Rose ‘Alcantara’

I repeatedly claim not to be a ‘rose’ sort of person. I appreciate them in other people’s gardens, especially the scented ones, but deadheading them is so tedious and they do tend to get greenfly, or black spot, or something. Having said that, I do have a few in my garden, one of which is a real beauty and I would not want to be without it: Rose Alcantara…

It domintaes the south-facing rockery in June, and when the Perovskia behind it also starts flowering this place is buzzing!

Rose ‘Alcantara’ seems to love being sun-baked at the top of this well-drained incline. This ground cover rose will continue flowering on and off throughout the summer, and I have never seen greenfly on it. It has survived our driest summers and coldest winters. It really deserves a prize. I would certainly recommend this to anyone with a hot, dry slope!

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Are you a ‘rose’ sort of person?

The Tuesday View: 6th June 2017

It’s raining! 😀

We have had light rainshowers on and off all day. Not really enough, but better than nothing! (Update: 3 hours later – those gentle showers have turned into very heavy rain. Yippee!)

Perfect weather for showing my Tuesday View as my garden suddenly looks green again.

In the foreground the Lavender is showing a tinge of colour before it opens. And on the right the tall blue Campanula persicifolia are now open too, while the hardy Geraniums continue to provide splashes of various shades of pink.

The yellow Lysimachia is in full flower. Doesn’t she look harmless?…

The Clematis tangutica ‘Orange Peel’ on the (far too small) obelisk is also in flower…

But my favourite colour here at the moment is this pretty Geranium (I think it is G.’Rozanne’) among some Stipa gigantea; next to the red poppies it stands out even more…

Looking down to the left, at the front of this view, is the lovely Melica ciliata, which I have also seen growing wild on one of our walks nearby.

I pulled loads of the Lysimachia out just a few weeks ago… I could have removed a bit more, but it is lovely while flowering!

As spring progresses into summer, focusing on a particular area of the garden is so useful to me. Why not join in! Just leave a comment below with a link to your view this Tuesday.

Have a great gardening week!

The Nepal Himalaya Park

Last week we had a bank holiday here in Bavaria – Ascension Day. This meant that an ideal spot for meeting up with friends would be open… the Nepal Himalaya Park near Regensburg.

I have never visited a garden in Germany that captivated me quite like this one! It is most certainly not a traditional ‘show garden’, where plants are placed for effect and labelled with care. No, this was more of a plant fanatic’s paradise, a playground for the owner of the park to see what he can grow, with a mostly oriental theme; a little chaotic, quite wild in places, but absolutely charming in my eyes!

The Nepal Himalaya Pavillon

Photo from the Pavillon website: http://www.nepal-himalaya-pavillon.de

The garden is set into a south-facing hillside in part of a former quarry, and the main ‘attraction’ which inspired it is the Himalaya Pavillon. This temple was actually the Nepalese exhibit at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. It was painstakingly dismantled and rebuilt here in its new home. The garden then arose around it a few years later, so is still relatively young.

My photos are not brilliant as I used my mobile phone, but I think you can get the idea of what the temple looks like surrounded by enormous trees, rhododendrons and azaleas.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I walked through the gate, as it was not at all what I had expected. Along with the traditional perennials, native wild flowers and many herbs there were a lot of unusual plants unknown to me, which I had to look up when I got home. So if you see I have made a mistake, please feel free to correct me!

Only recently I had looked up Amsonia, when Jason from Garden in a City mentioned them. Then there they were – the first flower I laid my eyes on and the first time I had seen one.

Amsonia illustris

I found the foliage particularly striking.

As we walked down a slope past a pond, I noticed Anthericum everywhere, along with patches of blue Corydalis and various Euphorbias.

This plant kept popping up too… I believe it is a type of Echium, although I personally only know the blue sort that grows by the roadsides here.

Echium amoenum

The Japanese garden didn’t do much for me, but as we passed that we came to a shadier area where hostas and ferns were thriving…

I wonder if anyone can tell me what the tall plant is between the yellow irises and poppies… It looks kind of familiar.

Along the way there were small temples, bells and a prayer wheel – all original pieces shipped from Nepal. But I was focussed on the plants!

Lilac

The newest part of the garden is the Chinese Garden – it is very wild, overrun with native wild flowers, but still managing to make quite an impact with the wooden bridges and gateways placed at intervals and the setting itself in the rockiest part of the old quarry is fairly dramatic…

Finally, the plant of the day: Lupins!

