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Hi Salino - Verdun. Gosh I am having a bad night hence this early morning stuff - just cannot settle - mind full of thoughts of all kinds. Ref my posts I was getting the feeling that perhaps they were a bit too long and  I am overdoing it - however, with your reassurances I shall  press on. My little attempt at a joke ref the tennis fell flat on its face so I shall concentrate on  rattling whats left of my grey matter and concentrate on gardens/plants. Salino ref the pic of the Bee it is enjoying itself on a plant of Astrantia -  the fine threads/strands across the pic is Fennel. I love this plant for its fine foliage and also its another to crush and smell - growing in "the hot corner" nearby is a Curry plant and this also only needs to be brushed against to get  a good whiff. Speaking of Bees it seems to be a good year for them hereabouts, Bumbles (all sizes) anyway though theres few Honeys. Thinking along the same lines brings me to Butterflys and their "special" plants, the Sedum spectabiles and the Buddleias which are coming along nicely. Never grew Pennisetums and not really familiar but they sound nice. That little Phlox "chatahoochee" I did actually grow along with others similar in a previous garden -  still have a similar Phlox now  growing in the raised bed I made up for small Alpines. That full name really is a whopper but my favourites I have are Scopolia carniolica hladnikiana and Ophiopogon Planiscapus nigrescens. I am thinking of adding to recent comment re plants lost and noting some that I had to leave behind in the two moves I have made over the 58 yrs - they will be known to you and others but anything to stimulate conversation.   Verdun. Ref your love ( and knowledge) of grasses I note the Helictotrichon and the Festucas you mention and have grown these but the first always ( in my plot) seemed to be untidy and never came up to the blue that it was said to have - no doubt at all it was my fault ( as it usually is ours if something goes wrong with plants) - the Festucas always seemed to be full of Ants nests so I gave up on them - I did mention I have had dry and even drier now areas all the way along my gardening days. Ref the Carex pendula ( if I have it right) it is a big coarse thing but ideally suited, along with the large clumps of Rhubarb ( love that beefy foliage and red stems)  for growing on that "woodsy" strip of land next the woods I use - it is now mainly these sort of things plus  a mix of shrubs including three Rhodos which I moved from that shambles of a front garden before shingling  and some trees , fruit and ornamental.  Have to say though that it looks pretty good and natural and I give the grass just a rough mow now and then. The shrubs I mention here are just the average "toughies" but there is a couple of my favourite Hypericum Hidcotes - they just never seem to stop flowering all summer.

Hi Salino - Verdun. Forgot to mention ref the Fennel. Important to remove the dead flower heads before the plant gets the chance to set and scatter seeds - they get everywhere. I forgot last year and have masses of them all over the place. No problem pulling them out since its only a thing tap root but must remember this year -  potential Fennel growers (if any) pse note this. Ref the Slugs and Snails thing I grew Veratrums in my first plot and seem to remember they were also a number one target for them.

Hi. A bit early this but lest I forget. Ten minutes ago, clear blue sky and a Cuckoo ( first for me this year) flew right overhead quite low calling as it flew - unfortunately did not have a camera in my hand but a water can - a missed chance there for sure. Secondly was surprised and delighted to see we have Glow Worms ( or something very similar in our front garden - just 2 or 3 can clearly be see in the shingle over the area. I went with a torch to see what they were but having never seen one of these things can only say it looked like a rather larger and stouter Woodlice. Will look it up on Wikipedia.

Hi again. Seems abouit right - Glowworms they are - apparently what we are seeing is wingless females shing their lights to attract a boy friend. The males have no "glow" ( but probably very good vision ahem).


Keen 1... I have to go to work today so will get back to you later...after I've checked what Scopolia's are....

Verdun... yes I still think it must be a Festuca, it has that look to it.. will post photo later..


till then...


Keen, telling jokes is my department.  It's the way I tell 'em!

That carex pendula will spread by runners and so beware.  Two-edged sword, festucas need dry soil to look at their best but ants thrive here too.  Ant powder mixed into the soil will rectify but just an added poison?


Hi Salino . Ref the hard landscaping heres a pic showing driveway and containerised plants plus the 2 clipped yellow conifers I mentioned. Also one of that new still not quite completed but planted (recently) with a variety of Alpines including Silene, Saxifrage ( mostly) etc. In this pic can be seen my Runner bean plants growing up the strings - the idea is  for the bean crop, screen that end of the sitting out area a little and to provide shade for that r



aised bed in hottest part of day. Seems to be successful so will make it a regular feature.


...lovely bit of landscaping Keen... and the raised bed.. love it...and such a nice backdrop... must go...

Hi all. A bit of contrast to all these hefty Hosta pics I have sent -  heres a dwarf Silene alpina - 3 inches across - 1 in high - flowers about quarter inch



Hi Verdun. So sorry I did not spot your comment re Carex pendula. It is for sure a hefty beast but where it is  planted right over against the woods does not matter - t'will hurt now't there, just does not matter. I will certainly leave the jokes to you, mine always are not understood or they fall flat on their faces. Hows your day going, very hot here and they water butts are getting very low - panic stations soon at this rate.

Hi all. A couple more "tinys" - about the same dimensions as the Silene. These are a Pink and a S




Hi Verdun. Forgot to mention I have found my plant lists which go back to 1957 though not up to date with later plants here which hopefully I can remember. I say this because I wondered if it would be of interest to have a natter about  some of our past favourites as well as present ones.

