To visit the Gardens, Gallery and House, you no longer need to pre-book a timed admission slot online (simply purchase gardens admission on arrival). Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening.
Sorry for the lack of blogs, we had a delivery last week of over 7000 bedding plants as well as our own home grown annuals to get in the ground so it has been a busy couple of weeks!
Speed planting is definitely a required skill at this time of year and all us gardeners have to quickly find our second gear- there has also been a lot of early mornings and late nights to help get the job done (many thanks to all who helped). The annuals that we put in arrive in small module trays. In warm weather these dry out incredibly quickly so the ideal solution is to get them in the ground asap and water them in so they can start to survive on their own. So that was our plan.
Last Tuesday all of the winter/spring bedding was taken out and the beds were dug over ready for the delivery from Mousehole Nurseries. We have saved some of the winter bedding- mainly Polyanthus, but the rest became a very beautiful compost heap!
In such huge numbers the Bellis and Pansy aren't worth keeping as they are very susceptible to rust and fungal diseases and you run the risk of spreading that around the glasshouse if we were to pot them up. Although it sounds awfully wasteful these bedding plugs are incredibly cheap to buy compared to the cost of labour, compost and pots if we pot them on.
The new summer display is a colourful affair with bright red Cannas in the middle, surrounded by Scenesio cineraria, Echevaria and Ageratum, which is then surrounded by some stunning pink snapdragons with yellow centres (and you know how much I love pink and yellow together- so wrong and yet so right!) and finished with royal blue lobelias- fabulous..
The ribbon border is no less colourful with a mix of Verbena venosa (purple). Echevaria (glaucous leaves with pink flowers), Ageratum (blue flowers) and Alternanthera (red leaved ground cover)- looks like a psychedelic 60's party!
The Alternanthera is quite an unusual looking plant and not readily available in many places anymore but we do have some spares that are on sale in plant sales. So come and see what we have been up to and then take a little piece of Hestercombe home with you.
Around the rest of the garden we have added lots of home grown annuals to make the garden as full as possible over the summer. We have grown Ammi majus, Salvia horminum, Nicotiana 'Lime Green', Matthiola bicornis, Gaura, Gypsophila
and my new favourite- Nemophila menziesii (see below)- what a stunner, I'll definitely grow this one again
So thanks to our new glasshouses we have had the ability to grow so much more. We have succession sown too so hopefully we should be able to keep the garden in flower a bit longer.
The only downside is that it is obviously very time consuming at the point where we are at our busiest, so for a few months it has almost been like having a 2nd job so I must give a big thank you to Pete and Gracie (partner and daughter) for putting up with me being shattered for 2 months!