Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas Day 2010

The Artic conditions has meaned the garden has been frozen solid under a layer of ice. The only thing flowering is this tough Viola Labrodorica.
I love the small flowers with the patterned throat..
I hope you all are having a wanderful Xmas day wherever you are.
I hope to be blogging much more regularly after Xmas and New Year..
Happy Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pink Poinsettia

The snow has returned back to Britain. We have had a small dusting of the white stuff. The pond and birdbath have both gone back to being frozen solid.
This Pink Poinsettia was an Xmas present from my Mum. It is pink leaved instead of the usual Red coloured bracts.
This Mexican weed has become big business in the UK, being sold in millions around Xmas.
It is sat by the TV in its velvety bag. The big freeze is set to continue for the next few days. Will it be snowy on Xmas day I wander?
The snow has caused chaos in other parts of the country. The houseplants are the only plants I'm looking at.
I do like the colours of this new Houseplant..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Sun

The snow finally melted away, and the icy pavements have cleared now. The garden looked extremely green after a month of being covered in Snow.
The Winter sunshine is low, and casts a bright light on the plants.
This Teasel flower head is drying out nicely, ready for the Goldfinches to eat its seeds.
The pond has finally defrosted and the plants around it have sprung up slightly after being crushed beneath icy snow.
There is a mere ten days to go until Xmas. I have a lovely Pink Poinsettia from my Mum sat by the TV.
The Wildlife is still visiting the garden. The local Squirrels have been running along our fences today.
The garden day is only about eight hours in length now. Darkness keeps us indoors reading and watching TV programs!
I love the play of light and dark on this photo.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Winter Wanderland

I am back after six days away in London. We had snow storms, tube strikes, and violent student Demos in central London.
The snow has fallen much heavier in Yorkshire when we were away. The garden is covered in a foot of icy snow.
The birds have been flocking to my feeders. House Sparrows. Blue Tits, Goldfinches, Wood Pigeons, Blackbirds, Collared Doves, a Robin, and the secretive Nuthatch returned..
I bought three bags of Bird food today, and a new copper coloured feeder. The wild winds before blew the feeder station over smashing the old feeder.
There can be no gardening with the frozen snow crushing the plants. They have been bent over and compressed. I need to wait for the snow/ice to retreat before we can see the Damage.
The Clematis which has flower buds when we went away has keeled over, killed by the freezing overnight temperatures. The pond has been frozen, then covered in a layer of snow. Its like the wintery wanderland from the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
I hope the Frogs retreated to under the plants that surround the pond. Springtime will hopefully see their return.
There are only nineteen days to Xmas. I wander what else the remainder of the year will bring. It is good to be blogging again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

London Bound

The snow is still falling here, and causing chaos around the country. Today is the day we are going to London for five days.
I hope that we can enjoy the trip despite the weather. I love London.
I will see you all in five days :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November Snow

When we were out last night it finally started snowing in West Yorshire. A dusting of snow covered the garden, and the plants.
This is a drying Verbena Bonarensis flower head draped in snow and ice.
I re topped up the birds food, and replaced the water (which promptly froze within a few hours!).
I have tomorrow left to blog before a weeks holiday in London with Cat.
I hope the snow does not disrupt our travel plans too much.
There will be one last post in November before I am on Holiday.
The snow makes everything look pretty, vibrant, and clean. Even tired, died back plants look interesting with ice and snow on them. The birds stick out even more against the white backdrop.
I love Snow...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Name Of The Shrub

