Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Meanwhile in the Garden

The pond is looking really good, I cleaned out the pump a few eeks ago and having the UV light really helps although we still get some blanket weed, but not to the extent we used too.

Our only concern is the fish! Where have they gone? We do have a heron round and about but we always keep the pond netted, and there where plenty of fish in there when I cleaned the pump out, all I can see now is the huge 'Orfe' and nothing else!!!

The gunnera is growing quickly too, I think it benefitted from all the rain we had last year, I wonder how long it will be before it ttakes the fence out!!

The Hydrangea Petiolaris - Climbing Hydrangea, also seems to have benefitted from the rain, it has masses of flower buds on it.

This is one plant I could grow up the north side of the house, and was very tempted to, but what put me off is it clings like ivy does and being an old house I would hate the brick work to get damaged!

My Tetrapanax papyrifer, T-rex for short has come through the winter

and looks like it is going to take off this year!!

Further up the garden, two little alliums I got at a plant sale last year, I love alliums.

The flower bed opposite the veg beds is having a 'green' moment, I will have to find something jolly to plant in there for this time next year. Any suggestions.

I dug over the next bed up and added manure to it, I know I shouldn't have but it is a relatively easy dig

and please note I have not dug the last couple of days!!!

My peas have had to be fleeced, because of the frost we have been having

and I have planted seed in further up to stagger the picking season, we hope!

Greenhouse stuff

I am meant to be doing some housework, but after going to hang the washing out I sort of wandered south, instead of north ;o)

I must fit the automatic openers to the louvre windows as I managed to leave one open last night and we had another frost!!!

Things are growing a pace in here,

quite empty compared to last year.

These are my two Bird of Paradise Plants, (Strelitzia). The one on the left is Strelitzia reginae 'Mandela's Gold' a relatively rare one and the other is an unknown, because as usual I have lost the label!!!

I know this is out of focus, but that is a root coming out of the bottom of the 2nd Strelitzia, at first I thought it was one of the huge horrible slugs, but it wasn't,so I decided to pot it up

Here it is (at the back all potted up. The plant in front is my Manihot Grahamii, another sort after plant!

I still haven't decided where to plant this yet, I'll need to do some more research first!

I have split and repotted these

The two on the left are Thalia dealbata the two on the right are Umbrella Palm (Cyperus alternifolius).

I have potted up some of the Brugmansias

I will sell these on Ebay.

This is my 'new' Grand Marnier'

hopefully able to replace this

which had got too big for the greenhouse! It used to be beautiful when it flowered!

Sunday, 26 April 2009


Going on in the garden, the new veg beds have had a bag each of compost from the recyle centre and a bag each of farm manure, all dug in and ready to go..

the arches are up with peas (hardened off) on the right and beans on the left, along the edge I have planted some colourful flower seeds, at the back of the peas I have planted sweetcorn, a whole bed full :o)

the gravel we got from the 'freecycle' site.

He may have more so we will be collecting that Friday if possible!

A view from the other direction

you can just make out that we still need gravel for around the edge of the bed with the peas in!! Eventually we intend to gravel the central path area too but we are currently in no rush as the mower fits up here!

turning round and looking back up the garden and its slowly coming together. An hour a day is not really enough but it will have to do until I get my 'mojo' back!

I have two ferns that grow infront of my shed and I love the way they unfurl in the spring!

at first I thought this was a cowslip but I'm not sure. My daisies and I have rather alot have the biggest flower heads I have ever seen!

My Solomans Seal is up early, I now have to watch out for the caterpillars that will totally decimate this. Last year I beat the little blighters, cos as soon as I saw the first one, I cut the lot right back to the ground, fortunately it was nearly over anyway!

K's sunflowers, I promised her I would put a pic on here so she could see how much they had grown!
Tomorrow provided it doesn't rain too much I will move to the top bed and probably plant some more potatoes! But then again I may put tham in the potatoe bags I bought to grow them in!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Paulownia tomentosa

Also known as the 'foxglove tree'. If allowed to continue growing it has the most beautiful flowers.

Why do I tell you this?

Because I have four,


I noticed they had started to bud


I cut them off just above the bottom bud!

When I first did this last year I nearly had heart failure, but doing this encourages it to grow and produce nice large leaves.

This is how one looked last year......

Hopefully they will be bigger this year and apparently they can reach 3 ft across and you hear the leaves hit the deck when they drop off!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

St Georges Day - Englands National Day

I don't believe this is celebrated enough. The Irish, Scots and Welsh really make a big thing of their National Days, so I am on a campaign to Celebrate ours.


The flag of England is the St George's Cross. St George's emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king's soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.


St. George travelled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.

'Every day,' said the old man, 'he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The king's daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.'

When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit's hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.

The dragon's scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.

He smote the beast with his sword but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.


George's fame had certainly reached England by the reign of Alfred the Great, but it really took off after the Crusades, when it was reported back that he had appeared before the crusaders outside Jerusalem in 1099, spurring them on to martial valour. He was much admired by European knights, and began to appear on banners taken into battle. In 1222, the Synod of Oxford declared that St George's Day was a feast day in England. Not being English actually gave him an edge over other saints, such as Thomas à Becket, because it meant his cult was not associated with any particular part of the country, so when English knights set off to France to fight the Hundred Years War, they could do so in the name of St George without stirring up regional rivalries. As Shakespeare put it, in Henry V: "God for England, Harry and St George."

So why isn't St Georges Day celebrated, because some people believe it is 'racist' or even political to be proud of England as events draw in political activists!

Well I am Proud, I love the history of our country, I love the greeness of our lands, I love my country!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A Sunny Day!

I am finding gardening a real chore at the moment,and was all for giving up and selling my tropicals etc. But the family have persuaded me its a passing phase and have all agreed to help out. Then we can review it next year!

At the moment I am trying to do a little bit each day, a maximum of an hour, and only if I feel up to it!

So I planted 1 row of spuds, (Charlotte)

Some more onions with rows of carrots between

and unbubblewrapped the greenhouse

and that was all I could manage.

Meanwhile the cats where doing what cats do.....

Tango eating a mouse, ugh!

Sassy sleeping in the old rabbit hutch we kept for them.

Jake being very brave and sneaking out the lounge window!

At last my clematis has opened, it is so pretty!

I am still knitting the Forest Canopy shawl and have undone it so many times. But today I found out about 'life line' and only wish someone had told me about it earlier! This could be my saving grace!!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Greenhouse & Strawberry Patch

Things are really beginning to move in the greenhouse. I haven't got the bubblewrap off yet, but I don't think it will be long now.

All the bananas have had fresh compost added and been watered and fed well

and as you can see

they are taking off at a rate.

My banana plantation at the top of the garden and at the bottom where both hit badly but the -10C we had and sadly are no more. They still may come back from the bottom but we will see.

The strawberry patch is now planted, after discussion with my neighbour, about her patch and the fact that she nets them, made me decide to put them here, as it will be easier to build a frame here than in the triangular bed. I used the bark chippings from the chicken run to go around the little plants!

Another of my tulips

and the Lemony coloured one all opened up in the sun!