Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Falling back in love.

The lockdown has been difficult, but for me it has given me time to focus on the garden. LOL! What am I saying, 'focus on the garden' . Its all I have been doing, but, actually working in the garden. Having done all my usual jobs, that I do year in year out, I have started doing things in the garden I have been thinking of doing for ages, but never really had the time. Its been enlightening.

Whilst the weather has been so gorgeous, every afternoon we sit and drink tea outside hubbies office, I have time to sit, relax, enjoy and plan. I don't often sit in my garden.

Please excuse the washing, I have now started sitting the other side of the pond in the morning. I am really falling back in love with my garden.
This has been missing for a number of years, probably because I have been up and down to mums so much that I didn't have time for it.
I have reconnected with my garden and my mind is full of things that I would like to do, may change, may add. It is fun.

I have also seen more in the garden, spending 4 weeks outside in the garden you see how it is emerging from winter.

This Euphorbia is stunning I have had it for years and it only ever has 3 stems, whether it does'nt like were it is I have no idea. More research is needed as it is such a spectacular looking plant,

One of my Cypomandra corymbifolia a hardy tomato which is actually not normally hardy in my garden. But with the mild winter we have had it has actually survived and is sprouting away.

My smaller Cycas revoluta is usually kept up on the top patio, but this year I have decided it can sit on the bottom patio, what it does need is a new pot and as soon as I can get out again, I will look for a new one.

My poor tree ferns have still not recovered from the 'Beast from the east'. They are still pushing out small fronds, but I must admit each year they do get bigger. I have set up an automatic watering system for them and since then they have been slowly improving. All I can do is hope they get better each year.

This year I moved my hostas, up to the top patio. It is one of the hottest part of the gardens but sitting here they get the shade they need. Since putting them here they have absolutely romped away, also being closer to the house I remember to water them more often.

This is Hosta Sum & Substance and will grow to a spectacular size, I am rather excited.

Hidden away is my seed sown Kiwi, its in a big pot and currently growing up a temporary arch.

I plan to put an arch just at the start of the bed on the right, across to the bed opposite and pop the Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa)in here to frame the entrance to the garden....... I think?

Till next time xx

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Around our Pond.

I have struggled to find a photograph of the bottom patio and pond area, For the last few years it has been a total mish,mash and basically a mess.

Its a difficult area of the garden as it gets the full sun most of the day, but in the winter it is the coldest part of the garden, hence the lack of a tropical look.

During this COVID19 lockdown, I have been gaily getting on with all the usual jobs, painting sheds, furniture, jet washing. Sowing seeds, pricking out etc. Tiding all around the greenhouse and generally keeping busy.
Slowly but surely I ran out of jobs. So I decided I had put off doing something down here for so long I had no excuse not to anymore.
Firstly I had to find something tropical that would withstand the winter cold here and also inspire me as to what I needed to do. So off I trotted (online) to the only place I buy my palms from Hardy Palms and joy of joy I found exactly what I was looking for a Chamaerops humilis cerifera. 'The hardiest Chamaerops, can withstand severe cold for prolonged periods'.
So I bought one and whilst waiting for delivery I began preparing the bed closest to the lawn. This involved much digging and I found out why nothing has grown well here for the last few years, a weed membrane about 10 inches down I had forgotten was there. Out it came covered in roots of the poor plants that had been in here.
I also had to sort out the pond liner that was exposed from when there used to be a waterfall here.

I inserted a piece of sleeper I had left over, I then submerged some large rocks then covered them with big pebbles. A pebble waterfall.

Which I think looks quite smart. I'm pleased, as are the tadpoles, after only a day they are using the holes between the pebbels as hiding places from all the fish.

The Chamaerops arrived at an ungodly hour, with the delivery driver phoning me and getting me out of bed, with me stood on the doorstep in my PJ's!! But boy what a beauty.

So in it went along with some other plants I moved round the garden, so its begining to look a bit better. Not quite there yet though!

In the corner of the greenhouse I overwinter 2 Washingtonia Filifera, totally and utterley unhardy, but provided I can fit them in the greenhouse I will hang on to them.

The weather has been so good they have being 'aired' outside for the last week. I usually have these up on the top patio because they are so pretty.

Hubby suggested that maybe I keep them down on the bottom patio, so we began shifting them around to see how they looked. After much jiggery pokery......


How cool is this looking now. We are thrilled, its actually looking a bit tropical now.

I still have to plant up the trough, along the neighbours fence, but I'm pleased

What do you think?

