Monday, 11 September 2017

Dig, dig, gravel, gravel, greenhouse!

Ignore the fence. I have had enough with this trough, nothing seems to survive in it, it is so dry. I think the wood draws a lot of moisture out of the soil.

So time for a change. I have tried with the lavender for 3 years now it looks a mess. So the contents are coming out.

I have dug out all of the soil from half of the bed and filled one of my metal trough with it. Yes I need the soil but not sure I want it where it currently is, so this may be emptied and moved.

I am currently on a strict budget, so have very little garden money for what I want to do. But 'where there is a will, there is a way'.
For what I have planned, I need gravel, lots of gravel and as you know I have no rear access so can't afford a bulk bag or have access for wheeling it through.

So whilst at Wickes, I found a section with ripped bags of gravel so I bought a load, its a bit of a mish mash, but if I use the mish, mash, underneath I can always finish off with a few bags of nice stuff on the top.

We cleared all the split bags and spent under £10, bargain!

So this is a work in progress, as I find ripped bags I will add too this, digging out the rest of the soil as I find places for it to go.

The fence is another story, 2 years ago the neighbours (whose fence it is) said they would replace it. We are still waiting!! The problem is they can't see it their side, it is behind a massive hedge. We even offered to buy the larger concrete gravel boards for them this end of the garden as here, theirs is lower than ours.

Meanwhile in the greenhouse

I have now, put together all the new shelving.

I am thrilled with the new shelves, well some of them. I love how the lower shelf has a lot of room for slightly taller plants. They are so strong too and still room to slide a few lower cactus underneath on the floor.

The thinner shelf although really strong could have done with being about 6-8 inches taller, for me. But again lovely and strong which is needed as the cactus pots are rather heavy.
My heater is not staying there its just up on the shelf for the moment.

The right hand side of the greenhouse is totally empty. This is where I need to put the large pots. When everything is in the space where the watering cans are and all the shelves will be crammed. The rest of the space is given in priority of height or weight.
Height, goes to the back and centre of the greenhouse. I use bungee ropes to gather up fronds to allow for everything to fit in.
Heavy goes just inside the door on the right, everything else fits in where I can get it lol!

Friday, 1 September 2017

An Early Autumnal Morning.

I think you can always tell when autumn is round the corner, you find spiders in the bath, or when you walk down the garden you walk through loads of cobwebs. I am not keen on spiders but I do love looking at their webs in the garden.

The light this morning was gorgeous.

I love the sun shining through the  trees and plants.

My camera has died so these pics are being taken on my phone.  I don't think the photos are nearly as good, so I'm busily saving for a new camera.

The next photo is my most favourite photo this morning.

Then off on the dog walk

The dog has his 'go faster' ears in place.

the next 4 photos are a landscape view from the top of the hill.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I Love My Garden!

Especially coming into the autumn, this is when its at its best, everything is BIG & I think Beautiful!

Take a short walk with me.

The Brugmansia's are flowering, the scent from them is amazing and I had totally forgotten this one was white!!!

I haven't been down the garden for a few days due to the amount of rain we had had plus a number of hospital appointments as well. So when I wandered down today to hang out some washing I was amazed to see the Brugmansia San Guinea in full flower? Where did they come from??

I have no idea whats going on here this plant is ginormous, taller than me

So had a root around its base and found its label

It is bigger than 180cm!!! and where are the flowers lol!

Who planted a tomato plant behind the fig???? How did it get there?? I have no idea??

The last photo and the next photo are of Blue Salvia that I bought this year from 'Sarah Raven' so how do two plants grow totally differently. The last one is as expected 18inches to 2ft tall, gorgeous purply blue flowers.

This one also has the lovely purply blue flowers but is close to 6ft tall? Not sure whats going on here either?

This is my Cyphomandra Betacea, becoming a favourite, doesn't look much from here, great leaves though.

but look underneath the leaves and you have the sweetest little flowers on long stalks

they are definitely different.

The Ricinus communis 'Red Giant', not my favourite of this plant species, as it is most definitely not 'Giant'.

But the seed pods are the most vibrant red, to be honest the camera does not do it justice.

Below 3 Eucomis, such pretty ones, I think the flowers look like exploding stars.

and a pink one ready to flower.

Tree spinach, and yes you can eat it. This self seeded everywhere this year or should I say last year and has been popping up everywhere. Quite an amazing plant as it easily grows to 6ft+  not everyones cup of tea, but a great filler and looks pretty too.

My stripy Canna, sheltered by the Paulownia

another 'new' favourite plant Solanum laciniatum, (Kangaroo Apple) this is such am amazing plant

again rapidly heading for the 6ft mark, has really pretty leaves and the added bonus of these lovely blue flowers. A definate must for next year.
I have been doing some research into this and it can be over wintered in a frost free greenhouse, but the concensus is, if it grows 6ft from seed in one year why bother.

There are lots of these on the plant so I am hopeful I shall have my own seed and grow a forest of them lol!!

Back in May this little cactus began flowering in the greenhouse.

It is still going strong today!

Just to prove I do actually do things in the garden even when its raining,

well not in the garden...

more like in the greenhouse!! So I didn't get wet. I love being in there when its raining.

I now have 2 new sturdy shelves which should easily last my lifetime!

Off to do some sewing now!

Thursday, 17 August 2017


When I planted my Butia 3 years ago, I knew it was going to be a slow grower. They take a while to establish themselves before they start growing.

You can see in my cover photo it hasn't really changed, but if you look in the centre you can see some fairly short and stumpy fronds.

Close up it does not look good

So I spoke to the man who knows everything about Palms, Nigel at Hardy Palms

he is based just down the road in Bristol, so knows the area and weather etc. etc. He advised that I can expect 4-5 leaves a year, once established. Apparently it will cope well with 'normal' winter weather and not to worry. I am not sure what 'normal' winter weather is nowadays. He did go on to say 'if we get a night that is forecast to go down to -8, get some fleece out and protect the heart.' Well that seems simple enough to do.
Or so I thought......
He then added .... if we get one of those weeks in winter where the temps are forecast to stay below zero day and night, then I have to give it some proper protection!!??? These occasional extra steps are worth it!!!

I definitely don't make life easy for myself.

So now I am looking at relatively easy ways of 'how' to give these plants 'proper' protection for winter. That does not require, hammer, nails and straw!!

I say 'these' plants, as you will remember I planted a new Butia in the last month, I think this one will have a bit more protection as it is on the right hand side of the garden and as most of the prevailing winds are from the Southwest this should be ok, but just need to be prepared.

Watch this space.