Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Just enjoy the garden

If you've been following PPPHatch, you'll know that it now looks very unlikely that the eggs under my neighbour's Black Cochin hen will result in a successful hatch. I am disappointed, but it is wrong to expect a guaranteed result so whatever will be will be.


So to cheer things up on PPPs, I thought I show you the photos I took as I walked around the garden this morning. I just popped out to the vegetable garden and was struck by how beautiful the it looked – it was one of those "Oh wow!" moments.


I actually went to there to pull up the self-sown Borage and Opium Poppies to make room to plant out the leeks – but they look so amazing and the bees are loving them! – just look at these Honey Bees on this multi-petalled poppy flower.


I should really cut back the sage plants so we get some new leafy growth, but the flowers are stunning and another fantastic source of nectar for those bees. We get lots of different Bumble Bees, but today I noticed one that was very different – large and black, a fast and strong flyer, I think it may be a Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea) – can anyone confirm that for me?
I've been told it's definitely not a Violet Carpenter Bee – so any ideas?

Thanks to the BBC Springwatch Wildlife Forum and to Lesley's suggestion of looking on the Bee Conservation Trust web site, I think the big black bee is a queen bombus
ruderatus (var. harrissellus). I also found this interesting blog post about 'The Black Queen' by Valerie Littlewood on her blog Pencil and Leaf.


I have a sort of plan for the garden, themes and plant/colour/texture mixes I want to try, but I really don't labour at it and I definitely don't spent hours weeding, mulching and tending – neither have I watered any of these parts of the garden even during this spring's drought. But I do like to create a different feel to each area of the garden so that walking through the garden is an adventure for the eyes and nose – today it felt like some of my intentions had worked . . .

This is a cool shady corner in the morning, it really benefits from white and pale yellow to give it sparkle; however it does get the evening sun and is a lovely place to sit at the end of the day.


A little further along the north facing border is a perfect place for ferns and self-sown foxgloves, every one is a slightly different shade of pink.


I love the layers of different greens in this corner – the Cornelian Cherry leaves are a lovely lime green and the tall grey-green Thalictrum really stand out against the darker trees behind.


Walking behind the Cornelian Cherry, the mood is cool and shady, dotted with white, pink and pale blue.


But looking up, the sunlight streams through onto the Honeysuckle which scrambles through to the top of a large bronze ornamental cherry tree.


Back out in the sunshine again – this is the view from a circular bed of roses, a little overgrown this year but flowering well despite the neglect.


On the patio I've allowed some plants to grow in the paving – like these Verbascums which are loving the dry weather!


Best viewed from the window of the bedroom above my studio – this mingled mass of shrubs smells as good as it looks. The scented flowers of Eleagnus 'Quicksilver' have now faded, replaced with Honeysuckle and Mock Orange. The pretty grey foliaged Rosa Glauca threads through the centre and the giant Miscanthus grass rustles in the breeze.


In the front yard I've experimented with creating a gravel garden border; the basis was bird-sown shrubs that I've encouraged to mask the fence panels, in front I planted the Golden Oat, Stipa gigantea, and encouraged plants to seed in the gravel – editing them to mainly white, yellow, blue and magenta. It's amazing what has appeared in this border – a Golden Hop and a Field Maple were very welcome indeed! And the insects love it too – the other day I spotted a Humming Bird Hawk Moth enjoying the white Valerian flowers.


Well, I'm off to plant those leeks somewhere! Then I'll be packing up the car so it's ready for the early morning drive to North Norfolk tomorrow for the Pick'n'Mix Makers' Market.


Celia
x

19 comments:

  1. Lovely to see your garden, Celia. My verbascums have been nibbled by verbascum moths - little blighters. Good luck in North Norfolk !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very sad news about the chicks, but your garden is looking gorgeous. All the best for norfolk. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a beautiful garden you have. I've really enjoyed seeing your flowers and the sunshine on this gloomy day ooop north. All the best at the show this weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not given up hope on the eggs yet!!! I think your garden is beautiful - very naturalistic. I have always fancied a walled vegetable garden. Good luck for tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. such a lovely garden! a pity about the chicks...how will the broody hen deal with unhatched eggs? good luck in norfolk :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a difference from when I was there! Sorry about the chicks. That mama hen did her best.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sorry your eggs didn't hatch this time. Your garden is looking beautiful! It's cloudy and a bit drizzly here in Hertfordshire so not a good day for photos...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think your garden is beautiful too! clearly the drought is okay for some plants but not for others. We keep having brief thunderstorms here in West London - the salad leaves in a pot are growing daily, but other things look a bit soggy. It's always swings and roundabouts.

    I really love your poppies and foxgloves btw.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, do you really have all those lovely plants in your garden? It is gorgeous. Great to see that bees also appreciate its charms.

    I am also sorry to hear that no chicks have appeared, and like another commenter, wonder how the broody hen takes this stage.

    All is bound to be a huge success for your at the show!

    xo
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful tour of the garden Celia. Some of your plants are so advanced compared to ours over the other side of the country and we've had both the sun and the rain that should have made them thrive! The bumble bee is fantastic. What about trying Bumble Bee Conservation. I bet if you sent the photo someone would identify it for you. Looks utterly unique to me. Hope the weekend market is successful. Lesley

    ReplyDelete
  11. The garden is looking wonderful Celia and so many nectar plants. The bumble was a great find-I have never yet seen one and she certainly looks like the dark form of B. ruderatus. Lucky you.
    Good luck with the weekend event-you might even need your brolly.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your garden looks lovely, what is your secret?

    Have a wonderful time tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have you got your baby chooks yet? The suspense is killing me...

    ReplyDelete
  14. So sad if there are no chicks. Hope you've had a good day in Norfolk.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your garden looks just amazing, I love it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Shame about the chicks not hatching! We had fun following the progress - or lack thereof. Perhaps you can try again later. As for bees in the garden, I know I joke about not growing flowers, but I am finding creative ways of encouraging bees without compromising my ethics! Really important nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just a thimbl;eful....

    That is just my sort of garden! Glorious. I, too, have opium poppies in my garden - did you know that in Ely market in the mid 1800's there were more stalls selling opium than anything else? Makes you think!

    ReplyDelete
  18. what a shame about the chicks - it's obviously a funny year as Gladys hatched her first last night, two days late, and the other three are only just tapping now. By the time they hatch it will be the equivalent of a human baby being five or six weeks late!
    Garden looks glorious, and I hear you're having rain! It's been pouring for days here now which is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete

I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.
And, I've turned off that annoying word verification malarkey, to make it easy for you :-)