Monthly Archives: May 2015

Waiting for the sun

Only 4 weeks to Armathwaite Open Gardens. Not much in the way of sunshine so far considering tomorrow is 1st June. Everything is way behind. We planted the last of our leeks in the raised beds yesterday and Phil constructed the slug defence system to protect the beans. So far so good!

Copper slug defence

Copper slug defence

Here are some photo’s of the plants in bloom so far.


Lilac (possibly Wild River)

Scabious 'Butterfly Blue Beauty'

Scabious ‘Butterfly Blue Beauty’

Scabious  'Pink Mist'

Scabious ‘Pink Mist’

Crataegus Monogyna 'Common Hawthorn'

Crataegus Monogyna ‘Common Hawthorn’

Rhododendron (variety unknown; salvaged when we moved in)

Rhododendron luteum  (scented yellow Azalea variety unknown; salvaged when we moved in)

Corokia Virgata  (Wire Netting bush )

Corokia Virgata (Wire Netting bush)

Lamium Orvala 'Linn'

Lamium Orvala ‘Linn’

Pinus Schwerinii 'Wiethorst' a dwarf witch's broom

Pinus Schwerinii ‘Wiethorst’ a dwarf witch’s broom



Test Flight

Rigsby and Shackleton were on Border patrol yesterday and flushed this little chap out from under a quince bush. He hadn’t quite mastered the art of flight but made it to safety along the bottom of the fence and managed to hop up into a plant pot, while the dogs were oblivious of the great escape and continued to worry the quince bush.

Passer Domesticus

House Sparrow Passer Domesticus 

Tomato Source

We have been planting tomatoes in the greenhouse this Bank Holiday weekend. Rio Grande is a beef tomato and Roma an Italian Plum, both of these were gifts from our friends so we gave them some Red Brussel Sprout plants in return.



I fancied growing some tumblers in a hanging basket, so we went to The Pot Place and came home with Sun Baby, a yellow cherry type and Red Robin, another tumbler. We also bought a bush variety called Gardener’s Delight, which was featured in an episode of Gardener’s World. We will let you know which we like best !

Red Robin and Sun Baby tumblers

Red Robin and Sun Baby tumblers

The Hanging Gardens of Armathwaite

The Armathwaite Open Gardens event is only  5 weeks away, 27th and 28th June. We collected our hanging baskets  from  the Garden of Eden nursery, which is just up the road at Thiefside. the ladies there do a great job and last year’s display was fantastic and gave a great first impression to our visitors. I don’t think they will be disappointed this year !



Janet Queen visited on Thursday and took some photographs of the garden for the forthcoming November edition of Cumbria Life. Janet trained at Edinburgh and is Head Gardener at Rose Castle in Dalston, former home of the Bishop of Carlisle. The stars of the show were still not in bloom and looking back at last years photos, everything is a good two weeks late, so she has agreed to come back in a week or so to take some more shots.

So here are some Phil took this weekend to whet your appetite.

Rhododendron 'Peaches and Cream'

Rhododendron ‘Peaches and Cream’

Rhododendron 'Percy Wiseman'

Rhododendron ‘Percy Wiseman’

Viburnum Rhytidophyllum

Viburnum Rhytidophyllum

Polemonium 'Heaven Scent'

Polemonium ‘Heaven Scent’

Camassia Leichtlinii

Camassia Leichtlinii

Woodland walk

Woodland walk

Veronica Gentianoldes 'Tissington White'  Comptonia Peregrina Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow' Heuchera 'Crimson Curls'

Veronica Gentianoldes ‘Tissington White’ with the rare plant Comptonia Peregrina ‘Sweet Fern’ behind and
Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’  and Heuchera ‘Crimson Curls’ as a backdrop

New planting beside the pond

New planting beside the pond


Pondering and planting

We had a visit from my parents last weekend and took them to our favourite garden nursery, Larch Cottage at Melkinthorpe near Penrith. It’s an amazing place and highly recommended to visit as they specialise in unusual and rarer specimens but also have a great range of statuary. It’s almost impossible to leave empty handed and as usual we came home with a car load of beautiful plants;

Veronica Gentianoides 'Tissington White' and Dodecatheon meadia album AGM

Veronica Gentianoides ‘Tissington White’ and Dodecatheon meadia album AGM

Polemonium 'Heaven Scent'

Polemonium ‘Heaven Scent’

and returned later in the week to collect Ganesh, who now sits handsomely overlooking the pond.



According to Hindu faith he is the Lord of success, remover of obstacles, the god of beginnings and wisdom. Larch Cottage was just celebrating 30 years in business and were giving away Acers for purchases over £50. We had one and mum and dad donated theirs to our tree collection.

It was very windy so crisp photography was difficult to achieve. Better pictures to follow.

More spring colour

Now that we are well and truly into spring, the garden is beginning to fill with colour. Phil isn’t fond of yellow flowers so we compromised and put these in last year. They are a new variety of Primula and have come back bigger and better so we will split them after flowering to brighten up the more shaded areas. Apparently its flowers are edible and would brighten up any salad.


Primula Veris “Orange Form”


We had these in a pot by the front door last year and they struggled as they grew too tall and then got battered down by wind and rain. So we moved them to a more dappled shaded and sheltered spot and they are magnificent this year.


Camassia Leictlinii


Pulmonaria Officinalis

I call these my ‘Spotty Dotties’. We brought some with us from Dorset when we moved here 3 years ago and were given another clump by our friends across the road. What I like is that they have both pink and purple flowers on the same stem and the leaves are spotted, hence my name for them !


Malus “Evereste”

We brought this tree with us from Dorset. The fruits are tiny golden apples borne in bunches. We don’t eat them but leave them for the birds to enjoy as they don’t fall off and last through the winter. There were even some mummified specimens left on the tree in spring.

Symphytum Grand

Symphytum Grand “Wisley Blue”

Berberis Lologen "mystery Fire"

Berberis Lologen “mystery Fire”