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Posted by Sally Smith - Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Can anyone name this lovely very narrow leaved rhododendron by the bird table? Label vanished long ago. New camassias from Stella Exley (I hope I have her name right) flowering under Rosa canary bird. Bright red tulips and nearby geums. Our ancient bird table, unused and unloved since birds pecked the roof to pieces many years ago. I recently 'rethatched' it with winter miscanthus sinensis stems, much to Don’s amusement. Sadly birds still seem uninterested.

Posted by Janet Sleep - Sunday 3rd of May 2020


We are now into May, the loveliest month, and the Wisteria on the south wall is full into heavily scented bloom. The bronzed foliage is a plus and this theme is accentuated by accompanying planting: little Geranium Stephanie blooming at the base and the reddish, honey scented floral heads of Euphorbia mellifera that blend in just fine. This is the chinese Wisteria and there are two other examples elsewhere in the garden: one free-standing version being trialled on a metal support in the shape of a sphere on a stand – will need heavy pruning of course: the other is on the south face of Janet’s Folly. You will have to look hard for this because, being in a much more exposed position (just seen peeking out between the ball finials on the arch) it is not yet into proper bloom. It will flower at least a fortnight or three weeks later than the main plant on the house wall.

Janet’s Folly (the nearest thing that Janet could get to a walled garden) has recently been re-exposed as the overgrown ivy has been cut back to its sculptural framework. The remaining foliage will be shaped carefully as it regrows. On the other side of the arch is the rare climber Decumaria sinensis, flowering now in small bunches of apple green. Beyond the folly on the right is a seedling Clematis montana grown on a large obelisk. This is easy to manage – just put the clippers over it when it has finished blooming. The big plant in the pot is ornamental rhubarb. This is an experiment.

This is a wonderful time of year with so many star plants coming into their own: Paeonies, Omphalodes, Lamprocapnos [was Dicentra], Athyrium, and the last of the Barnhaven Venetian Primulas. One of the best of the newer shrubs is looking spectacular now too – Fatsia Spider’s Web. Its true name is japanese - purists should look this up. Happy gardening

Posted by David King - Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Spring colour continues now we are in May and everything is growing madly after the welcome rain. A few more pictures from around the garden with minature tulips, iris, a small daphne, a lovely white tree peony that has had five huge flowers on it this year, then paeonia tenuifolia with is frilly leaves, Arum creticum (first in third row), Rosa primula which smells heavily of insense in stormy and wet weather, and finally Chris who lives in our garden and helps with mulching!

Posted by David King - Sunday 10th of May 2020

A few more pictures from around the garden. The first three are of our Crinodendron (Chilean Lantern Tree) which is covered in flower this year. It came from York Gate on a NPH trip many years ago. In our garden it is now the size of the one there. Following is a variety of flowers including Clematis Asoa (second Picture, third line) followed by an Enkianthus, Solomon's Seal and various Irises. Fourth line is a Camassia, Dodecathon, Iris in bud, Clematis Asao again and the first picture on the third line and final picture are a double white Lilac. This has always been in the family, the original being in my Grandmother's front garden. Various members of the family have one. This my third one.

Posted by Anne Gilbert - Sunday 10th of May 2020

Posted by Margaret Tyler - Sunday 10th of May 2020

Pictures of Gladiolus Tristis Irises and Olearia Phlogopappa Combers Blue9

Posted by Anita Hales - Sunday 17th of May 2020

Posted by Linda Hall - Sunday 17th of May 2020

Iris 'Blue Shimmer', Iris 'White City' and Eccremocarpus Red Form and two photos of Magnolia wilsonii.

Posted by Lesley Cunneen - Sunday 17th of May 2020

First is Lamium orvala which is emerging amongst Silene fimbriata in the fern beds. What ferns you may well ask, but they will eventually fight back, together with white umbellifers such as Orlaya grandiflora. Next is the Lunaria ‘Chedglow’. It is now going to seed but has attained a height of over four feet. I think its parent was purchased at the 2019 Plant Fair but it was a puny plant by comparison with its offspring. The apricot perennial is one of my favourite Spring plants: Lathyrus aureus, first glimpsed at the charming Daisy Cottage near North Walsham.

