June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Dahlia id disaster - snails eat labels!

So much for hours of planning my dahlia colour combinations.   In addition to last years' tubers rotting, I just discovered that snails have eaten the labels of most of my potted-up tubers.  Oh well, it will be interesting!

The weather has at least been a bit warmer the past two days and the dahlias are mostly showing growth - very behind last year's progress.

The tulips are almost over now but it's been another learning curve.   Purple Dream have been spectacular - HUGE flowers.   Jimmy and Renaldo are still a great duo as are Burgundy and Ballerina although I have decided to give up on any attempts at second plantings.   Wasteful and expensive it might be, but I shall be giving this year's bulbs away (to those with enough space to take a chance on it) and planting new ones next year to avoid disappointment.   Princess Irene was lovely but not quite as variegated as last years batch.   Here are the last tulip shots for this year!

The green leaf is actually a malformation of the tulip - var. Purple Dream

Gorgeous deep blue centre on Tulip Burgundy

Burgundy and Ballerina - smaller flowers on last years bulbs  with a self-set Geranium Pheum in matching hue!
Spent hours clearing up black spotting leaves today - must find time to spray the roses - and planted up a grow bag in a sunny spot by the kitchen wall with some French beans.   I can keep an eye on them there and they should be easier to water!

Some of the nicest things in the garden are those that happen on their own - like these self-set forget-me-nots lining the brick path.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Swifts in the evening

I managed to get home in time to wander down the garden this evening with my glass of wine - albeit it wrapped in a scarf and thick coat - pick a bunch of lily of the valley and stand and ponder.   These are the precious moments gardeners cherish.   There was no time to start anything (and it was to jolly cold tonight) but the sky had cleared after a light shower so everything was sparkling fresh bright and full of life.  

There is never anything dull about gardening.   This year my hero redcurrant bush is giving me the cold shoulder after my vain attempts to get people to appreciate the value of its efforts last (and I still have fruit from 2010 in the freezer!).  I am trying to remember who I optimistically promised its bumper 2012 crop to, so they are not disappointed.   My dear apricot tree seems to have succumbed to the same canker that killed off a gooseberry standard planted in an adjacent spot.   Some of my most virulent clematis seem to have gone on strike - or at least on go-slow - and the lily beetles I have found so far (plenty) always seem to have been in pairs, mating, although at least I was able to dispatch them in pairs!!!

On the plus side the lily of the valley are going mad - anyone is welcome to some, as per fox gloves, most of the roses seem very healthy (albeit dear Kiftsgate is dropping yellow leaves all around as ever), some of the newer clematis are looking very promising, the tulips have been wonderful, the raspberries and loganberries are flourishing....  

One of the best things this evening was listening to the birds.   I could have been way out in the countryside.   Not least, the swifts are back, peeping and swooping, making my tiny patch seem to spread up into the sky.

On days like today I know that, however much I long for a bigger garden, I will never love the next one as much as this!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

More tulips

Lots to catch up on since the rain and a little bit of sunshine - enough to get out for a few hours over the weekend and start tidying moss from the (slippery) path and training rampant climbers.

But the tulips are a great joy to me so here they are again.   The first shot features a lot of cercis siliquastrum blossoms which have been battered off the tree by strong rain and winds but makes a lovely backdrop!

A rest from path sweeping.