March 3, 2010
Posted by Barhi under About Comments Off
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May 16, 2013
Tonight I decided that I would do some gardening after work. For once I had enough energy after work and it was sunny, but not exactly warm. My task was to see how my fuschias had fared over the winter. I never do anything special to them to get them through but rather leave them to their own devices and replace those that don’t make it. I had noticed greenery in the pot but wanted to investigate further.
Fuschia – pre pruning
So, I set to removing the dead bits of fuschia to see what remained. I tend to use small scissors for this job so that I don’t remove the new growth by accident. Eventually I worked out that all the plants in this pot had survived, but that a number of hardy geraniums had also decided that this was a great place to settle. Whilst I love the geraniums, this pot is not the right place for them. I don’t have the space to nurture the very small seedlings and so decided to discard them, but there were two that were large enough to be considered as plants and so I decided to transplant them.
Fushia – post pruning
I therefore selected a new location for the geraniums, got my trusty trowel and kneeler to break ground. My mistake was that I had the two plants beside me on the ground. The very second that my trowel made contact with the soil, in swooped Anya and raced off with one of the plants!
Anya is now 17 months old and well into the wayward teenager phase. On top of this, she has had the garden to herself throughout the excessively long winter period and really doesn’t yet understand that this is my garden! Depite having had a run in the forest only a couple of hours before, Anya suddenly became a mad thing racing round and round the garden – jumping through beds (now I know why plants aren’t growing in that spot!) and storming past shrubs. There was obviously not a chance of any command I threw in being listened to, let alone obeyed. For a second she stopped, putting the plant on the ground in front of her. I took a step toward her and she picked up her prize again and raced off in the opposite direction! Then I thought that I aught to be videoing this behaviour to show you that all of us have this sort of issue to deal with and also how well the garden was standing up to the onslaught. Luckily I had my camera close by having taken the previous photos. I changed it to the video setting and then as suddenly as the madness had started, it stopped. Anya hadn’t heard that sound before and so it was much more interesting than the plant.
Suddenly I had Anya’s full attention, so she and the others went into the house while I finished my planting. I have no idea where the plant she absconded with ended up. There is little doubt that what remained would not have made a successful plant. This little episode has reminded me how much work I have to do to teach Anya how to behave in the garden, but at least she and the garden came out of the whole thing unscathed .
May 8, 2013
Some years ago when we were on holiday in Canada, we visited one of the most beautiful gardens in the world – Les Quatre Vent, Quebec.
One of the things that really surprised me at first glance was the sight of aqualegias and roses in flower side by side. This is something that I had never seen before in UK. Here, usually the aqualegias are in flower about a month before the roses. When I thought about this though, things started to make sense. Canadian winters are much longer and colder than those in Europe. So, it is not surprising that the flowers that we regard as spring blooms come out quite a bit later than we are used to.
This year the long cold spring in UK has meant that most plants are very late – possibly even a month behind where they usually are. Now, in early May, there are the first signs of aqualegia buds, but I would think we have a few weeks to wait before we get to see “granny’s bonnet” in full flower. There are no signs of rose buds at all, but then again, why would there be – the camellias are only just in flower.
So, the question is – will this unusual weather mean that we get to see the phenomenon that I saw in Canada – plants that usually are distanced by time, blooming together? If so, then there will certainly be some unplanned plant combinations on show this year. Thank goodness I don’t allow yellow in my garden and so there is little chance of plant clashes!
May 6, 2013
One plant that is looking really beautiful in the garden at the moment is Exochorda × macrantha ‘The Bride’.
The beautiful pure white flowers cascade in abundance and light up a corner of the pond garden. The pond garden is supposed to be a flower free zone to ensure that it has a cool, relaxed atmosphere, but I can’t resist flowers sometimes. In this case, the plant, despite its flowers, fulfils its brief perfectly.
The shrub was planted about three years ago, but for its first two years had to compete for water with the leylandii hedge on the other side of the fence. Last year, the competition was removed and this year we have been rewarded with this fountain of flower – pretty suitable for a pond garden!
May 3, 2013
I mentioned previously that I hadn’t seen the wisteria that grows up the side of my office being pruned. Well, today the ground staff were out pruning it.
May is obviously not the best time to prune wisteria (I do my major prune in January). In other years it might just have already flowered, but this year swelling flower buds have become casualties in the groundsmen’s ongoing challenge to keep on top of the plants that grow on the estate. This year’s weather has meant that many jobs are having to be performed with sub-optimal timing.
At least I now have the answer as to how the plants that grow up the house are pruned. In the basket of the cherry picker, the groundsman had a petrol powered hedge clipper which he used to trim both the wisteria and the magnolia grandiflora that grow up the house. They certainly didn’t have the time to worry about pruning to three buds as I can with my much smaller wisteria,so it will be interesting to see what next year’s flower is like.
At least we can see the wonderful views now that the wisteria is no longer growing across the windows!
April 29, 2013
As the weather starts to improve, gardeners’ thoughts turn to buying plants. However there may be a hidden danger for your dog in that plant you buy. To reduce slug damage to their young plants, many suppliers are putting slug pellets into plant pots.
Whilst slug pellets may be designed to be distasteful to dogs, they are certainly poisonous in reasonable quantities. They are coloured blue to make them easy to see.
A friend of mine took some mail order plants out of their packaging and slug pellets fell to the ground. Luckily she managed to get to them before her lively youngster could!
For the sake of your dog, please keep him at bay and check new plants for slug pellets.
April 27, 2013
We frequently travel on long journeys to dog shows. To help pass the time on the journey, my lovely husband downloads the BBC Garden’s Question Time radio show so that we can listen as we drive.
A couple of weeks ago there were three questions on moss which they grouped together. The first asked how to get rid of moss, the second asked what was wrong with moss anyway, but the third was the one that caught my attention. The questioner asked how come the area of grass nearest his house had no moss, but the further you got away from the house, the more moss was in the grass. On further questioning, it transpired that the gentleman in question had bitches (no indication of breed or how many). The panel came to the conclusion that the high nitrogen content in the bitches urine was killing the moss, but they (and I) were surprised that the grass near the house was doing well.
As you know, I have no grass so am not able to personally comment on this topic. My mother’s garden had moss and family members who visited had bitches. Maybe we didn’t visit often enough to have an impact on the moss. So, over to you. Do any of you have moss in your grass and have any of you noticed this phenomena?
April 4, 2013
To me, gardening should be enjoyable and part of that is that the weather should be enjoyable. Well that certainly isn’t the case at the moment. The UK experienced its second coldest March since records began and the Easter weekend was hardly the gardeners’ paradise we tend to expect. Pictures on the TV of holiday makers making castles out of snow rather than sand were rather surreal but focused the mind on the inclement weather.
I’ve wrapped up warmly and got on with the major pruning jobs, but I’m finding that the desire to get outdoors is somewhat limited at the moment. So, what I am doing is gardening with my eyes – looking at the garden from all angles (including from upstairs windows) and planning what will need to be done as soon as the weather improves.
One job that has become obvious is that two of my hellebores will have to be sent to the great compost bin in the sky. Last year, I thought that the pink one on the right had suffered from frost damage and so decided to give it another chance. This year, it has become apparent that it is suffering from a virus and that now the virus has spread to the parts of of white one on the left that are closest to the pink plant. This is really sad as both plants are fairly mature and they are right by my back door and I have enjoyed looking at them from the warmth of the house.
Like all gardeners I will make the best of this opportunity to plant something new in the space giving summer interest for this year and then next year I will have the pleasure of finding some new hellebores for the space.