Set Fair

It was good to have that little ‘wobble’ last week, and good to be able to record it on the blog, as I can look back next year and confirm that despite the occasional nerves everything will come together in time for the openings; indeed, for anyone opening their garden I suspect there will always be things being done at the last minute however much preparation has been done. Soon after I wrote the post I was back on track, in the throes of cake making and ticking things off the ever-expanding list and now the feeling is one of excitement and anticipation. Thanks for all your best wishes and reassurances – I shall catch up with my responses to you in due course!

Checking the forecast it doesn’t look as if we need be concerned about the weather, as it is set fair for at least the next fortnight with temperatures into the 20s all next week. The last few days have seen several occasions when the sky clouded over as if rain was imminent but these blew over as quickly as they came; we did, however have a few random stray showers today, all brief and very light except for one which was much sharper but still brief. Fortunately it didn’t seem to take too many petals from the roses so the above view of the Rambling Rector (over the rose arbour in the foreground), New Dawn (climbing up a pillar of the same arbour) and the never-before-as-floriferous Rural England (on the pergola in the background) is unchanged.

Tasks on the to-do lists are dwindling, there are only two of the twenty planned cakes to bake and the Golfer has sacrificed the health of his knees for the sake of tidy paths, so while there is a little time to spare would like to have a peek inside the new greenhouse? It is still a work in progress so some of the contents are temporary, but I have thoroughly enjoyed adding it to my rambles around the garden, revelling in its distinctive smell, very different from the ‘working’ greenhouse at the other end of the garden. Come on in…

On the left we have a row of scented leaf pelargoniums with temporary colour from verbena on the upper shelf, whilst on the right the lower shelf has a canna, Eucomis autumnalis, pineapple sage Salvia elegans (courtesy of Joanna, Edinburgh Garden Diary) and sempervivum with temporary Busy Lizzies above.

You will see that all the pots and saucers are terracotta, a small extravagance perhaps, but after splashing out on the greenhouse I wanted to maintain the stylish appearance; not as extravagant as it might first seem, because more than half of these pots were bargain buys from one of the local ‘pound shops’. The larger pots are a mixture of existing and new ones, some from car boot sales which I will be scouring for more. On the floor these pots contain  Hardenbergia violacea ‘Happy Wanderer’ and Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’:

Eucomis  pole-evansii (courtesy of Christine, Croft Garden):

And bottle brush Callistemon sieberi ‘Injune’ and tender-perennial-but-usually-grown -outside-as-an-annual Cobaea scandens – it’s hard to believe the latter was grown from seed sown in January. Despite being pinched out there seems to be no stopping it making a bid for the roofspace – and don’t you just love those extraordinarily fine tendrils?

Hope you enjoyed popping and having a look – sorry I couldn’t offer you a chair  as I haven’t yet found the ‘right one’! If you have any ideas for other plants that would enjoy a home here do let me know, especially early bulbs and unusual things I could grow from seed. It will be kept frost free in winter, benefitting from being attached to the house.

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52 Responses to Set Fair

  1. Cathy says:

    I can see that the new greenhouse will be a place for keeping specialties and treasures! The terracotta pots really do create that effect and I would certainly also have chosen scented pelargoniums and sempervivums. Maybe some Auriculas in spring? 🙂

  2. I love the greenhouse. The pots look beautiful!

  3. Here’s to a wonderful garden extravaganza…made so well by all your hard work.

  4. bcparkison says:

    Here is to awonderful time. Do let us know how it goes.

  5. Love the greenhouse! Especially the terracotta pots!!

  6. janesmudgeegarden says:

    It’s wonderful! The colour of the greenhouse and your wooden frame for the Cobaea scandens -another new plant for me- against the colour of the house is an excellent contrast and the terracotta pots (I like it when they get that aged patina) look perfect.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jane – all the timber projects in the garden are painted this shade of green. It’s such a great colour for the garden and the greenhouse is nearly the same shade too

  7. Nat says:

    The greenhouse with the terracotta pots look so lovely!

  8. Pauline says:

    The roses have come on cue and are looking wonderful. I’m sure your opening will be a great success. The new greenhouse is looking very smart along with its new plants and pots, your visitors can’t fail to be impressed.

  9. Ali says:

    It’s looking fabulous, Cathy. Your roses are, of course, spectacular. I love the terracotta pots. I’m guessing that your greenhouse doesn’t get too hot either, being shaded a bit by house wall?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Ali – in fact the greenhouse faces approx NE and wasn’t the best location for a greenhouse but I am pleased with how much sun it does actually get without the 40 degrees the other one reaches. Quite a pleasant environment in fact

  10. Julie King says:

    Good luck with your open day Cathy – I am sure your guests will thoroughly enjoy their visit and hopefully appreciate all your hard work! Julie xx

  11. Good luck for the opening, you seem so organised. Loved the terra cotta pots and new greenhouse.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jackie – I am certainly not a perfectionist but there are little things I wanted to make sure wer done, and it’s good having a deadline to work towards 😉

