Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

I'm working tonight as the year changes from 2009 to 2010. I hope everyone has a happy new year. This is my Great Tit with his black Cap clinging to the Apple tree in soft light.

The wildlife from the garden wishes everyone a happy new year, and hopes that your gardens will grow beautifully in the Spring and Summer.
The Squirrel is sat looking for the waterbowl which I took down during the big freeze as it froze into a large ice block. He wanders where it has gone, and was hanging on looking befuddled at the empty space within the metal ring.
Have a drink on them at midnight!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wintery Walk

The weather turned very cold last night and a freezing wind has blasted us. I decided to take Cat for a winter walk around the local nature reserve and boating lake at Pugneys. The lake was frozen over in all but the deepest waters. The birds from the reserve lake had flown across to the watersports lake which was not as frozen. The dinghys, canoes, and peddelos were stacked up as the waterpsports centre is shut untill the first of January. The frozen water meant they could not do any of those things either..

There were loads of honking Canadien geese flying from field to field, in a cacaphonous mass of wings and beaks. They all flew en masse following the leader.

This lake water looked like ying and yang. The bottom left hand corner is frozen. The top right hand corner is deeper water and had not frozen. Hundreds of birds were in the unfrozen water eating and swimming.

The Geese are a spectacle as they flew low over the tree's before they skimmed the water untill their feet stuck out to slow them down as they landed. They managed to avoid landing on the ice.
The whole of Pugneys path was covered in ice. We slipped and slid around like bambi on ice, and got frozen by the cold wind.
We ate Tomato and Red Pepper soup with a Ciabatta roll and butter to defrost at the cafe. Only a few people were brave enough to venture around the chilly lake.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Xmas Day 2009

Happy Christmas to all the people who read the blog. The Hyacinth is just showing a hint of pink flower with a lovely candy scent..
I got up with Cat to put the turkey in the oven. The house is asleep and the snow is still layed on the garden.
It is not snowing but there is snow in the garden. A technical white Xmas?
I hope you all have a great day, and that Santa brings you lots of gardening gifts!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Two Bears Under The Tree

The two Christmas bears sit under the tree guarding the presents. They are excited that there is only one sleep left before Xmas day..

We brought Santa-Bear from Hils loft, the one on the left). The Harrods bear on the right is called Maxwell and sports an Xmas jumper that Colin Firth would be proud of (On Brigitte Jones Diary). An Xmas tree, a gingerbread man, an xmas pudding, and some toy drums adorn the hand knitted woolen jumper with white furry sleeves..

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blackbirds And Beatles

Its the 23rd day of December, two sleeps before Xmas day..
I went outside to get the Pars-neeepps (thats how I say it to Cat...Parsnips) to discover the ground was frozen solid and the parsnips were encarcerated in icy soil. I need to wait for the ground to defrost before I can dig them up.
Cats Mum gave us the Turkey today, a large fifteen pound bird. We're working out cooking times now for the Xmas day dinner.
Its not snowed today, and in places the snow is melting slowly. The freezing night time temperatures have turned the ground icy.
I slipped over at Hil's house on the ice cutting my hand open. Owch!
Her garden was full of male Blackbirds fighting over the bread she left out. I saw House Sparrows, Starlings, a Blue Tit, and a little Wren. The snow and ice have driven them into the gardens for food supplys.
I saw my Chaffinch this morning singing alone in the apple tree in our garden. He has a look of the Redbird (Cardinal) of America with the little Mohican tuft of hair on his head.
The snow makes you look at the garden in a new light. I love how the ice is frozen along the tops of branches, like nature made ice sculptures.
When we arrived back Tom (Cats son) and his band serenaded us with A Ticket To Ride by the Beatles. Two acoustic guitars, one Bass Guitar, and Sweetbox drums...
Its nearly Christmas..

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Scenes

As the song goes the weather outside is frightfull. It snowed heavily a few days ago, and it has laid on the ground. The night temperature dropped to minus five degrees centigrade last night. The snow is more icy now and stuck into blocks.

The Verbena Bonarensis with a new frosty, wintery look after the sub zero night temperatures.

