July 23, 2011 · 8:10 am
I planted up a nice little border this week in Leeds. It needed a rework. The established beds had been planted up some years ago and over time plants had disappeared and my least favourite thing – bindweed had been gradually creeping through what remained along with its best friend the couch grass. I really loathe bindweed. Its such a nightmare to kill off and it doesn’t matter how much you dig you are bound to leave a bit somewhere and so off it will go again. However, I’ve written about bindweed before though so I shan’t rant again.
So a lot of digging! And on the left of the border geranium Johnson’s Blue had got out of hand. Its got a lovely blue flower early in the year but then it doesn’t do much at all and it keeps increasing in size year on year unless you keep it under control, only its pretty early flower has saved it here but very much reduced to a shadow of its former self.
The newly planted border looks a bit thin (I hope you can tell which is which!) but come back next year and I promise it’ll be full of flower and colour. The client wanted soft colours, pinks, mauves, whites and blues and lots of flowers with a reasonably long season so in the border are a range of fairly easy plants, phlox, iris, campanulas and grasses….which aren’t doing a lot at the moment – as well as verbenas, ecinacea and sedums, which will be in full flight any minute and continue right into the autumn, and a nicely scented English rose which should flower all summer long with a lovely verbascum which is flowering right now. There were already alliums in the bed which will now come through the new planting, and on the fence, though tiny at the moment, I’ve planted a white Japanese quince which should cover the panel with flowers in the early spring and then have fruits later on.
Because there are steps up through the border I’ve put in some Mexican Fleabane (erigeron karvinskianus) alongside and hoepfully it’ll self seed between the stones. I think its probably my favourite plant this week…..ummm or maybe not, maybe it was the verbascum Pink Domino….
At home we’ve installed a scarecrow in the garden to fend off the fox. The wretched thing took Elsie almost a fortnight ago and so having Googled all things anti fox we came up with either electric fencing (ouch what about the cats?), male urine (so poor son is banished from the bathroom) and a fairly quick fix, Sam the Scarecrow. This is all well and good but he keeps making me jump! Let’s hope that he makes the fox jump too. I must get it into my head that Sam lives here too now. Somehow I suspect that this may not be the end of it and so my search for the perfect solution will continue.
October 31, 2010 · 9:03 am
Time to light the candles and draw the curtains now the clocks have gone back this week. To celebrate Halloween I’ve hollowed out pumpkins for a display at Harewood’s Autumn Glory and at the Mustard Pot in Leeds. These roses are just perfect as well, brilliantly coloured yellow with orange edging to the petals they look good with the orange dyed grevillea leaping like flames around the black candle.
Here on the table you can see I’ve surrounded the pumpkin with dried pomegranates, little squash and maize.
At home all I need to do is dig out some sweeties for the hoardes and prepare for the onslaught!
In the garden there’s still work to do. Yesterday and very much in keeping with the Halloween weekend I planted some garlic – it’s an ideal time to plant between now and mid November. And I still have my broad beans to get in, but when I looked in the packet thinking there were plenty I only had 8 left from this spring, so not much use, another thing on the to do list.
Enjoy the fun and games!
January 5, 2010 · 4:54 pm
It looks just lovely out there, the white stuff has completely hidden the disaster that is my garden. So the only work that’s happened outside today is to clear the path to the door for the postman and to feed the birds again. They’ve been swooping down even though they did have an audience of cats peering at them from the window at one point. However, I discovered they don’t like olives. Please tell me they won’t do them any harm. I had some left from Christmas and they’ve been on the table for 3 days now and the birds were starving this morning and ate everything else – clearly not to British birds’ tastes! To make up for it whilst I was out I bought some proper bird seed to add to the crumbs and cheese they have been getting which got a much better response.
One thing I did do was to the little conifers I have though and the bay trees. The weight of snow on things like confiers, cordylines and palms can do quite a bit of harm, breaking branches and getting things out of shape, so give them a shake. And I have a lovely yucca still in its pot which flowered wonderfully last summer, I can’t wait to put it into the garden in the spring and so I want to save it. I’ve put the pot on its side so that when the snow thaws it’ll just run off instead of seeping into the middle of the plant and rotting it.
This is Lilly pictured this morning about 2 cm away from a hot radiator pipe. How she didn’t burn her nose I don’t know. She is positively disgusted with what’s happening outside and has shot in and out once only to my knowledge asking to be put out of the door where I cleared the snow rather than hopping through the catflap into the thick stuff. Her friend Mistle is upstairs and has taken over the bed – he too has not been seen to leave the house. Good news for the birds at least.
Looks like the weather is staying like this for a few days so it’s unlikely much will get done, but at least I can think about it! If the sun comes out I might at least take some measurements and draw up a rough plan rather than working with the one in my head.
January 4, 2010 · 11:55 pm
Why indeed? When I stand in the middle of my new garden that’s exactly what I wonder. I moved here 2 months ago and the house itself has taken up so much time – and it’s still not finished, but it’s the outside that’s going to be the subject of this blog. My progress from derelict garden to Garden of Eden may be ambitious but who knows….. with a bit of luck and quite a bit of time and effort we might make a stab at it.
You can barely see anything in the miserable light but this was the view from the French windows the other day, some of my greenhouse staging and the potting table waiting to be housed in the greenhouse which is still in bits against the house wall.
I’ve started clearing but you wouldn’t know it! We had one huge bonfire on Bonfire Night (what else), and I’ve built another one but it’s too cold and wet to set fire to it, and I’ve stacked up two heaps of wood at the bottom of the garden where I hope the wildlife will enjoy them. And I’ve started to pull out all the other junk my predecessor seemed to think it was a good idea to chuck/bury around the garden, both inside and outside of it.
I have lots of plans as you would expect from a woman who spends her working life in other people’s gardens, either redesigning them or maintaining them, but will I have the time? Well follow the progress. More pictures in the morning providing I’m not snowed in.