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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
A few days ago we had a visit from the judges of the
Ferndown in Bloom competition, they can only judge Lyn's front garden as it has
to be on public view from a road or pavement.
Today they returned to say Lyn had won the competition. The prizes will be
awarded later in September.
Late afternoon sun in Lyn's garden
Canna 'Reine Charlotte'
We are hoping for a casual weekend, but would like a bit
of sun please. It has been a dull day today with hardly a breeze, so not much
watering to do in the garden.
Lyn's cottage garden is now at its peak of flowering and scent.
As mentioned yesterday, the Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double' always catches the
visitors eye, so here are a few more pictures of it.
Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double'
Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double' close up of the individual
Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double' in the centre bed.
I had to be shaken from my sleep this morning, I guess it
was the extra year old I am now, or perhaps the garden opening yesterday.
This afternoon I mowed and freshened up the lawns with a drink of water, and a
clear up of the remaining chairs and tables etc.
Later in the evening we had a private visit of The Chase Garden Club, just nine
people so an easy evening for us. Once again there was much interest in
Thalictrum 'Hewitts Double' which was in full flower.
Well we, and the garden survived the open afternoon today.
In the first hour of opening we had 141 visitors ! it was a bit packed in the
garden to say the least, as you can see in the picture below. After that first
hour it did get less crowded, and we ended up with a total of 184 visitors in
the 3 hours we were open.
Another great opening, and many thanks must go to all those that came to the
garden and our 7 helpers that gave of their time. There is no way we could open
the garden without help serving the teas, selling plants and manning the gate.
The Exotic garden at 1.20pm before we opened the front gate for visitors.
The Exotic garden this afternoon at 2.56pm. !!
Does anyone want to take a guess how many visitors we
might get tomorrow afternoon ?. Well we haven't a clue really, last year we had
an astonishing 200 in the 3 hours we were open. Previously 128 was the record
for a Wednesday pm opening. I really can't imagine we will get anywhere near the
200 this year. Just in case, we have made plenty of cake, so we won't run out at
3.30pm, like we did last year.
So no pictures from here today, but might get a few while we are open.
A couple of days ago the postman
remarked on the scent of the garden as he entered the front gate and walked down
the path. The phlox and lilies probably produce the most scent at the moment. We
have not seen many butterflies this year, but there are some bees and a lot of
bumble bees. About a week ago I saw two slow worms, one by the front gate and
one basking on the gravel outside our garage door, I had to coax it away, as I
needed to go out in the car.
A good proportion of the day was spent being taxi for my
93 year old mother to hospital. She had a Basal cell cancer lesion on her back,
which has been surgically removed, which should be the end of it, providing
enough has been removed.
Back home there was really only enough time to water the
garden, and make some shortbreads, part of the cooking to do for the Wednesday
afternoon opening, the rest of the cakes will be made tomorrow afternoon.
It looks as though the weather is set fine, perhaps with a fair amount of cloud
at times, which is good enough for us.
Echinacea purpurea, an easy Echinacea for us, unlike some of the latest
Another picture of a Hoverfly
A nice day today, quite warm, nice to see the sun again.
During the day we got rid of a couple of Canna that have been in the garden for
many years. They were showing signs of Canna virus, and we don't want them to
infect some new ones we bought last year.
We also dug up an Actaea in Lyn's garden, that was being overgrown with other
plants and moved it to another position. The lawn got its haircut again today, I
try to cut it every two days, this is what thickens the lawn up, preventing
weeds and moss.
Lyn has been pricing more plants for the sales bench, ready for the open
We enjoyed having lunch and dinner sat on the patio
A few views of the Exotic Garden taken this morning.
A view from the patio towards the Aviary.
The gravel bed
Another view from the patio
Looking over the top of the water feature towards
Another view of the gravel bed
So I don't get accused of not taking any pictures
in Lyn's garden, here is a view from her garden looking towards the arch that
leads into the passage to my Exotic garden !!!!