This luscious green leaves shrub has these dainty white flower buds on it. I do not know what it is called. We had it in the garden growing in compressed soil. It is not very tall. I transplanted it into a small Grecian urn. I keep meaning to re pot again in a new bigger, roomier pot.
I have been working lots of nights, and day shifts. I keep thinking about doing a blog post but procrastinating.
The weather here has turned decidedly wintry. Snow has fallen for the earliest time in 17 years. Scotland and the North East have been hit by heavy snow fall..
Here in West Yorkshire the temperature has dropped to minus seven last night. The soil has frozen solid (good thing I planted the Spring Bulbs at last) and nothing is moving around.
The squirrel has blunted his claws trying to dig the frozen earth up in my planter tubs..
All the water in the garden has frozen, including the pond. The Pond has only frozen over the surface. There is water beneath still liquid. The resident Frogs are probably sleeping at the bottom, absorbing oxygen through their skins.
I topped up the birds food today. I'm always aware of their plight when freezing winter hits. There was a good program on BBC4 about the history of Garden Birds.
One of my favourite tags "Garden Birds" was a Victorian invention, after mass movement from the country to industrial cities. The workers missed the birds that they saw in the country. The only birds that followed were House Sparrows.
A severe Victorian Winter killed many Goldfinches, and started the craze to leaving crumbs of bread for the Birds. People were yearning for a country idyll, and the charitable urge to help all Gods creatures.
All the bird tables, Nesting Boxes feeders, fat balls, and water bowls came from this Victorian charitable instinct to feed the birds.
The temperature never rose above two degrees today so all the frozen water stayed frozen. December is nearly here.I wish i knew what the evergreen shrub was called.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birds And Bulbs

The two types of Lavender I have are still flowering away beautifully. I love rubbing the tough stemmed leaves and smelling the fragrant Lavender plant.
The Birds have been busy feeding today. The bird feeders have been busier than they have been for days.
I read that the birds I'm seeing in the garden will probably be migrants from Europe and other parts of the UK.
My Blackbird from May has long gone, and his Russian cousin Olaf is now feeding in the garden.
I saw Blue tits, Great tits, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons, Goldfinches, Starlings, and Blackbirds. I read that you will only see 10 percent of the birds that visit your garden.
There must be hundreds then that visit daily. I only watch the garden for some of the time.
I finally finished planting the Spring Bulbs. The nights have got frosty and the soil is starting to be frozen in the mornings. The birds water is also freezing into icy blocks overnight and needed breaking up daily.
I planted Daffodils, Narcissus, Tulips, Aliums, Dwarf Irises, Freesias, and Hyacinths in the sunken border, and along the edge of the shed. I need some pots to plant the remaining bulbs. I had more bulbs than i could plant...
The spring garden will be full of flowering jewel colours. The cold winter is approaching, but the thought of the spring will keep me going through the cold dark days

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn Robin

I spent the day today shopping with Cat, and tidying the garden up. We bought some bamboo fencing to edge the wildflower/pond area off. It will help support the wild flowers and stop them from flopping onto the grass.
I swept sodden leaves and debris from the pathway. This friendly Robin flew down to feed between the pots and was hopping onto and off the pots.
Last night was the last Gardeners World of this year. Autumn is fast fading away into Wintry weather.
The Hostas have been re potted, and the Roses trimmed back. I started to plant the Spring Bulbs but darkness stopped me finishing. I will have to do it Monday, my next day off. I have also tried orange peel in an attempt to stop my pots being dug up by the Squirrel.
The Robin is such an iconic bird. It fills your heart with joy when one stays with you a while, and sings for you. They have been living alongside man in Britain for thousands of years. Ever since we started turning the earth.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Simple Pleasures

The shorter days have caused one of the Xmas Cactus on the kitchen windowsill to start flowering. Beautiful white, shiny flowers hang down from the green segmented leaves. The sun was shining today in between torrential rain showers and gusting winds.

Indoor plants can brighten up the house when the weather outside is appalling. Bringing colour and light to the house. I have seven plants on the kitchen windowsill. An Aloe Vera, Two Cactus, Three Xmas/Easter Cactus, and a Money Tree plant.
The front room has two Rubber Tree plants and a Spider plant that is hung on the curtain pole.
House Plants and me have always been closely associated, Maybe I like bringing elements of the garden indoors.
The gale forced Winds have wreaked havoc on my bird feeders. The tall feeder station got blown over and broke my new Nijer seed feeder catching bowl (that was under the feeder to catch the seeds and prevent mass germination on the grass below), and the seed feeder smashed. I need to buy replacements.
I repositioned the feeders and was rewarded by the site of a Squirrel, Eight Collared Doves, a Blue Tit, a Robin, and two Goldfinches in the fading light of the day.
The other pleasure in cold wet weather is watching the wildlife in the garden.I will keep feeding them throughout the winter.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

