Monday, 29 May 2017

No. 1 Daughters Help!

Being Bank Holiday Monday, and that her boyfriend is Assistant manager at a zoo, K was free so came over to help in the garden. How lucky am I. As you may remember I had a number of jobs I wanted doing so let her choose, she chose this

Down by the pond, the bed next to the decking. I have wanted to move the massive pond filter since we got it, but it means digging out the entire bed, laying a slab for the filter box to stand on and replanting.

Again a bed that hasn't been touched for years.

So the digging begins.....................

It doesn't look much but it was, that fern was not easy to move, then we had remove all the Ivy (from the neighbours) and bindweed roots.

K reckons it was also the 'Graveyard of Lost Feet'!!!

we found all of these buried in there..... I must admit, I had wondered where they had all gone.

So K has raised the border edge, so it will hide all the pipes and cables, which are still to be attached. K also redid all the large stones on the right, they hide the pond liner better.
We have been thinking of putting a water fall in here but that will wait till later in the year, as it looks very likely that we will need to put a new pond liner in, so the whole of the surround will have to be re lifted and relaid again. So a job for later in the year.

I am thrilled the filter box is off the decking, just need the plants to grow to help disguise it all!

Thank you very much Daughter No.1 xxx

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Hubbies help!

A beautiful Sunday of the bank holiday weekend, so what do I do? Rope hubby in to helping with the planting of the jungle.

So what did I do?  Give instructions on how to do it......

How difficult can it be to follow instructions,
a) dig a hole for the plant,
b) no it has to be bigger than the plant pot,
c) loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole, so the roots can grow away,
d) put in chicken pellets, plant then water thoroughly, then back fill.

Apparently I was getting angry with him?  So I apologised and said it was, to me, a simple job, as I knew what to do and how to do it and where to tread!!!!

The majority of plants are in. The bananas are not as far advanced as usual, but I expect they will catch up. I have also bought a lot of my 'filler' plants as I either didn't get round to sowing them or they didn't come up!!

We are due a massive thunder storm this afternoon according to the weather forecast, which was one of the reasons I wanted to get stuff in!

We had a poke around in the side bed, removing the forget me nots

This bed is so bad, I say it every year, it needs the whole lot dug out, manure added then re planted.

Maybe I will get round to it later this year.

I have started to work on the end part of this bed.

A work in progress

I usually have quite a few Ricinus Plants at this time of year which I sow from seed every year. They are a big favourite of mine. They have the most amazing leaves and can reach a cracking height. Last year was the best year ever...

This is where I blogged about it!

This year I sowed the seeds as usual, about 12, four different varieties and 3!!! yes just 3 came up! Disastrous. These are a main stay of my planting. I have tried to buy some but no one is selling. Normally you can find loads on Ebay, all I can find are seeds.

So today I sowed some more,

if they come up they will be late, but its amazing how quickly some plants catch up. We will see.

Something I don't believe I have blogged about before, well not with photos, are my Paulownia tomentosa or foxglove tree at this time of year. I have shown you the great heights they reach by the end of the season, but at the beginning of the year they look totally different.

You can see the buds growing on the trunk. Basically you pick one, obviously neither of these would do as they are both growing in towards an old trunk so they get rubbed off.

This one was chosen as it was growing away from the fence.

The same for this one. This is on the patio and grows amazingly quickly.

Whereas this is down by the pond, where it is definitely cooler so slower to get going. I will keep you posted on these as they grow.

Meanwhile whilst there is a hive of activity in all the gardens around us

some just like to 'chillax'!!!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Late Starting!

With the prospect of some gorgeous weather you would think it would be full steam ahead in my garden but no .........................................

Unfortunately I have not been well for the last month so I am really behind. All my seedlings need pricking out and should have been done ages ago. I managed to do 4 trays this morning. They are going to be so far behind! I only hope they catch up.

Hubby helped lift all the cactus out of the greenhouse this weekend

They have done really well over winter, I had forgotten how big they have got.

Unlike the bananas .............

........... when I first started them off they all seemed fine. I just sit them in compost, that has been sat in the greenhouse to warm up for a few weeks. I plant them then, no water added just let them start up with the damp in the compost, once I see them start to move that is when I water very slightly.

Although, they where all firm and green in the middle, to start off with, 3 have rotted away. They never even started moving. I don't think I have ever lost 3 in one go before.  The Hiniba (the large one on the right) has been really slow to start off. It is about 6 -8 years old and very rare. To get another one would probably cost me 3 figures now a days. I have been told that as they get older they are slower to get going. So if it does grow this year at the end of the season I will propagate it. Which involves, basically destroying it. That will be for another blog post later in the year!

Cannas and Ensete Maureli and Ensete Montbeliardii are coming along well.

All I need now is the energy to begin digging and planted.

I will have to wait till hubby can help......

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Nine Years Growth

Planted my Trachycarpus in 13th May 2008,


and still growing, my neighbour doesn't like the noise it makes when its windy and is always moaning. I have a feeling it is going to get a lot bigger!!!!

Friday, 12 May 2017


What bizarre weather we have been having, the arid bed has been covered protecting it from the recent, rather hard frosts we have been having.

The next few days are due to be very mild, wet and humid, so we have decided to uncover the bed and let a bit of rain get too it.

I love uncovering it to see how its fared, whats happened, what made it, what didn't.

Taaa daaa!

Wow, how things have grown. On the downside I have creeping violet growing through the Dasylirion Serratifolium

 this is a nightmare as this is an evil plant, the fronds have serrated edges with feathery tufts on the ends. I will need to dig it out, but to even go close to unwind the creeping violet I will need to buy some substantial 'gauntlets'.
They are supposedly slow growers, but I wonder as this is it when it was first planted in 2015

you can see how much it has grown in just 2 years.

The Yucca Rostrata has also grown tremendously. From when it was first planted, you can see it in the centre.

To now

it is huge!!! It still amazes me how we can grow these sort of plants in the UK. But you can provided you protect them from the winter cold and wet!!

These three have grown so much more than I expected. I have never been good at spacing and placing. So I will be moving two of the plants in the above picture to give them a bit more space.

the 'gap' in the above pic is going to be filled with one of the two cactus below, or I might put them both in next to one another.

I shouldn't have too much problem placing these as they really only grow 'upwards'! I will be glad to get them out of the greenhouse, as I keep getting spiked if I water, lean or bend over!! I kept all the polystyrene packing that they where delivered in to help protect myself when I plant them lol!!

Sunday, 7 May 2017


Been a busy few weeks. Went up to mums to celebrate her birthday, we went out for afternoon tea

This little lot was for two people, it was very scrummy.

Since we've been back we have had some serious frosts and I have been really poorly again. There is definitely something wrong with my immune system!! 
So my poor garden has fried in the frost...

My beautiful Acers, crisp

Yet the ones in the front garden, north facing are fine???

More worrying is the growth points on my Paulownia Tomentosa's. I break off all the buds except one so I get a single supersonic growth from the one bud. These have also been fried, so I have no idea what is going to happen, whether they will grow or not. Only time will tell!!

The arid bed is still covered and I have had to do some serious watering as we are desperate for rain.

So an unusual start to May.