Friday, 21 June 2013

A Garden Visit . What's New in Bloom and The Tale of a Crafty Crow

Last Saturday afternoon my friend and I paid a visit to another NGS open garden at Orchard House, Husbands Bosworth.  The house had originally been two cottages so the garden was a bit higgledy-piggledy - you couldn't see everything at once and there were surprises around every corner.  Old outbuildings and a hexagonal summer house  added to the gardens' charm.  The lady of the house had  made little vignettes of garden furniture and garden implements which were delightful.







The whole garden was immaculate, not a weed in sight and every little bit of it filled with with well-cared-for plants.  I came away with far more ideas and inspiration than I did from the recent visit to the Gardeners World Live Show - this is a real garden showing just what plants grow and flower together at the right time.  After tea and cake we thanked our hosts for a delightful tour of the garden - if only my photos could have done it justice.

Back in my garden the geraniums are coming to the fore



argyranthemum
zepherine drouhine rose

leucanthemum
variegated weigela

Kolwitzia -  which I pruned hard two years ago
last year it didn't flower - this year it has
made up for it - covered in flowers and almost
twice the size it was originally

sink garden
During the week I noticed that the holder with the fat balls for the birds kept disappearing - I found it at the top of the garden - empty.   I replaced the fat balls and hung the holder on a drainpipe by the greenhouse -  I put on my best sleuthing hat and sat upstairs in the back bedroom waiting to catch the thief on camera.  Here is what happened.


I had to go out at this stage - and when I returned I went in search of the fat ball holder, and yes the crow had dragged it all the way to the top of the garden again - and yes, it was empty.  Cheeky beggar - I suppose it was my fault for feeding them all winter - but hey, we all gotta eat, right.

I'll finish with a picture of a gorgeous sunset we had earlier in the week


and a picture of an excellent night out with the girls to celebrate a friends birthday


Have a good weekend - see you soon!

Check out what has been happening in the veg garden
Off on holiday next week - I'll tell you all about it
when I return - I bet you can't wait!

45 comments:

  1. We have the weigela, Zepherine and some similar hardy geraniums too.
    I do agree that gardens like this are of far more value than show gardens. It looks really lovely - I like Higgledy Piggledy.

    Crows are very intelligent birds and will probably pass on the skill to all their offspring :)

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    1. I love geraniums they come back every year without a fuss and the slugs don't have a go at them - what's not to like. Oh no I didn't realise that about crows - it looks like I'll have to work out a system of fixing the fat balls so they can't get at them. You have to have a secret admiration for their craftiness though.

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  2. What a lovely garden to visit - looks delightful. As does yours too! Your amalanchier is very prettyl - looks nothing like mine which is small tree and has tiny white flowers in the spring, there must be far more in that genus than I realised.

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  3. Just googled amelanchier to see what images came up and you are right mine is nothing like it - then it came to me - it isn't amelanchier at all - it is Kolwitzia amabilis (the similarity of the names confused my addled brain).

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  4. What a lovely garden you visited. I love the cottage style planting, especially the top photo.

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    1. It was a very sweet garden - small but perfectly formed.

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  5. Ahh, what fest to my eyes! All that cool green and flowers you enjoyed. I am in the desert southwest and everything is brown, crunchy and dry. (Well most everything) thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment - one thing we have in plenty in this country is lots of green - it is a lovely time of year here.

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  6. Hi Elaine lovely picture makes a change to look at something different after peering through macro lenses. PS I love the little slideshow gadget

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  7. Oh ....that garden does look so tidy....how DO people achieve that? they must sit there 24/7 with a hoe waiting to pounce on every weed!!! Jealous I am!

    I love your flowers, especially the variegated weigela, and the blue geranium and lobelia in your sink garden are exquisite!

    I laughed at the antics of the crow, they are such intelligent birds and it's hard to put one over on them.

    I love your sunset and that pic of the girls is fabulous darling, looks like good fun was had by all!!!xxxx

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    1. I spoke to the lady of the house and she said it took them two solid weeks to get the garden into shape!

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  8. A most enjoyable post and terrific pictures. That's the sort of garden that I enjoy looking round.
    There's plenty of colour in your garden, and I like those argyranthemums.
    The crow made me laugh, they really are clever birds aren't they.
    It looks and sounds like you had lovely night out with your friends, when I bet there were plenty of laughs.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - it certainly was a garden that was lovingly cared for. There's so much going on in the garden at the moment except that the recent rain has flattened a lot of things. They are lovely bunch of ladies and we certainly had a good laugh.

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  9. What a lovely garden I can see how you would get lots of inspiration from it. Our hardy geraniums have flowered this week too. What a cheeky bird - it obviously knows exactly what it wants - we keep being invaded by loads of baby starlings after the fat balls:)

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    1. We have had a few baby starlings - I remember one year they emptied the seeds in seconds (noisy little blighters too)

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  10. I love visiting other people's gardens as you can get lots of lovely ideas. I really am impressed with the stepladders filled with pots of flowers. Lovely photos Elaine. Have a good weekend.
    Patricia x

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    1. I thought the stepladder thing was a good idea too. Have a good weekend yourself.

