I used to be very good at blogging about garden updates but like the lack of green fingered posts on here, there has been a lack of actual horticulture too. I’ve nothing to write about! Unlike other years, no seeds have been planted, I’ve barely weeded, and only this morning did I dig over one of the veg beds. Time is more of an issue these days. I’m working more and don’t get the chance to pop outside to keep apace with the plants. But do you know what? It has sort of been looking after itself! I suppose I’ve given it enough attention in the past, that there is still beautiful stuff to see now. It’s OK too because I haven’t completely missed the boat. This coming weekend is the Easter bank holiday and I believe there might be some kind of law which dictates that one must do gardening during all day light hours over this four day stretch. I have time to catch up.
In the meantime, here’s what has happened so far this spring…
So despite having done nothing at all, things aren’t looking too bad. Yes, there’s mess but I’m not fussed about a neatly manicured lawn or the composting mountain of last year’s runner beans and courgette plants. But I will be worried if I don’t get my arse in gear next weekend. I’m gonna blitz it. Probably.
It got cold. I know it’s not heavy, wintery frost but I wasn’t expecting any at all. October isn’t usually icy. The change to the garden jogged my memory, I was reminded that I used to write garden blog posts. Over the last few months I have taken a few pictures but not really thought about putting them together with words. Let’s try that today…
In absolutely no particular order (because there are just too many – soz!), here are some recent pics of the garden. It’s been just over a month since I last sharedwhat was going on in the garden and it has been a very productive few weeks. I can’t believe the difference from these photos to the ones in the last blog post! The garden has gone bonkers!
We had the bonfire that I said I wanted to have, took stuff to the dump, sorted out all the pots and got planting. There’s still lots more to do as I’ve not done all the lettucey type things and there are baby runner beans and purple french ones to go out.
A sunny May day is the garden at its best before there’s the weird June/July lull. I’m curious to see what the pots will look like later on in the year; the kids have persuaded me to change colour scheme. They’ve chosen lots of garish, clashy things. I hope I like it! I’m also desperate to get my hands on home grown veg. It’s all late because my early stuff got bitten by the frost and I had to start again. But, hey, it’s only May!
The sun is properly out for the first time in ages. And it’s kind of warm if you’re on the move! What with all the recent snow, wind and rain, the sun is most welcome. I’ve spent very little time in the garden so far this year; I’m definitely a fair weather gardener. I’m also avoiding going out there as it needs a massive spring clean. There are leggy things and dead things that need chopping or pulling up, and I think I need to get a bonfire going to get rid of things too twiggy to compost. Whilst I work up the gusto to get out there properly let’s celebrate the stuff that’s growing all by itself.
The magnolia and clematis seem to be going strong. I’m pleased to see new growth on them. Their flowers will be so pretty. Two years ago I got a plumbago too. I really hope it takes off properly as it has the most beautiful blue flowers. I spy new buds, which is a good sign. I also like its wintery stars when it’s not in flower.
Most of the kerria japonica is brown twigs. A few stems are flowering orange pompoms but I’m scratching my head as to why the rest of it decided not to bother to show up to the party. Lots of flowers are on the quince (chaenomeles). Every time it fruits I plan on making jelly. So far I haven’t but that’s because jelly is gross. Behind the white anemone is the pulmonaria I put in last year. I’m quite pleased that it’s happy to make a return.
A lot of the pots look like this this year. Frost, innit?! I need to get rid of so many pots. The ones that aren’t broken need to be emptied, given new compost and have new plants gifted to them. I have spent too many years just scraping off the top layer of soil; generally doing a half arsed job at looking after them. I have distant memories; past claims that I’d give them a new lease of life but this time I mean it. I can now clearly see the effects of gradual degradation, it’s time to pull my finger out.Sweet peas! Last year I forgot to plant them and bought some baby plants from the garden centre (the shame). One feeble, scentless bloom appeared and made me realise how much I must have these as part of my summer garden. Me and the youngest boy planted these on a rare sunny day at end of Jan/beg of Feb. I left them in the little plastic grow house and only just checked on them for the first time this week. I’m amazed they’re alive, I’m amazed they came up at all!
Right, let’s get on with it. Jobs to do: have a bonfire, empty pots (hide contents in beds??), plant more broad beans (first lot rotted), weed, plant runner beans & peas (sow direct? …Maybe not, there’s cat poo in that bed).
Ps, check out the Garden tab over on the right and you can see what the garden looks like at other times of year. Or go HERE as that’s the same thing!
It’s sunny! The sun has come back! I was worried there for a minute. How is your garden? Did it benefit from all the rain?! Everything looks lovely and lush in my little cottage style garden.
I have finally planted out some annuals and while I wait for those to impress me, I’ve got some perennials in flower and one or two surprise self seeders. Although it’s all gone a bit straggly over the years, I still love my garden space.
These alliums have all collapsed now. They looked very proud of themselves when they were at their peak.
The honeysuckle has never looked so good. It was all lopped back two or three years ago and it has done it the world of good. The colours are looking super tropical!
I’ve got a thing about blue flowers. I love them. The more intense the blue, the better. Speedwell en masse is terrific but just look at that anagallis! It’s wonderful. That’s one I planted last year. I did a test between shop bought seeds and collected seeds. Um, I have no idea which this is. Sorry. It wasn’t a very good test. It could even be the survivor of two summers ago when my mum brought me over three plugs from Sarah Raven. It goes nicely with the double petalled feverfew (there was a rogue one that cropped up years ago, I made sure to collect the seeds and now there’s tonnes of the stuff).
During the first week of June, my rambling rose was phenomenal. It was huge! Of course, it was battered by the rain. It is no longer as happy as this.
