Flower Garden
About Us | Vegetable garden | Fruit garden | Flower garden | Chicken diary | Recipes | Chick originals

| RHS Flowers | BBC Gardening
This page will include details of my flower growing exploits as they develop over the years.


15 April 2008 - a long overdue re-potting of a money tree and white Easter cactus.

Stone pots

A friend gave me two nice old stone pots which I've planted Sedum & ??? in.

new holly plant 210108Holly

21 Jan 2008 - My free holly plant arrived this morning, so it got potted in place of a plant that had died.  Looks a bit pathetic and may do so for some time as I think it will be slow growing.  However, it hopefully won't be attractive to rabbits or chickens!

Grow in 7-9cm pots for 4-5 weeks until established.  Then transfer to final position in garden.  Water thoroughly in dry weather until the plants are well established.  Top dress in spring with general fertiliser.

15 April - At last I've got around to planting something else in the bare holly pot.  I've chosen Sedum & ???? which I bought at a house which I see on the way to the gym.

First spring bulb of 2008

iris bulb 210108 In full flower on 18 January!


Yucca 081006
8 October
Yucca 201006
20 October


28 Sep - new wildlife  ;-)



water lily22 June - Did you know we have a small pond in the centre of our garden?  I know I've not mentioned it before.  When we first moved in it was full of fish but they all disappeared the following summer with the arrival of visiting herons.  I don't do anything to look after it, apart from tidying up the surrounding plants and throwing in some barley straw if the water looks really grotty.  This summer, we've had a good water lily display, although the flowers do tend to be very short lived and hide away under the leaves.  I managed to catch this one on film though -->

Iris 050606Iris

5 June - Just had to photograph this beautiful delicate blue iris in full bloom.



My favourite flowers are freesia, closely followed by lilies.  I've tried and failed to successfully grow freesia, so I generally plant a new pot of lilies each year.  That brought my total to four pots this year, all of which were doing well until the rabbits got them, even though I put some sharp chicken wire in three pots as a deterrent.  Now they are all just fit for the bin.  I'm very sad.

Rabbit eaten lilies  Rabbit eaten lilies  Rabbit eaten lilies

Borders & lawn

27 May  Border 1 270506  Border 2 270506  Borders 270506

17 Apr  Borders 170406  19 Apr  Lawn 190406

Japanese acer

Protected acerI was tempted by a free offer in Gardener's World - "a japanese acer for every reader".  I've always loved their feathery delicate look and vivid red autumn leaves.  It arrived as a pretty young, bare plant, but with buds.  I planted it up and watched it start to develop those beautiful leaves,  Then disaster hit on 14 May when a rabbit or squirrel found it and ate all of the leaves and nibbled some bark.  Not one to throw in the towel immediately, I protected it with a chicken wire enclosure and crossed my fingers.
Japanese acer 100606By 9 June it had started to successfully grow again.

New houseplants from oldHouseplants

16 Apr - always trying to propagate from existing plants, here's my latest two attempts.

Flowering cactus 220506  Firework pelargonium 220506 22 May - despite basic neglect this cactus seems to flower each year and my firework pelargonium flowers all year round, although it's particularly good just now.

5 June - sorted out quite a few houseplants including a tidy up of my kitchen basket and the conservatory stand, especially the very leggy pelargoniums.
Basket went from Overgrown kitchen basket to Replanted kitchen basket making 2 extras Leftovers from kitchen basket

Conservatory stand from Untidy conservatory plants to Tidy conservatory plants.

cactus flower

22 June - I have a giant cactus which I have had as long as I can remember and it grew from one piece into this monster which flowers for one day, about once every five years!



Old & new cacti23 July - Started my gardening day by trying to find a way to support the conservatory veg plants which are getting very big.  A mini disaster with the cape gooseberry ensued as I didn't realise it was resting so heavily against neighbouring plants and was pinned to my giant cactus.  Yes, the gooseberry snapped, the cactus fell over and left its pot and spawned several babies on the floor.  And OUCH, the cactus spines are lethal!  Well, I had been trying to find a way to get it out of its pot for some months, so now was the chance to repot it and try to propagate from the fall-out (or fall-off, in this case).  So I've now got a repotted cactus plus four new cactus plants and a rather messy but strapped together cape gooseberry.

Leafy climber


13 Sep - I took three leafy climber cuttings from a plant I thought was dying (and has since recovered) and now it was time to re-pot this one with a support.


Lemon pelargoniumLemon pelargonium cuttings

I tried to save my favourite and enormous lemon pelargonium plant in January when I allowed the frost to get to it (see pic below), but it's on its last legs now so I've taken twelve cuttings to try to breed new offspring.

Lemon pelargonium 22050622 May - my best lemon pelargonium is now in flower.

Rose pruning

27 Mar - Since the weather has turned mild, I decided to prune my three rose bushes.  Don't know exactly how to do it for the best, as I don't know what type of roses they are.  However, they are more of a wild rose than a cultivated one.  So, I just followed basic pruning rules (I think!).

Transformation from this  Unpruned roses  to Pruned roses

Flowers from seed

Lavatera25 Mar - Although I'm not really that concerned about the flower garden, I am going to try a few flowers from seed, mainly to enhance my pot garden display.  Lavatera planted today.

