Wordless Wednesday: Ceanothus ‘Cynthia Postan’

Spring has Sprung

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”
~ Mark Twain

Spring has finally sprung.

After weeks of what seemed like constant rain, this last week of very warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, means we have seen the garden smile back at us. Spring has very quickly become my favourite time of year (definitely my most challenging  time).  But this is one of the reasons why gardening is the best job in the world, if every week, month or year was the same wouldn’t it be boring. Anticipating what the weather may do makes this job even more interesting.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  ~John Ruskin

Weather is a great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.  ~Terri Guillemets
There’s always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down.  ~Don Delillo
Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.  ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.  ~George Santayana
I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?  ~Edward Giobbi
I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself.  And I find sufficient purpose for my day.  ~Robert Brault
Even if you think the Big Bang created the stars, don’t you wonder who sent the flowers?  ~Robert Brault
Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.  ~Lydia M. Child
Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts.  ~Dodinsky
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.  ~Abram L. Urban

Wordless Wednesday: Paulownia tomentosa

The Rock Garden

No Alpine’s or waterfalls here, but maybe a little smoke on the water, just looking at plants that have a similar theme. So I thought I would start with music, Heavy Metal/Rock music to be precise and for those of you who follow me on Twitter, this will be of no surprise.

Yes, I know I maybe a Head Gardener, but there has been many a time I have brought a plant just because it’s a name of a song a band, or there is some other connection with music…. sad isn’t it! As long you have the right place for the plant I can’t see there is a real problem. But there maybe a few plant snobs out there would say, this is not the way to plan a garden, and they are probably right!

So what’s the best one to start with… well there is only one you can really start with and that is…………

Panicum virgiatum  ‘Heavy Metal’ 

A truly wonderful plant. It has taken me a few years to persuade some of the gardeners to include this in our borders. Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’ is another great plant we have recently added to our gardens and I must admit, it is a better plant than Heavy Metal.

The music……..

Where and when Heavy Metal music started is slightly unclear, some say it was with the Rolling Stones, others say with the release of The Kinks song, You Really Got Me. But for the majority of Heavy Metals fans it was in the late sixties with the introduction of bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.

Penstemon barbatus ‘Iron Maiden’

The name itself, makes you think it will be tough and hardy. I lost all the ones I grew within a year, either I was doing something wrong or it is a complete wimp! Good for cut flowers, that’s if you don’t kill it of beforehand!

As for the band……….

They have to be the most successful band to emerge from the NWOBHM (New wave of British Heavy Metal) genre, which started in the mid 1970’s. And they are still going strong to this very day. Famous for their large stage productions and their mascot, Eddie and also in 1982 they hit a lot of controversy with the release of the Number of the Beast album. In many American states, the album was  publicly burned by many religious groups, with reports of people running away from the fires saying the smoke was possessed by the devil.

Petunia Plush ‘Deep Purple’

Not much to say about this one….. it’s a Petunia and it is purple. Sorry can’t get excited about Petunia’s. But every plant has it’s place, with this one  preferably the bin!

The band…….

One of the original Heavy Metal bands formed in 1968 and still performing today. This band has had more line up changes than any other band in history, with what must be now an average of over 90, their main stage prop being a Zimmer frame and Sanatogen being there drug of choice. But listening their music still gives me a buzz.

Phormiun ‘Back in Black’

A small Phormium with dark purple/black leaves, can be grown in sun or partial shade. Another new one for me, we planted our first one this year at Trinity.

The album……..

For many rock fans, it is the ultimate Heavy Metal album of all time. This was the first album to be released by AC/DC after Bon Scott’s death in February 1980. The band very nearly disbanded, but hired Brian Johnson soon afterwards and the album Back in Black was released on the 25th July 1980.

Polemonium reptans ‘Stairway to Heaven’

A low mound forming plant with a creamy white variegated leaf that turns pink when the weather is cooler. This plant I have yet to grow, but I already have several areas in mind where I would like to plant it……..well every garden has to have a stairway to heaven somewhere.

The song……..

Very little you need to say about this one apart from listen and enjoy……..

Begonia metallica

Begonia metallica is a bushy evergreen perennial, it can grow to approx 1 metre  in height. They have large dark metallic-green leaves, red veins and has small pale pink flowers in the autumn.


The band….

Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, they have gone on to be one of the biggest metal/thrash metal bands in history. Still going strong to this day, and recently was part of the Big Four tour alongside Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Too many favourites, had to have more than one link…….

Lathyrus odoratus ‘Brian Clough’

A slightly scented Sweet Pea that has coral pink flowers and can reach over 6 ft tall.

Alright, so Brian Clough has nothing to do with music, and to be honest his views on Heavy Metal would have been interesting to say the least. But the man was a total legend, I had to include him somewhere…….

Oh, I nearly forgot…………….

One year on…..

It’s now over a year ago since I started these Rock Garden blogs….and they seem to be very popular. All done as a bit of fun, but many have said how informative they find them (whilst drunk that is) and a good way of remembering plant names.  So you may get a few more of them in the future…sorry!

The added extra….

If I had known about this plant a year ago, it certainly would have made it into the blog, first time round.

Sansevieria ‘Twisted Sister’

A short and twisted plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is a plant that thrives on neglect.

The Band…..

Twisted Sister are a Glam Heavy Metal band from New York. Formed in 1972 and still going strong today, they are the kings of cheesy metal; along with their charismatic front….. Dee Snider.  I absolutely love this band 🙂

One more for luck…..

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday


After a long wait and several threats of me doing a rain-dance, the rain came about a month ago, and it hasn’t stopped since! But as we all know, we need it!

What would be more helpful, is if mother nature could spread the rain more evenly throughout the year, instead of dumping it on us all in one go.

So in between the showers this week, I have been busy  with my camera (for work purposes of course). Because compared to the last couple of springs, the garden has a more lush, live feel about the place. But now we have had all this rain, let’s have some sun, so we can really start to enjoy our gardens.

And the lawns are looking greener as well…..

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