Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nice Weather for Ducks

All the ducks are swimming in the water

Fal de ral de ral do
Fal de ral de ral do.....

Why on earth do you keep singing that this weekend? I've been asked. Is it because of the weather? Nope. I just think it's a fun, lovely song and I'm feeling upbeat that weekend, much like the song itself.

Nice weather for ducks, and plants! They've been enjoying the rain from the looks of it!
I'm of course referring to the song Nice Weather for Ducks by Lemon Jelly, which is a happy, upbeat electro track that has a nice, almost psychedelic video too. Funny enough, I never really thought how appropriate the song was to the mainly rainy weekend we just had, only by coincidence was I humming it on that particular weekend. The song was just a reflection of my happy mood and the fact that it was largely a free weekend of doing not much else but gardening, rain or shine!

The rescued Trachycarpus wagnerianus is now starting to green up nicely
I do love July, rain or shine!
A time to garden, bliss! And it's a big deal as it's often enough that we get so busy that we miss out on the flowering of some of our plants, only realising they have done so after spotting the spent blooms or debris on the ground (like the photos below). So it was nice enough to know that we'll be able to do some gardening and actually have time to just look around too and take some pictures.

This was all that was left when I had the chance to take this photo - Cardiocrinum giganteum
Nearly missed out on this one too - Magnolia grandiflora
Only one flower was left and it's looking past its prime but I'm happy enough I managed to see at least one! - Magnolia grandiflora
So this is not another blog about the weather btw, nor about ducks! It's about a random selection of plants that are currently looking great in the garden and making me feel extra happy...

Acer sikkimense - I love the colour of the new growth of this Acer, very bright...
and very red! Mind you even the mature leaves are very attractive - Acer sikkimense
Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex' 
Tetrapanax papyrifera 'Rex' - an essential to a jungle garden!
and underneath that 'Rex' is another big leafed plant, the hardy tree tomato Cyphomandra corymbiflora
Cyphomandra corymbiflora
See Asparagus officinale in a different way...
I wish I'm able to take better photos of this plant as all the ones I've taken don't do this justice. Left to grow on, they make great garden plants, very ornamental with its airy and fine foliage - Asparagus officinale
I see something different here.... Bomarea hirtella twining its way up the Catalpa! So looking forward to see its flowers soon!
A quick detour to the potted plants area and these caught my eye...

The subtle variegation of Ginkgo biloba 'Beijing Gold'
Ginkgo biloba 'Beijing Gold'
Attractive purple new flush of Oreopanax floribundus
And back again to the rest of the garden...

Kniphofia hirsuta 'Fire Dance' at the base of a Kniphofia northiae
A wonderful foliage plant - Rubus lineatus
Rubus lineatus
A very graceful looking plant - Illicium lanceolatum
Schefflera rhododendrifolia is holding its own right in front against the bamboo behind it...
and that bamboo, Phyllostachys vivax 'Aureocaulis' is enjoying the extra rain, lots of big, fat culms this year!

All the ducks are swimming in the water, Fal de ral de ral do, Fal de ral de ral do...

I know this summer hasn't been the sort of summer we were expecting to have, it may be rainy but im still very happy with the way things are turning out!

Just in case you are wondering about this song, you can see the video here.

Mark :-)


  1. Everything looks gorgeous. I am so envious of all the rain you are getting compared to our drought. I'm spending the days digging up and potting and rethinking my whole gardens. Loved coming in today and seeing all of this beauty.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Hi Cher, i wish we could send you some of the rain! Although it is doing wonders for the garden it has slowed us down on the pond. Hopefully you will get some rain soon. One of my colleagues has just got back from a trip to Colorado, and was saying how everyone is talking about droughts.

  3. Envious of the rain, too. Can you email me some, please?

    I love how lush your garden is. My internal temperature drops a few degrees just looking all your photos and I swear I can feel the rain on my skin. OK, it's all in my head, but still.

    My variegated ginkgo burned during the first 100°F heat wave we had even though it only receives partial sun. That was a big surprise, considering that all-green ginkgos handle our sun very well.

  4. Your weather certainly is good for the plants. I noticed too the Rex Begonias doing well in front of the Trachycarpus wagnerianus. We're still getting rain here. One fine day followed by 3 or 4 of rain seems to be the pattern this winter.

  5. The Asparagus officinale is amazing! As is your entire garden. It is wonderful to have a day without anything scheduled, a time to work in and to just be in the garden. After tomorrow I will be off work for six days, and I can hardly wait!

    Also, thanks for the catchy tune, which is now stuck in my head!

  6. I can see why you are happy, as happy as your plants possibly. The asparagus looks like wonderful cover with just enough light let through.

  7. Gerhard, you are welcome to the rain, although we are now expecting some better weather soon! Sorry to hear about your variegated ginkgo burning :( Given the choice between too much heat and too much rain I think the garden prefers the latter.

    Missy, The begonias have done very well this year, obviously loving the wet conditions as are many of the garden plants. some are slow with the cool weather but most are doing well!

    Debs, isnt the Asparagus just lovely works so well, although needs to thinned out otherwise would be too dense. It also needs staking. Glad you like the duck song!

    Bom, The Asparagus works well doesn't it. We love trying to find hardy plants and use them in a different way.

  8. Looking great, guys. I'm particularly jealous of your tetrapanax - mine is still teeny weeny. I'm glad you're enjoying the rain. I have to say it is doing my head in! Mowing is just impossible at the moment. Dave

  9. Great pictures guys,love the Gingko. Does you Tetrapanax behave? mine runs all over the place and is becoming a nuisance;I'm going to restrict it to a pot.

  10. Hi David, we dont have any trouble with mowing.... no lawn :) Just you wait T-rex soon goes mad!

    Richard, Our T rex sends up quite a few pups but we just cut them off before they get going. We have let a few pups grow on for now.

  11. Does the tree tomato produce fruit in proportion with the leaves ?!

  12. Hi B-a-g, it does produce fruit which are roughly 7cm in size, and have quite interesting markings, but not on the same scale as the leaves.

  13. I'm always amazed that I'm looking at a Garden in England and not one in Tahiti or New Zealand. Wow! You've done well.
    A whole weekend to garden...I've not had that in a long while.
    As to your photos, I love that opening shot...so lush.
    Yes, I had to laugh when you mentioned missing a bloom. I once missed all of the blooms on my Gardenia. I kept smelling the nice fragrance but thought it was from a neighbor's garden. Nice that you caught that Magnolia in time.
    Great tropical views you have.

  14. Mark, you guys really have some interesting, beautiful lush plants growing in your garden! They certainly do well with all the rain that you are having. We have exactly the opposite weather conditions here in San Diego inland. Highest temperatures of the day are predicted to be around 31/32 degrees Celsius at least until Monday and rain, well rain what is that? I water myself crazy just to keep the garden barely alive. Oh well!

  15. Thanks David! This coming weekend is another free one and we're forecast to have nice weather too, finally! So looking forward to it :)

    Thanks Christina! I hope you guys do get that much needed rain soon. It's so time consuming watering isn't it? But an essential as well :)

  16. I love the tours of your garden. It looks so lush, welcoming and peaceful.

  17. Hi Hazel thanks for that you enjoyed the tour!

  18. Love the Rubus lineatus - is it hardy?

  19. Hi Ian, yes pretty hardy. A very bad winter would cut it back but even then it should come back from the ground.


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