November Rain

It is a pretty miserable day outside. It has been blowing a gale, with torrential downpours. The Trees are being stripped of their leaves, and the leaves float high into the air carried by strong gusts of winds.
The flower in the photo is the sparkly White Begonia. It was rescued from the dessicated hanging baskets, replanted, and has regrown with vigour.
Autumn watch is on tonight again on BBc2 at half past eight. The fourth or fifth episode I think of eight.
I only saw a Squirrel on our fence, and a Magpie on the shed. The horrid weather has kept the birds in their roosts.
I'm working tomorrow but then have the weekend off. This weekends job will be to plant all the spring bulbs that are in the shed.
The allotment needs its winter clearing too if it ever stops raining. I have booked a week in London with Cat seeing candlelit music at Saint Martin In The Fields, and two West end shows booked so far.
I hope to have cleared the allotment and planted the bulbs before we get to London.I can hear the wind howling outside the skylight window.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


The Pumpkin Cat bought was carved today, and placed in the window with tea lights burning inside his head. His ghostly face shone out of the window, illuminating our front room.
Hordes of colourfully dressed children (and accompanying adults) trick or treated at our door. We had sweets in a box to hand out to the goblin hordes!
Originally a Celtic Festival (Samhain, where the dead cross over to interact with the living) it crossed the Atlantic to the USA with the pilgrim fathers. Our carved Turnips became Pumpkins in the USA.
Recently it has been embraced by the young (and young at heart like me) and is more widely celebrated in the UK. We only spend one tenth of what the USA does but it is growing. I love the Pumpkin glowing spookily. Ghosts of the past and present collide.
Its the last day of October. Where does the year go? We spent today giving the front and back grasses a cut. I topped up the birds food and did some weeding.
The pumpkin will be turned into a hearty bowl of Pumpkin soup tomorrow. I hope you have a Happy Halloween wherever you are.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Reflections

This flower is blooming in a planter box near the shed at the back of the house. It has grown their itself, maybe dropped by the birds.
It is orange and has the look of a Marigold type flower. I love it when mystery plants start growing where you did not expect any!
Another example of that was the two Tomato plants that were growing by the sheds door.A bird must have dropped the seeds on the mud besides the concrete path. Two vigorous Tomato plants were growing away and producing masses of fruit. I took a volunteer tomato and have harvested the seeds from the fruit. The variety will be unknown, maybe tomato Dodworth? (our street name). I have cleaned the jelly off the seeds and are waiting for them to dry out on a side plate. They will be sown in March and hopefully I will have a greenhouse ready to grow the plants on. They were more productive, and shorter than all my other Tomato plants.
I grew Gardeners Delight, Alicante, Italian Plum, and a Mediterranean Beefsteak Tomato plant. They did not grow that well outside by the fence..
Its raining outside so I'm inside the house looking out. I saw the Goldfinches today on the sunflower heart feeders. They have been forming large flocks that sing and bounce their way around the sky.
I need a dry day to give the grass a final cut of the year. The Wildflowers around the pond are flopping around but are still in bloom. The border needs weeding and the Spring Bulbs added. I have compost forming in the bin, and the excess soil from the Potato grow bags.
I harvested around five pounds of Potatoes yesterday from two Potato Grow Bags. The excessive dry weather prevented a bumper harvest I think (I got five pounds from each grow bag for the last two years). That yield was half what I would have expected! We have been eating our Potatoes for weeks now all grown at the allotment or in our garden. There is still a good amount left. I hope that the Potatoes will last untill Xmas.
The grey Sky's and wet days give you a chance to reflect on the year, all the highs and lows. To start dreaming in earnest about the next growing season. This garden is still a work in progress. We only moved in this year believe it or not! It feels a much longer period of time with work, illness, and family problems.
Gardening is therapeutic for me. I love making the garden beautiful, and that other people can enjoy its benefit. Its much more than just getting exercise as you get outside to work in the garden. No matter what stresses you are under a walk around your little green patch can lift your spirits and make the troubles lift for a while. Sitting quietly in your green patch is akin to meditation.The rainy day has made me quite reflective.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Violet Viola