On our way home we noticed blue ones growing by the roadsides – something we don’t see in our valley at home.

The website is unfortunately all in German, but there is a virtual tour of the garden here, navigable without any language.

And should you ever visit this part of the world, I would definitely recommend this to serious plant lovers! What kind of gardens do you like to visit best – wild and weedy or formal and tidy? 😉

The Tuesday View: 30th May 2017

My weekly look at one part of my garden is helping me focus on planting errors and successes. One thing I noticed this week is how the view is slowly being obstructed by the taller plants in the foreground… some more of that Lysimachia will have to go after it has flowered…

In fact, I think we need to look at the view from the opposite direction…

Now you can see all the weeds! 😉

The Aquilegia and Siberian iris are going over very quickly in the heat. But there are lots of Campanulas and Lychnis to come. And at the moment there are other plants to focus on here. Peony Festiva maxima started opening yesterday afternoon – it is my favourite of all, as it smells so lovely and I have plenty of them for cutting.

The other stars are the poppies, popping up in all sorts of new spots this year!

In the picture below you can also see how tall the Aruncus is growing, bottom right.

The greenery in the foreground here is the Golden Rod. Usually there would also be two very tall and lovely Fennel plants here too, but they were a casualty of our very cold winter with several weeks of permafrost. (I also lost two of my Buddleias and my lovely Gaura lindheimeri).

Finally, here is a long-shot from below the Aruncus bed…

The ferns have put on a lot of growth, but if it’s a hot summer they will need cutting down by the end of June and will hopefully send out new growth a few weeks later. They were here – in the full sun – when we came to the house, and only last until autumn if the summer is cool and wet, like last year.

If you would like to join me with a weekly look at one particular view of your garden, just leave a link below in the comments.

Have a great gardening week!

In a Vase on Monday: Highlights of May

One of the highlights of May is definitely the Aquilegias, reaching for the sky in shades of purple, blue and pink…

For my Monday vase this week I chose to cut some of these tall stalks to contrast with an iris that has just opened and the lovely pale and mid-blue Camassias.

I added Geranium phaeum (again!)…

And on the outer edges I also added a white Geranium sylvaticum ‘Album’, which is not quite as prolific as the chocolatey purple G. phaeum but just as tall (about 60-70cms), and grows well in complete shade, adding lovely highlights to my North border.

What are the highlights in your garden right now? Do you have particularly tall plants in May?

Thanks go to Cathy, who hosts this wonderful meme at ‘Rambling in the Garden‘.

Finding a Niche

There are several plants in and around my garden that pop up in different places each year. Our top compost heap is home to nettles and Jack-in-the-Hedge (Alliaria) this year. While the beech hedge on the north side of the house has offered cover for Greater Celandine. The ants, birds and puffs of wind help them find a new niche to thrive. Sometimes in the most inconvenient of places, but we are flexible here!

The Cymbalaria muralis, for example, has moved up a few steps this spring…

Along with the Aubretia…

Corydalis lutea started out as a single plant in my front bed and now appears in both familiar and new spots, making use of nooks and crannies…

Another pleasing sight is the little violas that have seeded themselves from a single (purple) plant all the way down our garden path…

They are accompanied by violets and a few other weeds…

… as well as wild strawberries…

Then there are those unwanted ones too, of course… but beggars can’t be choosers…

And finally, the Nigella have returned. I wonder what colours will appear this year… 🙂

Do you have any colonizers in your garden?

🙃

 

The Tuesday View: 2nd May 2017

It’s been raining all morning but it looks as if the sun might make it later after all. Nonetheless, I thought I had better take some pictures of my Tuesday view now (2.30 pm) in case it starts raining again…

The most noticeable change is the green trees in the background and how the Lysimachia and Geraniums in the foreground have grown.

Lysimachia on the left, Geranium in foreground

This lovely Geranium spreads like mad, but I pulled a lot out in early spring to give the other plants some breathing space. The Lysimachia also gets pulled up here at regular intervals to keep it in check!

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Czakor’

These buds should be open by next week. 🙂

I have already got a few of my favourite Geraniums flowering – G. phaeum. Do you have a favourite Geranium sort in your garden too?

If you would like to join me in showing one particular view of your garden on a weekly basis, to follow its progress through the gardening year, please leave a link below!