Sunday, 15 June 2014

June GBBD in London

Did you see Gardeners’ World on BBC this week? Monty Don said it was only one word to describe the garden this month and that was ‘Lush’. I couldn’t agree more, although in my garden, lush seems a bit inadequate word these days, my garden is filling up and has already started to take on the jungle feel it gets in the late summer.

But let’s start in my front garden. Since last GBBD post the winter bedding has been thrown out and the summer bedding for my window boxes is now in and already starting to flower.

Here are 3 types of bedding dahlias, double calibrachoas and trailing begonias.

The fuchsias that flowered through the winter are still in flower, more than they have ever been.

Fuchsia 'Velvet Crush' is probably one of the best fuchsias I have ever had, and I love the fact that the flowers start out deep burgundy and ends up dark pink.

But back to the new flowers in the window baskets, this is Dahlia Happy Days Purple.

Dahlia Happy Days Pink.

And some of the Dahlia Happy Days Pink are very light.

Dahlia Happy Days Cream.

Calibrachoa Double Can Can Magenta.

Begonia SuperCascade Vanilla Cream.

Oh, and before we go out in the garden, let’s just make a short stop in my kitchen so you can see my new orchid, a Dendrobium, isn’t it gorgeous?!

Most of my orchids are Phalaenopsis', but I just fell for this one looking so different. It is a Dendrobium nobile and I don’t really know if I will be able to get repeat flowers on it growing here in my kitchen, time will tell!

OK, so now to my garden. The last few GBBD posts I have made have been so incredibly long – because I have so many plants in flower all the time all year round, so I have decided that at least for this month I will do it a bit different. I will only show you close-up photos of new plants I haven’t showed before. You can find close-ups of all the rest in previous GBBD posts if you want to see them more closely, but I will try to name as many as I can so you can look them up if you are interested in any of them. Instead of lots of close-ups I will do some more wider shots.

At my seating area the roses are in full flush, this is 'Scepter'd Isle' and 'Susan Williams-Ellis' although the latter is taking a short break right now before next wave of flowers. Do you see all the geraniums on the shelf?

They were my summer bedding plants in my front garden last summer. I pulled them up last December to plant the winter bedding, but didn’t have the heart to chuck them as they were still alive. I simply put each of them in a pot and placed them on my patio, and fully expected them to die at first sign of frost. But I never got any frost in my garden, so in April I pruned them down to half and here is the result, they are flowering like mad!

Turning around at my seating area, Dopey, the rhododendron is almost finished flowering, on this photo you can’t see the few flowers still left. Behind are lots of Fuchsia Annabelle, they get taller and taller every year, I don’t cut them down.

And this is the view from my sofa bench.

Moving down in the garden, here is the lovely Dregea sinensis on the arch, already growing so much that I have been able to start taking cuttings.

Moving past the arch, on the left side where the bird bath is, the new area with heucheras and white lilies in the background - none of them quite ready to flower just yet.

But move a bit further down the path and you are hit with an amazing scent from the white lilies, Lilium regale, which I think must be my absolute favourite scent in the garden, even though I have several lovely scented roses. Along this path I also have some of the new daylilies I have started to collect, they are growing in pots for now and I think I will keep some of them in pots as long as they are happy with that.

Two of the new daylilies are in flower already, this is ‘Bubbly’.

And this is ‘Pink Damask’.

This right side of the garden is completely empty in the winter, but look at it now! The dahlias have just started to flower, the red and orange Asiatic lilies have been flowering for weeks and between the leaves there is a new, blue clematis that hasn’t managed to put on enough growth to climb above the rest of the plants yet. Here are also foxgloves, which are new in my garden.

I have wanted foxgloves for years, not sure why I haven’t bought any before, but this year I did!

This is Digitalis 'Dalmatian Cream’.

And this is Digitalis 'Dalmatian Peach'.

When taking photos of them I got fascinated by how intricate they are inside. Have you ever looked inside a foxglove before? This is where the pollen comes out, the bumblebees gets it on their back when rubbing against it.

And look at these hairs at the entrance of the flowers. Wipe your feet before entering, Mr Bumblebee!

Down at the bottom of my garden there is an explosion of colour in amongst the green. Mrs Popple, the fuchsias against the fence is like a beacon and to the right of Mrs Popple, a pink hydrangea is almost ready to flower.

The big feature down here is the ‘passionflower tree’, the plant draped over a dead tree stump. You can’t even see that I cut off about 70% of the plant in April, it has all grown back by now. I dread to think what it will look like come October....!

This is the view from the bottom right corner of my garden.

And here is a closer look at that same corner, with the pink hydrangea and the big fuchsia basket to the right.

