Monday, 31 December 2018

New Years Eve,2018, in the Garden

A typical winters day in the UK, mild 8C, very grey skies and no wind. So out I popped just to do  bit of tidying up and weed pulling and reconstructing of frames.

We have had some really strong winds and the frames have taken a real battering this year

I have had to redo all of them!!!  I have made the frame a lot smaller, my main concern is lack of air flow, well we will see. We still have the worst of the weather to come yet.

Solonum Laciniatum is still going strong, I have had to stake it, as its roots are very shallow, but as you can see its still alive. We have had a number of frosts but nothing over a long period, so will be interesting to see how it copes over the next couple of months.

Although the Cypomandra corymbifolia has lost quite a few leaves it is also still alive, another one I am watching.

Petasites Japonicus seems to have flower heads on them. The look a bit cabbage like?

The Ensete are still upright and have not yet gone to mush, but I am sure they will in the next few months.

Some marigolds that are still flowering.

Meanwhile in the Greenhouse, I have kept the temperature a little cooler this year, aiming for 5C rather than 10C. So far ver few pest problems, I am pleased to say.

My various cuttings are flourishing.

Even shrubs, I cut back severely are growing.

My carnivourous plants seem quite happ in the coldest part of the greenhouse.

These are the Baby Ensete Hiniba, I have split them in two, half are in the greenhouse, on a heat mat, with a cover I pull over, they rarely drop below 5C

The others are in the back bedroom, the coldest room. It is also the darkest so have a growlight on. This room is about 12C.

All are looking good and should be available for sale as 2 year old plants in late spring of 2019.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2019. xx

Friday, 2 November 2018

Frost has arrived!

The cold weather arrived rather quickly so it was a great rush to get everything covered

and cut back so I could put the frames up

to offer some protection to the palms

that I have in the garden.

Although I probably didn't need to rush quite as much, it is far easier to push the poles into none frozen ground than it is to push it into frozen ground.
We have already had a -5C, but at this time of years it usually goes down and comes back up quite quickly so no time for any damage to occur.
I have dug out a lot of my dahlias this year especially some of my favourites. They are all now potted up in dry compost and being kept in a frost free greenhouse.

We have had our wood delivered, so we are ready here as well.

The greenhouse is a little empty this year, compared to previous years that is. I have cut back on the amount of Ensete's  I am keeping. Now hubby can't help as much in the digging out I have tried to buy more 'hardier' plants. I have also been very pleased with m seed grown plants this year so have decided to fill gaps with these as some can grow to the most amazing sizes in one season.
 On the heat mat (which is not switched on) are my carnivorous plants and quite a few cuttings I have taken this year.

A number of palms Cycas Revoluta, Washington Robusta the larger thread palm which are not as hardy and two new plants which are hardy but I am being kind to them this year.

The Agave and succulents have reduced quite considerably.

Lobelia Tupa and a Hardy Tomato being over wintered in here too.

In the garden, I am surprised by what has and what hasn't been affected by the frosts we have had, which have been more or less on a daily basis since last weekend.

The 'TRex' is beginning to wilt.

A Ricinus has definitely collapsed.

As has the fig.

One of the big surprises to me is the Solonum Laciniatum which is grown from seed and has easily hit over 8ft has not been affected by the frosts.

No wilt to be seen on the leaves at all. I am going to leave it and see how long it lasts. Where as right next to it is

The Hardy tomato has totally gone.

Meanwhile the Cypomandra corymbifolia has also come through totally unaffected, so far! Apparently this is a hardy tree tomato from the Andes mountains and can take -10C, we will see. Last year I over wintered this in the greenhouse and had the most awful infestation of whitefly. It has got so big this year that I decided to leave it out.

Till next time x

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Measuring plants on a Sunny October Day

We had thick fog this morning but it has cleared and is now very sunny, I have even hung my sheets out to dry!
I have never measured anything in the arid bed and decided to today, just to see how they grow on a yearly basis.

The Dasylirion Serratifolium has never really recovered from when I had to put the weed killer around it last year to get rid of the creeping violet, it has sort of grown 'cock eyed' but it has grown and stands at 86cm 

The Montana excels and is 83cm tall and 114cm wide

Yucca Rostrata 109cm tall and a whopping 132cm wide

Trichocereus Macrogonus has been planted in since July 2017 I didn't measure it when it went in, but  am certain it is a lot taller and measures in at 78cm.

Agave Filifera, such a pretty agave, is now 20cm tall and 35cm wide. It was only planted out this year having been kept in a pot, and again it has romped away.

Agave Americana is off, compared to when I popped it in earlier this year it has grown and measures 30cm wide.

Pachycereus pringlei is 55cm tall

Aloe polyphylla is just lovely and 50cm wide

I shall be starting the big dig out on Monday. The frame is up and read for the cover over the Arid bed, so I am prepared.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Autumn has arrived

I haven't posted for ages, I have been so busy doing my Millionsteps, which I achieved raising £404 for DiabetesUK feeling very proud of myself.

So whats been going on..........

well the small treefern has decided to grow, a bit late, but its alive, I just have to keep it that way during the winter.

I have a new Canna, it is stunning, not only does it have stripy flowers it has stripy leaves and stem too. Canna Cleopatra.

The Amaranthus excelled itself this year and is a definate for next year too.

My Hiniba propagation continues, how I will get these through winter I have no idea as they are far

too small to dry store, but I have a plan....

which involves a very well insulated greenhouse

our old neighbours have now moved out and our new neighbours are now in. The lady of the house runs her own gardening business, how exciting is that, there have been quite significant changes already...

The bay tree that has got quite enormous

has gone, well not totally but it has been chopped back to below the height of the wall.

I am sure you will remember the hedge that was the other side of the new fence and for the 10 years our neighbours lived there it looked like this, sticking up a good 2 -3ft above the fence line.

J the new neighbour asked to come and look round my garden, she must have noticed because it has also now disappeared behind the fence. It is still there but has been reduced severely, and the 

difference it has made is amazing, there is so much light coming in. It will be interesting to see if it is maintained at this height, fingers crossed.  She has bonfires going all day everyday, which is a pain but to be honest I shall keep quiet for now.
Well thats it for the mo, back later in the month, hopefully.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Refurb is done!

....... and doesn't it look good. feeling chuffed to pieces.

It was hubbies idea to build a raised bed for the olive tree. I wasn't sure, but yet again he has proved me wrong, I think it looks great.

We used our wonderful builder who is no landscaper but when I asked him if he would do the work,
he was up for it. As usual he has done a magnificent job and come up with some super ideas along the way too.

He also put up the arch I bought last year.

The neighbours got a guy in, to put up the new fence.

You can see the old raised bed

after its refurb it looks like this

posh huh! I need to sort the posts out, I tried wire brushing the old paint off but that didn't work, so I need to find some paint the colour of concrete posts lol!

The winter protection is now going to be easier due to a clever idea from my builder. Inside the sleepers he has attached clips to hold copper pipe, which I can attach varying lengths as the plants grow.

and he presto one frame

with one builder in the back ground.

I had been worrying how I was going to construct the frame as the plants got bigger and I am no builder. I am a bodger! So this takes all the worry away.

I still have some planting to do down by the pond in the bed that has remained unplanted whilst I waited for the new fence to be put up. But all in all I think next year could be rather good!