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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
July 2012

July 27th
My birthday today.
Which was spent doing two paid jobs in the morning, then the rest of the time in the garden dead heading and watering. It was cooler this morning with some cloud, but warm again in the afternoon when the sun returned.

Here are pictures of some of the Geraniums I saw while watering in Lyn's garden.
Geranium 'Rozanne' 

Geranium wallichianum 'Buxtons blue'

Geranium 'Anne Thompson' 

Geranium oxonianum  'Lace Time' 

Geranium 'Salome'

Geranium 'Elke' 

Geranium 'Patricia' 

July 25th
Even hotter for our open afternoon, up to 29c.
And the visitors to the garden on our open afternoon where again well down on previous years, we only had 86. Last year we had 146 visitors in the first hour !!
So it must be the financial climate we are all going through, well nearly all of us. Very disappointing though, as we put a lot of work and time in to prepare for open days, and the supported charities will be well down financially this year.

July 24th
It has been hot today with temperatures up to 26c. And it was even hotter in the Floral marquee at the New Forest Show where we did our bit, to bring to the attention of some of the many visitors, how much the National Garden Scheme has given to their chosen charities. And to try to get more people interested in visiting open gardens, or even opening their own gardens.
We were glad to get back to our garden where we could cool down a bit before getting everything ready for the open afternoon tomorrow. Our day ended up with a trip round Ferndown putting up our direction signs.

July 23rd
At last some proper summer weather, and up to 24c in the shade this afternoon. The garden has come on well the last few days, lots more colour. Just right for our open afternoon on Wednesday 2.00pm till 5.00pm.
It seems that numbers of visitors are down a lot this year in all the National Garden Scheme open gardens.
Hopefully we will get a good turnout now the weather has improved, and of course it is difficult for us to guess how many cakes to bake, we will either run out of cakes or get fatter, eating the ones that are left over.

We will be at the New Forest Show at Brockenhurst tomorrow, helping to spread the interest in National Garden Scheme Gardens. And the charities that are supported. The stand is right near the floral marquee. 
In the last 10 years the National Garden Scheme has given over 22 million pounds to selected charities.

The front door today.

Anemonopsis macrophylla. A small flower, but when looked at close up, it is a very nice flower.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

Geranium 'Blue sunrise' 

Lilium 'El Condor' 

Campanula 'Paul Furse' each flower is about 2" or 50mm in length

July 17th
After more rain all day yesterday it was a reasonable day today. I managed to get in the garden this afternoon, mowed the lawns, deadheaded and rescued a couple of Delphinium flower spikes that had bent over with the weight of yesterdays rain and a strong wind. I also fed some of the plants in pots and took some pictures.

The weather is supposed to improve over this coming weekend and into next week, hopefully it will for our garden open afternoon on Wednesday 25th July.
More colour every day now in the garden, so it should be a good show.

Dahlia 'Arabian night'

Lilium 'Lativa'

Centaurea dealbata 

Monarda 'Jacob Cline'    The largest flowers of any of the Monardas we have in the garden.

Dahlias on the patio in the Exotic garden

Agapanthus buds should be open soon.

Ricinus 'Carmencita' new leaves

The 'Moorish ' door

July 14th
The weather is still not as it should be, it's cool, cloudy and with the odd spot of drizzle today.

Delphinium 'Mighty Atom'  close up picture

Dahlia 'Anne Breckenfelder' 

Lilium tigrinum 'Pink tiger' 

Monarda 'Jacob Cline' a new plant in the garden this year, bought as a very small plant last year.

Lilium 'Orange Art' 

July 8th
So how did the open day go. Well we were up at 6.45am !
I won't detail all the things we have to do before opening at 11.00. I have a checklist of 50 things to do, and it did not include mow the lawn at 10.00am which was very wet still, from the 36 hours of rain we had.
It was so long and wet that I deemed it might dry quicker if I mowed it. And it did help, as did the the sun, which shone all day , with a drying breeze. Great stuff.
But what happened to all our visitors ??. Was it the Wimbledon tennis, the Silverstone F1 motor racing, the prospect of possibly being rained on, or the current financial climate.
We only had exactly 100 visitors. Our lowest ever number of visitors. Last year at the same time we had 272.

Thank you very much to all the people that did come. They had a nice day and a nearly empty garden, no queuing to get tea and cake either.

