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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
May 2012

May 30th
We have been on a plant hunting expedition !
Only  a 220 mile round trip, to central Devon. Hill House nursery to be exact. We had visited them about five years ago.
On a trip to some Cotswold gardens last year with the local Hardy plant society, I had seen two plants I liked, but could not buy them, this was the reason for going to Hill House nursery.
I ended up with five different plants, well it was a long way to go just for two plants I kept telling Lyn. Three are in flower now, pictures are below. All are tender plants.
The two not in flower yet are Isoplexis canariensis and Thunbergia gregorii.

Iochroma grandiflorum 

Iochroma gesnerioides 'Coccineum' 

Streptosolen jamesonii 

May 25th
The whole of the weekend was spent getting on with the more mundane jobs around the garden. Cleaning the interior of the conservatory now the over wintering plants are outside. We even have a table back in the conservatory, but no chairs yet !
I also cleaned the roof of the passage which joins both gardens. Lyn has been potting up more of the plants we raised from seed, and moving a few of the sale plants away from our garden to a temporary store.

Crinodendron hookerianum just about to open.


Geranium himalyense 'Baby blue' 

The first of the Gazania flowers just opening.                             And first flower on the yellow Brugmansia.

May 25th
More of the same weather wise, spent an hour and a half watering both gardens and sale plants late this afternoon.
In the cool of the evening  just before 10pm I cleaned the inside of the roof of the conservatory. It is getting so hot in there during the day, so tomorrow morning I am going to put up the blinds I made from old boat sails, about 6 years ago.

The exotic garden is beginning to look a lot better now, you can just see the table and chairs on the patio.

Another view towards the patio.                               And in Lyn's garden the Iris which wasn't the one we wanted, we think is 'Indian chief'

Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondley'

May 24th
About one degree cooler today with a light breeze at times.
I had a good clean up in the greenhouse today and arranged the tomatoes in their proper places for the summer. Several plants have tomatoes forming.
Something I forgot to say, was that a couple of days ago I was carrying a pot of Echium 'Pink tower' across the lawn. A bumble bee stayed on a flower on the plant, and another flew along following the plant. It made me smile.

Digitalis purpurea 'Candy Mountain' which we grew from seed. And no I have not got the picture upside down, the flowers do look upwards.

May 23rd
It was hot enough yesterday, today was even hotter.
This afternoon I was planting up a bit more of the gravel bed, sweat was dripping off my nose, and I started feeling light headed.
I walked a few metres into Lyn's garden and there was a bit of breeze, so I cooled off there.

Late afternoon in the Exotic garden, and I saw 29.1c not long after.

A seedling Aqueligia about 1.1 metre tall !                               Geranium magnificum 

Veronica gentianoides                                                               Iris innominata 

This is what you get if you don't get rid of the Lily beetles

May 22nd
It has been a really hot day here today, The thermometer in the back garden in the shade of the 'lollipop tree' was showing 27.1c
The bananas are growing fast now, and in Lyn's garden the first of the summer flowering has started.
It has been quiet again with my paid work, so from 11.30am onwards, yes you guessed, I have been in the garden.
Some of the sale plants have been moved from the Exotic garden to the sales area, where we repotted most of them into bigger pots.
I was then able to move a few more of my plants out of the conservatory and arrange them in their home for the summer.
There are still a lot more sale plants to move yet, before the Exotic garden is set up.

After purchasing this Iris and waiting 2 years for it to flower, it is not the Iris we paid for.
It should have been Iris germanica 'Sultans Palace' , which is coppery red.

Aquilegia 'Clementine' mixed colours which we grew from seed

And Aquilegia 'Clementine' in white.

Rosa 'Dublin bay' 

May 20th
All the big exotic plants are now out, the temporary 'Giraffe house' has been taken down. (Giraffe house as in tall)!
We even have our table and chairs on the patio and sat for 15 minutes with a boozy drink. I am convinced the drink was not the cause for me falling down, fortunatley onto the lawn, and probably pulling a muscle in my shoulder. Lyn's pot of plants in her garden got the blame. Just as well all the big plants are in the garden now.
So a big change over this weekend, but we have worked hard.

The conservatory looking quite bare after storing a lot of the big plants over winter, just the Ensete ventricosum 'Montbeliardii' (the one on the left of the picture) waiting to go outside.

The 'railway line' laid to protect the lawn, leading to the hole in the ground where the Ensete will be for summer.

