Last Post 1116 days 3 hours ago
29 May 2010 23:47:20
Flag Iris by the pond 29/05
Started raining here this morning first a mizzle but as the day progressed a steady fall of rain, everywhere could do with a bit of moisture, much cooler only reaching 12c. We have a competition tomorrow so no gardening the last couple of days and today wet is the best way to describe us as we had to prepare the cross country course in fairly steady rain. With any luck tomorrow will be fine as it gets a bit miserable for fence stewards and helpers running the event. Took this photo this morning hadn't noticed the flag iris before but now they are in flower they're they are standing proud by the side of the pond. These had been given to me about 2 years ago and this is the first year they've been really noticeable, planted some more in the overflow pond last week given to me by the same person. Well fingers crossed for us with the competition and all of you with garden time that the sun shines on us all tomorrow.
29 May 2010 23:35:39
In the paddling pool.
The ducklings have now been home for a week and all 10 seem to be doing well. They are constantly eating and puddling in water, they are now in the corner of a stable to give them more space. When they were moved Caroline said they went mental running about their new home. It's amazing the amount they eat and how much fresh water they need as everytime they peck some feed they're over to the water. The kids coming riding all think they are gorgeous one little girl wanted to buy one and get a pond in her garden but she'll have to make do with seeing them here.
28 May 2010 00:56:59
Starting to Look Good.
The weather has changed a bit at times it was quite warm but the wind certainly got up after lunch, ended up having to put in canes and wire to support the clump of blue lupins in the terrace bed. Today the first of my roses opened - Mary Rose along with another clematis growing in the bed of french lavender and flowering chives have put up some more photos in May album. Yesterday planted up the hellebore seedlings in cell trays - 60 in total will be interested how they progress. After watering plants in the tunnel it was off to the kitchen garden to sow more carrots, swedes and sprouting brocolli, removed any weeds as well as watering the beds as they were so dry. Everything seems to be doing well, have discovered potoatoes peeping up in between the carrots and onions this bed had been used for potatoes last year so there must have been some left in situ will be interested what they are like. Sowed some red spring onions into a large pot in the tunnel, have to say that the lettuce and salad leaves are so delicious that I have to find a way of having a supply all year round so different from what's in the shops. Plan to sow more peas and climbing beans tomorrow question is do I sow direct or start in the tunnel. Veg and fruits at present in the tunnel are salads, mange tout, dwarf beans, peas, tomatoes 3 types, strawberries, sweet peppers and cayenne chilli peppers. In the kitchen garden rhurbarb, potatoes, shallots, over winter onions, red and stuggart onions, peas, garlic, carrots, turnip milan top, climbing beans, brussel sprout, cauliflower, leeks, raspberries, gooseberries and just sown swedes more carrots and brocolli. Moved the baby ducklings into a bigger area in the corner of a stable and they really are enjoying their new space with a paddling pool for them they are so cute and adorable. This evening there was a very heavy sun shower although it will have had little impact on the ground which is so dry but it did result in the most fabulous rainbow display as there were two consentric ones but no camera as I had riders out cross country. Really won't have much garden time over the next few days as we have a competition on Sunday other than checking on watering plants in the tunnel. This is the view of the south bed from the kitchen garden it's really coming together just hope this weather doesn't cause a lot of damage.
28 May 2010 00:05:03
View from the kitchen 27/5
Yesterday staked tomatoes, put a water resevoir into each pot and rearranged all the plants in the tunnel, gave Kate and Ali some of my excess tomato plants still have a few more that need homes. Every day something new appears in the garden and I get so much enjoyment out of the ever changing tapesrty, this is the view from the kitchen.
26 May 2010 00:44:14
Martin pull back the curtains please.
I know the moon is shining down on you have you pulled the curtains this side. Up here it's in hiding behind the clouds in fact now it's totally disappeared but the alliums and lupins look good against the black backdrop.
26 May 2010 00:05:30
Pots at front door 24/05
These are the pots at the front door as of yesterday. I really enioy what I do both work and pleasure of which gardening is rapidly becoming number 1.