This part of the garden is getting so full now that I no longer dare to walk around in the flower beds like I used to do. It makes deadheading slightly tricky!

And here is the view from the other corner, at the end of the path.

Let’s go back up again.

Oh, just have to stop for a moment and sniff those lilies one more time, they are intoxicating!!

The squirrels have finally left my roses in peace, and although the shoots on the fence is way behind, at least I have roses coming from the middle of the bed. The red rose is ‘Crimson Cascade’. There are no yeallow roses right now, the rain last week took them all and none of the many buds managed to open in time for today.

Standing on the same point but looking towards the opposite side, here is another hydrangea, monster size! I cut it down 2 years ago, to just 2’ tall, but look how much it has grown since then. Amazing really, since I never give these anything apart from water if they need it, I never fertilise my hydrangeas.

And next to the hydrangea are some of my skyscraper lilies, or Giant Goliath Lilies. In America they call these orienpet lilies, just different names for the same thing. These here are in their third season and the tallest of these 4 is 2.25m tall. These are called 'Miss Feya'. I also have 'Friso' and 'Anastasia' skyscraper lilies in their first season. The hydrangea is 1.9m tall by the way!

Back on the patio now, here are all my sun loving plants, and perhaps you can see that I have two peonies left, that’s all, the rest has gone in the nice summer weather we have had lately. I had 51 flowers in total so a good bunch this year too. And on either side of the peonies are tall plants growing up, that’s sunflowers which probably will be much taller by the time we get to the autumn so more about them later on.

I have lots of pots of various size here, but I have managed to cut down the amount of pots a bit, by planting some out in the beds and also giving away and swapping some plants. Now is a good time to have less pots to water!

There is a couple of new additions here on the patio, I got a container of calla lilies, Zantedeschia aethiopica which hasn’t started to flower yet, not sure if they will this year, and I also have some non hardy Zantedeschias which will probably die down in the autumn. I feel that annuals like this are a bit of an extravagance....

....but when you look at them, who can resist something as exotic as this, even if they won’t last for years to come?

I sacrificed one of each colour and made a vase of them plus some lilies.

The calla lilies are stunningly beautiful.

They get to end the GBBD post for June for me. 

I am linking my post to Carol at May Dreams Garden, If you head over to her blog you can see many more gardens in flower around the world right now. Until next time, take care.

67 comments:

  1. For once, we're on the same page. Lush is a great way to describe our gardens here now, too. Everything's growing so fast and healthy now, you'd never know it was -20F/-29C just five months ago! Hoping our next winter won't be quite so bad, but of course right now I'm just enjoying the perfect beauty of June. I agree-those Calla Lilies are spectacular. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks Beth, when I was writing this post I looked back at some photos to compare how much has happened in my garden the last few months, and this winter I had unusually many flowering plants, but still – a lot has happened in just 3 months!
      Happy GBBD to you too :-)

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  2. What a beautiful vieuws out of your paradise Helene. And I agree with you the gardens are on theire top at the moment. I wish we could hold this moment and let it last forever.
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Thanks Marijke, in some ways I would like to keep my garden as it is now forever, and in some ways I am glad it doesn’t stay like this all year round – it would be too much work! But I am enjoying the nice warm weather and being able to sit outside and look at my garden. Have a great Sunday!

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  3. Your garden is an oasis! I would love to see an aerial photograph of all that lushness in the middle of the houses. It's wonderful!
    Isn't it great that the Pelargonium made it through the winter? What a saving - and so many of them. I love the Pink Damask day lily too.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, you can see my garden on Google Earth, but it’s hard to work out much details on those photographs – all you can see is that most of my neighbours are not really into gardening!
      The rest of my daylilies will start to flower within the next few weeks so come back for my end of month view to see the rest, I have 16 different Hemerocallis :-)

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  4. What fun to spend the day in such a lush flowering garden. Your front garden, the orchids inside it all looks as if in heaven. I think you can overwinter the Zantedischias at your place if you can protect them a bit, I have some too and they overwintered in my cold greenhouse sofar.

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    1. Thanks Janneke, I will certainly try to overwinter the tender Zantedeschias, but it says on the label it can’t tolerate below 15 degrees C! We often have night temps below that during the summer, let alone the winter, perhaps it can tolerate more once the flowers have gone, I’ll give it a go!

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  5. Oh Helene-your gardens are so lush and beautiful and full of color. I love all your planters and Dahlia and your winding paths and arch are so wonderful and inviting. It is always a pleasure to visit!

