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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
August  2011

August 31st
It was out with the hosepipe again today, despite the heavy rain we had just a week ago. It wasn't all the garden that wanted the watering, just mostly the edges of the garden that get the sun.
We have also been collecting some seed from the plants in the garden. I was given some Strelitzia seed and I have sown some of them in a pot, I will be well past retirement age before they flower, that is of course if they germinate.

The patio today.                                                                                 Actaea simplex 'Pink Spike'

One of the Echium pininana we grew from seed, trouble is we have to get it through the winter, as it takes 2 to 3 years before it flowers.

In  Lyn's garden the Phlox paniculata we don't know the name of is still flowering well, much later than nearly all the other phloxes.

August 29th
This afternoon we lightly pruned back the Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'  on the eastern side of Lyn's garden, which was beginning to take the light away from the planting below. Yes we could lose some of the flowers for next year, as we are a bit late in the summer to prune it.
Another job we do around this time each year, is to walk round the garden with pen and paper, making notes of plants which need moving back or forward in the beds, to keep the tiered effect, and also noting which plants we are not going to keep. One plant we probably won't keep is Camassia leichtlinii, after flowering the plant starts to die back and we are left with a big hole in the bed by mid summer.

Lyn had some Astrantia major given to her today, so she was busy splitting and potting them up, ready for sale next year.

Despite most of the Phlox paniculata having had their old flower heads removed, there is still quite a lot of colour in Lyn's garden.

Colour as well in the Exotic garden.

And on the patio. We did notice that the sun was later reaching the patio, a sign of Autumn approaching.

August 28th
I am back, not that we have been away far, it's mostly the weather and the freedom of not being tied to the garden so much, now the open days and private visits have pretty well finished.
The weather, well we have had some torrential downpours recently and showers most days. The Phlox took the most damage to their flowers, most have been cut off now to allow a smaller show of flowers to follow. 
This morning we took a walk over the common behind us, I didn't take a camera as we didn't think we would see much wildlife. It was our first visit since the Spring when lots of birds were nesting.
True to form we really saw nothing for the first fifteen minutes. Then we came across quite a large lizard and slow worm that had been basking in the sun. Next we saw a Tree creeper and a Greater spotted woodpecker, then a Flycatcher.
So it turned out to be a good walk, even though I didn't take the camera.

This months issue of Dorset Life Magazine has a three page feature on our garden. The text was written by a visitor, who is a writer, that came to our garden last year. We were very impressed with her description of the visit.

Talking of visitors to the garden, this year we had 864 visitors. That is just on two Sundays, a Wednesday afternoon and private visits.
We will be sending a cheque for 2855.33 to the National Garden Scheme. To all our visitors, thank you very much for supporting us again this year. We will be opening again in 2012, our dates will appear on our website around Christmas time.

Begonia fuschiodes


Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstonne'

Vernonia arkansana 'Mammuth'                                                        Echinacea

Hedychium spicatum 'Himalayan Lipstick'                                      Trollius europaeus

August 21st
More rain this morning which stopped just as a private party of four arrived from Dorchester.
We had an enjoyable couple of hours showing them around the garden, which has now passed it's best with the rain we have had spoiling the Phlox flowers in Lyn's front garden.
After a quick lunch we headed off to Longham lake less than a mile away from here, the sun was out and it was quite warm despite a breeze.
There were a lot less birds about since our last visit in the Spring of this year. It was nice to just sit on the benches and watch the birds with their young.
So here are a couple of pictures, not taken in the garden for a change.

A Grey Heron flying by.

Young Swans

A view from one of the benches.

August 18th
Today we had very heavy rain, thunder and lightning, something like 2 to 3 inches (50 to 75mm) of rain fell, many roads were flooded.
So it was another day when we didn't do anny gardening. 
Tomorrow afternoon we have a group of 10 to 15 visitors, so we need to get the fallen leaves and leaning plants sorted out, hopefully there are still some flowers left on the plants.
This evening we still have some light rain, and the temperature is supposed to go down to 9c. The plants can be forgiven for thinking it is winter.

August 16th
Nothing much to write about today, so how about some plant pictures taken today.

Dahlia 'Rexona' admired by many on the open day.                   And many enquiries of the name of this plant Rhodochiton atrosanguineus.

Visitors couldn't miss this plant, Phlox paniculata 'Eva Cullum'.     We could have sold lots of Scabiosa columbaria subsp ochroleuca.

