End of Month View of the Garden: End of February 2017


End of Month View of the Garden: End of February 2017

The weather in February started off quite balanced, and reasonable, but ended with a blast by Storm Doris, who helped herself to several fence panels, and the felt off my shed roof, but did leave me with someone’s tent, 2 parts of a plastic Christmas Tree and an empty shoebox.

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End of Month View of the Garden: End of January 2017


End of Month View of the Garden: End of January 2017

 

The theme of the month was how many different types of weather could be fit into one day.

Mixtures of Fog, Rain, High Winds, Sunshine, more Rain and a Flurry of Snow were included.

Rainfall was 57.9 mm which was surprisingly less than previous years, although it certainly felt like we have received more.

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End of Month View of the Garden: End of December 2016


End of Month View of the Garden: End of December 2016

 

December started with a cold snap, with intermittent mild days replaced with hard frosts.

The coldest it managed to achieve throughout the month in the garden was  – 4.5°C

I’ve not seen any signs of Snowdrops peeping through yet, but I’ve seen plenty of Whitefly still lingering on my Brassicas, this has resulted in me bining the lot. The Brassicas that is, hopefully the Whitefly went with them.

Correa 'Marian's Marvel'

Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’

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End of Month View of the Garden: End of October 2016


Stale October

Above average temperatures, very little rainfall and light winds where the notable hallmarks of October in the garden, temperatures did not dip below 5°C for the month and rainfall totalled 27.9mm of rain whereas October 2015 totaled 64.4mm.

A very dry month was had.

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End of Month View of the Garden: The End of August. 2016


August delivered where previous months merely hinted…

A hot dry start to the month ended with a bit of a splash, and some thunder and some lightning….

In-fact 50% of the total rainfall for the month fell in one night towards the end of the month.

.

.

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End of Month View of the Garden: The End of July 2016


The 7 Day summer

Blink and you missed it, well almost.

Summer arrived Mid Month, temperatures here reached 32℃ for most of the week, hot sticky nights which made sleeping difficult, very hot uncomfortable days which had me running for the cooler conditions of the shade.

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End of Month View of the Garden: The End of June 2016


Was that the Start or End of Summer..?

It could be a complicated one to try to answer….

The start of June began with hot and sunny weather, the temperatures soared and the plants panted in the midday heat, the ground cracked open….

I wish we would get some rain thought I…..

Hot and dry, the ground cracked open.

Hot and dry, the ground cracked open.

And rain it did, lots, you should always be careful what you wish for…

A site we got used to most during of the month of June.

A site we got used to most during of the month of June.

Flooded soil.

Flooded soil.

My Hosta collection is really reaching its peak now, full green leaves, and big rounded plants.

Hosta Plant Display.

Hosta Plant Display.

I will have to start liquid feeding them soon to ensure a pleasing display for the rest of the growing season.

Note the Trunky thing far left, which is in-fact a rescued Tree Fern from a skip. More on that another time.

Fence border looking lush and somewhat full.

Fence border looking lush and somewhat full.

The border along the fence, which I like to call the Fence border got off to a slow start this year, it’s quite wet soil and I have been delaying faffing with all the plants in anticipation of my neighbours replacing the fence panels due to their dog causing damage and creating holes, however they are now 4 weeks past the day they said they would get the work done.

So I’ve patched areas in the fence as best I could, and finally got on with staking, pruning, and planting along this area.

A nice arrangement here of Hardy Geranium & Heuchera.

A nice arrangement here of Hardy Geranium & Heuchera.

I’m seriously considering widening this bed out into the lawn by about a foot this coming winter.

Hosta June & Various Hardy Geraniums keeping the slugs entertained.

Hosta June & Various Hardy Geraniums keeping the slugs entertained.

A Fern in fine Fettle.

A Fern in fine Fettle.

This next bit along the border is fast becoming my current favourite bit, that fern has really gotten into its stride, it must be all that rain I may have mentioned earlier in this post.

Old Rockery Border, I once found it full of Rocks.

Old Rockery Border, I once found it full of Rocks.

This next area is basically An Island bed a third of the way up the garden, it was full of bricks and brambles when I moved in.

It’s currently in a state of flux as it contains many plants I hastily dug up  from what was my new island bed in the sunny area of my garden, but is now my new veg bed, the plants that got hastily moved are starting to grow and fill out, many are obviously in the wrong place now, and some just perished from the move, but I’m monitoring proceedings with a keen eye and will start re-editing in the autumn.

Old Pond border

Old Pond border

Behind the old Rockery Border is the old Pond Border, there used to be a very poor example of a wildlife pond here.  the water was black, smelly and permanently covered in duck weed no matter how much I scooped it out.  So I filled it in and used the extra planting are to full effect.

Many plants in this area are newly planted over the past couple of years and are showing a need for editing already, something I’ll deal with in the Autumn.

Cosmos Cupcake.

Cosmos Cupcake.

I’ve managed to squeeze some annual plants in various places, I’m quite partial to a Cosmos, in fact I’ve got 4 different varieties around the garden this year.  The slugs are loving them.

Sanguisorba hakusanensis 'Lilac Squirrel' getting huge.

Sanguisorba hakusanensis ‘Lilac Squirrel’ getting huge.

A plant that might need moving this autumn is this splendid Sanguisorba I bought from a local nursery just over a year ago, it’s getting huge and flowers prolifically, I might move it into a more prominent position in the garden so it’s on full view, or…. I could just but another one….

Ohh nice Marigold.

Ohh nice Marigold.

The Slugs are also enjoying my Marigolds.