One of my Roses is hanging on manically to its leaves. These have been frosted by the freezing Russian air overnight. I love the crystals that form on plants, feeders, and buds like iron filaments near a magnet. The little shards stick up at funny angles.

This is the wintery garden this morning. The UK always grinds to a halt whenever a few flakes of snow fall. The railways get delays, flights are grounded at airports, the Eurostar stops running altogether, and the motorists break down or crash on icy untreated roads. The only people who like snow are romantics like me, and the children who can play in the snow. Sledging down hills, throwing snowballs, making snow angels, and building snowmen with carrots for noses, and coal for eyes.
Its three days untill Christmas day. I have to try to go into the veg patch to dig up the chilled Parsnips that we sowed in June. Hopefully there will be enough for the Xmas Day dinner.
The garden birds have been busy today feeding in the garden. There are Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Blackbirds, and a very handsome Chaffinch who keeps coming onto the Apple tree.
The white glow of the snow makes it feel like an Xmas card come to life.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two Calling Birds

This is one of my Favourite decorations on the tree. It is stained glass effect with two calling birds.
I love the light streaming through the coloured glass. The Tree is decorated with many baubles, figures, chocolates, and tinsel.
We bought some Satsumas on Friday from Hampsons. I read that oranges used to be special gifts in the 1930's, that filled Childrens stockings. We have Chocolate Oranges now in 2009, but I like the smell of a peeled Satsuma, and the juicyness of the orange.
Five days to go...I will be sleeping today ready for my last night shift.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hyacinth Update

The forced Bulbs have been brought out of the dark cupboard and are sat on a dresser by the backdoor.
They have turned green, and the flower spikes have developed within the hand like folds of the leaves.
I do not know if they will flower for Xmas day. They have been grown commercially since the 16th Century.
These Hyacinths will have red flowers and a scent to fill a room.
They are one of the flowers that you either love or hate. I love them. They just have a magic way of growing beautifully scented flowers in a relatively short space of time.
I read you can get special glasses to grow them indoors using tap water only. I will be looking for these Hyacinth glasses on Ebay.
For some people with Grandparents Hyacinths are a part of Xmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It started snowing a little yesterday. As I slept I dreamt of falling snow flakes. When I woke up I jumped up to peek out of the curtains. The roads, paths, and grasses were dusted with white. The morning was gleaming with bright snow reflected light.

The back garden was covered too. I went out after making a coffee, to examine the cold stuff and feel it crunching under my cloggys. The bird's water was frozen solid in the large bird bath, and the smaller water bowl. I have since gone back out to break the ice, and replace it with fresh water, so the garden birds have something to drink. They had left lots of little splay toed footprints over the snowy ground, and along my garden bench.
I saw mystery paw prints left in the snow, maybe the two resident Cats have been in the garden overnight? Its like being Sherlock Holmes seeing who has been along during the night when the air was cold and still.

My Frog plant waterer looks like he is shivering in the snow. There is more snow forecast today. It makes me smile still, and revert back to childhood years. The excitement of snow falling, and laying.
The garden looks like an Xmas card scene. All I need is the Robin to pose for a photo for me. There is only a week left untill Xmas...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainy Day Baking And Xmas Suprise

Xmas came early today in the shape of a cardboard box by the back door. It was from Crocus, a mail order gardening company. I had not ordered anything from them. Cat said she had not either. I opened the box to find this gift wrapped bare root David Austin Rose. Wisley, a pink Rose. It was from my Mum (Thanks Mum!).
I love David Austin Roses. It will look beautiful flowering in the summer next to Gertrude Jekyll, and Lady Emma Hamilton.

