Monday, 26 May 2014

The first lilies!

Yes, the first lilies are flowering in my garden, just thought I would share that with you :-)
The Asiatic lilies are always the first one to flower, but all the oriental lilies have fat buds and won’t be that many weeks behind. Despite my absolutely tiny garden I have managed to squeeze in more than 150 lilies of various type and height, and I am sure I can manage to fit a few more. There will be more lily photos next month!

Sorry for being so absent on the blog, I am just so busy these days I can’t seem to fit everything I want to do into each day. I am spending as much time as I can every day in the garden, except for when it is bucketing down with rain, and in the evenings (read: nights) I am working on my latest book project. Deadline is in just a few short weeks so after that I’ll have a break – until next book project; I am making another book in the autumn, starting August.

But without further ado, here’s a few photos of what’s going on  in my garden right now.

Lilium 'Orange Joy'.

Lilium 'Monte Negro'.

Rhododendron 'Dopey', surrounded by Fuchsia 'Annabel' and a pink miniature rose.

The first peonies are opening up, so far I have counted 51 buds which is exactly the same as I had last year. Paeonia lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt'.

The new clematis is growing well and has got more flowers since my last post. Clematis 'Mon Amour'.

The cream miniature rose is looking so beautiful, absolutely covered in buds.

Pink miniature rose.

Rose, 'Freedom'.

Rose, 'Crimson Cascade'. The squirrels seem to finally have started to leave my roses alone, there are new leaves and buds all along the fence so in a 4-5 weeks time – a bit later than the rest of the roses – I will have my first flush of 'Crimson Cascade'.

There are lots and lots going on in my garden right now, but this was just a tiny peek. Got to get back to my book! Until next time, take care.

34 comments:

  1. Our lilies have disappeared probably helped along by the lily beetles.

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    1. Yes, those pesky lily beetles! I don’t see many of them anymore, have used a great remedy from Bakker.co.uk, it’s made from fermented soy and herbs – stinks like hell when you use it, don’t mix it indoors (!), but it really works, and over the last 3 years the population of lily beetles has dramatically gone down. I still patrol them, all 150 of them! So far this year I have found TWO beetles. And no munched buds and no slimy grubs. Works better for every year as less and less larvae are produced. I pour a little over the fence next door too, on the lilies I planted there 3 years ago, as the current tenants do absolutely nothing to the garden :-) But of course, if you have many neighbours around you growing lilies untreated, you will have to work harder to keep the beetles at bay.

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  2. I'm not usually a yellow fan, but the 'Freedom' rose is gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks, I am not really a fan of bright yellow flowers either, but ‘Freedom’ was given to me and it is a keeper!

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  3. Very nice peony, Helene! Are you growing them in pots? I see your miniature roses are potted, where are they stored in cold time ? Love your rhododendron and roses, all is beauty!

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    1. Nadezda, gardening in London is rather different from gardening in St. Petersburg – or Norway for that matter :-) Over here most things survive, even plants that are not considered frost hardy. All my plants spend winter outside, even my tender fuchsias and small cuttings – and yes all the roses too. I don’t have a greenhouse, and I don’t have a shed or a garage so everything stays right where they are, in the ground or in the pots. My dahlias stays in the ground all year round, my container roses stays in pots and so does all the fuchsias too. Over here it isn’t the cold that kills plants, it is either too much water in the winter or lack of water when we have drought. I lost some bulbs last winter when it rained for 4 full months. But all the plants survived very well, only some of the larger bulbs did not like the rain, mainly daffodils.

      The peony came with the house, it is probably very old, might be as old as the camellia, possibly 50 years old. It grows in the ground and is one large clump.

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  4. We gardener's can always squeeze just one more plant in...on almost an hourly basis...if necessary!!

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    1. Oh, yes – and next week I have another plant delivery, my vegetable plug plants are arriving. More plants to squeeze in, although they will all grow in containers. Tumbling tomatoes, chives, 3 types of chillies and 2 types of basil. Exciting!

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  5. Hi Helene
    It's just a shame that we haven't got more time to spend in the garden, isn't it. It's my favorite time of the year but also the busiest. My book is at the Moment in print... can't wait to get it :o). It's so much fun to write... isn't it?
    My garden is about 1400 m2 but our house and the Studio stands on that land too... so I guess the garden is "only" 1000 m2. For my planting ideas it is too small but for the weeding it is too big :o).
    Have a lovely day and take care
    Alex

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    1. Oh, good luck with your book, it is soooo exciting when a book comes back from the printer!
      Your garden is 1000 m2 ?! Gulp! It is even bigger than I thought!
      Mine is 62 m2!! And that is including the seating area and the passage where I have my nursery shelves. Well, now you know why I call it ‘postage stamp size’ :-)
      Hope you have a lovely day – and less rain than we have, it has been pouring down for 2 days here.

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  6. Great pictures as usual Helene, I am interested to read about your experience with lily beetle. I spray all my lilies including fritillaries, where the first attack usually comes, and Solomon's Seal as they emerge, against both lily beetle and the Solomon's Seal sawfly and other than the odd beetle that I have to "crunch" I have no problems. Even though I belong to a generation when we sprayed anything that moved I do not spray indiscriminately but sometimes I believe it is quite justified.