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Crammed Greenhouse

On a cooler, wet day the place I like to be most is in the greenhouse. Its warm and I love the earthy smell. Checking on all the seeds I have planted, wondering why some have come through and others haven't.

The shelves are filling up.

The plants are getting bigger.

Then there are the Ensetes I have over wintered, you walk a fine line when getting them going, to much water and they can rot.

The Cyathea in the corner is big, every autumn I chop off all the fronds, they are to big to over winter, every spring they grow back bigger. The pot takes up so much room that I stand pots with Dahlia's in on the soil in its pot, sort of like a shelf.

My propagator full as always, the large pots at the back are Dahlias then in the covered propagator are all the seeds I have on the go.

Even underneath I have succulents and aeoniums being propagated.

In the 'dryish' corner my more tender palms, which still require watering but not as much as the rest of the greenhouse.

Just a few of my cactus and agaves.

I am growing Caladiums for the first time this year, I grew 3 of each, this is Rosebud. 

which will hopefully look like this.

But Red Flash is still in the propagator in the kitchen, grown in exactly the same conditions, but as you can see there is only one shoot just popping through and that is only in one pot!

This is what they will hopefully look like.

My plan for these is to put them in the front garden trough. Very different, just hope they work! 
We shall see.


Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Easter Weekend 2020

What a mixed weekend of weather we have had. Hot and cold! A typical British Easter weekend.

On the good days we had a bar b que, as you do, Darcy was hoping for a dropped sausage,

I did some jet washing, I find it very satisfying.

The only problem is, I managed to jet wash the growing tip of one of my TRex plants. It was only small anyway so I thought I had murdered it.
But today I noticed this a couple of buds, so rather than being a tree it might be a bush!

I have bought some new solar lights

I love them because they look like bamboo torches, and at night the flicker away and look amazing. I like also that you can detach the pole and just hang it up somewhere.

As we can't go out unless you are going for essential items, I was quite gutted that I had run out of wood treatment for our hopper shed.

I like to treat all our sheds every year and usually make it an Easter weekend job. I keep all paints etc under our stairs, so whilst I was routing about imagine my joy when I found a small tin of dark wood treatment, just look how smart it looks now.

I have left the top plank above the door as we have small bees going in and out under the roofing felt. The come back every year and usually have stopped goin in and out within the month, so I will finish it of then.

We have also had a number of sharp frost which have hit the unfurling leaves of the bananas

The greenhouse is crammed but I will show you that next time.

Till then #staysafe

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Advantages to Covid-19 Lockdown!

You get to spend lots of time in the garden with no distractions!

So there has been lots of seed planting, pricking out going on in the greenhouse. I have jet washed the patio and path. I have oiled all the tables and chairs, they are jobs I usually do at Easter. So I am well ahead of the game. The only problem is I have run out of the wood protector I use for hubbies office and the sheds, this is also and Easter job and of course I can't get hold of any as its not considered 'essential'. I disagree its essential to my mental well being!!!!!!
I have been very daring and unwrapped my plants. Its really a bit early but because I 'have' to stay at home I am on hand to cover them quickly if needs be.

My Cycas, first time overwintered outside, it got planted out because it was getting so big and heavy to heave in and out of the greenhouse. I wrapped it in scaffolding net, looked odd but hey!

Unwrapped today and its not too bad. Probably because we have had such a mild winter.

As you can see a bit fried round the edges, other than that its ok.

The Arid bed had it first uncovering today to. 16.5C in the shade, not bad for the 4th April. It always amazes me when I see it in the spring for the first time, it all seems so much bigger than when it was covered in the autumn.

The Dasylirion Serratifolium at the end is growing well if a bit wonky.

Just look at the size of the Montana!! I never ever expected it to get this big when I planted it back in 2015.

Just 5 years ago! It was so diddy. I do very little to it, I throw some chicken pellets on in the spring, water it in the summer and that's it!

The Rostrata has also gone mental. I think had I realised how much hardier than the rest, this is I would have planted it at an end.

A couple of losses, I need to check what they were, but I always have losses in this area. I' beginning to think its where the wind whistles through and I think just hits them. Its impossible for rain to get here so thats the only reason I can think of.

I never protect my banana's (Ensete), I get fed up of all the straw blowing around, plus it has to come through my house. As you can see they are still upright. Normally they would be mush. They are root hardy so always come back. It will be interesting to see how they grow this year, I have never had any come through like this before!

Just looking back up the garden on this beautiful day.

Just to top the day off, we had our first bar b que. Well you have to do things that make you happy when your in lockedown!!!