Wednesday 30 July 2014

Garden Visiting In July - Part Two

I Beg Your Pardon
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.

Actually, I did. This post follows on from Part One of my garden visit to Temple Newsam Walled Rose Garden.

I've never really been a lover of roses but my tastes are changing, I've now got three rose bushes in my own garden, Golden Wings, a golden yellow shrub rose, The Birthday Rose, a half standard creamy coloured rose with a slight pink tinge and an unnamed red rose which Daniel bought for me for Mother's Day last year.

I thought I'd show you a few of the roses in Temple Newsam Walled Garden. I couldn't see any labels giving their names which is a shame, it would have been nice to know which varieties they are.

I think my favourite is the first yellow one, I have a thing for yellow roses, especially delicately coloured ones. Do you have a favourite?

Monday 28 July 2014

Garden Visiting In July - Part One

Temple Newsam is a place we visit often. I grew up within walking distance and we now live just a ten minute car journey away. I've wrote about it many times on my Through The Keyhole blog, a couple of the posts are Temple Newsam and Temple Newsam Rhododendron Walk.

On this occasion, our trip to Temple Newsam was to visit the walled garden for my garden visit for July.

The walled gardens were set up on this site in 1788 and were used for the cultivation of vegetables, fruit and cut flowers for the house. The gardens became famous for the cultivation of pineapples, the gardeners produced Queen pineapples weighing five or six pounds each. By the mid nineteenth century other varieties such as White Providence, Montserrat and Prince Albert were also being propagated.

The walled garden now presents an extensive rose garden originating from about 1923.

Around the walls are magnificent herbaceous borders, some of which are 800 yards in length.

The borders are quite deep and have some glorious height to them.

Such bold splashes of colour.

As you enter the walled garden, you can see the 'lean-to' conservatory which contains a host of temperate plants.

There's a fabulous potting area in the doorway of the conservatory with different bays set aside for the different composts used. How I'd love an area like this to do my own potting.

The first area you come to inside the conservatory is filled with zonal pelargoniums, such a fabulous display. They're trained to cover the full height of the wall, some 10 - 12 feet.

There are also upright fuchsias here, I've never seen fuchsias with such thick stems, but they're grown so that they flower above head height and are a brilliant feature.

The next area you come across is filled with coleus, so many different varieties.

I love the contrasts between the zinging lime green varieties and the darker leafed specimens.

Next, we come to an area which houses plants from Central and South America. These are abutilons, a plant I'm not familiar with but part of the mallow family. I love the effect against the whitewashed walls.

This ipomoea is such a gorgeous colour, it really zings.

Bougainvillea Barbara Karst.

As we exit the conservatory, we're back again in the rose garden. It looks fabulous from this elevated position with the park land behind the walls.

The gardens are also home to five of the eleven national collections held by Leeds City Council, including delphinium, phlox, aster, chrysanthemum and solenostemon.

We're so lucky to have such a beautiful place on our doorstep. Pop back for Part Two and I'll show you some more.

Friday 25 July 2014

A Thorny Issue

You may remember my In Disguise post about the gooseberry bush I bought a couple of years ago. It was labelled as Pax, a red, thornless variety, and it has produced its first ever fruit this year, only a couple of gooseberries but I'm hoping for better results in the future.

Before we went away on holiday, the fruit was green and there were plenty of thorns to be seen so I wondered if the plant had been labelled incorrectly, however, this is what greeted us when we returned from Cornwall.

The berries had turned red and there was just enough to have a taste.

Perhaps it is Pax afterall, though it does have thorns whereas Pax is known as a thornless variety. It isn't as thorny as the green variety I've got on the plot so maybe I'm expecting too much and thornless varieties will still have some thorns, just not as many as usual.

I think it's time to get it out of its container now and find some room for it on the plot.

Sunday 20 July 2014

It's A Jungle Out There

We're home from our holiday in Cornwall. The first thing I did before even unlocking the door was to have a quick glance around the garden, it was like a jungle, everything's grown so much whilst we were away. It didn't look good, the worst thing was the grass, so overgrown, but Mick's been out with the mower this morning so it's looking slightly better now.

I'd love to say that everything in the garden was rosy on our return, but unfortunately, it wasn't. My garden helper is a flower gardener rather than a vegetable grower so I can forgive her not pinching out my tomatoes, at least they were alive and thriving, but I've given them a good tidy up today. The first few tomatoes are now ripening.

The cucumbers had grown to gigantic proportions. My helper didn't realise that they are mini cucumbers and that she should have helped herself to them. Most of the Crystal Lemon cucumbers should be ok though, they're being passed on to my dad as he enjoyed them very much last year.

I was impressed with the fact that I'd remembered to sow my biennials this year. I was going to have a riot of colour at the allotment next year with beautiful wallflowers and sweet williams but alas, they are no more, they've been well and truly fried. Perhaps I'm not too late if I sow more now.

Not everything is doom and gloom, I haven't missed the blueberries ripening, they're just on the turn now.

The plums too are just starting to ripen.

The apples have grown whilst we were away. This is Gloster, a red variety. The Golden Delicious isn't looking too delicious at the moment, I'll have to see how it goes on.

Everything at the allotment was at the mercy of the elements as I didn't have anyone to look after things there. We popped down today and the weeds took our breath away, we'll have to put some serious time in to get things back under control. We did get a surprise as we looked beyond the weeds though, these beautiful poppies are popping up in the potato bed. Apparently, Mick's been pulling them out as he thought they were weeds, I've told him to leave them be now, a welcome sight amongst all the green foliage.

One thing we were expecting was the courgettes to have grown to comedic sizes and they didn't disappoint. I'd usually stuff them and use them like marrows if I miss harvesting them at the size they should be, but I think they're too far gone for that even.

The One Ball courgette variety are ok though, we've caught them just in time before they start ballooning.

The onions are looking good, just about ready for harvesting as their foliage is starting to topple. I think I've even managed some red onions this year, that'll be a first.

I planted four different varieties of beans this year, St George runner beans, Cobra, Blue Lake and Purple Cascade French beans. The slugs had a field day with them so I resowed all four and Mick planted them out two days before we went on holiday. The runner beans and the Purple Cascade French beans had hardly been touched by the slugs but the Cobra and Blue Lake had been decimated. We checked on the newly planted beans and the same has happened again, the slugs must enjoy green French beans more than runner beans or purple French beans. The first sowing of runner beans have done well and are now covered in flowers and tiny beans, they'll be ready for picking in days, and the second wigwam which Mick planted up will prolong the harvest.

The Purple Cascade beans were ready for harvesting today. We shall have some with our dinner tomorrow and some are going to my mum and dad's, I'm not sure what they'll think of purple beans.

We dug some potatoes up from the allotment today and I'm thrilled to say that not one had any slug damage. Perhaps we'll be able to do away with all the containers we grow them in and grow them at the plot now. The spuds we grew on our last plot were so riddled with slug damage that we gave up growing them there and decided to just grow them in containers, so this is a great result. I didn't mean to dig up any Pink Fir Apple yet, they're a maincrop variety so I was going to leave them a bit longer but I obviously haven't labelled the rows very well. Here we have Anya on the left, Pink Fir Apple above centre and Arran Pilot on the right. The Arran Pilots are going to my mum and dad, there's plenty of the other two to last us this week.

It's always worrying leaving the garden when going away on holiday, but I'm appreciative of someone helping me out and the odd disaster isn't the end of the world. There's definitely good things to come.

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