Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Sad but Happy Day!

My gardeners last day yesterday!

I can't thank him enough, he has helped me achieve so much. Yesterday he was trimming the 'damn' neighbours hedge above their fence and I followed along behind picking up the trimmings, he told me off for doing this as he said he would do it, I said 'don't be daft if I do this you have time for other things'!! Thats how its been these last weeks. He does the heavy stuff I do the tidying up.

In all honesty he was not a gardener, he was a jobber! Provided I was with him and explained how I wanted it done he was fine. Boy, could he work, in 2 hours he could do sooooooo much. He told me yesterday how much he had enjoyed working with me, lots of variety, and a totally different view on gardening!
So after the hedge trim, he got on with this, I decided to lose the grass here

So we have cheated a bit and dug over the grass, used the wood that had edged the beds to edge them close to the path, bought a couple of bags of gravel to make it uniform with the top of the garden and covered it with weed membrane till I decide what to plant in here.

After we had finished this he still had 20 mins left so he decided to mow my lawn and neaten the edges too.

Looks quite posh now!!
So he has been booked for the end of Sept, for the big 'cover up'.

 My dalek has flowered, 2 rather stunnning flowers

Finally the pond.

The fish keep breeding, whilst we sat drinking coffee here this morning I said I would like it bigger, I would take up the decking outside the office, build brick pillars to support the decking over the pond and as well as doing this I would extend it by 1ft on each side.
Next years plan? Maybe!!!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I Love My Garden!

So much so, I spent 6 hours in it today!!!

Currently this is my favourite part,

the plants seem to be enjoying it as well as quite a few are really going for it!

I think this is a Dalek, if it dares to flower when I'm not around there will be trouble!!!

So after getting my brand new knee brace I went via a garden centre to pic up some more 'Slug Gone'
I had bought a small bag a couple of weeks ago to try on a couple of my hosta's  and boy it works. I have tried everything from copper tape to vaseline and I saw these wool pellets and thought well I'll give them a go.
This was very slug eaten, so I have chopped off the awful leaves and I will show you again in a few weeks!

I then planted my tomatoes into individual gro-bags. Also today I decided to sort this area out

Ta da!

Still have to sought out the solar pump for the ball pool though!

Slowly getting the bottom patio back, just need to trim the neighbours damn hedge!! I believe if people want to grow a hedge they should maintain both sides!!!

Monday, 25 May 2015

Very Nearly Completed.

Am I sad when I blog about my daughters garden? I love seeing how gardens evolve, I also know how much K loves gardening too, so now my girls have more or less moved out I have some spare time on my hands and I enjoy helping!!

So day off yesterday, to celebrate K's birthday, today we where determined to finish the greenhouse and the shed, but we where one man down as hubby shot off to 'Lords' today to get a £10 ticket to watch New Zealand v England!!

So the day started like this

Greenhouse up, the shed wall closest to the fence painted

then the base went down, now we are not builders, we are bodgers, so no rude comments on how bad it is.

We where all working flippin hard, well some of us where!!!

We managed to get it up and it wasn't too wonky the doors even met and shut!!!. The little shed on the left is going, you can just make out a picket fence in front of the new shed, that will go across the garden and have a gate in it, possibly with an arch.

This is 8 x 12 2nd hand shed, not bad for £50!! This is when I left, I was bushed. But K sent me some further photos,

Looks like the neighbour has put up some new fence panels as well

They have had a huge tidy up since I left.

and filled the shed with K's furniture! Brilliant!
It was a great weekend, tiring but fun, they are bust next weekend so back to my garden from now!!

She has had some lovely Alliums have come up, a Cardoon I gave her last year is doing well too.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Busy Day!

at my daughters garden Friday & Saturday.
She and her partner moved into this house last year and over winter they have concentrated on the inside, but now the nice weather is on its way she is starting on the garden.

When they moved in it had a decking area and shed at the end which was full of woodworm so that went, they bought a small temporary shed for there tools and had the one enormous tree and 2 fairly big trees removed.
Now my daughter is a 'jammy' so 'n' so, she always manages to get the bargains of the century, last autumn she picked up a small green house 6 x 4 brand new, including glass for £30!!! so we put that up yesterday. Then last week she bought off 'Gumtree' a massive shed 8 x 12 including the gravel for underneath for £50!!! When they got it back its in pristine condition.
Now this might seem like a big shed (which it is) but my daughter likes to 'do up furniture' as a hobby, it is her switch off from a very stressful job which she loves, plus at the moment she is writing assignments for a management course she is on, so is working long hard days.
This is where her parents/me step in to help.
So a couple of weeks back we helped put up the greenhouse and yesterday we moved it as she realised it was not in the right place. (Yes I probably could have said something, but this is not my garden, I learnt by making mistakes) and I think now it is in the right place.
We then started to put down the base of the shed, but to be honest ran out of steam as K and
her boyfriend (BF) and hubby had, had to go and collect and dismantle it in the morning.
I will keep you posted how it progresses.

