Monthly Archives: July 2013

Phlox and Fireweed

The fence between my garden and the neighbours got blown down over the winter and being a fairly busy person I have only just got it together to replace it. It’s been nice though, we have great rapport with Dave and Ruby the next door neighbours who are both in there 80’s. Ruby has a great eye for for plant combinations although the one pictured I am sure was unintentional. I like mixing native and non natives together; I have the white version of the Fireweed in the front garden and after one year it travelled 150cm under other plants and into the lawn, it looks great but will be removed!!

This pic is from my side of the fence about 4 metres away, I have tried to create a naturalistic scene in this corner of the garden. The native element is the scabious, it will seed every where but flowers all summer in borders. The Osteospermum have stopped flowering for a bit; these and the Agapanthus which is white add a bit more back bone to the whole thing. I like the Cream drop daylily contrasting with the scabious and the orange one with the persicaria.

This the view from the other end of the garden a few days later with the fence replaced. I have sown an annual meadow mix- ‘Golden girl’ from pictorial meadows featured at the Olympics last year. The posts where old marquee posts salvaged from a skip and cut various lengths, painted black to give contrast and structure.

The grass in the scene is Calamagrostis brachytricha or feather Reed grass; it’s a mutated version of a Udolf planting at RHS Wisley.

White Fire weed taking over my front garden….


Silky Camellia



Although the common name if this plant is Silky Camellia but it is fact Stewartia macalodendron, it’s from stream sides in southern mississippi. Over here it needs careful sighting and in the Harris garden its it is a bit crowded in by some native Hollies. The flowers are just exquisite! I don’t exaggerate just a really class plant.



A few months earlier this Davidia flowered very beautifully a few yards away; I spotted a retired academic giving it the eye! It was a wet day – we lurched from wet spring to heat wave; I believe the days of normal weather have passed.

A Perfect Plot

I recently visited a village in Berks where the gardens where open for charity. The one pictured is the garden of my university tutor, my kids did Cart wheels on the lawn and we chatted. This pic shows how tasteful and well thought through the planting is; I love the fern in the back ground and Tetrapanax rex amongst the Irises and white myosotis.



Hoary plantain


I planted these fluffy little things in March with some student volunteers- see post 6th of March, it was fun – we used an auger to drill holes in the meadow and these were the planting pits. We grew them quite large as the competition is strong, I was accused of growing weeds by the nursery staff!