Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy new Year from the garden birds. They are eating the fat balls, this acrobatic blue tit flew in and gripped the cage with his feet. The robin had been doing the same earlier.
December 2007 has seen the most page loads of the entire year, surpassing even the Summer months. I must be doing something right :)
May all your New Years be beautiful, and all your plants flourish and give you pleasure and healing in equal measures. I am working nights again, so I will be at work when the traditional Big Ben clock at Westminister tolls midnight, and sounds in the the new year "2008".
I'll raise a glass of non alcoholic drink if its not busy.
Hope to see you all soon. Best wishes to the Blogosphere, all the garden blog readers, and my regular commenters.... from the Snappy Gardener, all the well fed garden birds, and the plants.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Heaven and Hellebore

The Christmas rose with its flower bud on it.The leaves have grown in size and are held aloft now like fans. I hope they flower soon.The plants seem to hold the developing buds almost in the soil held on with tight arms. I think they will hoist the flower up when its due to open.
Hellebore Niger is its posh name.
The herbs and spring onions continue to grow well in the kitchen. The alpine strawberrys are still germinating in the ten pots.
The best suprise was in my windowbox outside the kitchen window. Lots of bulbs are now poking up through the soil. In the darkest time of the year they offer us a little reminder of the Spring to come. Its been cold, wet, and very windy. I made a leaf pile today for the creepy crawlies to chill in. No bird sightings today in the garden but i was not paying atttention.
I cooked a roast dinner, and a magic chocolate sponge (where the chocolate sauce is beneath the risen sponge).I am full now...
The White climbing rose has developed two pairs of new leafs.I am thinking now of the planter boxes with the trellis attached to it. One for each climbing rose plant on either side of the backdoor pavers.
I seem to have been quite active when other gardeners have gone to read seed and flower catalogues, and to plan for next year.
I had the year Without A Garden which drove me mad, so i have a years worth of energy stored up ready to be unleashed. To be able to go outside and stand in a garden is Heavenly. I read quotes once about an Itinerant gardener dreaming about his perfect plot. The way it faced, the soil type, the flowers, plants, tree's, and fruits he wanted. He had spent all his time working other peoples land. The dirt on his hands made him yearn for his own soil to garden.
I have a lot of plans fermenting in my mind developing the garden in the new growing season. I have started indoor seedlings, have a cold frame ready to grow early plants, and imagination in plentiful supply.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sing When You're Winning

From this morning before work my Garden Robin singing a song.The weather has turned foul now with heavy winds and driving rain. I hope all the birds have wrapped up warm as its wet and windy.
Back to work tomorrow for a long day...More gardening on Sunday if the weather clears :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Alpine Strawberrys, Seeds and Dreams

I am slightly out of it, from switching from nights to days. Hopefully I will recover from my work to be able to blog more.
As I got up the light was fading.I only saw one bird today the blurry robin in the photo in the twighlight.
The large seed tray with 84 cells has been filled up now with spring onions, basil, coriander, and parsley (one line of seven only)..
I tried out some matchbook seeds today. Ten Alpine Strawberry plants. The cards were torn out and planted in compost with the seeds glued on to the card. The pointed ends go into the soil to the depth of a black line!Simplicity itself.I will chart their progress. They are going to be edging plants on one side of the border!
I'm working friday and saturday. Sunday is roast turkey day, and trying to cook a chocolate sponge with the sauce under the sponge. I used to make one like that but lost the recipie.
My seeds box is sat on the Sofa. I bought a lot and got given a lot too. I have to work out whats going to bloom in my north east facing garden before I try to germinate them.
My shopping list is growing. The climbing roses, and honeysuckle need some support to grow up, as do the sweet pea's. The apple tree needs a bigger pot, and I want some edging to replace my tiles. Maybe log roll? I want to add six inxhes more top soil on the broken fence border.
Winter is good time to dream and plan the next growing season. Dream of springtime and all the flowers to come, and the kitchen garden!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gardens and Flowers