  12. Nigel says:

    Wow. It looks great. I love your terracotta pots

  13. Christina says:

    I will be watching for ideas for my new outside/inside space. I will keep the citrus there for the winter. I’m hopeful big for some special orchids. Like Liz (the blooming garden) I’m prepared to keep the temperature to even plus 5degrees.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, that sort of temperature for this one too. I was going to buy one of the specimen lemon trees Aldi had in March, but left it till my second visit that week by which time they had been brought inside from the bitter cold where they suffered in the dry heat and were not worth buying any more – hope they have more next year as they were really good specimens to begin with! Growing things in this greenhouse will be yet another learning curve so it will be good to share ideas and experiences

  14. Cathy takes all the controlled tasks for the opening of her garden that will be a success. Your garden is very beautiful. I love your new greenhouse with terracotta pots and dishes: it’s a touch that sets it apart from all the others. And the plants you have are very chosen. I like very much. Have a good Sunday. Take care. Greetings from Margarita.

  15. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    A perfect place for your scented pelargoniums. I bet they make the greenhouse smell heavenly. All of your plants will take off now and grow up a storm. Best wishes for a successful opening.

  16. I love the greenhouse and pots in clay are a must. Scented leaf geraniums, my fave and succulents. Glad the to do list is shrinking. Best wishes for a very successful opening Cathy

    • Cathy says:

      I always think of our day out at Broughton Grange when I see them as that is when I first decided to start growing them 🙂 Hope your group visit went well – are you going to write about it on your blog?

      • The visit is a whole other story. I will wrote about one of the visits but not that one.
        Broughton grange is so lovely and it was such an enjoyable day out, meeting you.
        Perhaps I need a greenhouse after all?!

        • Cathy says:

          Oh no! It wasn’t awful, was it? I do so hope not… 😦 And I haven’t specifically mentioned, but make sure you have lots of help for your main opening to make yourself free to mingle – but I am sure you will have thought of that

          • They had double booked.
            However a couple had arranged to visit the next day and were very complimentary and have asked me to help them come up with ideas for their garden. So not a complete waste of effort and I am organised

          • Cathy says:

            Double booked?! How on earth could they have done that? How much notice did they give you that they were not coming? All the preparation you will have done… So pleased to hear about your other visitors though. Have you got many booked visits? They are a mixed blessing, as they can be time consuming for not much reward. I have 2 groups booked in July and someone else rang me just last week with another possible booking which I wouldn’t have expected as the others were booked months ago

          • Beyond belief. 8am on the day of the visit.
            Anyway live and learn !
            I have messaged all other booked groups to ensure no confusion.
            Two lots of u3a groups and another WI
            I certainly wondered what on earth I had got myself into. Anyway the garden looked good!

          • Cathy says:

            That really is beyond belief.. Groups can be hard work and we wondered last year if they were really worth the effort so now ask for a minimum of 15 (or charge at rate for 15). Most groups want to spend their full 2 hour (usually) meeting time there and usually with your full attention. Usually don’t want cake and don’t look at plants for sale either! A bigger group would be better but ours last year and those booked for this year are all mid or low-teens in numbers. Glad you feel your garden looked good though – and now it needs to be maintained that way!

          • Yes I already feel (groups) they are going to be little reward for the extra work involved. I am going to ask them to agree in advance for refreshments so that I don’t waste time preparing.
            Beginning to question why I have started all this!
            Did your day go well, weather was fine?

          • Cathy says:

            Yes, it’s important to know in advance whether it is just tea or biscuits/cake too. Day 1 went very well, thanks – all good

          • Have you written about it yet?

          • Cathy says:

            Not yet, just a WW photo. Will write next week

          • Good I haven’t missed it.
            Enjoy the weekend

  17. gardenfancyblog says:

    Lovely greenhouse! I wish you the best with your open garden. -Beth

  18. tonytomeo says:

    This NGS seems to be quite stressful. Gardening should be more fun! Our Open House events at the farm were stressful too, but SO worth it.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t get stressed about it Tony, but you have to be of a certain standard to be included in the first place although I wouldn’t change the fundamentals just to be accepted. In the last few weeks before an opening it is mostly the basic maintenance jobs – and I needn’t offer refreshments if I didn’t want to

      • tonytomeo says:

        Ours was stressful because we are not accustomed to retail or large crowds. We typically put the material on a truck and send it on its way. However, the events were totally excellent because so many people got to see the beauty of the place where we work and take for granted. To us, the flowers are merely a by product, that in some cases must be removed to that stock plants can provide more cuttings. (We did that after the events of course.)

    • Cathy says:

      Oh and definitely worth it to raise all that money for charity, as well as being a joy to be able to share the pleasure it gives me

  19. Brian Skeys says:

    The new greenhouse looks fab Cathy with all those terracotta pots. I invested in some young scented leaved pelargoniums last year and lost several during the summer. Yours look very healthy, I am envious.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – we both bought from Fibrex last year, didn’t we? I too lost several over winter and assumed it was me but have bought a few more from them this year. Perhaps some are more winter tolerant than others although al of mine spent the winter in the sitooterie and were more than frost free

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