Wednesday, 31 July 2019

July 2019

This is going to be a super long post with lots of pictures, so grab a cuppa, and some biscuits, find a comfy chair, then I will begin.

I am still trying to pace myself and not get bored, which I do, easily,  I am a doer. So I am sitting down and 'doing' my blog!!!

I went food shopping to Lidl the other day and they had some sedums on sale, 6 for £4.99 I think, so I decided to do a hanging basket on the patio. Hanging baskets have never done well here as it gets far too hot, Sedums like heat and don't mind being baked, so I though for £4.99 it was worth a go. We will pop back later in the year to see how it grows.

Another sedentary job, this table is ancient, the chairs all material fold up types died a death years and years ago along with the matching parasol. So I decided to give it a lick of paint, looks good I think.

I also intend to 'upcycle' an old garden parasol. I found one I thought would look fabulous on the bottom patio on Ebay but at nearly £75 I thought no way! So I found an old parasol for free  and I am going to see what I can do with it!

We have had masses of rain, all the water-butts are full to the brim, the garden always grows quickly after rain, so here we go.

Tree ferns are slowly recovering, whether they will ever get back to what the originally looked like I have no idea, but we can but hope.

My Washingtonia has gone mental since I potted it up, shame it can't cope with our winters as it is so beautiful.

This elephants ear has been in this pot for years, survived the beast from the east and still growing, I will re-pot it next year. Surprisingly hardy plant. The stupid little red flowers shoud be purple ad a lot bigger, well that's what it said on the packet!!

My Hiniba from last year, one of the original pups, far, far better in its 2nd year.

Shhh, don't tell everyone, this is new to me this year a Manihott, I have been told its hardy as well, but we will see in my garden, it has also grown well for its first year. Aren't the leaf shapes gorgeous.

My trachy, unbelievable huge now,  struggled to reach it up a ladder to keep it tidy. We are really not sure what to do as it has grown well above our garden now, it ma have to come down as I am going to be unable to keep it tidy anymore.

Cleome, such a beautiful flower, has wicked thorns on its stems though. I really love these, I should have grown more.

Canna Cleopatra, even if it ever flowered the leaves are stunning. I definitely should plant more cannas,

Good old Musa Basjoo, with a very tall canna in front. If anyone wants to have a go at a tropical garden then this Ensete has to be the first plant you should grow. Root hardy. A lot of m 'tropical' friends protect theirs with straw, I don't because I would have to carry the straw bale through my house, and that is not happening!

Another Canna about to flower, this is in the new border so it needs lots more height added for next year.

Cycas Revoluta, planted out earlier this year as it was getting to big to over winter in the greenhouse. I am really worried about this being out in the winter, I don't expect it too survive, sadly. But a friend has one out in his garden in Wakefield, which is a lot further north than me, he uses 'scaffolding net' to protect his. All I can do is try.

The two Olive trees, seem to love it here, they have both grown tremendously. I wonder if I will ever get any olives?

The Arid bed, such an odd bed really.plonked in the middle of a south facing garden, but everything seems to love being here and grows and grows.

Different view, I don't often take a pic from here.

Some of the smaller plants in the end of the Arid bed.

 The T-Rex

and the fig have also mental this year. I don't grow the fig for figs, so have no worries about keeping it cut back.

Here you can see all the new edging  have had done, looks really smart and like a proper garden lol!

So here comes the tatty bit, oh, I know its not that bad, but its below the standard I like to keep. I don't think tropical will grow here as in the winter it gets very cold down this end.

The fish in the pond keep breeding, we reckon there must be over 50 in here now. I ask pond shops if they have a contraceptive for ponds and the look at me blankly!!!

The view from hubbies office, it is lovely here, we often sit and drink our afternoon tea here. The fences look a bit bare but I have two passionflowers starting to grow up them. People say I should paint the fence, but that's just more work and it would need doing every year so the can stay as they are.

The Gunnera??? In the dampest part of the garden ad still its stumpy, to the right of the arum lily you can see I planted another small T-Rex, its not small now it is romping along and will soon hide the greenhouse.

The raised bed by the bottom patio. A difficult bed to plant up as it can get very dry unless I remember to water it, but I am loving the Icelandic Poppies.

A Rincinus with the passionflower growing up the fence.

 This is the side of the garden I never show because it is boring. I keep the lawn because underneath is riddled with major suckers from old trees, the roots are thicker than your finger, we have toyed with digging the lot up and getting rid of the roots but that only works if you can get to the source of it and we suspect that to be in the neighbours garden.

 It is very dry under those plats so I have recently planted some large sedums and lavender so next year it should look a bit better.

So there you go my garden top to bottom Writing this has kept me stationary for quite awhile. Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Serious thoughts on what to do?

I am having very serious thoughts on what to do in my garden. I love the lush tropical look but I am very conscious on just how much watering is needed to keep it looking so good. I don't have a problem watering, in fact I quite enjoy it, but water is going to become a precious commodity so we are being told and I would much rather drink it than pour it on the garden.

A view down by the pond.

I have 5 very substantial water butts, not you ordinary 210 litre ones  mine are all 500 litres plus. They are also very nearly empty!

In hindsight, (a wonderful thing, but very annoying) when we had the bio mass boiler installed and had the new patio laid, we should have had a huge tank sunk under the patio as there are 3 roofs that fill just one large water butt, I believe the would have easily filled a sunked tank!

So what to do??
The arid bed just loves the baking sun, I do nothing to it, as you know, occasionally if I am walking past with the hose it gets a bit of water but to be honest not much at all. So do I make the rest of the garden like this? I would have to devise a way to protect it over winter though and that is fairly hard work to set up.

Even the palms, this is my Butia, above,is suffering.

The Ensete Hiniba should be way bigger than this.

Persicara is wilting.

The Maureli, is still a bit stumpy!

I have a decision to make. I don't have and probably won't have grand children, but the rest of my family do, I could easily say 'its not my problem' or 'it doesn't affect me'! But I have to live with myself. I think it is ludicrous that we flush 'drinking water' down a toilet to empty it when we are surrounded by sea. This has been a bug bear of mine for years.

Back to the garden, even though the girls dug in a load of manure the soil is dust dry, I am seriously considering changing the left hand side as you look up the garden to a gravel bed, a bit like at Beth Chatto's gravel garden. The link will take you to the gravel garden gallery, beautiful, but? I am not sure its me. Ideal for my garden and situation, but do I like it? Mmmm??? The jury is still out!!! More thought needed.