Phlox we don't know name of, we could also have sold many.           Maurandia scandens 'Jewel mix'       

A Bee with its head in a Echium 'Pink Tower' flower                           Tricyrtis formosana 'Dark Beauty'

August 15th
I had time today to put away all the chairs and tables, direction signs etc we used yesterday on the open day. Then I ran the mower over the lawns, bit of a waste of time really as the lawns were laid flat with all those pairs of feet. So I freshened up the garden and lawns with a good dose of water. It was surprising how dry parts of the front garden where.
Several people have contacted us today to arrange a private visit to the garden, as they were unable to attend any of the open days, which is fine, we usually call a halt to visitors at the end of August.

The Brugmansias have been having a rest from flowering for the last couple of weeks, and the dull weather before we opened didn't help. I reckon by this coming weekend we will have many more flowers.
I was very surprised when one of our visitors yesterday presented me with a Brugmansia arborea plant, so now we have 11 different Brugs in our little collection.

Plumbago auriculata on the outside of the greenhouse

Roscoea purpurea 'Vincent.

August 14th
Our last open day of this year, we were up at 7.15am. The weather today was dry with some sun and some cloud, so we were very glad it was dry.
Our total visitors for the day was 286, which was 4 more than last year, so the numbers are pretty stable. Again lots of visitors new to the garden, some from a good distance away, such as Sidmouth, West Sussex and Tadley. Also Manchester was mentioned, but I am unsure of the story behind that. 
Lots of very kind comments from our visitors about the garden, and also the cakes, of which there were only six slices left out of about 165.

So a very big thank you to all who came to see the garden today, and I hope some of you find your way to our website here at the Little House of Flowers !!.

The back garden at 2.55pm

August 11th
A fairly gloomy day today very little sun. Although the forecast for Sunday open day is still for some rain, we started making the cakes this afternoon. We will just have to take the chance that they will all get eaten. 
So hardly anything done in the garden today. Lyn finished pricing the sale plants yesterday, so that is one job that can be crossed off the A4 list of jobs to do before we open.

A couple of pictures taken yesterday afternoon

A picture taken from below the 'picture' feature wall, looking towards the plant stall behind the Silver birch tree, in Lyn's front garden.

August 9th
It looks at the moment that the weather for our last open day of the year could be a bit damp, we are hoping the forecast is wrong.
We had a nice private visit from three fellow gardeners today, unfortunately I had to take my mother to the doctors to have nine stitches out, so wasn't able to meet them.
The Lilium flowering will shortly come to an end here, I think it is 58 different I have photographed so far this year.


August 6th
Less humid today, and other than dead heading and a bit of watering, nothing much done in the garden.
The centre bed in Lyn's garden is looking really good at the moment (see the pictures below).
We put our National Garden Scheme signs out last night around town, in preparation for our last open day this year on the 14th August, we also bought the ingredients for the 14 cakes we are going to make later in the week.

Pictures of the flowers in Lyn's centre garden bed.

Lilium leitchlenii

August 4th
Thankfully I rarely get into photographs, but last Saturday we were both photographed in our garden, receiving Lyn's 1st prize for the Best Front Garden  in the Ferndown in Bloom Competition 2011, sponsored by Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown.

Steve Lugg (Chairman Ferndown in Bloom)...Andrew Stevens ( Haskins)....Lyn..........Me................Terri Phillips ( Category Judge)

Thanks to Gareth John of Wordcaster Public Relations, for allowing us to use his photo on our website.

August 2nd
Today on a hot and humid day we made a round trip of 100 miles to Hardys Cottage Garden Plants, it is about an hour each way mostly on motorway or dual carriageway. Lyn wanted to get some of the Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double' that a lot of people had wanted to buy, having seen the plants in flower in our garden. We also bought eight different plants for our own garden.

A couple of pictures taken in the Exotic garden

August 1st
Another month gone by so quickly.
Today it has been hot sunny and muggy, up to 26c in the shade. So watering the garden has been the main job this afternoon.

Our guide to plants we have in the garden is automatically produced from the database of plants kept on the computer, obviously it is a big job to keep the database up to date. I still need 40 more pictures of the plants we have, not a lot more pictures considering we have more than 1,100 plants. The plant guide on our website will be updated in the Autumn to show more pictures.

Part of Lyn's front garden

Lyns front garden looking towards the passage to the Exotic garden.