Saturday, 21 May 2011

Safari Sunday Saturday

Howdy, I’m home after a very nice relaxed week in Norfolk; for the most part early on in the week the weather was warm and muggy and the skies often grey but I didn’t mind because it meant the temperature was more bearable. During the latter half of the week, it became clear and sunny and thus the temperature slowly crept up.

The garden has changed a lot in the past few days, and I have a surprise that you’re all just going to have to wait another couple of days for…………… tee hee.

I’d asked Pete to mow the lawn for me when I was away because I’d been too ill/in hospital for the few days before I left for Norfolk… However, being Pete he didn’t do it so I came home to a jungle and had three wonderful presents left in the long grass from cats. Less than impressed I can assure you, thanks for that one Pete. Mucho gracias.

One of the Lupins has come into bloom when I was away, this year is its best so far and I’ve found a few seedlings around and cannot wait for them to bloom perhaps this time next year.
The Bees are certainly enjoying the flowers as much as I am!

My pink Lupin is a little behind the purple, and the white one bought late last year has not survived… I’m tempted to take it back to the shop!

Roseraie de l’hay continues to bloom, I have brought more flowers into the house so I can enjoy them both inside and out.

My Angelicas sent to me from Cheryl that I grew from seed last year are almost in bloom, I do not think they are as tall as they ought to be…

It’s now time for the hardy Geraniums, with three all coming into bloom whilst I was away

Astrantia in the ‘new’ border although there is a severe shortage of blooms on them… I’m unsure why but hope we will get more in the coming weeks.

Veronica ‘Twilight’ is very lush, I’m glad it survived the heavy snow and seems to be the better for it. I’m almost becoming impatient waiting for its tall purple spires.

If there was ever a reason for you to get Alliums this is it; Bees love them! Mine are almost finished now, but the Bees are still buzzing around gathering the dwindling food.

Astrantia Major Roma is doing well, and I will have to divide it next year or move it…

The Peas are doing well, my dwarf French Beans aren’t doing so well though, with only the one seedling having come up I had to sow two more and hope they’re successful this time.

And this plant, which I originally thought was fleabane seems to be either Ragged Robin or Red Campion sent to me from Cheryl… Although I am thrilled to see this, I am also now very disappointed that I seem to have lost all the fleabane. These have popped up where I sowed seeds from the fleabane so I’m confused how they got there but I am sure they will be gorgeous all the same!

I’m so in love with this self-sown Aquilegia, I love its plum shade, and its height!

The little moths are spinning more and more webs around the Hawthorn, I think they are likely to be small Ermine moths.

This is a massive surprise for me… Allium Christophii. I’ve either been sent a rogue bulb or this bulb took a two year hiatus and decided to bloom again this year… I planted a few when we first moved here in 2008 and none ever returned! No complaints that this one has shown up though :)

The seeds sown in the Buddleja border are doing very well, and will need thinning… Just as well because most of the seedlings in the new border seem to have disappeared :( most upset as they were doing so well… I’ve sowed some replacement seeds, but it may be too late now.

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


Kyna said...

I'm growing lupines from seed this year. I never see any in the garden center here. I always thought it was because I couldn't grow them in the South. But then I saw a post from a blogger that lives near-ish to me, about all the wild lupines she saw on a walk she took. I'm thinking they're kind of invasive, and THAT's why they don't sell them at the garden centers here lol. Oh well, I'm sure I'll like them anwyay.

Anonymous said...

Those beautiful lupines remind me of the children's book, Miss Rumphius. Yours are just lovely.

harriet said...

hi liz

your Garden is so inspiring, it makes me dream about what mine could be! where in Sheffield are you? I've just started with my garden in hillsborough :)

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Its Sunday now, so I can enjoy with a clear concience ;-) Good to have you back, glad you had a good break and are over what sounds like a horrid illness, sorry about lack of grass mowing...

The lupin flower is lovely, almost converts me, I've always found them a rather stiff flower - what do you plant them with? That aquilegia is lovely, I think it is the one you had growing with your alliums? I don't think I have any pea pods yet, but there were pea flowers before Malvern, and I haven't been up again yet...

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Good luck growing your Lupins (I wonder why they're known as Lupins here and Lupines over there?), I've always loved them since I was young and they were one of my favourites. They are a favourite of slugs and snails though, so in wet springs they always end up being floored, but thankfully this spring has been so dry and warm that the moluscs haven't had the chance!
As far as I've seen, Lupins do grow wild in the US, and they're usually a brilliant Blue colour, although I couldn't say if they're invasive... I would've thought not as they do well in damp areas and from what I hear SC gets very hot! ;)

(Mind, I think they're like the state wild flower of texas or something?? So they must be ok with heat...)

Ok, enough rambling now!

Liz said...

Hi Patricia,

Thanks, I'm glad you liked my Lupins :)

Liz said...