This is the Viola that has regrown after it died back during a hot spell. The Plant looked dried out and dead. With a little watering and TLC it has grown on and flowered. I love the Iris like markings in the centre petal.
I have been watching The Landscape Man on the Channel Four On Demand player.
Mathew Wilson (the ex curator of Harlow Carr) follows six couples who have landscaped their big gardens. They are all gardens on a Victorian scale.
I look at our much more modest garden and am still thinking what to plant where, and where all the structures need to go. Such as the Greenhouse, Waterbutts, and Compost Bins.
The weather is cooling down now, and the birds have started to return to the garden in numbers. Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Gold Finches, Magpies, Collared Doves, House Sparrows, and a Robin. I must remember to stock up with Bird food for the cold coming winter, and to replenish the water in the bird bath and bowls.
Our garden is still very much a work in progress.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plants And Pond

Its Sunday afternoon, and just time for a quick post. I'm working nights again tonight. I thought I would show the pond with its wildflowers spilling out all over the grass.
The pond plants have multiplied like crazy and need thinning down. The one from Hampsons was the most vigorous and has covered almost the whole pond surface.
I have not seen the Frogs for a while so I don't know if they have moved away for the winter.
The compost bin next to the pond is half full now and has lovely compost forming in the bottom half. All the kitchens vegetable/potato scraps go into the bin and is mixing with the weeds/plants/grass mix.
I hope to cover all the borders in the winter with the compost mulch mix ready for the worms to start breaking it down and adding it to the soil.
Once I'm off again I will try to get to the allotment ready to start my end of season clearance. The gardens front and back grass needs one final cut to prepare them for winter.
As one season draws to a close there are always jobs to do for the next season. A gardeners work is never fully done, and that is good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Healing Gardens

I took this photo of a weed flower that has bloomed in the sunken border. It has very delicate yellow petals, and a fly looking for its nectar within the flower petals.
Tonight the second programme of Spring watch is back on. A week has flown by already!
I enjoyed the wildlife films that interspersed Chris Packham and Kate Humble talking. I missed Simon King and felt there was a big gap missing. They are having guest presenters every week but he is a hugely charismatic guy to replace!
I'm off for a few days so expect a few posts and photos. I wander how often people need to blog throughout the year?
I originally started with the idea of 365 posts, one for each day of the year. This has been impossible with me working full time at the hospital. When you return exhausted from work you want to eat and sleep, ready for the next day.
I have also been poorly with a cough and very sore throat. What do people think are good plant/flower remedies for the cough and cold?
I have been sucking cough lozenges flavoured with Cherry or Raspberry. The original gardens were monastic Herb gardens for treating and healing. Plants have always been grown for their looks but also their healing properties
I hope i can recover from me being ill, and revamp the garden ready for winter and spring.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Insy Wincey

The evenings are getting darker earlier, and its getting colder at night. I bought a thick winter coat today ready for the cold mornings ahead. I get up at 530am for my long days so its always very cold first thing.
The trees around the roads are showing signs of the change of season. Leaves are turning to fiery colours. The crisp green leaves turn to hues of orange, yellow, red, or russet, before they fall to the floor under the tree. The pavements are slowly being covered by dropped leaves, perfect to kick your way through.
There has been an explosion of Spiders spinning webs between anything that is upright.
The dying back Hostas have flower spikes covered in seed pods. These structures are what the photographed spider has attached the webt to, and constructed its ornate web. Why do Spiders go crazy in the Autumn and spin webs on anything in the garden?
I bought a bag of mixed Daffodils and Narcissus from Wilkos. These will join the Tulips, Aliums, Crocuses, and Iris that need to be planted before the ground freezes solid.
We collected King Edward Potatoes, along with a Courgette, Runner Beans, and two chunky Italian Carrots from the waterlogged allotment.
The allotment plot needs totally clearing across the winter ready for rotavating and digging in of manure. I want to start next year with a blank plot and just grow plants in blocks, instead of trying to have raised beds.
I love Spiders in the garden. It shows that there is a healthy balance with plenty of food for the arachnids. There webs look magical when the first frosts freeze dew droplets on them.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Autumn Watch