I was at work today all day, from when it was dark at 545 am, to dark again when I finished.
I have some lovely new garden Xmas presents.A new bird feeder from Hils with peanuts.Its shaped like a house with two mesh sides and full of peanuts now.
I got a secret present of compost, seeds, more spring bulbs, and two ceramic pots with embossed leafs!
I got a pair of Gardening shoes from Cat called Cloggies, plastic green shoes for going outside, they will be well worn and used daily for my trips into the garden. Theres no hope of them being left unworn! (I have them on now and im sat indoors!)
I also got two of my lost books...Chocolat, and To Kill A Mockingbird...both books are on my blogs profile page.
I got a comment from a lady who said its not possible to keep up with you because you post almost every day...
My question is would three times a week be enough? Its a cultivated habit I think blogging daily or nearly daily. With a new garden and plants I have had lots to write about. I never run out of idea's, someone asked where do you get your ideas from for the blog posts?
I either see something, read it, or think about it. My brain is full of gardens and flowers so ideas rise to the surface regularly.
Would people miss my daily musings and photos if the blog went three times weekly?
All comments welcome...How often do you post? And is there anyone else who posts daily? Id love your links so i can see them too :)
Happy Boxing day People!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Happy Christmas from the Snappy gardener. I was excited about today so I woke up at half past five. I got up at 6am.I have planted more of my germinated seeds, White Lisbon spring onions, basil, and coriander.
The devils own Parsley still has not germinated.Its still chilling out..Am waiting for the Sun to rise to take a Christmas Day garden or bird photo.
Have a great Day wherever you are in the world :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Moonlight Night

The Moonlight plays on the tree's and clouds.The view before I have gone to work.The night air is cold and the ground frosty. It is perfectly still night. The garden chills under the glow of the full moon.Time for work now...

I believe in Father Christmas

This is my Second favourite Xmas song, who cant love the bells and the sound of the Troika?It reminds me of sleighs being pulled trhough snowy fields.
One more video tomorrow on Christmas Eve..Any guesses for my Favourite Xmas song?

Blue Ice

The Blue Flower of the Primula manged to escape the worst of the frost that coated the cars and pavements. The council gritting truck had been out last night as I went to work.
I looked this morning, but all the plants were wet and the water bowls had cold water in but not frozen.
All the staff cars in the hospital car park were covered in thick ice this morning
One more night shift to go before I can chill out and watch the birds.
By the backdoor tonight I found lots of moss and dry leaf mulch. I think a bird has been nest building somewhere on top of the house. With the light faded, and the temperature dropping I could not see where they have built their nest.
The bird feeders continue to attract garden visitors. I saw a female blackbird this morning, the resident Robin hopped onto the fence briefly. A great Tit spent five minutes eating off the table. I went to bed then.
The sweet peas have germinated in the kitchen. The White Lisbon spring onion seeds have come up in the propogator box. The herb seeds have started to germinate in the coffee filter paper.I have an extra large 84 cell which will be filled with row upon row of herbs and spring onions.These will be grown indoors for a few weeks before being moved to the cold frame.
Two days before Christmas....hope you are all prepared and happy :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oasis and Apples

This is one of the Birds water containers.I bought two shallow green plastic bowls which I have sunk into the ground and surrounded them with stones.They have square edges which are not as deep.The Hellebore Nigra is posing by the water bowl.
I dont want the birds drowning in the bowls like someone said could happen.
I was woken up at half one by the delivery man with a long rectangular box.Inside was a Mallus Braeburn, my Patio Apple tree.
It was contained in a green tall plastic container like a water dispenser. I have repotted it in a larger container.I need to buy a large pot for it so the roots can spread.It has one bud on it. The blurb said it would fruit in its first year!
Its hard to imagine as it is a couple of sticks in a pot at the moment! I guess gardeners need vivid imaginations to visualise a plant in its full potential.
I watched the birds again today.The bird table and ground feeder are hives of activity now with birds flying in, grabbing some seed, then flying off.
The Robin watched me water the apple tree from the top of the fence. He is guarding his territory but there are a lot of birds flying in for free seed!
I like the two water containers, I looked at Better Home and Garden website.They made a bird bath from concrete poured into a bowl shaped recess in the soil, and decorated it with crushed coloured glass.
My two small bowls will do untill I get some proper bird water baths, or make a small pond.The garden is slowly turning into an oasis for wildlife, roll on Spring and Summer.Who knows what visitors I will have.