25 May 2010 23:10:45
Gertrude Jekkell bud
Took this photo earlier today and think this will be the first of my roses to appear, just love these David Austin roses.
25 May 2010 23:07:31
Old Gates in place
Yesterday Johnny and Mark hung a pair of old gates that were bought in a local craft and antique shop, once the posts are set securely the gates will be lifted off cleaned and painted so another job nearly completed just need to source ball type finials for the posts. Another gate that was lying idle on the farm was also positioned to give access to the planted area behind the pond, there was estate type railing put either side this gateway gives a lovely view across the pond to the south bed behind the house to anyone at the equestrian centre. Tomorrow he will start on positioning in stone pillars at the entrance to the new drive way it's planned to haveMark make estate railings for here as well and as we need wider gates these will have to be made as most old gates are only about 3m wide. As there is machine work involved Paul arrived with his mini digger this evening to lift out the posts tomorrow from another location on the farm, dig the foundations for them and put in a cattle grid. My work today in the garden was minimal other than watering plants in the tunnel, moved out the remainder of the pots so now I need to rearrange the tomatoes and provide supports for them before they get any taller. Have gathered up a lot of plastic mineral bottles the bottoms will be removed and these will then be pushed down into the pots to have a water reservoir.
25 May 2010 00:59:38
Pots and Baskets at the Back Door
Today was a much kinder day for working outdoors there wasn't the scorching sun but it was still warm although there was a fresh breeze from the north but it was still a day for short sleeves. First job was to open up the tunnel and water the pots and baskets then I decided it was time for them to move out. Baskets hung pots onto steps and the two large terracotta pots replanted one with fushia, geraniums and bedding plants the other I replaced the sad looking yew pyramid with another that had been lifted out of another planter and had been sitting in waiting. The whole area of steps and along the stones edging the bed was swept up and now looks a lot more respectable. After lunch managed to rope Johnny into moving the planters from the front steps and replace them with the tall planters containing the hyrangeas last year these didn't flower but there are tiny heads appearing may need to remove the bulbs on the other hand might just remove the leaves when they die back, these are surrounded with smaller terracotta pots of bedding plants. Had a few messages to do but finished off by removing my camelia that really wasn't doing well will pot it up in eracious compost and feed it to see if it improves in the vacated area I planted in Anthrinium the Bride and at the same time dug out a lot of hellebore seedlings will pot them up tomorrow they're currently in a tray topped up with compost and watered in. The final task was to find another lenght of hose and water all along the northside of the house and the east bed that I couldn't reach yesterday. In between ducklings moved outside for the afternnon now back in their basement nursery, hopefully Johnny will sort out a bigger pen in the corner of a stable as they are outgrowing their current home. Johnny and Ali worked on bridge and an old gate and railings have now been installed to give access from the carpark into the orchard and wild area behind the pond. They finished off by hanging an old pair of gates at the entrance off the lane the welding was done by Mark so gradually jobs are being ticked off the to do list, there are still a few bits like finials needed to finish the gate posts that were made from round steel pipes we already had so they are both reuse recycle gates. Plan tomorrow will be putting out the rest of the pots planting out some of the bedding grown from seed and trying to sort out the design for arches at the bridge and side rails etc. and now we can actually get onto the island without getting our feet wet will have to decide what we want to do on it need to get sketching plans.
23 May 2010 22:40:25
Young Love James and Joyce
First job today was to water everything in the tunnel after I opened it up and fed the strawberries in the pot lots of strawberries forming. Watered all the trays of plants that have been out fulltime for the last few days think they are going to be planted in tomorrow. Spent the afternoon finishing potting up my last 2 Roma tomatoes, 2 large pots with garden pearl tomatoes and finally the 10 Fiorenta tomatoes. Potted up the remainder of the garden pearl into 5" pots and have about 15 other Fiorenta plants as well to pass on to some of my friends. Also potted up the 3 Cayenne Chilli and 3 sweet pepper plants will keep only one of each and give the others away. After this watered the terrace flower beds and pots. removed weeds from the east bed and spot sprayed the lysimachia were it was peeping up in wrong places. The lupins are really going to put on a fantastic show in the next day or so as all the older plants have a multitude of spires, things are changing daily in the garden and in the next lot of days the roses along the terrace are going to open cann't wait but hope that they continue to bloom for the forseeable future. Nothing done on the bridge today as Johnny went to Portlaoise to follow Meath not back yet. The ducklings are getting bigger each day and have been put outside for a few hours they are just so gorgeous but will have to make sure Connie doesn't get them once they have to move out of their nursery home.
