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.