Garden Review 2017 – the Flowers

As February rolls on, and flashes of greenery and flowers begin to appear, let’s take a look back to the summer of 2017 with my top 5 flowers in my garden.

Following on from my recent review of the top 5 vegetables in my garden in 2017, it’s time to share the most successful flowers that grew in my garden last season.

I can’t wait for Spring to really kick off, and for the flowers and lush foliage to return. For now though, here’s a quick fix:

Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’

Rose 'Ernest H Morse' on flower
The Rose ‘Ernest H. Morse’ is very fragrant, and flowers heavily.

I’m a sucker for Roses, and this Hybrid Tea bush Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’ was one that I picked up from a market stall in Ely, where they were doing a 3 for £15 deal.

Ernest H Morse rose on flower
The Ernest H Morse rose flowers heavily.

This heavily fragrant rose has grown about 3 feet since I planted it into the soil concrete-like clay when I broke my lawn in April 2017. In fact, the day I picked up my keys to my new house, this rose was in my car and amongst the first things I dropped off.

Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’

purple Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower
Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flowers came in a range of colours.

A family friend gave me a load of seeds that she’d saved from the front of her gardening magazines, and amongst these packets were Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’. I’d never heard of them before, so thought I’d give them a try.

A white Sweet Sultan 'Mixed' flower.
A white Sweet Sultan ‘Mixed’ flower.

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018, as they work well with the Cosmos.


A lone Gladiolus stem
Up goes the Gladiolus stem…

I found just one Gladiolus bulb whilst picking the plants to move from my old house to my new one, and in its new home in the fresh border, it performed the best it ever has done.

Pink and white Gladiolus flower
The Gladiolus flower was well worth the wait.

However, this Gladiolus was clearly not the same one that flowered in the old garden in 2013-2016. I hope that that one brought a dash of surprise deep pink colour back there to the new resident.

I have purchased some more Gladioli bulbs, and will be adding more to the border for this year.

Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’

Cosmos flowers in garden
Some of the Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ reached about 4 feet tall.

I’d never grown Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ before, nor any Cosmos from seed, but I had previously purchased a couple of these plants from a garden centre and enjoyed their cheery daisy-like flowers.

This time, I grew them, although I admittedly sowed them so early that I worried that they would be too straggly to come to anything much. They spent too long in their secondary seed modules before planting out.

Pink Cosmos 'Seashells Mixed' flower in sunshine
Cosmos came in many colours.

However, after a few weeks, they had recovered and within a few months had become huge plants that filled my garden with cheery pinks, purples, and white flowers, set upon sturdy green stems and delicate leaves.

Cosmos flower with bee
White Cosmos ‘Seashells Mixed’ with a happy bee

I’ll definitely be growing these again in 2018.

Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’

tulips on flower
My Tulips in pots at my old house in April 2017, just days before I moved.

I bought a pack of Tulip ‘Mixed Garden’ back in 2016, and planted them into a few wooden troughs that I rescued from my late-uncle’s garden when we were clearing his house.

At that point, I was living at my previous house, so I made sure that I didn’t plant them in anything I couldn’t pick up and move with – and I remember driving to my new house with a car boot full of beautiful tulips gently swaying in the rear-view mirror.

They put on a beautiful show in my old shady garden, and they continued that in my new sunny one.

They’re emerging again right now – with their waxy green leaves curling out of the compost. I’m hoping for a similarly beautiful display in the next couple of months.

That’s it!

So, if this hasn’t cheered your February winter blues up, then I don’t know what will.

With bulbs poking through the soil, green buds appearing on shrubs, and even the first blue tit inspecting my as-yet un-used birdbox, it feels like winter’s grip is loosening a little.

There’s seeds sown in my propagator, the shed is tidied, and I’m getting ready for what 2018 can bring.

Will you be growing any new flowers this year? What worked well for you last year? Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thank you for reading, and happy gardening!


Choosing the Roses for the new garden

I beg your pardon, I most certainly did promise myself a rose garden – and I’m choosing the rose plants now.

Over the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had Roses on my mind. I love them, and in particular, I love sticking my nose in them and having a sniff, or even walking up to them and being enveloped by a beautiful fragrance.

With my new garden just 10 days away, I’m reminded that it’s devoid of any plant other than patchy grass and a few brambles in the backyard, so I’ve got a blank canvas, and I need to add roses in there for those moments of early evening fragrant wafts as I sit out on my patio and survey my Eden. Well, you know what I mean.

I happened to be in Ely on market day a couple of times over those weeks, and I spotted a stall offering 2 hybrid tea roses for £5 (or £3 each). They had all sorts and of a good size.

My first visit saw me pick one ‘very fragrant’ red rose named Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’, which I bought, almost with a ‘it’s too early’/’at least get the keys first’ guilty feeling. It’s a lovely plant, and I hope that it goes on to bring the fragrant red blooms that the label promises.

Rose 'Ernest H Morse'
Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’

Then on Saturday, I walked by again and once again they had the same offer. This time, I had little guilt and so bought 2 more – this time a pinky one Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’, and a golden yellow Rose ‘Just Joey’. Again, these look like good plants, and they’re all marked as very fragrant.

Rose 'Fragrant Cloud - Tanellis'
Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’
Rose 'Just Joey'
Rose ‘Just Joey’

I can’t wait to plant them into my new garden, alongside the Rosa that I rescued from Poundland a month or so ago.

There’s an alpaca farm and horse stables near my new house… I wonder whether I can get a free bucket of manure for them…

Thanks again for reading, and happy gardening!