Gardens in the land of rain, Shakespeare, and Happy Potter

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Just came back from a 2-week trip to the UK. Because of the mild climate and long daylight during the summer time, gardens in the UK were still lush and full of flowers, which made me rather jealous.

Here are some pics from my trip. I will add more later when I get the photos organized.




Edit to note that I wish I could edit the title of this thread, LOL!






This message was edited Sep 2, 2015 4:14 AM

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

These photos were taken in my neighborhood. It is a neat and very green place. Every house has a garden, although my garden is just a collection of weeds because we hardly spend time there. You can see where my name came from though :o).

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I got invited by 2 neighbors to tour their gardens. One neighbor, Terry, is a retired geologiest. He bought the house for its garden potential. Here is the result of his labor after only about 3 - 4 years.

I am having a hard time getting photos to my work PC by email. I will post more when I get back to my home PC.

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Frederick, MD

Awesome. Yeah, I have been to England several times and my son is stationed over there now. Imagine what a passionate gardener can do over there with all that rain and mild temps.

And people ask me why I'm considering retiring some day to the Pac Northwest. One man's rain and clouds is another man's happiness.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Really nice!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Exactly, CAM, with regard to rain. As a gardener, I don't mind it at all. The "woodland" part of my garden is all but dried up now. The ferns are all brown :-(. I hope they are only dormant :o(.

In England, plants seem to stay blooming a lot longer. I even saw Jacob's Ladder and Geum still in bloom. These 2 plants bloom in my garden only in early summer.

Terri, I saw a perfect plant for your pond :o). It is the Gunnera manicata (photo below). This enormous plant needs a lot of water. I have only seen it planted near water or in soggy woodland.

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Here are some plants that I had never seen before.

1. This is a small shrub. My neighbor told me it is called Hebe.
2. Took the photo of this pretty little plant, not knowing what it was. Later I saw it on a TV program. It is a Chinese Mountain Rue.
3. Isn't this a yellow Salvia? Pink and red Salvias self-seed in my garden each year. Hummers love the red ones. Never saw a yellow one before. Maybe it is available in nurseries here?
4. It looks like an ornamental grass of some sort, but the flowers are very pretty.
5. Close up of flowers of #4.

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Wow, so glad you got to go! Thanks for sharing these great pictures. It looks like the ' Land of Eternal June', there!
That last group is all new to me, very interesting and pretty.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Sally, I've seen that Gunnera manicata in a magazine article before, and had always thought that it would look great down at the creek. Thanks for posting it and the reminder of what a cool plant that is. I need to find a source that sells it and put it on the list for next season.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Terri, I really wanted this plant and found a seller in California several years back, but then decided to let go of the idea because I could not possibly keep up with watering this thirsty monster, hehe.

It is such a dramatic plant!! I am looking forward to seeing one in your garden :o).

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

More plants from England.

1. My neighbor told me the name of this plant, but I don't remember it now. Does anybody recognize it?
2. This plant grows up to 5' - 6' tall, a bit like a Rudbeckia on steroids.
3. A gardener there told me this is a Chilean Glory Vine. If I can find the seeds I collected, we will all have it next year for hummingbirds :-).
4. Didn't know Euphorbia could grow to 6' tall.
5. A TV program said the best plants for dry shades are Sweet Woodruff, hardy Geranium, and Cyclamen. Sure enough, saw Cyclamens under big trees.

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

A few more gardens.

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Frederick, MD

Gorgeous ! And the grass is green and lush too.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

English gardens sure do have a certain look that is different than American gardens. Do you think it is mostly the climate or do you think it is a completely different design style? Whatever it is, English gardens are really beautiful.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Donner, such beautiful pictures!

English gardens sure are gorgeous.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Beautiful photos; thanks for sharing. I never knew you had a house in England, and I did wonder how you picked the name Donnerville!

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Thanks for sharing from across the pond. Lovely, lovely, lovely!!!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Not sure how and when the gardening tradition got started in the UK, but it is truly a nation of flower lovers. Their mild climate has rewarded them with lush gardens. In style, English gardens are cottage gardens with that effortless casual look, although some large gardens and homes have areas that have been planted into formal Italian gardens. Of course cottage gardens are only casual in looks. There is a lot of design and plant knowledge in making them. I tried that casual look by sticking plant in spots where I could find soil, and the result was a total mess, LOL.

It seems to be a given that every house grows flowers no matter how small the gardens are. My mother-in-law is living in a neighborhood of tiny little cottages for seniors. She needs a walker to get around, but still manages to grow flowers. Here are pictures of her front entrance and back yard.

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Frederick, MD

I sure wouldn't call your landscaping a total mess, Donner. In fact, I liked it quite a bit !

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

British people spend a lot of money and effort on hardscaping. Most home gardens have some paved areas. I am not sure if paving is inexpensive there or if people just do it no matter what.

My neighbor Terry took classes to learn how to lay bricks and how to do wood work. Here are more photos of his garden.