8 Apr - Agastache Apricot Sprite, Campanula cashmeriana, Campanula lusitanica, Incarvillea sinensis pink fairy, Nasturtium dwarf, Nigella Persian Jewels, Potentilla.

19 Apr - signs of germination: Agastache, Campanula lusitanica, Incarvillea and Nasturtium.

21 Apr - Nigella coming to life.

 Agastache  Campanula cashmeriana  Campanula lusitanica  Incarvillea  Nasturtium Nigella   Potentilla

Bulbs 25 March



 Pretty in purple

 Yellow crocus

Pesky rabbits!

Destroyed skimmia18 Mar - Both skimmia destroyed. Border on 17 March

But growth in the borders coming along nicely with snowdrops in full bloom, daffodils at six inches tall and day lilies thriving.

7 Apr - another pot destroyed :-((  Lovely pot  -->  Not so lovely pot!

Rabbit damage9 Apr - and this is the second time this pot has been dug out.  The bulbs were removed first time around and I put the soil back and treated it with wild animal repellent, which I won't be buying again!


Pot garden

bare border 316 Feb - Remember that I'm planning to convert border 3 into a shingle pot garden?  Well, my rockery stones to form the edge were delivered today so I made a start, some final weed clearing and lifting of bulbs for transplanting, then laying weed suppressant and placing the stone edge.

Pot garden preparation18 Feb - nearly done but run out of weed suppressant, probably won't finish next Tuesday now.



Gravelled pot garden22 Feb - two tons of pea gravel shovelled and wheelbarrowed and almost finished!

27 Feb - Finished!!     Pot garden with first pots     Finished pot garden

Butterfly planter5 Apr - Put together two new butterfly planters.Pot stand



7 June - built a stand for my pots which I hope the rabbits won't be able to climb.  My Campanula, Incarvillea and Nigella which I have grown from seed are on the top shelf.  I'll be adding the Lavatera and Agastache tomorrow.

8 June - Incarvillea pot destroyed on top shelf of new stand.  So, it must be pesky squirrels, as well as pesky rabbits.  Boo hoo ;-(


bamboo in the backgroundBamboo

What to do with the 14-foot tall bamboo?  I'm finding it difficult to get some sound advice.  Do I chop it down to four or six feet, or lower?  Do I thin it out?  Or do I leave it to it's own devices?  I've tidied it up today (31 Jan) but what next?



Bamboo 0708067 Aug - Well, I didn't do anything except tie new wire around it to give some support and this is how it turned out.




Bamboo 201006 Bamboo purple tops 20100620 Oct - Nearing the end of its flourish now with purple feather tops.




First flowers

first snowdropfirst bloom30 Jan - Appearance of first snowdrops and an unidentified yellow flower.

lemon balm???   31 Jan - is this the lemon balm already?

New plants

14 Jan - I long for some winter interest & colour in my garden.  So, a new pot was introduced today, to greet me at the front door.

I make the classic mistake of impulse buying plants that I like, then finding they won't survive where I want to put them.  As a result, I've had to pot two Skimmia plants today which I wanted to put in border 1.  They need partial shade, so they wouldn't survive the summer in border 1, which gets very dry in full sun.  I'll move their pots to my new "pot garden", which does have some shade, before summer.  I think the variegated prickly bush should be ok though.

Prickly bush

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Tricolor' in border 1.  Will tolerate full sun & dry soil, fairly hardy.

(You'll notice my top dressing favourite of the moment is plum slate.)


2 Potted SkimmiaSkimmia reevesiana.  Needs partial shade, moist soil, fully hardy.  Crimson berries in Autumn, small white flowers in Spring. 

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'.  Needs partial shade, moist soil, fully hardy.  Deep red flower buds in Autumn, dense clusters of small white flowers in Spring.




Border2 cleared & mulchedClearing up from 2005

On 9 January, I continued with flower border clearing that I started last November.  We have three borders in our formal garden.  Two of them I will try to cultivate with blossoming flowers and favourite plants.

More of the same on 10 Jan plus general tidying of pots and lawn.


Lemon geranium

Trying to save my favourite lemon geranium plant (which I suspect is really a pelargonium as it doesn't die back and the frost got it).




Spotted first new growth of the year when I cleared the last border - snowdrops?



Border 3 after clearingBorder 3 before clearing11 Jan - still clearing the third border which I want to make into a dry garden.  However, given the swamp-like conditions of this awful clay soil in the autumn and winter, this might take tons of grit and still be impossible.  So, it is more likely to become my pot garden where I will experiment with new plants and flowers grown from seed, plants which will not survive in the clay soil and probably some herbs.  After clearing, I will cover with black weed suppressant and pea gravel, then pots galore!

Flower garden map


My first year at Longfield and I just watched the flower garden to see what developed.

Although I do love having cut flowers in the house, the flower garden is not my top priority - it will always take second place to my fruit and vegetable garden.

There were some pleasant bulbs in spring, snowdrops, crocus and daffodil.  Followed by iris, prolific lemon balm, fabulous day lilies and many other plants I could not identify.

Some that I didn't like have been dug up, but I am totally unsure about how the flower garden will develop.  Or even if it will develop at all, depending on the time left after fruit and vegetable tending.

Yucca in flowerOne of my favourite plants in the flower garden is the yucca, photographed here on 25 November 2005.