Lavender Pond Nature Reserve, SE16 5DZ

‘…Lavender Pond Nature Park was created in 1981 by LB Southwark in conjunction with the Trust for Urban Ecology and Landuse Consultants Ltd. It was once in the northern part of the Surrey Commercial Docks established in 1864 [and] finally closed in 1969. Nearby are remnants of the earlier industrial use, the Lavender Lock built in 1863 to serve a timber pond that belonged to the Surrey Docks, and the Pump House, built by Port of London Authority in 1928/9 over the channel through to the Thames…’. (London Gardens Online

Libertia Grandiflora

The Libertia Grandiflora is now in its 6th year and absolutely filled with flowers stalks which are just starting to open – I am looking forward to the display over the next few weeks, and I am sure the camera will be very busy too.

Libertia Grandiflora

Libertia Grandiflora

Libertia Grandiflora

Libertia Grandiflora

Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, Cape Town

Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens lies just behind Table Mountain in Cape Town and I wrote about the history of the Gardens on London Traveller. Here I am going to indulge myself further in enjoying the scenery and the plants.

Kirstenbosch Map

A Shady Patio Bed in London

I am finding the Patio Bed another difficult area – semi-shaded, good soil but chalky a few feet down. I was not happy with the positioning of plants last year and so I have made some changes this year, the second year.

The shady, damp border

OK, I have made decisions and the plants are in! This is roughly the plan – the number of plants is not exact, but their position is correct.
Flint Wall Border

Sloping site – first ideas

We have to tackle a blank canvas and a sloping site – and the plants need to be HARDY. The soil is normal, and there is sunshine, apart from the shade under the magnolia tree.

The site First ideas

What to plant underneath the magnolia tree? Euphorbias, Brunnera, Bergenias…

They murmured something about ‘a table and chairs for sipping wine…’ and I think either this, or a small tree, but we need some kind of focus to balance the magnolia. (I remembered this view at Pensthorpe.) And then hardy, easy care plants: Miscanthus ‘Kleine silberspinne’ and ‘Morning Light’ behind the table and chairs, with Cornus Alba ‘Elegantissima’ or Viburnum Opulus ‘Compactum’ along the barn wall on the right hand side.

And in the sunny part: Pennisetum Alpecuroides ‘Hamelm’, ‘Karley Rose’, or ‘Villosum’; Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, with Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ and Alchemilla spilling over the edges and attracting the bees.

And for height should we squeeze in Anemone ‘Hadspens Abundance’, Verbena Bonariensis? Or are Rudbeckia and Gaillardia better colours?

 

The Cycad Collection, Durban Botanical Gardens

The wonderfully peaceful and green oasis of the Durban Botanical Gardens lies between the City of Durban and the hills of the Berea and is the oldest Botanical Gardens in Durban, founded in 1849, and modelled on the Gardens in Cape Town. The Cycad Collection is apparently the rarest in the world and has been built up since the gardens were started. 

Last tidyup before Spring

It was a mild day in Suffolk, and not raining so I had a chance to tidy up in the garden – a task I had not anticipated doing until March!

The back garden
The back garden

I cleared Japanese Anemones off the paving and cut down the sedums – both are on the compost heap now. And although it is winter there are lots of colourful treats if you look carefully.

Cornus Alba 'Elegantissima'
Cornus Alba ‘Elegantissima’
Cornus Flaviramea
Cornus Flaviramea

And in the front garden I pruned the roses, cut the Verbena Bonariensis to the ground, and cut down the clematis – all were growing. Was this wise? Well, the deed is done and they have to make the best of it! And early treats are close to the ground.

Iris Lazula
Iris Lazula

Primroses

Primroses

 

We need cold weather!

The garden in Suffolk is not going to sleep – we need cold weather!

Iris Lazula
Iris Lazula

One of the clematis, ”Prince Charles’, is sending out new growth, the Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ are starting to grow, and the primroses are flowering – what should I do?

Even ‘William Shakespeare’ is still flowering.

'William Shakespeare'
‘William Shakespeare’