Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wordless Wednesday - flower of Hosta 'Twilight'

"It's only there a couple of months"

"It's hard to believe its only there a couple of months" 

This was a comment made about the new bed in planted in early May.
Things have come along very nicely indeed. The row of lavender have sprung into flower in abundance, Fuchsia 'Tom Thumb' is performing very well and the Verbena is a cloud of colour. 

We've already see Hosta and Wegeila come and go in flower, and the rosemary and Dierama (angels fishing rod) plant too. 

Colour will continue with the annuals, the nasturtiums already flowering, the sunflowers year to open, and with a bit of luck some interest from the sweetcorn planted there too.

And this brings me to a nice point when developing your beds and borders - use annuals to fill out your beds while waiting for the more permanent shrubs to grow and fill out. It's amazing the effect they'll give, leaving new beds looking fuller and more interesting, as well as helping to suppress weeds that are only too happy to grow in these open spaces.

I have to say I cheated a  little. When planning the garden two years ago, I planted two plants that I had maturing in pots from my garden move, one was the elephant grass, Miscanthus sinensis, which gives great height and movement to any bed or border, and the variegated Weigela, which has lovely variegated foliage and smashing flowers in May. Both of these giving the bed an air of establishment. 

The Verbena was in a pot for a couple of years, so again, once it started to grow and flower, it looked like it was 2-3 years old.

Once the bed was planted, it was a case of maintenance. The plants were watered in and the bed weeded. In early June I planted the annuals and since then, apart from a little weeding, things have looked after themselves. I will put some supports in for the sunflowers, as the wind here can be quite harsh on tender plants, and I have some African marigolds growing in pots for late Summer colour, so I'll plant in a few of these too for extra interest. 

While I was weeding the other day, I did notice some of the lavender flowers beginning to go over,so it was out with the scissors et viola, bunch of lavender flowers drying for the house for over Winter. 
Happy gardening.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tomatoes, pumpkin plants & tortoise egg

No, the title is not the ingredients for a meal, they were the contents of my glasshouse earlier today.

Let me explain.

I did a bit of work in the glasshouse recently to tidy it, and the tomatoes. Since the tomatoes were planted they have been growing well, and I'd been giving the usual care and attention with things going along just nicely. Then, due to a heavy workload, I was away from it for a little over a week and on returning it looked like the day of the thrifids with everything everywhere! 

In actual fact, the plants fell over as the supports I had weren't strong enough, and the side shoots had grown far more than I'd expected. Throw in a few weeds or two, et viola, a mess. But it was easily tidied once I set my mind to it and the I'm very pleased with the results. 

On the right hand side are the mini-pumpkin plants I'd intended to plant elsewhere three weeks ago, but this will do. Of course once they get going it will be chaos again, but that's all part if the fun!

The little tray on the path, by the way, has a tortoise egg in it. It (the tortoise egg) is now in the electric propagator and we'll know over the next few weeks if it's viable.

In the meantime, it's eating al fresco tonight, including tomatoes on the menu.

Happy gardening.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer buzz


Amazing to get so much warmth and spells of sunshine. 

So often during Summer we have periods of weather that are just unpleasant. It may be because we get spells of rain, wind or cool breezes, especially where we are.

But with this spell of pleasant, not overly warm, weather, we've been spending plenty of time outdoors. 

Plenty of bee activity too. Still no signs of honey bees unfortunately, but where there's a lacking of honey bees, the bumble bees have more than made up the numbers.

Here's one coming in to land on a nasturium.

Happy gardening.