About my garden

Monday 27 March 2017

In my new blue jug on Monday

It's Monday again, don't they come round quickly, so time for a vase. 

I decided to go for yellow, orange and blue this time. Not much blue yet but I popped it all in this gorgeous blue jug so that balances it out. This jug was another charity shop find. £2. It would have been rude not to buy it. 

I've included:
Spirea - you can just see the shrub behind the table. 
Forget-me -not
Wallflower - probably Cloth of Gold
Tete-a-tete narcissus
Lavender shoots from a leggy bush
Penstemon shoots - these will be pruned off in a week or two anyway. 
I tried some geranium leaves but they immediately wilted. They might work with some conditioning. 

The narcissus from last week are over but I picked these to go in the same vase with the foliage which is still fine. The are very sweet and delicate but I don't know what they are and have not had time to try and find out.

 I won't be picking these but just admiring every time I pass and making  a detour especially sometimes:

Last autumn I sowed dozens of Fritilliaria meleagris bulbs in an out-of-the-way patch of grass hoping they would naturalise. I despaired of them coming up as when I crawled around peering I could see nothing at all. Today I thought I'd have one last look and found this:

There are about 6 or 8, feeble looking but growing though the weeds we call a lawn. Now I'll have to set up a protective barrier in case they get squashed.
I'm so lucky now I have three days off. If you include the weekend that was 5! By the end of it my garden will be in tip top shape though I may not be able to move.
It's mostly weeding but also pruning, moving a few things and some planting. If I have time I'd like to finish digging a new bed.  I am also keeping on top of the sowing and pricking out. I manage to do a little of that on most days.
We had a run of dry cool, overcast days but then a fantasic weekend if you ingored the bitter wind. Some of it was spent fixing up posts, for a project I hope to be able to share soon, but I also fitted in lots of gardening.

Here is a bed already weeded and tidied:

 and it's neighbour half done:

 These two beds do not really have an identity yet. The get some sun and some shade and need a bit of wall covering I think.

 That is enough sitting around, the sun is breaking through so I am off out for more weeding. 
For creative and colourful vases from around the world visit  Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day - Up close and personal

As previously discussed, it's a wonderful time of year and we are finding new treasures every day. I particularly like the mounds of fresh foliage which appear untouched by pests or faded with age or weathering.
Here are a few of the things starring in my garden. It's a rather long and picture heavy post so settle down. Oh, and I was trying a borrowed macro lens so it's mostly close ups.

Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' this has purple flowers but at the moment is a wonderful mound of yellow. 

Saxifaga stolonifera. This and the corydalis are in my shady bed. I created it last year when I realised this area was always in shade. It will be trial and error to see what survives there. 

Lambs Lugs as my Mum calls them or Stachys byzantina to everyone else. Lightly touched by raindrops but not bedraggled

Spirea japonica. Such a good value shrub, I think, but this is the favourite time for me.


This is artichoke foliage. Last year it produced the most wonderful flowers
What about things to eat? 

            Curly kale.


                                                                                                                                                           And beetroot leaves. I don't think any beets will be produced, this has been in the ground all winter, but you can eat the young leaves in salad.  

These are all Crocosmia, looking very lush but definitely need thinning. I cleared up bags and bags of leaves but as you see there are still more to do.  

Here is where they go...

Here is the compost complex, now moved. The powerhouse to feed all the beautiful foliage. 
Not looking as good yet as I'd like it to. The bags on the left are leaves collected in the Autumn and there are twigs saved for staking. The leaves are not nearly rotted yet so will need to be hidden away somewhere and forgotten.

This is a pile of manure. This was left to us and is to the right of the compost. How lucky am I? I've already moved two similar piles. When it is moved I'll be able to tidy up the whole area and it won't look like pallet city but then I'll have to go looking for manure! I'm using it to feed all my new trees and hedges as well as flower and vegetable beds. We'll also add a third compost bay when we can. 
So lots of work to do here but it's all good fun. 
I'm joining in with Garden Blogger's Foliage Day hosted by Christina at myhesperidesgarden.

Monday 20 March 2017

In a vase on Monday -

Suddenly we've gone from having nothing much to put in a vase to having a choice!
This week I've seen daffodils, primroses/primula, forget-me-nots, hyacinths, hellebores, cerinthe, forsythia, aubretia and the first few camellias. 