So what did go wrong ?. Well some of the blame must fall on us. We have to submit our dates for opening in the previous early September, and hadn't realised that Wimbledon had moved their dates forward one week for 2012.
Another thing was that over the previous six or so years, our opening date had slowly slipped back by 10 days. it used to be around the 18th July. I found this out last night looking through our open day records for the last 12 years.
For next year we will be moving our first open day forward by at least a week.

Silverstone? well I don't think that would have affected us much, the largest proportion of our visitors are women and I don't think many are interested in F1 motor racing.
The weather ? well yes it has been terrible. And that could have contributed somewhat to lack of visitors.
The financial climate ? a job to say really. The admission charge to National Garden Scheme open gardens has gone up about 50 pence this year. Which makes ours 3.00 add to that the choice of having tea and a large slice of homemade cake for 2.00. Makes it 5.00. Where else could you go and see two different gardens and have refreshments for 5.00 ?.

Hopefully visitor numbers and the weather will improve for our next two openings. Our helpers in the kitchen and on the gate and plant stall get bored, and may not want to help us next year !

Here are a few pictures of the garden taken today in a rather cloudy light. We really were lucky to have the sun back yesterday.

Part of the exotic garden from the patio.

Looking towards the patio.

Looking out from the conservatory door.

And part of Lyn's Cottage garden

The front door

And the usual view from the bedroom window

July 8th
Garden Open Day

July 7th
Our garden WILL still be open tomorrow 8th July 11.00am to 5.00pm despite 36 hours of at times heavy rain.
It is still raining here now at 4pm, we haven't been able to get out in the garden for two days, but we will be up at 7.15 tomorrow to fill the cakes and then into the garden to tidy up.
I may be mowing the lawn as well, despite the grass being wet. The forecast for tomorrow, is for a much better day down here.

July 6th
I made the other 7 cakes this morning, started at 8.15am, and finished at 12.15pm. It did include the washing up and drying after.
The rain came back again today, and is not supposed to stop till tomorrow night, which means we will have a problem with the last minute tidying and other jobs in the garden.
I was looking at some of the pictures on our 2011 lily flowering page from the same time last year. It shows the lilies are about 3 weeks later to come into flower this year.
I am getting more concerned about the weather for Sunday, our open day. I think it will be a miracle if we don't get any rain during the day. Please let that miracle happen.

July 5th
What a difference a day makes, lots of sun today and dry. Although I only had an hour or two outside as I was making cakes for Sunday. Five down and seven more to go yet.
I did manage to mow the lawns this morning, though still a bit wet from the rain yesterday, they will dry out a lot quicker being shorter.
There are not as many Bees and Butterflies around this year, not surprising really, with the awful weather, just one Butterfly today, a Red Admiral.

Lilium pardalinum 'Giganteum' I think this is the most striking lily we have in the garden.
We first saw them in the gardens at Wisley, must be 8 or 10 years ago.
This year they are putting on a nice show, more flowers than ever, a plant that must like the wet weather.

Lilium 'Spring pink' 

Trollius europaeus  Quite a few visitors yesterday liked them, and asked if we had any plants for sale. We didn't.

Penstemon 'Firebird'                                                                          Campanula 'Burghaltii' AGM

July 4th
For the last two and a half days we have had drizzle and heavier rain all the time. It was not good to see the same weather when we woke this morning.
It was the first private visit to our garden this summer. Thirty seven Laverstock garden club members where arriving on a coach at 2pm.
The forecast wasn't good, the rain was going to clear about 4pm.
At 12.45 the rain stopped and the sky brightened, it needed to as a lot of the plants in the garden where drooping with the weight of water on them.
We had set out extra tables and chairs in our sitting room and conservatory today because of the weather.
The coach arrived and it was thankfully still dry, but it only lasted for about an hour, then the rain came down quite hard. At one point I wished I had my camera with me, to catch a picture of two of our visitors sat on a bench outside, both with the hoods of their coats, over their heads, in the rain, drinking tea and eating cake!
The rain didn't stop, so the visit was shortened by about half an hour, a disappointment really as many said they would have liked to go around the garden again.

We were really lucky to have had a break in the rain today, as it wasn't forecast. But now we are looking towards our open day on Sunday, and the weather still seems not to be settling down, which gives us a problem deciding  how many cakes we should make ?