Friday, 11 May 2018

Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' (Japanese Snowball Bush)

By the bridge, the Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' ,

Planted a few years ago next to the bridge the Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii', is putting on quite a show. Its many tiered horizontal branches, which were bare during the winter, are now covered in creamy white, flat lacecap flowers, it is said they give the the illusion of the branches being weighed down with heavy snow. 

Illusion of the branches being weighed down with heavy snow

Creamy white, flat lacecap flowers

New lakeside border of the SNSC (Left)

This stunning floral display can also be found in two of the lakeside borders of the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre (SNSC) where a number of these shrubs were planted last year during the landscaping of the new building, their snow covered branches tipping gently towards the water's edge. 

Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii'

View across the new lakeside border of the SNSC (Right)

Left and right lakeside borders of the SNSC

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Ten Years Of Colour In The Corner

Snow 2nd March 2018

Wallflowers Covered In Snow

Two months ago the planting in the 'border in the corner' was covered in snow, a blanket of white hiding what lay beneath and would eventually create the colourful display that can be seen now. 

Wallflowers and Tulips, 1st May 2018

The border, planted in October, see blog entry 10th October 2017 'From Summer To Spring In Just Two Days!'  contains Wallflower 'Sunset Bronze', deep red with a gold edge on the petals, and the double late tulips Tulipa 'Uncle Tom' and Tulipa 'Antraciet', maroon red and  magenta red respectively.  


Bold and bright colours this year but this hasn't always been the case as can be seen by the previous nine years which were captured on camera for the blog. These series of photographs show the different colour and planting schemes every year from the use of tulips, wallflowers, bellis, viola and polyanthus back in 2009 to wallflowers and tulips in 2018.

Tulips, wallflowers, bellis, viola and polyanthus, May 2009

May 2010

May 2011

May 2012

May 2013

May 2014

May 2015

May 2016

May 2017

Present Day, Wallflowers and Tulips, May 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

A Vibrant Splash Of Colour From Tulips And Wallflowers

A Cross Of Seven Oak Planters, 28th September 2017

Seven months have past since the oak planter display was changed from summer to winter, see blog entry for the 28th September 2017 'Seven Oak Planters In The Form Of A Cross'
The plants used to create the winter display are:
Small planter x 2, Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' (1/4 Standard), Phormium tenax 'Verneer' (New Zealand Flax) and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Medium planter x 3, Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata' (1/2 Standard, Silver Margined Holly), Ilex x altaclerensis 'Camelliifolia' (Highclere Holly) and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Large planter x 1, Laurus nobilis (Bay), Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Webb' and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Tulips in all planters: A mix of Tulipa 'Antraciet', Tulipa 'Blue Diamond' and Tulipa 'Orange Princess', magenta, purple and orange respectively.
As the tulips now start to fade the display will soon be changed again for this summer but over the last month the mix of tulips and wallflowers have given such a bold, vibrant splash of colour beneath the evergreen shrubs. The team have loved this combination of colours and it has received many favourable comments from visitors, staff and alumni. 

A Cross Of Seven Oak Planters, 23rd April 2018

23rd April 2018

Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' (1/4 Standard)

Vibrant Colours In The Early Morning Light

Tulips and Wallflowers

Tulips and Wallflowers

Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'

Tulipa 'Antraciet'

Tulipa 'Orange Princess'

Tulipa 'Blue Diamond'

Friday, 27 April 2018

A New Winter To Spring Pot Display

Three Rusty Iron Crates, 4th June 2015

In June 2015 the team took delivery of three iron crates for use in the gardens, for the first time see blog entry 4th June 2015 'Three Rusty Iron Crates'. The following summer, rather than being used as part of a border display, they were used to showcase plants in pots at the entrance to the Nash Building, see blog entry 20th June 2016 'The Three Iron Crates Make An Unexpected Return'.

The Three Iron Crates Make An Unexpected Return, 20th June 2016

As the winter approached the display was dismantled, the crates removed and placed in to storage.  Last summer the exhibit returned but, instead of putting them in to storage for the winter, the team decided to use to showcase bulbs and plants that are best during winter and spring.

15th January 2018

Heuchera 'Obsidian', Cyclamen coum, Arum italicum, Helleborus argutifolius

Pots of  plants Heuchera 'Obsidian', Cyclamen coum, Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens', Arum italicum, Matthiola incana 'Vintage Mix' (Winter Stocks) and Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican hellebore) were the mainstay of the display and for the first four months of the year different pots of bulbs were added and removed as they flowered and faded.
In January and February these pots were Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis 'Magnet' (Snowdrops) which were then replaced by Narcissus 'Mother Duck', Narcissus 'Peeping Jenny' and Narcissus jonquil 'Sweetness' as well as Fritillaria elwesii and Fritillaria hermonis Amana (Fritillary). Two pots of tulips were added in April but, due to the unseasonably high temperatures between the 18th and the 20th, flowered for just a few days and by the end of April the last pot in flower was Narcissus jonquil 'Bellsong'. 
This new display has had numerous positive comments since its inception and will now become a regular fixture during the winter to spring months.  

27th March 2018
Narcissus 'Mother Duck', Fritillaria elwesii
Fritillaria hermonis Amana

9th April 2018, Entrance To The Nash Building

24th April 2018, Fading Flowers

26th April 2018, The Last Of The Plants In Flower Narcissus jonquil 'Bellsong'

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Magnolia salicifolia 'Wada's Memory'

Magnolia salicifolia 'Wada's Memory'

The collection of Magnolia in the college gardens has grown in the last five years, two of which have previously been mentioned in the blog, 15th April 2014 'Magnolia Elizabeth' and 26th April 2013 'Magnolia Manchu Fan'.  Also planted during this time was the willow leaved magnolia, Magnolia salicifolia 'Wada's Memory', which is now starting to put on quite a show of its own. Its numerous large, scented, star-shaped white flowers gracefully droop downwards as they fully unfurl and, as with the other two, is worthy of praise and its place in the gardens. 

Magnolia salicifolia 'Wada's Memory' (Front)

Large, Scented White Flowers Gracefully Drooping

The Flower Of Magnolia salicifolia 'Wada's Memory'

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Pruning The Fig In To A Fan

Fig 25th March 2015, It Looks Like This Again 3 Years Later!

Whilst it is still dormant the large fig in the garden is in need of its annual prune but this year support wires will be put up on the wall behind it. The fig was last given a hard prune three years ago as it began to exceed the confines of its gravelled corner, see above photograph and blog entry 24th March 2015 'Pruning The Fig (Ficus carica)' and it is now filling the corner again.

Removing The Dense Old Wood

Every year it produces a reasonable crop of delicious figs on the end of the younger wood but is its size has to be controlled every few years. Removing the large, almost horizontal wood the wall becomes accessible for the new support wires to be put up. From the remaining wood the youngest and strongest are selected to be tied to the six new wires, three on each wall and, over the coming years, the fig will be trained against the wall as a fan. Annually the oldest wood will be removed, the not so old wood shortened and the shoots produced during the year tied in to the wires of which some will be shortened to encourage bushier growth. The fig will probably not have a large crop of fruit this year, fruit is produced at the tips of the previous year's growth, but by next year the fruit should be plentiful and accessible.  

TIed In To The New Wires

The Youngest Wood Tied In (Stone Wall)

The Youngest Wood Tied In (Brick Wall)