Afternoon showers are still about, thankfully nothing too
Building up to another open day, or should I say
afternoon this time, the weather always gives us concern, so it is good news to
hear the weather is supposed to settle down for next week, I have seen a
forecast for up to 27c on the open afternoon, which could even be a bit on the
Next week is also judging time for the Ferndown in Bloom. It appears there are no 2nd and 3rd prizes for
Best garden on public view this year, just 1st prize of £75, daft really when
the tallest sunflower class gets £50 for 1st place.
Here in the garden it is a bit more restful now, just keeping the plants dead
headed, the lawn mown and a bit of watering despite the showers.
Sunshine and showers today, so it was an in and out day.
Potted up some Echium pininana into big pots, they will have to be over wintered
and then should flower next year. We grew them from seed sown in January this
Despite the showers the Hoverflies are still about.
The 'Moorish' door, half closed today to keep the
'Alice' sheltering under the Trachycarpus fortunei
The 'Moorish' window to match the
Rosa 'White Pet'
A 3 metre tall Sunflower
The sales plant stall has now been refilled after our open
day, we keep some of the spare sales plants at other locations around town as we
have no room for them here.
Our thoughts are turning to our open afternoon on the 27th July. The big
decision is how many cakes to make. The record number of visitors on an
afternoon only opening, previous to last year was 124. Then suddenly last year
we had 200, visitors and we ran out of cake just one and a half hours into the
afternoon. How many visitors can we expect this year.
Agapantus buds just ready to
Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'
Lilium 'Olina' and Agastache 'Golden
Delphinium and Phlox
A less hectic day for us today with just 10 people on a private
visit this afternoon. It was fairly cloudy with a few glimpses of the sun.
We have had an invasion of hoverflies the last couple of days, they don't seem
to have much of a brain, they get into the conservatory and insist on trying to
fly out through the roof. The one in the picture below just about to land on a
Crocosmia 'Lucifer' has the right idea, feeding on the nectar of the flowers in
Gazanias opening in the sun.
Well it stayed dry for our National Garden Scheme open day
yesterday, with a little sunshine as well. And we had 270 visitors, which we
were very pleased indeed with.
There where lots of 1st time visitors, so the word is spreading around. I
managed to get a couple of quick pictures between answering many questions
during the day. We didn't have anyone actually kneeling on the lawn trying to
find out if it was real grass, but there was much discussion.
The highlight of the day must surely be a lady who spoke to me, the lady said
that in her retirement she had been visiting gardens all over the world, and
ours was the best she had seen !!!
Many thanks to all who came to see the garden, and made the day so successful.
Also we must all thank our helpers, who give of their time on the day, to make
it possible for us to open our garden. We certainly could not man the gate,
plant stall, kitchen and speak to as many visitors as possible, all on our own.
Part of Lyn's garden at about 12.30pm, we had 125
people visit by then.
Part of my garden around 2.30pm
A long day today, but it should help us not having to do
too much tomorrow morning.
One of the last jobs today was to put up more directional signs round town, and
also fit "Today" to the signs already out. That took us nearly an hour
to do, driving round in the car.
But I did find time to take a few pictures of the garden today, for everyone
interested in the garden, but are too far away to visit us, here are a few
photos of both gardens.
Lyns garden from above
Lyn working on the plant stall
The 14 cakes for our open day are now made, apart from
cutting them into slices and filling some of them early on Sunday morning.
It has been pretty windy again today but dry during daylight hours.
There is quite a lot to do tomorrow, we have to do as much as possible to leave
us a bit more time on Sunday morning before we open at 11.00am.
Hemerocallis 'Corky' and Hemerocallis
Aloe striatula and Begonia fuchioides
We missed most of the showers this morning, but
caught a few this evening with gusty winds too. The wind spoils the flowers on
the Brugmansias, as they bruise easily.
