#SixOnSaturday: The Platinum Jubilee edition

I’m back in my secret garden this week and it appears that I’ve managed – genuinely coincidentally – to rustle up an almost red, white and blue #SixOnSaturday!

I acquired this astrantia – which I’m guessing might be ‘Shaggy’ – from the plant stall at Kelmarsh Hall last summer. I divided the clump into two; this half has done really well but the other has struggled although I’m hoping it might pick up over the next few weeks.

I can certainly see this – and astrantias more generally – becoming a bit of a staple in the garden, not least because I ordered three more varieties as bare roots a few weeks ago and am waiting not very patiently for them to be robust enough to plant out!

And as you can see (bottom right), I’m not the only fan!

Top right is meadow cranesbill, grown from seed a couple of years ago. I’m not sure they’re really right for my garden but I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of them!

Back in August of last year, I did a fairly sizable (for me!) bulb order from Sarah Raven which included daffs, tulips and 21 alliums of three different varieties. This allium atropurpureum, one of 15 that I planted, and a single allium schubertii are the only two that have appeared.

To say I’m disappointed is obviously something of an understatement. I don’t know whether the issue is with the bulbs, the planting or the squirrels…

I planted this peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ three or four years ago and it’s finally flowering! I know peonies can take a while to flower when they’re bought as bare roots but this one was definitely on notice! It came as part of a collection with ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ which has flowered the last two years but has apparently decided to skip a year! And there’s one final peony which is still playing a very long game; next year perhaps…

And finally, the nigella are starting to bring their feathery finery to the summer party. I’m fairly certain these were grown from seed I collected from my parents’ garden last year; I also have ‘Persian Jewels’ and ‘Miss Jekyll’ on the allotment, waiting to be planted out.

Head to The Propagtor‘s blog to see what’s going on in other gardens in the UK and beyond!

These weeks at Waddesdon

The last couple of weeks at Waddesdon Manor have been full of planting as we’ve been up to our ears in what’s known – for entirely self-explanatory reasons – as bedding changeover.

We started out by filling beds previously occupied by tulips with pelagoniums, cineraria, bidens and other classic bedding plants. This year, Waddesdon is celebrating the centenary of the death of Alice de Rothschild – known as Miss Alice – who inherited Waddesdon from her brother and had a huge influence not just on the house but also on the gardens.

This year’s bedding scheme – featuring clashing red and pink pelagoniums – is inspired by a design of Alice’s discovered in the archive.

After a team of gardeners and volunteers spent the best part of a week planting around six thousand individual plants, we moved onto the rather different, but no less extraordinary task of creating this summer’s carpet bed, whose design should, again, be entirely self-explanatory.

Amazingly, this entire bed was grown in trays by a specialist nursery in Cornwall, packed into the back of a lorry, laid out by the garden volunteers and then planted in a little over a day by the gardeners!

It would have taken even less time but rain briefly but dramatically stopped play just as we were planting the final row of trays!

All-in-all, a pretty extraordinary thing to be a part of!

I think that’s quite enough for one week! However / whether you’re marking the Jubilee, I hope you have a great weekend!


Twitter and Instagram: MySecretGard


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