Thursday 18 June 2015

What I've not been growing in the garden

Next month we will have been in this house 13 years. We have never changed the basic layout of the garden. I'm not sure if it was one of the previous occupants or the original housebuilder who put in the walled patio area but we've certainly never thought to change it all. The purple campanula runs its way around the wall year after year without any care or attention. I know we didn't plant it but it has crept into the garden somehow.
The two hydrangeas are the only surviving plants from when we first moved in. Everything seems very late this year and the white hydrangeas are still tight in bud. After the heads have dried I wait all the way until the last frost of the year has past to cut them off but that's all I do with it.
We have cut things down; most notably the conifers that blocked out the morning sunshine and refused to allow anything to grow underneath it. On this side of the garden we put in a couple of scrubs in the place of the conifers but these got too big. After hacking some off of them a little Welsh Poppy came out of hiding. I'm seen several of these in the local area and our neighbour has one in his garden. How long it had been there I don't know but it was very nice surprise to find it.
On the other side of the lawn we planted many years ago a ceanothus. It was only small when we bought it and we liked the fact that it was evergreen. It didn't stay small for long and it grew and grew to the extent it has stopping my 'whirly gig' washing line from going round so that got the chop as well. In its place I put some edible currant plants and the strawberries have run wild over the patch. Joining the strawberries are the aquilegias. They're just after their best now but there will be more next year as the seed pods will soon burst and spread in the wind. They make great free plants and an easy way to fill gaps in the borders but once germinated can be tough to pull up.
Last November I wrote about the flowers that were still blooming. One of them was the potted geraniums. Well three of them never blackened despite the snow so I left them on the patio and now they have bloomed again.
My favourite find this year in the back garden is this fabulous foxglove. Under the shade of the Golden Spirit tree at the end of the garden I spotted something growing but didn't think it looked like the leaves of the usual weeds. Once it developed I could see the buds were one of a foxglove. I thought the flowers were going to be yellow but once they opened they turned out to be white with purple spots.
In the front garden a couple of years ago a heuchera appeared in the ground covering conifer. Then last year another heuchera of the same deep plum colour turned up under the bench on the patio. I thought it was wasted there so I moved it into the front garden where as you can see it is thriving. It looks like it will be joined by a third heuchera as under the bench in the same spot this year yet another heuchera has grown. I've seen these in the local garden centres priced at £6.99 each but yet I seem to be breeding them without any effort.
An old-fashioned garden favourite is antirrhinums. I can't remember when the first ones turned up in the front garden but each year somewhere in the front garden at least one antirrhinum will grow. I showed my son why they were commonly called 'Snap dragons' but he was deeply unimpressed.
Before last year I had a garden free of valerian but now it is trying to creep into every nook and cranny possible. One of the spots it took residence in last year was the front bed. It pushed other well established plants out of the way with its woody base which was hard work to dig up. The flowers on this one are pink but around the neighbourhood, in gardens, by the side of road and growing out of walls there are varieties in a much deeper pink and white. When these flowers die off they will turn into tufts like candyfloss, full of seeds ready to be carried on the wind to grow somewhere new next year.

Do you have any flowers in your garden that you didn't plant?



  1. I'd say about half of the plants and flowers in my garden are inherited from the previous owners, so there are quite a few that I probably wouldn't have chosen myself but they're lovely, so I've kept most of them. I'm still waiting for my foxgloves to flower, yours are way ahead!

  2. Your garden flowers are looking gorgeous. We just moved into our home this Spring and it's been rather exciting watching so many different flowers spring up every week. The hydrangeas, however, haven't started blooming yet but I'm hopeful they will soon.

  3. such a lovely well stocked garden and by the sounds of it, low maintenance which ticks all the boxes for me

  4. Your flowers are looking so lovely - it's so great when plants make their home in your garden without you doing anything isn't it. We haven't been as lucky as you but always have lots of foxgloves and hollyhocks appearing that we didn't plant, and rather randomly a clump of lemon balm appeared in a border last year, it smelled lovely but is part of the mint family and very invasive so it had to go. Everything is very late to bloom in the Midlands too this year, it's all starting to catch up at last though.

  5. Your garden is looking fantastic - and how nice to have all those nice things you didn't plant :) Quite a few of my favourites in there. There was nothing at all in our garden when we moved here so we haven't had any nice surprises, although I have spotted some wild strawberries growing in our neighbours garden. I hope they trail across the path and root in ours!

  6. I love this! Our front garden has so many pops of colour which we never planted, I do so enjoy seeing what the wind has gifted us.


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