Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Apples and Flowers

   The wet British summer is drawing to a close,and the late flowers have started to bloom.This lovely pink and white Gladiolus has flowered next to the Ceanothus.There are a half dozen plants ready to start blooming in the sunken border.I do not remember planting them.They have been moved around when the border was revamped.Surprise flowers always bring a smile.
 Flowering away in the corner in a little pot is this Crocosmia.Its deep orange and yellow colours contrast to the green strappy leaves.This needs a bigger pot next year and a centre stage.It has bloomed unassumingly in the corner under the Honeysuckle,Tree Peony,and Dicentra.The dropped bird seed has also germinated en mass so this needs clearing in the autumn.
 Two vases of Sweet Peas,and a Sweet William flower on the conservatory windowsill.The wet weather has inspired the Sweet Peas.I love cutting the flowers for cut flowers.They fragrance the house when they are freshly cut.The more you cut them the more flowers they make.This has been one of the successes this year.
 The Mallus Braeburn in a pot is flourishing.A dozen Apples are gradually increasing in size.I will enjoy eating these home grown beauties.I hope the Tree can maintain productivity in its fifth year.It has been a long time to a dozen Apples.
The Apple looks lovely.I hope that my other two Fruit Trees are as productive.The Bramley Apple Tree,and the Pear William Chretien.The Cherry Tree looks poorly in the pot after being attacked by Black Aphids and Ants.
  The garden is looking lush,but slightly dog eared around the edges.It is a sea of green.I will think about ordering next years seeds,plants,and plug plants soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wings And Dreams

  The brief sunshine we have had means that lots of flying insects have been visiting the flowers that are blooming in the garden.A mixture of perennials and wildflowers.This Echinops is two years old and has grown massively in the sunken border next to the conservatory.The Blue and white flowers bloom on the spiky flower head.This is a manga flower!
Local bees have gone mad for the nectar in the flowers and they are a hive of activity.
I love trying to photo Bees to capture their black eyes and furry bodies.I have caught this one in flight.The wings blurry in the photo.
A patch of wildflowers growing by the greenhouse attracts lots of Hoverflys,Bees,and Wasps.They are such a vivid yellow colour.I do not know what they are called the flowers.
Finally the other day the sun shone and some Butterflies came into the garden to feast on the Buddleja or Butterfly bush.They have such vivid wings.
A pair of these Butterflies alighted on the Butterfly bush.I tried ages to get a good photo of them feeding on the nectar.
This was my best photo of the pair of Butterflies..
This was the first time I saw the Buttefly wings outside the conservatory window.They are glorious, like garden free spirits that flutter around and make the summer brighter.

Kitchen Garden

 The garden has been productive this year despite the rain.After last years nightmare drought killed the Sweetcorn I decided to grow some in a grow bag in the garden.It meant I could water it to keep it growing strong.Today the four plants stand about eight feet high and there are six ears of Corn growing on nicely.The plants have thrived from the small seeds that I sowed in March.I hope they taste good.They will be harvested and cooked straight from the plant once they are ready.
 The Greenhouse has not been used as much this year as normal.The great success has been the Grape Vine in a pot growing up the trellis.It has actually clambered up to the roof and is making its way along the greenhouse frame.I keep watering it and checking every few days.
 There are about six bunches of small grapes forming.These are black table grapes and I hope they will taste divine.I have never grown Grapes so it is gratifying to see them forming the fruit.The greenhouse needs replacing at the end of the season so I will have to chop it back a bit.Once it is in the Glass Greenhouse it can be trained along the roof as well as up the trellis.
I have four Plum Tomato plants growing that Hils gave me.These are fruiting quite well and the Tomatoes are growing on in size.I may keep some seeds from these plants to try and grow more next year.
  I have grown Strawberries,Gooseberries,a few Raspberries,and some French Beans.The Pineberries have failed to produce any fruit at all.Maybe next year?
 The Fruit Trees are growing strong limbs and new buds for next year.I'm hoping that next year we have Cherries,Pears,and Bramley Apples.
 The Mallus Braeburn Tree in a pot has a dozen Apples growing nicely, a record crop for me!
  In a rain soaked summer There have been successes and failures.That's the joy of a kitchen garden near to the house.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sun Kissed Day

