Monday, 27 April 2015


I am a mix of Visual/Auditory, I love it when someone actually shows you whilst explaining, I can usually continue on finding a better way to do it. I greatly admire people who can see a coloured paint and envisage it in a room. I have made some major mistakes when it comes to this and I have now painted the whole house cream, apart from the kitchen which is yellow, then I add colourful furnishings!
Transferring this to the garden is a totally different ball game. I'm a bit of a 'plonker'. I plonk things where I think they should go then if necessary move them at a later date.
So hard landscaping to me is terrifying. Once in I can't change it! Even showing me a drawing doesn't help, I need to see it in!!
My hubby seems to be quite good at seeing it how it will be and I bounce a lot of ideas off him. My eldest daughter is even better, but I still have to make the final decisions!
I knew the veg beds had to go, they where far to dry and in full sun all day long, this was easy to decide. I then saw an amazing arid bed at a friends house and thought 'yes this could work'. I also knew roughly that I would reuse the wood and make a higher raised bed to aid drainage
So this is where we are at:

So far so good. The box hedging is coming out, but I need to add something that is relatively hardy to add height between the fence and the bed!

So up for audition we have:
Yucca Gloriosa, been in the jungle bed for years a bit spiky so could make getting behind the bed a bit awkward but would fit in with the theme of the bed!

Schefflera  taiwaniana, new to me last year, I kept it in a pot 'just in case' has grown tremendously since I got it and has the most beautiful shaped leaves, but it is an evergreen and I am not totally sure if it will cope with the amount of sun it will get in this position.

This is my smaller Phormium, planted at the moment too close to my big Phormium, would cope well in the sun and I think is a good choice for behind the bed.

Cardoon, one amazing plant keeps its leaves all year round and multiplys each year grows and enormous thistle like flower,would look good I think the disadvantage is the multiplying and the big leaves!

My lovely olive tree, another one I have nurtured for years, I even got one olive last year! I think it would look good here, but may keep it in a pot so I could move it in if necessary.

Decisions, decisions!

Friday, 24 April 2015

New Bed is Finished

2 tonnes of gravel moved round by my birthday present!! He did it in 2 hours, it would have taken me the weekend!! And we could have taken more!!

I have some plants, but need the weather to improve before I plant them in. I also need to work out how to protect this over winter. The box plants are being moved so still plenty to keep me busy!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Sunny with a Cold Wind

 To me this combination is great for working in the garden. I don't get all hot and horrible!

This last week has brought about a few small changes in the garden, as we continue on the big project.

On Friday, the Brahea Armata has been planted, as we dug down we hit clay, unusual in my garden, but what I have done to counteract this is to raise the height of the planting, but putting lots of gravel in the hole so it will not sit in water. I have also added a lot of gravel to the soil to aid drainage. I still have to put some raised edges around and finish off with more gravel. I just hope I have picked the right spot!!!

All the gravel was removed, the whole plot leveled, weed membrane put down and the gravel returned. We are getting there, still a way to go.

Next week 2 tons of gravel to be barrowed in!!!

Saturday I got the boys toys out and edged the bed of the palm

and finished edging the main bed, I never finished it last year so now looks a bit neater.

This morning found me yet again in the greenhouse, my poor Monty is not looking good, do hope it pulls through!

Crammed, just need a bit more heat, come on sun!!!

We where unable to buy a new base for my water but, as they are only sold if you buy the water butt!!! How silly is that, So we did a self build job. Just hope non of the others go as that is the last of the bricks!!!

Now all I need is rain to fill the three empty water butts up!!

Maybe I could order rain with sun, that would get things growing!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

I Was Looking For a Plant Pot


I couldn't find the one I wanted anywhere!!!!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

All Happening here!

Exciting times in the garden........

My daughter and her boyfriend came round for a bar-b-que on Friday night and stayed the night, we had a lovely time and the evening was full of laughter.

In the morning they very kindly helped me get all this bamboo

out of this container, it took nearly 3 hours and boy was it difficult!!!

This is now going to my daughters, with a not so vigourous bamboo, for her to use as a screen between themselves and their neighbours!

It used to look like this, well that's not strictly true, as I think this one looks lovely and the other one just looked a total mess.

