An April Flower Posy . Fishpond Maintenance and a Bamboo Screen

It was the beginning of February when I last posted pictures of a posy of flowers.  There was nothing to see in March, zilch, nada, nowt.  But April, well, that's a different story - suddenly the garden is full of colour - albeit, only from spring bulbs - but at least it's something.

Here is a selection of what is in flower at the moment, narcissus of all shapes and sizes, some with fragrance some not.  Tulips are starting to open and the Grape Hyacinths are coming into their own.


I am enamoured by spring flowers both in the garden and in posies in the house, they are so precious because I have waited so long for them to appear.  They lend such cheer to the garden shining out against the fresh green of the grass and foliage.

The miniature Minnow is a particular favourite, such delicate pale lemon petals, two or three flower heads on one stalk.  Exquisitely simple and beautiful.

These are a fragrant, multi-petalled type, called Bridal Bouquet their heads hang for the sheer weight of the flower heads. 

This is another multi-headed type - again, I am not sure of the name, I believe it came in a mixed bag of bulbs.  Last year the mice ate all the daffodil bulbs I stored overwinter, so I had to start again.  My choices haven't disappointed - all I have to do now is find a mouseproof way to store them once they have been removed from the containers.
The first of the tulips to open are two shades of orange - these were from last year - I put them in a spare piece of ground thinking that they wouldn't flower again, tulips seem to have a habit of not coming back for a second year - but I have been proved wrong with this variety - a lovely vibrant colour.  Looking forward to seeing more tulips opening over the next week or so then I have to chose what I am going to fill the containers with to see me through the summer.  Decisions, decisions.

Although the primroses and pansies have been flowering on an off all winter, the sun and warmth has really brought them on and they are flowering their little heads off. Joy.

Oh and I mustn't forget the Forsythia.

Fishpond Maintenance

Last weekend was a really busy one, all sorts of jobs were completed including draining the fishpond.  We chose to have an expert to come and sort the pond out for us.  Someone with all the right equipment.  You should have seen the amount of silt that was at the bottom of the pond - two barrow loads full of really smelly black stuff.



There were frogs and toads hiding in the bottom which were safely removed to our wildlife pond further up the garden.  The water is now sparkling clear with no silty bits floating about - we were overstocked with fish - the large pink fish who lost her eye is the Big Momma and she produces lots of young every year - we gave a dozen small fry to a friend who lost all her fish to the heron - so everyone is happy.  It was a messy job well done and all the silt went on to the compost heap - lovely jubbly.


You can see right down to the bottom now - 3ft. - where we have installed a bag of barley straw in the hope of keeping blanket weed at bay.


Bamboo Screening
The other big job that the beloved completed was to erect a bamboo screen across the end of the garden.  We have nothing behind our garden but fields and we are very high up so the winds rip through the garden.  My raised beds get the full brunt of the wind so the screen now filters it beautifully and will help to give a bit of shelter for those more tender plants.  There was a lot of cursing going on whilst it was being erected , but it was worth all the hassle.


Just some finishing touches needed this weekend.

A Book to Read
When Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter, with his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.  He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone.  All he knows is that he must keep walking.  To save someone else's life.

A Dish to Make

Cottage Pie
So that was my week - I'm off to the hairdressers tomorrow - I let my hair grow a bit longer over the winter - but now it's getting on my nerves so snip,snip, snip - I may have to spend next week with a bag over my head if the hairdresser gets over-enthusiastic.  Gulp.

How has your week been in the garden?

Comments

  1. Gosh, busy busy busy! Beautiful flowers and that wind break should certainly help protect things. I know what you mean about hair, I had mine chopped recently as it can only grow so far before I start to go crazy! x

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    1. It's that time of year isn't it. I must say I'm really enjoying being in the garden even if it is only digging out couch grass and ground elder.

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  2. I know where you are coming from with the pond. That has to be the smelliest job in spring! I love your posy and the different colours that have now bloomed. Hope the haircut goes well. Take care. Chel x

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    1. The flowering of the bulbs seems to have lasted longer this year perhaps they are making up for lost time.

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  3. Elaine, fab pictures your work has a magic quality to it, I must order that book it looks just my cup of tea, do frogs and toads hibernate in the bottom of ponds? we had a several in ours when we de-silted it.

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    1. Why thank you David I am flattered especially coming from an expert photographer. I guess the frogs and toads must hibernate down in the silt - I could think of better places personally.

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  4. What a lovely collection of flowers. The hellebore in the middle is beautiful and I bet they smell gorgeous. It really lifts the spirit to see some colour in the garden again. xx

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    1. The hellebores have been, and still are, flowering like good 'uns. It's been a funny old year.

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  5. Your April posy is so beautiful!!! The bamboo screening is a good solution for the wind and it looks nice too. I see you also have lots of work to do these spring weeks, but I enjoy it so much to be able to be busy outside.

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    1. The jobs seem to pile up over the winter but one by one we are ticking them off the 'to do' list.

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  6. Beautiful posies Elaine. Alas pond maintenance is down to me....moving frogspawn, dead fish and fishing around (excuse the pun) for bits of the fountain that I usually drop into the murky depths when I'm cleaning it out.Def' a 'blue' job. (blue jobs for boys pink jobs for girls) :-)

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    1. Only you could think up blue and pink jobs Jane but I'm with you all the way.

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  7. I love the posies - we have Minnow too very pretty and understated. I much prefer this type of flower to the blowsy double daffodils!

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    1. I agree Sue - but worse than blowsy daffs are the pink monstrosities.

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  8. Well you've sure made up for March one way and another. Terrific photos, and seeing the forsythia reminds me that I've yet to see any.
    A good book to read and cottage pie to eat looks, and sounds like a perfect combination.
    I've had another good week plotting, see my next post on Sunday. Flighty xx

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    1. I have been outdoors nearly every day all day practically - it's great isn't it. Looking forward to reading your next post.