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    1. I was so happy when I discovered this product sold by Bakker, it is from a company called Pireco and being an organic pesticide it is not harmful to bees and other flying insects, only those that munch or suck the plants. I use it as a soil drench on all the plants that get greenflies, lily beetles or spider mites, but since it is pricey, I don’t treat plants without these problems, and I treat monthly only between April and September. In addition to that I use Fungus Clear Ultra once a month on plants that are susceptible to black spot or any other fungus problem, also between April and September.

      What do you use on your lilies? And on your roses? Any other general spraying routine for the rest of your garden? Would be interested to know – always something to learn :-)

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  7. Yay, Lilies! They're beautiful, Helene. I've been thinking about you recently as I've added more Fuchsias to my garden this season. Realizing that you've been able to overwinter yours since you didn't have a hard freeze this winter. I've always had a few Fuchsias around, but this year I added them to my front porch hanging baskets because they're so easy-care and the hummingbirds love them. Your Roses are beautiful! Everything is waking up here now, and the growth from day to day (and it seems hour to hour) is incredible. Amazing time of year for us here in the Midwest U.S. I almost have all my tender annuals and veggies planted--it's a mad rush since our growing season stretches only from now until mid-October. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Beth, great to hear you have got some more fuchsias, they are so incredibly beautiful when in flower. If you got all your veggies planted I am behind you – I am still waiting for my tomato, chilli and tender herb seedlings to arrive from the nursery. They were meant to come this week but seems to have been delayed. Good luck with your new fuchsias, hope to see some great photos of them on your blog!

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  8. Where do you put all these plants? 150 lilies!!! And nothing ever looks crowded. I think you have the incredible expanding garden.

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    1. Ha! Expanding garden :-)
      Well, you have to consider the fact that I garden for 12 months a year, that makes a huge difference. I always have lot of pots waiting ‘in the wings’ so whenever there is an open space somewhere, some bulbs that have died down or a herbaceous plant gone for the year – I’m there with a pot to fill the gap!
      And 150 lilies doesn’t take much space, compared to 150 plants of any other types, I could easily fit another 150 lilies :-) But my garden is starting to look fuller than it used to, the latest of this year is that I have started to hang plants on the fence, I haven’t had to do that before.

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  9. Absolutely beautiful blooms, Helene! Of all the fabulous blooms, 'Monte Negro' has stolen my heart. That one just went on my wish list. What is your latest book project? All the best! :-)

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    1. ‘Monte Negro’ is one of the old lilies of mine, I have thrown out most of the other Asiatic ones as I don’t really think they are worth the trouble since they don’t have any scent. But ‘Monte Negro’ is so beautiful so it has been allowed to stay :-)

      My latest book project is a book in memory of my father who died in February. The book is mainly about the funeral, with photos and eulogies, and cards etc sent to my mother. I hope to finish middle of next month and send it to print (I use Blurb).

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    2. I send my condolences on the loss of your father. May you find comfort in your precious memories, Helene. I'm sure your book is a lovely tribute.

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    3. Thank you for your sympathy and your kind words.

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  10. Your lillies are so gorgeous Helene. Mine are all eaten by the red lillybeatle helas.
    Have a wonderful day Helene.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear your lilies are eaten by those pesky lily beetles. Did you read my reply to Sue at the top of the comments? I have used Pireco’s organic pesticide for a good few years, great for the environment and no harm to bees and other flying insects. I have hardly any lily beetles anymore and it helps for greenflies on my roses too :-)
      I use it mainly to pour on the soil, that’s most cost-effective when you have a lot of plants, every 4 weeks or so.
      Here is a link for where you can buy it in Holland:
      http://www.bakker-hillegom.nl/product/pireco-bladinsecten

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  11. I can not believe that you have over 150 lilies in your small garden! That is so impressive a collection. The red rhododendron is amazing. Hubby accidentally pulled out my one sad rhodo this spring while working on our fence. He came to me and asked "This isn't important is it?" In his defence, it was a sorry excuse for a rhododendron. Hopefully I will have better luck when I try again.

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    1. Oh, did you replant the rhododendron somewhere in a better location? Or was it beyond rescue perhaps?
      I must admit that every year I have said that my garden is full – I can’t fit any more plants, and still I by and swap plants and manage to squeeze in a few more! Lilies are easy to fit in though, they are so thin and tall and can go in between other plants so I could easily fit another 150 :-)

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  12. I'm always amazed at how many plants you manage to squeeze in a small space, and it always looks so manicured and lovely! I love lilies, but I don't know if I'll grow many of them here in my new place, as the deer love them. So pretty, though!

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    1. Thanks, I must admit I am surprised too about how many plants I have managed to fit in after I thought my garden was full! I treat my garden as the most important room in my house, I tidy it just as I I tidy my living room so yes, it usually looks quite neat :-)

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    1. Thanks, and welcome to my blog!

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  14. I can't stop to see your beautiful flowers. Thanks to share the beauty!

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    1. Thanks Endah, the flowers in my garden is my pride and joy :-)

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  15. Oh my Helene such enormous gorgeous blooms...I hope to see roses but I am not holding my breath...but who knows by the end of June....

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    1. Thanks Donna, I am sure your roses will come eventually, this is how we over here were last year, when everything was very late – waiting and waiting, but they arrived eventually :-)

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