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  11. Lovely garden did you visit and so tidy......I also agree that visiting private gardens is so much more fun than the showgardens. When we go on holidays to England we always try to visit one or more NGS gardens, this year we visited one which will come on my blog one of these weeks. In this time of year there is so much to write about and to show, I don't know where to start and than I have a lack of time because there is so much to do. These little crows are so clever, I just had a nest of them in my backgarden in the dovecote. Your sunset looks very spectacular!

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    1. There is no rest for a gardener is there - always jobs to be done - sometimes though I think we just need to sit and enjoy our gardens.

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  12. What a gorgeous garden and the house looked beautiful too.Both complimenting each other.I love ngs garden visiting.

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    1. So do I Anne - it's surprising what is hidden behind those garden gates.

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  13. Had you not managed to photograph the crow, my money would have been on squirrels!

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    1. We don't get troubled with squirrels here - thank goodness.

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  14. It looks a beautiful garden and, as you say, every corner is charming. Lovely flowers in your own garden, too. I knew Crows were clever birds and your photos prove that; this one certainly sized up the feeder. The sunset is beautiful and they're so late in the evening at the moment, too - wonderful!

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    1. I have had to stop putting the feeder out as the other birds just weren't benefitting from the fat balls. Hopefully the crow will forget about it. I even put a peg on the hook to secure it but he bloomin' well pulled that off too. Grrr.

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  15. That garden you visited looks gorgeous and your flowers so pretty.

    I did have a chuckle at that naughty crow..
    Julie :o)

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    1. I must admit I did smile at the sheer audacity of it.

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  16. Yep crows are cheeky beggars. All the feeders where I work are squirrel proof - not only to keep squirrels off but crows and pigeons and jackdaws; you name it. D

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    1. We don't get squirrels but I couldn't believe the crow had worked out how to lift a heavy feeder off its hook - further measures will have to be taken!

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  17. The garden must have been so inspirational-- the kind of garden that we all want to grow.

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    1. I must admit I cam home after seeing it and felt quite disenchanted with my own garden.

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  18. I tried to outwit the crows that kept pinching the fat balls, too - it didn't work! I tied baler twine on to the fat ball mesh and suspended it from my railings, too far down for him to reach and too far off the ground. Ha!!! Mr Crow tried jumping up and pecking at it, then perched on the railing above it, put his head on one side and had a think. A minute later he bent down, grabbed the twine and pulled it up a little way then put a foot on it. He did this a few times until he had the fat ball right underneath him - and proceeded to scoff it. I didn't chase him away - I thought he deserved it. :)

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  19. Ha ha - great tale Rambler - you have to admire their ingenuity and tenacity don't you

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  20. What a clever crow, I've found my fatball holder on the floor alot recently but for me its magpies doing the damage.
    What a lovely garden to visit, I loved that summer house, it did look immaculate.
    Have a great holiday.

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  21. I've read that crows are incredibly intelligent. If they can figure out how to steal the balls, I think they deserve them. I love the garden you visited! I'd much rather see a real garden than one maintained by a staff.

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  22. Crows are very intelligent aren't they?? They fascinate me. Your garden is so rich and lush!! Wow. I can't imagine how much work you put into it!

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  23. What a gorgeous garden you visited, Elaine. Just my kind of place, packed with plants and so pretty.

    In my garden, it's the squirrels that run off with the fat ball holder. What a clever crow, he obviously doesn't want to share them with any other feathered friends ;-) .

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  24. Now that is a wonderful, inspirational garden. Gorgeous! Your place is looking good too. The Geraniums have started here in Ireland too. Such good value plants. Can't beat having a night out now and then.

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  25. I love visiting gardens...gives me so many ideas. And I enjoy wallowing in the beauty. This is a very lovely garden with the perfect place for everything. The crow was very sly as he figured out how to unhook it.

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  26. That is a HAPPY garden - adore it! You can see in every photo, the joy the gardener has in her/his very special place!! Very funny about the crow. What nerve!

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  27. What a gorgeous garden elaine.
    The lady has worked very hard in her garden and it looks like a little gem..
    Your garden flowers and geraniums are looking splendid.
    Wishing you a wonderful holiday.

    Elaine I would like to thank you so much for being the first to come back to my friend connect.
    I am still having some problems.. and was advised to keep away from google+ in taking some things off my blog.. i cleared away the friend connect.. please can you join me again.. i am sure you must think me mad... your posts are always so lovely and i love the purple /lilac that you write in.
    happy holidays
    val..xxx

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  28. I enjoyed the garden tour as well as your own. It is funny about the crow...your detective work paid off.

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  29. Elaine, all of your blogs are interesting. I didn't know where to comment, but the photos of the crow are a hoot. I used to dislike crows, because they always got into my neighbor's garbage, spreading it everywhere. After we started having trouble with hawks getting our chickens, I learned that crows hate hawks and will chase them off. We have since learned for ourselves that this is true. I look at crows as allies now.

    Beautiful garden photos! I can't imagine not having a single weed! (Most of what I seem to grow is "weeds". :)

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  30. I enjoyed the tour and the photos of your own garden. You certainly did a great job of catching the thief in action. They are certainly clever, determined birds!

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