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.

Friday, 11 August 2017

What Kills a Plant??

Quite puzzled after a wander down the garden this afternoon, it has rained so much the last few days so I have been busy inside.
Anyway I found this...... quite flabbergasted, this was a healthy green the other day, lovely pink flowers with bees a buzzing. So what has happened

right next door to the above shrub is my clematis, which is also dieing?

I have no idea what is going on or even why? We had a discussion and I will dig out both, the clematis was getting a bit unruly, so it gives me an opportunity to re secure the archway and plant some new climbers. Although I may hold off planting till I am certain there is nothing untoward in the soil which is killing the plants.

On the plus side I got some cracking pics of my Agave today

not the usual view, what really fascinated me was how fat the central spike was

ad the markings.........

then add the colourful thorns and you have a beautiful plant.

Don't let anyone tell you there is no colour in an Arid bed..................

I love this bed so much, need to do some work to the outside of it, replacing the wood with something before it totally collapses, add more gravel, maybe make it a little bigger. I still have lots of Agave in pots that are looking for a more permanent home. Well that is for another post on another day.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Today I Have Been Digging!!

Not normally recommended for someone with a bad back and shoulder, but I thought, why should I pay someone to come and do something I know I can do. I can have a couple of 'indoor' days to recover. So went for it!!!

Remember the big yellow & green bush (on right of pic)

Well I sort of cut it back ........................... a lot!!!

and planted my new Butia

think its going to look good in a few years.

Having done this relatively easily, and no one around to tell me to stop, (hubbies not well) I carried on digging!

This is the lower part of the garden and to be honest is the most neglected, mainly because I'm not sure what to do with it. I have battled my neighbours plants coming through for years, she has a snowball plant, can't remember what its called, but it prefers my garden to hers. Plus a very large Euphorbia which has spread through the whole length of this bed and now it is in the grass.

So the plan is to dig out everything I don't want or like and spend the rest of the year weed killing anything that shows its head above soil.

I was surprised how relatively easy it was to do and very pleased I did not pay someone to do it. Plus I had the company of two little baby robins, who enjoyed all the grubs etc.

I have now come in to record it on my blog, my back and shoulder are bad, my elbows ache a lot, (they always do after working in the garden) and the middle toe I broke earlier in the week is killing me. Maybe I shouldn't make heavy digging a regular occupation!!!