Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flower Show Eve

 It was a lovely sunny day earlier.I went to the allotment first to sow all the vegetable seeds that need to be sown in situ at the allotments raised beds.There were bee's and butterflies flitting around the plot.I came home later and took some flower photos.
 The Astilbe has regrown from the soil near the pond.It is a deep red colour at the moment which will change to green once it matures.the frothy flowers will look good by the pond.The Marsh Marigolds are in flower too.
  The unknown plant flowering by the greenhouse.I love the sweet smelling flowers.An ant kindly walked across the flowers for me as I took the photo.
 These delicate white flowers are weeds growing in the moss covered pot of the Japanese Painted Fern.I love the contrast between the white, and the cool green.There is a bulb growing out on the left hand side and don't know what it is until it flowers.I plant so many new things year after year its hard to keep track.Especially plants that die back into the earth over the winter.
 The pink Hyacinths that are were indoor flowering have now flowered outdoors.They are a lovely candy stick smell.Sickly sweet but Delicious.
The sunken border is awash with colour of Primulas,Tulips, and the greens of the Geraniums and Aquilegias. The Dark leaves of the Sambuca float above the colour.
 Tomorrow is the first day of the Harrogate spring flower show.The cold snap has meant it really is springtime.I look forward to seeing all the new things that are there, and all the old favourites.
 I will buy a few plants and sundries I bet to make the garden even more beautiful.I'm looking forward to seeing if they have obtained 2000 pop bottles to make a full size greenhouse with just garden canes and bottles.
I enjoy the feel good vibe, music, food, and flowers.It feels like the start of the gardening year.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day Off Post

 I spent a relaxing day today cooking a lamb dinner, messing around in the garden, re potting some plants, and looking at all the new growth appearing all over the back garden.This lovely burnt orange Tulip began to open today.I love the contrast against the peacock blue primulas.
 The Tulip has streaks of green running along the petals.These are beautiful flowers that appear like brightly colored jewels in the green of the sunken border.
 The Daffodils that flowered late seem to have gone over rather quickly.The wind and the birds have damaged some of the stems.They look pretty nodding in the breeze.
 I finally planted my two Clematis into the Honeysuckle pot.One on either side should give purple and pink flowers beneath the Honeysuckle and climb over the bare lower woody stems.
I had some Bunny Tails seed heads from last years grasses.In the winter I planted them in a pot and left them in the greenhouse.It has grown into this lovely clump of Bunny Tails.the inflorescence's look like a rabbits tail.They will make more seeds on these flowers.I can perpetuate them from one year to the next.I re potted it today to see if i can make the clump larger.
 I used my worm compost from the Hungry bin to re pot the Tomato Brandy wine.Fifteen plants are now ready to grow away vigorously.I re potted the Tomato chocolate Cherry that I bought from Hampsons. I tried to grow them last year and failed dismally.
 I potted the Petunia Presto plants (white, and blue) into individual pots.I want to grow them on  for a month before they get put into the hanging baskets.
 I have a lot of Sweet Williams in the baskets at the moment.They are tough and have survived the wet 2012, and the cold start to 2013.They seem to be perennials.
 The sun was shining today for a while and it felt like spring.The garden is gathering pace, and the plants are eagerly growing in the warm sunshine.We had a few passing April showers too.
 I will draw for the bulbs tonight and post them to the lucky winner.I thought more people would have wanted them.
 All the photos have been taken on the new camera.I am slowly getting used to it.The garden has so much growing that i have a ready supply of subjects to photograph.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Flowers And Bees

   The days are getting longer and the flowers seem to be blooming in earnest now.This first photo taken on the new Nikon camera is Pelagonium Lotus Land.It looked very sickly over the winter but has revived in the spring.I bought the scented Rose Of Attar, and Lotus Land at a flower show.I love the delicate salmon pink flower with orange stamen.
 When I was working two boxes came through the post. Fothergills have dispatched my twenty Petunia Presto plug plants. White and blue for the hanging baskets in the garden.
 I bought these beautiful Pansy's the other day called Orange Duo.I love the bright vibrant colours.I have not decided where they are going yet so they are sat on the patio table.
 The Marsh Marigolds have begun to flower.I have four plants growing around the edge of the pond.They are beautiful marginal plants, a British wildflower of riverbanks and stream sides.They are so delicate looking, like chunky buttercups.
 The shed mouse was out and about today eating fallen birdseed on the concrete path under the grey plastic chairs.He sat for an hour nibbling fallen Niger seeds.
 I planted the Heather a few days ago and the local Bees have already found their way to it.A spring nectar source.
 I saw about five Bee's today flying about.the garden has a good selection of flowers for them to feed on after their winter rest.
 The Heathers are sat next to a blue Fir tree, and the resurgent Geranium Cranes bill.It has grown really well since the few days of rain and sunshine.
The last photo shows the Dicentra Spectablis (Bleeding Heart).It has bushed up massively after the rain.It will grow up between the Sambuca Nigra.
  There is still two days left for the free bulb prize draw.The lovely exotic looking Tibetan Peacock Orchids are waiting for a new home.Email me your address details by 5pm Sunday .
  The Petunias need potting on to grow a bit more before being planted. I have Gladiolus, Anemone De Caens, Freesias, and the Pansy's to plant on Sunday.I hope the weather will be good to get to the allotment to sow my seeds, and for the garden to plant all the above.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Spung and Sun

