Thursday, 27 August 2020

Not The Device Mansion Gardens: The Sequel

 Yesterday saw a return to the Old Vicarage Gardens in East Ruston. But this time, instead of going on my own to spend as much time as I liked there in peace and quiet, I reluctantly agreed to go with my sister, Inexcuseable, and three year old nephew, Count Podgkinson.
 Needless to say, much of the visit passed by in a blur - which wasn't as bad as it seemed as most of the gardens had obviously had their day and were looking a bit tired.  However, I did manage to get some snaps of a handful of unusual or distinctive flowers.

These are seed heads from some sort of ghastly lily, I think?

A feathery, clockwise-curving fern

Some decorative grass (that Jon will detest! - to be fair, it's just bird seed as I've got some growing under the bird table in the Mansion gardens)

Some pale and common-looking Eucomis - not a patch on my "Sparkling Burgandies"!

 I took the photo of the semi-circular steps above because they reminded me of the steps (or was there just one?  I can't remember) leading down to the paysho at Castle DeVice (from when SP was still corporeal).
 However, I've just found an old photo with a partial view of the step/s - and a Moom!! - and our paysho steps aren't as glamorous and grand as I remembered.  How disappointing...

Oh, well.  On with the show:
A waterlily (well, duh!)

A miniature rock garden

I don't know what this is but it's certainly very striking!

I'm not a fan of dahlias, but this one is stunning!

 As we were leaving, I thought to revisit some of my steps from last September's visit to try and identify some of the plants I've grown from the seeds I nabbed back then.  As yesterday's visit was a month earlier in the year than 2019's visit, I hoped that the plants might be in flower, and thus readily identifiable - and they were, kind of.
 Above is Indian pokeweed (I think?) - the seeds that I took didn't germinate, though.  Below are the Crinum (or similar) from which I obtained that bum-shaped seed.

 And these stringy-looking leaves below are a type of bulb that the completely "Unknown" (number 9 on the list in last year's post) came from.  There were one or two dead flower stems sticking up amongst some other plants that helped me match it up to the seeds that I took.  I'm still none the wiser as to what type of bulb it is, but it's something.

Below is the resulting plant from one of the Crinum seeds, and the grassy-looking leaves from the "Unknown" bulb in front:

 Above and below are Echiums (see here - thanks, Mitzi) - at least one of which came from a seed from the Old Vicarage Gardens (the large one below, I think?).  The others came from the Echium that languished in my shady garden earlier this year, which was grown from seeds collected from Cromer churchyard.

And this pathetic little thing below is the only Dianella caerulea seedling that survived slugs and/or snails:


 On a related note, I have a few more photos from a bike ride to Frogshall on Sunday.  This beautiful plant below is a dreaded Himalayan balsam!  I took seeds from one at the Old Vicarage Gardens last year not realising what they were, but destroyed them when I discovered their invasive nature.  And now I find out that there's one growing close to home!

The Jubilee Bridge at Frogshall has been replaced:


  1. Oh I just loved your pale and thick Eucomis! So different and stunning. Now what are the dainty little redish flowering things to the upper left of your Eucomis? I like those....and you don't like dahlias?!?!?!?!? One of my favorites. Feel free to clip them as you don't bring me flowers anymore.

    I also must add I love the brick steps and porch area? I'm very drawn to it with the fountain next to it.

    1. Those steps lead up to a terrace which overlooks the rose garden (for that is where they are situated - there's photo from the terrace in last year's post). I love all the moss, and stones, and seedlings growing in the gaps between the edge-on tiles radiating out. And I bet it smells lovely there when all the roses are out.

      It's not that I don't like dahlias, it's just that they're not a plant that I've ever chosen to grow. I like my flowers a little more understated. Mostly...
      As for those red flowers, I'm sorry, I don't know? Perhaps Jon, in his position as The Official Plant Spotter of the Device Mansion (prev. Castle DeVice et al) and its Extensive Witchdom, would know?

    2. The red flowers above left in the photo are some (rather dead-looking) Lychnis coronaria, or rose campion. The nasty purple tailed ones to the right are Acalypha hispida, the chenille plant. I'll accept PayPal for my fees. Jx

    3. Ah, thank you, Jon! I'm not sure if Maddie has a PayPal account, but I'm sure she can come up with another method of payment...

  2. Wow - there are some stunning plants here! [Although not that jumble of couch grass - you are accurate in your observation; I despise so-called "ornamental" grasses, and hate it when Monty Don or any of the Gardeners World presenters go on about them]. I love the Dahlia. And the Crinum. We do have a similar looking fern to pic #3 here in the extensive gardens at Dolores Delargo Towers - Polystichum setiferum - and we also have those "pale and common-looking Eucomis" [cheek!]. However, I would love to grow your "mystery plant" in pic #10 - it is Polygala myrtifolia grandiflora (Sweet Pea Bush) - but as it is apparently tender so needs to be brought indoors in winter, yet grows to five feet or more, it's a little impractical... Jx

    PS I always look forward to seeing your profligate seed as it spreads everywhere.

    1. Ah, yes, I recall admiring your fern while peering up your back passage not long ago!
      I'm going to go back to the gardens in late-September and see if I can nab some seeds from the Sweet Pea Bush (thank you for identifying it - I take back what I said about those Eucomis, now). After all, I shouldn't want to disappoint by not having something to show for my "profligate seed" spreading next year!

    2. In some climates Polygala can be a sodding menace!
      And if someone is asking, the purple one (first pic) is a Tibouchina, formerly Lasiandra.

    3. Thank you, Dinah! I meant to ask as I had no idea what it was.
      I read up a little about Polygala after Jon identified it, and it does seem to be a little on the invasive side elsewhere in the world. I realised yesterday (while talking to Inexcuseable) that most of the plants I like in the Old Vicarage Gardens are invasive weeds!

  3. Now that you mention it - where are the Shorts ?
    Didn't they "double" (Palingenesis ?) and there are now two ? Rimpington should have one, and I guess Princess, but I may be wrong.

    1. Well, Mago, the Original pair should still be imprisoned in a jar at Princess's place, but the cloned pair (provided by Andrea Knapp, The Queen of the Elves Herself, to Rimpy) has been in Ms Scarlet's clutches for quite some time now. Although, I fear they may have escaped and begun a breeding program...

    2. P.S. You take note of my labels/tags, Mago?! I wonder if anyone else does?

      P.P.S. There is a reason for all of them featured on this post if one looks carefully, even the FGES...

    3. The labels, but Lily's Rock Garden first of course.
      They hatched.

    4. It seems they did. And the hatchlings are spreading...

  4. *Throws picnic rug over ornamental grasses that grow on my extensive lawns* *It’s a big picnic rug*
    Meanwhile - Yes, the shorts!! Something ought to be done. My blog has turned into some sort of minor medical problem page that is slightly tooth orientated, so waving the shorts around can only improve it.

    1. Oh, Ms Scarlet, I have only just noticed a new post from you!
      Hang on... Can't let this opportunity go: "Ms Scarlet, wiz zis new post, you are reelly zpoiling uz!"

      P.S. Is the rug flight-capable? I hope it's not replaced the octopus-sucker bath-mat?

  5. I am impressed! My gardening skills are limited to potting up an Italian flat leaf parsley plant and rooting some green onions/scallions from store bought ones. We'll see how that works out. If MJ has her gardening contest, I might take some pics to share! xoxo

    1. Green fingers crossed, Savvy!

      Oh, and the 10th Annual Infomaniac Garden Photos Event, or "The Mistress's Lady Garden Event" if one listens to Mago, is being held here, on this very blog, in a couple of months!
      Perhaps it's time I put up another reminder?

    2. When she once asked, I wanted her to re-branch as "Lady Garden", but nooo ....

      Where is our loverly actually ?

    3. Well, as The Very Mistress has deferred hosting duties to me this year, perhaps I shall implement the rebranding?

      As for where she is, she was here just over a week ago, but I'm pretty sure I saw her at yours (and Jon's?) only a couple of days or so ago?

    4. Ahem. I'm here, you know.

      Do as you please! The event is your capable hands.

    5. Yikes! Shhhhh! Everyone stop talking about The Very Mistress!

  6. If the rocks are small enough surely the garden becomes a gravel garden, and bang, suddenly you have a zen garden with not a thing growing.

    1. Ah, hah hah haa! Of course! Miniature rocks, indeed...


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