Thursday, 18 November 2021

GPE #8 : Jon & Madam Arcati's Garden Show'n'Tell

Jon and Madam Arcati
welcome you to


D E L O R E S   D E L A R G O   T O W E R S

G A R D E N S


A Garden Photos Event feature


 Yes, it's the turn of Jon & Madam A with their ever popular efforts in the Extensive Gardens of Delores Delargo Towers.  And it starts with a star...

 

"Star of the Year": Geranium maderense - after a three-year wait, this magnificent 3ft-by-3ft gem flowered from early May to the end of June!
 

 It wasn't a great start to a gardening year - North London had heavy snow in January, followed by cold rain.

Bleak.


 As if that wasn't bad enough, we had a wicked spell of sub-zero temperatures for five days in February [when we should have been in Spain], and it stayed cold for a couple of weeks - and then the gales arrived.  March gave us a "false Spring", with record-breaking temperatures, and indeed we spent Easter repotting and potting-on just about everything.  April started out beautiful and warm - but mid month it turned really cold again, and the dire weather continued well into May.  Storms.  And storms!  And more storms.  As we headed for the end of that supposedly "summer" month, it went freezing cold again - and we had SLEET!  Our heating remained stubbornly on, it was far too dark day-upon-day, and everything in the garden was hit really hard.  Thunbergia, Ipomoeas, Cobeaea and Ricinus looked so sickly that at one stage we felt we needed to bin them.

 The single week of hot weather we had, between downpours, in June came a bit too late.  Everything was delayed by several weeks from even trying to bloom, and many plants never really got going after all the setbacks.  Apart from one searingly hot weekend in July, there wasn't enough light through the majority of summer for some plants [thanks not only to the gloomy weather, but also the encroaching weed trees that surround Dolores Delargo Towers - which took so much of any sun we did get during July and August that we couldn't even catch the rays on our skin while sat on the bench as we have in previous summers], including both our new Clematis.  Our Dahlias took ages to grow even spindly shoots, and their flowering was nothing in comparison to previous years.  The Fuchsia collection, despite all their beautiful blowsiness from May/June onwards, all got rust months earlier - and far worse - than they ever have before.

 All this sounds terribly depressing, but, as always, some "old reliables" gave us great joy:

Fuchsia "CJ Howlett" started flowering in late May and is still in full bloom now (with Hallowe'en around the corner) (Jon wrote this on 22nd October - IDV); Salvia patens "Patio Deep Blue" gave us the best and longest show ever; Pelargoniums are truly "non-stop"; and we had dozens and dozens of flowers from Hemerocallis "Crimson Pirate".
 


 Also on the "plus" side, this year (probably due to the grey, damp and mizzle) we have seen more bees, hoverflies and other weird and wonderful occupants of the undergrowth (just don't mention the slugs and snails, which have been rampant!) than ever - and here are some of the seasonal floral highlights in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers that have enticed them in...

 Spring in our garden is the season of Primroses, Pansies, Auriculas and the first unfurling of ferns, but especially of bulbs - inluding Snowdrops, Hyacinths, Ipheion, Irises, Chionodoxa, Bluebells, and these...


A beatifully gaudy display of Tulips cheers up even the gloomiest of days; Crocus tommasinianus "Ruby Giant"; Cyclamen coum; Daffodil "Tete-a-Tete".
 


 Spring into summer is usually our fave season and, despite the crap weather that befell us, we had loads of joy from the Wallflowers, Aquilegias, Thalictrum, Geraniums, Tradescantia, Forget-me-Nots, Osteospermums, Bluebells, Lily-of-the-Valley, Foxgloves, Hesperis, the first Fuchsias, our new Veronica gentianoides and:


Our new Clematis "Comtesse de Bouchaud"; another newbie, Salvia nemerosa "Rose Marvel"; one of the seventeen sprays of flowers this year on Rosa Veilchenblau; another long-flowering joy, Geranium "Rozanne".
 