 The sun was shining today and after a good nights sleep I felt fine.There was a strong wind blowing the garden around.Half my Daffodils are prostate now after the wind has blown them over.The warmth and little rain has made everything grow in a few days frenzied action.
 The Dicentra has gone from a few buds growing from the soil to a good clump of leaves. The Geraniums in the sunken border have suddenly grown rapidly.The recent rain shower then sunshine encourages new growth to speed up.
 I bought more garden things today.I am lethal in Hampsons or Wilkos at this time of the year.I have a card and will use it.
  I bought some solar Tiffany lights, some Gladiolus, Ranunculus, and Turtle Head flower plant.I bought two trays of Pansy's for the garden and baskets.White, and the Tri Color one photographed.I also bought Spring Onion and Japanese Spring Onion seeds to grow on the patio.
  The greenhouse has started to germinate all the seeds that I have planted in the sunshine.The only two not germinating is the Jalapeno Summer Heat, and the Tomato Gardeners Delight.
 Even the second wave of Cabbages have begun to germinate, and the slow growing Celeriac Monarch is regally germinating (at last!). It really feels like Spring has sprung.

Free Bulb Prize Draw

    I got two packets of Bulbs for the exotic looking Tibetan Peacock Orchid.A bulb company sent me to them after i looked at their catalogue to see what i thought of them.
 The deal was I got one packet free, and the other packet was to be given away in a prize draw.It has to be posted by mail/airmail, and the receiving country allow the passage of bulbs!
 Email me your name and address to with the tagline "Free Bulb giveaway".
 I will randomly draw one lucky person who reads the blog and leaves me an address.I will post the bulbs post haste to the lucky person.I have planted my three bulbs into a pot in the greenhouse.They can be grown outside during the summer too.
  The bulb company web address is:
   I will run the prize draw until Sunday 21st April at 1700 BST.Good luck readers!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Camera Colours

 The new Camera came yesterday.I charged the battery and was messing around this morning.This is a nice photo of the everlasting flowers in the conservatory.It seems to be very good at dealing with bright colors.
 The Goldfinch looks clear and you can see the details of the feathers.It will take me some time to get used to the Nikon Cool pix P520.I like the red color of it, and the smallness of it.The garden blog is driven by the photos i take of the garden, wildlife,or out and about.
The warmer temperatures has seen the birds going mad in the garden.They are all feeding, singing, and nest building.This Blue Tit loves the Suet snack.I love how the leg rests on the plastic pole of the suet snack.
 I planted the five pots of English Bluebells today around my Mallus Braeburn.They will be just at the right height to smell the delicious violet scent.I had not realised that true English Bluebells are scented. The invasive Spanish ones (and the crosses between the two species) are not.Bee's love Bluebells too..
 I planted the Heathers in the sunken border, along with the Sheep's Bit plant.
I planted the Musk Mallow, and Knapweed in the wildflower bed by the pond.It has been a grey overcast day today but its forecast to brighten up over the weekend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shopping and Showers

  April showers finally arrived today.I went to the allotment this morning but it was only two degrees centigrade.I planted my heirloom potatoes in the warmed up soil of the raised beds.It was too cold to plant so I went into town shopping.I bought more plants, bird food, and pots for my other new plants.
 It started raining when i was outside potting plants up.This Daffodil shows fresh raindrops running off its petals.
I was inspired yesterday to buy some Bee friendly plants.The Rosemary, and Lavender are now potted in these blue ceramic pots.The compost has been mixed with lots of vermiculite to aid drainage and make sure they don't get wet roots.Bee's love the flowers of both these plants.I will see what the bee guide says when it arrives from friends of the earth about an all year supply of nectar for the bee's.
I got two packets yesterday. My Cool Allotment book by Lia, and the rechargeable batteries for my new camera.Two parcels were too big for the door and taken to the post office.I picked them up today, and bought two Clematis..must be reading Monty Dons guide yesterday in GW magazine.
 I went to Hampsons yesterday to buy two new pots for my Carex grasses so sit on the patio.They have grown well and survived the wet 2012.My Festuca Glauca, and pony tails both suffered a bit.
 I decided to buy some Heathers for Spring flowers for any early Bees'.There were also Heathers that flower  mid summer, and the end of summer.I bought five pots of English Bluebells (don't know where to plant them?), and three perennial plants (Sheep's Bit, Musk Mellow, and Knapweed).I bought an owl stone planter too.
 I dodged the rain this afternoon to re pot the Raspberry canes, the three different Bishop Dahlias, the Carex grasses,and the Lavender/Rosemary.
 I have left the Heathers and perennials to plant in the garden tomorrow.The two new Clematis need planting under the Honeysuckle against the fence.I hope they grow okay and the birds do not decimate the stems like they did before.
 I'm back to work over the weekend, but the spring garden is coming along nicely.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Second Wave

