Saturday 25 April 2009

A Blustery Day!

There were terrifically strong gusts of wind during the night which lifted the glass covering the seed trays and blew the garden chair down the alley by the garage! Luckily nothing was damaged and the plants seem to have survived the ravages of the night. Lots of rain which will have done the garden good and saved me from having to water. The apple blossom clematis is just coming into bloom. If it had been in full bloom I think the wind would have blown the blossom to shreds. And I noticed that the rhododendron is also coming into flower. It is a wild one which grows in the Cornish wall/hedge and is a deep purple in colour. It actually produced some flowers just after Christmas when we had a mild spell of weather. It obviously got confused! All the seeds are up, including the courgettes and cucumbers. I shall sow another planting of mixed lettuce seeds this week. At the moment the garden is looking very tidy and weed free. Long may it continue!

Sunday 19 April 2009

New plants?

When I came to empty the hanging baskets from last year and replace the compost I found that I had a covering of small green plants. (see picture below) Not being sure as to what plant this was but it did look interesting, I potted some up in plant pots to watch them develop. I'm wondering if they are begonias because I had begonias in the container last year. They certainly look begonia like. I have never heard of begonias spreading like this but perhaps they seeded? Very interesting. I always feel that newly planted containers look so bare and uninteresting compared to how they will look when the plants become established. In this one I have trailing lobelia, a kind of daisy plant, a couple of trailing purple plants and two Lysimachia. I do like purple and yellow together.

Saturday 18 April 2009

Plant Buying

I went with a friend to a near by garden centre today and bought lots of plants. The picture above shows some of them. As well as several herbs including sorrel and tansy, two herbs I haven't grown before, I also bought plants for the hanging baskets. Tomorrow we will plant them up. My husband will do all the hard work filling the pots and I'll put the plants in. I've gone for a purple,pink and yellow display. Hope it looks good! Also I've bought a climbing rose called Marigold. That tells you the colour immediately! It is highly scented and I shall plant it near the house. I put the last climber I bought in the far corner of the garden and regretted it as it has such a beautiful scent which one has to go out of one's way to smell. The weather is supposed to be fine for the next few days so I'll get a lot done....I hope!

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Tidying Up!

I spent a bit of time this morning in the garden tidying up and had a very interested spectator sitting on the fence. I don't know how long this particular squirrel has been visiting the garden but we have squirrels regularly visiting. In fact they have been very useful in planting hazel nut trees for me, often in place where I don't want a tree! They have also given me the odd oak, holly and hawthorn. As we have a large oak tree in the hedge already we don't really want another one.

The garden is looking very neat at the moment mainly because everything is small and still tidily contained not sprawling all over the place. The blackcurrants are looking good with lots of blossom. I mulched them well with compost and fed them with blood and bone meal. Hopefully they will continue to do well when the oak, which slightly over hangs them, comes into leaf!

Sunday 12 April 2009

Spring is really here!

It was a lovely sunny Easter Sunday with very little wind and lots of sun. In fact it was quite hot. I spent the morning tidying up the back border and collected a lot of leaves for the compost bin. I then attacked the creeping buttercup which seems to infest almost everywhere along with my other arch enemy Convolvulas. This is a pretty weed with its white tubular flowers but oh such a pest as it twines around everything in sight. It is really hard to eradicate as it runs underground and then pops up in several spots. We then went to the local garden centre and bought some plants and seeds. I have made a raised bed for the courgettes this year and have put two plants in. I'm taking a risk as we could still have a frost but we'll see. I shall also sow some seeds to be on the safe side, along with ridge cucumbers. Today I sowed seeds of spinach, beetroot and lollo rosso lettuce. I bought a parsley plant as parsley takes so long to germinate and the flat leaf variety has more flavour in cooked dishes. And I was lucky enough to buy the last two batches of Cosmos. These flowers make such a brave show through out the summer and I love them. My own compost from the compost bin has loads of egg shell in it which I hope will deter the slugs!

Sunday 5 April 2009

More hard work!

Another lovely sunny day! I decided to dig up the Lemon Verbena and discard it as I have obviously pruned it too strongly and killed it off. Either that or it couldn't take the very cold winter we have had. Getting it out was a problem as it has been growing in that spot for nearly ten years, but I succeeded in the end. I kept telling myself that it was all good for the figure and that the chunky Kit Kat I'd just eaten would be used up in no time! I finally emptied the compost bin and it's all ready to start again. Lovely stuff! I have a raised heap where I am going to grow my courgettes and ridge cucumbers. And miracle of miracles I found that the pineapple sage which I thought had had it was actually putting out tiny shoots. So all is not lost!
It's about time I started sowing some seeds such as lettuce and beetroot plus some spinach. Next weekend being Easter there will be more time and I have promised myself a seed sowing session.
And on the stick insect front my husband found another baby one in the garage! Perhaps that is where they over-wintered!

Friday 3 April 2009


I have one of those compost bins that the council were giving out to householders. Green and shaped like a Darlik without arms. I haven't touched the compost for a year and was expecting to find it all friable and easy to get out. Was I wrong. Oh yes it was good compost but almost impossible to get out of the small door at ground level. I felt like a fireman on an old fashioned steam train as I tried to shovel it out. Eventually with the aid of a hoe and a crow bar I got about a third out and onto the garden. Then I tried to push the top two thirds down. No! It just wasn't going to go. In the end I had to get the crowbar onto it again and eventually after a struggle I succeeded. I really need a proper compost bin made of wooden slats in a square shape so that I can turn the compost regularly!

In the struggles I managed to dislodge a baby stick insect from a neighbouring tree. Poor little thing probably wondered what had happened to it! I have found a couple of adult stick insects in the past and am now wondering if I have a colony somewhere in the garden. Do stick insects fly?