More frequent visits to covid corner came back into play this week as the family were forced to isolate as close contacts of a positive case.  School days lost, work days compromised and lost, a school trip cancelled and a twice cancelled driving test, cancelled again.  We’re all negative too and three of us twice-jabbed.  Not for the first time I have taken solace in the garden.

Covid corner

This is a really lovely area of the garden dubbed ‘Covid Corner’ last year in the first lockdown.  it’s a relaxing place to sit with a cup of tea whilst on breaks.

Tender shrubs on display

Tender shrubs in pots

The bed against the wall is looking great this year as the tall, pearlescent peach rose ‘Lark Ascending’ is providing a perfect backdrop to my tender shrubs display.  For some reason I’m drawn to these tender shrubs from Mediterranean style climates such as South Africa and Australia. I think it has something to do with the fabulous display I saw on the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden display at RHS Chelsea Flower show two years ago.

protea cyranoides in a pot

Protea cyranoides in a pot

My display is work in progress but I have here the King Protea, protea cyranoides, that I bought in Cornwall last year – the only plant I managed to cram in amongst the surf boards.

Banksia leaves

Banksia leaves

Also here is a lovely bansksia its narrow leaves edged with sharp notches, and a Leucospermum ‘Aloha Peach’.

Leucospermum 'Aloha Peach'

Leucospermum ‘Aloha Peach’

I’m yet to discover the secret to getting these flowering well but the advantage of the pot display is they can bask outside against this south facing wall for the summer months whilst being protected in the greenhouse for the winter.

Himalayan Rose

Himalayan rose in woodland garden

Himalayan rose in woodland garden

Himalayan rose climbing tall larch tree.

Himalayan rose climbing tall larch tree

For one week of the year this is the most jaw-dropping plant in my garden.  It’s an enormous rambling rose, planted decades ago by the previous owner.  He described it as a himalayan rose and I’ve no need to quibble.  This one is white, unlike the more commonly known ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’ which is pink.

It’s hard to capture the size of it on camera but it must climb 40 feet or more into this larch tree.  Only half of it is pictured in the photo above.  Its musky scent drifts across the garden, some shoots climbing high and others dangling over the woodland walk.  In a few days time it’ll drop its petals like snowflakes all over the garden.

Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’

Kniphofia 'Alcazar'

Kniphofia ‘Alcazar’

These Kniphofia are a winner.  Red Hot Pokers can elicit both sniggers and snobbery but this one is exceedingly tasteful.  The flower clusters have the graduated tones of a summer sunset.

It’s planted alongside some dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’ which are also orange.  Most of these survived the winter under thick mulch but are a long way off flowering for my longed for combo.  Maybe I should have forced them in the greenhouse – it’s something to consider for next year.

Bright containers

Talking colour, oranges and sunset pinks also dominate some of my containers.  These lovely urns contain tangerine and pink nemesias with a very pretty nasturtium.

Nasturtium 'Ladybird Rose'

Nasturtium ‘Ladybird Rose’

Grown from seed, nasturtium ‘Ladybird Rose’ is a dusky orangey pink.  They’re growing strongly and should soon spill over the sides of the urns.

More new Hostas



An upside of my garden open day was the bring and buy plant sale.  These pretty unnamed hostas were brought along and I made a quick purchase.  The lady that brought them along turns out to be an huge hosta fan and grows many in pots to elevate them away from the slugs and snails.  It’s not a foolproof deterrent but it does help a bit.

Remarkably, the hostas in the woodland garden, whilst nibbled here and there, remain pretty intact.  Ever the optimist I’m thinking maybe the slimy beasties are yet to colonise the woodland neighbourhood in great numbers.


This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday.  For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.