   I love these pretty birds that love the sunflower hearts.These Siskins have just arrived a few weeks ago and are in the garden every day.I wander where they have flown in from,or if it has been too cold and wet for their usual wild food?They are very striking in their yellow and black colors.
The Streptocarpus Harlequin has flowered again.The plant has doubled in size from last year and has four good flower bud stems growing.All my other Streptocarpus perished in the greenhouse.I might see if there are some nice ones at the Harrogate spring flower show.I love the lilac and yellow petals, in two colours.They are happily growing on the kitchen windowsill.
These were the Delphinium plugs sent from Mr Fothergills.They are Delphinium Fountain Mixed.The five plants are now growing in the greenhouse.
 I spent the afternoon sowing the second wave of Vegetable seeds, about five weeks after the first seed were sown. I sowed Jalapeno Summer Heat, Pepper Tabasco to replace my failed first attempts, French Bean Amethyst, French Bean Castanell (a trial seed free from Marshalls), Pumpkin Spellbound, Tomato Gardeners Delight, Pak Choi Ruby Shine, Cabbage Noelle, and Cabbage Wingidstadt.
  I have just counted sixteen seed trays in the greenhouse. My Sweet Peas are germinating well now, and the Tomato Brandywine,Cabbage Derby Day,and Kohl Rabi are developing their first pair of true leaves.
 I think the paraffin heater has helped them germinate, and stopped the inside of the greenhouse freezing.
  I need to sow the remaining seeds up at the allotment, and to plant my two lots of Potatoes.I think tomorrow will be an allotment day.
 I also ordered a new Camera as my Fuji fine pix is getting battered and the buttons are sticking.I have had it for a few years now.The new camera will be a Nikon.Expect lots of photos as i play with it and try to take better photos for the blog.A picture can be worth a thousand words.

Monday, April 08, 2013

First Daffodils Of 2013

  The weather has improved slightly and the gardens Daffodils finally flowered yesterday on the 7th April.It has been a long time coming.They are great harbingers of Spring time.
   They have a delicious scent of cloves.I have scented Narcissus growing that have not bloomed yet. Yellow is the color of Springtime.
 I looked back through the blog posts from 2005 to 2012 to see when i had first photographed a daffodil in bloom in my gardens.2007 saw the earliest first Daffodil flower on the 11th March.The date ranges between the 11th March and 2nd of April.Most are around the 25th of March, so we are about two weeks later this year.
  The blog is like a photographic record of blooming dates.Last year my Tulips had begin blooming in March.This year they are just buds and leaves and weeks away from opening.2005/2006 had no Daffodil pictures I think.
 The Daffodil near to the Sambuca has three stems and flowers in bloom at the same time.
 The blue sky contrasts nicely to the lemon yellow and burnt orange of the Daffs.
 I got my replacement Chili seeds today. Jalapeno, and Tabasco seeds from Thompson and Morgan.Fingers crossed these germinate as my Scotch Bonnet/first Jalapeno failed..
Enclosed in the T&M packet was this Friends Of The Earth Bee campaign envelope.I have donated £15 to get the Bee action pack with some wild flower seeds for a planter, and Bee identification chart.I grow fruit and vegetables and understand the crucial role that Bees take in pollinating crops and flowers.
 I have not seen a single Bee this year, or any early butterflies.Whether the freezing cold has made them sleepy still.The bee pack has a flower guide too for making a long season for the Bee's.It will be interesting to see what they recommend, and what I have growing already if any.
  The greenhouse seed trays are growing well now. Kohl Rabi, Leeks, Cabbage Derby Day,Tomato Brandy wine, and my mixed Sweet Peas are all germinating.the only tray with no seeds is the Celeriac Monarch..
  I will sow more seeds tomorrow to start them off in the greenhouse, including my new Chilli's. I potted up my Delphinium Fountain Mix plug plants that arrived on Thursday.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Good Gardening Day