Kitchen door view

The view from the back door yesterday. The two black pots are the Viburnum baby tree's to see if i can grow them for the Walton flower show!
The new compost bin is on the top right hand corner.Time for a coffee and to watch to see if the birds are feeding before bed..
Three more nights to go before I finish the set.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Robin Red Breast

Just in time before Christmas this robin was watching me today plant the fruit bushes, and put down the new bird water containers. I have sunk two plastic bowls into the ground and surrounded them with little stones.There are now two small water sources in the garden.
I sprinkled bird seed around one and I think a large blackbird was eating before I turned around in the kitchen. It shot off quickly before I could even focus on what it was.
I love Robins and was so happy to see one hopping along the fence. He was on the fence, on the compost bin, and in the bird seed ground feeder!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Snappys planting List

Before I go back to work tomorrow and slow my blog posts down I thought I would have a relective post, about what I have done so far to the wild garden...
Hils took me to the Wakefield Recycling centre where I got a massive 220 litre compost bin.It barely fitted into the cars back seat! A black tank sat now in the corner where the boxes were before.
This is what has been planted so far :
Six Hellebore Nigra (Christmas roses),
three Heathers (photographed),
One Camelia with pink flowers,
five winter Primulas in yellow, pink, and blue,
five Polyanthus Blue shades (not flowered yet),
a selection of three hollys and three evergreen shrubs,
Four Rose bushes ( Red, White, Yellow, and Peach),
one Butterfly Bush,
a replanted Geranium,
and One Lilac tree in a container.
The Spring bulbs I have planted are:
Dwarf Daffodil Minnow,
Tulip Toronto (orange),
Tulip purple prince (dark purple),
Anemone Blanda,
Crocus mixed,
tulip Fosteriana White Empereor (white),
tulip Red Riding Hood(red),
Tulip Queen of the Night (Black),
Dutch Iris,
blue Muscari,
and Narcissus Caniculatas.
I bought today two Carex grasses, a pot of rosemary , and two climbing roses. One was pink and fragrant called Zephirine Drouhin, and a white one called Climbing Iceberg. I accidently left the new Honeysuckle in Hil's car as she tucked it under the back seat. I need to wait for her to come with it.
The Fruit bushes are still in their pots, darkness fell before I planted them. I have 150 litres of compost for the seedlings and the garden. An apple tree is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow from!
Four night shifts to go before I can get into the garden again, actually that will be Christmas Eve moning when I finish.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wakefield and Ghana

Hello World, this is Snappy in Wakefield...
I was looking at Statcounter, the countrys of people who visited today.
The USA has beaten the UK today with page loads for the first time in days.
I have had visitors from South Africa looking at the Dahlia and Snail photo...
Romantic Roses brought in someone from Sydney,Australia.
Primula flowers brightening my day up was read in Malaysia.
Bees from Harrogate to California was read in Colombo,Sri Lanka...
They looked at the Harlow Carr Wisteria on the Pergola photo in Maharashtra,India.
Another one was the photos of my Asiatic lillys looked at in Ankara, Turkey. All these sound like poems. I normally try to give poetic titles to the posts so they stick out in my mind.
Statcounter lets me see what people are landing on, day after day. The snappy ones photos and prose echo around the world. How bizarre, but lovely too.
My favourite poetic visitor was the blog post about St James Wort, being read in Accra,Ghana. The blog has a life of its own being read, googled, and linked sometimes. Many invisible webs connecting my little part of England with the rest of the world.
I guess its like me reading USA blogs that have very different growing conditions (and crazy zones) and wildlife, even the native fauna is different.
From here it looks exotic, and unusual. From there its common place. Hot humid Ghana..I wander how they look at English gardens? They now know about the properties of a pretty flower that is quite toxic to horses.
I look forward to a Ghana garden blog (tell me if you know any, maybe Volunteers overseas?) to see what they were growing. We garden for aesthetics in the UK mainly, some places would garden for eating and to sell produce, like the Bag Gardens in mountainous Lesotho.
Greetings to all Gardeners and Plant lovers from all around the world. Leave a Comment :)

Little Bird

My first Bird photo in the fading light. Boy are these little ones shy! They dive bomb the table, grab a snack, then fly back into the hedgerow. There are small black berrys in the hedge,so thats what they have been feeding on. The black berrys are looking sparse though, so they have been investigating my bird food.
Today they have been devouring the fat balls that I cut up and put on the ground feeder, and in the bird table.
The wildlife guide thinks it takes two to three weeks for birds to get used to new feeders. They are coming slowly (and secretly).
I hope they get used to my Camera from behind the kitchen door :)