Posted by David King - Sunday 17th of May 2020

First line from left: Veriagated Weigela, double white Lilac and Asphodelus Albus.

Second Line from left: Iris Frost and Flame, Iris Petit Tigre and a rather blowsy orange poppy.

Third Line from left: Another view of Iris Petit Tigre and, from a different angle, that orange poppyagain

Posted by Margaret Tyler - Saturday 23rd of May 2020

From left to right: Iris Superstition, Irises Rajah and Tabac Blond, Iris Benton Olive and Iris Benton Menace

Posted by Janet Stevens - Saturday 23rd of May 2020

The garden is looking good, or was until today's winds started flattening some plants. The striped leaf camassia is blooming creamy white and is sheltered so standing up OK. I'm not going to inspect other plants until the wind stops as although we have walls on 3 sides we are also quite high up (for Wymond ha) and cannot protect from the strong wind that always comes at this time of year. Next weekend would have been Wymondham Open Gardens - all postponed until next year we hope. The allotment is as dry as a bone so I'm delaying final planting of brassicas and climbing French beans as long as I can. Being a mile from home, watering becomes a chore, though come to think of it what else do I have to do in these restricted times?

Posted by John Simmons - Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Our now ‘Med’ climate has become rather testing with less than a quarter of the average rain over the last 3 months and no sign of rain to come in June. This third consecutively dry summer has started earlier than the previous two and will be damaging to many plants.

First line from left to right:

Rhododendron ‘Percy Wiseman’ (Waterers 1969) one of the many fine garden-worthy Yak hybrids, so called because one of their parents is the hardy, free-flowering Rhododendron yakushimanum that grows on mountains on the warm southern Japanese Island of Yakushima.

Rhododendron ‘Fantastica’ (Hacherman 1968) another popular Yak hybrid, but a bit OTT for my taste.

Kniphofia northiae. A souvenir of our NPH holiday in Kent in 2012 & named after the intrepid Victorian botanical painter, Marianne North, who first painted I have long admired North’s work but did not expect this Transvaal plant to be hardy in my frost hollow.

Cymbidium hybrid. I was given this plant about 50 years ago as a house-plant. After about 25 years I thought it was time for it to leave the house & put it into my then newish unheated greenhouse. In the 25 years since it has been divided twice, covered only by a sheet of bubble plastic in severe cold, stood outside in summer, yet flowers every spring & refuses to die.

Pieris japonica ‘Katsura’ A compact, slow-growing, shrub from Japan with bright red young foliage in spring that turns plum red before going dark green. Earlier in the year it has pinkish lily–of-the-valley like flowers. Katsura is also the Japanese name for cercidiphyllum and the lovely Imperial garden on the western outskirts of Kyoto.

Moroccan poppy, Papaver rupifragum v. atlanticum. Another NPH-linked acquisition It comes from the Atlas Mts. and for more than 20 years has formed lovely, self-sown silver green rosettes in my gravel drive, where it thrives having died out in its originally planted border site in 1997.

Second line:

Paeonia broteri s.Spain & Portugal, a member’s gift, came as a seedling from Judy Wilson in 2007.

Third line from left to right:

Camassia cusikii part of a now 30-year-old drift of these lovely bulbs from NE Oregon & adjacent Idaho.

Mixed azaleas, somewhat in need of rain

Judas tree now 20 years old from seed, a happy ‘Med’ plant.

Posted by David King - Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Blossom and flowers have be outstanding so far this year and the irises are no exception. Here are just some of them in flower at the moment.

First line from left to right:

Benton Cordelia, Benton ex Dodo Rose, Benton Lorna, Benton Nigel, Benton Olive, Benton Opal, Benton Primrose

Second Line from left to right:

Chelsea Blue, Edward of Windsor, Gingerbread Man, Golden Splendour, Samurai Warrior, Jane Philips, Frost and Flame