1. He hired people to do the walls and he did the steps himself.
2. The bridge over the creek was old so he replaced the railings.
3&4. He built a fake gate by the fence. To give the illusion of depth, the little arbor is slightly wider and taller in the front. By the way, can you imagine growing shrubs and perennial in little pots in our area?
5. More of his own handy work.

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Frederick, MD

Beautiful gardens, he did a great job !

Yeah, can you imagine having that many potted plants around here ? You would spend half your life watering them. Right, Gita ? :)

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Also their fine grass. It would be scorched to death 2 hours after sunrise in our area.

Here are some photos from another neighbor, Celia. She was all apologetic because the garden is only 2 years old, and it is still work in progress.

Please forgive the photo quality. They were taken with a tablet.

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

More of Celia's garden.

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--WOW!!! WOW!!!! That is all i can say~!

Nothing seems "casual" in these gardens. They all seem planned and planted
just like the owner wanted to.
The stone walls and walkways--right where you would expect them to be.
Just SO....

BUT--when you think of the English people, they are so proper and polite--
no wonder the gardens seem the same....

Great pictures! So pristine! Colors,,,just "SO:....I am totally jealous...

Gita

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Just beautiful, Sally.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Good for your MIL to keep gardening even with a walker.

The pics are beautiful!!!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Some big houses have walled gardens which are literally gardens inside brick walls. They used to be vegetable gardens. I guess that walls were used to keep sheep and probably hungry villagers out.. Now they have mostly been converted to flower gardens. Herbaceous borders are built along the walls, not very good for photo composition but sure great for gardeners to look at plants. There are just so many of them!!!

Speaking of looking at plants, it would be so much fun if we could tour English gardens together one of these days. Anybody likes the idea?

This group of photos was taken in the walled garden at Coughton Court. One side of the yard had a “hot garden” and the other side “cool garden”. Here are photos of the “hot garden”.



This message was edited Sep 4, 2015 2:30 PM

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Here are photos of the "cool garden".

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally--
Are the blue plants Russian sage?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

that is all just so beautiful.
Yep, you pick the dates, Mark and I will come.

Frederick, MD

I'll be in England next Spring while my son is still stationed at RAF Mildenhall. You are about as far from the Air Force base as you can be and still be in England.

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita, yes. The blue plants are Russian Sage.

CAM, when next spring? Chelsea Flower Show is in May. I would love to go there one of these days with our garden friends in the group. Sally? :o)

I have never been to Mildenhall. It seems to be very close to or in the region called East Anglia, the only region in the UK that's flat. It makes sense not to have an air base in hilly areas :o). An area called Constable Country is just south of Mildenhall. That's where the famous painter John Constable use to paint. It is a very pretty area (you can google his paintings) and worth seeing if you have time. I planned to go there, but was twice stopped by rain :o(

Frederick, MD

Haven't set a firm date, Sally, but May would probably be perfect. Hard to get vacation time from my job once the schools let out. May in England is probably awesome. I might skip up to Scotland and over to Ireland too, make a real trip out of it.

Yes, I've been to both RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath (they are situated very close together) and it's quite flat there. And hahah, yeah, hard to build a runway on a hill, but it can be done. Just takes a lot of C-4 explosives to turn a hill into a runway. ;)

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Those are stunning pics!!!!!

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

WOW WOW WOW is right! Such beautiful pictures. No wonder they are always having trips to tour English Gardens. Donner thanks so much for posting these and I will be looking forward to more of them.
Aspenhill, Ric and I were looking at a lot of Gunnera on our Alaskan Trip. I had seen them before and had some interest in buying a few but forgotten about them. We were talking about getting a couple of bulbs for next Spring. Maybe we could go together for an order.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Wonderful, Donner! What a lovely trip!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Wow Donner, all those pictures are quite lovely. Celia's garden makes mine look like scrub on the side of the highway.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I still like the title with the HAPPY POTTER. I'd sure be a happy potter over there!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I would be a happier potter if we had some rain :o(.

Speaking of rain, my visits to gardens in England were occasionally hindered by rain. The most regrettable was my trip to Belton House which was the filming location of Rosings, Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s residence, in BBC’s 1995 mini series of Pride and Prejudice. We had another engagement in the morning so we didn’t get to Belton until early afternoon. The sun was high and the place was crowded. So we decided to tour the house first.

After the house, we went out to the garden. The heavens opened literally 1 minute after I took the first photo of the garden. We had tea and waited till near the closing time, but the rain didn’t stop. So we bought an umbrella at the gift shop and walked around the Italian garden in rain to snap a few photos. There was so much to see beyond the Italian garden. I must go back one of these days.

1. Taken from inside the house through the window. It was still sunny.
2. The only photo taken before rain came. In BBC’s mini series, Darcy ran up these steps after being rejected by Elizabeth.
3. You can see an umbrella at the door of the green house. Guess I wasn’t the only die-hard gardener there.
4. At least no more tourists in my way.
5. The rain stopped 15 minutes after we left the place :o(.

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Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)


1. Wisteria blooming this time of year?
2. Trimming the hedge.

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