Friday, 30 April 2010

End of Month View - April 2010

Ooops, forgot again! The photos posted here are actually from earlier in the week, things have changed but not significantly enough to be unrecognisable…

Aquilegia - imagine an extra few days' growth, they're in flower now.

Kerria Japonica… This is in my neighbour's but it's growing through my privet hedge now, I ought to cut some off and put it in a vase…


True English Bluebell, or Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta. My favourite plant, so magical and holds a very special place in my heart. They come only in this wonderful blue-purple, any other colour and they are hybrids with Spanish Bluebells.

So this is where all my 'Silver Chimes' went! Ha ha. Yes this pot was basically a dumping ground for bulbs I emptied out of other pots…

Tulipa 'Little Beauty' and let me tell you, it does live up to its name!

Front left border… Very bare, I have some more Carex, Asters, Gaura and Verbena Bonariensis to go in here…

Left border, Dwarf Russian Almond, Rose and Pyracantha in the background. Dead Sweet Peas on fence need removing.

Front right border, Campanula, Fritillary and a pot which I intend to plant the contents in the front left border.

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Geranium, Verbena Bonariensis looking very dead, Aquilegia and Monkshood.

Pheasant’s Grass, Pheasant’s Tail Grass, Geranium, Astrantia, Aster, Carex and Irises.

Angel’s fising rod, Pyracantha, American Wisteria, Aubreita, Geranium, Sea Thrift… More to be added to hide the wood – Fleabane, Aubreita and Campanula. Not to sure that Dandelion was planned...

Tulipa Tennessee.

Crocosmia needs thinning out this year!!!

I have lots of seeds coming up now thanks to the recent good weather, I am most excited with my Black Hollyhock success and I also have an Angelica and some wild poppies coming up… Now I just need the Dierama to show up and I'll be ecstatic!

Cosmos seedling

Sweet Rocket

Mixed Salad

Black Hollyhock.

Aquilegia, and Allium ‘purple sensation’

The large cherry next door is in full flower now… Shame they don't last long.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Common Carder?

Is this little bee a common Carder?

It's too orange, I have lots of them around and they're usually a softer orange… Or have a vibrant orange back but the tail is lighter…

Such an amazing colour!

Having lots of fun on our blackcurrant bush…

Plenty of flowers this year…

Hopefully leading to plenty of fruits.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday Safari

A little later than I had hoped for because photobucket was being a royal pain in the bum and wasn’t allowing me to upload my images…

At the moment I am in awe every day when I see how much things have changed simply overnight. Of course I am not complaining, but I am beginning to get worried that we’re on an extremely fast roller coaster into summer and the next thing we’ll know it’s Autumn again.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve finally had a prolonged period of warm, sunny weather and all the trees have exploded into blossom and leaf. Honestly, yesterday the view from my window was still mostly bare trees, some in blossom but today it’s a sea of acidic green – the wonderful colour of fresh leaves.

Today I have procrastinated once more, I know I ought to be planting and doing those little jobs I regularly put off, but today I’m going to enjoy the sunshine – even more so as we were due a day of rain. I might get a little done here and there, when I annoy myself enough…

Alpine Strawberry flower

Fleabane flower

Tulipa ‘Tennessee’, this is impossible to catch the colour. It’s a wonderful deep, velvet red.

Osmanthus with its fragile little flowers and strong scent.

Bleeding heart

Tulipa ‘Pink Impression’

Pink Impression fully open

Silver Chimes, another elegant small flower head with strong perfume.

Russian Dwarf Almond

Clematis Marjorie… Far too excited to see flowers…

This tulip has surprised me, it came in one of the spring bulb mixes, and it’s stunning!

My regular readers will know how little I appreciate yellow…

Purple Aquilegia

Pink Aquilegia


Some of the many spring pots...

Tennessee with Anemones covering the compost...

No idea what I'll do for summer...

Friday, 23 April 2010

The new border, at long last

Ooh, the excitement is getting too much now…

Isn’t it funny how you always assume working in the garden is easy?

Next time I decide to have a bright idea, please someone just slap me!

The amount of work put into this border is beyond imagination, I ought to have seen it coming but my lack of experience didn’t ever prepare me for what would lie ahead.
My plans to extend other borders may now never happen, I don’t think I’ll be trying for a while yet…

Once digging it soon became obvious this wasn't a case of breaking up the clay, allowing to dry and then mixing with improver/top soil/sand, there was just too much. The most sensible option is to remove as much clay as possible... Easier said than done without the aid of a skip!

04th April
Taken on Sunday after I’d done some work removing some of the clay and bagged it up.

A closer shot of the clay clumps, it’s impossible to work with.

The main area is dug, and most large clumps are removed.

Tuesday I put the finishing touches to the bed, it should now be ready for the fun part; adding the topsoil and sand for drainage.

06th April
See what I mean about the clay?? I kid you not.

Is there anything else I could use all this clay for? It seems like such a waste simply throwing it in the bin...

After a break to allow the clay to dry out, I cut the shape to the border and set to work again.

The entire shape is now ready. Once again I allowed the clay to dry before cutting at it with a hoe and lawn edger.

Here the lumps are still fairly large, although not too bad, to the left you can see we’re finally hitting real soil with very little clay.

Another mound of turf, this will be moved once I move the compost bin (will empty it onto the border).

Some of the piles of huge lumps of clay, they’re being left to dry.

After the clay has been cut into smaller lumps.

When I was cutting with the lawn edger I began to feel like I was a pneumatic drill... Up, down, up, down, up, down. *head bobbing away*

I had ordered quite a few bags of top soil and they finally arrived on the Friday. So as soon I got home I was out emptying everything onto the border...

**Note to myself - it's a bad idea to attempt such physical work after you've been out all day at work. Even worse idea when you haven't eaten for 6 hours.

To add to the top soil we mixed in; sand, home produced compost, the remains from the veggie planter, mulch, soil improver and gravel.

09th April

Ignore the white bits, I threw onion out to deter cats taking advantage of the fresh soil.

If the clay isn’t improved I might just end my life, now.

The next hurdle was deciding where the plants should go within the border, trying to imagine the growth of the plants as they mature…

17th April
Plants laid out ready to go in…

And woo hoo it's done!

It's amazing how suddenly it looks rather empty… Those grasses will get to be 1m though, so I've had to leave room around them.

I'm pretty certain I'll move things around in future, as I understand them better, but for now this will have to do. There are aspects I am not happy with, like the ridiculous wooden border was meant to go; the plan was to raise the new border to meet the old, but as I dug down to get rid of the clay it meant I needed to raise the border even more.

It will have to wait to be rectified, for now I have plans to plant some Aubrietia and Campanula along the edge to hide the wood.

And will you look at this cheeky chappie!

What do we think? Dog or Vixen?

Images were actually taken by my brother… I actually know what the little beggar had been up to, see that pot knocked over at the bottom of the first photo? It’d been trying to plant yet another egg in there for me. I found one buried in the actual border instead and threw it up to the area it’s now stood in the next day.

Phew, now after all that I think I'll go get myself a drink - it is Friday after all!