Kitchen Garden Thoughts

I could not sleep last night for some reason.So
I planned the Kitchen garden side of the garden.
Some herbs are growing already, ready to be grown on in the cold frame, and some on the kitchen windowsill. Basil,Coriander, and Parsley.
I saw fruit bushes for sale at home base, and went back today to buy two. Photographed are my new plants: Blackberry Waldo, and Raspberry Tullamen.
In the spring I will get some Strawberry plants. I am thinking of the old fashioned Victorian strawberry planter with the plants growing from the many holes in the terracotta pot!
I have some Alpine Strawberry seeds too in the matchstick books that are impregnated with seeds. The wild Strawberrys. Has anybody grown them and do they taste like our normal Wimbledon type strawberrys?
I have just now ordered two African bag gardens, that can be used to grow the Vegetables. One comes with Beetroot, Mustard leaves, and Dwarf beans. The other comes with Rocket, Chillis, and Spring onions.
From the Charity Send A Cow, she was amused that I was ordering them for myself and not for a school!
The other thing I ordered online was a Patio Apple tree in a container, for outside the kitchen door. It is a self fertile one.
Three Herbs, two Fruit bushes, one apple tree ordered, and a selection of Six Vegetables are a good start to the kitchen garden. My Chilli plants are also growing on in the kitchen windowsill. Its not quite the Good Life but its a start. Small steps towards a functional and edible Kitchen Garden.
I need to plan the Flower beds, and Containers yet. Three hanging baskets, and a water garden are in my mind also in the Spring. The joys of imagination during the Winter garden phase of the year..

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Projects

The buds on the Lilac Tree hold promise for the springtime. They are primed, just waiting for the winter to end.
As the cold and frozen soil have driven me inside as there is not a lot to do with the winter garden. I have lots of projects inside, though, and the kitchen has been turned into a mini greenhouse.
Chilli plants sit on the window with the moth orchid, the baby snakeplants, and baby spider plants.
Two African violet leaves are sitting on top of a glass with the stem inside water waiting for the clear roots to grow out so i can pot them up. I took some leafs from my Nans xmas cactus to try and propogate it.
Their are seven lots of seeds growing in pots or a seed tray.The Iris Chrysographes, the Hellebore Black beauty, sweet peas (52 seeds), and the seeds in coffee filter papers (Basil, Coriander, and Parsley). The old Lisbon White onion seeds have been put in a seed tray and a few are starting to germinate now!
I finished xmas shopping today, and came back with a few more plants.After Britt Arnhild showed hers I bought an Amaryllis (called Apple Blossom) for the kitchen windowsill. In the supermarket I found an air plant with bird figurine, that jumped into the basket somehow....
My Hyacinths from the flat are sat on the draining board growing on nicely.The ones I bought from Hampsons have wilted and keeled over.They will finish their growth in the cold frame ready to lift and dry the bulbs once they are done.
An Amaryllis Belladonna is growing in a pot too, but this has strappy green leaves.Its flowers give it its charming name of Bare Naked Ladies.Whether its growing green leaves to build up its energy before the purple stems I dont know.It wont flower untill Autumn I think.
Thats a few of the things I have been doing, but not the complete list! The other pastime is dreaming and visualising plants on the frozen soil...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Boston and Birds

I went Xmas shopping, bought presents for everyone, then went to Homebase to look for a bird table and honeysuckle.

Alas there were none, but instead I came out with a Nephrolepis.The Boston Fern I read years ago in the Doctor Hessayan book the complete house plant guide...

After years of searching homebase were selling them for £8.

Its now sat in front room, with a bowl of water underneath it, and daily misting of the leaves. It smells like an ancient forest floor, the rich earth smell that ferns have!
I went to B&Q and bought a stand up bird table, and bird seed. One of the key ideas for the garden is to attract wildlife, especially garden birds, and bee's.
Its sat in the garden now loaded with some tasty morsels for the birds to feed.I saw three today in the Garden.
One sat on the fence chilling out, one quickly eating from the ground feeder who flew off as i spotted him, and a small one flying upto the fatball.
The ground feeder has seed scattered around it so I know they have found that.Maybe word is spreading that a new food source has appeared in the alley gardens.
Most of the gardens are back yards with concrete, gravel, and perennial weeds as the only thing growing.
This house will turn into an Oasis where the wildlife comes I hope.
Pictured are Viburnum flowers with icy crystals formed on the petals. Hope to have some garden bird photos soon, as something to do untill the ground warms up for more planting!
Some Spring Bulbs are already peeking their heads above the frozen parapet.I have all my bulbs to look forward to if they flower.

