Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday Safari

Firstly, apologies for the very long post. Past experience tells me that if I don’t say it now then I’ll never bother to as has happened many times before.

So, I paid Dobbies a visit yesterday…

I planned to spend nothing, or rather to only spend a few pounds on the odd thing if I found it…

Hmmmmmmmm, funny how plans don’t always happen as you may wish isn’t it?

On our way there I asked my mum what she planned on getting, her reply was:
“Nothing, I’m not buying anything.”
“Really? So why did you come all this way?” I replied
“Because you wanted to, and we’re coming for a nice cup of tea.”

Hmmmm thinks I, feeling bad that I’ve put her out.

Funny how her plan didn’t quite happen like that either!

Naturally she attempted to blame me, yet I only encouraged her to buy one thing! (On buy one get one free, so it was a good deal!)

Well, some deals were too good, like £6 plants reduced to £1! So even though they’re nearly dead, I can wait until next year to fully enjoy them…

I did manage to get some plants I actually intended on, some Cyclamen and Violas for winter colour, but somehow other plants managed to also find their way into our trolley, I have no idea how they got there though. I just have to hope the Fox doesn’t empty all my pots again.
Sadly I’ve had to make the decision to completely stop them coming into the garden… So sometime over the next few months I’ll be buying chicken wire to put across the entry points, a few days ago he emptied some of the pots again, it’s becoming so frustrating now to find my pots ripped up that I might as well not have any at all. But as some are nice, glazed or modern stainless steel pots I want to actually use them!
I do like to see them, and it is nice to know there are some living so close, I’ll always enjoy that but having only three lilies survive in pots that should be full of various bulbs and other plants really just isn’t on. Last winter I regularly found my cyclamen ripped out and on the tier, what a waste of money, they never even got the chance to attempt to get their roots in.

The blue pot is his favourite to target…

See, one lone sad Lily and a tiny viola… The Green one on the right also gets attacked but the Primula Vialii must have good roots because he’s not yet dug it out…

Now, on to my bounty…


Dahlia, I have never bought Dahlia’s before and I’ve never been particularly taken with them, but the friend to this one was just too stunning…


Viola’s for the hanging basket

Cyclamen that, hopefully this year will survive…

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' black lilyturf… Now I’m having difficulty deciding where/how to plant this. Initially it was to go on the tier amongst the white pebbles/flint to create a nice contrast. But then it would also look fantastic in my large steel (empty) plant pot that Mr Fox has recently ripped up. The black of the leaves combined with white cyclamen would look amazing. Then as the iris and bluebells come up next spring, it’ll still look stunning.

Which would you go for?

Even this Coreopsis looks amazing next to the black lilyturf…

Some of the Scabious has gone to seed… I ought to collect some for next year…

Today has been spent outside weeding the back border under the bird feeders and cutting the hedges. The hedge at the back is getting far too high and only by cutting it have I realised just how dark things were because of it!
It’s not actually my hedge, but I know those behind me are elderly… Last year a relative must’ve cut it for them, but this year I haven’t yet heard the relative mowing the lawn nor their children playing in the garden… I figured if they didn’t want me cutting the hedge they’re more than welcome to come and tell me so, but as it is well over 6 foot already, I do have the right for it to be cut and since I don’t believe they are able to cut it, no doubt I have done them a favour.
They cannot see my house from their garden – I can’t see their lawn at all even from our upstairs windows and can only see one of their windows, so it’s not like it’s a privacy issue. Only occasionally have I seen an elderly lady out in the garden, throwing bread out for the birds, well I assume she’s elderly; I could only make out the top of a head with white/grey hair.
It’s a shame they don’t/can’t do more with their garden as it is huge, it’s the same as mine and my neighbour’s combined, and my neighbours must be double mine!

So yes, my arms are dead now – holding loppers at full stretch to get the furthest branches is hard work!

My mother phoned me to let me know about some chairs in B&Q that had been reduced from £60, to £40 and now to £15!!! Wow, they’re the lovely wide-seated ones with arms, so at that price I couldn’t say no – I have been looking for chairs/tables but decided against them because they’re non essential at the moment…
So now I have my own ‘throne’ very nice… I need to seal them though before I put them outside, so for now it’s by the kitchen door so I can pretend I’m outside :)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

[Not so] Wordless Wednesday

Time for some cheerful butterfly photos I think to brighten up this rather horrible day (well it is for us, but at least the plants are finally getting their much needed water!). This is the first real rainy day we've had for, well, weeks - perhaps even a month! it's nasty and grey with drizzle on and off, and I'm actually pleased to see it!