It has been raining for a few days now. I keep looking out and hope it will get cold enough for snow. Maybe tomorrow a few flakes will fall..
I planted the Rose into a large David Austin pot, and moved it to the backdoor so I can look at it.
I decided as I got soaked in the rain, to do some Xmas baking. I made Chocolate chip muffins, and some Mince Pies.
I enjoy making the pastry, filling it with the spice mincemeat, and putting the tops on. The final stage not shown is dusting the mince pies with icing sugar.
Christmas for me tastes like a home made mince pie. Its therapeutic to use your hands when you cannot get into the garden because of the rain. The taste reminds me of childhood.
The house smells of home baking, as the rain falls outside.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Floral Suprises

The Amaryllis I bought from the Autumn flower show has grown a second flower spike with four Flowers on it. They are red and white striped blooms. Smaller than the usual large Amaryllis blooms. I did not think it would flower again after the first spike had five flowers.
The colours feel complimentary to christmas.
It has been raining again and the garden is waterlogged. I looked today at the Parsnips growing in the raised bed at the back of the garden. They looked healthy and a good size. I hope they are lovely to eat at Xmas with the Turkey.
I need to do my Christmas shopping tomorrow and get gifts for my gardening friends.
What to buy them? Seeds, gardening books, tools, gloves, a garden radio?
What do the blog readers want to find in their Xmas day stocking?
I know Monty Don has a new book released. Im a sucker for packets of Seeds. I loved my gifts from Cat before of David Austin Roses.
Its always nice opening presents for the unexpected suprises.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Garden Acrobat

The Squirrel came back the other day and displayed his acrobatic skills. He climbed up the bird feeder pole and then leaned across to the sunflower hearts.
His back legs are gripping the pole like a russian gymnast.
He nibbled like this for about ten minutes before scampering off along the fence.
Its been a quiet day today. I got some seeds from Hometown seeds. Ten lovely packets to grow in the spring..
They have come all the way from Utah.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Xmas Plants

Its the eleventh of December today. I thought I would photograph the plants we have, that are used traditionally at this time of the year. The first is a wreath tied onto the front door. Pine cones, Fir tree leaves, and the Poinsettias. Arranged in a circle and attached to the door knocker.
The wreath started life as laurels in the ancient greek games for their victorious athletes. Maybe they kept them and hung them on their front doors...
Later the Germans started to use wreaths with candles to celebrate advent. I just love the colours and xmasy feel, a warm glow for people who visit the house.

The Christmas tree was put up by me and Tom. I find it therapeutic to get the tree out and then decorate it with the tinsel, fairy lights, baubles, and the angelic figure at the top. The flashing lights and glittering colours always cheer me up. It just needs wrapped presents now underneath it to complete the look.
Here in Britain it was Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert who first popularised the Xmas tree. A woodcut in the 1848 London Illustrated showed the first decorated Fir Tree in a front room. This was altered and used in the United States, starting the tradition there too.
Prince Albert remembered his own childhood in Germany, and how excited he and his brother were. Their tree had candles and sweets on it..
In the dark winter months the Fir tree was always green and alive. The deciduous trees are all bare and sleeping. The pagans used to have Fir Trees as symbols of hope and rebirth, before the Christian faith took hold.
The shops today were selling little sprayed Fir Trees, Xmas Cactuses, Kalancoe's in baskets held by Teddy bears in Santa Hats, and the famous Poinsettias.
Its funny how plants become entrenched in Christmas traditions, and how year after year we return to them. The Xmas Tree and Xmas wreath have become symbolic of the time of year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Winter Day

The Apple tree in the garden is bare now, all the leaves have dropped off onto the ground. The Goldfinches still use it as their favourite perch to survey the garden, fly to the feeders, and to sing at each other.
I took this silhouette photo of them against a cloudy December sky.
The temperature is dropping daily, and it gets dark earlier. My solar lights have now run out of battery. They need summer sunshine to recharge themselves!
The soil is cold and damp. The only thing that seems to be growing is Mushrooms in the grass, and under the shrubs.
Wildlife watching is what you can do in the Winter, and reading Seed catalogues to plan for next years spectacular garden. I wander which plants will survive the winter, and which will succumb to the frosts and ice when it comes.
As long as I keep the bird food and fresh water topped up the Goldfinches will keep me company during the short days of winter.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Pink Tutu's And Xmas Tree

The Christmas Cactus has flowered a few days ago. Its been sat most of the year growing its leaves away.
Its now made masses of little white buds. These expand and turn into pink flowers like this. Its like two ballet dancers in tutu's.
I put up the Xmas tree today, and decorations all over the walls.
The Xmas music was played on you tube and through the DVD player.
I have taken the forced Hyacinth out of the cupboard to try to make it bloom by Christmas day.
Nineteen days left yet.. I wander what gardening gifts I will give away, and receive..
The Xmas lights, tree, and music are part of the holiday festivities. I'll take a photo of the tree for the blog.
What are other gardeners doing to celebrate Christmas?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Winter Buds