The forecast for our open day on Sunday is for an improvement, not a hot clear
summers day, but as long as it stays dry with at least a little sun, we will be
Tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning is cake making time again. Last year we
ran out of cake on all three openings, so it looks like we will have to make 14
or 15 this time, which equates to around 160 slices. We hit the supermarket this
evening with our shopping list of ingredients to add to the 60 eggs I bought
this morning, the fridge here is now bulging.
Brugmansia 'Herzenbrucke' this morning before the
Back to paid work today after a busy 4 days. The
garden has had a little rain on it this afternoon which has freshened it up
ready for this Sundays open day. During last summers open days, on which we ran
out of cake on all occasions. We are having to bake more cakes, so instead of
baking on the Friday before, we will have to start on Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile we can recoup our strength.
Lyn fell asleep watching the TV, and I fell asleep in front of the computer this
The Leeds tour group coach arrived a little early, and
from a different direction than I had expected. So plans on how to get 41 people
safely across the busy main road were not needed.
After a rush to the plant stall the group explored our two gardens, and had just
about enough time to have their tea and cake or biscuits.
The lawn and variety of the plants in the garden were the main topics of
conversation. Many of the group wanted to stay in the garden, rather than be
ushered back to the coach. It was obvious they had enjoyed their short stay with
Another busy day for us, I spent 4 hours baking
cakes and biscuits for another Garden Holiday tour group, this time from Leeds
UK, a coach with 41 people due to arrive tomorrow morning. That is quite
a lot of cake and biscuits, though not anywhere as much as needed on our open
It was also a very warm day here today, temperature up to 25c so the garden
needed some watering and dead heading. By this evening we are pretty much ready.
And thankfully mothers telephone line has now been restored, despite getting an
email from BT to say it wouldn't be repaired till Wednesday.
One of the combinations of plants that attracted attention
from the Swedish visit yesterday.
Thalictrum rochebruneanum, Clematis 'Prince
Charles' and Clematis viticella 'Etoile Violette'
Today we had a Swedish Garden Holiday tour group of 32
people visit our garden.
We also had a film crew from ARD German TV. The crew arrived at about 9.15am, and prepared to film the arrival of the
Swedish tour group coach at 10.00am. They filmed and talked to the group in the
garden for about two hours. Just before the group left, they were asked
for a show of hands to vote whose garden was the best, Lyn's or mine. We had to
be out of sight of the vote, but later we found out that the vote was equal
During the afternoon we were filmed in our respective gardens, and the filming
ended with the camera on the end of the biggest transportable crane jib I have
ever seen, which was on the pavement outside our front gate. The camera was soaring
above the garden in great sweeps. The camera crew left at 4.15pm.
We really enjoyed the Swedish group and the filming, and thought the film crew
were very professional, we had some good laughs with them too.
After clearing up a bit and watering some of the plants in the garden, we sat
down for our dinner at around 5.15. Halfway through, the phone rang, it was the
neighbour of my 93 year old mother, to say that mothers telephone had stopped
working, so she was unable to ring or take calls from anyone, and more
importantly not to be able to use the lifeline emergency line if she fell or was
taken ill. The neighbour had rung BT to advise them of the fault, but was unable
to speak to anyone, just an automatic message machine. So I had to drive to
mothers house and test it wasn't her phone that was causing the problem. By the
time I arrived at mothers, her neighbour had established from the BT automatic
machine that there was a problem with their equipment and it wouldn't be
attended to for another 5 days.
After returning home I did manage to speak to someone at BT, and they said if
they considered it urgent they would try to mend the line earlier.
The ARD tv camera crew, with apologies for not
including Robert the producer who was out on the pavement putting together the
camera crane jib !!
More pictures of the film crew at work, talking to our Swedish visitors ( pictures taken by Malcolm 2 one of our
helpers on the day )
And a picture of the vote just before the Swedish Tour left to decide whose
garden was the best, Lyn's or mine. We were not allowed to see the vote.
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