Sunday, 5 July 2015

From Ryedale to Holderness

Eryngium alpinum in evening light on Saturday. These are a few pictures from a pleasant weekend of gardening and botanising.

My garden is currently full of flower, colour and interest - I'm very happy with how it looks.

Wharram Quarry is my most local Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve: it has an excellent chalk flora, currently in full flower. Masses of Dactylorhiza fuchsii were conspicuous yesterday afternoon.

One of the special plants of Wharram Quarry is the nationally rare Thistle Broomrape, Orobanche reticulata subsp. pallidiflora, which parasitises Woolly Thistle, Cirsium eriophorum.

The reserve was gifted to the YWT to preserve the population of Bee Orchids, Ophrys apifera.

A plant fair today gave an opportunity to visit the gardens of Dalton Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The productive kitchen garden  also has large blocks of  wildflower meadow, curiously with wigwams of sweet peas in each corner, though the mixture of formal and informal was rather pleasing.

The plant fair was merely a diversion on the way to the annual National Garden Scheme opening of the Pottage family's garden at Withernsea - a location that always makes me think it's 'to Hull and gone'.

Cultivated for centuries, but there are still few plants that match the scarlet of Lychnis chalcedonica.

A view across the top of a Hebe cupressoides in the Pottage garden. As always, an enjoyable and educational afternoon there. 

I returned home through a thunderstorm south of the Wolds, and found another had just cleared this side, leaving the garden well washed and watered. Chamaenerion angustifolium 'Stahl Rose'.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Summer flowers from Ray Wood

Perhaps the finest of summer-flowering trees, Aesculus indica 'Sydney Pearce' is now in full bloom. It's resistant to both bleeding canker and leaf miner, so should be the horse-chestnut of choice for future plantings.

Silky-soft flowers of Stewartia ovata.

Roy Lancaster's collection of Philadelphus delavayi, L905, collected in Shaanxi, 1981.

Opulent but ephemeral - Magnolia officinalis.

Rosa moyesii 'Geranium'

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Morning Iris

May 29 - 'Langport Flash'
 On a sunny morning at the end of May I was at my desk and saw the sun shining through and lighting up the flowers of the bearded Iris just outside.  I stepped outside, took a picture with the iPad and posted it on Facebook simply captioned Morning Iris.  Next day another was catching the sun, so got the same treatment. from then on, for the past 24 days, there has been a different 'Morning Iris' (with two on 11 June), until today, when I've posted the last to come into flower in this garden. All have been taken with the iPad, in sun or rain, and here is the full series. I inherited many of the clumps of bearded iris from my predecessor, and the labels have disappeared from some others, so  I don't know the names of all, but they are indicated where I do.

Which do you like?

May 30

May 31 - 'Darkness'

June 1

June 2

June 3 - mourning Iris, after a horrible gale the night before.

June 4 - 'Quagga'

June 5 - 'Tutti Ne Parlan'

June 6 - 'Cognition'. One of the comments on Facebook said this looked as if the Queen of the Night was saying good morning.
June 7 - 'Petit Tigre'

June 8 - 'Gay Hussar'

June 9 - unknown very old cultivar, a gift from Barn House, Whittington, Glos.

June 10

June 11 - 'Godfrey Owen'

June 11 - 'Giardino Rex'

June 12

June 13 - my unnamed I. sibirica selection

June 14
June 15 - I. pseudacorus Albus Group - a very pale seedling from 'Albus'

June 16 - 'Dark Aura'

June 17 - lost label freebie from Cayeux, Moraea huttonii behind

June 18 - another old cultivar or possibly I. albicans

June 19 - 'Art Deco'

June 20 - unnamed I. sibirica selection.

June 21 - 'Scramble'

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Late-flowering Rhododendron diversity in Ray Wood

Rhodododendron 'Vanessa Pastel'  (Soulbut Group x R. griersonianum), Hybrids involving R. griersonianum are often rather attractive and appear usefully late in the season.

'Damozel' - not a very dainty one... (unnamed x R. griersonianum: possibly not correctly labelled)

'Fabia Roman Pottery'  (R. dichroanthum x R. griersonianum)
The Rhododendron season is slowing down but there are still many species and cultivars in flower in Ray Wood, ranging from big, showy hybrids to diminutive species, including members of genera such as Ledum and Menziesia now subsumed into the greater Rhododendron. Their inclusion may seem surprising but their floral and vegetative morphology fits well within the broad range of Rhododendron variation as well, and their relationship is backed up by genetic evidence.

Rhododendron multiflorum var. purpureum (formerly Menziesia ciliicalyx var. purpurea)

Rhododendron (formerly Ledum) groenlandicum, the aromatically-foliaged 'Labrador Tea'.

Believed to be a hybrid between R. atlanticum and R. luteum - a very delicate and charming deciduous azalea.

Anything but delicate; R. 'Yaye-hiryu', number 39 of Wilson's 50 Kurume azaleas.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

The week after Chelsea

Rosa sericea JMG N3 flowering in my parents' garden: grown from seed collected in Nepal in 1988.
As usual I took the week of the Chelsea Flower Show off from work, and spent the time visiting friends and gardens in southern England. These are a few images from places visited during that week - now already seeming some time ago.

A very attractive - but unnamed - peony at Westwell Manor.

I visited Westwell Manor near Burford, Oxfordshire, in conjunction with the Culham & District Horticultural Club. Owned by the Gibson family, a charming, classically Cotswold house is surrounded by six acres of garden rooms.

Although there is good planting, the Westwell Manor garden, which was the creation of the late Mrs Gibson, is very strong on structural elements, whether living or inanimate. It was very interesting to se how these clipped Quercus ilex flush in different colours.

Strong lines: rows of lavender meet the verticals of power-washed Betula utilis subsp. jacquemontii.

On the Thursday I had a pleasure of a tour round Worcester College, Oxford, with the Head Gardener, Simon Bagnall. This is a newly opened up view of the Provost's Lodging - a complete transformation of a formerly rather murky area.
Wisteria floribunda over a Worcester College archway.
The beautiful spring flush of Quercus candicans.

Buttercups under the old fruit trees in the Worcester orchard.

On Thursday evening my mother and I went botanising at Winter Hill, a fine tract of chalk downland near Cookham, Berkshire, remarkably unspoilt amid the congestion of the Thames Valley.

Abundant Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata) was one of the highlights of the evening.

A rather yellow moment at the Garden House, Condicote, Gloucestershire, on the Friday.

Exquisite planting at Condicote: Adiantum venustum, Milium effusum 'Aureum' and new shoots of Danae racemosa.

Subtle but delightful: Peltaria alliacea, Aquilegia vulgaris and Nectaroscordum siculum, at Cotswold Garden Flowers, Badsey, Worcestershire: my last port of call before heading north.

The display beds at CGF are full of good plants but are rather chaotic: here the yellow-leaved raspbery (Rubus vitis-idaea 'Aureum') is weaving between hellebores, Crocosmia and Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum).