Friday 13 November 2020

GPE #11 : IDV Brings Up The Rear

 Welcome to the eleventh and final garden of the

10th Anniversary  I N F O M A N I A C  Garden Photos Event

And the garden is mine!

 But before we get going, I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent in some sort of greenfingered or thumbed photos - you made this year's Garden Photos Event a success!  And thank you also to all those who stopped by to take a virtual wander through these globe-spanning gardens - and extra special thanks if you left a comment or two.  Finally, an especially big thank you to The Very Mistress, for without her there would not be a Garden Photos Event, and also for allowing me to be the first Infomaniac Bitch to host this prestigious event.

 Right.  That's the niceties out of the way, the gates to Hexenhäusli Device's garden are open!


We begin with the main garden and a selection of photos from spring and summer:

April: Other than the daffodils (and my big cock pheasant), there's not a lot going on

May: White tulips and the red greenhouse

July: Upon entering the garden from the gate, one is accosted by a dwarf buddleia that didn't get the memo about being a dwarf.
July: At the back on the left are herbs & vegetables, another "dwarf" buddleia in the near corner, snapdragons, marigolds, poppies, verbena, fuchsias, a jasmine going up the drainpipe on the far wall, and that yellow spikey thing at the back is a Ligularia przewalskii (I think)

July: The paysho with sweet peas and my prized Eucomis "Sparkling Burgandy"s behind the chair

July: View from the top


The next batch of photos are of my little shady garden behind the garage:

April: On the left are astilbe, foxgloves, ferns, new hosta shoots, and aquilegia - those triangular leaves at the back are persicaria.  The tall, lance-like leaved plant is a small Giant Viper's Bugloss (i.e. Echium) in totally the wrong place (not enough sun).  And on the right are various succulents and seedlings, with my young leaved Paperbush (Edgeworthia papyrifea/chrysantha - thank you, Jon)

June: Same as April, but more so, and now including Rodgersia sambucifolia (with the horse chestnut-like leaves and pannicle of small white flowers) at the back left, purple toadflax in the foreground, and Himalayan honeysuckle shooting up on the right

July: Getting a bit full

August: That's an Asarina "Red Dragon" trailing down from the shelf on the left (there are some flowers trailing over the table), and bamboo, spiderplants, and an unhappy magnolia on the right next to those willow logs

August: Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb) in the pot on the paving slab on the left


November (yesterday morning, in fact): The view from my office/work room window.
The front of Hexenhäusli Device is pretty much as it was when we moved in (as I tend not to use the front door, so I forget there's a garden of sorts out there).  I did, however, pull up the straggly Euonymus and replaced them with Skimmias, added the cyclamen, and rolled my eyes at the pheasants


Here are some choice specimens - although not necessarily my favourites:

Climbing rose (which smells heavenly), Giant Viper's Bugloss (Echium), Foxglove, and Ligularia

Another heavenly-smelling rose - this time a shrub rose

Eucomis "Sparkling Burgandy" - AKA Pineapple Lily


And, last but not least, my "triffids" - all October blooms from the allotment:



Nasturtium (and guests)

Evening primrose


And a marigold which didn't make the cut (it wasn't scary enough)


And with that,
has drawn to a close.

Programme of Events

April 15th, 2020
The Very Mistress announces her retirement from Garden Photos Event hosting duties
and demands a successor.
April 30th
The new host - i.e. me - makes his first official address and (possibly surprising no one)
announces an additional event: a Terrifying Triffidery Exhibit.

June 27th
The first official reminder to start photographing your greenery
(if you had not already begun).
September 1st
September 27th
October 25th
October 31st
Terrifying Triffidery is unleashed!

