Some of the stars of the garden make their presence felt at this time. Foremost among them are the Nerines. From a small clump given to me thirty years ago by my parents-in-law from their Norfolk garden, this spectacular display appears with complete consistency every year. Their strong stems make them wind proof and they don’t blink an eye at the fiercest of rain. Nerines are native to South Africa and were introduced in the 1880s. They seem to enjoy the pleasures of Edinburgh when placed in a sunny, well drained spot for they grow well in many gardens. I also grow N. sarniensis, the Guernsey lily, which is a beautiful colour but not hardy, and a less enthusiastic flowerer.
Of the many Sorbuses with beautiful berries Sorbus Joseph Rock is one of my favourites. It is also at its best at this time of year. It is full of berries of a subtle yellow, at the moment seen against the green of its leaves, but soon these will turn to a brilliant golden colour and a different colour scheme will emerge.
The autumn crocuses which grow in profusion in the orchard have been excellent but are almost past their best now. They are seen to their best in the slanting evening light which makes their petals almost transparent. I prefer them in clumps to being randomly spread, and I dig up a few each year to try and achieve this. The white ones stay in tidier clumps than the pink ones, and come out slightly later.
The garden is open by appointment for the next two weeks – all the information is on the Scotland’s Gardens website under Redcroft, 23 Murrayfield Road, or ring the bell if you are passing and see if I am here. Anna Buxton
Redcroft Garden News July 2015
July is not the best time of year in this garden and I noticed that a group of Italians who visited the other day spent rather longer over the tea than they did over the garden.
Most of our long grass has been cut but we cut this area later as it is where the fritillaries grow in the spring, and they need time to seed, and it is full of yellow rattle. Also I notice the occasional wild orchid there shown in the photo below.
I like this combination in the front of the herbaceous border but the vivid blue of the Geranium magnificum is rather fleeting , although the lime green of the Alchemilla hangs on for longer. Another Geranium, palmatum is one of the main stays of the garden at this time. It seeds profusely and grows well in the gravel as well as in this bed. In Spring it has attractive bright green leaves which look good before it flowers and the flowers reach a dramatic height.
Of the flowering trees and shrubs my award for long service goes to a tall self-seeded Abutilon vitifolium with white flowers. It has only just finished flowering and could be seen over the wall from our road for many weeks.
Now my favourite is this Styrax japonica Pink Chimes and sadly only one of the Italians noticed it. I bought it from BlueBell Nurseries of Ashby de la Zouch, who visit Gardening Scotland every year with many temptations. It was planted in about 2008, is now about 5ft tall, and has only recently shown its true colours. I love the incredible profusion of these delicate flowers. Like Geranium palmatum it is popular with bees and this year there seem to have been a great many of them, even though very few of them seem to buzz.
The Italians did like the roses on the house. Here Rose Felicite and Perpetue is acting as a background to the star performer, Dentelle de Malines. With its clusters of ‘dainty many-flowered sprays of bright pink’ to quote the David Austin catalogue, it is very vigorous and a bit reminiscent of Paul’s Himalayan Musk. It performs well for quite a long time and the flowers go over quite neatly.
There is still lots to look forward to and the garden has another good period in September when we have it open by appointment, details on The Scottish Gardens website.
Anna Buxton, Edinburgh