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    1. Thanks Lee, pleasure to have you visiting again, this month GBBD post really shows how much I have squeezed into my tiny garden :-)

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  6. Wow, your garden is looking simply fabulous right now. You've got so much lovely colour wherever you look. I'm just so glad I dropped by to visit today. Beautiful!

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    1. And thank you for visiting me again Bernie, always a pleasure, happy GBBD!

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  7. Helene I would describe your garden as stunningly lush!! I was happy to see the front containers and especially the wall. I like how you have planted the containers. You must swoon when you walk around your beautiful plants and blooms.

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    1. Thanks Donna, as most gardeners I always find room for improvements with my garden, and my head is filled with new ideas - if I only could afford them :-)

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  8. Your garden looks so beautiful with all the wonderful blooms you have. Just fabulous front to back! I love it all and I'm especially interested to learn you grew fuchsia through the winter which I might try. I had a pink dendrobium which rebloomed several times indoors so it should work for you.

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    1. Thanks Shirley, I must admit I did absolutely nothing to the fuchsias to get them to survive this past winter, they just did since we didn’t have any frost! But in normal years my so-called tender fuchsias lose their leaves and re-grow them again in the spring. If you can get them through the first winter they will usually be OK, getting stronger for every year. Planting them in the ground is better than in pots, although if keeping them in pots are important you could just put the pots in the ground for the winter, as that makes them less prone to frost. Also, I have several ‘tender’ fuchsias growing between evergreen plants, they get protected in the winter and don’t mind being shaded in the summer, perfect combination.

      I hope the dendrobium will re-bloom, but my kitchen is west facing and have very little light except for in the summer, so I don’t know if will be enough for the dendrobium. It seems OK for all the phalaenopsis’ I have, but they don’t require much.

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  9. Stunning! Every little space in your garden is filled with flowers... it's gorgeous! I love foxglove and would like more of it in my garden, but somehow it doesn't like the soil here. It stays small and doesn't selfseed. However, I buy every year new one... can't help myself :o). The fuchsias are great this year, aren't they? It seems as if 2014 is a fuchsia year.
    Have a good start into a new week full of flowers.
    Take care
    Alex

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    1. I like foxgloves too, and I am particularly impressed with those I bought. I think I will buy them again. I won’t bother with sowing the seeds, it will take 2 years until they flower so I will deadhead and rip the plants out instead :-)
      Yes, my fuchsias have certainly got a boost by not going into dormancy during the winter, they are flowering like mad!
      Wishing you a good week!

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  10. Lush it certainly is Helene. It's been a real pleasure, as it usually is, to take a stroll through your garden.
    If anyone can bring those callas through winter, it will be you. Just showed mum your picture of Velvet Crush, she's really impressed and looks forward to 'ours' looking like that ;)
    Nice foxgloves, I've gone back to having foxgloves again this year. D. mertonensis but they are not quite ready to flower yet. Like the Dalmation peach. I haven't seen that one here. Was tempted by D. Illumination today in the GC but at £13 a pot, was rather expensive for something that will probably turn out to be an annual up here.
    Happy Bloom Day.

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    1. Thanks Angie, I hope Velvet Crush will live up to your expectations! Mine were tiny cuttings this time last year, and didn’t really take off until late summer last year. But of course, they did flower all winter, I don’t think yours will do that, unless you get a greenhouse for them. They won’t be happy indoors so don’t bring them in. If they lose their leaves then that’s fine, just let them.

      I found D. dalmations at PlantMeNow, they were £2.50 each and they were quite big plants when I got them back in middle of March. Perhaps worth looking into? http://www.plantmenow.co.uk I have been so happy with everything I have ordered from them. All the bedding plants for the front garden comes from them too.
      Happy GBBD to you too!

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  11. You have a lovely garden, and a gorgeous cat!!! I have a garden cat, too. Come visit at www.garden337.com.

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    1. Hello Nancy, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for your kind words, my garden means a lot to me and I often say that the garden is the most important room in my house :-)

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  12. So beautiful! You've created a real Eden in your back garden. So many colors, different heights, so lush as several people have said. Enjoy! Happy GBBD from Austin, TX, USA.

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    1. Hello Mary, and welcome! Yes, my garden is my paradise and I spend every day out there, all year round, except for when it is raining.
      Happy GBBD!

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  13. I can almost smell those lilies from here!

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    1. Good, there are so many lilies in my garden that wherever you turn, there is one to sniff at :-)

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  14. Love how you have turned your back yard into a little paradise, soo pretty! Love the second picture of the Fushia.

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    1. Thanks – and welcome to my blog!
      I am a bit fuchsia mad so if you keep on visiting my blog you will hear and see a lot about fuchsias!

