Last Post 1056 days 19 hours ago
30 June 2010 00:34:14
LD Braithwaite& Allium heads
Have put up an album for David Austin Roses and one for other roses in my garden. Most of the other roses I have no names for but last year was the start of my addiction to David Austin ones, the first purchases were one Mary Rose, two LD Braithwaite and two Gertrude Jekell, the LD Braithwaite are different not sure what the pink one is as they are supposed to be red. Then at Christmas Kate gave me 4 bare root roses which have been planted into pots Eglantyne and Benjamin Britten have opened with Winchester Cathedral and Brother Cadfel with a number of buds which should open in the next few days. Earlier this year I bought Abraham Darby which unfortunately had it's buds nipped off by something, William Shakesphere which also is close to flowering and Geoff Hamilton that seems to be a bit behind the others. Will post up photos as they appear and if anyone knows the name for the one that is not LD Braithwaite let me know, mind you I think it is really gorgeous.
29 June 2010 00:49:07
Ismene Double Header
The rain today was certainly needed although now Sarah Bernhardt is on her way out, took all the rather soggy blooms off except for about 6 but she was gorgeous while she lasted. Dead headed roses as well and removed a few weed seedlings that had appeared. The Ismene now has a double head on it so unusual looking still should be a few more to send up flower spikes. The scent in the garden was wonderful this evening as soon as I stepped onto the terrace there were so many scents wafting around and birds singing and everywhere looking so green. Put up more photos of the garden in June including clematis Comtesse de Bouchard which has just started to bloom. Really looking forward to lots of other plants opening over the next while and deciding on what will stay in my planting plans next year. To create an effect plants were planted close together but next year they will need more space.
28 June 2010 18:49:58
The last few days I have been watching the moon and on Saturday night it was shining so bright with a wonderful reflection on the pond but this was only visible once I went upstairs and I just couldn't face going down to fetch the camera, mores the pity. Thought I'd take the camera up last night but the reulting picture is nowhere near as clear as I had taken it on Saturday. Not sure if the moon will appear tonight due to the cloud cover but it's definitely clearing to the west.
28 June 2010 18:42:17
Benjamin Britten (DA rose)
This is the 2nd of the 4 David Austin bare root roses Kate gave me at Christmas to flower. Blooms seem smaller and tighter but then perhaps they'd open more in the sun. Certainly not much of that here today, steady rain for the last hour or so but might be brightening up a bit from the west. Garden really needed the rain but I think the tap can be turned off now for a while.
25 June 2010 00:00:08
What am I ?
This is selfseeded in the bed to the NW of the house it is in shades of lilac & pink. Would love to know what it is. Have posted up a larger photo in the June album along with a few other photos of views of beds and flowers as they emerge.
24 June 2010 23:56:12
Noticed this had buds appearing yesterday and this evening it was in full bloom, this is the first time I've planted this bulb so will be interested to see how it performs. Does anyone have any experience as to how this flower performs?
24 June 2010 00:02:42
Eglantyne David Austin Rose
At Christmas I was given 4 bare root David Austin Roses by Kate and today Eglantyne was the first to open , these roses were all planted in terracotta planters and underplanted with Freesia and Drumsick allium. The freesia are beginning to open and the allium are also on their way out, all the roses bushes have buds nearly ready to open. Rain seems to have bypassed us here and everywhere is bone dry so a while spent watering in the kitchen garden and flowerbeds on the NW of the house. Deadheaded roses and plucked out any weeds, removed the lupin heads that have gone over lots of small spires appearing. Garden is changing on a daily bases which is just wonderful, roses are covered in buds with the climbers at the back door going to put on an amazing display very soon. This evening picked peas, beans and strawberries from the tunnel for dinner the freshness and flavour make all the work seem very worthwhile and this is only the start of it.
22 June 2010 18:18:41
Bulrushes & Moon 21/06
Caught this reflection shot on last night of bulrushes and the moon.