The Autumn watch program starts tonight on BBC 2 with Chris Packham, and Kate Humble. They are broadcasting live for eight weeks, concentrating on wildlife around Britain. I have a pair of Squirrels that have taken to visiting my garden. A juvenile one, and an adult one. They are so agile and are quite daring. Undertaking daylight raids of my bird feeders. This one found my peanuts irresistible. He has to work though to get the nuts from within a steel cage.

They are eating the birds food, but also digging up holes in my pots. I still want to find a method of deterring them from destroying my pots. They move plants and bulbs out of the pot as they dig with their small paws.
I read the other day that the greys days are numbered, as a stronger faster Black Squirrel has been conquering their previous territories.
The grey Squirrels that we have in the garden, are so perfectly adapted to live amongst people, and are always hungry. They previously out competed the British red Squirrels.
I think they are charming, so I will have to put up with the destruction of my pots. They are part of the wildlife that visits the garden. They will be enjoying the fruits, and berries of the Autumn, readying themselves for a cold hard winter.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Autumn Crocus

The Colchicum I bought from the Lancaster garden centre has bloomed. The flowers bloom before the leaves and stems. They are also called bare naked ladys.

The flowers are a pale lilac colour, and have the look of Dahlias about them. I love these flowers as everything else in the garden is dying back.
These will grow leaves afterwards, and grow bigger year on year. I will buy some more different varieties and colours. I like the drama of the blooming flower. It made me go outside daily to check how advanced the growth was.
I will definitely grow these again. These are the stars of the Autumn garden.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time Flys

The Geranium flower shows the raindrops that have been falling down for most of this week. It has been a baking week, and feeding the garden birds week.Not much gardening has been done with all the deluges.
I'm going back onto night shifts as well. The garden will have a few days without me.
I have started to visualise the future garden. Moving the play structure debris from the path into a skip. Digging more borders around the edge of the grass. Growing Fruit Trees between the Strawberry bed and pond. Laying down stepping stones to the washing line. Putting up my Greenhouse again.
I need to clear the weeds that have sprung up in the sunken border and think about moving some plants. This years spurt of growth has caused several plants to grow into each others space..
The Autumn flowering Crocus is nearly open. I hope it blooms tomorrow for the first of October.
The grass needs a final trim before it stops growing, and the Spring Bulbs need to be planted.
Once I have done these nights I will do all the tidying garden jobs. The Catalogues will hopefully start arriving soon to fill the dark winter days with mesmerising colourful flowers, and tasty vegetables.
How fast does time seem to go?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My First Apple

This is the first Apple that I have got from the Apple Tree I bought three years ago!
It tasted lovely and sweet. I had to cut off several black bits, but once cleaned it was delicious. There are about six Apples left on the dwarf tree in the pot by the fence.
I cannot remember where I got it from. At the Autumn Flower Show there was a collection of hundreds of unusual varieties of Apples.
I think I will have to go to farmers markets to sample unusual Apples. The Supermarkets only stock commercial varieties. When I looked they were all from South Africa.
The supermarkets like uniformity of size, and colour. I read that there are over 2000 varieties of Apple in Britain, but only 30 are grown commercially.
My Mallus Braeburn originated in New Zealand and has been grown all over Britain, and Europe, as a relatively easy apple to grow.
Luckily there are collections of Apple Trees around the UK, and there are people growing heirloom varieties.
Before the Romans came there were no Apple Trees or Orchards in Britain. They completely changed the landscape, helped wildlife, and started the British love of Apples.
Apple Pies and custard. Roast Pork on a Sunday with fresh Apple sauce. Cider. Apple Crumble..
The Apple has contributed a lot to Britain..