November 1st
2020's first Garden Photos Event post features none other than The Very Mistress's Lady Garden, a brief history of the Event, and a list of previous features going back to its inception in 2011.
November 3rd
November 5th
Garden #3: Maddie, the Mistress Borghese stars in Pam Demic Gets A Prick
November 7th
November 9th
November 10th
November 12th


 Thank you to everyone who made the 2020 Garden Photos Event a success.  I loved seeing your gardens, pot plants, street furniture - even your vases of dead flowers ::cough'Petracough:: - and before you know it, it'll be time to do it all over again in 2021!  But possibly with a new host if anyone would like a crack at it.

 Now, I must go as I can hear my gardener calling...

Here he is with his big chopper.
He's the only one I allow to handle my wood.
I sometimes help him with his, too...



  1. So jealous. Creating a garden at a new build property is daunting and you've done wonders.
    Perhaps you could loan the man with the big chopper to me for next year? I would be grateful.

    1. Daunting is about right. I didn't have a plan when I moved in and I still don't. The garden has come about through pottering and trial & error, and I imagine that's how it will continue to be "seen to" for the time being.

      I might lend my woodman... If I can borrow Aidan to scythe down the mass of Alexanders/horse parsley that grows on the embankment behind my garden. A kind of hostage exchange, if you will?!

  2. Wow! Thank you for getting us all into place, neatly clipped and staked and on time.
    Must say, your new garden's coming along beautifully.

    1. The phrase "herding cats" comes to mind...

      And, thank you!

  3. Your garden is truly superb! The MITM could not believe the number of pheasants in your yard! (He's a hunter, what can I say?) xoxo

    1. Thank you, Savvy.
      I must admit, those seven are all of the Big Bronze Cock's harem, and it's not often that they're all about at the same time. There's also a smaller, older male, and a transgender male (well, I don't know if "he" has gone the whole hog, but we've watched their plumage go from mottled beige-brown (like those seven females) to the striking male colours over the year. I suspect they're still biologically female though, as the Big Cock doesn't chase them off like he does the smaller male.

  4. Wow, indeed! As we know, from digging out just a couple of beds out of the rough scrub that passed for a garden at our last place and planting and nurturing them, how much hard work and effort goes into getting things into some semblance or order when starting from scratch - and, in your case, beauty as well!

    There are some utterly stunning plants there - and so many that we can only dream of growing in our current environs (paved over, pot-grown and shaded by too many trees)...

    Much like Mitzi's new garden [and all the gardens you've featured - as well as those yet to do so (Ms Scarlet!!)], I can't wait to see how things develop over time. Roll on next year!


    PS He's going to wear his bloody chopper out at this rate.

    1. Thank you, Jon! It certainly is hard work when all the necessary things need doing and I can't really be bothered: sowing seeds and cultivating new plants early in the year so that there's something to show later; digging manure and compost into the concrete-like ground (when we moved in last year); mowing the lawns; picking up all the bloody leaves in autumn etc. etc.
      I like reading about your gardening endeavours throughout the year (particularly early spring) as it inspires me to do similar jobs!

      P.S. He has such stamina! I can watch him go at it all day long!

    2. Spring is definitely the best season for the garden - all that planning, sowing and nurturing, with inevitably rewarding results...

      Hope you've got loads of bulbs in! Seeing them all burst into bloom when it's still cold and dank does tend to act as a bit of a "kick-up-the-arse" to get us in the mood to start the process all over again.


    3. Ah, yes, I can't wait for spring! I did manage to plant a sack full of daff bulbs on the embankment, and two boxes worth around the garden and in pots. There are also some crocuses (I think they're all out the front, though), tulips, dwarf irises, and alliums.
      I might have a wander round to the garden centre tomorrow to see if they have any other bulbs going cheap that I can squeeze in somewhere...

    4. Are garden centres "essential shops" this time around? That's good news; they weren't allowed to open for ages when the last lockdown hit. If they haven't yet cleared the shelves for bloody Xmas of course, tulips are the best bet to plant in November - although, to be honest, any bulbs you can get your hands on all add to the meld. Jx

    5. Are garden centres essential?!? I'm surprised at you, Jon!
      (I think it might be only those that have outside areas? Although, what sort of garden centre doesn't have an outside area...?)

