Friday, 13 March 2015

No 2 12th March

12th March

The week started on a high note. The arborists, or as I like to call them, the tree men, arrived to sort out the Christmas lights in the Beech at the bottom of the drive. Unfortunately over the last 10 or so years the squirrels have been nibbling away at the electric cable ( usually off during the squirrelling season ) with the result that more and more sections have been destroyed. The only way was to get up there and take out / repair the chewed sections. So much for the high point.
Whilst here they felled the fir tree on the back fence, which to be honest took out most of the light from the border ( jokingly called 'The Woodland Walk ' ) and the fern garden. Now at last there is a hope of some plants growing in this area.
The lawns have had further attention and all have been hollow tined, including the mud strip, laughingly called a ' grass verge ', which I have now reseeded, watch this space.
The high point of the week
A fir tree jigsaw

Some of the logs have been kept and oiled to be used as stepping stones for the access to the Woodland Walk, which to date has been a cul-de-sac, causing traffic jams on open days. Now at least there is the possibility of access at either end.

Most of this week has been taken up in the greenhouse. The Pelargonium cuttings have needed repotting and stopping, as they are already starting to flower. The acers are already in leaf and have had to be brought out to slow them down. Hopefully the frosts have finished, or at least the severe ones.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

No 17 8th March

Gosh - I am exhausted just reading about what is going on down the road at No 2.

I certainly cannot keep up with them.... they may have nibbled Laurels and Viburnum but  I have the dreaded  box blight  - maybe this is not a good way to promote visitors to our gardens? 

On a cheerier note my Daphne Jaqueline Postill is in full swing - the fragrance is amazing. Even the window cleaners - not ususally known for their horticultural prowess  - have asked for a cutting!   

Camellia Mars
Elsewhere the camellias are  showing off.

I am very lucky with my light acid soil.

I continue to accumulate  plants, despite the garden being 'full' and a firm resolve to stop, but who can resist  the delightfully dwarf Magnolia Kay Parris or  that special trillium ...?....

Consequently a bit more lawn bites the dust and a new bed emerges waiting to be planted up once the almost pure sand soil has been enriched.

I am not sure I will be happy 'til all the lawn has gone! 


Friday, 6 March 2015

No 2 5th March

March 5th

Having been away on holiday it is interesting to see the changes that have happened to the garden behind your back. The lawns have had to be cut and edged, in order that they could be scarified. It never ceases to amaze me just how much rubbish can be taken out of the lawn. Still have to find some good shade loving seed for the front verge. 
Cutting back the bushes into something more tidy was the big theme for today. Unfortunately the most uninviting part of the garden, the area behind the greenhouse, becomes the most neglected, which is where we made a start. The Contoneaster Franchetii had to be taught a lesson and brought under control, in order to train it up the trellis in front of the fence. The Peach tree needed minor surgery to keep it's shape, and is coming into bud very nicely. The ivy and the Privet bush had taken over the most neglected corner and was taught a lesson and brought down to size. We laughingly call this area 'The Nursery', which means, the place where all the cuttings and plants we don't have use for are stored, with the excuse that they cannot be thrown away as they may grow and blossom, or we may have use for them some day.
Unfortunately before all this trimming could be done the trellis had to be given a coat of preservative, a thankless, dirty and tedious job, taking most of the morning. Fortunately we had some paint left from last year which saved some money. The choice, however was between ' dark oak ' and ' sky blue '. No contest! 

Nice to see a healthy looking fence!
Beautiful view into next door's garden

Unfortunately on inspection of the shrubs at the back of the 'hot border' there had been decimation of the foliage of 4 Laurels and 1 Viburnum. Some unpleasant little visitor had nibbled holes in ( more like feasted on )  the foliage and caused 4 very unhealthy plants. The afternoon was taken up by cutting down and digging out the offending items, which now means that the privacy provided by that border is now non existent.
Fortunately we had planted some Laurels up against the fence last year, as we were aware that there was some space there, but it will take some time to produce an effective screen. We also had a few young Laurels which were in 'The Nursery' and these have come in useful ( see I told you ). It now means, however, that we have a 'new' bit of garden about 8 ft wide and 4 ft deep, but more importantly the Phormium Tenax Pink Stripes, Hydrangea and Penstemon are now out of place and need moving back into the 'new' part of the garden! Who says gardening is fun ?
Just to cheer up both myself and a mournful blog I have included some signs of Spring from the garden.
Ah, now I feel better !!!

The Camellia struggling to flower but helped by the Cyclamen Coum

Thursday, 5 March 2015

No 17

Spurred on by the updates from No 2 I shall post an update soon - the camellias are coming into their own.

In the mean time for anyone interested my garden  blog can be found on


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

No 2 19 Feb

Feb 19 2015
Although the garden has hardly woken up it is surprising the amount of colour already showing. This year the Crocuses have flowered very early and have brought colour into the front rockery which we increased in size last year. The Heuchera collection is starting to grow in numbers and each plant has benefited form the Chicken fertiliser over the winter. The Heathers are now into their second or third year and are starting to be more colourful. This year they will need clipping back.

The Primulae from last year were all saved, but using ordinary garden soil in the overwinter pots proved to be disastrous, surprisingly having more clay than the expected sand. Some died off,  and the survivors were very small. Having said that they have proved colourful when planted closely in a bowl or around the bird box, but almost inconspicuous around this front rockery ! The overwinter colour has proved to be successful outside the front wall, although this year after flowering, they will have to be treated more carefully, with proper compost and more careful watering to prevent waterlogging .

The grass by this front border has taken a hammering with the shade and being so wet, not helped by the amount of leaves covering it at times. May need to reseed it with shade tolerant grass.     The back embankment border has been fertilised with bags of  farmyard manure, well forked in and Chicken manure pellets as slow release. Hopefully this will be useful for the Dahlias later in the year, but for now will help the 2 new Witch Hazels which we have planted.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

No 2 12th Feb

Feb 12 2015
    A new year of gardening has come early this year, following a mild Winter and a warm, early Spring. Having sorted out the plants that needed cutting back, and collecting all the leaves and beech nuts, it was time to think of the changes we could make to the garden. There has always been a problem with the entrance into the garden from the front. Some bright spark ( don't tell my wife that is what I call her ) suggested that a more feminine touch would be to have an ornamental rose arch to produce a division. That was the first part of my new year job. The second part was to convert the troublesome patch of garden alongside the house into something useful rather than a repository for unused plants.

Having bought and oiled the arch it was obvious where to site it for most effect, and now we have a division to the working part of the garden and the living-in part. The cold frames, storage area and greenhouse are in a completely separate part of the garden. Climbing roses planted to climb over the arch were an obvious addition and an increase to the subdivision of the areas. All we want now is for some rapid growth to give some effect.   
The next job was to move the roses from different parts of the garden together and to purchase new ones to fill in the newly found space. Although you think you know the number of plants needed, when it comes to actually planting, there is often a deficit, and so said it is now obvious we need 2 or 3 more plants, but more importantly we need a variation to the height by the inclusion of half standards. In this way we will produce interest both from entering and leaving the garden, but more importantly give us a more colourful view out of the conservatory. More garden centre research !