 Its been a good gardening day.I bagged up all the remaining garden compost, top dressed the Hostas, Black  Bamboos,and cleared the area around the Himalayan Birch.I planted the Dog Roses in pots to grow on this year.This Primula has an amazing dark burgundy colour.
 The Peony is starting to grow from the soil.I hope this flowers this year..
 The Bleeding Heart plant is regrowing nicely, despite being frost bitten several times.The daytime temperature is nice but its still below freezing at night.The soil remains quite cool to touch.
The pond is looking slightly murky,as the algae starts to bloom again.Hopefully the water lily leaves will shade the water somewhat and make it clearer.
  The greenhouse is staying warm with the paraffin heater and the seeds are beginning to germinate.I am working nights until Monday so the garden will have to grow without me watching.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Teacup Flowers And Regal Roses

   The sun was actually shining today and the temperature was a balmy 8 degrees centigrade.The wind made it feel colder,but it was lovely to feel the sun on my face and hands.This was the sunshine through the conservatory window.
 The Crocuses are still the flowering stars of the garden.They have actually opened this year, instead of being eaten by garden mice.They are dainty like golden tea cups with a stripey pattern on the outside of the petals.
 The Leaves are thin, and strappy, with a light stripe running along the middle.I must remember to plant many more of these in all manner of bright colors. The teacup flowers bring happiness to me, each individual one perfection when it flowers as these two plants have.
 Other plants are starting to revive now.Pictured is the Heuchera Obsidian next to the Electric purple Crocus.Their petals were well open to attract any pollinating insects in the area.The sunshine made them expose the golden stamen within.
 A Primula growing away in the corner between the fence and the strawberry raised bed.The flowers are reminiscent of the Strawberry flowers.They seem happy at the top of a sloping border.
I went to get some bird food in town, and saw this lovely Hybrid Tea Rose called Queen Elizabeth.The same Rose that was sent free to me before.Unfortunately the free rose was poor quality and just died.I saw the name on the box today and thought I want one of these regal pink Roses in the garden especially after the Diamond Jubilee year of 2012.She is now potted up in new compost.
   Interestingly the last few Roses from Wilko's have been grown in Poland. Does anyone know is Poland a hotbed of Rose growing,or is it a new industry?
 The Rose Queen Elizabeth had been trimmed and sealed with green wax.The roots have been wrapped with black polythene over a sawdust/chicken manure mix.I washed off the foul smelling compost mix and planted in my mix (garden compost,and Asda compost).
 I went around today and sprinkled Rose food in all the pots and the four Roses in the front garden.They will need feeding after their first flush of flowers has finished.Im a Rose O phile..
  I checked my Chili seeds today in the conservatory.Alas they had all got a rotting infection.I saved 3 Scotch Bonnet,and 1 Jalapeno.I promptly went online and ordered some new Chili seeds from Suttons. Chili Tabasco,and extra Hot Jalapeno.I will try a new way of germinating seeds as suggested by Laura,who has the most impressive Chili plants in the blogosphere.
  Spring will hopefully be here soon, and the temperature is predicted to rise on the weekend.

Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fools Day

   Its been a cold Easter bank holiday weekend.I watched the boat race yesterday and enjoyed the build up.It passed off with no drama or interruptions (ie swimmers in the river) and Oxford won comfortably.I have no preference for either University.The race is part of the calender of sporting events.As much a part of tradition as Spring flowers.
 This Pansy is growing beneath a Rose.Cat planted lots of them last year and they have all over wintered.They bloom under the Roses.Small flowers to under plant the dramatic roses.They offer a supporting role.
 These electric Blue Crocuses are the only plant to have survived the conservatory and patio building.They have an electric blue/lilac splashes like someone painted an egg shell..
 The Tiger Stripe Crocus finally opened revealing its orange stamen.The petals glow like a dragons breath.These are beloved by Mice who chomp the sweet nectar from the base of the flower.They are in the Lilac Tree pot.
 The magnificent Electric Blue Crocus.These lovely flowers fill me with hope that the winter is drawing to an end.The weekend saw the clocks go forward to British Summer Time. Brrrrr, someone tell the weather!
 I had a little re potting session.These Box ball plants are now in these bigger pots.Once they grow on a bit I will shape them.I quite like the organised form of clipped shapes.It might be as you get older you like solid structures in the garden.I keep waiting for Asda to drop its Buxus ball prices but they don't.
The leaves are gloriously emerald and full of vitality.They caught the sun Saturday when I took the photos.I will shape them into a round shape.I toyed with the idea of a wire cage to grow Buxus through into shapes like triangles,balls,spirals,or animal shapes.A Cat or a Peacock?
  The greenhouse has been warmed for the past two nights with a paraffin heater.The seedlings are starting to germinate in earnest.The only problem has been the Tomatoes that look sickly.I have bought a second pack of Tomato seeds from B&Q (where i got the paraffin) in case the first lot fail.
  The Daffodils remain tightly shut,waiting for the warmth of Spring to lull them into flowering.The Tulips are also waiting for the sunshine.