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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Magic Bulbs

Some fresh colour in the garden. Four Polyanthus plants planted today.Two blue, and two pink.The pink ones are fragrant too which suprised me.
I type with dirty fingers after planting all my Spring bulbs, except twenty Daffodil ones...
I planted Tulips, Daffodils, Narcissus, Hyacinths, a Madonna Lilly, a Fritalaria, white Bluebells, and Winter Aconites.
The Tulips were the dark Queen Of The Night, pink ones called Angelique, Crimson ones with double flowers called Uncle Tom, and the purple, white, and red ones from this year.
The amazing thing is the bulbs were sprouting despite being kept in paper bags indoors.The Hyacinths have developed their green stems with no soil and water.They were so eager to get out of the bulb.
Bulbs are miraculous things when you look at the size of the flowering plant after. How did it all fit into that tiny bulb? They also gave me some of their magic today cheering me up as I waited for a Boiler man who never came...
The female House Sparrow kept an eye on me, and fed as i knelt down to plant the bulbs. It was cold but not wet.
In a few months the icy cold soil will be full of colour and vigour.
I planted 300 spring bulbs last year so how many will return is open to question. I put Daffodils and Tulip bulbs in today into my rectangular planters, to give them a second wind after summer bedding.
Clearing the debris, turning the soil, and planting bulbs into the cold soil has helped me look forward to Spring. I can go outside lots now and see whats growing every day armed with a camera.
I can see the Seasons ever changing within my small garden, and see the birds enjoying the new planting and combinations.
Thats what I thought today... You always plant things that will flower in the future. If you keep planting with the changing seasons there will always be something to look forward to..

Thursday, November 27, 2008

French Marigold

I actually ventured outside today to try and plant some bulbs.That was the plan..
I needed to clear some of the dead and dying back plants to make some room.
That took me most of the afternoon untill the light faded.The rain poured on me too.
I cleaned the pots up, cleared the debris of a frenetic summer, and made some room.
Tomorrow I will plant the spring bulbs and trim the Viburnum back.
I uncovered plants that will grow back next year. Agastache, Verbena Bonarensis, and Sedum, all growing strongly at the base of the plant under the wilted stems.
The Heathers all need replacing.They had got leggy and wooden.The Lavender too has been removed, and the Teasel.
I found two surviving Hellebores that might flower by Xmas, the Christmas Roses.
Gardening jobs always take longer than you might think. I always under estimate how much time it will take me to do the jobs i set myself.
It was nice to get outside and get dirt under my fingernails, after an energy dip with the shorter daylight hours.
I had topped up my sunlight levels so much this year, when it gets cold and dark it must shock the body and spirit.
Growth at the base of plants, the buds on the Lilac Tree and the Raspberry cane, and an early spring bulb protuding means that even though its dark the garden is preparing for next year.The best growing season ever i hope!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A Rose in November is a lovely sight.The rest of the garden is starting to go into the winter slumber.Only the Viburnum Tinus continues with its mixture of flower buds, flowers, and blue/black berrys.
As usual I am late planting the spring bulbs.Its always too enticing to stay indoors and look outside when its bitterly cold.
The dying back garden has a rugged wild charm, and I am loathe to cut it all back just yet.
The seed heads have formed on some plants and they will look stunning when covered with icy frosts or snow.
This Fred Loads has a few more buds on it yet, so this may not be the last Rose of 2008.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hils Flowers

The Chrysanthenums in flower at last, bought by Hils for me from the Autumn flower show. I love the colours that seem to spin outwards from the centre of the flowers.
Its getting dark around 5pm and its been cold with some artic air blasting the UK with cold temperatures and snow.
These are the last flowers from the summer to bloom.They are gorgeous!
The wind and rain have knocked them about in the garden.I bought more bird food to keep the feeders topped up.
I'm off work for a week so I can see what Birds are coming into the garden...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An 1851 Export

