A Week of Three Gardens

We seem to have entered a lull period in the home garden and took ourselves off for two garden visits during this past week. The garden was set back by the period of extremely hot weather we had earlier in the summer and has been slow to recover. Most of the earlier herbaceous plants were cut back after that hot spell and are now coming back to themselves but, generally, the garden is simply tipping along without any immediate demands for heavy work, just the routine constant dead-heading of dahlias, daylilies and such though last Sunday was the exception when I shredded what can only be described as a mountain of material and then cut and edged the grass. After that trojan work I sort of rested on my laurels for the rest of the week. This allowed time to paint the kitchen, a repaint of a feature wall in one of the bedrooms – to “unfeature” it! – and visits to our two regular gardens of this summer Lismore Castle Garden and Mount Congreve Gardens. The links will bring you to my blogs on these visits which have lots of photographs.

Rain was forecast for early this Saturday afternoon so our morning in the garden extended to three o’clock and lunch was very welcome at that stage. A smallish tree stump was removed, autumn-flowering snowdrops were repotted while the Head Gardener continued on the rounds of weeding, dead-heading and cutting-back. The rain has arrived now and gardening is finished for the day – and, so there is time to write and recall what looked well in the garden this week.

First, a number of what I describe as stand-alone roses – those that are not part of a rose bed but planted a single plants in beds and borders around the garden. Although it is getting late in the season, these continue to perform well and some are particular favourites. My own special favourite is ‘Souvenir de Docteur Jamain’ which is the most lusciously deep burgundy colour but is also an absolute martyr to blackspot and balling of the flowers so, very sadly, we have removed the plant.

These reviews can very often be eye-openers. Some of the clematis are looking well at the moment but when I looked for recent photographs of clematis I was surprised at how many we have growing in the garden. These are a favourite of the Head Gardener and, as ever, I am impressed by her good taste and excellent choices:

This is a good time of the year for agapanthus in the garden and, while there are a number for which we have cultivar names, there are many which are simply recalled by the name of the kind person who gave them to us while some are simply garden seedlings.

Eucryphia x nymansensis ‘Nymansay’ is doing its utmost to be regarded as the plant of the week despite stiff competition from several others. It has made a good size over the years and unfailingly gives an excellent display in August of each year:

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

The hydrangeas are beginning to look well at the moment and Hydrangea ‘Hot Chocolate’ is certainly one of those which provides competition for my favourite plant of the week. I also noticed Hoheria sexstylosa was in full flower yesterday and looking very beautiful but it can wait for another day/week.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

Finally for this week, proof, as if proof was needed, that Buddleia does indeed live up to its common name of “butterfly bush”. ‘Red Admiral’ and ‘Peacock’ butterflies seem to be most attracted to the flowers.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

Wait, let’s not close for this week without enjoying this little fellow who wanders about the garden and stops occasionally to pose for photographs and to enjoy a snack – peanuts are the favourite! This is a wood mouse, surely one of the silliest of our wild animals. It seems to have no fear of people, believes it cannot be seen if it closes its eyes and enjoys being tickled while feeding.

Click on the first photograph to start a slideshow:

I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator”. To read more contributions go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!

16 thoughts on “A Week of Three Gardens

  1. Paddy
    Love every photo but particularly the wood mouse.
    I have 2 cats who sometimes bring me a really small wood mouse. If uninjured I am happy to release it back into the local wood. Voles and house mice are humanely despatched.

    Arthur

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These have never come into the house but a few years ago one took up residence in one of the glasshouses and would “hide” behind pots but would come out for a peanut.

      Like

  2. Lovely blog Paddy as always! I managed to kill off a number of my more vigorous Clematis last year by over-enthusiastic pruning but I am really enjoying the less vigorous ones that are benefiting by not being overwhelmed this year! I love the butterflies too!

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  3. The clematis collection are show-stoppers. Especially the deep purple, almost black one. I love clematis and have some eccentric varieties but your collection encourages me even more. And the wood mouse is beautiful – if I didn’t have a jack Russell, I’d love to have one in my garden. And I MUST purchase a buddleia or two. Thanks for another wonderful excursion through your beautiful garden, Paddy.

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  4. I could use a mouse who enjoys being tickled, and he looks very well behaved.
    The agapanthus look exceptional, and I will also have to say the grounds look immaculate. Thank you for never openly judging the mess which always shows up in my garden posts!

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  5. I can’t believe that your wood mouse likes to have its tummy tickled! That is so cute! Lovely range of clematis and some good favourites and some interesting new ones. I am hoping to get more trellis up this autumn so I can start to plant some. I planted a C. rehderiana to grow up a hedge and it is finally starting to grow and I have a few flowers, after two years.

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  6. Hello Paddy,
    Like everyone else I love your own wee mouse which likes being tickled, am envious of the Eucryphia which sadly failed here, and wondered whether you have a top 10 of garden worthy, most floriferous autumn flowering Clematis, since you clearly have a wonderful range?
    Of those featured in this post, we’ve found Prince Charles and Etoile Violette our best 2 for numbers of flowers, though PC seems to have a longer season? I bought about a dozen, mail order from a big British specialist grower last autumn, and they arrived in a sort of horrible wood fibre compost which was so dry on arrival, you couldn’t properly re-wet them – they just floated to the surface of a bucket!. About 40% have died in the first 8 months, hence my query or any other comments, since I took considerable care with planting/soil preparation and my own cuttings seem to get away really well if you can keep the slugs away early in the year.

    Best wishes
    Julian

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    1. Certainly, ‘Prince Charles’ and ‘Etoile Violette’ perform very well here. C. atropurpures ‘Plena Elegans’ is equally as good and I wouldn’t go beyond that for plants that are simply covered in flowers. Others shown give a pleasant dispaly of flowers but not so many.

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      1. Thanks for that Paddy- we used to have Plena elegans and for some reason lost it – it’s interesting how difficult it is to get an impression of floriferousness, unless you’ve actually seen a mature plant somewhere – nurseries usually don’t tell you! Actually Royal Velours and Polish Spirit also do quite well here, but not up to the first two,
        best wishes
        Julian

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s a shame that S. Dr Jamain performs so poorly because I’ve admired pictures of it, and indeed the one you’ve taken is beautiful too. Some fabulous clematis there, but the wood mouse with the tickly tummy is the star of this weeks post for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The clematis photos are a beautiful selection and all so tempting. Shame that the good Dr did not do well, I have a climbing version that has barely climbed an inch! I’m planning to move it this year to give it another chance.

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    1. I have always adored ‘Souvenir du Docteur Jamain’ and we have grown it for about 15 years but, while the flowers are so very special, the foliage is generally a complete mess and the plant if often bare by this time of the year.

      Like

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