Saturday, 24 June 2017

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice was just 3 days ago, on one of the hottest day June days for 40 years!  I have been fortunate to have avoided 3 days of intense heat as I had to travel up to Scotland for a family funeral. A sad event on one hand, but a lovely time on another as I got to meet my 9 cousins again.

In the garden all is good, the Phormium has hit new heights



I now have 9 spears, peculiar looking, very architectural.

Meanwhile the rest of the garden is very slow moving!


Lots of Daylillies to come


one piercing the leaf of the tomentosa




I don't remember a year when the ensete where this bad, so, so slow, maybe I need some new ones?



This just looks a mess


 I really need to make up my mind as what I want especially in the last 2 photos.

The lower part of the garden is totally defeating me, I have no idea what to do. A clematis climbing over a very wobbly archway.


Then the mess with a field for a lawn! Well actually its a field with suckers from silver birch and plum trees that get worse each year.


If you dig down the roots that run across the garden are thicker than your finger. I think ideally I eed one of those mini diggers in, dig the whole lot out, put a root barrier along the fence line to the left and start again.


That isn't going to happen as I have no rear access, so unless you can get one that can be driven through the lounge, dining room and kitchen this is all going to have to be done by hand and with muscle, which I don't have!!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Phormium on Steroids?

10 days ago I showed you that my Phormium was going to flower with this pic



Today after a week of a lot of rain and not much sun it looks like this



I don't know what has been different this year but in a local town in the beds around a well known supermarket are lots of phormium and yes they are all coming into flower. Must be the year for it!!

Meanwhile in the Arid bed, I have managed to tie up the Dasylirion Serratifolium


which was a feat. The fronds have thorns that are 'inward' facing, so if you are unfortunate enough to put your arm into the fronds, they do not like to let go of you with out cutting you badly!! I have done this because I have (Cymbalaria) Ivy leaf Toadflax. Quite an invasive little blighter, normally I wouldn't mind it in a cottage style garden, but not winding its way around my arid bed.

I did initially try to unwind it, but kept cutting my arms to bits. So after asking advice from my Hardy Tropical friends, I decided to tie up the 'Dasy'. and see what is going on in the ground.


Initially it doesn't look too bad, that is until you pull back the gravel ...... it is horrendous...


a total mat of roots....


so I have hit the whole area with major weed killer, I am hoping it won't affect the 'Dasy' but if it does then it is a loss I will have to accept.
What ever happens I think I will have to dig out the whole of this section of the bed out to get rid of the roots/seeds etc. Unfortunately now its here I think I will have a battle on my hands to eradicate it!


The Prickly Pear (Opuntia) although growing is not looking good, so I decided to take it out. Whilst doing this I have disturbed a number of ants nests. The arid bed is ideal for ants as they love it so dry, but they are so bad as they add soil, undermine roots and sometimes even eat roots. So I have been given a number of suggestions as to how to get rid of them which I will try out and probably write another post about it.


I have placed one of my new cactus where the Opuntia was and put all the cuttings of it into a box and posted it to a friend who has 3 tortoise. Apparently they love it.

If I do have to dig out the end of the bed, then it might be the ideal time to add drystone walling around this end. Its something I have wanted to do for for the whole bed but is not a) cheap, b) easy to do. Whilst I wait to see if the weed killer has worked I will do some further research.

TTFN





Thursday, 1 June 2017

Whilst waiting for a Planting Fairy, I Spy a Phormium.

I had hoped to get the final few plants planted today, I placed them where I wanted them for now and ran out of energy, so sat down hoping to find some.........

The gardener I used before to help me create the Arid bed has become very unreliable, probably because he has gone 'fulltime' gardening and is picking the big jobs.

So there I was sitting down looking at this


can you see what I spotted........                       in the Phormium?


A flower spike, not 1,


not 2,



not 3,

not 4,


but 5 flower spikes that I can see. I know its not really that exciting to you, but for me it is.

Back in 2014, I created a new bed and planted the Phormium


I had no idea it was going to grow as big as it has



and its not the prettiest of plants but what I love about it, is, how it hides part of the garden. Its tall and erect.  Since hubby had the 'motorway' put in straight down the centre of the garden it is very difficult to put in 'surprises' round corners,especially when there is none, (corners that is), so to a certain extent this does that.

I actually don't 'look after it' very well, in fact I don't look after it at all. Occasionally I throw some chicken pellets on it and even more occasionally I remember to water it, other than that it just grows.

So I have done some reading up on Phormiums and according to the 'bumph' I have read it looks like this could do with being split after its flowered.

Hysterical laughter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is not going to happen, but what I did come across is one guy uses an old saw and saws down into the ground taking off  'fans' of leaves from around the outside. I thought this was genius idea and a damn sight easier than digging half of it out and as you know I am 'it has two chances, live or die' type of girl.

I will keep you posted.