Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stars of April

sorry i haven't been about lately, but I'm currently having a dispute with talktalk and am having to borrow a friends computer to do this (thank you Tony), so posts might be a bit irregular until we sort things out.
Anyway I thought the easiest way to catch up is to post photos of the last month. So here they are.....the stars of my garden in April.

This little double primrose is THE STAR of the winter, she was in flower continously from the time I bought her, all through the snow and is still going strong.

This little one has been almost as brave, but was not quite as good in the snow.

The pansies, although they are meant to be winter flowering got a bit wilted during the really cold weather, but are making up for it now!

The wallflower were late starting but have outlasted the daffodils.

What can I say about these old faithful, they come up every year.

The elephants ears have been struggling on gamely all through the winter, but look just as happy as I am that it seems to be over.

The daffodils gave a lovely show, but are all finished now.

These bright little euphorbia(?) brighten up a shady corner.

The frittillaries in the lawn are not as prolific as usual, all the mauve ones have disappeared.

The fisrt bluebells, all the others have caught up with them now but these were the first ones in flower.

This little beauty gives a beautiful perfume outside the front door.

Could someone please tell this little bee not to work quite so hard....... the title of the blog is Lazy Days in my garden.

Sadly these daffodils are all finished now. I'm waiting for the leaves to die back so that I can put my fuschia cuttings in their place. I've been hardening them off ready and you can just see them peeping around the pot.

This is the patch outside the front door.

Finn and Smudge survey the world with a jaundiced eye as I go out and leave them!

These anenome guard my back door and keep a clematis cutting company.

Raindrops on the honeysuckle.

Finn and Smudge have captured the spirit of my garden as we all relax in the sun!

And lastly the clematis is not quite in a starring role, but will be very soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Great Chainsaw Massacre

Ages ago I asked someone to come and thin the branches of the willow tree at the end of the garden to let the sun get through to the bears britches which haven't flowered for the last 2 years,presumably because of lack of sunlight. I really wanted it done earlier in the year, before it started shooting, but while I was sitting quietly outside today having lunch, Finn started barking his 'someone's at the door' bark and there was Chainsaw Man ready for work. Well I've never been one to stop a man working when he's in the mood so after shutting Finn indoors (he does like to'help'), rescueing cheese sandwiches and making cups of tea the tree was tackled.

We only took a couple of branches out, but it's made quite a difference to the far end of the garden.
Underneath this pile of trash there's a barbeque and a chair hiding!

As he was leaving, he saw the Cherry tree leaning drunkenly against the front fence so he cut that down to fence height. Hopefully it will shoot out again next year. It was starting to rot in the middle and I have been worried about it for some time. But why is it as soon as I get the garden tidy there is another pile of trash to get rid of?

Cutting the branches from the willow tree has given me about an hour and a half more sun in my sitting place. Here is Finn enjoying the sun at 5.15, it's usually gone by 4.30 this time of year. He's not that impressed as it means his walk was late tonight!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Lazy Day in my Garden

We've had a fantastic couple of weeks and I'm lying here in my sitting place by the shed on my blanket with my book, baking in the sun. If I get up to make a cup of tea it is quite cold on the other side of the shed by the kitchen door and I have to put my jumper back on. The sun shines down from a cloudless blue sky from about 12.30 when it peeps over the top of the house until about 4.30 when it hides amongst the willow branches and Iwill take Finn for his walk. Finn thinks I need entertaining and every so often will throw a ball at me. I ignore him and he goes away, the air is filled with a garlicy onion scent as he tramples across the alliums on his way indoors. The buzz of insects forms an unobtrusive background hum and every so often a couple of sparrows chatter their way across the garden. Smudge looks on with interest from his vantage point under the hedge. He caught another vole a couple of days ago, I wouldn't mind if he ate it, but he left it in the middle of the path.
As I lie here I take stock of the ravages of this winter. The rosemary has died, luckily I took some cuttings at the beginning of the winter, but they are too small to use yet. The mint, both the applemint and the ordinary mint seems to have disappeared. On the plus side both the marjoram and the oregano are thriving. These marjoram plants are next to where I am lieing and give off a marvelous aroma if I brush against them.

The chives which I thought had died a couple of months ago are doing so well I have just split them up into three clumps. The wild garlic is also thriving, the origional clump amongst the london pride was split up last year and the new colony is doing well by the front door. These are next to my table so I get the galicy scent while I eat my dinner.

A few days ago I got myself motivated to make a new archway for the clematis, it's coming into bud now and I want it to have settled into position before it flowers properly.

As you've probably gathered by looking at some of the photos of my garden, I'm into recycling things and hate throwing anything away if it can possibly be used for something. Well the neighbours have cottoned onto this and I am the last stop before the dump! I was given a whole load of wood for the fire and some of it was just right for my clematis support. It looks a bit Heath Robinson at the moment, but by the end of summer the clematis should have covered it nicely! (I hope).

Looking from my sitting place by the shed towards the tadpoles bath. The drystone walling around it needs repairing and the bath needs leveling up somehow, it seems to have sunk unevenly over the years. There are primroses and day lillies and aquilega in between. Later on I'm hoping to put some of my fuschia cuttings I took in the autumn there, but it's too early to risk them outside yet.

