Tag Archives: garage garden

What’s Flowering Now: Poppies

There are two kinds of poppies flowering right now in the garage garden.  One is a bright orange perennial poppy, (papaver oritentale).*

Orange poppy

Papaver Orientale

It’s a great big drama queen. No matter how much you water it on dry days, it will enventually flop out in all directions.  New leaves will then appear from the centre of the plant.

The leaves on this one are furry and spiky-looking, like this:

Fuzzy poppy leaves.

Fuzzy leaves and bud.

It’s a prolific self-seeder (You may see this developing as a theme with plants in this garden.)  The two orange poppies came from seedlings that sprouted in my own garden. The furry leaves make them easy to identify when they are still very small and easy to transplant. Free plants! Hooray!

Here’s one taken about a week ago when the protective case around one of the flowers hadn’t quite come off yet.

Poppy sporting a fuzzy beret.

Poppy sporting a fuzzy beret.

The other type of poppy in the garden is an annual, papaver somniferum (a.k.a. the opium poppy, but this isn’t one you can actually extract narcotics from).

These make the perennials look like lazyarses. They grow to about 3 feet tall in a year, and stand bolt upright, no lolling about over your garden.

I didn’t actually plant any this year, but a couple of my friendly mystery gardeners scatted a good handful of seeds last year, and some of those plants self-seeded. (See what I mean?)

There are pale pink, dark pink and cerise ones:

Papaver somniferous in 3 shades of pink.

Papaver somniferum in 3 shades of pink.

The leaves for these are  more blue-green and smooth, with a ruffled appearance. Again, they are easy to spot as seedlings

Papaver somniferous leaves.

Papaver somniferum leaves.

There are none of our native red poppies, Papaver rhoeas, in the garden at the moment. Maybe next year.

Here’s a snap showing of all the poppies playing nicely together.

All the poppies.

All the poppies.

And I’ll leave you with one showing the whole garden in the sunshine. Remember what it looked like when we started two years ago?

Wide shot of garage garden.

Come by and smell the flowers!

*While I was checking up on my poppy names, I found they come in some crazy varieties. Try googling “blackcurrant fizz poppy” or “white ruffles poppy”.



What’s Flowering Now: Aquilegias

Aquilegias are fantastically hard-working plants, and perfect for the garage garden.  They’re hardy perennials, they’re vigorous self-seeders, they’ll grow just about anywhere and they come in a whole sweestshop range of colours (although purple is the most common for wild ones).  We’ve got dark red, pale yellow, pale pink, and purple.  Plant a few one year, they’ll come back the next and you’ll have a whole flowerbed full of their children. They can be a bit too successful, but you can always thin them out and give them away!

All the aquilegias.

All the aquilegias.

A few of the plants in the garden were seedlings from special varieties I bought for my own garden:  Ruby Port and Yellow Queen. (Warning: spending time on the spectacular crocus website can seriously damage your bank balance.) Others turned up by themselves.

The Ruby Port shows its glorious deep colour best in sunshine.

Ruby Port aquilegia.

Ruby Port aquilegia.

The name Aquilegia comes from the Latin for eagle (aquila) because the flowers are supposed to look like eagle claws. You can see this with the trailing curved spikes on the Yellow Queen. This one glows in the garden on grey days.

Yellow Queen aquilegia.

Yellow Queen aquilegia.

Their common name name is Granny’s Bonnet, which makes a lot more sense when you look at the wild purple ones.

They have fountains of pretty foliage too. Their leaves are very recognisable, handy for when you want to harvest some seedlings for replanting!

Aquilegia leaves.

Aquilegia leaves.

If  you’ve got a dark or difficulr corner of the garden, why not try a few? Pop past the garage garden to catch them in their fully glory in the next couple of weeks.

So many aquilegias.

So many aquilegias.

Easter Update

I haven’t had much time to devote to the guerrilla garden lately, so it was wonderful to have help and inspiration from my partner in gardening crime and the lovely Lord and Lady Plott. It’s amazing what four people can get done in an hour!