23 May 2010 22:18:40
Clematis Josephine 23/05
This is clematis Josephine 2 days on, there are lots and lots of buds to open and I think this will open even more if it does I will post up another photo.
23 May 2010 00:50:19
Walk way more or less all in place.
Work continued throughout the day and by this evening the walk way was all fixed in place. Now it's a case of trying to plan what it will look like, with timber rails etc to be added and what I would like is a gothic type arch at either end, think there is even talk of a bandstand type construction on the island. Conor and his band MGRB had set up on the terrace to practice for a gig tonight so overall the garden was a hive of activity between musiciands and constructors of the bridge. By mid afternoon MGRB decided they need to chill out so into the pond they went, will post up some photos of their escapades but while in Conor and Ciaran removed some of the weed that the machine couldn't reach still a bit to do but hopefully it can be done from dry land. Tomorrow plan to spend the day in the garden potting on tomatoes and perhaps moving out pots and baskets although I'm nervous incase the weather turns cold. Ducklings are all doing well and discovered there are 10 not 9 as originally thought will put up an album on the new arrivals. Only 4 weeks to go now to the big day so lots to do but things are moving on nicely.
23 May 2010 00:37:34
Purlins in place
On the 19th I was amazed to see 2 posts diven into the bed of the lake to carry a bridge to the island in our large pond. Only a few days before I'd been told this wouldn't be happening and all of a sudden plans changed. Wasn't sure how this would progress but yesterday was told that some time back Johnny had bought a number of very long purlins secondhand for a song and a number of them were still to be collected and these 2 of these would be used to carry the walk way so this morning it was off to cut them and transport them home shortly after 11 these were in place and the project was moving full steam ahead.
21 May 2010 21:03:02
Babies arrive home
A few weeks ago Connie my springer found one of our ducks sitting on eggs in the corner of a flower bed. Mother took off and it was what to do 13 eggs in total and likely to be left so I rang Paul ( Milkchurns) and he came to the rescue taking 13 of the eggs to incubate them. This morning there was a message from Maggie who has been looking after the maternity ward that we had ducklings (Paul is in England to be close to his brother Barry) This evening I collected 10 babies and 3 unhatched eggs so now it's up to us to see that they survive. I cannot thank Maggie and Paul for stepping in, will post up an album later.
21 May 2010 11:35:33
In the corner of the terrace there is wisteria which so far has never produced flowers need to get all the whippy shoots pruned back but Johnny just doesn't want this to happen - men can by a bit trying at times. Planted in this corner is some type of Japonica but also Clematis Josephine which produces beautiful double flowers, this year there are lots of buds and when they all open should give a brilliant display, one or two are now just starting to unfurl cann't wait for their coming out. This weather is fabulous infact it was nearly too hot yesterday at 24c certainly for the horses but mustn't complain just enjoy what we get.
20 May 2010 00:20:18
Support posts in place.
In our large pond we have an island and it's been one of my dreams to build a Gothic bridge across and make it a feature with seating and a weeping tree or arbour, last week this was not likely to happen in the near future but could hardly believe my eyes there are two posts driven into the clay base so the bridge is on the horizon. We bought lots of old beams when we were buliding the house but only used a few pieces in the kitchen so whats left should be useful in constructing the bridge. The other feature I've wanted is a waterfall effect which would help circulate the water, the pond is fed from rainwater off the indoor roof and drainage from the fields. Never know what will happen there maybe not just yet but over the summer but who can tell as things change rapidly once an idea is taken on board.
