Thriving on Neglect

My neglect of this blog is symptomatic of my neglect of the garden as a whole. Somehow I lost control just as the garden peaked in midsummer and since then the borders have greeted me mournfully on my return from work each day.

I have always struggled with late summer colour in the garden. The torch lilies I have planted seem to be varieties that flower earlier in the spring, while the calla lilies and canna lilies that promise colour until the first frosts stubbornly refuse to flower for more than a few short weeks. I have only found one dahlia (‘Rose Quartz’) to fulfil my theme and, if I’m able to nurse them through our cold springs, it is a martyr to slugs.

And so I find myself reliant on the final flush from the roses to lift my spirits as I realise another gardening year has passed without achieving a fraction of what I had hoped. Here ‘Super Trouper’ shines out from the corner of the north east bed.


Next to it, the survivor rose rescued from Copse Hill is in bud. The unnamed red rose next to the front door continues to bloom despite several pruning accidents. It seems to have flowering continuously since May.


Etoile d’Hollande is also resurgent on the other side of the front door, this bud emerging from new growth put on since summer pruning. The pink roses we inherited on moving in however speak of my neglect. Those close to the house are enjoying a late flush of flowers which contrast with the hips on those I failed to prune further round the crescent.

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Fresh greens

Last weekend the garden at AV Acres seemed to be all about the emerging foliage. There were few new flowers but suddenly all the herbaceous perennials emerged from their winter sleep while the shrubs and trees slipped on their summer coats as if for a wedding. The congregation are just waiting for the bridal party to enter the church.

Plantain lilies emerging from the north east and north west beds despite the slugs’ best efforts.


Hardy calla lilies fighting back after being nipped by the late frosts.


The contrasting foliage of rosa rugosa in the north east bed and Etoile d’Hollande by the front door.

A Weekend of Scent


This weekend has been all about clearing the beds under the trees that screen the front garden from the road. As a consequence I’ve had my head buried in the gorgeous scent of these fabulous Viburnum burkwoodii. While I rather suspect they are one of the things triggering my hay fever I’m more in love with them than ever.

On the garden side these beautiful shrubs form a backdrop to a bench overlooking the rest of the garden. This has inspired me to plan a scented arbour for us to sit in. I’m planning tubs of oriental lilies, climbing roses dripping from the trees above, creeping lily of the valley under the seat, and scented plantain lilies all around it. Who knows if I will ever realise this vision but I’m certainly enjoying planning it.