      Anyway, the one next to Hexenhäusli Device *is* open, and has a separate area for Winterval decorations (which I shall mostly ignore. Mostly...), so I'll go and have a look to see what they've got.

    6. Garden centres are of course essential to us, but it took Alan Titchmarsh to campaign before Boris and chums lifted the restriction on them earlier this year. I wasn't convinced they'd allow it this time round either. Jx

    7. I must admit, I was somewhat surprised that they're open - and very grateful!

  5. I think your right behind the Dolores Delargo Towers with such a succulent and stunning garden!!!! I ADORE cornflower!!!!!!! And I love your greenhouse too. What grows in there might I ask?

    And how safe was that flying one handed on broom to get those pictures?!?!?

    In April your big cock was all that was really needed. And I question your gardeners technique. I think my approach to handling your wood might meet to your satisfaction...along with faint whiffs of lavender.....

    Bravo everyone!!!!!!!!!
    *throws rose petals from the balcony of the Hexenhäusli Device.*

    1. High praise indeed, Mistress Maddie - thank you!

      The greenhouse was full of seedlings and salad crops in spring, tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer, and I've just moved the succulents (aeoniums, echeverias, semperviviums and aloes) in to spare them getting wet. Depending on how cold it gets, I'll probably move the pineapple lilies in for winter, too.

      My big cock is on show all year round! And it might be nice for my wood not to be pounded so hard for a change...

    2. Your big cock is on show all year round? You and Maddie do have a lot in common.

    3. I think Maddie's ways have rubbed off on me...

    4. *Passes Mr Devine a clean tissue*

  6. It's stunning! Every garden should have a big strutting cock in it. Love the dead baby's head in the foreground of the third photograph, very avant-garde.

    1. Is it a dead baby's head or a deformed mangelwurzel?

      Your garden is a living tableau. I've never seen pheasants wander into a garden up here. Do you get much action at the bird bath aside from Beaky?

    2. Dead baby's head? Oh, no... I haven't bought a house built on an ancient graveyard again, have I?

      *zooms in on photo*

      Ah. It's just the back end of a stone tortoise. Phew!

      The bird bath is used as a vantage point for one or two of the pheasants, a "stepping stone" for a squirrel from the fence to the bird table, as well as an actual bathing spot for a variety of garden birds, including Beaky!

  7. Another delight on the tour! I had no idea you has such a green thumb. I always like to stop by Madame Arcadi and Jon's back passage, but now see I am going to have to add you to the list. Thanks to Maddie for bringing me both of you. As we know, she has good taste in men. I love climbing roses and foxglove, two of my favorites. And to have pheasants?!?!?!?!?

    1. Why, thank you, Ms Goldberg-DeWolfs! Maddie is certainly a most gracious host!
      While I haven't been as prolific with the garden posts as Jon and The Madam, I imagine that, come spring, I'll start posting more than normal. And there will definitely be more roses and foxgloves. And pheasants!

  8. Thank you so much for hosting the 10th Annual Garden Photos Event, Mr. DeVice. You did a bang-up job. It was truly superb. My garden gloves are off to you.

    1. The pleasure was all mine, Very Mistress! I had such fun putting everyone's beautiful/hilarious/fascinating photos together (although it was quite hard work!). And, thank you!

  9. How do you have the energy to keep all this up? I hardly have the energy to lounge on my chaise eating chocolate truffles, drinking champagne, reading the latest Barbara Cartland novel and occasionally changing the water in the vase.

    1. To be honest, I don't know where all the energy came from? Although, I did have to put off watching Bake Off and Strictly until the Garden Photos Event was over...

      Blimey! Is the Pink Dame still churning them out from beyond the grave?!?


Tickle my fancy, why don't you?