Meanwhile in my garden things progress a pace. We are nearing the end of my 'birthday present', next week should be his last week until the autumn. He said how much he has enjoyed working at mine as there has been so much variety in the work.

At long last I have found a new home for these box hedge plants and its not where you would expect them to be!

On the front drive! When the gardener dug out the trench for this there was a lot of gravel left over which was a bit mucky, I wasn't sure what to do with it but he suggested we did this, (well he is there gardener too) we shoved it under the neighbours hedge, as they never, ever, ever, weed under here. Every year I go round when they are out and weed the whole of under the hedge and I don't think they ever notice.

The family think I should do some topiary in the shape of a Dachshund with them now!!! Please don't look at the window box and hanging basket as obviously I still have to do these!! Plus the front door needs painting again quite a pain as we always have to do a paint match and it is never quite right!!!

This area has been an odd one really, it used to have a bench in it, then once the bench had died it became a bit of a dumping ground. So the phormium on the left has been dug out and is going to my daughters, the bamboo I'm selling, the slabs have been lifted and this has now been returned to part of the flowerbed!

Just need something to fill it with!! Won't take me long!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out

Funny old saying, this is what it means :-
'Ne'er cast a clout.. simply means, never discard your (warm winter) clothing. 'till May be out', which means until May is ended!!
Truer words could not have been spoken, we had a frost last night, so had to wrap up the new bed.

The view from my bedroom window at 6am this morning. Frost on the roofs and nice and sunny

sadly the sun did not last and it is pretty chilly and I require a jumper, which is most unusual for me.

My Gloriosa whcihwas transplanted to the new bed has deteriorated,usually when you transplant you cut off a lot of the leaves so the dug up roots don't have to support to much leaf growth. I did think about it when I moved it but being still on a massive learning curve with 'Arid Bed Gardening' I didn't and as you can see it is looking very sad for itself. So after a chat with my mentor it got the chop.

Looking rather sad now I think,

and maybe not as healthy as I thought!
Both hubby and I stop and look at this bed every time we walk up and down the garden, he thinks, as I said before, 'its the best I have ever done', which makes me chuckle as I remember many years ago suggesting doing a bed similar to this and he was dead against it!!!

I'm asked why I grow what I grow, and its simply a challenge, the cottage garden bed you can just see to the right in the next picture, grows itself. Although my garden is south facing with a 6ft fence plus

a beech hedge which grows about 2ft above the fence ( I have spoken to my gardener, who is also the neighbours gardener and when he does their hedge he said he will do his best to get it down to fence height!!!) because of this from about mid day this side of the garden is in shade, I have always struggled as to what to grow here, I can't grow tropicals because it is too cold, so it sort of evolved and I 'plonked' plants in and never took them out, and it just grows each year, easy. I don't do easy. I can spend hours outside or in the greenhouse, what I do I don't know but I love it!!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Totally finished, I think?

Well we got the evil prickly pear from my neighbours who are moving :( only in a tiddly pot but out of a greenhouse, over two fences with no injury to anyone.

It was only as we planted it that it got us!!! I spent an hour or two picking out the prickles!!

I think the bed is more or less finished.

Hubby is chuffed to pieces, he thinks its the best part of the garden now.

I still love the large leaves in the Jungle and the contrast between the jungle and the arid bed is quite amazing.

The third ton of gravel went down on Friday so its still looking a bit white, needs to be rained on.

I need a few more terracota pots for some of the baby agaves. I repotted the Olive tree, I might get more than one olive this year.
I really wish you could see this bed in the flesh, because to be honest the photos don't do it justice!

So now all thats left to do is plant up the jungle, thats a job for the rest of the week. Extend the bed just in front of the arch on the right. Tidy up around the greenhouse, sort out the bottom patio. Plant some of the new plants I got today and plan what new mischief I can get up to next year!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Planted up!

Not the best weather for a bank holiday, a time I love to spend and usual do spend in the garden. This time last year we had wall to wall sunshine, the bubble wrap was off the greenhouse, the bananas where romping away!

Anyway I decided to plant up the arid bed with assistance from my hubby so we placed all the plants out, moved them around a lot before we where pleased with how they looked.

We then planted them, and now I think it looks like it needs a lot more plants, but I think we will wait a bit.

I still need to move the box hedging, we are having more gravel delivered, not that the bed needs more but the ground needs more coverage. All in all, I am relatively pleased so far.