Visions throught the Ice

I took the ice out of my birds water bowl.I love the Sunday morning light. Country File is on Tv with John Craven.
I need to go Xmas shopping once I have had a second coffee.
I actually heard garden birds singing this morning, and my ground seed mix has been nibbled, as seeds are now laid around the container on the paving slabs.
Maybe they have worked out their is food now in one garden!Just need a bird table now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The Elusive magpie who has been chattering all day perches on the fir trees behind the hedges.I love these birds, despite their bad reputation. He seems to be solitary, chattering, and flying to the tree tops to admire the misty, cold view.
Are Magpies Newcastle united supporters? The football team is nicknamed after them because of the black and white shirts.
Ha way the Magpie!

The Watcher

I saw this silhouetted bird sat on a bare tree a few hundred yards from the garden.Even with binoculars he was not distinct.I think he is a crow due to his size.Black feathers, and black beak.

He makes a good silhouette against the bare winter tree. I was looking up garden birds last night and how to attract them to your garden.

In Cheltenham there were lots of garden birds visiting the bird table, and fat balls hung on the fences. It was surrounded by trees and a monster Lavatera bush.
I have moved the bird feeders about. There is a seed mix, some peanuts, and fat balls.I also put out bread and seed mix in a plastic tub on the pavers, and fresh water in a dish.
I have not seen one bird yet in the garden. The next thing I want to buy is a bird table to see if that attracts them. A pyrocanthus bush and honeysuckle are on the list too.
I wander if all the building work has displaced the birds temporarily. There is some overgrown woodland behind the hedge that sits at the back of the garden. It is a buffer zone between the building site and the alleyway.
I keep watching for the birds, as the crow is watching the world go by from his tree top vantage point. I ordered a free booklet from the Royal Society for the protection of Birds (RSPB), the British charity for all our birds, both native and visiting.
The camera is charged and ready, just need them to visit my garden.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Winter Dreams..

are of Spring and summer, and imagining all the new plants that will fill the frozen canvas that is the garden....
It remains cold today, and the brightest flowers show the icy weather on their petals. The top photo looks like little tear drops, or glass beads on the newly formed flower.
The Soil has frozen solid.I think I got my plants and bulbs into the ground in the nick of time. It is impossible to put anything in the ground at the moment.
Ice and frosts are good for breaking clods of soil down, so by the spring it should be much more workable.
I made a home made compass last night (sewing needle, some peat pot that was buoyant,a bowl of water, and my new frog fridge magnet to magnetise the sewing needle) to work out which was north. The needle spun around untill it pointed to magnetic north. The garden is facing North/North east. The winter sun does not reach over the tall houses.It is light however, with diffuse light.
The soil is Alkaline and very heavy clay. I used my soil testing kit the second week I was here. A plastic tube with a cap, chemical reagent, and adding soil sample and water. It changed colour to compare with the packaging with its multi colours.
I need to get a compost bin from the Council for £10. A 330 litre compost bin. I have two boxes full of garden refuse ready to be composted. Once its broken down it will go back on top of the two beds. It will enrich the soil, and hold onto moisture.
With the ground frozen and not much tidying needed I have gone back to planning for summer. I googled north facing garden. I will need plants that can survive on partial sunshine and not grow anything that needs full sun to flower.
A good backbone to the garden will come from the three H's.
Hostas, Heuchera's, and Hemerocallis. They are on my wishlist for the next time I go to Hampsons. Also I like Ajuga Reptans too as a first line plant in the creation of a garden.
I will be trying out African bag gardens in the late spring, maybe two of the bag gardens on the pavers by the outhouse, for vegetable growing. A lot of the garden will be movable, using containers to break down the hard lines.
My Mum sent me a xmas Card and some money.This will go towards the garden plants. A honeysuckle, and some trellis for it to grow up.
The two Festuca Glauca's are chilling in the cold frame with the Fuschia. I do not know where to put them at the moment. The garden needs some vertical plants too, maybe grasses for their form, movement, and noise as they blow in the wind.
I planted some Sweetpea seeds today, which will hopefully germinate before being moved into the cold frame. It will be a party in there soon with Iris, Hellebores, white onions,the three varieties of Herbs, and the sweet peas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cold Day