20 May 2010 00:06:53
Looking across the pond
Today work continued on around the pond removing the rushes from the wild area, there was a gateway opened from the car park to the orchard, end of the Kitchen garden and the orchard area. Johnny certainly is on a mission with gravel put into raised the drive from the house to the car park, soil moved to raise an area in the field close to the entrance of the new driveway. We are lucky that there are large areas of gravel on the farm and it's brilliant for making and improving roadways as well as take offs and landings at fences. I only spent a short while outside potting on most of the Roma tomatoes and planted 6 Garden Pearl into a terracotta trough took some photos of the garden and reflection on the pond now just have to devise a way to minimise the weed problem. Caroline cut the grass which is quite a big task with a push mower, Johnny is looking into a ride on mower as the country lawns are increasing all the time and think they're be more volunteers if they didn't have to walk. Everything in the tunnel is really bulking up hopefully if the weather is a warm as what they predict the pots and baskets will move out freeing up space as there are lots of tomatoes to be potted on yet although a number of them will be looking adoption.
18 May 2010 23:44:03
In Pursuit of Reflections
This morning in came the hymac to clear the rushes behind the pond and the dreaded weed from the pond. The size of the pond means it is a real task due to the oxygenator weed that is a out and out thug, most of the weed and algae is now gone but it will be a case of someone having to venture in to remove what the machine couldn't reach and around the bull rushes to finish the job. Although it isn't finished yet looks so much better and the ducks are zooming around now and enjoying out on the banks eating whatever they can get their beaks on.
My first job this morning after watering in the tunnel was to weed the terrace bed and thin out the self seeded poppies, also had to spray for greenfly on the roses as the warm weather has brought these out in force, lots of buds appearing on the David Austin roses which have a lovely leaf colour and provide a great foil for the Allium Purple Sensation, took some more photos that are in the May album. Spent time planting out leeks, watering beds and removing the any weeds, also put netting over the brassicas after removing any butterfly eggs so hopefully I have eliminated that problem. This evening I planted hydrangeas in the beds on the northside of the house and then planted the flag Iris into the overflow pond, water level has dropped which was okay as I had to stand in it but the leak needs to be plugged with clay so that might get done with the hymac tomorrow. It's planned to sow wildflower meadow flowers and grass on the cleared area behind the pond although the rain tonight may delay this a bit but it'll mean no need to water tomorrow. Still have lots to do meant to sow some swedes this morning but slipped my mind but tomorrows another day and hopefully the sun will shine.
18 May 2010 00:18:47
Lupin Spires Rising 17/05
Was a fantastic day for the garden and with so many things to do the big question was what to do first. I had spent a short while in the kitchen garden removing weeds and earthing up potatoes. Noticed on the back of cauliflower and brossel sprout leaves some little yellow dots assuming these are butterfly eggs so rubbed them off must sort out some hoops tomorrow and cover with net that I bought on Saturday. Unfortunately I had to go with the riding club to a showjumping competition on Sunday so had no time for gardening but came home with 2 bags of plants and these needed to be sorted and most of it has now been potted up and into polytunnel to see how it comes on, in the bottom of each bag there are large clumps of yellow flag irises which I still have to plant probably need divided and will go into the overflow pond bank, hope to get this done tomorrow.
After potting up the various plants it was time to plant out some more new additions from Mahon Garden Centre on Saturday Tissington White Veronica, Astrantia Ruby Wedding, Campanula Elizabeth and Euphorbia Baby Charm. While planting noticed the spires rising on the lupins but also discovered that the aphids were moving in so this problem needed swift attention so I ended up spraying them, are there any organic ways of dealing with the problem any tips would be appreciated. Finished off by watering everything in and spraying roses for blackspot which also is making it's presence felt on some of the roses discovered buds forming on some of the David Austin roses so hopefully they'll be putting on a real show soon. Amazing how dry beds are so will need to spend a bit of time watering as well tomorrow and finish planting out plants in waiting and with any luck plant out leeks and sow some more seeds in the kitchen garden.
