Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Name Of The Plant

The little lost plant in flower is a Kalancoe, a member of the succulent family.It has nice thick rounded green leaves, and many terminal stems with masses of flower buds.
I hope my kitchen will keep the plant happy and induce it to flower lots.
The gritting trucks were out last night as it was forecast to be below freezing.The lost plant is snug as a bug in a rug!
New Years Eve is nearly upon us again. It has been a busy year for Snappys Gardens Blog with the garden, allotment, plant stall, Flower shows, and occasional trips to Harlow Carr.
The blog has become part journal, part educational, part photographic record, and a place to ponder gardening questions, and identify mystery plants.
The impending new year makes me look forward to making the garden more beautiful, and back as i remember the many things i have grown or tried to grow. I hope that 2009 is as good as 2008, and that the healing, magical garden inspires me to write, and for people to read, and comment when they feel moved.
Even in the cold and dark winter I feel compelled to look for interesting subjects to write about or to photograph. Nature has infinite amounts of colour and wander for me to write about.
Cat showed me how to make paper seed pots with my paper potter. It uses newspapers cut into long strips to make an eco friendly container to start seedlings off in.
That will be one of my first experiments to see if the newspaper pots work. Now I need to open my chocolate tins (one tin has flower seeds, the other tin has vegetable seeds), to see which seeds to try and the time to read seed brochures to plan next years flowers.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Little Lost Plant

I rescued this plan from the roadside by the garage near my house. I was walking back when I saw it fallen by the pavement, all frozen and potless.
I repotted it, and put in inside my kitchen where it will hopefully keep flowering with its little pink rose like flowers.
Where there is a limited pallette in the garden in December these house plants can bring you some colour.
I will remember the name of the plant eventually, but it eludes me this early in the morning...
Only two days left left in 2008 now. I went to Hil's for dinner last night and came back with some Giant Pumpkin seeds to try to grow at the allotment in 2009!
I was alsp given two bags of Red and White Onion sets too. I will go to the allotment on Wednesday to do some digging over of my borders.
I am thinking ahead to the end of March already for planting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Garden Gifts And Hyacinths

My first day off in six days and im blogging. I cleaned the house up and replenished the bird food in the garden.They were flying in today to eat the bird seed, sunflower hearts, peanuts, and fatballs..
These Hyacinths are starting to form the flowers in the centre of the very bright leaves. These started growing in a dark cupboard without soil or water.They know when they are ready to grow!
I got some gardening gifts for Xmas. A newspaper recycling paper potter which i still dont know how to use! (to make seed pots for the spring), A musical egg that opens to reveal a robin that sings theres no place like home, and a book about Royal gardens in Britain.
I got a white furry Cactus complete with xmas ribbon glued to the pot. Mum sent me some Bird Of Paradise seeds to try and grow.
In the cold grey days its good to see plants growing, reminding us that Spring is a few months away!
I even watched the Queens speech on the BBC i player last night.It a part of xmas as much as holly, xmas tree's and turkey dinner!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Xmas Day 2008

A short post on Xmas Day..Merry Xmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Xmas Eve

Its Christmas Eve...not long before it is Christmas Day.I hope that all your Xmas's are happy and that you get some nice garden presents...
Happy Xmas from the snappy gardener.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Persian Jewel

Three days before Xmas now. Where does time go?I spent a weekend at Cats watching films and chilling out after the stresses of work.
We watched White Xmas (Vermont, it supposed to be lovely this time of year...), and the King And I.
This pink Cyclamen is very Christmassy, along with Poinsettias, Holly, and Misletoe.
Im working the next five days including xmas day but I should still find time to blog.
I think its too mild here for snow, but would love to know where in the world does it snow on Christmas Day?
I hope you have all finished buying presents, decorated your houses and Tree's, and are ready for Xmas 2008..

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viburnums Time

How quick does a year pass? These Viburnum flowers were in flower last year when I moved in. Despite several scalpings of the Huge Viburnum bush it continues to flower its head off.
I love the three stages of this plant. The pink flower buds, the fragrant white flowers, and finally the blue/black berrys that the Blackbirds like to eat.
I have given away a baby plant to Fran, and have one flowering in a pot.
It just needs attention to keep it from growing all over the plants that are beneath it.
The pinks and whites are very cheery though in an almost bare garden.
It would make the ghostly gardener smile that his planted Viburnum continues to flower away year after year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Xmas Echinacea

This Echinacea is as bright and vibrant as a christmas bauble. The Fibronicci numbers are shown on the drying cone.
I love the pink petals that are hanging on despite the cold and wet.
In December you hang onto whatever colour you can find as the garden starts hibernating.
This was at Hils house on Sunday...

Xmas Tree

There is only nine days untill Christmas. I have my tree on, with the lights and fibre optic tree sparkling away. The CD player has traditional Christmas songs on playing away.
Gardeners have a lot of traditional things to like about xmas, the Fir Trees, the Holly, the Ivy, and the Poinsettias..
Decorating a tree is such a good way to get into the festival spirit.
I helped Hils along with Tom decorate her Xmas tree, adorning it with new lights, and all her baubles. She even added her wrapped presents underneath it afterwards.
As I have been present shopping I saw lots of Gardening things for sale. Books, gift sets with coloured twines, plant sticks, and floral gloves. Garden five year Diaries, handcreams, kneeling pads, Calenders with flowers, gardens, or garden birds. Last year my secret Santa work mate got me seeds, compost, trays, and pots!
I think that in the darkest, coldest month of the Year xmas helps to keep us all young. The mixture of Christianity and the much older Pagan beliefs have made a tradition as rich as a cottage gaden.
What do you hope to get on Xmas day for your green fingers? I'm happy to enjoy the giving and seeing the people smile as they unwrap the gifts.
My hardest choice is which xmas song to listen to on You Tube to put on the blog...

