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, Jun 3 2017 09:25PM

In my last post I wrote about clashing colours; this is the bigger picture; we call it the Well garden, not in any spiritual sense, but simply because there is an ancient Well, situated in a prominent position in the middle of a path. When we moved here, the Well was covered by flagstones. Now it houses a pump which we use to top up the two ponds and is a very useful water source. It has a glass circular top, and ferns have colonised the circular walls beneath.

The Well Garden is enclosed by the house walls on one side, and a Yew hedge on the other, meaning I can plant boldly here without it jarring with the rest of the garden. The plants here include Alstroemeria 'Orange Glory', Alchemilla Mollis for the lime green, Rosa Chianti, Charles de MIlls, William Lobb and Tuscany Suberb provide magenta and burgundy, with Crocosmia 'Lucifer' and deep red Dahlias to flower later. The stone table is favoured by pigeons and the occasional pheasant - I rarely sit down!

By roses382, May 28 2017 07:19PM

This is my favourite combination in the garden at the moment - a rather garish mix of soft orange, magenta and cornflower blue, framed by a lime green Euphrbia Palustris. The orange comes from the long - flowering Papaver Rubifragum, which gets better every year, with the bonus of seeding gently around. The Geranium is possibly 'Patricia' but not too sure about that, and the blue is Centaurea Montana, slightly invasive in this garden but easy to dig out where not required. The nice thing about having 'rooms' in the garden is that I can separate colours, so in this area it is bright contrasting colours, In the long borders, pastels reign, and in the walled garden anything goes, and it changes from year to year depending on which annuals/biennials I grow. This year I have dug out one large bed of Irises, moved them to the Potting Shed bed, and planted the space with a mix of bright pink, soft oranges, and apricots. If I get the colours right, it will be an invigorating blend, but I think there will be some playing around to achieve the vision that I have in my head. It will also need to be balanced by lots of good greens; one that I have planted here is the Fern Leaved Hazel, Corylus Avellana Heterophylla, which is perfect.

By roses382, May 18 2017 08:28PM

It's not often that the delphiniums are in full flower by mid May, but that is the case this year. This one is Guinevere, a lovely light soft lavender, which harmonises beautifully with the new growth on the Eucalytus Gunnii 'Azura' which is growing close by. This year I have taken some basal cuttings so that I can repeat- plant in the long borders. Luckily I am not troubled too much with slugs and snails, I put this down to our large bird population, and the Delphiniums grow without any problems. Last year, with regular deheading, they were in bloom on and off for a good deal of the summer.

By roses382, May 17 2017 10:37AM

This time it's the turn of the Tall Bearded Irises to shine. Walking around the garden this morning, before the really heavy rain arrived, three varieties grabbed my attention. The first is Titan's Glory, easily the sturdiest, hugest Iris I grow. It is a deep navy blue and extremely floriferous. I was kindly given this by a lady that visited the garden a few years back.

Secondly, I think this is my favourite Iris of all of the ones I grow. Unfortunately the name is long forgotten, it being one of the first varieties that I planted, before opening the garden had entered my head, and keeping records didn't seem as important as filling the garden with plants. It is an almost indescribable colour, having such a mix, of blue, buff, pink, even rust, which sounds horrible but is enchantingly soft and pretty.

Thirdly, another favourite, 'Jane Phillips', an old, reliable, beautiful cultivar, with flowers in the softest baby blue, like a silk dress from a bygone era. Not so ruffled, but extremely elegant. It smells heavenly too.

On a rainy dull day, it is so uplifting to have a rainbow of Irises in the garden!

By roses382, May 10 2017 02:56PM

After writing about these Irises a few days hence, the last plant flowered, and produced the most beautiful of flowers. Unfortunately it seems to be the least vigorous of the plants so I won't be splitting it this year, but will earmark it for future propagation.

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