It was in here hiding the coal bunker. Now its out I love how bright this area has become. I was going to move the above bamboo into the same place, again to hide the bunker. But I had a 'light bulb' moment.

My new beautiful Blue Palm,  Brahea armata, needs a home. I had planned to plant it further down the garden. but this area will be perfect. The gardener can dig out the old baytree, I can add gravel to give it better drainage. In the summer it will be in the sun all day, in winter it will get the best of the sun, plus added protection from prevailing winds.

It will also balance with the Trachycarpus! Perfect.

Meanwhile, more changes afoot, further down the garden, details to follow in a later post! The guy in this picture is my birthday present, the gardener!!!!

I know I always say no more big changes, but here I am again, doing big changes! I'm sure its because I can't move furniture around in my house!!!!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Summer heat at Easter!

Love it?  Hate it?

I am in the middle, I love the long bright days but I hate the heat!!! I know, when I grow the type of plants I grow you would think I loved it! Nope! I change my days, I get up very early so I can get all the work I need done, done in the cool. Then from about 10 a.m. I scuttle in doors, and don't usually come out till late afternoon.

This Easter has been lovely, we have had our first bar-b-que and I have had to get up early to get all the work in the greenhouse done before it gets too hot.

I hope the warmer weather continues, because my shelves are crammed!

Every shelf has plants on,

nooks and cranies also have plants crammed in,

My bananas are very slow to get going so now I have some space in the propagator I thought I would sit them in there, I just hope the staging can take the weight!!!!

Maybe I need a bigger greenhouse...................

crammed in all corners!!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Easter Weekend 2015

We have always made a rule that Easter Weekend is our weekend so we don't usually go anywhere. This changed a bit this year, on Good Friday we went over to my daughters to help with painting a ceiling, putting up coving and laying a floor.

On the Saturday we had a 'jolly' out down to Poole.  We had a lovely time, visited some friends we knew when we lived in London, in the morning. Then on to see the beautiful garden of a fellow 'Hardy Tropical' forum. I had my camera but was so busy chatting and questioning, I totally forgot to take photos, but did come back with a lovely box of goodies.

I took some plants down as a swap, and once there, I realised I also have a Variagated Agave that my friend did not have, so will be sending him one in the post!

Having had such a lovely day we then went in search of my husbands old family home, for his Family History research. Which we found, he then wanted to take a photo, but I said he should ask first. So he duly did, an elderly lady answered the door and chatted away, then invited us in.  Once in I told her she shouldn't have asked us in, as we could be anyone, she poo, pooed that and said what have I got that anyone would want to take!!!
This lady was 93, bright as a button and we found out her husbands mother, had bought the house from my hubbies parents over 63 years ago!!!!!

Back home and all my new plants repotted and some split.

As these came from outside I decided to leave them out, as I am rapidly running out of room in the greenhouse.

so under a cloche they went!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

More seeds and seedlings!

Guess where I have been.......................

More pricking out and sowing of seeds, the heated propagator,full

 The shelf underneath the propagator, with the dahlias potted up.

More seedlings, cannas on the 2nd shelf, bananas to the right looking decidedly dead!!?? A Palm, banana and 2 brugmansias behind.

more seedlings. To the left are to very large Colocasias, to the right another shelf unit with Bouganvillia on the top shelf, Bromeliards on the 2nd shelf and dormant Colocasia on the bottom.

 cactus and succulents, I seem to be collecting!! Bromeliard is flowering on the left of the pic.

My spikeys on the floor under the propagato, every spare inch of this greenhouse is full, I am really going to have to decide which way I am going in my gardening style.

Where the new bed will be going

much bigger from the side. We are going to visit my friend this weekend, I shared a link to him awhile back, Hurley Designs. I want to make sure we get this right and whether it needs to be bigger etc, etc so lots of questions to ask and photos to take, looking forward to it.

Bamboo Dachshund

My new palm is very happy on the patio and is sending out 2 new spears, I have been debating whether to plant it where I have moved the TRex too, but the advive from the forums is, that if its happy it will grow fast. So I have decided against putting it next to the water butt as I really don't want a tree that close to the house.

 TRex pushing out new leaves.
Always a great time of year, when everything springs back to life!!!