The pieris on the far side of the bath is shooting nicely.

And finally. the collection of pots by the shed door, there's london pride a bamboo and a heuchera.

The shed door is open slightly reminding me that I should really be making more candles to take to our local country market, but it's too nice lieing here in the sun so I will have that cup of tea and finish my book instead!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sorry for not writing much this month, but the computer died on me and I've had to resuscitate an old one. I'm back on line now, sitting at the far end of the garden under the willow tree. I've been given another garden table so now I can eat my breakfast in the sun without having to move the table under the window which catches the evening sun and where I like to have my dinner in the summer

It's peaceful here, outside the traffic goes by on the road and a plane passes overhead, but somehow here they don't intrude. The air is still and the sun shines through the leafless branches. There are birds singing somewhere behind me and a breathe of wind rustles the bamboo leaves by the kitchen door. Two crows fly over on some secret mission and I have a sip of tea as I watch.

There is not much in flower in this part of the garden at the moment, a couple of daffodils and one of the primroses I split up earlier this month. The Ice plant forms a compact cushion of new shoots,

the dicentra is shooting, the pieris has a collection of new shoots, montbretia is popping up everywhere and the heucheras and wild geraniums are fresh and green.

The willow tree I am sitting under is bursting with catkin buds, which my next door neighbour will probably complain about when they blow into her garden!

I wasn't very impressed with the cyclamen, whether it was the fault of the weather or my gardening skills I don't know. The bears Britches are shooting with promise which will probably be as unfulfilled as it has been for the last two years if I don't get the willow pruned so that they can get some sun. Behind me the berries on the mahonia are forming impressively.

The frogspawn in the bath survived being frozen and although the frogs seemed to be in some doubt and laid a second batch on the 20th of March the first lot hatched and now the water is seething with a black mass of wiggling tadpoles!

Earlier this month I had a good session in the front garden and managed to clear the woodpile from under the front window, now there is a rocking chair there ready for me to enjoy my early morning cuppa while watching the sun rise.

With all these places to sit and enjoy the sun I hope we get some this year!

In the front garden, the elephants ears and daffodils are in full bloom and the wallflowers are making a belated attempt to redeem themselves. The snowdrops and crocus have finished, but the winter flowering pansies and the double primroses in the tub by the front door are still going strong.

I'll leave this little fellow I found hiding under some leaves in a bowl of water to say goodbye for now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

This was the frogspawn this morning, all frozen .I hope the frogs knew what they were doing when they laid it, but I supose they know more about it than I do!
 Although it was cold this morning it has been another beautiful day, quite warm in the sun. Tara cat is making the most of it amongst the wallflowers, which haven't been as good this year as they were last year.I had a Royal Doulton plate which got broken, so I 'planted' it in the garden amongst the wallflowers, Tara has knocked it over to sit on! She's a weird cat....
 A neighbour was going to throw this wheelbarrow out, so I rescued it and it has proved itself worth it's weight in gold when I was moving the compost heap. This was a job I did last week. I have 2 bins and usually I fill one up, then turn it into the other one before starting on the second one and by the time the second one is full the first is ready to use, however something went a bit wrong this time and I started the second one before I'd filled the first one properly so it never got turned. Also I didn't aerate it as much as usual and not having my car any more I haven't brought any horse muck back from the field to get it started, with the result that there was only about a foot of usable stuff in the bottom. However both bins have now been moved from the path at the side of the house to the end of the back garden where I combined both bins into one ready to start the process anew. When I went to give it a bit of a stir to aerate it and mix it up a bit it had settled by about 6'' so I hope it is working properly now.

 Today the wheelbarrow was poised for action again. I decided it was such a nice day I would do a bit of weeding. A few years ago I had just one of these hedgerow plants growing in my front garden and I thought I'd leave it, big mistake! There are now literally millions of them and it is impossible to dig them up as they have really long, brittle roots so Every so often I have a mad weeding fit where I try to deprive them of as many leaves as I can!

 It's really hard getting all of them out without pulling up my snowdrops which are hiding amongst the euphorbia.

I found this slug and woodlice hiding under this piece of wood. I don't like slugs, but I don't like killing anything unless I'm going to eat it, so the wood and all it's inhabitants got moved to the compost heap!
After all this exertion It was time for coffee on the seat under the Ash tree. Smudge is just looking after it for me, while Finn keeps an eye on him!

And the crows keep an eye on us all!
Lastly, what do you do with all those Buddlea prunings? I usually cut them up for kindling, but I have a few years backlog to catch up on, they burn really well if left to dry out for a year ( or several) but the fire needs constant attention as they burn really quickly so I'm afraid I don't make the best use of them that way, but I remembered seeing a program on recycling Christmas trees and one of the ideas was to use them as a support for climbers to make a form of hedging. Not liking throwing things away if they can be re-used added to the fact that my back fence is collapsing and I have several honeysuckle cuttings which I don't know where to put I think I may have an answer for this years batch.
Here they are piled up against the fence, ready for the honeysuckle to be transplanted when the weather gets a bit warmer.