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Views

I thought I would show a longer view of the garden from the backdoor at the moment. It is showing hints of Autumn hues and yellowing leaves. My statue is in the centre of the rows of Hostas. The purple Lupin is flowering away. The seed heads of the Teasel are drying to brown. I want to see if my regular flock of Goldfinches eat the seed over the coming winter.

The Anemone De Caen is flowering. It has an electric blue colour that swirls around the petals. The Stamen looks like a liquorice all sort sweet..

The Hostas have all flowered, and all the flowers have turned to seed heads. The leaves are turning yellow and brown. I have sorted them out ready for repotting over the winter. I think if I keep repotting in bigger pots that the Hosta clumps will grow year on year.
The garden birds are also visiting the garden in greater numbers as the daytime temperature falls, and the night comes earlier.
It was raining again today so I have been making Scones, and Chocolate Chip Muffins. The house smells of warm baking as I type this. The birds are busy feeding in the garden. I have seen a Baby Robin today. I hope he keeps coming to feed over the winter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Organic Fire And Ice

Sometimes the garden throws up beautiful combinations of colour, form, or both. The White Delphiniums were nearly flowering when I took this photo against the Gallardia. The Red and Orange is the fire against the Delphiniums icy white.

When the rest of the garden is starting to flag these two plants inject some colour and wow into the garden. These Gallardias are called Blanket Flowers because they resemble the colours of native American made blankets. They are as tough as old nails. To deadhead you need sacateurs!
The white Delphiniums came from the Walton plant stall in June. My Delphinium Pacific Blue flowered months ago. I do not know if the white Delphinium is a late flowering one.
I have been off work today and it has poured with rain. I watched a program about Prince Charles and Highgrove House in the Cotwolds, presented by Alan Titchmarsh.
The estates gardens looks amazing, but visitors cannot take photos! I would not want to go without my Camera..
The gardens at Highgrove are gardened organically. The theory is the health of the plants comes from the goodness of the soil. There are no chemicals used at all across the estate. They have a gigantic compost heap that goes through four stages of decomposition and resting. After six months it gets dug back into the soil. It seemed to be thriving with a wildflower meadow, plentiful garden birds and wildlife, lush plants, and trees.
The allotment has a lot of people who use chemicals like weedkiller. I do not use any chemicals up at the allotment or in the garden. I think that if a garden is natural it will flourish.
My healthy flowers in the photo show that just adding compost to the soil can encourage masses of healthy plants. An organic garden will use natural selection to sort out the strong disease resistant plants from the weaker ones.
When we moved here the sunken borders soil was compressed, barren, and had very few insects on it or in it. The nectar rich garden has drawn in the wildlife in a short space of time.
The winter will be a good time to enrich the soil ready for next years growth. I planted mostly perennials so they should come back to flower next year.
I like the unexpected contrasts that work. It is always good to walk around the garden and look at everything that is happening. The changes are perceptible if you keep going out..

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three G's

I was off today but the weather was very inclement. It was raining heavily throughout the night, and blowing a gale! Our skylights nearly opened themselves with the strength of the wind.
When i got up and ventured out into the garden the wind had blown my bird feeder station over unfortunately killing a Goldfinch. I can only assume he was feeding when the strong wind toppled over the station. The base is a 15 kilo granite stone so its not light.
The Goldfinch was even more beautiful at close range with hundreds of feathers covering his little body. The yellows were so vibrant on the wing bars.
The other day we had a Bird of Prey cause chaos at the bird feeders. He flew in over the house and around the old conifers that grow beyond the back of our garden. He swooped into the fleeing birds and then back across the road.
The flight was so quick I dont know if he caught his dinner. I still do not know what kind of bird of prey it was. He was like a black shadow in the sky, but the garden birds put out their alarm call and scattered like the anthill mob!
You feel a strange feeling when a raptor is dive bombing your favourite Goldfinches and House Sparrows. I love the Raptors as a group so i was torn between my loyalties. Nature can be pretty unforgiving sometimes..
I rescued this pretty Geranium out of my sickly hanging baskets. I love the pink flowers and khaki green leaves. It is good to have colour on a windy, grey day.
It felt like an autumnal day. The leaves are rapidly changing colour, and the first few leaves have dropped. It was cold today with a bitter north wind.
I moved the feeders to the static feeding station, and pretty soon the garden birds had worked out where the food had gone to. I did not want any more casualties of the wind.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Flower Show 2010