15 May 2010 21:08:17
Neat and tidy
Johnny is on a roll gardenwise think he has been infected by the gardening bug, today he set to of his own accord finishing the graveling of the paths in the kitchen garden, the hedge has been cut back and along the fence has been strimmed so it's all looking neat and tidy. We had planted hornbeam in the fence and unfortunately some of it didn't survive so they've been removed also a small clump of birch planted last year didn't do either so they've now been removed as well not sure what the plan will be for this patch now. We have some sets of old gates none of which are very wide and my suggestion is to use an arched pair to go through to the wild area behind the pond and the orchard . My idea would to make an arch over them, we just need to lift them out from were they've been stored. While looking out the gates we found lots of stone that will be used around the garden so it'll be a sort out session to see what we have and then it'll be planning. To finish off he's been off cutting the hedge at the end of the lane so as the trees are visible in the field, great when things get done without asking , even the hen run seems to be on the cards as he's planning were the run is going to be - so happy days things are looking up when things just happen.
15 May 2010 15:17:11
Are you going to play?
Thought I'd share this photo of Grouse who is now buried in the orchard near the apple trees, Grouse had been a faithful companion for nearly 14 years and could nearly talk to you. He always had that look in his eyes asking where we going, what are we doing next and was very fit and active so it was a difficult decision to have him put to sleep but at the end of the day putting off the decision wasn't good for him. This photo was taken when he was 18months old by an American visitor and is in my kitchen so everyday he will still be in my thoughts.
14 May 2010 23:24:09
Clouds & Trees reflected 14/05
Today was a day when wishes were granted and ended with a fabulous sunset with the clouds and trees reflected in the pond. The one dark cloud that appeared today was the decision to have our springer spaniel Grouse put down. He has been such a joy for the last 14 years and has been so active until the last month or so and then for the last couple of weeks he has gone downhill rapidly, so I had to make a decision to free his spirit to the sky. Tonight looking at the reflections and the sky I thought of all the good times we had with him since I sort of rescued him from being chained to total freedom with us. For the last 6 years Connie another rescue spaniel has bounded by his side and now I need to rescue another one to keep her company.
14 May 2010 23:10:00
The beauty of the setting sun is something I love, this sky was making the whole area glow and the reflections of the clouds in our pond was framed by the tree reflections. One of the jobs we have yet to do is dredging the pond to create a mirror to reflect the surrounding beauty.
14 May 2010 22:44:19
Wish come true - Now 3 new beds.
Very often we wish or want something and it seems to have been put on the long finger and it never seems to be any closer to coming true. Yesterday part of that wish materialised with 2 new raised beds in the kitchen garden and today the remainder was granted with bed 3 appearing so now I have a total of 6 beds 3 already planted up and 3 more waiting to go. So now with a polytunnel and the extra beds I've been granted my wish all thanks to Johnny and son no 2 David who has been assisting him. Maybe the other wish for a hen run and house will be granted as well as it's being talked about which is always a good sign.
13 May 2010 23:15:16
Wonderful old Crab Apple Tree
This old crab apple tree beside the stables is just a mass of blossom at the moment. Every autumn it is covered in apples and provides a supply for crab apple jelly and crab aple and elderberry jelly. Already looking forward to picking these and the resulting preseves.
13 May 2010 23:09:57
Can anyone name me?
This pretty pale lilac flower has appeared all over the place don't know if it's due to having had such a wet winter. Must find a book on wild flowers but until that happens anyone tell me what it is. Put up more photos of around the garden today.
13 May 2010 21:50:53
2 New Beds 13/05
Other than opening up the tunnel checking on watering I've done very little in the garden over the last couple of days. Everything in the tunnel is flying along, will have to organise the pots for Roma tomatoes as the roots are now starting to appear once more. All the other tomatoes need to be potted on as well with some needing to find new homes as there are definitely too many for my space unless I try growing some outdoors. The pots and hanging baskets are really bulking up and other plants are growing well so in another couple of weeks once frosts are past I'll plant them out will have to start moving pots etc out in the daytime but it's a lot of lifting and carrying.
Johnny has been busy capping walls and around the basement and over the last few days had been talking about making my extra raised beds in the kitchen garden. Today it was full steam ahead there are now 2 new beds and hopefully he'll make one more at least that's the plan and then at the end of the garden there will be a compost area and there's even talk of making an area for chickens beside the kitchen garden in the orchard area but that's another project.