I must be crazy!

Even with me watering the plants the ground is still very cracked, with some being like small canyons, so hopefully after today the ground will be nice and soaked once more.

However, I'm sure that if this rain continues in to tomorrow I'll be grumbling ;)

This Gatekeeper was more than obliging a couple of weeks ago…

Focusing on the proboscis

Looking at the hairy wings and body…

And finally, a general shot…

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday Safari And Another Mystery

It’s getting difficult now not to post photos that you have all seen a million times before… I have just a few plants that you will not have seen yet… I think there is a lot of work to do so I have late Summer and Autumn interest!

So I’ll begin with some Sunflowers or Helianthus, I have two different types – the large ones and then some dark rusty red ones…
The Giants have finished flowering, but the red ones are now out, and I have quite some variation in them.

The first is a lighter yellow with hints of rusty red:

The second is a deep rusty red – as shown on the seed packet! This is the first year I have one that is the colour it should be…

In the latest Gardens Illustrated there is an article on the Helianthus and all the different varieties now available… There were some stunning wine/fuchsia pink ones and some Vanilla with pink centres that I most definitely will be getting!

The Sea Holly are past their best and are beginning to go to seed…

White butterfly on scabious

The flutters have had to move onto other flowers now the Buddleija has finished…

This Geranium is on its second flush, a welcome sight at the moment with many flowers going to seed as the garden slows down.

The Bees are still around, but their numbers seem to have fallen a lot…

The Aster will soon be in flower, next year I need more types to ensure plenty of nectar for the insects...

The Masterwort is also on its second flush of flowers, the Agapanthus and Rose are still flowering around it.

And then I discovered this little guy…

Does anyone know what it is? I have never seen one before, but it was very nice to see it!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Down On Your Knees

This month I thought I would join in with the photography competition over at Gardening Gone Wild I realise I am not in the US, but since I am so often on my stomach, bum, knees, sitting on wet grass, having wet trousers and traipsing grass, mud and stones into the house it makes sense to enter purely for the fun and to help spread the word :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Eager Anticipation

I finally managed to source a specimen of Clematis ‘Marjorie’ at RHS Harlow Carr a few weeks ago, I have now finally planted it – albeit rather late, but it took me a while to finally decide where to put it!

So now, I sit in eager anticipation for the future and just how wonderful this clematis will look…

I first came across this beauty back in 2007 at Lindisfarne. It was growing on an old stone wall… The wall was lost underneath its sheer size, but it was possibly the most breath taking views I’ve seen. Since then I’ve dreamt of having one myself but wasn’t in a position where my garden could cope with one, but with our new large fence it can handle it.

Here is what I have to look forward to, and I hope you too can see why I just had to get it:

I’m like a child at Christmas! I want it to be next Spring, NOW!!!

Obviously I don’t expect it to be as fantastic, but at least to have some flowers will make me very happy.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Sunday Safari

Some photos were taken on Saturday but rather than posting twice over the weekend, saved them for now.

There isn’t a great deal going on at the moment, I’m waiting for all the Cosmos to open, I just hope they manage it before everything else dies!

The Tomatoes seem to be taking an age to ripen, but I’m sure we’ll get there soon.

The garden is very dry at the moment, I’m going to have to give it a good watering because it’s simply not getting enough. The bird bath has completely dried out and the soil is cracking, it’s seriously that dry!
We had some rain this morning for around 20 minutes, but you’d never know it. This is the problem, if it’s rained it’s been hot and muggy so the water evaporates, if it’s a quick shower then the hot sun has soon evaporated the rain again.
Tomatoes are being watered a couple of times a day, and often I come home to them looking rather unhappy – which could lead to blossom-end rot…

This Fuji Cherry has already turned red, but look how dry its leaves are… They’re curling up!

Nigella has gone to seed.

Crocosmia is coming to its end…

Bee enjoying the Liatris


Gaura and Poppies


David Austen climbing rose is flowering nicely, I just need it to grow a little more to cover the back section of the fence… And to help stop cats jumping on to the summer house.

The border is still going, just need the rest of the Cosmos to open now…

Bee on Verbena Hastata

Hoverfly enjoying the Scabious pollen

The foxgloves are going to seed… I expect to have an explosion of them next year…

Still waiting for the sedum… Maybe, someday it’ll flower…

Agapanthus has opened and it’s providing some much needed colour up at the top, I had also dead headed the Astrantia and it’s come back with a second flush.

The shield bugs are maturing