Sunday, 5 July 2020

Colour on Dull Days

I show a lot of my large leaved plants on my blog and I think my garden can appear to be very green, Over the years I have gradually introduced more colour.
I chuckle to myself when I think back to helping mum and dad in their garden. Dad being a seafarer really enjoyed working in the garden, he had a veg patch and grew lots of dahlias. In those days I hated dahlias they always seemed to be full of earwigs, so here we are at least 50 years further on and what am I growing.....

Lots of dahlias lol!

This group of dahlias is from Thompson and Morgan 'Harlequin Mix' they come as tiny plug plants which you bring on and then plant out.


I love the different colours and shapes,


not an earwig in sight..


some just simple and plain


others pretty and blowsy


 including pastel colours too


I have more in the rest of the garden that have not yet flowered, so I can show you those another time.


These have all been planted in the large trough down by the pond. I know it still seems pretty green, to be honest my camera doesn't do it justice, plus there are still loads of buds to bloom.



What it does do is disguise the fence and makes the seating area very 'cosy'.


I think the best is still to come.

At the very bottom of the garden I have a large trellis which I have sent a couple of clematis up. This helps hide the greenhouse.
These clematis have gone mad this year, absolutely smothering the trellis with masses of flowers.


I keep having to cut it back as it stretches to take over anything in its reach, whilst also trying to stop my neighbours Clematis Montana, planted on a small trellis from trespassing and taking over my trellis and my garden!


She 'my neighbour' also has a very vigorous Euphorbia which I am forever having to dig out of my beds as it tries to invade. Ironically it can hardly be seen her side, preferring mine!!! Not that I don't like Euphorbia just not in the beds it invades!!

Now Begonias!!! My mums favourite. I have never really liked them, its the flowers I don't like, but since I have planted them, they have flowered and flowered and flowered. So I now get why they are so popular, doesn't mean I like them.



The hanging basket is amazing, Begonia Apricot Shades  also from Thompson and Morgan. Stunning colours, simple to look after, I water daily, feed once a week and don't even really dead head. The window box is behind, as I ordered extra plants which failed to turn up due to unprecedented demand.


So would I order them again, unfortunately yes. You may laugh even though I don't like the flowers their colour right from day one has been amazing. 
There is an elderly lady in the village who has huge begonia displays year in, year out, they always look so good, no matter what the weather does.

Hubby went to buy a fish the other day and came back from the garden centre with this..


A hardy Hibiscus, the colour is stunning and it looks gorgeous on our patio. Now whether it is hardy or not in my garden we will see!

Now the tomatoes, in the Vivigrow,  well what can I say , they are growing... lots


The roots have gone mad and I have to top it up very regularly as the guzzle water. I think my only worry is how close the all are.


I have missed a few of the side shoots, so I have a couple which are huge and have tomatoes on, I never know at this stage whether to take them off or not, so currently the are still on!


See you next time x

#thompson&morgan  #harleqindahlias  #begoniaapricotshades #greenhousesensation #vivigrow 

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Garden Irrigation plus more

I cannot believe it is nearly the end of the month and this is only my 2nd blog post for the month. What have I not been doing??
So at long last I have set up the irrigation system, well overdue. Being a totally south facing garden we and it bakes so I spend a long time watering and even in the late evening it can be very hot.
After much research, mainly due to financial restraints, as there is only so much money I could spend. I chose a micro jet spray system from Easy Garden Irrigation.
With the help of hubby, we drew up a plan of the garden, initially planning to only do one side of the garden, ordered the medium kit which came relatively quickly bearing in mind Covid19, then set it up.

I thought I had taken a pick of the box when it came but I can't find it anywhere? Basically it had the following in

Image taken from Easy Garden Irrigation. you get more than in the pic, but all the elements are there.

Professional pressure reducer 175 kPa
10 x 180 degree Vari-jet stkes with tube
2 x Vari-flow 90 degree micro jet heads
2 x 360 degree micro jet heads
1 x nut and tail adaptor
2 x T connectors
4 x elbow connectors
3 x stop ends
10 x supply pipe stakes
1 x 25 metre irrigation supply piep
10 x micro blanking plugs
5 x supply pipe nail in wall clips

I laid the pipe out, as instructed, in the sun, which we had plenty of, to warm up and make a bit easier to fit. Initially I was going to set it up watering the bed from back of the bed to the front, but it actually turned out easier to set it up front to back.

The first thing is the pressure reducer. We actually have excellent water pressure so I knew we needed this.


I then lay out the pipe all down the right hand side of the garden



you then work out where to put the vari-jet spikes, after reading up its roughly every 2 metres but I put them slightly closer together to allow for an over lap and no gap at the back where the two spray arcs  would have not met. Use the gadget supplied to pierce the pipe push the vari-jet attachment in, pop it in the ground and with any luck it should work and it did.

I ran it for about 1 hour each evening and was thrilled as to how well it did,doing the whole of one side in just the hour was amazing, so decided I needed to set up the other side of the garden as well.

Now this needed something more than just the irrigation system as I had to get it across the path and a pipe lieing across the path does not work for me, especially when my husband is so clumsy and would either walk on it or trip over it.