10 May 2010 00:37:14
Not had much time in the garden the last few days due to work and deciding I'd better do some housework. Friday was spent indoors, managed to get a few hours Saturday planted in the remainder of my plants bought the previous Saturday and the Bijoux mixed sweetpea that grows only 18" tall into the bed beneath the terrace. Sowed in some paeony poppies to hopefully fill some of the gaps and removed any weed seedlings that had popped up. Today was teaching this morning then Johnny decided we should go looking for gates drove over an hour to discover the salvage yard no longer opens on a Sunday drove home via another it was closed too but stopped in B&Q in Newry bouth some more plants for my containers and some long bamboo canes. The bedding plants have all been potted on and are in the tunnel, also potted on some of my seedlings think I have a lot to learn on propagation, have more Cosmos sown up in 3days in the tunnel. All the planters and baskets are flying along and veg in planters is doing well. Had a quick visit to the kitchen garden and things are looking good so far still hopefull of getting more raised beds made as Johnny is talking about it so a good sign, think he's quite pleased at having built the tunnel. Currently he is capping a wall with cobbles so as we can get it plastered so it's full steam ahead with less than 6 weeks to go till Caroline's big day. Need to do a bit of weeding in the kitchen garden after I repair the damage to the gable bed.
10 May 2010 00:15:54
Who's being digging in my bed?
I couldn't believe my eyes, shock and horror - something has been digging in my bed. The mixed anenomes are gone, muscari scattered, Winston Churchill has been brought to his knees and the small viburnum has been totally undermined. I don't know who the culprit is or when exactly it happened not been round that corner since Friday. Too late to do anything this evening to try and repair the damage but it'll be the first job in the morning, luckily the dicentra is intact and Sarah Bernhardt is unharmed. Don't think it was my dogs but possibly the neighbours or another intruder there is a trench about 25cm deep around the small viburnum and the soil is thrown back to the gable wall, hopefully the bulbs will be able to be replanted and survive to bloom again next year.
10 May 2010 00:03:56
East Gable bed 21/04
Over the last number of weeks the east gable bed has been providing a nice display with the viburnum, Winston Churchill daffodils, muscari, anenomes,and Anenome The Bride flowering for such a long time nowand over the last couple of weeks the Bleeding Hearts plant has been providing a real splash of colour. Was really looking forward to the display in this bed as Campanula Elizabeth, Peony Sarah Bernhardt and the peachy roses all looking as though there will be a great burst of colour over the next few weeks. I have had little gardening time due to work but out with the camera this evening I was stopped dead in my tracks - to be continued.
06 May 2010 01:27:48
Johnny's stone seat
Today Johnny and son no 2 David located a large stone with a flattish top as a seat looking down the pond from the NE. The point of stone is buried into the ground and when the plnting goes in around it will create a nice seating area to watch the wildlife. I spent the afternoon removing the weed membrane along the bed beneath the terrace so hopefully plants will start to spread now and seedlings will have a better existance. removed two cistis, 3 varigated eurphobia that succumbed in the freeze' pruned back the ceaothus ground cover bushes as there were green leaves and branches underneath the dead ones so hopefully they'll recover. removed any weeds as I went and now it's a case of planning what else to plant or seeds to sow to fill any gaps. Was a great day here but heavy rain tonight hope it's just passing by and that tomorrow is another good day. Am having a read of Chris Beardshaw's book The Natural Gardener as section on water gardens and wetlands.
05 May 2010 15:11:21
This morning looking out from the kitchen to the pond I had to look twice as I thought one of our drakes had changed colour overnight. There were 4 ducks waddling around by the pond but one had different colouring, then there were 5. This visitor has appeared but cann't discover what type it is can anyone enlighten us, it's much bigger and heavier than the mallards.