Keeping Busy

The Fuschia from Tatton park trying out the new cold frame. Hil's kindly donated it to me and I spent over two hours yesterday wrestling with it in the falling light. I was frozen by the time I had completed it in the darkness. It will be used to extend the growing season by two months, one before in Spring, and the other in Autumn. I saw some Rosemary bushes nearby which I will acquire some cuttings to see if they will root over the winter in my coldframe..

The cold frame in situ. I am thinking of moving it to under the kitchen window so the warmth from the house can get into the box. It is constructed of metal frame with double plastic sheets slid into runners. It is quite roomy at the moment. It needs to be filled with plants!

This is inside the Outhouse, I love the play on words. It was formally a toilet, which has now been removed and a combi boiler placed in it. It has a power supply, lagged pipes around the floor, and a fitted shelf to one side. I cleared out all the refuse and binned it. Swept the dust and snail shells out then put in a few pots, the garden tools, my green box for potting up, and hung a few tools on the wall.
I climbed up a wobbly stepladder to clear the crud from the guttering, removed a weed that was growing twelve feet in air at the top of the kitchens drainpipe.
The ground was frozen solid. The primulas looked like icicles.The only plant that was not frozen was the Camelia. The frozen water just melted off the leaves leaving them glossy as ever. Do Camelias have some special chemical to keep their leaves unfrozen?
I planted six lots of Seeds today. Iris, Hellebore Black beauty, White Lisbon onions in a seed tray for early next year, and three herbs of Basil, Coriander, and Parsley.
Its been too cold to linger outside, unless you have a warm coat on, and are doing something to keep moving. Like cleaning outhouses, gutters, and sweeping the stone slabs.

Fire and Ice

The first Frost I have seen in over a year on my plants! The Winter Primula seems to have taken a battering from the Icy frosts. The rough leaves were highlighted in glimmering crystals.
The Viburnum and Camelia had wet leaves, but escaped the overnight freeze.
Maybe the Primulas are closer to the ground so get frosted more easily.
I love the yellow colours on the flowers, with streaks of orange war paint, and pheasents eye in the centre.
I have been reading other blogs last night, trying to see what people write about in December.The cold and the dark drives us back indoors to read seed/flower books and other blogs!
To borrow Blackswamp girl's words the photo is a study in Contrasts, between metaphorical fire and real ice!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Spotted (and Metallic)

A description of my two photos of insects...
From today a lone lady bird that was sleeping on the Buddleja bush before I moved her to get a photograph. I normally measure the approach of spring with the visible ladybirds. She played dead for a while then walked around indignantly after being moved during her catnap on the branch.

I dont know what this beetle was called.He was small with a metallic blue coat, just like his automobile named counterpart. He got carried to the table to be photographed. I disturbed him as I renovated the garden last week.
One mouse, two different beetles, and a few garden birds. One Black cat that walked along the back fence. Thats what I have seen so far in the new garden.

Gardening Ghosts

Beautiful delicate white Viburnum flowers that smell faintly fragrant...

The Viburnum blue berrys with the golden stripes...

The pink Geraniums that were flowering before the big clean up.

