Friday, 25 May 2012

The Wicken

Just back from a lovely visit to a friend who runs a garden up near King's Lynn. The Wicken is a privately owned garden (open sometimes for NGS and special events) and expensive shooting lodge. On a sunny day in May it is simply beautiful.

The formal part of the garden, with loose, informal planting

Rose arch flanked by two Pyrus salicifolia

How's this for a lairy combination?
Dark purple tulip and bright yellow Molinia (of some sort)

Ed and Paul strolling along the (extremely effective) Ha-Ha.

Hosta 'Praying Hands' in the newly planted stumpery.
A tiny, unusual Hosta with narrow, tightly folded leaves resemble hands folded in prayer

A glimpse of the startling yellow Oilseed in an adjoining field.
Damn I love this time of year.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


This plant is looking fabulous at the moment, growing on an east facing wall of my house. It is Akebia x. Pentaphylla, a rare-ish hybrid between the two species Akebias: A. trifoliata and A. quinata. Like other chocolate vines, it can get a bit raggedy towards the end of the season, but its lush lime green leaves look glorious in spring and early summer, and it looks fantastic against red brick walls. It's nice and vigorous too, and will thrive in almost any situation. The chocolatey flowers have a lovely, spicey vanilla aroma - and i've been told that this hybrid fruits more freely than other Akebias. We shall see.

Friday, 6 January 2012

greening up our Fine City

Went trolling about in Norwich at the weekend and was delighted to discover a "living wall" on the newly extended Marks & Spencers store on Rampant Horse Street.
According to the EDP, it covers 152sq m. Plants quite happy to grow vertically up this British institution include:  

Armeria maritima
Blechnum spicant
Galanthus nivalis
Galium odoratu
Geranium macrorrhizum
Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’
Helleborus argutifoliu
Luzula nivea
Phyllitis scolopendrium
Sarcococca humilis
Thymus vulgaris

Yes please, Norwich. More of this and less ghastly winter bedding.  

Thursday, 17 November 2011

More autumnullyness

Alright, maybe I was a bit harsh on autumn. It's the middle of November and the majority of the leaves are still on the trees, which is a bit unusual. Yesterday the sun was shining and I waddled about the garden taking snaps of everything that was looking stunning. Think I'll ask for a better camera for Christmas...

An avenue of sunlit lime trees.
If that's not inviting, then I don't know what is...

Could this be a morel? Slightly past its best, maybe...

Hosta seed heads with ladybird.

Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'
Generally I find this plant a bit... vulgar. Maybe it's the colour. But whatever
you think of it, it's a plant that demands you stop and look at it
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this combination of Euphorbia wulfenii and Cornus sibirica just about makes me want to pee myself with excitement

Lovely autumn berries of Cornus sibirica 'Westonbirt'

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Autumn colour

It's fairly grey and dismal in the garden today. Autumn colour, I think, has been less than showy and quite short lived this season. At least in the East. So I thought I might cheer myself up by posting some pics I took this time last year, to remind myself what autumn's supposed to be all about...

It's been a fantastic year for small-leafed limes (Tilia cordata). Ours were absolutely thrumming
with blossom and bees in the spring - and their scent is absolutely gorgeous. 

Another cute little lime.

A fab contrasting autumn colour combo:
Rosa 'Frensham', Melianthus major and Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

POW! Take that you boring native trees.
Nothing does autumn colour quite like Taxodium distichum

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Catching codzilla

Catching fish out of the fountain today. It's a smelly job, but someone's gotta do it. Altogether we netted about 500 fish, mostly goldfish but there are three bigguns that have (so far) survived the heron. This fellow here is the biggest. He's a koi carp and about 10-15lbs. All the fishies have gone into a holidng tank while our 18th century fountain is emptied and given a good scrub.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Back to the Bishops Garden!

I've already said that the Bishop's Garden is one of my fave gardens in Norwich (and not just because I often get a custard cream doughnut and a cup of tea from Simon when I visit).

Me standing next to Tetrapanax papyrifer, a gorgeous hardy tropical
that can get absolutely enormous. Watch out though, it tends to sucker.

Euphorbia x pasteurii 'Phrampton Phatty'An unusual hybrid Euphorbia with an awesome name.

Indigofera howellii

Lonicera hildebrandiana, or "Giant Burmese honeysuckle"
Not hardy but dramatic climber with dark green leaves and gorgeously scented yellow flowers.

250 year old pear tree surrounded by wildflower maze - this is a lovely feature of the
garden  and looks great almost throughout the year. You couldn't really ask for a finer backdrop
than Norwich Cathedral, either - could you!?