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  15. Look like a paradise! all look so beautiful, all blooming. So lovely! I'm really interested to your red leaved dahlias. I have never seen before. The dwarf type is so stunning.
    My garden is look like a jungle. I make it so tropical. Actually I want to make a flower garden in my home yard, but no space anymore.

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    1. Thanks Endah, dahlias come with a variety of foliage colour and these dark leaved ones are quite common, both on tall ones and short bedding type. I have a much taller, dark leaved one in my main garden called Dahlia ‘Sunshine’, it has just started to flower, and the leaves are the same dark colour.
      Having vegetables and fruit is important in any garden, but I could not be without my flowers :-)

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  16. Lush is right! I can just imagine being in your garden right now and smelling the lilies! Makes me think of Christmas which is when they flower here :) Those foxgloves are beautiful, I need to get some for my garden! I have some dusky pink ones but they come in so many colours I should really have more. Hope you're enjoying lovely summer days in your garden!

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    1. I am enjoying it! We had a lovely warm period, but now it’s gone back to around 20 C or so, and that’s a bit too cold for me lounging around in the garden. Perfect for working in the garden though :-)

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  17. I will need to look over your photos again there is so much to see. It must be prime flowering time for you now there is so much in bloom. The roses and callas are lovely but what I covet is your new Dendrobium. I will hope with you that it reblooms one day.

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    1. Thanks Patty, I have lots in flower all year round and if you look at my GBBD post for January you see what I mean! But right now the garden is rather full and everything grows like mad – I can see a difference from day to day – it’s so fun!
      I am hoping for the new Dendrobium too, it’s all about being able to give it enough light in my dark and dingy kitchen….

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  18. Love those calla lilies! I really enjoy the long views of your garden. I like to see how a garden is put together and what the overall effect is like. Yours must truly be a delight to work and play in. I can almost smell those lilies! And how fortunate you did not throw away those geraniums. They are fabulous!

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    1. Thanks, I often say my garden is the most important room in my house, I use it every week of the year and often spend more time pottering around in the winter than in the summer when it is too hot to work. I have flowers every week of the year, even in the darkest December and January, so yes, it is a delight to work and play in :-)

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  19. Lovely begonias, nice color Vanilla Cream! Also I liked your pink hydrangea, do you grow it in a pot or no? I had grown some foxgloves but never seen white ones like yours, very nice, Helene!
    Happy GBBD!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda, about my pink hydrangea, do you mean the one at the bottom of my garden? Or the one next to the skyscraper lilies? They both grow in the ground, they are very tall! The one at the bottom of my garden got pruned last year so is only about 1.2 m by now, but will be taller by the end of the summer, the other one is almost 2 m tall. All of my plants survive outdoors and could grow in the ground, if I only had enough ground space! The only reason why I have to grow so much in containers and pots is because my garden is so small and I have run out of space in the flower beds. I don’t grow anything in pots to shelter for frost or to take inside etc, I have nowhere to keep plants over winter. Everything is kept outside. I suppose you could grow any hydrangea in a pot, but they wouldn’t become 2m tall grown that way :-)
      Hope you have a great week, happy GBBD!

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  20. Hi Helen, your garden looks just amazing right now! I can't believe how much it has grown, since I visited your blog the last time. Your summer bedding is a super nice choice. Your geraniums also look so pretty on the shelf. I often feel that repetition of the same plant really pays off in a small garden, because that way the plant has truly some impact. I also love your new foxgloves and the regal lilies. Even though calla lilies are a relatively common plant here in Southern California I never get tired of them. I think, they are simply so elegant. When I am back home from my vacation I intend to plant some more into the ground in my own garden. I truly enjoyed your June GBBD post! Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thanks Christina, glad you liked my new calla lilies, I love them, hope they last for a while. I try to plant more than one of most plants I have, but with such a tiny space – and so many plants I would like to have (!), I often end up with ‘one of each’ instead. The geraniums are a nice exception, and I will try to keep them for another year, fingers crossed we get a nice winter again :-)

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  21. Your garden looks spectacular. It was a joy to see it. Thank you!

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  22. Lush the garden certainly is, although a reminder of Monty Don after my rather weird dream about him last night has got me all damp under the collar :-)
    As ever your garden is looking stunning...you must be the envy of your street x

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    1. Thanks Jane, not sure about being the envy of the street - not many people around here are the slightest interested in gardening it seems. I have had a look at Google Earth for my street, not easy to see details but you can clearly see that hardly anyone is doing anything to their gardens....

