U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, July 3, 2015

End of Month View - My Garden, June 2015

My garden helper was going to show and tell you about my garden before falling asleep. 
Fortunately, he kept notes, and they'll be helpful when I try to do that by myself. 
Thank you, Amur!

This is my main sitting area in summer. 
Western side of the house, it is shady for most of the day, 
and when the sun appears here, two palms in containers provide protection.

Green and white - one of my favorite color combinations:
Arborvitae and Lobelia

Campanula poscharkyana 'Blue Waterfall' started its long-lasting display,
creating big blue circles in front of the ilex hedge.
Daisies are joining them:

 Climbing rose Don Juan freely hanging and enjoying the sun. 
I missed the right time to tie some branches to the arch,
but they still produce plenty of fragrant flowers.

Gunnera manicata continues to grow in this sunny and moist spot:

Astilbe is getting better with every year.
Her divisions were moved to other parts of the garden.

Lacecap Hydrangea 'Princess Lace':

Self-seeded Nicotiana and Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red Strain':


I terminated dwarf Pampas grass and planted pole beans in this spot
at the edge of my Terrace Garden:


This rose grows more up than to the sides.
I like its flowers seemingly floating in the air:

This Hydrangea grows in the part of my garden which became sunny
after a big alder was cut in 2013( post  My Shade Garden Tragedy and Revival).
Since then, it became more adapted to the new conditions,
but still suffers from strong afternoon sun:

Rhubab chinese and a wonderful Hosta from James King:

Asiatic Lilies:

Terrace Garden, above and below, got a bit unruly with too many tall plants
as Digitalis, Ceniranthus, Verbena b.,  Eremurus, Verbascum, Monarda, etc.

This spring, I added width to this border and planted it with shrub and perennials.
I don't miss a part of the lawn that was removed as part of this project:

Slugs forced me to plant this Ligularia into the container:

Back of the house:

 I am very pleased with Hydrangea grown from a cutting from my own plant.
It has morning shade and some sun in the afternoon.

The above boxwood was a home for a bird nest earlier this year.

Potting table is getting enveloped with grapes growing in two containers.
 Grapevines grew from  stem pieces which I used to support green peas.

Saxifraga stolonifera provided a long lasting show:

Cucumbers in raised bed:

Hydrangea Oregon Pride has wonderful big heads:

Ligustrum is blooming better than ever.
The smell is beautiful, and the trees are covered with hundreds of bees.

These were three-ball trees, but I didn't maintain their shape properly,
so they look like ordinary trees now.
The right one was heavily damaged during a snow storm several years ago.
It recovers slowly. I'm glad we gave it a second chance.

Bunnies are not afraid of me at all.

Rose Regensberg Floribunda:

Late Allium:

There are several new plants here which will wait till the heat ends to be planted:
Hardy Begonia from Vietnam, Agapanthus Donau and Hedychium spicatum.
I bought them after a Dan Hinkley presentation in Gig Harbor.
His talk was a treat to close the month of June.

I am joining Helen at The Patient Gardener's Weblog for an End of Month View.

I wish you a beautiful month of July.
And you, please, send rain our way!!!
It's hot and dry here!

***Copyright 2015 TatyanaS

Friday, June 26, 2015

Arundel Castle Gardens - May 2015

I can certainly say that these Gardens are among my all-time favorites.
I knew nothing about them. They were recommended to us by my husband's colleague when we planned our May trip to Europe. 
Hidcote Manor Garden was already on the list, and I needed one more garden to visit while we were in London.
Now, thinking back, I believe that an absence of any expectations was one of the reasons I got so excited about the Arundel Castle Gardens. 
Knew nothing, read nothing, heard nothing. It was a total surprise!

The other reason why we had a great visit was the fact that, while strolling through the Gardens, we happened to meet the Head Gardener. 
The day was coming to the end, we were almost alone and I asked a person who was watering the plants a question. 
That person was Martin Duncan, the Head Gardener, who not only answered our questions but also gave us a tour of the Flower and Kitchen Gardens. 
Those Gardens, actually, became my favorites. We'll see them in the second part of this post. 
To reach these Gardens, we needed to go through the Collector Earl's Garden opened by Charles, Prince of Wales, in 2008.

Arundel Castel in West Sussex, founded in 1067 and rebuilt in 1870-1890, is one of England's longest inhabited country houses and the second largest castle in England.
Having very limited time, we couldn't enjoy its impressive Gothic architecture, but we certainly would like to tour it in the future.

The Collector Earl's Garden (designers Isabel and Julian Bannerman) shows what a formal garden around the Castle could be in the time of Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, an avid art collector (1585-1646).
That garden was designed in the beginning of the 17th century by Inigo Jones (1573-1652, English painter, architect and designer who founded the English classical tradition of architecture).

Formal as formal can be, the Garden has a certain warmth and do I dare say coziness thanks to the structures made from green oak wood.
Sophisticated, intricate -yes, but, made not from stone or brick but rustic wood, it made me think about fairy tales.
Pergola, pavilions, gateways, obelisks, benches, even grand scaled urns are made from wood. A fantasy, a set for some theatrical show - this was my first impression of the garden.
Learning that The Collector Earl's Garden was created on the spot of a concrete car park made me appreciate it even more.

Tulips in Italian clay containers almost finished blooming, but I saw them on the Internet pictures  - they are stunning!
I also wish I could see these containers later planted with Agapanthus (Lilies of the Nile).