This is my blogs 3000th post! I cannot believe I am up to that many already. I have seen a company that prints peoples blogs. Mine will be a very thick book indeed.
This is the highlights from the Autumn Flower show at Harrogate. This is the 99th year that there has been a flower show. They are celebrating 100 years next year at both the Spring and Autumn flower show.
The stars of this years show were the amazing floral displays in the two flower halls. This Alpine Gentian was fluorescent under the halls strip lights. I love the colour of it so it opens the blog post.

This is a beautiful Anemone called Honourine Joubert. Toby Buckland mentioned it in his Gardeners World program last Friday. It is very pretty flower with a striking yellow centre, almost like a stamen crown.

I loved the contrasting colours of the Helenium and the Delphinium here. Blue and Yellow can work together, even though they are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. I tried planting Cornflowers, and California Poppies to get this mixture in a pot unsuccessfully.

We bought two new Hosta plants to join our garden collection. There are five large containers in the garden already, and this year I have got more smaller pots of Hostas from the Walton Plant Stall, and one volunteer plant that I have grown on.
I bought the excellently named Fire and Ice, and Great Expectations. Planted in containers it lines our concrete path and softens the hardness of the concrete path.
The slug damage is minimal, versus a ground planted specimen of Hosta. They have a gorgeous look with their waxy leaves that can funnel water into the base of the plant via the stem.

Autumn is here and there is no better display than the changing leave colours of these Acers. Japanese Maples. I would love one in the garden but the Yorkshire weather is not good for them. They need some shelter from the wind and rain that they are exposed in the north of Britain.

The flower displays at the show are magnificent. Hundreds of perfectly shaped flowers displayed together. Side by side it is a colour fix for the end of the year.

This is the Rose called Eyes For You. The colours are amazing, and it had the full scent of an old English Rose. I could have smelled this all day.

I loved this display of my favourite flower Astrantia, growing against the background red leaved Euonymus. This had beetroot red leaves that turned downward in a spectacular Autumn display. The contrast between the pin cushion flower and the scarlet leaves is great.

This Nasturtium was so vibrant I photographed it. It is an ordinary Nasturtium.I love the flower colour here..

W.Robinson and son are celebrating one hundred and fifty years of selling Vegetable seeds and plants. Their displays are always amazing. It reminds me of a Parisian shop front. The Parisians display their fresh Vegetables outside in amazing displays. These shows show how the vibrant colours and shapes can be displayed artistically. These represent what you can achieve if you want to grow your own vegetables. I bought some Chili seeds and looked wistfully at theirs in the display. Maybe next year mine will be as big.

This Aster was actually a Royal Blue colour, but the camera has made it go lilac. I love the fluffiness of the flowers in the photo.

I always admire the Oriental Lily displays. Cat cannot go near them with her Asthma. The air around this stand is so heavily scented. I liken the smell to from Arabian nights in a bedouin tent..

Every year there are two separate Vegetable growing competitions sharing the second flower hall. Monster sized Vegetables from all over the country competing. They have been nurtured, cossetted, and tended untill showing day. Its like Wallace and Gromit Curse Of The Were Rabbit. These were the Tomatoes.