  The end of the Olympics has seen the weather improve.We actually sat outside in the garden today getting sun kissed.The patio radiates the heat back up.I watered all the pots and baskets that have dried out.The Casa Blanca Lily is flowering now.This smells totally divine.
 The white petals have splashes of lime green, and slightly bumpy texture.The pollen covered Stamen are massive and wobble in the wind.
 I moved my Tiger Lily's next to the Casa Blanca's on the concrete path.I love the contrast in colours and both glow above the Hostas pots.
 The Water Lily has produced a third flower which I have managed to photograph.The pond has been invaded by the small lime green leaves.I think a bird or a frog brought the weed into it.It has totally covered the surface now.It will block out the sunlight so the green algae will be struggling.We saw two Frogs today chilling on the edges of the Lily pads.
 One of the few Rose Bushes that has survived the rain and is flourishing now is the Rose Gertrude Jekyll.These are perfectly formed Rosette flowers with a delicious old rose scent.I love how constant she is despite the horrible weather!A rose to savour every time you walk past her..
The Bishop of Llanduff are flowering away in the Spanish colours of red and yellow.I had to water these today as the pots were dry,and the compost within had shrunk down away from the sides of the pot.
  I hope for a few more days of Sunshine before the seasons change.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Summer Colours

 It has been over a week since I posted.I have been watching the London 2012 Olympics every day watching team GB win more medals than I would have expected.The sun has actually shone yesterday and today after weeks of heavy rain.The garden continues to have little explosions of colour and form around it.This is the Poppy seed head from the red and black Poppy.I hope it drops its seeds into the sunken border and grows again next year.The rain washed the petals away after each and every flower.They were big and blousy.
 The Tiger Lily's have began to bloom in earnest.They are striking orange colour,with black spots on the petals.The stamen are covered in sticky pollen.These plants are funny in that they make seeds before they have flowered.Hundreds of black seed pods adorn the stems.
 The Rose Dark Lady has bloomed again after a terrible outbreak of black spot.Most of the Roses have succumbed to the fungal infection because of the wet summer we have had.
 I love the flowers on this Sedum growing in a clay pot by the house wall.It is brilliant lemon yellow colour and has attracted the pollinating insects.
 In pots around the new patio area the Dahlia Bishop Of Llanduff have begun to flower.These are lovely with the red and gold colours.
The Sweet Peas have bloomed lovely,and supplied us with little vases of cut flowers.They can fragrance the whole downstairs when freshly cut.I want to grow more varieties next year to have a plethora of different colours and scents.This one is the Catherine from William and Catherine Sweet peas we bought last year.
 I'm back to work for four nights so there may be a delay before more posts.I have been to the allotment and seen what weeks of rain and warmth does.Masses of weeds and grasses as high as my knees.
 I need to clear the weeds (again) and try to concentrate on harvesting what is growing.I still have my Leeks Neptune to plant at the plot.I am thinking of using black tarp to cover the paths between the raised beds.It has been a difficult year both for the garden and the allotment.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Butterfly Wings

 The wildflowers around the pond have been attracting all the pollinating insects.When the sun came out I spotted this Butterfly flitting around the flowers.It drank in the Red Nectar and these Daisy flowers.
 This little brown and orange one with the black and white eyes is called the Gate Keeper and likes hedgerows and brambles.My wildflowers are hedge like..
I am hoping that the August weather improves with sunshine,and less showers.I will go to the allotment tomorrow which has been neglected in all the rain and our holiday.I will see what is growing on and what has failed..
 I'm hoping that the Butterfly Bush brings more Butterflies in.These are beautiful insects,like mystical garden spirits.You need to grow lots of nectar rich plants to tempt them in and hope it is a hot sunny day for them to spread their wings and fly around gardens.