Hydrangea Season again……


National Hydrangea Collection, Darley, Derby

The new season for Hydrangea’s is upon us….the blooms are just starting to produce the rich cushions of petals above the dark green foliage.  The weather over the past few weeks has been far from kind, so in a gap in the rains and whilst the clouds broke just a little, I thought I would see how this years blooms were doing.

The National Hydrangea Collection is hidden within an old walled garden.  Located at Darley Abbey Park, Derby and is perhaps one of Derby’s best kept secrets. One time Derby was a mass of flowers across the summer but sadly our council, in its so called wisdom, has cut the Parks and Gardens budget to near zero.  Truth is if it wasn’t for a dedicated bunch of volunteers this collection would have vanished….it is sad as Derby was the location for the first ever Public Park and has until recently an enviable record on maintain some great parks and open spaces.

The best Blooms are yet to come ……so with luck and some good weather I will try and pop back, just hoping that this spell of bad weather does not cause too much damage.

6th August

(C) David Oakes 2017






Despite the heavy rains the Water Lilly’s  have survived…Rich green pads Lilly pads with hot pink flowers each with a startling yellow cluster of stamen.

8th June

(C) David Oakes 2017

Everything is Growing…….



Great Oaks …from Little Acorns Grow

Last Spring (2016) we found a little Oak tree growing out of our gravel path…it couldn’t stay there so we dug it up.  The roots were short and still attached to the original Acorn.   We potted it up and watered it during the year and it seemed to flourish. Winter came and the small leaves dried and fell.  The twig that was left look all but dead until this springs sunshine and warmth stimulated into action….a new Oak Tree in the making.

The colours of late spring and early summer are now starting to bring high spots of very individual colours and flower heads across the garden…no massed displays as yet, just beacons of summers glory to come….even the Bees are busy


Nor was the Robin about to leave the day un-sung

There are two young Robins hiding in the undergrowth….so I guess he is just singing with pride and joy…


30th May

(C) David Oakes 2017