Me pulling Ensete ventricosum 'Montbeliardii' across the lawn, can you imagine how much that pot of soil weighs.

A large plastic pot which was dug into the ground about 5 years ago ready for the Ensete to be lowered in.

Ensete ventricosum 'Montbeliardii' in it's home for the summer.

May 19th
All change on the weather front now.
All the Brugmansias are now out in the garden, and quite a lot more tender plants.
The sun was not too bright to burn the leaves, and the wind was light, so a good day for getting plants out.
We have both been in the garden all day today, Lyn has planted a few new plants in her garden, and moved several others.
I have made more room in the greenhouse now some of the plants are outside, the tomatoes now have more room and light.
The temperature was 19c in the shade this afternoon.

A lot more plants to get out into the Exotic garden, and several to remove like the tulips under the lollipop tree !

Clematis 'Nelly Moser'

Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondley'

May 16th
We did get a light frost last night of minus .2c. This is only the third year we have had a frost in May during the eleven years I have kept records.
I think we will be able to get some more Exotic plants out this weekend, I am hoping we will not get any more frosts. 

Clematis 'Daniel Deronda

Iris 'Broadleigh rose'                                                                Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondley' 

May 15th
Ok so I am getting a bit fed up with the weather this year.
Last year we had no frosts in April or May. This year we had 11 frosts in April and have been very close to a frost on several nights so far this May.
I have again just come back indoors (10.30pm) after covering most of the tender plants in the Exotic garden, with every bit of fleece we have.
Some of the plants have had to go outside in the last couple of weeks, to make room for more we have raised from seed under cover.
Last night we had a shower early in the morning at 5.30am, so the fleece got wet and had to be dried out.
The fleece we use is actually sold as a weed membrane, we prefer it, as being black it dries out much quicker if there is any sun about.

I keep telling myself that the weather will improve next week, or the week after, and so it goes on.
And it is just under 8 weeks before we have our first open day of the summer. All the plants should be outside enjoying some sun and warmth.

The scene outside at 10.30 pm in what should be part of the Exotic garden. Temperature +4c and falling.

Notice the leaves of the bananas above the fleece. Hopefully we won't get an air frost, as they will be black by morning

May 11th
A reasonable day today after rain for several days.
I mowed the lawn this morning, it was a bit wet, but had grown a lot.
The Gazanias we raised from small plugs are pretty big now in 100mm square pots and ready to be planted out. I hope to get them in the garden over the weekend.
I will need to give them protection for a while as it is supposed to be quite cool at night still and I have seen hail forecast for next Tuesday.

Cistus canescens 'Albus' 

Clematis 'Asao'

Corydalis flexuosa 'Pere David' 

Clematis 'Dawn'                                                                          Rosa 'Maigold' 

Yes I can see you hiding in a Lily.

I didn't take a picture of what I did to this Lily Beetle.

May 6th
Well I decided to take a chance today, the banana houses are now taken down, I got fed up waiting for a weekly forecast that didn't include mention of a frost.
I had to take the roof off the shelters anyway, as the new growth of the leaves were just curling up as they hit the inside of the roof.
One of the Agarve just brought out of winter storage. To save space the 'leaves' are held upright with a bungy cord.
Notice the plastic pot in the ground. The plastic pot is large enough to allow the Agarve in it's own pot to be dropped in.
The plastic pots remain in the soil all year, in the winter we just drop a different plant in.

Two of the Agarve now in position, and the shingle pulled over the to hide the pot. The 'leaves' of the Agarve will flatten
themselves out a bit in the next week or so after being tied up for storage.

A bit more of the gravel bed, still a lot more plants to go in though.
The plants in the background are some of the plants we sell on our open days, they will have to be moved soon to allow
the Exotics in.

Back in Lyn's garden it is what we call the 'Green time'. We are between the Spring flowers that have more or less finished
and the Summer flowers which are just starting.

Clematis 'Elsa Spathe'                                                            Clematis 'Miss Bateman'


Clematis 'Mrs Cholmondley' 

May 4th
We helped out Val at the National Collection of montana clematis this morning, and I managed to get some more pictures for her.
We also bought 2 more clematis from Marcus Dancer plants while we were there, no not montana clematis as we haven't got room for them.
Lyn took a liking to Clematis 'Buckland Cascade' which is a scrambler really, and being only 1 metre in length is ideal for a hanging basket.
I chose Clematis 'Broughton Bride', it has quite large flowers.

Clematis 'Broughton Bride'