 Mid-summer's the moment everything takes off, with many of the earlier blooms still going, the ferns growing huge, plus the peak time for Jasmine, Brodiaea/Triteleia, Monarda, Agastache, Asarina, our new Agapanthus, annuals such as Petunias, Ipomoea, Nicotiana, Scaevoloa, Lysimachia and Bidens [and we grew some evening primrose, but soon grubbed them out as they're too dominant and weedy], the first flush of Salvias, Verbenas, Dahlias and Begonias, and these:


A new Phlox paniculata (to go with our lovely bright pink ones) "Blue Boy"; the sumptuous Lily "On Stage"; the new Rose "Gertrude Jeckyll"; Martagon Lily "Arabian Nights".
 


 And so to "high summer" into autumn - the season when Salvias and Fuchsias (rust or no rust) reign supreme, and also perennial Lobelia, Thunbergia, Cobaea, Ipomoea "Spanish Flag", species Lily, Crocosmia, Eucomis, Verbena bonariensis and Ricinus hit their peak, and many are still blooming today...
(22nd October - IDV)

Salvia uligonosa (another plant having its best year to date); New Guinea Impatiens "Carmine Pink"; Dahlia "Bishop's Children" (manfully battling the slugs and snails); our new Salvia "Rockin' Fuchsia".
 


 All-in-all, we've had better years the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, but it's still a brilliant show, and a cut above most around here...


The garden in October 2021 - not bad, eh?

☙❧

 Thank you Jon and Madam A.  Despite everything that the British weather could throw at it, your back passage still remains a wonder of colour and spectacle!

 The next garden on our tour is that of Melanie of The Nature-Led Life and Proxima Blue fame, so pop back in a couple of days for a gander.

25 comments:

  1. The Extensive Gardens is putting it mildly! Their garden always takes my breath away, no easy feet for me when I'm in a upright position. And there back passage is always a wonderment and delight! Bravo boys!

    *stands on the balcony of the DeVice Chateau raining down roses on them*

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    1. I'm drowning in roses!

      You'll have to pop across the pond for a guided tour, Maddie - I'll take you round the toolshed and show you my dibber. Jx

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    2. My specialty is dibbers!!!!

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  2. Wow! You really know how to pack in the beauties! I can't abide lots of people, but go ahead and smother me with flora, why don't you! Once again, I can't say I have a favorite, they are also so lovely!

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    1. Trying to pick out a beauty in their yard is like trying to pick out the perfect gin.

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    2. It can't be done, Maddie. They're ALL beauties.

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    3. Aw, bless - yes, we do have a lot of plants in what is a mere 12ft by 30ft space (plus back passage). Last time I counted, there were 200 pots of various sizes!

      We're quite pleased with what we've managed, even if there wasn't much "summer" to really sit out and enjoy it. Jx

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  3. Looks lovely even when it's 'bleak'! Blimey, Jon, you sound like you had an even more dismal summer than we had in Devon! I reckon you should both give up your day jobs and become garden designers.
    Sx

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    1. Miss Scarlet makes a good point. You two really have a knack to go pro.

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    2. "Pro"? not on my patch they don't!

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    3. The summer was the worst since 2012! Everything (with the exception of the ferns) struggled, and the whole growing season was at least three weeks behind normal. We even had to throw out the petunias after a mere couple of months as they were going rotten.

      Go pro?! Who do you thin I am? Beryl Merit?! Jx

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  4. Jon's garden is a sight to behold and looks very tidy for October, do you use a leaf vacuum for your narrow yet accommodating passage way?

    The Salvias look true blue, very rare in nature.

    Re. Fuchsia. I saw an unusual one at the garden centre a few months ago, instead of having dangly ones, this one had erect ones which roused my interest, however I wasn't prepared to pay the sale price of £3.99 even though it had been £15, so I took some cuttings and they all died. Waltz Jubilee? I think it was called.