I have just finished my latest set of nights. This Shrub is in the back garden border behind the fence. It has lovely red flower buds on it.
As the weather gets colder and wetter the buds for next years growth have all appeared.
The Apple tree in the pot is covered in buds, as is the Lilac Tree.
I have three days off now to recover, and to hopefully get into the garden.
I will take more photos, weed, and just chill out...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Xmas Plant Plans

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

Friday, November 27, 2009

Red, Blue, And TV

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

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Like A Rose

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hydrangea Heads And Leaves

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Gardeners Heart

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Five Flowers

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

Friday, November 13, 2009


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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Scented Bloom

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poppies And Autumn Trio

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tickled Pink

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

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

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Autumn Trees

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

Monday, November 02, 2009

Back Again

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

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

Monday, October 26, 2009


The Heather in the garden has regrown beautifully after its trim. There has been new growth all over the plant, and new yellow flower buds formed. It is a purple flowering heather..
I will be away untill Saturday in London. The blog will resume then..
Have a good gardening week wherever you are!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn Magic

These were growing in the garden yesterday. The warm temperatures and rain has caused this mushroom to magically appear by the clothes line. Like a little fairy house...

This glassy structure has appeared in the grass beneath the wall, and in the border. Tall thin translucent hairs have sprouted upwards and held onto the rain that has fallen. I have no idea what this is, maybe some kind of fungus?
The damp warm conditions have caused the mushrooms and fungi to bloom in the damp earth. I am always amazed when they appear in the garden.
Its good to just walk around and look for the small things that you cannot see from the house. I have seen Bats, Hedgehogs, a swarm of flying Ants, and these mushrooms just by walking outside.
The garden is a rich place to spend time with every day where possible. I am going away next week to London, so this is an au revoir post.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mellow Yellow

The wind and rain have swept in overnight soaking the garden. The grass has grown a mushroom, and strange hair like strands that have collected the raindrops. It looks like a spider has gone mad and built a vertical web in the grass and border soil.
The flower is an unknown weed flower that sprung up in the raised border by the Ceanothus.
It has leaves like a Cabbage plant but has these delicate yellow flowers.
Its too wet to garden, so it will be a day for reading gardening books.
My latest book is called "Elizabeth and her German Garden", by Elizabeth Arnim. She was a noblemans wife in the late 1890's. She took herself off to his country house, and ensconsed herself in the large neglected garden.
She wrote a book about the changing seasons in the first years at the house. She liked to sit outside whatever the weather to take tea, read books, and commune with nature.
Its been 118 years since she wrote it, and I still feel the kinship that she did for the garden. She wants to buy her own tools and start digging the soil. But the times wont let her, she has to tell gardeners what she wants.
She would have appreciated this yellow wildflower in the garden..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Days

Its been raining lots over the past few days so not much has happened in the garden. I have been reading gardening books, and occasionally venturing out to plant more Spring bulbs.
I love the magic of planting bulbs, untill they all dissapear under the cool soil. They are left to their own devices and by next Febuary and March they will have started to flower.
Bulbs were one of the first floral commodoties to start crossing continents, especially from Asia into Europe. Once they had finished flowering and the leaves had died back the plant retreats into its little home, the Bulb.
They are then easily dug up, and transported great distances. Most of my bulbs have probably come from Holland..
I went to Hampsons today and bought Crocuses in purples, whites, and tiger striped yellows. I bought some double flowering Snowdrop bulbs, some Red Hyacinths to force indoors for Xmas flowers, and three Ivory Coast Lily bulbs.
These are all in the ground now, with the Daffodils and the Aliums. I can walk out into the garden through the winter to look for signs of Spring.
A lot of the bulbs were planted around the greenhouse, where I sit most of the time. This gives me views of both halfs of the garden, and the raised border is visible from the bench.
The photo is of a hardy Calendula flowering away in the right hand raised border, under the fir trees. Its colour is pleasing where other plants are dying back in the Autumn days.