I got a comment from Jenn about House Sparrows saying if they ever died out here that we could import them back from the USA.
I did some google research and sure enough the Europeans had introduced them to the USA in 1851 in Brooklyn, New York.
Eight pairs to start (sixteen birds).They can have upto five clutches per year of between two to five eggs.That means the eight pairs could have made two hundred youngsters in the first year. If year on year they continued that prodigous growth rate no wander they have spread like wildfire.
They were also subsequently released in Cincinatti over a period of three years, and across other States including California in 1910. I think they were used as a pest control, but before the understanding of Ecology. They have spread across the United States at the expense of the native Birds.
The House Sparrow (also called English Sparrow to distinguish it from the native American Sparrow) is one of three birds not protected by US law. The other two baddies are the European Starling and Rock Pidgeon, also both introduced from Europe.
The photo is of a female House Sparrow.I have them in the garden most days. Its strange to think these birds that are in decline here in the UK, are thriving across the Atlantic and are the bad guys to American birds.

Friday, November 21, 2008

House Guest

The humble House Sparrow has been in the news here with the story that there numbers are declining around certain parts of the UK.
The experts attribute the fall in numbers due to changes within the gardens here. Modern garden design (think decking and patios), continued urban development, and the loss of Tree's were all mentioned as contributing.
Less green plants mean less insects.
The RSPB thinks that the lack of insects means that the baby House Sparrows do not grow into maturity.
The good news for brown thumbs is that if you're garden is slightly wild and unkempt that you will probably have House Sparrows. Overgrown gardens attract spiders and insects, the House Sparrows baby bird food..
During the Summer I had upto thirty House and Wood Sparrows dive bombing my feeders. I used my Parisian photo of the Notre Dame House Sparrow (thats a big house to live next to!).
I have seen a few today in the garden. I have not cut the privet hedge like the people on either side of me. I reasoned that the birds like some cover to execute their daily raids on my feeders, so they can hide and watch the garden.
I do enjoy the Birds visiting my garden. It is one of the greatest simple pleasures watching them from the kitchen door with a cup of coffee and a camera.

November Colour

The Amaryllis bulb yesterday in the window behind the computer. It has grown a long two foot stem and the flower buds were wrapped up like xmas presents. They have started to split into four seperate buds. The base has another flower packet pushing its way up.

Today it has opened the first flower. The colour is gorgeous red and white, with lime green splashes in the centre around the base of the stamen.
The bulb was bought from the Autumn flower show. It is twice the size of the other bulb, and has flowered first. The woolworths bulb has grown leaves only so far despite being repotted.
In these cold grey November days this flower has cheered me up.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Small Things

The colour of the leaves on my Blackberry bush are like a roman mosaic.The colours of this appealed to me today when i looked for a photo to blog.
I have new batterys for the camera but it was too overcast today to get any good photos.
The November days are short, cold, and dark.It is been overcast as well.
As the Trees say farewell to their Autumn leaves my energy levels dip even lower.I have set myself a new challenge of finding something to photograph in the garden every day that I am not working.
There are very few flowers now, so the mind needs retraining to see the small things.
I saw the garden birds today flying into feed.I must remember to keep the bird food stocked up, and fresh water topped up, to keep them coming.
They are small things too, but just as precious as hundreds of brightly coloured flowers.
The garden is a mixture of big and small things, that give us pleasure in them all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Autumn Torch

A late Rose bud in the garden. The Fred Loads Rose got squashed by the African grow bag when it collapsed.
It has grown back with more vigour and has a pair of buds on that will flower in November.
I bought Camera batterys today with Cat, so the Camera will be in use again soon.
I will enjoy photographing the garden, and then revamping it ready for the winter.
Hopefully the birds will start to visit again so i can photograph them.
I will have more photos to post soon, to keep my readers entertained during the dark winter months.
This Rose has a torch like appearance to it, with the orange and copper colours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hils Flower

The Chrysanthenum in flower taken with the mobile phone.I love the pink petals and concentric red centre.
This was the second flower.The bugs had eaten the first one (or half of it anyway).
I will buy more batterys tomorrow.My camera has been slumbering enough.
The mobile camera cannot capture the dark colour of the Streptocarpus Black Panther...
I have two days to get back into the garden and get the bulbs planted :)
It has been wet and windy, but a few flowers are hanging on in the battered garden.
More photos soon I hope!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kicking Autumn Leaves

