Over the garden wall - warning BIG pictures

flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)May 28, 2010

The sun was out so I took my camera along on my walk to work today. You can see some of the kinds of things in bloom around here at the moment including some of our common self sowers.


Weigela and Euphorbia cyparissias

Self sown Campanula portenschlagiana

Self sown Centranthus ruber

Self sown Erigeron karvinskianus

Self sown Corydalis lutea


Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' and red horse chestnut

The grand finale: Rosa, lilac and weigela

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Clap Clap Clap! I think that deserves a standing ovation Flora!!!
I LOVE plants that grow in 'inhospitable" places such as cracks and crevisis. I love that little daisy fleabane. I have some. There are things here I wonder if I could grow.
That giant wigelia is amazing. GLORIOUS!!!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Beautiful! I especially loved the campanula p. Self sows for you, huh? And your finale is to die for! I loved all of the pictures. Thank you for taking the time to post them. Big is just better, by the way.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:17PM
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Wow! Wow! Wow wow wow wow wow!

I, too, loved the campanula. Amazing beauty from all the pictures. Those are some mature plants!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:31PM
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flora, I'm not just in awe of the plants there, but I'm also admiring those lovely old stone walls. Beautiful. You should post more photos of your village.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:01PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

wow, that's amazing. I can't get over the campanula just growing out of the wall like that. I wish they were easier to grow where I am.

The lilac and ceanothus are marvelous, too.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 2:28PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I have wated a Ceanothus ever since I first encountered one at Sissinghurst many years ago. I was most unhappy that it was not hardy where we live! Such a fabulous color...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:44PM
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Simply Stunning! I love all the gorgeous old stonework as well. That campanula is out of this world. Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:20PM
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Love, love, love seeing those European gardens...and the self-sowing gardens, too.

Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:37PM
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Lovely, indeed!
I have tried to get Tamarisk to grow here. I love it. Its fragrance is heavenly. (I can recall the branches being used for switches! Stings forever.)

It grows here. Has escaped into the wilds and grows along the river banks. Is listed as an invasive plant now in the Southwestern part of the U.S. It's a shame really. When we lived in the desert, that was about the only trees we had for shade! But it is replacing and crowing out the native plants and trees there and that isn't good.

Very lovely. Your photos demonstrate a wonderful definition of the beauty and form of Garden Walls.

Thank you for sharing them with us.

So...what's on the inside of those alluring garden walls?


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:45PM
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Such lovely plants in a wonderful setting - I love the old stone walls. I couldn't possibly choose a fav from these as they are all so pretty. Thanks for the visual treat!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 6:21PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Absolutely beautiful! I do have a favorite picture though, and that's
the self sown campanula. Looks like it's growing in the cracks of
the bricks. Amazing how it is growing like that.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:27PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Wow, the pictures are stunning. I would love to see all this on taking a walk. I can't get over how many of these things are growing out of concrete. Don't know how you do it but it looks great.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:01PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Oooooh. I have never seen a ceanothus like that, and I live in CA.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:39AM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

What a lovely walk to work you have! I've been to the UK many times and always admired what a nation of gardeners they are.

The campanula p is exceptionally beautiful.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:14AM
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I love the natural look of these self-sowers! Now, if I just had some of those stone walls...............

Thank you for doing this for all of us.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:15AM
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What is the vine in the second picture? You all have such a knack for garden design, it's just amazing!

Not sure what part of the UK you're from, but I've always wondered why Americans don't design with flowers the way England does.

Darn those Pilgrims for not doing the same thing here! LOL

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:22AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Well thank you everyone for your kind comments. Believe me, I do appreciate living where I do. Every day when I walk to work there is something to see.

Now a few words of explanation. Ianna asks for more photos of my village - well, I have to tell you I live in a city of over 80,000 people but we are incredibly lucky that it is a very beautiful and historic city.

Sweetannie4u wants to know what is behind the walls? People's gardens! The street runs along a steep hillside so the houses on one side are up above the road and need high retaining walls to stop them ending up in the valley bottom. The road itself is a bit of a rat run, but I try to ignore the traffic and concentrate on the scenery.

newyorkrita - we don't do it! The wall growers do it themselves! They are all ones which spread by windborn seed and they literally plant themselves. I have actually tried to sow C portenschlagiana in my garden and have failed. Earlier in the year Aubretia is also a common sight in these old walls. Because of their age the mortar is crumbly and allows seeds to settle and germinate.

So thanks again for your enthusiasm. I'll have to think of another theme in a while.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:22AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Sorry oakleyyok - I'm not sure what vine you mean. I can't see a vine in the second photo. There's a stray strand of Clematis armandii in pic 3 - is that what you meant? I don't think any of these gardens have really been 'designed'. All the plants are common over here and have just been planted and left alone. Because of the climate our gardens are generally fairly long term and we only need to plant new stuff each year if we want to fill gaps or make changes. Also most people have very little space so every inch is crammed in most gardens. And I get a feeling that maybe we are a bit more relaxed(or lazy) about letting plants do their thing rather than controlling them. I often see a plant referred to as 'invasive' or 'out of control' and when I see the pictures I just think it's spreading attractively according to its nature. Oh, and GREEN, GREEN, GREEN. Not blobs of odd colours but a bit of colour and lots of green. But again that just reflects our landscape and is not hard to achieve in a wet climate.