From what I found on the Internet, green oak means an oak with a high moisture content, 
timber that is freshly cut from relatively new fallen trees.
Isn't it beautiful?

Too ornamental? Too 'over board'? Well, this is how it was meant to be!
Gateways and pavilions are based on Inigo Jones' designs for Arundel House.
The domed pergola and fountains are based on those presented in the painting of the Countess of Arundel by Daniel Mytens.

Wikimedia Commons

High old brick walls serve as a great background for the variety of plants and help keep many semitropical and exotic plants safe in winter which, fortunately, is typically mild.
Bamboos, Phoenix canariensis (Date palm), Butia capitata (Pindo palm), Catalpa bignonioides (Indian bean tree which doesn't come from India and doesn't have beans), Papaya, Magnolia grandiflora, Dracaena draco, rare ferns - border of these plants with the European architecture in the background is stunning!

Some tender plants were still protected from cold in the middle of May

Oberon's Palace sits on the rockwork hill with two green oak obelisks on its sides. It's surrounded by lash greenery, including palms and ferns.
Green with algae, grotto with shell and mosaic pannos has a special treasure - a crown, rising/dancing on the jet of water.


As residents of the Pacific Northwest, we are familiar with stump gardening. Stumperies are getting popular in Washington state,  but to see a stump garden at this ancient castle in England was a total surprise.
As Martin Duncan said, this relatively new addition to the garden is just 3 years old.
It replaced a piece of lawn.

Stumps, collected from the Norfolk Estate, are underplanted with euphorbia, hellebore, ferns, primroses, foxgloves, cowslips, bluebells.
Perfect place for wildlife! I heard that hedgehogs live here!

Not exactly your traditional yew hedge. It looks good, especially when you look at the Gothic turrets nearby.

This piece is still a work in progress...

Through the window in the hedge, I saw a beautiful herbaceous border.
But, it was one more surprise on the way toward it....

.... a Vegetable Garden! Working vegetable garden!
You can take a girl out of the village, but you can't take the village out of the girl!
I felt that it was beautiful!

This is where we met the Head Gardener.

Martin Duncan has been working at the Arundel Castle Gardens for 6 years.
His experience as a gardener and a landscape designer includes working in Bermuda, France, private English gardens, botanical gardens, the King of Jordan's Garden and others.

The vegetable garden itself, with its healthy plants and smart plant supports, was exciting,
but to see it with a majestic background was a pure delight!

If I would be a scarecrow, I'd like to live here!

How wonderful it is: stone and wood, massiveness of the building and lightness of twigs, 
sophistication of architecture and simplicity of garden structures... Contrasts, contrasts, contrasts...

Dense carpet of cheerful Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant, Douglas' meadowfoam)

Branch towers made me think about Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden in Monticello (post  Colonial Gardens. Part 4.2 - Monticello Vegetable Garden.)

Forget-me-nots bloom at the same time in a royal garden in England as in my suburban garden in Washington state...

Pole beans, cabbages, potatoes, kale, courgettes, tomatoes, chilly peppers, apples, pears, cherries grow here, to name a few.
There are plants that attract beneficial insects and deter unwanted ones.
This Kitchen Garden, as you can guess, is organic.

Strawberries will be protected by a net resting on these solid poles

And now, to the Cutting Garden!
We happened to see it in a transition period. Plants that we saw will soon give way to another 
wave of colorful flowers, including Dahlias with dish-size heads, all color coordinated.
The bouquets will adorn the rooms in the Castle as well as the residence of  the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.

This is the new combination that Martin Duncan is trying. Lavander and Allium 'Gladiator'.

Humpback-shaped tunnels to support sweet peas made by the Head Gardener himself.

Miniature hedges of Alchemilla (Lady's mantle)

Hazlenut and ash are used for plant support.


Phortinia cerrulata 

English Herbacious Borders are chalk full of  Alliums, Nepetas, Delphiniums, Roses, Salvias, Lupins, Thalictrums, Stachys byzantina, Alchemilla mollis,  Bachelor button, Wall flowers,  Poppies,  Camassia, Perennial Geranium, etc. 
They replaced  bulbs (1500 of them) which were dug up after finishing blooming.
Martin Duncan together with six other gardeners cuts down many flowers, as for example geraniums, bachelor button for reblooming. Lupin flowers go down right after the first seeds appear.
He calls it the Chelsea cut since it corresponds with the time of the famous RHS Flower Show.

From here we can look back at the Stumpery.

Allium Gladiator

Cornus controversa 'Variegata' (Wedding cake tree), not very tall and compact, won our hearts.

The spacious area beyond the walled garden is delightful with its beautiful trees, patches of flowers and places to sit, relax and think about a thousand years of history...

I was fascinated with this ancient huge cork oak tree (Quercus Suber).

The Rose Garden sits on the site of an 18th century bowling green and has a contemporary touch due to its metal structures.  It's still a work in progress.
Old-fashioned English roses bloom their best, they say, in June and July. 

There is also a very impressive White Garden at the Castle, and we'll see its pictures in the next post.
It was a pleasant surprise to see how luxurious a white garden can be in May, when other famous gardens had only a modest display in their white gardens at this time of the year.

Website - Arundel Castle
Address; Arundel, West Sussex, BN18  9AB

To be continued
***Copyright 2015 TatyanaS

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