Monday, November 30, 2009

Xmas Plant Plans

Its the last day of November, and this Hebe is still in flower. It has these little pale lilac coloured flowers on the end of stems. They look like little purple bottle brushes.
Its Xmas in 25 days (scary) and I have not bought anything yet.
I saw today that the One Show (a thirty minute light entertainment program on every night during the week at 7pm) are encouraging people to try to make their Poinsettias flower again.
In my experience they look gorgeous in all their red and gold xmas finery, but within a short space of time they are reduced to bald stems with every leaf dropped off..
I will try to buy a Poinsettia to try and make it flower a second time. I'm not making any bets though about whether I will succeed.
The rain has stopped falling briefly after a wet weekend. The Spring Bulbs are nudging their way up giving flashes of green in the soil.
I have some Hyacinths in the kitchen cupboard trying to induce them to grow early. I wanted them to flower by Xmas day. They have formed roots, and have white leaf stems growing up. Once they are an inch long I will take them out and place them in a light room where they will rapidly grow, and hopefully flower.
The Hyacinths I'm forcing are a beautiful Red colour, and are strongly scented..

Friday, November 27, 2009

Red, Blue, And TV

These are some colourful things in the garden. The Blue Flower is a Polyanthus that has survived all across the Summer and is flowering now. I bought them in the Spring to add some colour to our new garden. The flower is a welcome splash of colour during the cold wet days. It is forecast sleet tonight, snow thats not quite thickened. Like a Slush Puppy? There are four Polyanthus plants so hopefully more will reflower soon.

The cold and wet weather has caused all the Trees to drop their leaves. This beautiful dogwood has had its lovely red stems exposed by the falling leaves. This will look great on a frosty morning, or after a fresh snow fall.
We bought a new digital TV today. As we stood in the shop looking at rows of TV's it showed video clips of Flowers opening. Roses, Orchids, and Passionflowers... Shot in stop motion pictures and played at speed, like a floral ballet dance.
They looked amazing and helped us pick one out (TV that is, not a flower).
Now I need some good gardening or wildlife programs.. and Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday to watch the colours and movement.
I'm off this weekend and will hopefully brave the sleet and rain to finish clearing the allotment.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Like A Rose

This Dianthus is still flowering. A Bud of rolled petals was uncurling in the garden today. It looks like a little Rose.
The garden has been battered overnight by strong winds and torrential rain.
I'm back to work tonight so my gardening time will be looking in the morning before bed.
I have left lots of dried seed heads and stems, simply so there is something to look at.
The bird feeders continue to attract the garden birds.
I have seen a Chaffinch on the feeder but have not managed to photograph him yet...
The sun is actually shining through the window now. There is a plump Pidgeon on the bird feeder bowl eating his way through them.
Topping up the feeders is a regular garden job for me a few times a week. The pleasure I get from watching the food being eaten is amazing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hydrangea Heads And Leaves

The Hydrangea in the top corner of the garden is festooned with beautiful colourful leaves, and drying flower heads.
The flowers were a lovely shocking pink colour. As Autumn draws on the leaves have lost their green chlorophyll and now are red and orange on the edges.
The colder weather strips plants to the wooden stems and branches.
The rain has stopped for the moment, but it is still cloudy.
A collared Dove is sat on the bird feeder now pecking his way through the bird seed.
Its a lovely, lazy sunday. I picked a few weeds out of the garden and spotted the Spring bulbs pushing through the soil slowly.
With all the summer flowers finished you take any colour you can get for a photo..

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Gardeners Heart

The weather in November has been a mixture of strong winds and rain. Its still raining outside, which is good for ducks and the mushrooms, but not for gardeners.
The leaves of the trees and shrubs are slowly being stripped away, revealing colours of the bark hidden away.
The grasses are fluttering away in the wind, and catch the raindrops. I do like the jewel like shape of these fallen raindrops.
I will try to take some photos tomorrow of our Autumnal garden. Of rain drops, tree barks, and pretty russet leaves..
Its Xmas in about five weeks. What gardening presents will I get? I have had a few emails from gardening company's, and a few comments about my posts and the blog in general.
I'm a sucker for books and seeds, the way to a gardeners heart is through free packets of seeds!
I hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Five Flowers

The Amaryllis from the Autumn Flower show has flowered now. Five Red and White flowers from the single stem.
I brought it in from the greenhouse and put it on the sideboard near the backdoor.
It grew a two foot flower spike with these five flower buds on it.
With the garden going to its winter sleep its good to have something flowering.
Its been raining hard all night and all today. The ground is soaked. New mushrooms are appearing daily in the front and back gardens.
I do love the colours and shape of these Amaryllis blooms..

