The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

Welcome to my blog


An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

By roses382, Jul 24 2019 07:03AM

The Annuals grown in the Walled Garden are really getting into their stride now. I have cut many bunches (for sale by the Barn gate in aid of Conservation Charities), and this helps them to keep blooming. The Larkspur 'Misty Lavender' is my favourite so far, gorgeous blooms of smoky lilac that go beautifully in a bunch with brighter pinks.

By roses382, Jul 1 2019 07:04PM

The Gallica rose to the left of the photo is Charles de Mills, a rose possibly dating back to 1790, but it's history is rather vague. It is the most beautiful rose, a deep carmine-purple with streaked petals which add depth to the velvety blooms, which are flat and distinctive. It is summer flowering but smothered in so many blooms that dead-heading is a lengthy job. This rose suckers so there are always many babies to pass on. The growth is lanky and whippy and the bush had got huge, so last winter I cut out about two thirds of the growth and pegged down the remaining long whippy shoots. The result is a bush that is smothered from tip to base in flowers. They make a good contrast with the 'Orange Glory' Alstroemerias and the lime green frothy flowers of Alchemilla mollis.

By roses382, Jun 19 2019 06:40PM

After a marathon dead-heading session following yet another rainy day, the compost heap looks as colourful as the garden!

By roses382, Jun 17 2019 07:40PM

Yesterday we opened for the NGS, and it was a very fraught week leading up to it, with gales and heavy rain just as the garden was at it's most vulnerable. I had staked many things earlier in the year, but the combination of rain and wind meant that I spent a good deal of the week propping things back up, or cutting them where damage had occurred. So I was feeling pretty fed up as NGS day dawned wet and windy. But my better half was optimistic and told me it would be fine, and of course, I should have known, he is always right (and I mean always!). The sun nearly came out, the people came, all 314 of them! And although I haven't done the final totting up, in the region of £2700 was made for charity, the NGS of course, and the Brighstone Scouts, who once again did a fantastic job on the teas and scrummy cakes.

A huge thank you to them, and to my band of willing (I hope!) helpers, without whom, we could not open. I am so grateful to you all.

Today I think, the garden has never looked as beautiful. It is that perfect moment before things loosen and slip a little into chaos. So here in celebration of that, are some photos taken today.

By roses382, Jun 3 2019 08:03PM

The walled garden is so bright and colourful at the moment you almost need sunglasses! This is mostly down to the colourful annuals that self-seed prolifically and hence bloom earlier than the ones I sow in spring. At the moment the Californian Poppies are almost neon and the flowers seem huge this year. There is also vivid blue from the Cornflowers, and pinks and reds from the Shirley poppies. I weed the self-sowers out where I don't want them, but they certainly liven things up a bit until the Dahlias and Cosmos get going, and they are great for the bees too. The climbing rose in the background is the beautiful 'Meg'; a gorgeous pinky apricot with rusty red stamens.

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