We took out the dog poo and rubbish, weeded it and planted the donations from the Plotts, and some cut price wallflowers from Homebase. While we were all wandering about in the shop in search of bargain rescue plants, one of the assistants came around handing out free boxes of ranunculus (with a polite request for a small donation to the charity box). Apparently they were having a clear out of the plants that they couldn’t sell.  Nothing like free flowers to make my day. Thank you, Homebase!

On the plot, the aquilegias that went in last year have made themselves at home and spread themselves around. The big geranium has had lots of children.  A few borage plants have also popped up and even a handful of stray onions, which must have come in with some earth from my own garden. No sign of the bronze fennel, but it may yet make a reappearance.

A fellow gardener stoppped by for a chat and passed on a tip that cheap perennials are for sale at the hospital on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Wherever you get your plants, your inspiration and your help, have a wonderful Easter break. And hey, at least the rain’s good for the garden.

DSCF6157 (2)


36 Violas Later

Spring is finally here, and I have crawled back out of hibernation to see how the garage guerrilla garden is doing. Quite a lot of the plants have made it through the winter. A wonderful mystery gardener has recently added a little lavender on the sunny corner of the plot. Thank you! It’s so nice to have scented plants, and lavender is great for bees.

Speaking of bees, I saw some zooming around the pulmonaria. It might not be the most spectacular plant in the world, but it’s hardy, gives lots of spring colour and nice spotty leaves for ground cover when the pink and blue flowers are gone.

I’ve given the plot a good weeding, and have planted some violas that were on special offer from Homebase (lovely scent) and some sunflowers and crocosmia corms generously donated by the ever lovely Lord and Lady Plott.

The sunflowers have been tied up to bamboo sticks and are drooping rather like a sacrificial princess chained to a stake. I’m hoping they’ll perk up a bit once they get a chance to get their roots down. I broke one planting them and felt like a murderer.

There’s still room for more plants if you want to come and play. I have some donated sweet peas and morning glory which are lovely climbers, but I need a way to give them something to climb up without attaching them to the garage. If you have ideas about this, or anything else to do with the garden, I’d love to hear them. Just leave me a comment below or email me at lovelyandover@gmail.com.

Hope you all enjoy the sun over the bank holiday, in your gardens or wherever you are!

Garage Garden – July

Here’s some photos of the garage garden taken near the end of July.

A huge thank you to the mystery gardener who came by after all the rain and did a fantastic job on the weeding!

As you can see, the mystery plants at the back turned out to have glorious bright pink flowers. The lucky placing of orange nasturtiums and calendula next to them makes for an eye-popping colour combo that brings a smile to my face every time I go past.

The scented seed mix has flowered with nemesia in various colours, and some pretty pink and white flowers that I don’t know, and we’ve got oriental poppies flowering all over the place.

There are some wild flowers in there too, but I like it that way. What do you think?

Garage Garden – June 1st

Pictures taken today of the garage garden.  New plants:

  • 2 pink geraniums
  • alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle)
  • polemonium “Bressingham Purple” (Jacob’s ladder)
  • an iris with very unusual colouring – anybody know what it’s called?
  • nasturtiums

Garage Garden End of May 2012

A very big thank you to the lovely mystery gardeners of Andover! The garden has acquired some wallflowers, a big wild geranium, and a furry-leaved plant. I also spotted a little white-flowered alpine (which I think has been there for a while), and some seedlings.

Sadly, the Range sale marigolds did not make it.

A while back we scattered some seeds on the garden for scented plants. There are lots of things sprouting but I’ll need to wait a while to identify them.

Some of the plants have drooped a bit in the hot weather and some of them have also been trampled by  a migrating herd of asshats who stomped over the plot in big boots and dropped stones on them. They’re all recovering well after a few good waterings.

Here’s a quick picture update taken about a week ago.  I need to post another one soon, as friends generously donated plants which have been moved to their new home. As you can see the plot is looking much greener.

And there’s a reminder of what the plot was like when we started back in April. It was taken after I dug it over for the first time. We’ve come a long way already. I’m looking foward to seeing what we can do in another couple of months.