Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Dalmatians With Plum Coloured Spots!

A Tray Of Foxgloves Grown From Seed

The Dalmatians in this blog entry are not of the canine variety but plants, Foxgloves, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Mixed'. Eleven months ago several different packets of seed were sown including this variety of foxglove, see blog entry for the 15th July 2016 'Eleven Half Trays And Six Shallow Pots'.

A Young Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Mixed'

Having spent several months in the greenhouse and cold frames the young Dalmatians were planted out in to the Provost's lodging borders where they have continued to grow.

Rose 'Tuscany Superb' And Digitalis purpurea 'Dalmatian Mixed'

However it was not until this month, with the production of their tall flower spike, that they have shown just how perfect these Dalmatians actually are. Flowering next to the rose 'Tuscany Superb', the fragrant flowers of this rose are a dark crimson purple in colour, and compliment the plum coloured markings in the pure white flowers of the foxglove, this wonderful Dalmatian has plum coloured spots!
A Dalmatian With Plum Coloured Spots!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Agapanthus And Nerine

Agapanthus And Nerine Placed Out For Planting

The border in front of the Nuffield Building went through a transformation last month, see blog entry 16th May 'From Lavender To Bearded Iris'. However, the iris flower in May and early June, so what plant or plants could the team put in to the border to extend the flowering period and would also flourish in well drained, slightly dry soil, a sheltered position and in full sun? (The bearded iris love having their rhizomes partially exposed and baked in the summer sun!)    


The New Mixed Border (Left)

The plants chosen to accompany the iris are Agapanthus (African Lily), flowering June to September, and Nerine (Nerine Lily), flowering September to October. The two varieties of agapanthus, 'Navy Blue' and 'Torbay', have tall stems with deep blue and mid blue flowers respectively, and the four varieties of Nerine bowdenii are 'Marjorie', 'Alba', 'Isabel' and 'Stephanie', on erect stems have pink, white, magenta and cream with a rose tint respectively.
The border, with its mixed colour palette and different flowering times, should now provide interest from May to October. However, following the removal of the old lavender, the gardening team are aware of the loss of this high in nectar plant for the pollinating insects but have, in recent years, planted other areas of lavender for them in the gardens, see blog entry for the 25th June 2015 'Lavender In The Sainsbury Building Planters'.   

Agapanthus 'Torbay'

Monday, 5 June 2017

Changing The Bedding Displays For The Summer

Faded Display Of Wallflowers And Tulips In The Corner

The wallflowers and tulips in the corner border and the border at the far end of the quad are past their best indicating to the gardeners that it is that time of year again, time to change the bedding displays. 

Digging Out The Wallflowers

Two weeks ago the change began. In both of the borders the wallflowers were dug out and taken to the compost pile. The tulips were then dug out with their foliage attached and placed in to trays for drying out, they may be used in the college displays next year.

Porous Hose Laying

Once all the plant and leaf debris had been removed, the borders were forked through and levelled in preparation for planting. Due to the lack of rain so far this year, and with the real possibility of a dry summer, new porous pipes were laid to aid watering in the coming months.

Planted With The Summer Display

The Border In The Corner

With the pipes laid and clipped in to place the first of the plants for this year's summer displays were brought over from the greenhouse and planted out, the remaining plants have been planted over the last few weeks, the last of which were planted today.

In the corner border the plants this year are: (Grown from seed) Nicotiana langsdorffii; Cosmos 'Pied Piper Red'; Verbena rigida; Zinnia elegans 'Envy'; Nicotiana alata 'Lime Green'; Nicotiana x Multabilis 'Green'; Cosmos 'Double Click Rose Bonbon'; Cosmos bippinatus 'Rubenza'; Cosmos bippinatus 'Cupcakes'; Antirrhinum majus nanum 'Bronze Dragon'; Salvia fabrinacea 'Victoria'; Zinnia elegans 'Lilliput Purple'; Zinnia elegans 'Purple Prince'; Cosmos 'Psyche White'; Amaranthus tricolor 'Red Army' and Cornflower 'Black Ball'. 
Also planted are: (Plug plants from Ball Colegrave) Ornamental Millet F1 'Purple Majesty'. (Grown from cuttings) Tibouchina urvilleana, the Glory Flower, and Cyphomandra corymbiflora, the hardy tamarillo tree.

Border At The Far End Of The Quad

Faded Wallflowers

Digging Out The Wallflowers And Tulips

Planting Out The Summer Display Plants

In the border at the far end of the quad the plants this year are: (Grown from seed) Antirrhinum majus 'Liberty Lavender'; Lavatera trimestris 'Loveliness Mixed'; Lavatera trimestris 'Twins Hot Pink'; Crepis rubra; Cosmos bipinnatus 'Gazebo Mixed'; Antirrhinum majus 'Lipstick Silver'; Cleome spinosa 'Violet Queen'; Salpiglossis sinuata 'Black Trumpets'; Nicotiana x hybrida 'Whispers Mixed', Antirrhinum majus 'Lucky Lips' Nicotiana mutabilis, Zaluzianskya carpensis 'Midnight Candy' and Ammi visnaga.
Also planted: (Grown from cuttings) Pelargonium  'Angel Eyes Randy,  Pelargonium'Clorinda', Plectranthus argentatus 'Silver Shield', Salvia 'Penny's Smile', Diascia personata.
The structure is provided by the permenant planting, the perennials, shrubs and grass: Hemerocallis 'Catherine Woodbery'; Artemisia 'Powis Castle'; Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough'; Rosa chinensis 'Mutabilis'; Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'; Hydrangea paniculata 'Pinky Winky'; Alchemilla mollis; Kirengeshoma palmata; Staphylea colchica (Bladdernut); Indigofera gerardiana and Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light'.

Planted With The Young Plants

Border At The Far End Of The Quad