So after a visit to a garden centre once they were open of course, I set up an arch.


I'm rather pleased with it, I have planted a Kiwi Fruit, mainly because it has such pretty leaves, to grow up it.



It will be relatively easy to set up trellis to the right if it needs further to grow, then it can trot off down the fence.

So now I have the frame to guide the pipe over. This time I didn't go for a kit I just ordered the extra bits I needed as I still had some left over from the first kit. So using a 't' junction piece I cut the pipe, and sent it off over the arch.


its currently tied with string because I cannot find the cable ties anywhere??



it now waters both sides of the garden.



You can just about make out the spray


I have ordered a timer so it will come on automatically.


What used to take me hours each evening and probably used lots and lots of water is all done in 1 hour and I don't even have to be there!


I think my only concern is, once all the plants have grown is the water going to reach the back of the beds? Well we will have to wait and see.
Of course since I fitted it we have had lots of rain!!! I think its called 'sods law'!

I have also been doing my 5 yearly paint of the front door, which did not turn out as well as I had planned.
I had wondered as it was starting to show signs of wear and tear, but once I started stripping, it turned out to be a far worse than expected.


Even with wood hardener it was still soft.


To be honest it doesn't owe us a penny. We can't remember exactly when it went in but we do remember who fitted it for us and we think it was at the same time as when we had the new wooden windows fitted so we are talking 20-25 years ago.
So I have done a bit of a bodge job, whilst we buy a new door .


It looks ok but it will not get us through another winter. The challenge now is to match the yellow.  I can do the painting, but I'm not getting any younger (sadly) and I found it really hard this time, its not light to lift so we have decided to go with a 'composite' door. I said to hubby we could go navy, but to be honest I love my yellow door, its bright, cheerful and welcoming. Fortunately he agrees, so the search begins. I will keep you posted.

More next time x





Friday, 5 June 2020

Trying to keep busy!

I have been busy but I have had to do it slowly as I have Achilles tendinitis, it is bloomin painful, in fact it is the worst pain I have had in quite a few years and requires rest, gentle stretches and ice!! Apparently its quite common in 'middle aged women'  I said to the Doctor 'I am thrilled to still be classed as middle aged'!!!

So whats be going on here........

well the hydroponic system is doing well and as you  can see the roots are growing like crazy. What is being a problem are the PH tests I have to do, about twice a week. When I do the test it is always at the top end of alkaline, (7.6)so I add a half measure of 'downer' to get it down and this 'always' with out fail takes it down to acidic (6.0) so then I have to bail out some water and add tap water. After much too-ing and fro-ing I can usually get it to just about 7.2.
I did contact the company about this and they told me to do basically what it says on the instructions, but I haven't found this works. I have also found I must not add the 'full' dose of the 'downer' (yep thats what its called) as it will take me forever to get it balanced again.
So I am monitoring it and will contact them again, we obviously have strange water in Wiltshire!!


This is my front window box. my dad had it built on board ship at least 60 years ago, there were 2, they sat under the windows of the french doors of our lounge at our family home. When mum moved she took one but didn't want the other so I had it. Mums died, well collapsed actually,  I think because she put compost in the wooden box, I always use a plastic trough and sit that inside.
So it was that time of year when I always clean it and treat it, but I found the base was parting company from the rest of it. I was heart broken. Now I can do DIY but I really wanted someone who knew what they were doing to do this, so put a shout out on our village facebook page.


 Lo and behold a lovely man said he would have a look at it, so we took it round. After much discussion about what I wanted we left him to it.
This is what was returned, all fixed, new base and he reused as many of the solid brass screws that had held it together all these years. It is made of oak and now has many more years left in it.


Just need to plant it up now.

He even cleaned and oiled the old base and gave it back to me, it is such a beautiful piece of wood, I really need to find somewhere special to use it.


I just wanted to share a picture or two of my Paulowina's. I have 3, but 2 are up near the patio. I can't remember when I planted them but I have had them a number of years they amaze me every year.  As you will remember every year I pollard it, in the spring it starts budding in various places on the trunk. I usually wait till the frosts have passed until I decide which buds to keep and which to take off.
Well we have been really caught out this year by that really late frost we had, but, this last week I removed all but two of the buds and I just thought I would share with you a couple of pictures of just how fast they grow.



I showed you the picture above and below. back on the 15th May just after the bad frost.


The next 2 pictures where taken Monday 1st June.



The next few where today!! The first one is closest to the house and is relatively well protected.


I just cannot believe the size of these leaves already. Just love them.


This one is a little further down the patio, by next week I reckon it should have caught up.


All my seed planted plug plants have been planted out and it still amazes me that once in the ground the speed they grow.
I have also found a lot of self seeded plants popping up everywhere, this is quite exciting for me as this very rarely happens. So I have very carefully been transplanting them around the garden.

I am hoping this will be a good year. Next post will be about my new irrigation system I will be setting up. Which will be needed as for the first time ever at this time of year all and yes I mean ALL my water butts are empty!!!

Back soon.