The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

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

By roses382, Aug 19 2017 08:23PM

We will be opening for the last time this summer, on August 28th, Bank Holiday Monday, 2-5pm. Adults £3.50, children free. It will be in aid of the Red Cross, who are providing Tea and Cakes.

We don't normally open this late in the summer, so it is a chance to see the garden in a different season. Dahlias abound (the one pictured below is 'American Dawn'), and there is plenty of colour in the form of annuals, Salvias and grasses, Persicarias, Hydrangeas and Japanese Anemones. And the Pumpkin Patch is a sight to behold! There will also be Plants for Sale, propagated here in the garden.

So, fingers crossed for some late summer sunshine. Do come along if you can.

By roses382, Aug 6 2017 07:32PM

Yesterday we cut the newest of the Meadows to the ground. Everything had set seed and it was a haze of brown. I always feel sad when we start cutting as it feels like the days of summer are numbered, and it only seems like yesterday when it all looked so beautiful and fresh, with so much still to come.

This evening I took the camera with us as we walked the dogs around the fields after dinner, and the older meadow is still a picture. Almost everything here has set seed now, apart from the Knapweed and Field Scabious. Looking across, it is a gorgeous haze of purple, and today the Goldfinches have been feeding in flocks on the seedheads, with many butterflies and moths still enjoying the flowers. The recent rains have freshened the grass paths making a lovely combination of green and purple. The last few months have seen so many beautiful combinations of flowers, from the Sorrel and Ragged Robin, through to the Daisies and Lady's Bedstraw, and finally the pink Musk Mallow and Knapweed, that I never tire of it.

We will be cutting this meadow in a couple of weeks, and removing the top growth. Unfortunately I don't have a shirtless man with a scythe (just as well or i'd never get any gardening done!), so it is done by tractor and finished in a day. And then I just have to wait until next year when it all happens again....

By roses382, Jul 26 2017 02:37PM

A couple of weeks ago, I found an aerial photograph (third photo) taken, I think, in the summer of 2005. It was fascinating as not much was recognisable, and it made me realise how much things are constantly changing and growing. Many of the trees that we originally planted (such as the Orchard) were just tiny dots on the original photo, and now the trees tower above my head, laden with fruit. So I wanted to record the garden as it is now, and managed to find who came and took some fantastic shots on a very lovely day. My timing was a bit off as a few weeks earlier would have seen the daisy meadow in full flower, and the grass looking a bit fresher than it did at the time of photographing (although today, after coming back from a few days in the Highlands, it looks as though we have had more rain since we have been away, than for the whole of the summer).

The photos make everything look neat and tidy, just like a model village. If you look closely, you can even see my garlic crop drying nicely in the sunshine!

We were really pleased with the results, many thanks to Pete Box for taking the photos.

By roses382, Jun 19 2017 09:42AM

Yesterday we opened the gates in aid of the National Garden Scheme. The afternoon was sweltering, but we had 337 visitors, and most of them seemed to stay for several hours. Deckchairs and tables were placed in the shade wherever possible, and it was lovely to see people relaxing in the hammock in the shade of the apple trees. My better half was very pleased about this - he says that it was nice that people felt able to do this; most gardens we visit we wouldn't feel quite so at home in.

The Brighstone Scouts provided amazing Cream Teas and homemade cakes, and as usual, ran things like a military operation, but with added smiles. They were very happy to raise £739, and we raised in the region of £1500 on tickets and plants.

So many lovely comments were forthcoming, such as 'an afternoon to remember', and one man said it was the best £4.00 he had spent in a long while.

Huge thanks to the Scouts, and to my wonderful helpers Jo and Mary on plant sales, and the rest of my family for mucking in where required. It is quite a relief to have a brief respite today where I shan't be doing too much at all, well, perhaps watering, and there's an awful lot to deadhead, oh, and I spotted a few things going over which need to come out......

A few photos taken in the peace of the morning after,

By roses382, Jun 15 2017 07:17AM

The Walled Garden was built by my father over 10 years ago now, but looks as though it has always been here. It was built to keep rabbits away from the vegetables, but now I grow a mix of everything here, from soft fruit to herbs to flowers for cutting, and of course, vegetables too. Currently it is very colourful; the dahlias have started to bloom already. Normally these would just be starting at the end of June. I left the Sweet Williams in from last year and they seem to be just as productive as the self sown ones that I moved into a new patch. The weeping standard roses 'Francoise Juranville' are stunning from June until at least October; so floriferous that deadheading is a major event! They have been planted about 9 years I think, and when younger were a constant source of worry when the high winds came. Now their trunks are so thick they seem to take any amount of wind, aided by the hedges which have grown thick. (The long side of the Walled garden closest to the house has a low wall, with Yew and Holly in front as I didn't want the wall to be a dominant feature).

This area will get more colourful as the summer goes on - the dahlias will get into full swing and the annuals sown in Spring will soon take over from the Autumn self-sown ones, such as Cornflowers and a big block of Orlaya Grandiflora.

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