Monday, 30 January 2012

Plant Of The Week - Hydrangea

For my plant of the week, this week I am again turning towards a plant which I love just as much in flower as I do when it's skeletal winter leaves look bleached in the soft winter light.

Hydrangeas, which I used to think of as a bit twee, are now an absolute favourite of mine (maybe it's an age thing). I have two in my garden, a white one, which is tinged with pink as the season goes on, and a cerise one which I adore.

My hydrangeas are going to feature in my wedding table decorations and as a stalwart of the garden, I know they won't let me down.

                                                        A Skeletal Hydrangea Leaf

Monday, 23 January 2012

Plant of the week - Libertia peregrinans

A bit of a mouthful I know & it has taken me about an hour to find out what this plant is called, as I had absolutely no idea and neither can I remember where or from whom it came originally but I absolutely love this plant.

Libertia peregrinans or Wandering Chilian Iris as it's also known, survives perfectly on my sandy soil and on reading its characteristics, is frost tender. I have grown this plant for the past 4 years and it has survived the past two winters, which were pretty cold even here in Dorset.

At the moment it has berries of orange and black but come the spring and summer it has the most delicate white flowers which resemble irises (hence its name).

Although not a big fan of the colour orange, I do love orange in the garden and the sword like leaves of this plant add a zing to the border. At only about a foot high it needs to be in the front and accessible, so you can get down and inspect this little gem at close quarters, to appreciate its beauty.

                                                         Libertia peregrinans in the winter

                                                     Libertia peregrinans in the spring

I have been very happy to learn today that the National Garden Scheme (NGS) are using one of my images in the 2013 edition of The Yellow Book. I am so proud to support this wonderful charity and I am looking forward to attending the press launch in London in March.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Plant of the week - Aster

Now you might think it strange for my plant of the week to be an Aster, after all it's a long time since September when its pretty white daisy flowers were in full bloom but Aster is one of those plants, which for me, look just as gorgeous when just a bunch of twigs and tiny star like dried flowers in the Winter.

Last year my Aster was a little shorter than usual as after seeing Rachel De Thame on Gardeners' World perform the Chelsea chop on such perennials and I thought I would perform this operation on my Aster. I thought I had made a huge mistake as it just looked a straggly mess but the resulting shorter stems, meant that it didn't flop over (I am sometimes a little lax when staking, despite my good intentions at the beginning of the growing season) although the quantity of flowers remained the same.

I don't usually cut back my perennials in the Autumn but save that task 'till the Winter or even Spring, depending on when the urge to tidy up takes me. I had a sudden urge last week but before everything was chopped to the ground, I captured the delicate dried flowers of my Aster - just beautiful!


Monday, 9 January 2012

Plant of the week - Skimmia

The strong winds have brought fences down all around the garden last week, thankfully none of them were mine, although now I am relying on my neighbours to replace them and to one of my neighbours, garden aesthetics are not paramount. Oh well watch this space and fingers crossed they'll turn over a new leaf and replace the fences, as it's so frustrating when you love your garden and it's an important part of our life but your neighbours don't feel the same way about theirs.

My plant of the week has to be the Skimmia. At this time of year, its berries are shining like little red jewels in the gloom of January.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Plant of the week - the Viburnum

I could just start writing and ignore the fact that I haven't blogged since the summer. Well not on this blog anyway. I blame lack of time, blah blah blah, but in fact this is true. Since taking on an online blog for my local newspaper, all my blogging energy has been zapped by that. Although I enjoy writing it, my readers don't always enjoy reading it and a few of them love to criticise. I am not a professional writer, I am a professional photographer for heavens sake! and my motivation for writing is to create a window for my plant photography which every atom of my being LOVES doing.

I have spent the day tidying the garden, something which I should have done weeks ago but lucky for me the weather has been lovely today and so with secateurs in hand, the garden is looking a little neater.

I usually plant my garlic by midwinter but better late than never, the cloves have gone in today.

As a prompt to get me to visit my blog on a weekly basis, I am going to post a plant photograph of the week. Something I have taken in my garden, or a garden I visit or maybe a cut flower.

This week it is the turn of the Viburnum, which is for me, is one of the stars in the garden at this time of year. I love the way the delicate white flowers on the plum coloured stems, sits alongside tiny black berries, nature knows the best colour combinations - simply gorgeous!


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