I wandered what evidence of previous gardeners i would find. There was little buried treasure only broken pieces of pottery . Not even whole pots just solitary fragments.
The most noticiable thing in the garden is the Viburnum shrub which is about seven foot high and six feet wide. It has the pink star shaped flower buds, with the scented white flowers. After it has flowered it makes the blue berrys.The whole shrub/tree is covered in them.I potted up two viburnum baby plants that had young red willowy stems.
The Geranium was wild spilling onto the stone slabs. It was wildly overgrown and woody.The roots were like a bowl of spaghetti! Masses and masses of solid root.
I trimmed the lateral and bottom of the viburnum. If I want to hang washing It will need trimming backfurther along the front. I wont untill spring trim it back now.
There are three patches of Geraniums, one in a pot, and two sections in the soil. They will flower again with the cuttings I moved.
The only other things I found were an unknown bulb, large amounts by the right hand fence.I left a few, and collected a tub full.I am letting them dry out untill I can identify what it is! It is shaped like a skinny turnip with small bottom and long thin top part, all white coloured.
Two severely leggy heathers sagged onto the patio.They had about a foot of dead wood beneath the green parts. They went into my compost boxes!
There was a bird house with its roof missing, and full of damp.It disintegrated when I tried removing it from the post.
I found several plant labels, some were so old they were unreadable. On the computer desk now is the label for Calluna Vulgaris Tricolorifolia, a creeping heather.
I know for sure that the soil can support Heathers, Viburnum, Geraniums, and the unknown bulbs.
The treasure was the soil, dark alkaline soil that had not been dug for years. Black gold almost, but two sides of the garden have been cultivated once upon a time.
I wander if the ghost gardener liked the cleared garden, free of brambles and weeds, with the raised beds uncovered, and the original fence nailed back upright. The patio swept clean of collected debris so they are light coloured.
Its been cold and as I have done as much of the garden as I can at the moment I can be reflective, about ghosts and gardens.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Suprise Visitor

It was a long dark cold night, and who did I spy yesterday making his home amongst the Amazon Boxes with my temporary compost heap?
A wee Cowrin' timerous beastie as Robbie Burns used to lyrically say.The best laid plans of mice and men oft go a gangly...
This dormouse was quick and photogenic only for five minutes.Afterwards he kept sprinting under the fence then returning to the amazon boxes.Behind the tall trees that blow in the wind jurassic park style they are building.Maybe this wee mousie was made homeless.I cant move my compost storing boxes yet.Not untill the spring!
I hope when you enlarge the photo you can see the wee sleekit mousie!

Twelve days...

The Garden yesterday... I have been in the house for 12 days, and in the garden every day of those twelve, even just to look..

The end of the fourth day of renovation, complete with some new plants that I bought with Cat at Hampsons big plant nursery.

The Garden at the end of the third day with the light fading. The lines of the Borders are now visible, the clothes line is now alone with no weeds at its feet.The years of damp and soil show on the dirty looking slabs.It also rained every day I was in the garden or at work. The viburnum has been trimmed a bit, at the base and sides.


The photos show how I cut the brambles down, dug the weed roots up, and cleared the grass and mosses. There was so much to clear it was hard to find. Once upon a time a gardener lived here as there were borders on either side of the garden. A few years of neglect had them overrun by weeds and brambles.
How much quicker is it to show photos then to do it! The top photo shows the white tiles I took from the cellar to keep the soil in the border instead of blowing over the stone slabs.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Wild Garden

This was the First day photos of the Wild Garden. Nature had been left to run amok with brambles, fireweed, grasses, and various weeds. The fence had been pulled down by numerous brambles clambering over, under, and in between fence posts.
A washing line sits amidst all the weeds, and the only evidence I saw of a gardener were some geranium flowers, and an enormous Viburnum with blue berrys and pink flower buds shaped like pink stars.
I thought I saw one edge of a raised border, but did not know for sure what lay beneath the neglected gardens. The tall hedges and orange sickly fir trees overlooked the back garden.
The paving stones were barely visible and caked in mud and lichen. It was quite damp underfoot.
I spent a great deal of time walking back and forth. Counting twenty steps from the backdoor ro the back fence, fourteen steps across from one fence to the delapidated one.
The moving day meant moving between the flat and the house. Unloading boxes then returning to the flat for more.
I unpacked a few things and the garden sat waiting. I whispered to the brambles enjoy your last day growing wild :)

Back Online

One of my new plants flowering in the Kitchen A Blue Hyacinth. It smells like a cross between lavender and candy sticks.I bought one pink hyacinth bulb, and the Blue bulb. I still have bulbs to bring from the flat that are sat in a dark cupboard...
First post for twelve days.I have been busy moving, unpacking a few boxes, but mostly doing the Back garden. Everyone at work seem suprised that I can spend all my time in the Garden when its been wet, and cold...
The winter project continues. So much to blog about. I have photographed my progress from day one untill now. There has been work too in between the renovation, plant shopping, and transforming the garden.
I'm back online!