November 22, 2014

10 Photos of Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden is an iconic British garden and a must see when you visit Great Britain.


Recently I was reviewing a book that was published 3rd of November, 2014 (read the review here).
Whatever you see on the photos below or in reality, you can find its story in the book, how that specific part was created, what challenges were faced from the beginning and how the weaknesses of the site were turned into strengths.

 Photos thanks to courtesy of Ugardener


For me one of the most interesting part is the description how the illusion of symmetry was created. The site is not perfect, as any of those we guard. One of its characteristics is lack of symmetry.


They struggled with it, but they made it – for today looks perfectly symmetrical. Whether you like it or not, symmetry is pleasing for the eyes. Worth re-thinking? I believe so. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the photos and maybe also the book as I do (still standing on the shelf next to my bed).  







I love this photo. Look close. See the parts of the grass that is left growing freely. No mowing, or let's say just partial mowing. Like it too?




November 20, 2014

16 Photos of the Best Flowering Hydrangeas in Poland

The best recipe for success with your beloved plants in the garden is actually the choice of plants itself. If you match the requirements with the conditions of your climate zone and specific conditions you have in your own location, your life would be much easier and your garden much healthier.

I know why we garden lovers too often try to cultivate plants that have little chance to thrive, that struggle to survive the condition and give us little pleasure in return for efforts and money we spend to make them feel comfortable. Why I know? Because been there and done that.

There are three reasons. First we feel almost almighty, so we can change the condition in the garden and make it suitable for the chosen plants. Which partially might be true, but makes gardening more difficult. At the end we can’t win over Mother Nature, she is too powerful.

Second, we are ignorant and make mistakes. I don’t know how it is in your country, but in Poland there is no proper info coming with the plant. In good garden centers there are sometimes trained sales assistants who could be asked and provide accurate information, but most often there is nobody to ask because the employers while reducing the costs, they tend to hire people with less and less expertise, even sometimes nonexistent.

The third reason that comes to my mind is that we are simply, let’s say, in love aka fascinated and obsessed with certain plants and species. In such malignant state that continues sometimes for years, we do not accept facts, but we rather allure ourselves with our dreams and wishes.

I wonder what’s your obsession? I will tell u mine.



For years this were hydrangeas. Particularly Hydrangea macrophylla. I still love them, but I understood that Hydrangea macrophylla will not grow and flower profoundly in my garden, because of climate zone. I am living in 6b zone, where in winter temperature may drop to -30C/-22F. Such temperatures kill the flower buds and large part of the stems.



I tell you what, the sad truth is that there is no perfect winter protection. Using different kinds of winter protections made me save some of the stems and buds, but I was never happy with flowering…. Maybe next year it will be better… I usually thought. But why to wait till next year, while here and today is only thing that matters? It’s been 10 years since I am gardening here and every year, there was hope for next year.


Further recommended reading Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener


And one day last summer, while traveling to the Western part of Poland, where climate is milder (6a zone) I stopped at the garden with stunning Hydrangea macrophylla flowering!

I couldn’t resist to ring the bell and ask if could take a photo. She was kind to agree, in fact she was very happy to share her pride and beauties with me.


The lady told me she is obsessed with hydrangeas for over 30 years and they always bloomed nicely for her, but she also admitted that this year is simply amazing because of milder winter we had.


She was kind enough to show me inside of the garden, I couldn’t see from the street. I am telling you, it is hydrangeas paradise! I have never seen such hydrangeas bloom in Poland.


Further recommended reading Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener

So, this is the story of the photos I share today. Seeing such abundance of flowers make me admit to myself that trying to make Hydrangea macrophylla happy in Masovia (Poland)where I live, is a waste of money and time.


But nurseries and professional plant growers will never share this secret.


Further recommended reading Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener




Further recommended reading Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener

November 17, 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Poland November 2014

What a true surprise! Such Novemebr can be blessed like no other! I don't remember that warm November and that many flowers in the garden so late in the Autumn. Usually mid of this month there was a heavy snow fall.
Some of the gardeners, especially those maintaining other people's gardens are very unhappy and use to say... we will all pay for this weather next year.... plants will suffer.  Are they right?

I can't say I am unhappy with this temperatures, warmer is better, isn't it?