Yes it would be interesting

Extremely hot today.  Relaxing in cool roomabut not watching tennis.  Love Murray to win though


Hello Keen,

Re. your earlier post today - a very early one, you obviously go to bed late... well, it was a very nice photo you posted...I've not grown Fennel nor Astrantia's... Curry plants are quite popular aren't they...?  for me, as long as they are in other people's gardens.. that's fine...'s not a smell I care for too much...

I've looked up Scopolia... not heard of these before.. quite a nice little plant for Spring it seems... not one you see everywhere..

Carex pendula is one grass that I do not like... I find it coarse and weedy looking... Hypericum Hidcote I used to grow... it's still very popular.. my neighbour has one so I see it every day...

I take no notice of Ants nests... let them get on with it... I rarely find they trouble me at all out of doors... indoors that's another matter... I saddens me in a way when I see people throwing ant powder over the nests... especially on their driveways.. but none of my business...

..nice plants in the shingle.. the pink and saxifrage... I like rounded little plants like this, I grow the same sorts of things in mine...I'm very fond of shingle beds actually...

..perhaps I should look out for Glow Worms too...I can't say that I've ever seen any, knowingly...

I only started gardening in the mid 1980's... I think my first inspiration was the little rose book by Dr Hessayon.. he wrote lots of these on various types of plants...I got interested in so many roses mentioned... but they were modern hybrid teas or floribundas... I rarely grow these now... but they still have a place, and I hold one or two affectionately... but we tend to move on as our interests favourites then were Korresia , Silver Jubilee and Frensham [a gorgeous dark red]... still available, and still good...

then I went to Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire, a National Trust garden, full of old roses and species, and my taste changed overnight...

bi for now,..


...Verdun,... here are two images of the grass I mentioned earlier... I do think it's Festuca but surely not Elijah Blue...

 close up of the flower heads..

 ..I love it's graceful nature.... any ideas...?


Evening Salino.   Doesn't look much like festuca does it...sure its not Elijah Blue. ,yours has much coarser flowers too.  I grew a grass,called Koeleria glauca years back ...wonder if that is what you,have.  Festucas have fine slim more,glaucous/buff flowers,dont they?  Have a look ...let us know



hi Verdun, thanks for your reply... I've looked at that Koeleria.. quite a nice looking plant isn't it?, but I don't think it's the same as mine...

what I have found on a couple of sites are photos almost exactly like my plant, and labelled Festuca ovina var. Glauca [Sheep's fescue]... but these are most likely seed raised and not the cultivar known as Elijah blue...

I think I have been sold a seed raised Festuca ovina.... well. I'm going to keep it as I like it very I'm not disappointed... providing it doesn't seed itself about, that's what I don't want... we shall see... I've not had it that long... thanks again for your time...


Hi Salino - Verdun. I know very little of Grasses but referring to Salinos pic I did have a couple of plants bought as Festuca ovina glauca and they were more as Verdun described it - quite blue foliage and uprigh buff flrs - that might help.

Hi Salino -  Verdun - all.  Ref that raised bed it is quite fiercely drained having a goodly amount of small  (limefree) gravel in it and in the planting holes/soil - the surface layer is (presumably) going to prevent "collar rot" in winter etc - I may well devise some cover or other to further protect from this damp.    Ref looking back to plants once grown I will if OK comment on a few at a time here and there.   Please remember these are years old memories and as I found them - others experiences with them if grown may well have been different - from there comes conversation and interest - by telling of it. Great favourites of mine were the tall Thalictrums - dipterocarpum  and its var Hewetts Double.  Extremely slender plants with fine foliage thin stems with the most dainty violet and cream flrs with as I recall a ring of petals and a tuft of stamens (?) in the centre - that was dipterocarpum - Hewetts double had fully double flowers mostly mauve I think. The whole plants very graceful but needed to be planted in a windfree spot since  being so slender they could easily be blown into a tangle which spoilt them. Next a little gem and not easy to come by then, do not know the situation now. Called Arnebia echioides - The Prophets Flower. Cannot remember too much about it except that again dainty with yellow 5 petalled flowers,  each petal with a black spot at its base which soon faded one flowers unfurled. Called The Prophets Flower due to it  having been touched by one of the Prophets - theres more to that story but memory fails me - look it up perhaps. The Japanese anemones pink and white I loved and allowed them to wander in  the borders where planted - the single white was my favourite -  I was still growing these in my last garden nr Colchester - could be tricky to get started since roots were pencil like with few fibrous ones  but once established you had them for ever all things being equal etc. When I spoke of that raised bed under the South wall in which the Ostrowskia was attempted I also had a go at Sternbergias  - I found these  a bit difficult with mixed result - seem to remember the foliage appeared in Spring and the flowers in Autumn. Not sure now but I believe I read that the "standard" ones were rated more difficult than another ( again the name fails me) variety which flowered more readily. The right of that raised area in level ground I planted a Crinum and had years of pleasure from it. A large brandy bottle shaped bulb as I recall which over years steadily got bigger and bigger. Needed winter protection but remember this was under a South wall - in late Autumn I folded its stout foliage back over it,  put a cover of plastic round its front  and filled  this with straw/whatever. Enough for now but again please remember that these are "off the top of the head" recollections from a now elderly person so forgive please any errors - intended for interest and conversation.  Any of the plants can be read of fully in the books written by the experts if further info is wanted should you think you also may like them. Regards.

 Hi all. Just a pic. I always allow a few of these self sown Poppies to stay. Last year they were the mauve coloured doubles/semi doubles. Red singles so far this year. Spotted this Wasp of some kind and thought it would make a nice pic.