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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Garden is no place for Sartorial Elegance

Have you ever noticed how t.v. gardeners adopt individual clothing styles to work in the garden?

Carol Kline prefers the wardrobe cast-off look

Sarah Raven with her long skirts, linen blouses and necklaces

Monty Don his French grape pickers look

Alys Fowler, with her, shall we say, very individual style

And Geoff Hamilton, who's uniform was a checked shirt and jeans (always) with a ribbed sweater with elbow patches in winter.

All, in their own way, have a gardening uniform.

 Mine has changed over the years - when I kept smelly goats, overalls were my chosen attire, bib-and-tuckers in the summer.  I have been through several Barbours, which ended up even smellier than the goats, with rips from brambles, pockets hanging off and in a general state of disrepair.

 Coats feature heavily as part of my gardening get-up.    My favourite was a lovatt green thick cord padded anorak type.  I was devasted when the zip broke and I had to find a replacement coat.

  Now my favoured coat is a wate…

Let's Mix It Up a Bit

In the Rosebank garden I have four raised beds which are mainly used for salad crops - you know, things that need to be picked when you need them, instead of having to make a trip to the allotment garden,  so all my herbs are grown at home as well.  But because the beds are part of a flower garden I like to mix and match flowers with the the veg so that it all blends in.  I have written about this before here and implemented most of the planting plans I had then.

Last year I split the Chives and planted them all along the edges of the beds together with California poppies, Nasturtiums, Sweet peas, Pinks and Morning Glory.

'Why on earth should it be a rigid rule that flowers must be grown in one part of the garden fruit in another and vegetables always hidden away somewhere round the back? Why not grow them all in the same border? Geoff Hamilton The Ornamental Kitchen Garden
I like to think of it as my Ornamental Garden and not just a veg patch.  So if I want my Runner beans to look a bit …

July and January - Before and After

 I thought it would be interesting to look at all the borders in the garden at the moment, and compare them to photos taken in July of last year.  (Click on any photo to enlarge)

 The containers that are now full of bulbs and pansies were planted with pale pink geraniums in the summer.  The purple clematis is in full flow on the fence which is beginning to get clothed in ivy which also surrounds the pots.

 Only the lavender is prominent with the grey foliage in winter, in July this bed was full of delphiniums, erysimum and echium with pink and purple flowering shrubs at the back of the border. The patch of yellow argyranthemums (not sure if that's right - lets say yellow daisies) has been moved now, as it stuck out like a sore thumb.

 You would never necognise this as the same border it changes all year round dependant on what has self-sown that year.  The orange blossom has made some significant growth in the corner and smells divine in the heat of the day.

The s…

Nature, Beauty and Gratitude

Need a daily dose of optimism - then watch this:-

Wasn't that great - it gives you something to think about doesn't it?  Have a good Sunday.

A Winter Walk

After waking to frost, the sun has been dazzling later in the day, but without any heat, and the frost has soon perished in all but the shadiest of places.

The sun has brought out all the gold in the garden where it glistens in the cold light.  And on the Hydrangea Petiolaris outside the back door I found buds

All I could find along the lanes were the leftovers from Autmn

I take a familiar walk around the village, swaddled in scarf and gloves, to look for early buds or signs of spring - but there were none to be had.  The pink campion is still hanging on to a last flower, a little ragged, but persevering.

A copper leaf in the hedgerow standing out amongst the decomposing leaf litter.

The gold of the lichen on the old bare branches

Ripening berries on the ivy turning from green to red to blueberry blue

And the sun casting my shadow, long and thin, on to the dried stalks of  nettles

After a brisk walk I returned home and saw the sun highlighting a pink primula in the front garden the only plant…

A Very Frosty Morning

I drew the curtains early this morning to find the world outside frosted over.  We have had very few frosts so far this winter, this was the best one so far, the temperature has dropped to -2 deg., which after all the mild weather we have been having, came as quite a shock to my fingers and toes.

The farmer still has his cows out in the back field, usually they are in the cattle sheds, warm and dry.  I expect there are a few frozen udders this morning.

All those plants that have dared to flower will be shocked also, pity the poor bulbs that are poking through the soil, thinking that Spring was round the corner.  A few more weeks yet my beauties.

The sun is shining bright now and the frost will soon be melted, the heating has been turned up a notch and a hot bath is calling to bring life back to my frozen bones.

In Defiance of Winter

 I spent some time in the greenhouse yesterday as it wasn't too cold, watching the birds come down to the feeders, that we have now hung again after the feeding station had been practically demolished with the winds.  Although the greenhouse glass was pretty murky I managed to get a good shot of the Goldfinches feeding and squabbling.  They are so colourful and exotic-looking it's hard to believe they are in a UK garden.

 I have just done a post on my other blog here about Snowdrops, so I though I had better check up on mine.  At last they are pushing through the ground - I only have this small patch so far, but I would like to increase their number for next year.

 Checking out what else is coming through I saw that the Tulips that I have planted in containers around the pond are making a show.  Tulips - in January? 

I am a big fan of Lavender and the new plants I put in last year have bushed out really well so I took some cuttings to increase my stock.  Most…