22 June 2010 18:14:33
New Entrance Nearly Completed.
15th June the entrance and driveway were nearly completed have posted up some photos in the entrance and driveway album. I have a feeling there will be no gates here as we have a cattle grid in place and closed gates are a bit unfriendly were as this entrance gives the impression you want to go up it and explore what's there.
22 June 2010 01:19:10
Girls and boys
The photograhers eyes nearly popped out when he called for a photo of the brides family and their partners. With six children and partners that was a total of 14 and a the girls are certainly stunning.
22 June 2010 01:12:40
Alan, Caroline with Alan's other love
While Caroline's love is horses Alan is into Honda 50's so I suggested to him to surprise Caroline by turning out on his bike and he agreed. In the end it became a wonderful photo shot session and when I get time to put up the album you'll see why.
22 June 2010 01:04:28
Caroline , Maverick and Connie
One of Caroline's dreams had been to have photos taken on a horse but she wasn't sure what Alan would think. On the day she bought her dress in Feb09 this was part of her plan and her dream came true with Maverick ( as he's known at home).
22 June 2010 00:51:37
Back home for the photos
Ever bride dreams of being at the church at the right time for them for Caroline she said it was 12:31. We only live a stones throw from the church it's literally over the brow of the hill but transport still had to be arranged, much discussion had taken place on the type of transport horse and carriage, black cars or a limo in the end Caroline decided the best option was a stretch limo. It arrived early and although I had suggested to the driver on the phone to come up the stable entrance and drive down the new drive so as he didn't have to turn at the house I discovered he'd done the opposite. I popped my head out through the french door on the drawing room to ask if he was going to turn and he replied- your father told me to drive in the other way after I go to the church to level off some family members, I sort of looked at him and he changed it to husband but it certainly was a great feeling as mother of the bride. After a few photos in the house with Caroline off I set in the limo for the church with some of the family and according to the priest he began to panic as the bride was early imagine his relief when we stepped out. The limo departed but first it had to turn and according to Johnathan my eldest son as he went to turn the drive shaft drpped out and on sailed the limo to grind to a halt in the corner of the car park. Disaster what to do the bridegroom had arrived with his uncle in a vintage cortina so it was find another mode of transport so Martin one of the guests offered to drive the bride and her father the short distance to the church, when he arrived Johnny thought Martin was pulling their leg about the limo but realised when the limo driver arrived with Alan's uncle in the cortina. As the cortina was only 2 door and Caroline could'nt clamber in and out the offer of Martin's BMW 4WD was gratefully accepted once Caroline got over the inital disappointment. So the bride and her father walked up the aisle 10mins late at 12:40. After the ceremony we returned home for photos with the families so you can imagine our disbelief as a large number of guests followed us back although they all enjoyed wandering around the garden and refreshments we had provided. At 3:15 the bride andgroom left for Tydavnet to what was the grooms local pub before leaving to arrive at the four Seasons hotel more or less at 4:15 as Caroline had planned. The dinner was exceptional, Johnny gave a very funny Father of the Bride speech recounting the tale of disaster that morning music was provided by a superb band followed by an equally good disco which finished sometime after 2:00. Eventually we climbed into bed at home about 3:30, what a day made memorable in more ways than one.
21 June 2010 18:33:19
Caroline & Alan
Will put up an album later of photos from the wedding shot in the garden
21 June 2010 18:23:09
Chocolate and floral masterpiece.