I love the colours of Autumn.It is like a daily changing painting that uses many colours, that gradually change before they drop off.
I worked the weekend and the greatest fun was kicking my way through leaves that had been blown into a pile by the wind, on the way to work.
As you slide your feet through the crisp pile the leaves fly up like mini leaf fountains.
The sound and feel of wading through leaves is to go back in time to childhood.
I needed my sleep today. I still need to venture out for the garden clear up. When its pouring with rain, and the air is cold then staying indoors on the computer and reading flower catalogues seems more appealing.
The Black Panther Streptocarpus is nearly open, I will photograph that once I have some batterys for the camera. It is having a holiday untill I can get some!
As Autumn changes the leaves colour and the daylight hours lessen, so my blog posts seems to be further apart.
I dont know any one who posts every day. It will be interesting to see how close to 365 I am by New Years Eve, ie a post every day of the year. I hope people continue to enjoy them when they are published.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Goldfinch Dreams

This is my RSPB Goldfinch that I bought at the Carr Gate garden centre with Hils the other day. When you squeeze his back he sings like a real Goldfinch.
I have not seen any real ones in the garden for months.I keep looking to the orange Fir Trees but have not seen any flying about.
Maybe they are hiding, nesting, or migrating. I hung up the Black Thistle seed in a feeder, and have left the Teasel seedheads drying off nicely.
I may stand at the door squeezing Cargates back to make him sing, to try to entice the real birds to visit.
The combi boiler has corroded away I found out today.I am sat with a thick wolf fleece on as I wait for the estate agents to sort out a replacement because the house has no heating still. Why do boilers only break when its cold?
I am totally out of camera battery now untill I get to Argos for some rechargeable ones.The garden looks tired now, with plants flopping over, and leaves wilting then dropping.
I did see some Garden Birds today. A pair of Blue Tits, and a House Sparrow. As winter draws in they will come to visit. Once I have cleared the summers debris and cleared some soil the ground feeders will be hopping around between the plants.
I have a full weekend at work before I can do any gardening or allotment work. I hope my local Goldfinches are going to visit my garden.
I have not had the dreams I had before about masses of Goldfinches hanging off my feeders. A toy one will have to do for the moment...

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'm going back to work today after nearly two weeks off.I have been recharging my own batterys after a year of gardening, allotment, and normal work.
I went to the Carr Gate garden centre yesterday but amazingly came back with no plants.
I got some niger seed for the birds, and a singing RSPB fluffy toy Goldfinch.
The leaves on the trees are starting to discolour now and drop off onto the ground.
The leave photographed is off my Blackberry plant growing in the corner of the garden.The patterns are almost mosaic like.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


A suprise flower in the garden today.The camera batterys lasted to take a few more photos.
This Dahlia is such a beautiful colour, a jewel in the green frost bitten garden.
The Fuschias are flowering away madly still in the hanging baskets.I am visiting a nursery tomorrow with Hils..
Any excuse to go plant shopping is good for me... I stopped smoking eight days ago, and have therefore saved fourty pounds already...
The big garden clear up has not started yet, the grey days do not inspire me to brave the cold and wet conditions, maybe tomorrow!
I need some new rechargeable batterys for the camera.The poor light is making bad conditions for photographing flowers.

Monday, November 03, 2008

November Jobs

I'm back after a weeks holiday away from work and spent mostly at Cats. The garden needs some work on clearing the fading plants in my collapsed borders.
These Evening Primrose are holding on to their flowers.The Dahlias have been blackened and killed by the frosts.
Why does frost burn plants? One of lifes mysterys....
I put more bird food out today, and heard the Blackbirds singing in the Privet.
The Viburnum needs trimming and soil cleared for the spring bulbs to be planted,
The temperature continues to fall slowly, and the daylight hours shorten too.Its getting chilly in the garden now.
The Chrysanthenums are full of plump red flower buds, and will hopefully flower for me.How quick does time fly when you are having fun.Its two days untill Bonfire night, and a week untill Remembrance Sunday..
November days are very short, so i must remember to admire the garden when i can see it like the pretty yellow of the Evening Primrose..

Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween. The Celtic festival of Samhain, all the boundarys blur between the land of the living and the dead.
The origins are blurred between pagan and christian,and the meaning between countrys of the world.
The Jack O Lanterns look spectacular with the tea lights illuminating them on this All Hallows Eve..
Trick or Treaters will come around, and the carved pumpkins will light up the windowsill..
Light on the darkest night of the year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


A photo from Hil's house from the other night.A Hedgehog snuffling amongst the garden plants and mushrooms.
I hope one day to attract them to my garden using bowls of milk and plates of dog food.Mrs Tiggywinkle has probably gone to find some comfy dry leaves to fall asleep under, to dream through the winter of the warmth of spring.
It has been cold, and wet, and the temperature has been in single figures.Its felt freezing although it has not been below zero for many nights.
Hedgehogs are such amiable garden spirits, and they eat slugs and snails for gardeners.
Its Halloween tomorrow..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Frosts

A quick post on the go.It has been freezing over the past few days.I have been spending time away from the house and garden.
The first frosts of the year have blackened the plants in the garden.A few hardy plants are holding on in there.
This is the last Lady Emma Hamilton Rose of the year.All the remaining buds have died or wilted in the cold October air.
Its nearly Halloween..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Autumn Night And Day

A gorgeous Phalaenopsis Orchid from Hils last night. I showed Tom (Cats son) how to make a Jack O Lantern.
We made two lanterns for Halloween, in between eating a roast beef dinner.
I went to the allotment today for a while.I pulled the Runner Bean frame down, turned the soil, and pulled up a few vegetables for dinner later..
Baby Parnips, two Leeks, Radishes, Cabbages, and some Chantonay Carrots from the garden.
The Strawberry bed needs to be dug and the wood I claimed today to make some edges for it.
The sun was shining, but it was quite chilly.All the trees are showing autumnal hues, with fiery colours of red, orange, and yellow. A perfect Autumns day on my week off from work.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roses And Time

The Lady Emma Hamilton with its last flowering Rose. The wind and rain has decimated the other Roses before they could be photographed.
Last night at 2am the clocks went back an hour, another sign of the changing seasons. The end of British Summer time.
The time for the post will be in Greenwich Mean Time. It will stay like that untill March of next year.
The only difficulty is reminding yourself to reset every clock in the house. Time is everywhere. I have a silver mantel clock, a kitchen wall clock, the microwave has a clock, the mobile phone, and finally the Computer. The PC reset itself with no assistance from me.
The sun is shining today and I got up before midday with the light streaming through the curtains. The LEH is still a thing of beauty and this is maybe the twentieth bloom on the plant. I hope it can sleep over the winter and rebloom anew with fresh vigour next year.
Today I hope to make some Jack O Lanterns at Hils for Halloween, only five days away.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lilac Spirits

I waited two days to take the photo of the gorgeous pale lilac flowers of the Cape Primrose. It has flowered from a rosette of hairy leaves, almost like African Violets.
Hils originally gave me this plant, and this year I split the plant into two. Both rosettes are growing well in pots, and sitting in the front room.
The flowers have an ethereal beauty like lilac ghosts or spirits. I guess its nearly Halloween.
The insides of these spirits remind me of Cadburys cream eggs (chocolate eggs with sweet white and yellow cream inside when you bite into them).
I read today that a sunny September, and slight frost in October has made our native trees change colour at the same time as the exotics like the Japanese Maples.
Their is beauty all over the Uk wherever trees are growing. A daily changing canvas of natural beauty, for us all to behold and enjoy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spring Plans

Today is my first day off of ten days.The garden and allotment can be tidied up and made ready for spring.My camera batterys have totally flattened again.They are rechargeable but I think my camera and photography habits drains them quicker than most people.
I will plant my spring bulbs over the next ten days once I have cleared the dying back plants. The garden is looking barer by the day.
Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinths are all ready to be planted.Ones from this year that have been stored, and new ones I bought from the flower shows.
Still yet to flower are the Chrysanthenums that Hils bought me.They have spectacular crimson and white patterned flowers.Their are masses of buds so hopefully I wil have new camera batterys for when they burst into autumn flower.
The Hellebore Nigras are hidden under other plants but hopefully they will flower again.Christmas Roses.
The Viburnum Tinus looks nearly the same as when I moved in with masses of small fragrant white flowers, pink flower buds, and the blue berrys all on the same plant.It has grown huge again and needs trimming back.
The flower is the St Johns Wort which looks like a golden star, with fireworks exploding outwards from the centre of the flower.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Angelic Orchid

