Last Post 333 days 6 hours ago
25 June 2012 08:51:18
The Perfect View
Well, Hazel must have done something right because the sun shone and the clouds were fluffy and beautiful on her open day. Where to start? An apology first for going off with so many slips and cuttings when we didn't bring any plants to share - we'll make up for it on future visits, I promise! But the garden was wonderful, a marvellous inspiration, seats everywhere to sit and admire it from every angle, and great food and drink - by the time our garden is ready to show off our granddaughter will be as handy at sandwiches and tea as Brendan's! Thanks to Hazel and Brandan for their great hospitality. It was lovely to meet all of you I only know from pictures, hope to see you all again soon!
22 June 2012 15:09:55
A wet day's gardening
Stuck in on Midsummer's Day watching the rain and thought I'd do an indoor project, I'd taken photos all round the front border because I want to change it about next year. So I printed them all off, and labelled every plant with name, colour and time of flowering. I've always been a bung-it border designer and thought I would try a bit of planning for a change. Call me a nerd, but it whiled away a wet midsummer. So today the sun came out and because Alan's started a week's holiday we wanted to get a load done in the garden so out we rushed to do the last coat on the last side of the studio and mow the lawn.... and of course the clouds came over and it rained. And rained. And rained. Well, the tomatoes and courgettes got tied up and tidied, and I harvested the basil leaves on the first planting so not an entirely wasted day.
21 June 2012 09:34:22
It's becoming a habit here that no sooner is a structure half-finished than it gets planted. The spuds were in the polytunnel before the plastic was on, the peas were in the veg garden before the beds were built, and here's Alan's studio with hanging baskets before the decking is finished. Mind you, I planted them up weeks ago and they've been sitting in buckets by the potting shed ever since. Just as well as we need all the cheer we can get - never seen such a dismal Midsummer's Day.
20 June 2012 14:37:50
Heath Spotted Orchid?
As if it arrived to cheer us up, Alan spotted another orchid in the 'orchard' wildflower meadow - a Heath Spotted I think although the spots are very faint. Here's hoping that one day Sheila will be able to come and see it in all its glory.
19 June 2012 09:27:15
Sheila and me
I heard yesterday that one of my dearest friends, who has been for years my gardening, smallholding and country crafts guru and inspiration, has been in a terrible crash. She was riding her pushbike and was towed for 100metres by a motorbike at high speed. She's alive, but almost certainly brain damaged. I'm reeling with shock and horror. She came over last year for Alan's 60th party and was so enthusiastic about all our plans. I didn't even have the chance to send her the photos of the bee orchids. She has lived close to the earth for far to long to be frightened of death, but she was terrified of being helpless and disabled. I am so, so sad for her.
16 June 2012 11:29:55
While looking for sedums in the little garden centre in Gort I noticed they were selling off purple and white alliums for 50c each - they'd bought in too many and they didn't sell. The foliage had died off and they'd all gone to seed. So I bought 5 of each and got some thrown in free. Not going to plant them out for now - I'll collect the seed and replant the bulbs next year. No sedums alas, but quite chuffed with my bargain! Also noticed that despite the awful weather the last few days the little shrubs which got battered and blasted have all put on lots of growth and are looking much more cheerful. Think I'll give them a nice feed as a reward!
14 June 2012 06:47:15
Jonny and the decking
Jonny's putting decking round the studio, we've neary finished the wood protection on the building, and have had fun pacing out and working out how we're going to finish it all off. Watch this space! It'll be great to get that whole area finally laid out and planted.
Meanwhile we got several tons of turf-dust from our fuel supplier when he cleared his turf-barn so will use it for mulching and composts for years to come. I know it's unecological, but at least it's recycling - he'd have dumped it otherwise. And the bigger bits will keep the stove going for months!
I've gone cuttings mad thanks to Carol Klein and Gardener's World, and have pots of baby escallonia, French lavender, verbena and centaurea, all with their topping of grit (she must keep a small quarry going!) Despite Dick's advice, I'm going with Catrol's method and leaving off the plastic cover because in the past I've lost more to mould than exposure. So watch this space again!
11 June 2012 09:25:31
We bought what we thought were 3 pots of purple foxgloves for around the pond, and they've all come out in mixed colours. I especially like this soft peachy one. There even appears to be a purple and white stem on the same plant behind it. Reckon Ed at our local small garden centre got his seed packets mixed up!
08 June 2012 06:40:53
Alan: Do you think the bee orchids will be all right in this weather?
Me: Well, they've been growing hereabouts for about a million years or so, so they're probably used to it!
More than we can say for the rest. The baby shrubs keep battling on despite all the batterings. And the new Johnson's Blue geranuims are all coming out. Hold on out there, lads, it's got to get better!!
07 June 2012 05:12:41
Bee orchids in the wildflower meadow
Look what's come up in our wildflower meadow!! Goodness knows how long they've been mown every few weeks, but give `em a break and up they come. There are 2 bee orchids, and so far we've listed 31 species. All 'weeds', of course, but they are attracting small blue butterflies and dozens of bees and other insects so we're delighted. What a thrill.
06 June 2012 09:51:37
I bought some larkspur and sweet william seed last week cut-price. Am I too late to direct sow in the border or would I be better off growing it next spring?
Also sowed wallflowers for next year to go with my planned expansion of tulips (my new best friends)!
01 June 2012 09:05:20
Those ***** eelworms are still nobbling the lettuces despite my attempts at eelwormicide. Moving in from along the bed no doubt - nature does hate a vacuum! Otherwise the veggies are yummy - delicious courgettes already, lots of spinach and radishes, scallions and herbs. Toms are setting fruit, the peas and beans are in flower and we ate the first potatoes when my brother was here as a treat. It's all good!