As Caroline wanted a chocolate wedding cake I had it all planned out , bake the cakes Thursday and finish on Friday. Thursday went to plan three tiers baked and wrapped plus a large rectangular cake for ease of cutting, there was a small fruit cake waiting for icing but that was Friday's job. Well hot weather and chocolate do not go hand in hand and Friday was a scorcher so the chocolate topping on the sides just didn't want to remain in place. Kate was here flower arranging so a plan of action was put in place, bands of fabric covered with ribbon, bottom edge piped with a ganache cream. Bands and ribbon ready, flowers had to arrive for decorating the top of each tier and I was to make the ganache on Friday evening to have it firm enough to pipe on Saturday morning. Well plans fell assunder as visitors arrived, so six o'clock Saturday made the ganache headed for hair and make up arrived back ganache still too soft so it went to the fridge. Kate arrived problem solved as she had a basket of trailing ivy all washed and shining arranged around the base of each cake with new flower arrangements fom the garden on top with tendrils of ivy trailing the result was a masterpiece.
21 June 2010 17:48:46
Sarah Bernhardt on the Stairs
Have just put up an album of flower arrangements at Cloncaw, Kate did the most fantastic arrangements with foilage and wild foxgloves from Caledon Estate and a selection of flowers from the garden. The arrangement on the stairs is the one I love best as Sarah Bernhardt really shines in this one and still there is a magnificent display in the garden. It just took so much pressure off to have Kate do all the arrangements for me in the run up to this special event and these displays are still filling the house with their beauty and magnificent scent.
13 June 2010 22:18:47
Absolutely Fabulous Sarah Bernhardt
This is Sarah Bernhardt today a number of gorgeous blooms and lots of buds at various stages I'm so looking forward to being able to use some flowers in arrangements in the house. The first year one flower, last year good number of fabulous flowers but this year she is going to surpass any expectations I had.
13 June 2010 19:57:42
Looking down the driveway 12/06
Johnny and the boys have been working away clearing up and finishing off, by this time next week the Big Day will be past and hopefully we'll all be relaxing and enjoying a garden party at home with Caroline and Alan along with family and friends. Going to keep fingers crossed that the weather is as good as they are predicting. Alan cannot believe the amount of colour in the garden and I'm hoping lillies and a few other plants will open to improve the show. The driveway has been gravelled and the terrace behind the house this really sets the flowers off well and now the garden furniture can come out of storage. Frantic work has been going on at the entrance to the drive , pillars in place, park railing and a cattle grid until we actually either find or have gates made. The driveway sweeps up through the tree planting and the grass verges were given their first cut by Caroline on Friday, it mightn't have the crisp pristine edges just yet but it does look good and I think people will really want to follow it up to the house. Will hopefully post up some more photos as things get finished up over the next few days. Sun is out here now so off for a wander to see what I need to tighten up in the flower beds.
09 June 2010 19:26:49
Agetatum Tycoon Blue & Iris
Today no garden time as housework is a priority at the moment and it rained on and off today. Johnny and James did spend time getting ready to put down gravel and Johnny is still doing more work on the entrance this evening as he wants to put in two more stone pillars. Apricot poppy is now in full flight with 5 beautiful blooms and the first of the iris have opened, I have these planted to come up through other plants there is a group up through the sedum which won't flower for a while yet. They are also planted with Agetatum Blue Tycoon, this is definitely one plant I will sow again next year due to it's soft colour and form.
08 June 2010 22:40:54
Sarah's coming out
This evening Sarah Bernhardt paeony is coming out it is a mass of tight buds and hopefully it will be putting on a class show on the 19th as well as providing some flowers for arrangements. Keeping my fingers crossed that my wishes are granted and along with the David Austin roses will make a statement in my flower arrangements in the house.
08 June 2010 22:35:34
Royal Wedding looks like a butterfly
This evening took this photo of poppy Royal Wedding as it just looked so butterfly like the way the petals hung down due to the days rain.
08 June 2010 22:29:49
Now there are three
Rain falling softly all day so this morning gardening was off the agenda and we started spring cleaning still a bit more to do. Garden will really benefit from the rain and it'still reasonably warm. Went out this afternoon to teach and there was not one but three poppies open in the mizzly rain. So much still needs finished but rain halted other work although James started preparing the old gates for painting as Johnny lifted them up to a shed.