04 May 2010 23:44:09
Sarah Bernhardt and Dicentra
No garden time today as I was instructor for Monaghan RDAI group so lots of walking, beautiful morning so decided to make the best of the weather by going out across the fields with the young riders and volunteer helpers. Looking through the trees planted 2 years ago it's amazing how much they've come on, apple trees covered in blossom although I probably should have given these trees more care noticed the damson tree is starting to spurt but no flowers yet but never know perhaps it'll flower yet. The garden was commented on by a number of the volunteers will take some photos through the trees if weather stays good.Johnny tidied up around the overflow pond and reinstated the fencing either side of the drive next job on that will be removal of any stones and soil raked onto the hardcore in preparation for the stone to level and then finish and putting up gates at the entrance. Plants in the tunnel doing well and if the weather holds up tomorrow I'll tackle the bed below the terrace and I'm promised that the weeds will be sprayed Thursday so hope it stays dry and calm. Posted up some photos of new plants and also what's in bloom or will soon be putting on a show. Two I'm looking forward to are the Allium purple Sensation and Peony Sarah Bernhardt which has lots of buds forming.
04 May 2010 21:53:03
Looking across the foot bridge along the main pond 4/05
The overflow pond on our mini manmade lake is now ready for planting so it's over to me to plant it up. There is dogwood already planted near the stone footbridge on the dam and behind it some of the lysimachia moved from the east bed has found a new home there and it can happily romp away there. Thinking about making an arch over the bridge using willow trees either side and training them onto a hoop and then growing a honeysuckle to climb over it. All the plants around the mini lake have just appeared naturally except for the oxygenator weed that causes a major problem, it just exploded when put in a couple of years ago. We plan to make a tool that can be operated from a hymac to dredge the weed out cutting down on manpower as the sunlight on clear water is fantastic. Any suggestions on planting for both inside the overflow pond on the banks and on the land behind it would be very welcome.
04 May 2010 00:44:08
At the end of our large pond we have an overflow into the drainage and drainage from the field, so Johnny decided to edge the pond with some of the boulders stockpiled on the farm. James son no 3 and Ali spent the day shifting stones and retaining the bank by the new drive way,. There is even a little stone footbridge across the clay dam at the end, dogwood has been planted in and also some of the Lysmachia as it can run riot in this wild area. Will post up more photos of this project tomorrow. Most of my day was spent in the kitchen garden weeding , planting peas, mangetout, runner beans, brussel sprouts and cauliflower need to organise hoops for netting and grit around the plants to keep the slugs at bay. Finished potting up my strawberry pot which will stay in the tunnel for a few days, was amazed how dry everything was in the tunnel. Planted out Old Spice sweet pea beneath the Betula Tristis will train it onto wires across the posts supporting the tree the leaves on this are fabulous with their serrated edge will post up some photos hopefully tomorrow. Absolutely fabulous day for working outside long may it continue.
03 May 2010 00:15:01
Tulip Tom Thumb need new pots.
Spent nearly the whole day gardening with a couple of hours before lunch spent potting up more of my planters and putting them into the tunnel now have a total of 2 baskets and 12 planters between pots and others the remaining geraniums fushia and Isotoma have been potted up and are also in the tunnel to bring them on until they are planted up outside. Was one really heavy shower of rain and it was great just to move indoors in the tunnel just need an bench set up to be able to pot or sow inside now. Johnny seemed surprised at what all is in there, potted on Roma tomatoes into litre pots it'll be a while before the others are ready to pot on and think some will be looking for homes. Planted up the strawberry pot but need another few plants never remember there are 8 plants needed for the sides and then for the top but hopefully Caroline will get another basket of 6 from B&Q for me tomorrow. Sowed another tray of Peppermit Phlox the first one didn't do well, it was sown in the house so I'm hoping this one will perform better is good for planters etc. Planted some of the peas into a large plastic planter also in the tunnel again hoping to hurry them on, will try to spend a while in the kitchen garden tomorrow but really need some more raised beds maybe this week will see them materialise if I'm lucky.