A quick post today.I have been working a lot of shifts so my gardening has been limited.The dark closes in early now and the sun comes up later.
I seem to be sleeping a lot too!I am planning on Sunday to carve out some Pumpkins to make Jack o lanterns for hallowen.
My favourite day in October, when the spirits are out, and that celtic myth says was the day when the earthly and spirit world were closest together.
Photographed is an angelic Orchid from the Autumn flower show.I love Orchids but cannot get mine to flower.I have had two succumb (Jewel Orchid, and the Chinese ground Orchid), and my Phalaenopsis just grows new leaves but no flower spike...
I have two Amaryllis growing in the front window so hopefully they may flower for me.
One more day of work for me before a lovely ten days off to relax, and get some gardening done!

Monday, October 20, 2008


The Rose yesterday blown side ways by the wind and rain. It has been a spectacular plant the David Austin Rose.
Even on gloomy days the Apricot Roses seemed to glow against the green of the garden.
The weather has given me the oppurtunity of seeing the Rose from a different angle..

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Firethorn Pomes

Growing in the garden today by the back fence is these red berries of the Pyracanthus.
They started off as small fragrant white flowers, and as they developed I moved the plant to the fence to grow up it and along it.
I have read the red berries are actually called Pomes (like the french for apple), and that Quince, Medlar, Apple, and Plum trees are members of the same family.
I guess the berrys do look apple-ish.I want to see if the birds will eat them.I read that the Pyracanthus is a good wildlife attracting plant.
The flowers for Bees, the thorns for nesting birds, and the berries for wildlife.
I think that there must be plenty of natural food because the garden birds have not been as much to the feeders.As winter draws in im sure they willl return to the garden.
I saw a solitary Great Tit feeding at Hils nut house earlier, and I heard the Robin chastising someone.
I do like the colour of the Firethorn berrys, on a dull grey day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Light On The Wings

Its finally a day off for me after the noise and chaos of work at the hospital. My camera batterys have gone flat so they are recharging now.
The photo is of one of the few Butterfly photos I took in the garden. This Butterfly had beautiful burnt orange wings with black, white, and yellow colours.
It alighted on the Teasel for a few seconds. The colour patterns are like holograms and change according to the light on the wings.
The Butterflys have gone now, and the Teasels have gone all brown and dried. I think I will use the Teasels as dried flowers in the house.They are so tactile the seed heads, and you can make them vibrate like a comb. I have not seen any Goldfinches feeding on them yet.
I replenished the bird seed on the bird table, and in the black tray on the paving slabs. I saw a few birds flying around the garden. The flowers are nearly finished, and a lot of leaves are getting discoloured before they will fall to the floor.
My weekend will be spent tidying the garden up and weeding the allotment beds that have plants growing in them. I wander if the Broadbeans have germinated yet.
More photos soon once the batterys have been recharged.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lilac Splashes

These Geraniums have had a second flush of growth along with the Roses. They have flower buds like Poppies that burst open into these fruity lilac coloured flowers.
These were visited by the Bees lots during the summer.The little splashes of purple are nice colour in a garden that is returning to its green state.
These were originally in the garden, remnants from planting years ago.
The ghostly gardener (who built the raised beds and planted the Viburnum Tinus years ago) would approve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Lady Emma Hamilton Rose continues to flower in the garden. Not wanting to be outdone by any of the other flowers it grew a four foot stem with ten Rose buds on it.
The scent is lovely and strong, and the Apricot coloured Rose glows in the grey days of October.
The garden is slowly slowing down, ready for its winter slumber.
I want more Roses for next years garden, these photos will inspire me over the winter.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Natures Art

More Autumn leaves that I photographed the other day. I have finished my nights, but am back on days tomorrow.
The changing colours of the trees are always beautiful. Natural art.
will do some longer posts on Wedneday on my day off.