The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

May's End

I could quite get used to being a lady of leisure; directing my team what to do and when, sitting with a cup of tea watching them do all the work...who am I kidding? I'm too much of a control freak!

However, for now I have to do just that as I'm not allowed to lift so much as a mug of Tetley!  I'm also not allowed to drive yet which is very frustrating.

So this week's post is dedicated to my darling husband (The Man That Can) and Bumblebee, our younger son who have both had to put up with me standing over them while they tend to the matters of green thumb.

Having been chauffeured to the garden centre last weekend, I have chosen a pink theme for my bedding this year.

The Man That Can added some slow release fertiliser and fresh compost to the terrace planters before adding osteospermums, petunias, verbenas, calibrachoa and lobelia, along with the overwintered Pelargoniums from last year.

The same theme was carried through to the hanging baskets...

And the containers on the terrace.

He and Bumblebee replaced the weed membrane I had successfully used in previous years in the mangers, and planted them up with the remaining bedding plants before attaching them below the kitchen window.

Down in the Yen Garden, TMTC moved rhododendron Christmas Cheer to the side now it has finished flowering, and after removing the definitely deceased acer, planted up a trio of Canna plants. I have never attempted these before, but the soil medium is correct, as is the position in full sun.  The colour of the flowers will be a surprise as they were just cheap (but healthy), and if all goes well they will inject a shot of the exotic viewed through the moon window of the pergola.  If I'm feeling brave, I might entertain a banana plant or three!

Bumblebee very kindly swept up all the detritus (mostly fallen leaves from our neighbour's massive eucalyptus tree) from the whole terrace and patio, with a little help of TMTC armed with the dustpan and brush.

Rosa Special Anniversary in the terrace planters.

The Eryngiums are doing well so far with lots of flowers forming.

A closer look at Bumblebee's pot which again features blue bedding plants.

In the front garden we have an issue with the staghorn tree which has developed a split in the bark from which sap is emerging. We'll keep a close eye on this, and hopefully it will have no detrimental effect and will heal over.  There are signs of historic fissures which have done so.

Behind this tree rosa Maigold has a great display, with plenty more buds waiting their turn.

Rosa Margaret Merrill has also begun to open sweet-scented flowers.

There are a fair few self seeded plants around the garden, many of which I allow.  I have no idea where these orange and yellow poppies have come from, but they go well in this area, particularly against the near-black foliage of heuchera.

Foxgloves seem to colonise well here too.  I did intend on moving many of these earlier this year, but I ran out of time before my surgery. 

Another plant that fills any bare soil here is aquilegia.  In previous years I have removed quite a few of these in both the front and back gardens as there were too many wishy-washy shades.  I kept the best and let them spread under just a wee bit of control.

Ceanothus Italian Skies is blooming marvellous, and is well matched with the hardy Geranium growing at its feet.

The final job for this week was the trimming back of the Photinia red robin that provides very effective evergreen privacy from the outside world.  It's a wonderful plant with bright red young foliage and responds extremely well to regular pruning.

However, it does tend to hide the rhododendron...which is fine for the majority of the year, but when the rhododendron flowers we actually want to enjoy it.

It was a couple of years after we moved in before we actually realised we had this rhododendron and have spent the last two years rejuvenating it.  Therefore the Photinia needs to behave while its neighbour shines.

I am very impressed with how much knowledge TMTC has retained over the last 6 years we've been working on this garden and was able to prune the Photinia without much interference from me.

And now the rhododendron can really show off.

Around half of the Photinia has been pruned back to the previous year's growth. This will allow fresh red foliage to emerge, at which point the other half can be pruned back in the same manner.  That way, the much appreciated privacy can be maintained. 


  1. Absolutely gorgeous, I can’t wait to see it in the flesh at the weekend xxx