Thanks to this year's unusual weather conditions I can proudly present flowers from my Moms garden, located in the Western part of Poland (closer to Berlin than Warsaw).   

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is organised by Carol from May Dreams Garden - if you would like to see more blooms from around the world have a look here.

Rudbeckia of unknown kind...like little sunshine...

Rudbeckias look much better in my Mom;s garden than mine...

Bergenia usually blooms in the spring, it's definitely not the best time for her.

They grow where they want and they are invited to do so... garbage can is kind of picturesque, don't you think so?

Hydrangea macrophylla still pretty...

Mums thriving every year over one month in the garden...

Some roses are still in bloom... unfortunately of unknown kind...

Double flowered garden growing mums...

Nasturtiums still in pretty good condition...

Look great with rough stones...

Mid-day or rather all-day dew....  

Recommended further reading The Flower Recipe Book

November 14, 2014

What Kind of Orchid to Buy as a Gift

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Lady Slippers)
Orchids are quickly becoming one of the most popular indoor plants in the world. They can provide beauty and elegance to any room instantly. With over 20,000 species, you can find an Orchid that will grow well in just about any condition or match just about any design.

Orchids have also become a very popular gift for all occasions. They are typically easy to care for and can be gifted in bloom which will last for several weeks. Once the Orchid stops blooming, it then becomes a houseplant as opposed to a display piece. You do not want to give someone an Orchid that looks great but is impossible to care for without experience.

If you pick up and Orchid at a grocery or gardening store, it will likely be a good Orchid for beginners. Those stores are not going to carry an Orchid that is not meant to be given to someone that has no Orchid growing experience. Nor do they want to deal with the hassle of caring for those difficult Orchids themselves.

Water and Sunlight are the two factors that determine whether or not an Orchid is a good choice for gifting. You don’t want to get someone a gift that needs to be watered three times a day and moved to different locations throughout the day. Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cattleya. andPaphiopedilum Orchids are the three most common Orchids used for gifts.

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Moth Orchids) 

These Orchids are by far the most common Orchids used as gifts, currently. When you think about what an Orchid looks like, you likely think of this kind of Orchid. You can find these in any color except black and blue, and in a plethora of patterns. These Orchids bloom for months at a time and can be placed on display in locations with no light while in bloom.

Moth Orchids need to be in a warm location with plenty of bright indirect sunlight. They do well with the normal temperatures on a house or office as long as they do not receive cool breezes from a window or door. This Orchid needs to be watered every 7 – 10 days and can even be watered with a few ice cubes once a week.

Dendrobium Orchids 

Dendrobium Orchids are very popular as cut flowers in floral arrangements. The flowers last an extended period of time after they are cut and put in a vase. Before Moth Orchids recently became popular, this was the most popular Orchid. This species was used to create most of the hybrid Orchid species and is commonly referred to as the “workhorse of Orchids”

This Orchid can withstand a small amount of direct sunlight, unlike most other Orchids. That being said, it is best if you avoid the direct sun if possible. Dendrobium Orchids need a dryer and more airy growing root system. This means that you should allow the growing medium to dry out some between watering. Water this plant every other week or when the growing medium has been dry for a few days.

Cattleya Orchids 

This Orchid species is a common house plant and is one of the most common flowers used in corsages. They produce large flowers that produce a very strong fragrance when in bloom. They will bloom twice a year if given enough light.

Cattleya Orchids need bright indirect sunlight to encourage flowering. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves of this species very quickly if you are not careful. Water this Orchid every 10 days, letting the growing medium start to dry out between watering.

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Lady Slippers) 

These are one of the most unique looking Orchids that you will see grown as household plants. They grow flowers with a unique pouch that they use to catch and trap insects in the wild. They grow sprouts that only flower once when they are full grown. After those sprouts bloom, they will die and be replaced with new sprouts to start the whole process over again.

Lady Slippers need a good amount of sunlight in order to bloom indoors. They can be placed near a sunny window and slowly adjusted to some direct sunlight. They require about the same amount of light as an African Violate. They typically grow in swamps and other moist areas, so water twice a week to keep moist.

For more great information about types of Orchids, stop by Orchidsplus

Further recommended reading The Orchid Whisperer: Expert Secrets for Growing Beautiful Orchids
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