I've been very quiet about the results of Camden in Bloom. The awards ceremony was last week and I can now bashfully reveal that I was awarded second place in the Best Individual Garden category! Not bad for a first timer, eh? Naturally, I sought out the gardener who was awarded first place and secured an invitation to visit her garden at the end of last week. This was the 'titchy' of my two garden visits, a courtyard space probably no bigger than 15' x 8', and surrounded by high walls which makes it very shady, but absolutely crammed with plants and her amusing art installations - there's even a pond in one corner. It's extraordinary the amount that this lady is growing so I take my hat off to her success.
Here's my week in nine Instagram peeks:
1. 'HUG' - the Ficus microcarpa bonsai being grown by the Camden in Bloom first place winner. She likes to name her plants and this one is very apt and made me smile hugely.
2. Rosa roxburghii seen at RHS Wisley. Also known as the chestnut rose - you can see why. Intriguing, spiky and beautiful but a rather challenging rosehip for all but the most intrepid of foragers.
3. Inspirational combination planting: Euphorbia myrsinites growing through Stachys byzantina. Extraordinary textural contrasts from two of my favourite plants - perfect for a sensory garden. No doubt an idea which will soon be appearing in the garden here, plagiarism being the sincerest form of flattery. ;o)
4. Physalis. This is the first ripe fruit this year from my Cape Gooseberry shrub. I grew it from a seed two years ago and love it - the flavour is much nicer than shop bought and very worthwhile growing. Let's hope that it's not too autumnal for a good harvest as it's usually fruited well before now!
5. Saffron crocus starting to appear. Small plants were put in during late 2013; I had only leaves last year then read that saffron crocus like to be buried deep. Some were left, others replanted a good 10" deep. Let's see what happens …
6. 'The Twelve Apostles'. Another garden installation from my Camden in Bloom rival. She collects stones with faces carved by the elements for use in her garden. As she says, "Jesus looks rather sad." Perhaps it's the apostles on the other side of the table we should be worried about.
7. Slightly off-piste here but I was very taken with these gorgeous Aeoniums on display out the ladies' loo at Wisley and couldn't resist a quick snap! They were over 4 feet tall and thriving outdoors in their sheltered but sunny location but I imagine will be moved back to the big Glasshouse soon.
8. Very little autumn colour in late September at Wisley - more like a warm blast of late summer with blue skies and yellow Heleniums in the Glasshouse Borders. Autumn surely won't be long now, though.
9. I realised that the fruit thieves had left four pears high up in the branches of my tree where they couldn't reach. I stood on my upturned bucket and managed to bring the branches down enough to reach the pears for picking. Bizarrely, this tree is supposed to be a Conference Pear. Does anyone else think that pear looks more like a Williams pear?
Hoping everyone is having a good week - I'm amazed at how quickly the leaves are falling or turning red now so I think next week's update could have a lot of autumn colour in it!