The weather is changing and it will be cooler for a while which is good news for me. I do enjoy the sunshine but these days I prefer it to be cooler to work in the garden. I expect there has been lots of watering going on at Myddelton. Hopefully they will get one of these random showers they're talking about on the weather forecast!
So what was happening in 2018? Well, it was a bumper year for everything, flowers, blossom, fruit, vegetables. They all were amazing that year.
Starting in January on the main drive the Sequoioideae, or Redwood as it's more commonly known, looked very statuesque in the Winter sunshine, photo 1. By February the Torii Seat in the Rock Garden looked as though it had always been there, photo 2. This next photo always makes me think of Mr Bowles, photo 3. I think this gentleman had been inspecting the seat and the snowdrops and I hope he was pleased with what he saw. At the end of February we had snow for a couple of days. Here is the Alnus glutinosa, the Alder tree, in the Honesty Bed. I love the silhouette of this tree. Another favourite is the Cedar Tree by the Pond, photo 5. I think it's getting too big to take a photo like this now.
In March the blossom in the Peach House was looking fabulous, photo 6 and I know Steph would have been busy with her rabbit's tail giving the pollination a helping hand. The view across the Arboretum towards the house was so beautiful, photo 7 and the Cornus mas, nearby, was looking dazzling too, photo 8.
One of my favourite areas is the Pond. Every where you stand it has a completely different look. Here on the 14th April the reflections in the still water were stunning, photo 9. Then a week later on the 22nd, Spring had arrived and the Pond looked very tranquil and peaceful, photo 10. Nearby in the Rose Garden these purple tulips were superb and made everyone stop in their tracks to enjoy their beauty, photo 11. On the Front Lawn the blossom was amazing creating a wonderful picture for all to enjoy as they arrived, photo 12.
There were more flowers throughout May in the garden wherever you chose to walk. In the new Euphorbia Bed at the end of the Eremurus Border sat this impressive Cotoneaster multiflorus, photo 14, spreading out over the whole bed. In the Wild Garden the Enkianthus campanulata was covered in these most exquisite tiny flowers, photo 15. The irises were having a good year, photo 16. In the Wisley Corner the foxgloves had taken over and put on an amazing display all through the summer, photo 17 and in the border on the New River lawn in front of the Rose Garden the poppies were joining in the flower festival, photo 18.
One flower I find fascinating is the Phlomis russeliana, Jerusalem sage. The strange way the stems appear from the centre of the lower flower is a wonder to be seen, photo 19 (June 2018).
In July the Catalpa bignonoides 'Aurea', the variegated Indian Bean Tree, was in full flower, photo 20. The flowers are beautiful and I think I want one of these trees in my garden! The peaches in the Peach House had ripened and were ready to be picked. The skin of the fruit has a soft velvet covering which you can see here in photo 21. Also, in July the Dipsacus fullonum, the wild teasels, had their ring of flowers around the cone heads, photo 22. Up until 2018 I was only familiar with the lavender ones, but that all changed when I found the Dipsacus laciniatus, cutleaf teasels, in the Arboretum, photo 23. These had white flowers but were just as impressive as the ones with lavender flowers.
In the Peach house in August it was the turn of the nectarines to ripen. They are the same size and colour as the peaches but have a smooth skin on the fruit and ripen later, photo 24. On the Front Drive the Hydrangea aspera was looking very pretty and was complimented by the Thalictrum, common name Meadow Rue, photo 25. Back in the Kitchen Garden it may have been a dull day but the flowers in the annuals bed did their best to cheer everyone up. Steph planted these individually by hand through membrane, to suppress the weeds, back in the Spring and they certainly were a credit to her and all her hard work, photo 26.
In the Wild Garden it was as though the trees were hanging the flags out to welcome Autumn again in October, photo 27. The Acer palmatum and the Rhus typhina, Staghorn sumac, were rivaling each other to produce the best colour of the season. In the Kitchen Garden the Squashes and Pumpkins had been harvested and the display was impressive. The Front Lawn wasn't going to be left out of the colour festival and was putting on its own show in November, photo 29.
Finally as the year drew to an end it was time to celebrate. The Enfield in Bloom competition had awarded a Bronze for the Wildflower Meadow, a Silver for the Kitchen Garden and a Gold for the Horticultural Contribution to the local community. Excellent work and well done to James, the Gardeners and all the Garden Volunteers, photo 30 (Courtesy of James and Instagram, Dec 2018).
So that brings another year to a close and I hope you have enjoyed this look back at 2018.