Saturday, 2 December 2017

Skiing across the Patio.

At this time of year you have to take your life in both hands when you cross my patio, its down right lethal!

It always used to be the decking in front of hubbies office, but since I painted it with the OSMO  anti slip decking paint, so far no problems. Just need to do something with the patio.

Finally put up my final structures to protect a couple of my Butias. I was told they where hardy, which they are, to a certain extent, but my large butia has been exceptionally slow, in fact dead slow and stop! So this year I thought I would  protect them from the elements and by covering them and fleecing the growth tip. It might make no difference at all but everyone seems to think we may have a bad winter, so the protection would help anyway!

I am hopeless with sawing wood etc, I cheated and bought 4 Extendable Clothes Props from Wilko's

made a frame using bamboo canes, then a tarpaulin and clips... hey presto!

We shall see.

The greenhouse is looking full

Everything is green and still alive, lol!

Under the arid bed cover, all s looking good.

My tree ferns have done so well this year, I think my neighbours 'huge' Baytree is offering them protection from the sun and the frost!

Wishing anyone who reads this a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. xx

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Ensete dig out!

So these are  just three that I have to dig out today. The first is my oldest Maurelli. They don't look big but I can assure you they are heavy.

The reason they are so very heavy is the amount of water they hold. You can understand why when you look at a close up and see the little pockets that hold water.

A slightly smaller Maureli, which I intend to store in a totally different way. It is still relatively small so I am not sure it would get through the winter dry stored.

On the Hardy Tropical site on Facebook someone over wintered a Maurelli in a pot of soil. The art is to keep it slightly damp and not wet! So here we go, first time for everything. It will be interesting to see how this goes. I will keep you posted.

Finally my Hiniba. This really struggled to get going this year and to be honest I thought it would be touch and go as to whether it would grow. As you can see, it did and it did it well.

After following Yorkshire Kris's You tube video on how he propagated his Hiniba, I thought 'well why not give it a go'. So this is where you will follow my journey.

First you have to dig it out! Not easy but just about doable.

Then Yorkshire Kris used a large bread knife to cut through the trunk. Which I just about managed. this is only about 4 inches from the roots.

I then had to cut this in half. I could not do this with a knife, the central bit is really tough so I had to use a saw.

I then had to cut them again, so now have 4 pieces all with a bit of the central corm and all with some roots.

I then dusted all four with yellow sulphur. Then popped them each into a pot of compost.

The compost was then dusted with ground cinnamon, I found this works well against any fungal diseases.

They are now in the back bedroom which is not the warmest in the house, and no the radiator is not on, but it is relatively bright. We shall see. Time will tell.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Winter Preparations

Just back from a visit to my mum. Whilst up there the garden had a frost, so now we are back I have started the big dig alone. First year I have done it all on my own. Hubbies back is still not good and the specialist has said he needs an MRI, but he can't have one until his eye (Cataract op) has healed more.

The plants get bigger every year, so every year I have to find cunning ways to help them fit in the greenhouse.

This Cycas Revoluta is magnificent but can go a really splodgy yellow and brown if it gets cold, so I wrap a bungee rope around it. This is one that will need a bigger pot next year.

My Cyathea Cooperi, has grown amazingly as well  this year, I shall pop it in a bigger pot next year.
Far to big to fit in the greenhouse.

So another bungee rope and I will also wrap cling film round the trunk to help keep it damp.

 Sonchus arboreus, I have a number of them round the garden but all apart from this one have frost damage.

 I love this and have been told that if you manage to over winter them they will be spectacular next year, so only one way to find out!!!

Another plant not hardy, I do like to make work for myself, Cyphomandra corymbifolia or Tamarillo.

remember the lovely little pink flowers that hung down, well we now have fruit.

so all potted up and we will see.

I don't like having so many leaves in the greenhouse to over winter, it usually spells problems with bugs etc. So this is going to be a bit of a challenge this year.

The only Ensete to be dug out today is my Ensete Montbeliardii this is the furthest down the garden so had been hit quite badly by the frost.
I trim off all the leaves, trim back the roots

wash off all the soil, name it and then keep it upside down to drain off the excess water. They do hold a lot!

In my next post, I will be digging out the big Maurelli, I have one very big one and  couple of smaller ones. Plus the final time I will dig out my Hiniba and how I intend to propagate it.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Wind Blown!

We may be having or going to have another wind blown autumn. First ex hurricane Ophelia hit, mainly Ireland but the affect on us was more in the colour of the sky and sun.

The sky turned an amazingly warm colour, the sun went from yellow through orange then red to pink. The next pic was taken by me and to be honest does not do the colours justice. It reminded me of when we had the partial eclipse a few years ago,

The following pic I pinched from the BBC website which shows a better colour.

This was all due to the sand Ophelia had picked up from the Sahara!

Then with in a few days, along came 'Storm Brian' (pic from of a friend on Facebook) now Brian has been very blustery for us personally.

This got me thinking, our storms our named and go in alphabetical order so when was Storm Aileen? Apparently it was around September 12th. I must have missed it, September was pretty full on here!

Its probably a bit early but we have covered the Arid bed.

It was a matter of having too, as again I have a hectic couple of weeks and had the weather changed I would have been caught on the hope. So in good Girl Guide fashion 'Be Prepared'!

I have also had a wood delivery, half the load we had last year. Though it still looks a lot.

But once in the log store you can see quite a difference this was last year a good couple of hours work which I did all alone.

Compared with this, which was done with the help of my daughter and her husband and took about 30 mins!

A bit more manageable and easier to keep dry!

Back to the topic of this blog post 'Wind Blown'  here are a few pics

Till later, take care x

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Autumn Colour

In a tropical garden in October.

The Agave has been phenomenal this year, I cannot believe how much it has grown

the colours are stunning too.

This red is a really, red, red. The photo does not do it justice sadly.

Ricinus flowers and seed heads. Since my old camera died I have had to manage with a little 2nd hand one I picked up and sadly it does not do the colours justice.

These are a stunning pinky red. I have never managed to get seed from them in previous years, heres hoping I will this year.

Echeveria 'Pinky' beautiful

Dahlias coming to and end now. I was never a big fan of dahlias, I can always remember Dad growing them and relating them to 'earwigs'. But now, well as you can see I am a bit of a fan!

Can't for the life of me remember the name of this next plant, it will probably come to me in the middle of the night sometime. Not quite sure where it came from, so I am assuming it self seeded.I have a couple around the garden but this is the best.

Canna, not my favourite but its bright. I know a lot of my 'Tropicals' friends leave these in the garden to over winter and the clump gets bigger and bigger. Not sure if I'm brave enough to chance it.

This Salvia is stunning, I bought 3 from Sarah Raven this year. Althogh all identical they have grown totally differently, 2 have hit 5ft easily and the 3rd about 3ft. The colour is a stunning purply blue. I am thrilled with them, I hope they survive the winter.

Apologies for the lack of posts, it has been a manic September, with nearly 1000 miles of driving to get us and my mum to my nieces wedding, then get mum home again in just 5 days. Prior to this my car died, so we had to hire one for the wedding, then hubby ended up in hospital. Then a car hunt to buy a new (to us) one.
I am hoping for a calmer October! I shall leave you with some pics from my nieces wedding.