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  9. Lovely photographs. The spring posies are beautiful with gorgeous colour combinations and the bamboo screen looks the perfect solution to providing shelter for your garden. And I've been just the same with my hair, I had to book a cut this week when I realised I had so many loose strands falling over my eyes I couldn't see my bees properly.

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    1. Thanks Wendy - somehow I always find it easier to photograph flowers when they are in a vase than out in the garden - they move about too much - that's just a poor excuse for not being a very good photographer.

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  10. Great photos Elaine, and isn't it wonderful to have a healthy pond again. I'd love for my fish to breed, but they never seem to, I'm sure I have a pond full of same sex fish!!

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    1. We have had to find homes for dozens of fish over the years - she's a right little breeder.

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  11. Elaine, you have been busy!
    I love the miniature daffs too.. I want to create drifts of them, by buying a few more each year. Sympathise re mice!!

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    1. I have a nice drift of large daffs under the willow tree but they look really untidy once they have stopped flowering when you have to leave them for a few weeks to die back.

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  12. Oh....what a DELIGHTFUL posy, I swear I could smell it from here.
    The pictures of what's in bloom are lovely, you have a lot more than me!

    TOADS you say??????? oh my....a little green here I am.I love pics if you have any.....pretty please????xxxx

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    1. Despite the long winter they have all come good the garden looks a picture at the moment. Sorry - the beloved despatched the toads to the other pond before I had a chance to take any pics.

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  13. That is always such a nasty job, cleaning out the ponds. LOL! It feels rewarding after it is all done though. My little one needs cleaned and a new liner put in but I dread the job.I know one of these days in the suture it will get filled in and planted with flowers because I will not be able to get it done but until then...
    What a beautiful spring bouquet you have there. I love the idea of the bamboo screen on the fence. And the pie makes me hungry. LOL! Looks so yummy Elaine. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Our wildlife pond is under the willow tree and is full of leaves but we don't worry too much about that as the frogs love to hide in amongst them and it can't be too bad as we get lots of frogspawn.

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  14. Hello Elaine. I've just come over from your Life in the slow lane and sorry to see you closing it down. However it pointed me in this direction and can't believe I've never seen it before. So I'm now following you. Lovely post by the way. Have a great weekend.
    Patricia x

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    1. Hi Patricia - lovely to see you over here. I'm afraid keeping up with Life in the Slow Lane was getting a bit much I felt sad abandoning it but I was stretching myself a bit thin. Have a good weekend yourself.

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  15. Lovely photos of the posies, I must remember to bring some indoors too, I tend to forget, just enjoying the flowers out in the garden. My forsythia is also flowering now, it has even started putting on leaves. That’s one of two signs of spring for me, the other one is my camellia in full flower. Finally we got spring :-)

    I got so fed up about over enthusiastic hairdressers many years ago (why can’t they cut just what you ask them to?) that I grew my hair longer and started to cut it myself – it is easier to cut it yourself when it is long enough to get to the back. I can count on one hand the times I have been to a hairdresser the last 20 years, and still have fingers left. Works fine for me and saves a lot of money :-)

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    1. My camellia is just about to open hope we don't get a late frost now that will ruin the flowers. I know what you mean about hairdressers - unfortunately long hair doesn't suit me so I have to rely on the hairdresser - I don't think my haircutting ability is good enough on short hair.

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  16. Spring is here and there's so much to do. Your willow screen looks great and I love your pond. We are trying to attract more wildlife into the garden and surrounding land and one of the things we lack is a pond... one day!

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    1. I am fascinated by water and what goes on in it. The first thing we did when we moved to this house was build a pond. In winter we have a floodlight on at night to illuminate the pond - it looks magical.

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  17. Your spring bouquets are just lovely Elaine that I had to scroll back and take a second look. I have a few daffodils, but otherwise we are still mostly brown here. Reading your words about cleaning your fish pond had reminded me that we need to clean our fountain's reservoir. It has similar sludge and is just as smelly. Oh well, it needs to be done. I hope all goes well at the hairdressers!

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    1. It is a delight to see the garden at the moment with pockets of bright colour everywhere - my garden suffered quite a lot this winter and I have lost a lot of plants that were just too tender for the harsh weather. So I have been sowing lots of seeds to fill in all the gaps. It went well at the hairdressers - phew - I always get a bit nervous - but luckily, no paper bag was needed. LOL.

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  18. Bulbs do seem to have done very well this year despite the late Spring. I love your bouquet and the photos are great. I hate going to the hairdressers and often get Andy to cut my hair.

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    1. The late start seems to have suited them - they seem to have been flowering a long time - I fear the garden will look a little drab when they go over.

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  19. Well! Those spring flowers were certainly worth the wait. They are glorious! Your muscari is gigantic compared to the miniscule ones mine produced. Hope your efforts at filling with seeds and protecting with that bamboo will help the next wave of spring color.

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    1. I buy bags of bulbs in the autumn - plant them out - then immediately forget which bulbs I have chosen. So it always comes as a nice surprise when they flower - oo I say, I didn't realise I had some of those!

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  20. Look at all these beautiful spring colors!!! The surest sign of spring :)

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    1. It certainly is - and I'm hoping for more.

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  21. I, too, enjoy that sudden flush of color in spring. What beautiful posies! That pond work must be quite a chore...love the little ones with so many colors.

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    1. After such a long wait for spring to arrive it is all the more appreciated.

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  22. Ooh the compost heap will love all that silt, and the fish must love their new clear water. Like the fencing. Like all that spring colour even more!

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    1. Hopefully there is still more spring colour to come with tulip time

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