After a quick lunch set into rearranging the bed along the north walls of the house , bought viburnum burkwoodi Coney yesterday to fill the gap vacated by the mallow last autumn lovely flowers and scent and at £25 stg I thought it was quite good value. Removed the membrane from most areas of the bed and replanted Ajuga that had spread and rooted down through it, first added in more soil and mixed it in to try and lighten what is a very black soil, other plants added were low Aruncus, pulmonaria in white need to find a shrub or perhaps a rose to replace the escallinona that met it's end over the winter. At the back of the border to the east end I added Queen Victoria Begonia and another little plant with peachy white flowers cann't remember it's name but looks good with the viburnum. James had brought soil on the bobcat and after I cooked dinner I headed out to tackle a couple of areas low in soil. this was due to plants being removed on the bed to the NW side of the front door. After adding soil I planted in a larger Aruncus, a low ground cover plant with forget me knot type flowers again need to find the name, also dug out and replanted Ajuga which again had spread over the membrane. Gradually as the areas are planted up I will remove all the membrane and loosen up the soil have to find a plant to replace the escallinona on this side as well. Lifted some of the selfseeded poppies from the terrace bed and planted them into a gap might lift a few more or scatter some seed into gaps, noticed that seeds sown direct last week have germinated. Few more plants to go in in the bed below the terrace think the membrane has to go from there as well and couple of cistis are definitely expired so they will also be removed. If the weather is reasonable will take some photos of the beds once I've finished planting. Was after 9pm when I finished so a few aches and pains old age is catching up on me but once the planting is in and more established it should with any luck be a bit easier.
01 May 2010 23:35:58
Mallards on the pond
Working on the terrace the other day up a ladder at the wisteria with Connie my faithful gardening companion sniffing around. All of a sudden there was a commotion beneath me as a duck launched into the ladder just escaping Connie's jaws feathers flying and the duck launched herself off the terrace with Connie in pursuit. Once safely in the pond Connie lost interest in her, investigation in the corner and there was a nest tucked away full of eggs question was what to do as mother duck wouldn't be returning there in a hurry. Phone Paul - Milkchurns to ask for help, James lifted the eggs and Paul collected them later and now has 11 eggs in the incubator so will have to wait see what happens. The dogs normally are very good and don't really bother with them so it was a lucky escape for this one.
01 May 2010 23:23:06
Last Monday bought a variety of bedding plants while shoping for shoes. Cleared bedding out replanting muscari and pansies into spaces in flower beds removed all the compost and washed out the terracotta pots in preparation, went to Glaslough Peat for bags of multi purpose for tomatoes and salads etc a bag of compost and soil for veg and special compost for bedding plants and flowers to give them a boost. It was then a case of setting in to the pots have 2 baskets and 10 pots or planters done and today bought some more geraniums, fushia and some other bits and pieces to finish off the rest of the pots. Some will be planted into plastic pots to bring them on and then plant out once their more developed and the frosts are past. Am sort of disappointed with my seed propagation as results haven't been great but hopefully next year I won't have to buy as much although I am lucky to be able to go to B&Q and bedding plants are not too expensive. Have lots more to plant out in the garden as I went to Mahon garden centre this afternoon, all their bedding plants had big signs up warning about care and frosts.
Johnny has been working away at seeding either side of the drive lots of raking and leveling helped by David son no. 2 and Ali. they also put up posts and wire either side of the entrance off the lane to the farm and I planted in a hedge of hawthorne, roses and field maple on the garden side of it hope to get some gates on. Johnny's next job will be the entrance sorting gates out we plan to use old stone pillars that were used for gates into fields on the farm - so much to do with the countdown on to Caroline's big day just 7 weeks to go from today. Hope we manage to get everything done fingers crossed the weather will be reasonable to help us meet the deadline.
01 May 2010 22:56:52
Have been spending a lot of time on the flower side of the garden but eventually planted up 6 more potato bags have a few potatoes left and think I will use compost bags for the last few. In the kitchen garden onions, shallots, garlic doing well, potatoes pushing through both in the raised bed and the potato bags of earlies. Carrots and turnips making an appearance, I need some more raised beds but there are other things more important. The beans and peas met their demise due to the frost a couple of weeks back so I decided to cheat and buy some ready to go and then sow some outdoors myself. Have planted up lettuce, dwarf beans and mangetout in the tunnel and hopefully the rest will be planted out tomorrow in the raised beds. Have cauliflower, brussel sprouts and peas waiting to be planted out wanted to get some leeks today but none left was tempted to get some celery plants to see how it would do I just haven't the time to grow from seed and would love just be able to walk out and pick it fresh.Tomatoes are all doing well in the tunnel and the roma will need potting on at some stage in the next few days.