There were Carrots, Onions, Leeks, Cabbages, Cauliflowers, Runner Beans, and so on. I wander if these giant veg were actually edible? I saw on the news a Grandmother has grown the two longest Cucumbers in the world ever. She is going into the Guiness book of records. She used old seeds that had past their expiry date! She just wanted to grow Cucumbers, not record breaking ones.
The record for the heaviest onion was not broken this year. There is always next year.

There were displays from the specialist groups like these Fuschias. The Carnations, Chrysanthenums, Streptocarpus, Dahlia, Bonsai, and Bee Keepers were there. They are the experts for those types of plants. They must enjoy coming to the flower shows twice a year to meet the public, and answer their questions.

Alongside that was the Floristry competition. It was amazing the ingenuity that goes into some of the designs. The judges had walked around and left notes for the entrants. I like the growing the flowers before they end up cut and placed into a display.

The last photo of my 3000th post is of a bowl of Roses. I took this photo because it showed the variety of colours of Roses.They are my most favourite flowering plant. Scented Roses are heavenly in a garden.
There were craft stalls, food stalls, live music at the entrance and the bandstand. There were fruit growing competitions too with a vast display of British Apples (note to Asda)..
It rained on and off when we were there. It was a grey day, but i loved it. The Harrogate Autumn Flower show is like a finale to the growing season.
The next flower show is not untill April 2011. These photos have captured some of the essence of the Autumn Flower Show.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Apples And Asda

This is the Mallus Braeburn in our garden. It has six Apples growing on the mini tree. It is the third year i have had it, but the first year that it has actually grown any fruit! I'm excited waiting for the first taste of my home grown Apples.
I walked around Asda yesterday and noticed that most of the Apples were from South Africa. Britain is famous for its Apples, because of our Hot Summers and frequent rain.
I wandered what has happened to the British Apple industry. I would like to have seen English Apples in the supermarket.
The variety that Asda had were Braeburn and Pink Ladys from South Africa, the first is the same variety growing on my Apple tree.
That is the one benefit of growing your own is that you know how fresh it is, and that you can grow traditional varietys that Supermarkets will not stock.
Tomorrow we are going to the Autumn Flower Show at Harrogate. The camera will be coming with me to take photos of ther last flower show of the year..
I want to buy more fruit trees once it is winter, and plant them dormant in the garden ready for growth next year. I hope to get some plants and bulbs tomorrow from the Yorkshire Showground. I think there is exhibits of Fruit and Vegetables, as well as flowers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Star Wars (Fuschia)

This is Fuschia Star Wars which we bought from Tatton Park RHS show. It was taken yesterday under a rare sky with the sun shining.I love the purple of the corolla and the pink stamen, with the white petals.
Original names must help sell plants and make people want to buy them. Fuschias and Roses are extremely well marketed in that way.
Cat helped me today cut the grass in the front and back garden. It was so long the grass that it was resistant to strimming and mowing!
The garden looks much tidier now and the edges look neater. The sun was shining intermittantly between rain showers.
I hope to buy some plants and bulbs at the Autumn flower show on Sunday. This has been a pleasant week off so far.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Late Summer Star

The Crocosmia is a late summer blooming star of the garden. This plant is growing in a pot. The cold and damp winter conditions caused most of the corms to rot. A handfull survived and gave this explosion of burnished gold. The petals glint in the sunlight with a sparkly glitter to them.

The Crocosmia are from the same family as Gladiolus, and Iris. These are stars of the garden. They are perennial and extremely vigarous in some gardens. They need to be controlled by limiting their size. I think the reds and oranges are symbolic of Late Summer/Autumn.
We went shopping today and i Bought even more Spring Bulbs. Every time i go out i find more bulbs to add to the collection.
Today I went for the yellow and white coloured Dutch Iris Symphany, and 5 Hyacinth pinks ready for forcing. I always like to try to get some Hyacinths to bloom by Xmas.
I bought more Tulips yesterday from Wilkos. Triumph Gavota (red and white/yellow stipes), and Fosteriana Orange Empereor (orange/apricot colour with a hint of green).
The rain is pouring down today so work has stopped on the gardens tidy up. I hope it drys out soon.