Sweet Peas in Devon

imageMy sweet peas seem to have weathered this afternoon’s thunderstorm and deluge, but this rather dismal photograph shows that they are not even close to producing a flower.

By contrast, these gorgeous sweet peas have found their way onto Facebook, in Devon, and I am envious.


Jane Schofield:  They grew on the landing windowsill to about 18″ tall and were pinched out twice. If I don’t put out big plants, the slugs have them the first night…… I also always buy the cheapest seeds now as they are always better for some reason. This is one pack of ordinary and one pack of old fashioned, each 69p per pack!!

This is a lesson for me too:  I’ve come to the conclusion that it is no good sowing anything in the open ground, ever, because everything will be eaten, and I need to curb my habit of planting out too early for the same reason.

An interesting gardening blog

While searching for information the other day about the two related geraniums, G. palmatum and G. maderense, I stumbled upon a blog called The Frustrated Gardener.   It gave me all the information I was looking for and is obviously the work of a really experienced plantsman (the ‘frustrated’ soubriquet refers to the fact that the blogger is merely poor in time, not in knowledge!).

It’s a very interesting blog, which I am now following, quite different  and more entertaining than mine I think, based in Kent.


First new blog post

Because my  Wordpress blog collapsed under a welter of “compatibility issues”, I have had to start it all over again from scratch.  What I shall be doing is adding new posts from today onwards, and backfilling the blog with the previous posts up until the present, which is rather time-consuming.  Hopefully the backlog will catch up in due course.



R. ‘Goldfinch’ and R. ‘Veilchenblau’

imageThis is the stunning combination (R. ‘Goldfinch’ and R. ‘Veilchenblau’) that I now intend to grow up and over my new arch. A nice question arises though, because I like the arch so much that I am going to have another, exactly the same, for where my back gate is, which is about 7 metres away. Would it be too much to have exactly the same combination at both arches, or would the second arch be better using something completely different, maybe not even roses?

A round top arch

imageI decided to make a division between the garden and it’s working area, and put up this arch, which I’m pleased with. It’s substantial and solid, and because I got it with tesco vouchers, cost me nothing. It’s made by Rowlinson. It’s going to have a clematis, a honeysuckle and a rose (Albertine) growing up it, but a hop for now.

Pilosella aurantiaca (Fox and Cubs)

imageI found this fox-and-cubs plant growing amongst my weeds. If I’d not been introduced to it at Fursdon last week, I’d never have known of its existence. I was looking at it yesterday afternoon, and while my back was turned, the flower in the photograph had closed up and turned from facing west to facing east, so it is clearly one of those heliotropic plants.


imageI need a couple of these for my garden, and this looks like a really good pattern which I could make myself. It was photographed in David Milanes’ lovely garden at Sutton Waldron, Dorset.



Jane Schofield:  Lots of angles……. 😳

Edward Verner: Yes there is that. Also wood is not cheap, and it’s possible would come to more than buying the thing readymade.

Jane Schofield:  If you scrounge around the back of eg electrical stores, they often have wood like this going a begging from packaging. Maybe not the long bits but certainly the cross pieces. I’ve had loads of bits by scrounging!


image imageThis is part of my next door neighbours allotment, happily neglected. The reality has a lot more impact than the photo. The seeds were not sown, but there were none last year. I intend to mark the best one or two and collect the seed from them…

There’s just one purple one too.

Geranium palmatum and Geranium maderense

imageThis is an all too inadequate photograph of Geranium palmatum which grows in the Canary Islands, and is new to me. It is a big plant and carries its flowers on erect stalks well above the foliage. It likes dryish conditions and some shade. Seeds very freely.

imageThis one is G. maderense, from Madeira. More spectacular than G. palmatum, but less hardy and less tolerant of wet. It would probably survive outdoors in Norfolk, but would serve to cheer up a polytunnel in the West Country. It grows pretty big too.

Jane Schofield:  Ooh yes, is that the one that makes a big cone of old stems to protects itself over winter?

Edward Verner: Yes it’s G. maderense that does that. I found a really thorough blog post comparing the two species, at https://frustratedgardener.com/2012/06/06/geranium-palmatum-versus-geranium-maderense/