A Priory Pause

I’m about to toss my blogging beret (with ostrich feather) to one side; take off my blogging smoking-jacket (burgundy with faux-ermine trim), lay down my blogging cigarette-holder (fake ivory with diamante inlay) and flick-out my blogging monocle.

Yep.  Time for a break from the blogging treadmill.  At least for a while.  But before I go, I’ll leave you with some recent snapshots from the Priory.

The kidney beds with absurdly huge (and very stoutly staked) echinops – left, have put on a good showing this year.  Over on the right, behind the persicaria is …

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.  This is a widely grown garden stalwart … and quite right too.  A gorgeous, and reliable, thing.

The long borders are looking neat and trim but I shall be giving them a major revamp over the coming months.  The cardoons for a start will be coming out – their enormous leaves take up a huge amount of space but then die back leaving unsightly gaps.

Here, in the rock border, is Lobelia cardinalisQueen Victoria.‘  I’ve grown this in my garden before but this is its first year at the Priory.

You will have to do battle with slugs, to get it to flowering size.  Persevere – she’s worth it.

For these past four years, I’ve experimented with different climbers on this wooden post:  morning glory, passion flower, Spanish flag and this year black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata).  I can now announce my climber trial is over and we have a clear winner.  Of the four, I am most impressed with (…drumroll … bugle … more drumroll … a touch more bugle …) the Thunbergia.  It has won itself a permanent spot. *Applause, whistles and foot stomping*

I started clipping the box the other day – of which I’ve planted rather a lot.  This hedge is a free-form shape.  A sleigh?  A recumbent giant (waist down only)? A pair of racing caterpillars?  No idea.  It will become clearer in time, perhaps.  Or maybe I should run a competition?  You suggest it; I’ll clip it.

A view across the new path beds (planted with but not yet filled by Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’) to the new tropical border.

It hasn’t been a brilliant year for establishing a hot border.  But it is now, finally, beginning to plump up and have a romp.  Agonizingly, my Echium pininana are still only three-foot tall.  Will they flower this year?  I demand it but your guess is as good as mine.

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ adds spots of colour …

… as did Lilium pardalinum and …

Canna coccinea; all three are new additions to the gardens.

And if you haven’t grown Eucomis bicolor before (like me) I would heartily recommend it.  The flowers are simply (insert superlative of choice here) and very long-lived indeed.  I do so like a hardworking plant.

I’ll finish with this shot of an only recently transplanted Verbascum olympicum.  As a ghostly specimen this particular plant takes some beating.  The silver, unblemished leaves; the symmetry, stature and slightly bashful nod; that promise of gold flower.  I shall be transplanting more of these from the Old Forge.

Right then.

That’s enough.

Break-time, already.

See you soon ….. Dave

36 thoughts on “A Priory Pause

  1. David, as I’m always entertained and even rather awed by your blog, I hope you’re not going to be away too long. I also know, though, the need to disconnect from blogging, the need to just get on with life, not to be interminably reporting it.
    God bless, Faisal.


    • Aww, shucks and thanks Mr F. I will be back (I think) but I have found not-blogging quite a release and a relief … but then I have also missed it. No pleasing some people. Your point about living life and not interminably reporting it, is a great point – and one that some should take to heart, I think. Best, soon-to-return-Dave


  2. Sometimes one needs a break, if maintaining the grounds of a palace weren’t enough, documenting might be the straw that broke the camels back. I’ll keep checking in to catch you when you’re back. I grew about 100 echiums from seed this year and have been planting them in as many places as possible. Still no blooms, but I will be victorious… eventually…. right?


    • Hey Nat, my echium positivity has taken a knock, I’m afraid. After all those months of nurturing them through the winter and subsequent spring, the blasted things still haven’t flowered. Not sure what to do now – write a post about them I guess! Good to hear from you. D


  3. Have a great break. The Priory is looking stunning. Despite the shocking summer the photos transported me to somewhere that is warm and sunny for more than one day. I can dream. The eucomis is a stunner. Fancy giving it a go. You’ll have to tell me your tips for growing them when you return refreshed and relaxed.
    I have no idea why but for some reason wordpress won’t send me links to your posts. Oh well, something for Wellyman to look into.


    • Hi WW, sorry a very late response to your kind words. Eucomis is brill (I shall have a tee-shirt printed with those words). No real tips. Stick the bulbs in a pot and hey presto!! Don’t you just love easy things? Which seemingly, WordPress isn’t! D


  4. Enjoy your break – and jaunts away. It does become so hard to keep up with writing and selecting photos and reading and all the rest that blogging entails at this time of year when the garden is demanding so much attention. Look forward to your return!


    • Hi Sara, who knew that blogging entailed so much time? Not I. I only started it for a lark – and then it took over my life!! (Bit of an exaggeration but a germ of truth). I will get back into the swing of things. I will. D


  5. enjoy your break, I read much less at this time of year as busy in the garden,
    Dave though I have frequently seen your comments on other blogs this is the first time I’ve clicked through, I did so after reading your comment on Pauline’s blog about her not having a link to her blog when she leaves a comment it is the same when she comments on my blog, Diana is wrong, it’s quite strange really as she has a link to her blog when replying on her own blog, so it is not needed as we are there already but there is no link through when she comments on other peoples blogs,
    still I am glad this prompted me to click through as I find your garden lovely and interesting and so while you are on a break I can catch up with some of your past posts, Frances


    • Hello Frances (I usually respond to comments quicker than this – honest!). Yes. I did try to explain the above to Pauline on her blog – but I’m not sure I succeeded. Thanks for backing me up – perhaps I’m not mad after all? Perhaps. Dave


    • Hi Janet, break enjoyed – thanks. Now? Now, I’m just seriously worn out with the amount of hard, physical graft September has brought. Bring on the first frosts, I say – I’ve had enough of mowing and hedge cutting! D


  6. Enjoy your break, the garden is looking fantastic, hope you come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way!


  7. We all need a break from whatever it is we do at some point; blogging can ‘waste’ a lot of time as well as be useful to the writer and the reader (one hopes). I hope you’ll come back soon refreshed, I’ll miss your humerous posts and comments. Christina


    • Hi Christina, thank you – how kind. I ‘waste’ an inordinate amount of time blogging and wonder whether I can continue to do so – having so many other demands on my time. I’ve rather enjoyed not blogging but rather missed it too. So where does that leave me? D


  8. Everything looks so gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to try echinops, but I’m still on the fence about it. I love nepeta and just bought some of the non-reseeding cultivar, Walker’s Low. Enjoy your blogging hiatus.


    • Hi GS, and thanks. Grasp echinops to your bosom (though it’s a tad prickly) though here at least it does need staking. Walker’s Low I don’t know. I shall look it up! Hiatus enjoyed, thanks. D


  9. Enjoy a well-earned break, Dave. Sit back with your feet up and reflect on your Priory successes. Let someone else shoo away the occasional cow. Don’t lose that blogging outfit, though. I’d hate to think of you not having that blogging outfit. We’ll be here looking mournfully at the dahlias until you return. (They’re just not the same without you.)


    • Blogging outfit safe, hung up on a mannequin and wrapped in cellophane, Stacy. Occasional cow? Occasional cow? There will be no occasional cows at the Priory, by God. Will there? And thanks – how nice to be missed, eh? D


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