May 31, 2010

Terrestial orchid on my way

Terrestial orchid growing in wild meadow... this is the last thing I've expected while going to more real countryside house than my own and only 30 km (18 miles) away. Last weekend I've spend at friend's house that is only 30 minutes away and see what I found growing in the backyard meadow...

This is Dactylorhiza - terrestial orchid, perennial that belongs to the orchid family, under protection. Finding it growing in the backyard's wet meadow was so surprising. They grow up to 30 cm (12 in). I am not sure, but it seems to be Dactylorhiza maculata - have to turn back and take a closer look.

Have a closer look at the house. Can you see what I see? This house in fact is two houses joint together with and an open space. First house is on the left side, second on the right side. 2 old wooden houses brought from eastern part of Poland - they were disassambled there and constructed together bit by bit again.  

This is the left side house - yes, it used to be one/full house. While on the right side you can see the part that joints both houses together.
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) covers partially the house from the western side.

Safe wood reserve for colder days...

May 28, 2010

Basil seedlings - pesto promise

Basil seedlings are waiting to be planted and I hear them saying: "let's make great pesto for winter time"..... They doubled the size in 1 week! Their height was equal with the height of the box. I better hurry up with planting. Maybe today if it doesn rain?

May 27, 2010

33 Photos of Birmingham Botanical Garden

Birmingham Botanical Garden, right? I was supposed to show you first garden I saw in UK. It took some time to find out which pictures to show. ful garden is hard - I ended up with 33 best of entire huge amount I took. Do you also end up with hundreds of pictures after visiting one garden?

Let's start with this beautiful fuchsia flowered gooseberry - Ribes speciosum (California native plant) growing in a very sheltered place at warm, south wall.

Himalayan Cedar (Cedrus deodara) - see how small are the benches? Reddish plant on the right side is spring growth of pieris.   

Prunus 'Shirofugen' is the second tree that made greatest impression on me. Large body, wide spread branches, brownish young leaves and white-pale pink flowers.

Reconstructed medieval pleasure garden which included plants brought from Europe by monks and crusaders. People loved to bring new plants from journeys since always.
Reconstructed Roman Garden - Romans were passionate gardeners and gardens were seen as extensions of their homes. Usually surrouunded by walls decorated by mosaics and paintings. Grape vine pergola - there is a stroy behind, because it was Probus(Emperor of Rome, 235-282 AD) who introduced grape vines in Britain. He orderer soldiers to build vineyards to keep them occupied when there was 'make peace, no war' time. Until that time the Italians had the monopoly to growing grapes. In a way it was the start of commercial wine production all over the world.

Camelia japonica "Doctor Tinsley"

In my subjective pont-of-view main and most beautiful part of Birmingham Botanical Garden is The English Cottage Garden. With lots of herbaceous planting as understory of deciduous trees.
With hand-made look rose pergola fits perfectly.

Many benches hidden in perfectly clipped yew hedges.

Great combo: big tree + climbing rose + bench

Kitchen garden.

This is usually water container - this time with crocosmia growing.  

Walls and patch of the garden at the walls on this side of the cottage covered with plants, on the other side the walking path is right at the walls, then yew hedge and kitchen garden.    

Hydrangea climbing the walls and clipped box everywhere, everwhere....

Entrance to the cotttage garden - walled by clipped hedges (yew and holly).  

This magnolia soulangiana caught my attention because of its shape. Naturally it has more upright and bushy style of growing. Look how pruning can change the shape to much more dramatic and picturesque. I remember I have read in a book that Magnolia doesn't like pruning - apparently is not so much true... I have same Magnolia, which grows as solitary specimen - if pruned in similar way, naked branches will look better in the winter. 

Unfurling fern Polystichum tsus-simense (Koren Rock Fern).

Better perspective gives an idea of the size....

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Tree heath - Erica arborea - little bit bigger than usual ;)

Flowering cherries showing off...

If you visit Birmingham Botanical Garden don't miss greenhouses with its beautiful collection od pelargoniums...

... and xeric plants. This largest one in foreground is Hylocereus undatus "Queen of the night".

Black pansies combined with orange ones....

and black tulips....

... again black tulips, this time with yellow/orange primroses - stunning view :)  

Glasshouses are right at the entrance/exit of the garden.

If there is Birmingham (UK) on your way, visit Birmongham Botanical Garden - nice, calm and relaxing place to spend one day :) 


May 25, 2010

Viburnum plicatum in full bloom after 4 years

Viburnum plicatum 'Cascade' made me happy last year with the first blooms ever. This year which is its 5th year in this garden its covered with flowers...

If you take few minutes and take a closer look at the flowers, they not only flower 'in layers'....
.. but also flowers show off with ruffled, subtle patterns... 
Regretfully, Viburnum plicatum's flowers are not frangrant - which I always love to get as a bonus. This time bonus is the lenght of blooming period - 4 weeks.    

May 21, 2010

Red Victorian House

Shortly after landing in Birmingham on my way to bloggers meeting at Malvern Gardening Show, I had arrived to the red victorian house turned to the small hotel and run by friendly family. Paaaafect (I had lots of English pronunciation lessons) choice, because it is located close to university and only 2 train stations away (from Selly Oak to Five Ways) from Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which I wanted to visit.

Small and charming reception ...

... stained glass windows at the entrance...   

... sweet door lock at the bathroom - no idea victorian or contemporary :) ...

 ... and Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' growing right outside the window, framed by the window in the dining room...  

 ... and sign 'attention frogs' right at the red victorian house ...  

Red victorian house is tucked in the area of very interesting plantings. Some of them beautiful ....   

 ...some of them looking odd like this huge yucca planted in the garden of the post stamp size and spotted on the way to the nearest train station (Selly Oak) and expecting more beauty at the botanical gardens ...