Apple 'James Grieve'

Apple ‘James Grieve’

My Apple Tree received an official yellow card from me at the beginning of the year. I’ll explain, this is now its 3rd year since I planted it, and I’m  yet to receive an apple i can eat,  the 1st year It produced 1 apple which fell off while small, the 2nd year it produced 2 apples which grew deformed, then fell off… so far this year it’s covered in apples and they are swelling… I’ll reserve judgment for the chop until harvest time.

My was Island Bed in the sunny bit, now my Sweet Corn production area.

My was Island Bed in the sunny bit, now my Sweet Corn production area.

My last, but newly developed area is doing well, I built some raised beds in my lawn on the sunny side of  the Garden in order to produce some crops, so far this year I’ve harvested the world’s Rustiest Garlic, Sluggy Peas, Tiniest Onions and watched row after row of Carrot seedlings disappear into slugs.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.

But at least there is the promise of Blueberries to come.

Yum.

With thanks to Helen for hosting this Meme as ever.

Until next time… Bye for now.

End of Month View January – 2015


Well another year has swept us by.

I survived Christmas by spending all my time off work stripping wallpaper from various rooms within the house, this is due to an impending plastering job to be done by a professional, followed by a huge decorating job followed at some point by new furniture shopping spree.

Time in the garden has been severely limited in part due to the weather and the impending work to be done in the house.

So far this year, I’ve managed to re-arrange my Hosta Collection.

Fomal looking.

Fomal looking.

A few breeze blocks and some thick planks, although I need to rebuild this contraption against the house so the plants are in the shade for the summer and not the full sun.

Sarcococca in full flower.

Sarcococca in full flower.

I have a few plants in flower, currently my Sarcoccoa is blooming well and the scent carries quite a way in all directions.

Hamamellis intermedia magic fire.

Hamamellis intermedia magic fire.

My Hamamellis intermedia Magic Fire just gets better every season, this shrub was planted about 8 years ago as a weedy specimen and just sulked, but in the last 2/3 years its suddenly gained its feet, put on a growth spurt and flowers like mad. A very pleasing site.

Problem fence border.

Problem fence border.

The part of the Fence border near the house down from where the Sarcococca is growing has become something of a problem. several woody plants have suddenly perished, I have replaced a few plants and have others waiting to be planted, but the symptoms on one of my perished plants, an Euonymas alatus, were consistant with Phytophthora. I’ve purchased an on-line test kit to test a nearby sick Acer, but currently its too cold to use it.

I’ve also purchased a PH Test kit in order to rule out all eventualities.  So watch this space.

The area where I used to have a wildlife pond is doing well, I just need the plants I put in last Autumn to get through the winter so I can see what gaps are left.

Ex-pond, now a border.

Ex-pond, now a border.

I planted my pot grown Acer in the Middle of it, so I can see the Autumn foliage from the house.  But I’ve got no idea what all the frogs are going to do now when they turn up this Spring.  oops.

 

Problem area

Problem area

An area of great contention for me is my old raised bed, this was origianlly an area where I grew Strawberries, and very sucessful they were too.  so sucsessful that they escaped and started growing across the lawn, then the birds and mice found the fruits. So that was that, I tried Sweet Corn next but it became obvious that the Privet Hedge behind the bed was an issue, the sweet corn failed without any cobs becoming fertilized, so again I dumped the lot.

I put weed suppressing membrain over the bed, followed by bark chippings and left my potted Hostas there for a few years, unfortunalty the Hostas just bake and dry out, and need to be relocted, as mentioned earlier in this post.

I used to grow some bits of veg at the top of my garden, but over a few years, suffering with slugs, Blight, slugs, mould, slugs and neighbours conifers casting shade, I became dishartened and planted up the area with shrubs, ferns and Herbacious plants.

My original Veg plot.  2007.

My original Veg plot. 2007.

So I’ve been toying with the idea of moving the current raised bed 2ft forward away from the privet hedge, so I can more easily trim the hedge, bring the bed more into the sun, then adding another rised bed in front of it.

Rare Ariel view of the garden, taken when I was on the roof last week. (Dont ask).!

Rare Ariel view of the garden, taken when I was on the roof last week. (Dont ask).!

So you can see the curent raised bed on the right, just above the pasty blue bench, I’m toying with plonking another raised bed next to it, well in the middle of the lawn really. Nice growing area for a bit of salad stuff and Garlic etc…  Right out in the full sun.

My next project when the wather warms up.  Perhaps.

As you can see I have quite a bit of lawn, but I’m slowly eating into it in various areas, increasing bed and border sizes so I can get more plants in.

My ultimate aim is to only to have grass as paths winding up to the top of the garden to the greenhouses.  But thats a way off yet, Him indoors like his lawn, so If i dig a bit up each year he might not notice….I also need to decide for once and for all what to do with the wildlife stack I built several years ago… its served its purpose, and is full of mice, which is in-part now a problem as the cat keeps bringing them into the house to meet me.

My heart says let it stay, but my head says get rid.

But finally, on top of possible Phytophthora, the recent snowfall and rapid thaw have reveiled another problem….

Water logging.

Water logging.

My garden becomes a swap over recent winters  and I’m not sure what I can do about it.

I’ve dug sharp git into problem areas, the lawn squelches when walked on, and i’ve got small puddles along the edge of the lawn.  Perfect conditions for Phytophthora.

So lots of projects planned, no time to implement any of them as yet, need to get the house re-plastered first, and every dry weekend is a bonus.

And the shed needs a serious tidy up.

Thanks go as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.