Hi Harriet,

Good luck with your garden, if you haven't already I'd definitely start a blog about your progression, or at least take photos periodically because you just don't appreciate how much it changes until years later.
I'm the other side of the city, near Bramall lane (I'm not a United fan, in fact I don't particularly support either side, but should apparently support Wednesday because my brother does).

PatioPatch said...

Ooh how I envy you your lupins, Liz as my new young plants are stagnated pygmies. The Allium images are beautiful and as usual your safari shows us what a garden can be in the right hands. Hope you had a good holiday.

harriet said...

hi liz

I have been taking photos from when we first cleared it and did lots of 'structural work' - paths, greenhousr base etc. and i will definitely carry on as I get on with planting. I don't think I'd have the discipline or skill to create a website like this though :) I don't support either sheffield team either (I'm originally from London, I just live in hillsborough :)


Donna said...

Liz your garden is blooming beautifully and your pictures are always amazing....just lovely to visit!!

patientgardener said...

How nice to come home to lots of new blooms. Hope you are now on the mend

Anonymous said...

Lovely insight to what is growing in your garden. Lucky you with lupins, they just do not like growing in my garden, either that or the snails devour them before they get going. Why do cats like long grass? Its even worse when you mow over it - uggh!

I am glad you had a good time in Norfolk.

Anonymous said...

I loved all your photos but do have a question. I have loads of Allium growing and blooming now, but I never see even one bee interested. We have lots of bees too. Which Allium do you have? Mine is aflatunense and atropurpureum.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz,

Hope that you are well now.....and there are no lasting problems from your stay in hospital.

My Angelica are very small this year, I put it down to lack of rain. They are moisture lovers.

The self sown aquilegia are the best. I love the surprises that appear amonst the borders.

I am in love with my lupins. The whites have not appeared yet. I suspect I have lost mine.

Hope you had a great time in Norfolk. I was in York for the weekend.....waved to you as I went by your junction on the motorway.
Did you see me .....Ha!!!
Love images as always.....

Liz said...

Hi Laura,

The Lupins are both quite mature now, so I think this is the first season of real, lush growth from them - plus the slugs/snails haven't had the chance to chew them for me because of the lack of rain. I will chop them when they begin to fade so I get more blooms later :)
My holiday was very nice thank you, not as warm as previous years but dry and warm enough not to need coats and jackets.

Liz said...

Hi Harriet,

Most people use templates for their blogs, that makes it incredibly easy to write and update them, then perhaps as you get the experience you could begin to play around with the design yourself if you fancy it; but it isn't a requirement :) It's really very easy to just set up a blog account, choose a blog template and start writing!
I've had mine over three years now I think it is, and honestly didn't think it would still be going........... I'm amazed actually!

Ahhh, so you're one of those there Londoners, boo hissss. lol, actually my boyfriend is from London too - Ladbroke Grove/Portobello Rd area (big Portuguese community)

Liz said...

Hi Donna,

Thank you very much :) There's still a lot of work but now I'm about to finish my essays I should have the time to begin working on other areas such as the empty space after removing the summer house.

Liz said...

Hi Helen,

It was so strange being home and taking in all the new sights, even the house looked massively different as I'd been used to lower ceilings and suddenly ours looked massive again!

Liz said...


It's a shame you're unable to grow Lupins... I don't think I could ever had a garden without some. I'm just disappointed that I don't have the white spires I'd planned to have... Grrrrr.
I think Cats like the long grass because it hides them... I usually throw out onion and other smelly things and it keeps them at bay but obviously couldn't do anything this time because I wasn't here! Anyway pete's learned his lesson now, really I ought to have made him clear it up.

Liz said...


I too have Aflatunense, but we also have Purple sensation; the majority are the latter, although do they do look very similar so it's difficult to say which they're visiting... I assume the purple sensation since you mention Bees aren't visting Aflatunense.
Yesterday evening when out taking photos in the fading light I found not 1, 2 but 3 Bees all clinging onto just one Allium to spend the night!

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Ah, glad to hear it isn't only my Angelica that are stunted this year :) They're only around 4.5/5 ft and I was expecting some 2m giants! :)

I do hope you haven't lots your white Lupins, one of us at least needs to have them!

Ah, so it was you I saw waving???!!!! Amazing! haha, no honestly, Sheffield is probably 5 miles from the motorway, but you would have had the pleasure of driving past Meadowhell shopping centre!

Anna said...

Hope that your break in Norfolk has helped to refresh body and spirits Liz. Isn't it exciting to return home after a few days and make all sorts of discoveries apart from the feline gifts of course. Tell Pete that we are not impressed :) Wondering now what your surprise is.

Liz said...

Hi Anna,

Ah, yes Norfolk was lovely - but then it always is! Everything was so different this year thanks to the much warmer spring... Last year Pensthorpe had barely any plants, this year things are looking lush although still very few blooms but that's to be expected until July/September.

The surprise probably isn't as exciting as I made it out to be... However, it's a nice surprise for me and I'm highly impressed :)