The rain also quashed the lupins and enticed slugs and snails towards my hostas. The peony has been dead headed. I might chop back the whole lot as it’s drowning a geranium. I’ve done some weeding, which has made it look less tatty than this.
And then there’s the veg. So much purple stuff this year! I’ve been watching the dwarf french bean flowers come out. We have baby beans! But it is the purpleness of the flowers that puts a smile on my face. So much prettier than runner red or the white of the usual frenchies. I’ve got purple mangetout too! The packet says shiraz, which makes me want to drink wine. The flowers are beautiful although they’re more Audrey 2 than sweet pea. There’s no smell either but I hope that their fragrant sisters will soon get a move on a do some growing. I cheated and bought a pot of ten sweet pea babies. I’ve always grown them from seed in the past but completely forgot this year.
It’s all kicking off now so I dare say I’ll be back quite soon with yet more pictures of plants. See you soon. X
Cold innit?! I’ve put the heating on and I’ve got tea, cake and knitting. Knitting, I tell you!! This is my first ever knitting project (not counting the endless squares and “scarves” I made as a kid or the unfinished multi colour/multi stitch jumper I attempted when I was fifteen). There will be more of this next week because I definitely want to write about it when it’s finished…
I was planning on releasing a free crochet pattern today but a thing I ordered for it hasn’t turned up. It’s gonna be super cool, why hasn’t the postman brought me the thing I need!? Boo. Instead of crafty talk I’d better do a quick garden update. It’s been a long time since I posted anything non crafty and I feel bad that I’m ignoring the garden just cos it’s winter. Winter gardens can be beautiful too. I’ve just looked up what it was like in September. Flowers!
I took these at 8.45 this morning. Different f-stop used but the same view (I’m taking a few minutes here and there to learn about my new 50mm lens that I got for Christmas).
Cripes, it was chilly. I didn’t stay out there for long. If I took my time I could get some really nice pictures. I’m a panic picture taker though and really should give myself more time to think about things like angles, lighting and focussing properly (obvious, right?!). Also I need to give myself more time when using the camera functions; actually think about how I can employ them to their best advantage. There’s a lot to process.
There are still dead sparklers in this bucket. Abandoned in November. Slovenly.
I’m embarrassed to say that I started to tear up some of these plants the other day. They looked just like weeds. I’d forgotten what I’d planted and assumed that they’d be bulby type plants if I’d put them there. They’re anemones! As soon as I saw their cormy bottoms, it dawned on me and I hastily shoved them back in the pot. I hope they don’t mind too much.
Even in winter, I love my little garden. It’s a mess, but that’s allowed at this time of year. Still wondering why my purple sprouting has no purple sprouting though…
Anyway, I’m off to wait by the letterbox with my knitting. On the plus side, I might be able to get my knitting done by tonight so I can wear it out later!
There was lovely autumn sunshine yesterday. I went into the garden in my Hallowe’en get up to take a few pictures. The garden isn’t as exciting to me now but I think I should have a record of what it looks like in a different season.
Autumn is seriously beautiful. The other day I drove back home from the weekly shop through an orange tunnel of trees. Low sun, autumn leaves, winding roads through the woods. There was definitely some magic going on.
I haven’t got much to say today. It was only five minutes in the garden, finding what I liked best about it.
There is one last courgette hanging on. And since I can’t be bothered to tear up the bedraggled runner beans yet, there are still some of those too.
One bed dug over and manured. Nasturtiums are trying their luck. I could salad them up before the frosts, I suppose.
I’m most impressed with the hosta seeds. Pretty! Last year I took some of these and planted them. Nowt happened. Next year I’m really going to look after my hostas. This year so many snails and slugs dined on them, they ended up looking like lace.
That’s it for now. Shock,horror, I have done very little crochet in the last week. We’ve been away for half term and had poorliness. I’ve taken to reading more too, which takes up stitchy time. I’ll try and find a better balance this week.
Ps. I found a couple more dodgy pictures of my little halloween garland.
There has been some sunshine this week. Enough for me to nip out into the garden and take a few pictures anyway.
I haven’t included any long shots, my camera was on the wrong white balance setting and they all came out a bit orangey/acid.
So whilst some of these closer shots are still quite vibrant, I think they just about get away with it.
I’ll have to get on a chair to get some pics of the in flower honeysuckle. I didn’t this time.
This hot pink rose isn’t growing in the pot, it’s just hugging the flowers that are. It grows behind but has nothing much to grab on to. It’s in its third home. I’ve had to move it because I initially planted it in a stupid place, where it slumped on the ground. It looked kind of depressed. Now, it’s more contained but still makes an attempt to reach out for friends.
Trigger warning, nasty story in next paragraph. Scroll past to avoid.
I’ve got more borage than is necessary. I didn’t rip it out, like I was supposed to. It gives me gardener’s guilt. I tell you what else gives one gardener’s guilt: mowing down big, fat juicy frogs. Seriously, I am traumatised. Yesterday, I was merrily chopping the grass to a more acceptable level when, judder judder thump. A frog was flung a couple of feet from the whizzing blades, flung carelessly to his death. I may have hollered loudly, I may have also run inside the house and waited until Husband came home to sort it out.
Isn’t salvia nice?! So blue! That’s better.
I think it’s a good year for bugs. There are little black bugs I’ve never seen before. They’re particularly noticeable on the big stinky daisies.
I was disappointed to find them hiding in amongst the sweetpeas too. I’d brought in a lovely bunch to put in a pretty vase. Somebody came in behind me and promptly chucked them back outside. They were riddled.
So, we’re mostly admiring the flowers from a distance. I think Marcy is just looking for the bugs.
Someone has eaten the top off the snapdragon. More bugs!
I’ve got caterpillars writhing all over my brassicas but they’re not touching the nasturtiums. I thought those cabbage white butterflies loved nasturtiums.