Garden Blog - Blog Post

Pictures and Stories 1


The last few weeks have bought about some incredible changes in the garden. With the weather trying to warm up as we move into a supposed summer, all the previous work and effort in cutting back overgrown plants, clearing borders and rejuvenating the soil has really paid dividends. As things have changed faster than I can write about them, I’m just going to post a picture and its associated short story. There’s no particular order or theme, just a heady mish-mash plant-gasm.


Judas Tree Blossom

The Judas Tree (Cercis Siliquastrum) that was so kindly donated by one of our neighbours last year is now in full blossom. There are several specimens of this quirky-shaped, slow growing tree in the area and ours looks to be well on the way to adding to that collection. The bright pink blossom really stands out against the fresh green of the beech hedge behind it. It is currently part of the nomadic pot collection but there is a place in the garden earmarked to receive it. Once I get round to preparing the ground there, I’ll release it from the confines of the pot it’s currently in and set it free in the ground. It all sounds very poetic doesn’t it but it can’t be helped when you’re faced with this beauty.

Hosta and Erodium

This is a rescued hosta that we pulled out of a discard heap at the back of the garden last year. It looks like Hosta “Patriot” but there are so many different hosta varieties depending on the shade of green, the width of the margin and the time of day that it could be anything. The Erodium is self-seeded and this isn’t the only pot it’s found its way into either. The combination here looks particularly good but the hosta wants shade and moist soil while the Erodium prefers free-draining soil in full sun. Despite this, they’re both looking happy together for the moment.

Flowering Pansies

The little table we have outside is currently dedicated to showing off the collection of winter-flowering pansies that were previously in the six trugs at the front of the house. As part of the bedding switch-over to summer-time, I swapped those pansies out for trailing fuchsias and trailing lobelias. The pansies weren’t particularly happy over the winter and while they had a brave attempt at trying to put out some flowers, the overall effect was lack-lustre and disappointing. It was only when the weather started to warm up and the light increased that they perked up. So instead of throwing them away in mid-flower, I decanted them into pots and some went into the bay window border underneath the new roses. The pansies are so bright and cheerful they can be seem from most places in the garden.

Iris Sibirica Flower Buds

How about this for a promise of spectacular flowering? Look at all those flower buds preparing to open! I find this stage of flowering the most exciting and frustrating. Exciting because you can see the flowers that are to come and there’s the expectation of a brilliant show; frustration because there’s still a week or two before the show begins. This Iris Sibirica holds sentimental value. It originally came from my other half’s parents and we received it in a bucket. It was planted out in our previous garden underneath a Choisya and it began to thrive. A good few years on to the time of moving to our current garden and the Iris had grown into a substantial clump that was split in half; one half was left for the new owners and the other half was put back into a bucket to bring with us. This Iris is still in it’s bucket but I do plan on splitting the clump to make several plants and planting those in the ground – just as soon as it’s prepared. This Iris has made a long round-trip to return almost back to where it came from.

Clematis Miss Bateman Opening

I thought I would end with this picture of Clematis “Miss Bateman” opening, to provide evidence that not all my Clematis end their days as dead sticks without having done something first. While I have a soft spot for most Clematis, I particular like those with contrasting stamens and a central bar down each petal. Miss Bateman is a mint green stripe that gradually fades in sunlight and contrasting lilac stamens.

There’s more to come in the great “Spring Reveal”!

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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susan maclean 13/05/2015 - 9:51 pm

Miss Bateman looks like the sort of girl I’d like in my garden! And the Erodium…… I’d love one of those too. Iris siberica – I think my garden is too dry for that, although they are so beautiful. There is a NT garden near here (Tintinhull, Somerset) That has a whole narrow bed of them in front of a summer border, so they come first. They are varigated, and called “flock of butterflies” or similar (purple and white. Can’t wait for your next set of pics, Sunil.

Sunil 14/05/2015 - 12:29 am

Hello Mrs Mac, I like Miss Bateman, it’s a pretty clematis. If you plant Erodium out in the garden you will never be rid of it and as for Iris Sibirica, this is the only kind if Iris I am interested in hence I have several plants. At one stage I bought a whole load of different varieties but I quickly lost track of where they got to. I’ll have to wait until they all flower before I can tell which ones I still have and which ones I have lost.

susan maclean 14/05/2015 - 8:19 am

I have lots of things I can’t get rid of! I love them all. Aquilegia all over, a common creeping campanula, an early flowering hardy geranium which, many years ago I got on the last day at a Chelsea Flower show. So I think Erodium will have to join them!
Of course, I also have the bloomin’ perennial weeds like withywine (columbine? white trumpets if you let it flower) and of course, mares’ tail which are prehistoric and as we are on the Jurasic Coast I know I will never be free of those particular little buggers!!

Jean 15/05/2015 - 3:50 am

Miss Bateman is a very pretty clematis. I’m also admiring all those buds on your Siberian iris; mine are just putting up new leaves.

Sunil 17/05/2015 - 6:10 pm

Hi Jean, since this was posted, other Siberian Irisis have opened up and are in flower! This bucket of Iris is a few weeks behind the rest. At the moment the ones in flower all seem to be clones of this original clump but I’m hoping there’s some variety within all the irises I have.

gardeninacity 16/05/2015 - 2:12 am

The Hosta/Erodium combination looks great! I think some of the best combinations occur spontaneously. I look forward to seeing your Siberian Iris!

Sunil 17/05/2015 - 6:11 pm

Hello Jason, if I’m not careful then the Europium will become a combination with most plants in the garden given how quickly and easily it self-seeds around. It is a very opportunistic self-planter!

casa mariposa 17/05/2015 - 3:43 pm

Beautiful!! Hooray for not killing a clematis. 🙂 I just added some erodium to absolutely the wrong spot but have amended the soil with pea gravel. We shall see what happens…. It was so cute I just had to have it. I love how much you love your garden. 🙂

Sunil 17/05/2015 - 6:16 pm

Hello Tammy, my Erodium seem to be happy anywhere in any soil so I wouldn’t worry too much – they’ll survive and spread like crazy given half the chance. There are several clematis in the garden that are coming info flower now or very soon so I’m looking forward to seeing those. I think for the clematis in the garden, it’s a case of getting established for the first few years before trying anything too strenuous like flowering.

lynngator 18/05/2015 - 4:05 pm

Sunil, your garden is really taking shape and is going to be spectacular. I think the deer ate all my Siberian iris but I do love that “Miss Bateman.” Like you, I love clematis and have just purchased a stunning blue and red one called “Vancouver.” Will post photos in The Dirt Diaries soon!

Sunil 18/05/2015 - 7:32 pm

Thanks, Lynn. I can’t wait to see your pictures of Clematis “Vancouver” in flower! Many of our Clematis are budding up and getting ready to flower or die. They’re coming along with the roses too. Established shrubs/climbers should be out in a few weeks and the new ones planted bare root this year should follow on a few weeks later.


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