Friday, 24 March 2017

Two minutes for Me!

Wedding is tomorrow and it has been extremely busy this week although the wedding side is flowing smoothly, its everything else thats going wrong.
Tori's (the bride) car broke down.
Our Biomass boiler has also broken and we are awaitnig delvery of a part!!!
The cooker has died! Yep and my niece, her partner ad 4 children are coming and staying here!!

Anyway I gave myself 2 minutes to purchase some rather large cactus earlier this week. To fill in the large hole left by the agave that went 'squishy'.

Yesterday they arrived, it was a lovely surprise as I had totally forgotten I had ordered them

 Excited to get out in the garden agan!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

First Loss of The Season.

It has been a glorious day today, so decided to water all my cactus and succulents in the greenhouse and uncover the arid bed to see how it has survived.

On initial inspection everything looks good and healthy.

and has come through the winter very well

apart from the little plant above

and this

I have no idea what happened

The centre is totally rotten. I am gutted this was a beautiful Agave and has been treated exactly like all the others, but did not make it through?

Everything else looks amazing and healthy.

But we have an interloper, not one I welcome.  can cope with bindweed in this bed, that is easy to deal with, but this is creeping viola. I had it in the garden years ago and haven't seen it for a few years.

It wasn't here when I covered up the bed in the autumn, but it has obviously flourished over winter, winding its way through Dasylirion Serratifolium. Looks harmless enough, but this plant has the most evil spines up each side of the leaves and cuts you fingers, wrists and arms to pieces.
So, what to do?
My daughter gets married in 2 weeks so I have to keep my fingers, wrists and arms clear of cuts and spikes. So fortunately for the incomer and unfortunately for me this will have to wait. But I plan to dig out the whole bed including the Dasylirion and go through the gravel piece by piece to remove all offending interlopers!
We shall see..............

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Beautiful Day in Shirt Sleeves!

Glorious day today, so I spent it in the garden sorting things out and generally tidying up! It was so warm I was able to work in just my shirt sleeves, so lovely.

First of all I set up my propagater, gave it a good clean, set it up on my new staging.

My new grow lite

LED, excited to get going.

I am waiting whilst the soil/compost warms up. I have moved it in from the shed, so will take a few days.

The bananas, always look awful at this time of year, you can never tell if they have made it through the winter or not until I start them off in April.

Everything else is looking good and healthy,

 I scrubbed all the moss off the decking, it still needs jet washing and its still like an ice rink but I am working on that!
I also went round trimming back bushes, hedges etc. Trying to decide what needs to be dug out to make way for some shrubs I am planning on moving.

I have found out why Darcy goes mental some mornings charging round the garden, we have rats again!! We used to get them a lot when we bred guinea pigs and had chickens but haven't had any for quite a few years, bit difficult to deal with when they are out in the garden, I would put poison down but with the dog around probably not a good idea.

The big surprise was the Gunnera, I have never had it sprouting so early. I protected it differently this year, covered it with its leaves then propped a wheel barrow over the top, but in such a way there is air circulation. This is its first year here, if you remember I moved it last year away from the pond. Maybe it prefers this position. Only time will tell.

The view of my garden and everyone elses and the countryside from my bedroom.

Monday, 6 March 2017

It Must Be Spring??

I have been away for the weekend and come back to ........

Frogs spawn and loads of it...... sadly I don't think much of it will survive this year as we had a big pond clear out last autumn so a lot of the oxygenating weed has not grown back yet, but we will see.

The other indication that spring is here is........... the Alien has started sprouting. Its a Rheum, and grows like crazy, has the most amazing huge leaves and looks great until the latter part of the year when it looks awful lol!

The Persicaria Red Dragon is popping up too.

Euphorbia Characias 'Tasmanian Devil' I think. Now I am not a massive fan of euphorbias, but I totally love this one, it really lightens this part of the garden.

For a person that doesn't like Euphorbias....... here is another one lol!

Spring is trying to Spring!!!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1st March 2017, St Davids Day.

To be totally honest I have done very little in the garden this month. The only flowers I have had anything to do with are these

Yep, paper flowers, actually comic book, buttonholes, I made for my daughters wedding.

Dreadful photos but then my phone is useless. This is the month my daughter and her fiance get married. There is so much to do. I don't remember doing so much for our wedding. But in those days you booked a hotel and they did it all.
This is due to be a very unique wedding as they are a bit 'geeky' and the theme is......
........ Comic Book Villans .....
................................................................ other than what you see here all I can tell you is the only thing that is white will be the napkins!!!

This last month we have had some beautiful sunrises

and don't the lighter mornings and evenings help. I am desperate to get out in the garden but I am having to 'look after' my hands and nails!! Something I don't usually bother with! I am not a 'glove' person so would end up with ground in muck on my fingers and in my nails!

Earlier in Feb I told you about my purchases. Well the heater with digital thermostat has been amazing, I don't think in all the years I have heated the greenhouse it has kept such a constant temperature, I am thrilled.

I put the large 'new' staging together only to find I can't measure!!! The staging itself is perfect lovely and sturdy and relatively easy to put together but 2ft short!!!!!   TWO FOOT SHORT!!!! For goodness sake what a stupid mistake to make...... anyway went back to the same website to order another one of 2ft in length and ............. they don't make them aaaarrrgggghhhh!! So began the search as I had ordered extra wide to fit my very large propagator, Anyway after much searching I found one, ordered it online, eventually after numerous tries  and no response, I phoned the company and placed my order by phone, so that has at long last arrived.

Will post pics when I eventually get it put together and get the whole thing set up, just soooo much going on!!

I have a gardener comng in Monday, not the lovely guy who helped out the last few years, sadly he obviously doesn't want my work, so searched for a new one to help with digging out. Will keep you posted on how that goes.

The TRex has decided to start growing, shame it has to come out, I love the size of leaves this grows, but naively I hadn't checked just quite how big it could grow!

So this time of year always looks bleak in my garden, mainly because it is so small, width wise that too many ever green shrubs, would not allow for all the big beautiful tropicals in the summer!

Tree ferns still wrapped up.

These two have over wintered here and will be going in the ground by April.

The Butia,  do you remember when I had it in a pot and we thought it had died, so I marked the leaves with a permanent marker at the growth point to see if it was still growing? It grew inches that year so we decided to plant it! Its been in the ground now about 2 or 3 years and doesn't seem to have grown at all. So I did a bit of reading and it does say 'slow grower'. Well it wasn't when it was in a pot!!!!!

But what has grown, and grown a lot since we put it in is the phormium! Wow is this big now. Every winter I have to cut back the leaves by the path otherwise they spear you as you walk past!

Then there is the rest of the sad looking garden.... the arid bed all tucked up, snugly and protected from the winter rain.

Not long now till spring and maybe we might even have a summer..... we can dream......