Friday, December 12, 2008


Wildlife is much harder to photograph than flowers. Here is my blurry attempt to photograph Amazon as he sat on the backfence for about five mins.
You can see his ears, eyes, and little feet. I hope to capture him on film sometime.

Peach Bloom And Burrow

The Rose Fred Loads still in flower despite the freezing night time temperatures. The garden was full of birds today enjoying the bird food. House Sparrows, Blue Tits, and a Robin.
Amazon was back today in the afternoon suprisingly running around the left border in daylight instead of twighlight.
A hole I left with a defunct solar light has turned into Amazons house door.
He has burrowed into the soil under the Viburnum, because we watched him run and dissapear into the hole.
When i looked at it the hole was tunnelled, and goes deeper down further than i can see. I left some nuts nearbly for him to eat along with the water bowls. I love how he has his burrow about twenty feet from the kitchen door.
Gardens are great for observing wildlife within the reach of your own house. I heard today that all the combined gardens in the UK make more area than all the nature reserves put together.
More about that in another post...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Return Of My Winter Woodmouse

The Chrysanthenums are about the only colour left in the garden. The shapes and colours of these flowers continue to please me.
I looked back at December 2007 and it was as cold then as it is now. Its weather for nipping outside briefly, before dashing back indoors for a hot cup of coffee.
Exactly one year ago I had a suprise visitor to the garden, a wood mouse that I called Amazon because he was sleeping under a cardboard Amazon box.
I was looking outside today and saw a small, sleek brown body dashing from the compost bin to the pole with the bird feeders, my winter Woodmouse. He was picking up the fallen sunflower seeds and fat ball scraps.
I saw Amazon once during the summer, so it was amazing to see him back in the garden almost a year later. That post was: http://snappycrocsgarden.blogspot.com/2007/12/suprise-visitor.html
I keep putting bird food in a black tub on the paving stones, and almost daily it dissapears. I wander if Amazon is coming out in the dark to eat the food.
I only realised today how I can look back a year to compare what was in flower, what the weather was like, what plants were in the garden...
The Heathers have gone, the Hellebores are growing nicely now I have uncovered them, I have four Polyanthus plants in flower, and the Garden Birds are still coming to my food and water. Something has bathed in one of the sunken green bowls and emptied half the water out.
The ground is cold and the remaining deciduous leaves continue to fall, but from the dark soil green shoots are coming up.
Tulips, Daffodils, Narcissus, Muscari,Erythoniums, Scilla Sibericas, and Snowdrops are all beneath the surface starting their gradual growth for Springtime colour.
I have been gardening here for a year, where does the time go?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Winter Watercolour

I finally got back into the garden today after working two extra night shifts.I took a few photos and replaced the bird food.
This is the Hydrangea with the Blue flowers leeching the colour out.The muted tones look like a watercolour painting.
The Spring bulbs are slowing showing themselves through the cold soil.The Lilac tree is covered in buds ready for next year..
Its getting closer to Xmas and i need to get organised for that as im working across all of it..
I heard the garden birds singing today, which reminds me..
On one of my night shifts I saw a Tawny Owl flying over the hospital buildings, making hooting noises.
It was maybe thirty feet above me with out stretched wings. Its the first time I have ever seen a wild owl hunting in the dark.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ducks And Dark Water

Two photos from a water sports park called Pugneys. A former open cast mine was flooded in the 1970's a few miles from Wakefield city centre. It has boats and canoes for hire, and a circular path around the edge 1.6 miles long, good for walking or running. I read triathletes even swim across the lake from April. It has Swans, ducks, Geese, and other small birds. The bigger lake is photographed here in a cold december day with sunlight rippling off the water. I love the dark effect of Ducks swimming near the reeds..

The second photo shows the Ducks, and the top one has ripples echoing out from his busy feet under the water. It looks almost monochrome the photo.
I love the meditative qualitys of water. I love the birds here living in a nature reserve.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Snow And Rainy Robin

Some freezing Artic weather has descended over the north of the UK, bringing last night the snow. Only an inch fell here but the sight of snow flakes tumbing down from a dark sky brings out the dreams of a white Christmas..
The Robin posed today as it rained, melting the snow away. The garden was full of garden birds like Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, House Sparrows, two Blackbirds, and this Robin...
He is the under gardener sitting on the fence posts to survey his domain.
I checked that their was food out for the birds, and that the water bowls were not frozen.
Spring bulbs are already nuzzling their way up from the soil. I sat and watched the birds most of the day.
Back to work tomorrow before a weekend off. I will watch the birds more then..

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Black And Blue

After the frost, fog, and snow came the black ice. People were tumbling down all around Wakefield today...
I slipped and slided to work this morning for my long day after a week off.
Snow is forecast too this week..The photo is of the Blue Polyanthus..
One more long day and then i get to take some more garden photos...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fog, Frost, And Snow

Just in time before the build up to xmas the weather has got very cold. Nightly the temperatures have fallen freezing the birds water and covering the plants in an icy glaze.

This is Cats Rhodie with a flower bud five months early, dusted in early morning frost.

The spiders web was covered with frosty crystals early in the morning. I love the dark look of the photo.
It snowed today and I have put my xmas tree up.The first of December, but the dark nights, cold weather and xmas music on the radio made me festive.
in the garden the spring bulbs are already pushing their way out of the frozen soil.A race to see which one flowers first.