I found this Hyacinth growing under a bush. I must have planted it there last year but it was a rather lost so cutting was the answer. There are two more spikes which I'll cut when they've opened a little more. 
I've added some of the gorgeous new leaf shoots which are so welcome and so beautiful. 

(It seems as though I should clean the window)

Here is willow, spirea, cotoneaster and wigela. The spirea is my absolute favourite. 

One of the fun things about moving to a new garden is finding out what is growing. Last spring daffodils popped up everywhere closely followed by white blubells (white bells?).

Here are a few with elaeagnus shoots. Last year the sides of a hedge were pruned but not the top. Another job to add the my very long list. 

 For creative and colouful vases from around the world visit In a vase on Monday hosted by Cathy - Rambling in the Garden. 

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2017

So what's going on in the garden? All sorts, it's so exciting.
Everyday I notice something new popping up or flowering. We have had quite a few sunny days but I mostly seem to be trapped inside on those days. Still, it's great to look out at the sun even if you can't garden.
Yesterday, I did have a bit of time to spare.
I went outside and discovered toad spawn in the pond. I took of my boots, went back in to get my camera, put my boots on, focused, pressed, pressed, pressed. Nothing. I'd left the memory card in the house. Boots off, back in. Can anyone explain why it is so annoying to have to take off easy pull-on boots every time you need to go in?

Finally I got some photos. Here is what is going on:

Strings of toad spawn. The fish will probably eat most of it but some will survive, we often find toads hiding under things. 

And the blooms, more is coming out every day. 

It was warm enough for bees to be out and busy. This is an unamed hybrid hellebore. 

These are Virgina Stocks. It's anybody's guess why these are flowering now but they are very welcome.

These Narcissus Tete-a-tete were a surprise as I forgot I'd planted them in this pot. 

This Lonicera fragrantissima has been flowering for weeks. I've never owned this plant before so am especially thrilled. 

These hyacinths were a pot of flowering bulbs I bought last year so have come back very well. 

I couldn't resist this little willow flower, I'm sure that will be attractive to bees. 

I'm going to stop now as the photographs are loading so slowly it's painful. This is enough for you to see that it's spring and I am very excited!

I'm joining in with Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for the first time. This is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Monday 13 March 2017

In a vase on Monday - sweet viola

Another small is beautiful vase from me this week. 
Who could resist these happy little faces?

 The plants have been growing in my poly tunnel for at least a year. Last summer I planted the tomatoes around them so I could keep the little plants. 
So far the slugs have not got going very much so the little blooms are perfect. 
I think I grew these from seed but don't now know which seed or why they are planted here. 

I picked them with their own foliage and then found them very difficult to arrange. They were facing in all directions. So I took the flowers off, put the leaves in the vase then popped the flowers in again. 
I've added a few straps of Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'. I'm pretty good with latin names but I always have to look this one up. 

  Here they are growing. Tucked between the Kale 'Red Russian' though I think I can see a buttercup coming up in the middle!
For interesting and creative vases from around the world visit 'In a vase on Monday' hosted by Cathy from Rambling in the Garden. 

Monday 6 March 2017

Spring vase on a wet day

I'm so pleased to have something colourful to pick for a vase.

Here are 3 Tete a tete daffodils, mahonia flowers, primroses, ceanothus foliage, lavender foliage and golden Corydalis 'Berry Exciting' foliage.

The colour belies the weather which has been appalling. You can see the rain in this picture. On Sunday, when I took this, we had by turn windy, hail storms, torrential rain and the odd sunny spell. 
I've managed to get outside this week by picking my moments and focusing on a task for that window. 
For colourful and creative vases from around the world visit In a vase on Monday hosted by Cathy from Rambling in the Garden. 

Here is a quick look at the broad beans sown a few weeks ago, see here. The grew away well and we kept them on a hanging shelf away from pests. 

Also a good way of creating more shelf space at this time of year. This is filled with tomatoes in the summer. Underneath, just now, is Cavolo Nero, rocket, newly potted dahlia tubers, and geranium and alstromeria roots, which I bought mail order, and are just shooting.  

This  is the lovely root system of the bean.

Here they are planted in the poly tunnel border. They look so pristine, so far untouched slugs, bean thrips, chocolate spot or mice! It's only a matter of time.