About my garden

Monday, 12 March 2018

Surprise posy In a Vase on Monday

Surprise as I wasn't expecting to find anything much to go in my vase. Instead I was able to pick a cheerful posy which promises that spring might be coming. 

I knew the Tete-a-Tete narcissus were flowering and the hellebores have revived after their covering of snow. 

In remember this one being particularly pretty last year and it has thrown up more flowers this year so hopefully it is settling in. 

Mahonia flowers add some scent and pulmonaria some lovely blue and pink. They too suffered but are rallying. 
Many of the evergreen shrubs are looking worse for wear but this reliable Ceanothus was able to provide some green foliage.

I'm joining in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and her inventive band of followers who always have something creative to show In a Vase on Monday. 
I have the luxury of time for posting this morning rather than rushing off to work. MrC and I have the week off so there is no excuse for not having the garden whipped into shape by next weekend. The list of jobs is long so we will see how that goes. 

Monday, 5 March 2018

Forsythia In a Vase on Monday

We thought spring might be on the way. Wrong.
Instead of sowing seeds and planting bulbs we had snowdrifts. Happily they are melting now so we are back to the mud of early February. 
Luckily I'd brought in some more twigs of Forsythia two weeks ago and now they are just right for a vase having opened up in the warm. 

I should add that the Forsythia I cut about a month ago has only just dropped it's petals, very good value at this difficult time of year.  Everything else looks pretty sad and we will have to wait and see what has survived the week of -5 temperatures and bitter winds.  

The strong winds made pretty drifts. This is my front bed completely covered in snow. 

And a solitary crocus blooming in the midst. The grass needs a good cut but who knows when it will be dry enough?

For plenty of varied vases visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Adventures in a Poly Tunnel - February 2018

We've been thinking that spring was just around the corner and dreaming of sowing seeds and planting summer bulbs but winter had another trick to play and, wow, has it been cold. 
The early part of the month was dominated by rain. It rained constantly and mud was the problem. The rain stopped the sun came out and we enjoyed some warm(ish) days. Then temperatures plummeted and now we have not been above -5 at night for about a week and day time has also been below zero and now we are knee deep in snow. Don't forget the strong winds, we've had plenty of those too. 
I just have to wait and see what has survived. The tunnel gives no protection against these temperatures, even the water in the water butt freezes. 
There is much less to say about the plants than the weather. I was just gearing up to start sowing and planting but now everything is on hold and I'm glad I waited. 

 On one of the warmer days I replanted these strawberries in rows, weeding and feeding as well. 

 Broad beans before the big freeze. I am confident they will survive.

 The kale is starting to go to seed but there is still lots to eat and last year we ate the flowers like purple sprouting broccoli and they were very sweet. 

 A brave soul. 

Tulips just coming up. I think these are Angelique and I can't wait!


Arthur with the Winter Sunshine sweet peas. Now frozen as well.
Pest control. This was last week. You will laugh when I tell you that I've shut the ducks in the tunnel for the last few days. The wind has been cruel and their water freezes instantly outside. Even in the tunnel ice forms on the bowls I filled for them but they dive in regardless. Brrr.

We are still able to harvest kale, rocket, lettuce and spring onions when they are not frozen. 

Daytime high +30 ∘C again I often only have doors at one end open. 
Nightime low -5.5 ∘C

Monday, 26 February 2018

In a Vase on Monday - Reasons to Be Cheerful

Sometimes recently it has been hard to remain cheerful. You don't need me to go into the details but let's focus on some positive things for 5 minutes. (Don't worry everyone it's a tiny bit personal but mostly general gloom I'm finding hard. Thank you for your concern).

Making new friends. On Sunday Noelle, who is a fairly new friend, and I met Sandra, for the first time, at The Bishops Palace in Wells to visit their Snowdrop Festival. Thought it was bitterly cold we were well wrapped up and spend several happy, sunny hours walking round the gorgeous gardens and admiring the snowdrops and many other plants including newly a planted Witch Hazel collection which would have set Cathy's heart a fluttering. 
Noelle hosted a delicious lunch for us, all homemade, which was very welcome. Sandra took plenty of pictures and I'm sure she will be sharing them. Here is just one:
Looking very cold L to R Noelle, me, Sandra
The days are getting longer and spring is on the way. 