Green garden on a wet May morning.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:20AM
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Flora- I just love your pictures!! They are all so very pretty! My favorite would be the 3rd for sure, just love everything about the picture! Then the photo above so pretty all the green.

I believe what they mean by invasive here is that nonnative plants choke out the native plants in the area. Even though it does look pretty it harms other plant species and the bugs and animals that did them to live.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:54AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh dear-envy does not begin to describe how I feel about your daily commute-teehee. So extraordinarily lovely. Thanks for sharing-I am thinking of printing the series and posting on my dashboard as a calming strategy.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Flora, I KNEW there were gardens behind those walls. That was my subtle hint that I wanted to see the gardens behind the walls.

My favorite image is by far the last one - the GREEN GREEN GREEN! Most of my garden is filled with greens of various shades and hues and different textures. I love it. It is so cooling and offers the best backdrop for my flowers.

My mother's roots are mainly in Devonshire and other southwestern shires, but some were in Yorkshire, as well. Mother's family continued their love for those gardening traditions, handing it down daughter to daughter. It is that heritage which I cherish the most. Hence, I love the lost art of Cottage Gardening. It is difficult to recreate here in Oklahoma due to the climate. I cannot grow the gardens they grew in the cool, foggy shelter of their canyon homes in Southern California, but I do try, nevertheless.

Thank you for the tour.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 4:13PM
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Flora,How beautiful,if i could see that view every day,i'd get out and walk more,just so i could always see the changes!! I think my favorite is also the campanula as well,but all of them are exquisite.TFS

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 4:46PM
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Here is a view of one of my green garden areas:

Not the lush gardens of the UK, but pretty lush for Prairie country in Oklahoma, USA.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 5:14PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

sweetannie - I think your green garden is lovely and it must be so much more effort for you to get those results where the climate is against you.

I can't show what is behind all the walls I'm afraid, simply because they ARE behind walls. I have no idea what they look like. The last pic is my own tiny garden so that's the only one I can photograph for you.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:08PM
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Yes, I realized those are private gardens. The loveliness makes one want to peek over those walls to see what is beyond. Yours is so lovely. Cool, lush and refreshing. Reminds me so much of my Grannie's gardens back home.

I didn't mean to sound cheeky with you about not having posted in WoodyOak's topic. I just hoped you would and was disappointed to see that you hadn't...yet.

Thank you for your response to my little cottage garden. Right now it is over 90 degrees out there and cloudy, like it is along our Gulf Coast, so the humidity level is high as well. Sultry, steamy. The weather here is always one kind of extreme or another. Few days that are perfectly lovely and enjoyable. I had to re-learn how to garden when I moved here to Oklahoma. However, I can grow the hot climate plants here that I couldn't back home as long as they are hardy or I keep them in the greenhouse in winter, so it is a trade off for what I can grow here.

I like the greens of a garden too. In the spring, there is little to be found in the region that is green after the winter kill back, so the abundance of colorful flowers is so welcome after a cold, dreary winter. When the weather begins to really warm and the greens appear, and I enjoy the coolness in the various hues of green. The colorful flowers are just dotted throughout my gardens and not the dominant features as they were in Spring.
We have two kinds of soil here - red clay and reddish sandy loam. The red is caused by the iron in the soil that rusted, basically. It was the Iron Oxide in everything here that gave Oklahoma its name - The Red Earth.

Most of our rivers run that same terra cotta color too. Only the little farm creeks out in the countryside run clear, the exception being our white water rivers in the eastern part of the state. They are cold clear water rivers and even have trout.

I am very happy to have the sandy loam here on our place, but it dries out too fast in our heat, so it is a constant battle to keep things alive and flourishing.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 4:37PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Flora, those photos are gorgeous! AND you answered a question!! I was just away for a week and saw tons of Tamarisk (just out of bloom) and for the life of me I could not put my name on what it was. I tried it in my garden but it never did well. I'm drooling over your Ceanothus too! Just like Woodyoak I fell in love with it at Sissinghurst! And the Campanula is phenemonal in those cracks. Also after seeing that in England I tried to plant it in cracks in my garden walls, but it never thrived and all eventually died.

Love, Love, Love your garden!! Beautiful!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 6:20PM
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I love love love those pics also..specially the campanula p. I love the gate..the wall...the colors....magazine perfect!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:34PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Oh my, what beauty! I had volunteer snapdragons pop up in my breezeway between concrete and foundation of garage last year. The previous owner had some type of caulking down and there had to be so little soil there but whatever..the seeds caught and grew. Now after looking at these pictures, I don't wonder anymore. Everybody's favorite and mine seems to be the purple campanulas..they almost look like our emerald blue creeping phlox. Some of those look like our monarda varieties that we have in our USA. Is that lilac really blue like it appears on my monitor? Spectacular and thanks for sharing with us. Would love to see more..what about container plants?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:30AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

pippi21 - the ceanothus is blue. The lilac is lilac. By the way is anyone having trouble posting pics today? I've just tried on a couple of different GW forums and the html code from photobucket refused to paste.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:15PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Simply stunning!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 12:49AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Believe me my walk to work doesn't look like that at the moment! It's grey, drizzly and chilly out there today. But I'm starting to see some snowdrops, and for shrubs there's Mahonia, Winter honeysuckle and heathers in bloom.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 4:08AM
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Warning not necessary, Oh, the bigger the better. I love all of them, especially the one of the gate. You made my day! Cheryl

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:58AM
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