and borders are bursting with plants.

There are a number of these large planters around the entrance and they display different plants each time we visit. I enjoy seeing so many different displays. It gives me ideas for my own garden.

You may remember the candelabra primroses from my last visit, they're looking splendid by the stream at the moment, such a fabulous display of many different colours.

Another plant gracing the banks of the stream are these primula vialii or orchid primrose. I've never grown them myself but I'm very tempted.

This summer house is situated by the stream, it's such a relaxing place to sit for a while as you can hear the water trickling by.

I like the natural looking planting of these foxgloves.

A white foxglove. I've only got the purple ones in my own garden.

More natural planting with these knautia or scabious.

Allium christophii are such huge flowers, they always remind me of fireworks with their star studded heads.

I showed you a lion in my Photo Medley - May post, here he is again but this time you can see the pair along with the six Doric columns which they're guarding. This used to be the main entrance to the gardens and is the area where the rhododendrons are planted.

I've always fancied having a stone trough filled with plants, these are wonderful examples.

We ventured in to the greenhouse where they're using the Straw Bale method to grow tomatoes. They're growing quite a few different varieties.

This information explains all about Straw Bale Gardening.

There were some impressive looking cucumbers hanging from the plants, this variety is Femspot. My cucumber plants aren't looking their best this year but they're just starting to fruit.

On to the Kitchen Garden where the beds are really filling up now. It won't be long until it's in full production.

These pea pods just need to fill out. I wonder how many people have a sneaky taste, I'd be very tempted.

The sweet peas are flowering and need picking to keep more flowers coming.

I've never tried globe artichokes, they always seem a bit too fiddly for me.

The border I'm following has really filled out and there's no sign of the persicaria which was flowering last month. The look of a garden or flower bed can change so quickly.

There's now salvia and eryngiums flowering together in this border, you may remember there was this same pairing in one of the Leeds City Council's Chelsea Flower Show gardens which I wrote about in my Roundhay Park Gardens In July post.

The other side of the same border, you can see alchemilla mollis or lady's mantle flowering here.

My overall impression of the garden this month is that it's filled with hot, bright colours. Not everywhere but you're certain to see them as you look round the different areas. I'll leave you with a selection of my favourites.

July is a great time to visit Harlow Carr, there's so much to see, just make sure you allow yourself plenty of time.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Roundhay Park Gardens In July

I last visited the gardens at Roundhay Park in February 2014, you can read about that visit in my Garden Visiting In February post. If you look back at that post you will see that the gardens are quite bare at that time of year, it's a different story in July.

We started off in the Specialist Gardens and visited the Gardens Of The World. The first garden is The Monet Garden, recreating the central pathway running from Monet's garden gate to his house in Giverny. There wasn't much to see here in February but now the roses and clematis growing up the pergola are in flower and the borders have been planted with lots of varieties of bedding plants. This makes a wonderful entrance to the rest of the gardens.

The next garden you come to is The Alhambra Garden, a reproduction of the Patio Acequia, part of the palace of the Alhambra where the Moorish rulers of Spain spent their summers. It's lovely to see the borders filled with plants, it was very bare indeed when we visited last time. Agapanthus are planted in pots.

Leeds City Council's Chelsea Flower Show gardens are on show here in Roundhay Park. The 2008 garden entitled The Largest Room In The House won a silver gilt flora award. Talbot House in Poperinghe near Ypres in Belgium is where soldiers could go for rest and recuperation between 1915 and 1918 and this is based on the garden there.

I love the pairing of the salvia and eryngiums, they work so well together.

The Hesco Garden 2009 also won a silver gilt flora award. It highlights issues surrounding climate change and illustrates techniques we can use to manage flooding.

The geums look lovely with the hostas, but it's a shame the hostas have been nibbled.

Leeds City Council's first gold medal came from The Hesco Garden 2010. I remember this garden, with its seeping lock gates which are typically found on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, receiving lots of attention on the television coverage. This garden shows a snapshot of Leeds with its green spaces, woodland, wetland and floral meadow.

The planting here is much more natural.

The Hesco Garden 2011 also won a gold medal. The centrepiece here is the traditional mill which was seen in Yorkshire during the industrial revolution. It has a working water wheel which pumps water round the garden.

This garden contains lots of natural planting with water loving ferns and plants, and trees.

Just as we did when we visited Roundhay Park Gardens last time, we popped across the road to take a look at the Canal Gardens. The gardens were formed from a walled kitchen garden built around 1816. The canal, which is 350 by 34 feet, was added in 1833.

The problem with herbaceous borders is that they completely die back in winter. If you follow the link to my previous post about Roundhay Park Gardens you can see that there wasn't anything to see in the borders in February, but it's a different story now. The borders are completely full and look stunning.

The walls provide a fabulous backdrop to the plants.

Across the canal on the opposite side to the borders, bedding plants add a touch of colour.

The roses are now flowering inside the low box hedges, they look very pretty.

I can definitely recommend a visit to these gardens if you're in the area but I'm sure you can tell from these two posts that there's much more to see at this time of year than in winter so make it snappy.

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