Tag Archive | Azalea


Eight intrepid lady walkers from our village, plus one very well-behaved dog, took a gentle stroll yesterday around our local National Trust property’s grounds, at Arlington Court.

The sun shone and the walk was in a sheltered valley, so the fleeces were gradually shed and our faces got pinker. The lambs were gambolling and the birds singing, and all was perfect.

The woods were carpeted in sheets of bluebells, as far as the eye could see.





After oohing and aahing for a while, we meandered back towards the house itself, of which I failed to get a picture. There is a nice church there too.




Next was the obligatory lunch stop in the National Trust tearooms, where I had a lovely leek and wild garlic soup, and a bottle of Luscombes cider, which I haven’t tried before but was very tasty. Replete and refreshed, we strolled around the walled gardens, admiring the azaleas and the peacocks, before returning to the real world.




Back home in my garden, I have a little bluebell wood of my own, in the Acer glade. It may be small, but it is a delight to have!



Early spring flowers



Today has been very mild, so quite a contrast to the recent heavy frosts. The first of the mini daffs has opened, and seems a true miniature of a large yellow trumpet type. The snowdrops continue to pop up in the woodland, but are not fully open yet.




As with the daffodils, I keep finding them hidden under other plants, and I will need to dig them out and give them a better home. They are too special to leave hidden in the undergrowth!




I found a grape hyacinth today; only a common bulb, I know, but it is still nice to know that I have some…or one anyway!


Grape hyacinth


The first of many daisies has flowered. I do like daisies in a lawn, so the front lawn will be spot treated to remove unwanted weeds, while leaving the daisies, primroses, and bulbs well alone.




My new hellebore has opened it’s first flower. It is such a pretty double. The only others I have found round the garden have been less impressive, so I think i need to treat myself to a few more choice varieties.





The frosts damaged all the open flowers on my azalea, but I think there are more buds which will open. The camellia suffered the same fate, but has already covered itself in fresh flowers. Such a joy to see them at this time of year!



Not all cream teas and coast walks

I know that I paint a picture of a lovely lifestyle here in Devon, and, don’t get me wrong, it is pretty good, but there are always going to be things that go wrong, and things that need dealing with, and it is all hard work.

Today we had our leaky shower fixed, so that is one issue dealt with. Tomorrow an engineer will hopefully stop our precious heating oil dripping from a leaky joint. Then the garage door gets fixed….it just goes on and on.

It’s not much better in the garden.




This is the archway right outside my kitchen door. Once an attractive structure, I am sure, with a lovely climbing rose carefully trained over it. Now it is a crumbling unsightly eyesore completely swamped by dead rose stems. There is an outer layer of living rose, but it obviously hasn’t been tended for years. It will have to go!

Talking of roses, do you know the species rose, Rosa rugosa? Healthy foliage, large single fragrant pink flowers, followed by huge orange hips. What’s not to like???




This is one of three patches of Rosa rugosa in my garden. This one is at least 10 metres across… It spreads, and regrows if chopped to the ground, and is extremely thorny. It has to go before it takes over. Yeah…maybe next week.




This is the centre of my main perennial bed. I haven’t tackled this area yet. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was there until I had trimmed away some dead foliage round the edge, and saw what was beyond. I will get to it soon, now I have finished working on the front of the border.




The wheelbarrow contains the dead leaves of just one of my fifty thousand clumps of crocosmia. The border does look better now I have cleared away the dead stuff though. The photos aren’t quite at the same angle, but you get the idea.


main border


It’s not all doom and gloom, however. I uncovered this little beauty while clearing – it is a spring snowflake, much taller than a snowdrop, and a solid bell rather than individual petals. Not supposed to flower until at least February.




Everything is confused by the weather. This hydrangea is continuing to put out new flowers!




as does this azalea.




And the daffodils and other bulbs are coming up all over the garden, so I have a feeling we are going to have a spectacular spring display. If it ever stops raining!





Around the garden

We are still waiting to see our new garden in sunlight, but at least we had a dry afternoon. Friends visited, and we all had a wander around the estate. We have a bottle bank…


bottlebank small


We have some interesting neighbours…




With the help of our friends we managed to identify some of the plants. Those in leaf and flower I can usually work out, but winter twigs can be a bit of a challenge. We have a stunning Christmas tree, but I am resisting the temptation to deck it out with lights and baubles!




Next to it is one of my favourite conifers, Cedrus deodara, with its soft, drooping branches




A small camellia is covered in fat buds, promising a beautiful display soon. But in what colour, I wonder?




Some plants were in flower, out of season, either early or late, including this lovely pink azalea which is presumably early.


azalea small


This Abelia grandiflora has a long flowering season, so is presumably still flowering from the summer?




We also have several nice rhododendron specimens, all of which will be a surprise when they flower. I just hope they aren’t all the same variety!