08 June 2010 22:19:45
Apricot Poppy opens 7/06
Sunday started off a mizzly day but cleared up around 11:30 and was a good day for gardening, spent a while pruning back the wisteria on the back of the house but need a long ladder to sort the rest. Removed lupin spires that had gone over and sprayed others for the dreaded aphids that seem to love the mixed group in the centre of the south bed. removed leaves from roses affected by blackspot and planted out the remainder of the plants I had been given a couple of weeks ago they had been in the tunnel and all seem to have developed good root systems. In the East bed spot sprayed the Lysimachia that keeps popping up even though James spent a long time digging it out of the bed in the winter, will continue to spot spray to try and keep it under control I do like it as a plant but it's very invasive.
Monday started the day by filling up a planter to make a trial run for Planters at the chapel door, also went round the garden with Caroline and Julie who's doing the bouquets and flowers for the church discussing what can be used along with flowers ordered. After that it was off to see whether it was possible to get a few different flowers added to the order and if it was possible for them to supply standard roses for the planters and calla lilies answer was no. After some other bits of wedding shopping it was home but no sooner home than off in pursuit of standard roses and mission accomplished so now it's just case of putting the planter arrangements together. Took this photo of the first apricot poppy to open and also of a Abraham Darby bud that is now in the kitchen as something nipped it off.
05 June 2010 23:28:56
Royal Wedding Poppy Opens
Friday went to get some eracious compost at Blacks garden centre had none but I managed to come away with more to plant. Everything has been planted in list included Nepeta, Monks hood, Jacobs Ladder, Sea Dahalia, deep rose pink salvia and a pink lace cap hydrangea. This afternoon I went shopping with the girls to Craigavon as I had been given a gift card for my birthday from them for Homebase picked up some geraniums and other bedding and will pot these on tomorrow into the tunnel to bring them on. Caroline and I also decided on plants to do up planters for either side the church door so now we just need to decide on the final arrangement. When we arrived home had a look around the flowerbeds to see what possibly can be used in arrangements in the church, her future sister in law is doing the flowers and bouquets with a final decision on flowers being used on Monday.
We were given 5 more young ducks today so if all survive including the 10 ducklings will have 19 in total.
Weather is absolutely scorching although it looked like rain earlier but seems to have passed by hoping tomorrow and Monday are good as they will really be my last days in the garden as after that it'll be getting everything spic and span.
04 June 2010 09:41:38
Sunset at Cloncaw
Not much gardening done today but have posted up some photos in Summer Skys and Reflections. Clearing the weed out of the pond has created wonderful relections this is the sun sinking to the NW of Cloncaw.
02 June 2010 23:15:45
Granite post set in place.
Time is rapidly slipping by with only over 2 weeks to go. There are so many things that need finished off so not really enough hours in the day. I have been busy weeding and planying out some of the annuals I grew, planted up 3 old sinks today that will be placed along the wall to the side of the house. Work on the bridge has stopped at the moment and Johnny has been working on the entrance to the drive. We had old granite gate pillars in various places on the farm and these are now in situ at the entrance of the driveway, there is a cattle gird to go in tomorrow and then Mark will hopefully make some estate type railings at the moment we won't hang any gates. The driveway has to be edged and gravelled as well as the front of the house and along the back below the south bed. We hired out a ride on mower and Caroline cut the grass looks so much smarter won't decide on what we are going to buy at the moment as Paul will cut it next week for us and then on the week of the wedding.
Spent a while in the kitchen garden yesterday sowed some more peas and removed a few weeds, lifted a head of garlic am wondering whether I should be lifting it now, smells ever so strong. Now there are really only tomatoes, strawberries and some vegetables left in the tunnel, tomatoes are beginning to flower so need to read up on what to do next.
02 June 2010 00:51:27
Elsa Spath 1/06
Finally Elsa Spath has opened to grace us with her presence. Will post up some photos tomorrow hopefully and journal of what's been going on.