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    1. The leaves hadn't even started falling when that photo was taken, Mitzi! In the past few weeks, it's resembled a compost bin - I swept up a bin-bag full last weekend, and Madam Arcati did the same today. It's a constant battle at the moment.

      The Salvias and Fuchsias are still in full bloom, and will be right through till any frost arrives - although several Fuchsias will be lucky to have any leaves at all long before that happens, the rust is so bad.

      We have Waltz Jubelteen in our collection - it's lovely most years, but this year it struggled to grow. We may replace it next year. The Fuchsia nursery in Essex near our friends' place is a sort-of "pick-your-own" - a whole greenhouse with racks and racks of labelled rooted cuttings in soil in cardboard trays, and you go along, grubbing out the ones you want then pot them on when you get home. 80p a pop! That's how we've managed to amass a collection of 38 named varieties (and in the last place, more than 50). Jx

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    2. Ah, that's how you do it, Jon! Who would have thought that Fuchsias would lend themselves to the soft fruit PYO phenomenon?!

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    3. It's such fun, as well! We always go there with a "wish-list" - either of replacements, or ones we've seen on the web - but because they also have a vast display of the full-grown ones on sale, we usually end up with several we never heard of before just because of the "wow" factor of seeing them up close in bloom.

      Bourne Brook Nurseries is about two-and-a-half hours drive away from you, in Halstead in Essex, unfortunately. However, if you're feeling adventurous and in need of a good Fuchsia [oo-er, missus!], it is definitely recommended! Jx

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  5. Well, of course this one's garden is to die for... he has the finest taste. I adore all his retro offerings and tidbits of trivia. Such lovely photos, too. Something to aspire to... sigh. Kizzes. You're doing a bang up job hosting this event!

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    1. I am humbled, Sir Upton-King, by your approbation! Jx

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    2. Me, too! Hosting it is the easy part - doing all that gardening and choosing which photographs to send in is the hard part.

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  6. You already know that I would love to spend a day in your garden, whatever season.
    And "The Bishop's Children" is not quite what I expected. If that's from"Bishop Llandaff" that is. Ooer, isn't it! Sorry, got a bit Welsh there.Not sure why, but I thought it would be more red. not that it matters - dahlias do not do well in my climate!
    Fabulous garden in such a difficult space. Bravo!

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    1. Pop in, Dinah! I'll put the kettle on.

      We have the Bishop of Llandaff in the garden, and it is indeed a stunning red (if a bit of a straggly plant; it always needs supporting). The "Bishop's Children" are a range of dahlias descended from it (needless to say, given the name). At the last place we grew them from a seed mix - most of them were various shades of red (some of them quite a washed-out "tomato" colour), one was (surprisingly) a nice mauve-pink (but was a very weak plant); this lovely yellow-orange was the only one we actually brought with us when we moved, because its growth is (usually, not this year) strong and compact and those flowers are so striking. [NB There is one similar on the market, titled Moonfire, but ours is prettier.]

      Dahlias are native to Mexico, so I am surprised they don't like your climate, but they do tend to like a lot of water so maybe the soil's not right for them? Jx

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    2. "put the kettle on"? As long as it's not tea you'll be making for Ms Mow, Jon!

      I'm rather surprised about Queensland's hostility to Dahlias, too.

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  7. WOW! What a beautiful garden! Even in the snow it looks enchanting. Sending y'all a big ole hug for sharing all that loveliness! xoxo

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    1. Bless you, Savvy. It is our "little treasure", and we've already made all the preparations for next Spring... Jx

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  8. Not bad is right!! How do you do it all?
    I'm exhausted just typing this.

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    1. We do need to put in a bit of effort, especially in Spring (when division and re-potting is needed), and Autumn (when the clag needs to be cleared) - but mostly it's just watering and feeding (which is time-consuming yet ultimately satisfying) for the rest of the growing season.

      Both of us find gardening to be a tonic for the mind and soul... Jx

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