Friday, November 13, 2009


The Heather has started to regrow and is covered with little white flower buds. Once the flowers are open it will be a mass of these pale lilac coloured ones.
The rain has been falling heavily since last night so the ground is wet. The garden birds have been in the garden today feeding, and drinking.
Goldfinches, House Sparrows, and Collared Doves. The Squirrel was on the feeder yesterday again.
The garden must be on the birds tour of the local gardens. The Trees on both sides make perfect stop off points to rest between feeding.
As long as I keep refilling the bird feeders then I will have plenty of birds to look out through the winter.
Its Friday the 13th today. I'm working all weekend, and wont get to do any gardening/allotment untill Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Scented Bloom

This Honeysuckle flower is in bloom today. The scent is absolutely lovely too. How can it be blooming in November?
I went to the allotment today as it was dry. I spent a few hours continuing the clearing of the overgrown meadow grass!
There is about eight feet now between the two parts of dug soil.
It was lovely and peaceful up at the plot. I was imagining planting Potatoes and Cabbages next year. I took home two Lightning Squash, two Gem Squash, and two gnawed Courgettes!
The cold nights have killed off those plants now, so that represented a mini harvest.
Next year it will be more productive. It has just taken ages to clear the plot. The Leeks are growing beautifully, and I replanted some of my winter onion sets as the birds or rain had moved loads of them..
Tomorrows forecast is for heavy rain so I'll be chilling at home and reading books.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poppies And Autumn Trio

Its Armistice day today and the Queen led a Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. I have my Poppy pinned on my blue fleece. I bought one in London, lost it in the washing machine, then bought another one at Asda. I have to wear one every year, whenever I see volunteers selling them for the British Legion.
I'm always amazed how many people wear Poppies on their coats and tops in the run up to the eleventh day of the eleventh month. All the Poppies are made in the same factory that has been running since 1922.
The poem In Flanders Fields first linked the losses of the great war, with the Red Field Poppys that grew afterwards in the churned up fields of Northern France.

The Japanese Maple in the garden has dropped all its leaves now. It was planted in the middle of a raised bed, but exposed to the wind and rain. It was a bit burnt on the edges. I want to move it somewhere more sheltered. The sunlight illuminated the leaves when I took the photo.

Autumn brings the Mushrooms up. Magical funguses that spring up overnight when the ground is damp, and the temperature warm. The gardens Fairy Houses. There is something mysterious about these temporary visitors fleeting visits in October/November.

Cat photographed this now frequent visitor, the Squirrel. He sits on the bird feeder dining on sunflower hearts and seeds. His lively incisors can crack the kernel off the sunflower seed to extract the juicy inside part. He leaves shells in the bowl, much like eating Peanuts at Xmas.
Its overcast today but dry. I have just been outside planting 90 Tulip bulbs. I hope the Squirrel is stuffed on Sunflower seeds and does not want any juicy bulbs....
I planted Tulip Parrot Rococo, Tulip Apricot Beauty, Tulip Christmas Marvel, Tulip Love Song, Tulip White Triumphator, and my Favourite Tulips Queen Of The Night..
I planted a big pot with Tulip Parrot Blue, and Daffodils, and put it besides the patio doors. Thats all my Spring Bulbs planted in the ground. I will have forgotten what I planted where by the time they flower.
Spring will be colourful here in the garden.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tickled Pink

This Dahlia has been growing beneath the Sambuca Nigra shrub, and is blooming away now. Despite the cold weather and incessant rain it has grown into a beautiful pink bloom. The garden is starting to close down, ready for its winter slumber.

The flower is so heavy that it hangs down. I had to hold it up to photograph it. This is only the Second Dahlia bloom this year. There was a single Crimson one before, but this plant has arrived fashionably late to the Summer party.
The bird feeders have been topped up, and the fresh water changed. I hope that when the garden sleeps I will be able to watch the feathered garden birds feeding, singing, and flying around our garden.
The Squirrel has been back several times, and does good acrobatic feats of holding on upside down to feed on the bird feeder station.
The Hedgehogs have gone to sleep now. I have not seen them since before we went to London. I keep hearing strange bird noises at night. I wander if there are Owls living in the trees around the many gardens. I have not seen them yet..
When it finally drys off I have hundreds of Tulips to plant. They are sat in the greenhouse at the moment waiting for a good time to plant them. The Crocuses have already started to push up through the damp soil.
I want more Dahlias for next year, in a variety of colours to add some party magic to the borders.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Autumn Trees

I took this photo at St James park in London, with the sun behind the tree. I love the effect of the light illuminating the leaves of the tree.
The sun is already going down here. I have slept after my nights and seen the garden briefly.
The Japanese Maple has nearly lost all its leafs. The garden is slowly starting to slumber. The only thing that is growing is all the bird seeds that have germinated in the wet conditions.
I am already planning what new plants to buy to add to the borders..

Monday, November 02, 2009

Back Again

I'm back from London. The photo is the Houses Of Parliament, and Big Ben on the right hand side.
It had suprising amount of gardens and green spaces. The oldest garden in London is the Chelsea Physic Garden.
Some of the residential apartments look out onto private squares. We looked through the railings at one in Earls Court. Beautiful leafy gardens with neat paths, well tended borders, and calming benches to sit on. The only downside is that you need to live in the square for a year and one day before you can be considered to get a key to the gardens!
The green fingered residents look after the garden, and the association holds events throughout the year.
We visited the tree filled Green Park by Buckingham Palace, and St James Park with its extremely friendly Squirrels and Pelicans on the lake.
In a bustling major city the green spaces are much loved, well used, and frequently visited. The civil servants from Whitehall came to the St James Park Cafe to relax for a bit, with the tourists. The Trees were changing colours to oranges, reds, browns, and yellows.

I enjoyed walking around the garden which I missed when we were away. It needs clearing out. My Sunflowers have been knocked over, and the Trees are denuding their leaves. The Crocuses have begun to peek through the wet soil. Hundreds of small Mushrooms have grown in the grass, like a mini tented village. Its good to be back.