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  23. To truly describe your garden I have to use lots of superlatives. It is stunning, amazing, fabulous; just to use a few. you must have showered it with lots of tender, loving care and they are rewarding you with their delightful presentation.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, my garden is taken better care of than the rest of my house – who wants to do housework when there’s a garden to tend to! I don’t think of gardening as work, by the way, I go out in the garden to relax and enjoy myself :-)

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  24. Lush is definitely the appropriate word to describe your garden, Helene! I know you say it isn't very big, but I think it would take me hours to see and enjoy every plant you have. Even the shelf full of geraniums is amazing. Love all your lilies--those against the fence are huge!

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    1. Thanks Rose, the Goliath lilies are really getting tall this year, and they can be even taller than this in year 4! Fortunately they have their flowers turned downwards, very conveniently :-)

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  25. Looking good!

    The zantedeschia should come again next year if you give them a little protection - or if we have two mild winters on the trot. I really must invest in some regale lilies again. I'll agree, the scent is fantastic.

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    1. Thanks John, I would love to have a winter like the past every year!
      Statistically that’s probably not going to happen for a while though so bubble wrap is probably the best bet. If you want Lilium regale seed, send me an email, I have a waiting list of people who also would like to have. I send the seed by post and if you sow them straight away you will get good germination – and flowers 4 years later. Just let me know and I will save some more seedpods, normally I deadhead everything, but this year I will let some go to seed, I am happy to save a few for you too if you have the patience to raise them yourself.

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  26. Helene - all I can say is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. thanks for the tour!

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    1. You’re welcome Astrid, always a pleasure having you here :-)

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  27. Your pack so much into a relatively small space Helene. Somehow it manages to look lush and tidy at the same time. Good thing you didn't through out the geraniums. They are super pretty. Love the way you have massed the lilies. Your foxgloves make mine look like runts. How did you manage to get them to prosper this well?

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, I bought the foxgloves as plug plants, I didn’t grow them from seed, they were tiny when I got them so I had them in pots first and then planted them in the bed when they got a bit bigger. Not sure there is much more to it?
      You can never had too many lilies, but right now there are too many Lilium regale in one place! They have multiplied over the years so my plan is to dig up this space in the winter and spread them out a bit more, they are too close like this. Maybe I have enough to put lilies somewhere else in the garden too :-)

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  28. Your lilies are enormous and those foxgloves are spectacular! Everything just looks amazing, as usual. Do you have to water much or does the weather take care of that for you?

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    1. Thanks, we have had a particularly dry period now, not a drop of rain for more than 3 weeks, so I have had to water quite a lot, especially all the pots, although the flower beds are not too bad. I wish for 2 days of pouring rain, that would have done the garden good :-)

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  29. Great to visit today. The garden looks good - real lush. You must get plenty of rain to keep it that way. (Or lots of watering!) Jack

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    1. Thanks, and welcome to my blog. London is a rather dry area of Britain and it doesn’t rain a lot here – but the past winter was the wettest on record! I didn’t get any flood issues, it just did my garden good and it shows now - a frost-free winter with all the moisture the garden could wish for. I have to water all my pots and containers, but the flowerbeds are still nice and moist.

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  30. Hi Helene. I have simply run out of superlatives for your garden.

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  31. Helene, I am in England right now and visiting gardens, but none more lush than yours. There is so much to see, my head is reeling. How I wish I was close enough to London to see it for myself. One of the many things you do well is having all those pots. I planted some extra this year, to place around my garden, where needed to fill up spaces. P. x

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Pam, I hope you enjoy your stay in England, at least the weather is playing nice :-) You would have been very welcome to see my garden if you had been here in London!
      I have tried to reduce the amount of pots for the summer so I don’t have so much to water, but it is good to have pots to fill in where the spring bulbs have left a gap, I am forever moving pots around!

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  32. It looks really lovely Helene, you've just done such a good job- front and back gardens! By the way did you see Monty's tip about getting roses to open where the outer petals have been fused together by rain and drying out? Just gently ease off the outer damaged layer.....I'm going to try it!

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    1. Hi, yes I saw Mont Don, I knew about the trick, I use it on my peonies too – even though they flower for a very short time it seems like every year when they do flower we get a prolonged period of rain. So sometimes they do need a bit of help so they don’t ball up. But this year we have had amazing weather, my peonies came and went so quickly in the heat that they were all over in a few short weeks. No bloom balling problem this year.

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  33. Hi Helene, Your garden is beautiful! I just looked back at your video from August 2011 to see how different it looks .... stunning ... worth all your time and effort. Love the fuchsias and the orchid too.

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    1. Thanks Patricia, and welcome to my blog!
      If you liked that video, perhaps you will like the video I just published, on the End of Month view for June, it shows the garden right now :-)

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