These are the very first Tete a Tete Narcissus, a hyacinth with Abelia foliage. I'd hoped for more things to make a proper posy but temperatures have plummeted drastically slowing everything down. 
If these jaunty daffodils don't cheer you up, nothing will. 

The rest of my daffodils are a way behind but lets not rush the spring.

The first of my seedlings are up. You can just see a little green here of Limonium suworowii. 

Plants are determined to grow because of or despite what we do to them. Here are my Leycesteria and Cornus twigs from two weeks ago. I don't have anything large enough to pick to add to them but they are doing fine on their own. I'm sure I should have the name of this Cornus but couldn't find it. It's very dark red. Plus bay twigs. 

I had a little peep and they may even be forming roots. There is a tiny spider who has been living on them since I brought them inside. 



The sun will go on rising

and setting

and I'll go on taking endless pictures of it doing so. I know I'm lucky to have so much sky to enjoy. 

And you never know when life will throw you a rainbow...

Credit to MrC who took this last Autumn with his phone. 

Don't forget to join in with Cathy at Rambling in the garden. Foraging for things to go In a Vase on Monday and sharing with friends will always make you cheerful. 

Monday, 19 February 2018

Encouraging spring In a Vase on Monday

The stars were in alignment for me on Saturday and I was able to spend the whole day outside for the first time this year. I came in with every bone aching, nettle stings on my hands and a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. I have whittled away at the winter jobs over the last month, I'm not saying they are all done, but I have certainly made better progress than last year. Winter is not over yet though, but the weeds are starting to grow so Spring must be on the way.
I've started a very few seeds but we are promised a cold snap in the next few weeks so I am not getting carried away. I don't want lots of leggy seedlings and no-where to put them. Our safe planting date is still at least 3 months away so patience is necessary. 
In the meantime I've forced spring on a bit with this vase. 

About 2 weeks ago I brought these Forsythia twigs inside after reading that you can force them to open early, particularly on Chloris' blog. I read that on the 5th Feb and sometime in the next few days I cut these branches. They really were in very tight bud but have opened up so very quickly. 
It wasn't easy to get a good picture but here you can see the grey outside and the sunshine inside.
I don't often have anything big enough for this tall, heavy glass vase. 

Interestingly, the buds on the Cornus and Leycesteria in last week's vase have also started to open. I'm keeping them so see how far they go and if I can use them next week and perhaps add something else!
I'm joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a vase on Monday. She encourages to look around to see what we can bring in to put in a vase, jam jar, jug or teapot, as she has used today. 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Green and white In a Vase on Monday.

I've managed to make a big vase and that makes me happy. 

I collected some Hellebores and then some twigs to add some height. 
I pushed in behind our oil tank to cut this Helleborus foetidus and then looked around to see what else could go in. 

Just next to it is a Leycesteria which needs a prune so that was a good reason to cut some green stems. The last week I pruned a Cornus. It has very dark red stems and, though not very big yet, I know it will benefit from a hard cut. So I dived in and did it and the red stems are here. 

Oh yes, there is some Bay too. 

The I added this white and green hellebore. It would not win prizes as the colouring is not good but it has been flowering now for weeks and I am quite happy to have it in the garden and in a vase. I did sear the stems in boiling water to see if they will last a little longer. 
See what you can find to share in a vase an join in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for In a Vase on Monday. 

Monday, 5 February 2018

Meet George In a Vase on Monday

Meet George

Here is looking out of the window.

I discovered this Chrysanthemum flower (Anastasia Green) on a plant which I'm saving for cuttings in the green house
I popped it into the vase from which I'd just removed the snowdrops then couldn't resist adding the googly eyes.

If you've found something fun or fancy to put in a vase this week join in with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden - In a Vase on Monday.