Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Voyage of Discovery

That's what this garden continues to be - but more of that later. As usual here is the pic of the borders taken this morning - before the rain started again !!

Today was a bit of a mixed bag weather wise - dry for most of the morning and warm too,  but it started to rain more as the day wore on.
Anyway, to begin the day I was feeling energetic so I carried all the remaining logs in the top third of the garden out the door to await removal for winter firewood. and the I  dug over and weeded the area planned for the raspberries. It is now going to be two rows of varities as yet unknown but probably an early and a mid season variety, one row of each. I have asked both Richard and Sally to get 4 x deer fence posts so that I can put the framework and wire supports  in place.
After that was done (and it took a while to remove all the thistles, nettles, dockens, ground elder and creeping buttercup), Sally came down and we taked about what was due to arrive soon by way of plug plants (more Phlox and Astrantia, Echinops, a double Hemerocallis) and about setting up a compost area.
Now, at the far end of the garden, beyond the hedge that may or may not be ripped out (as mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is an area hat is not yet touched at all. There is a gateway through the wall  to allow trailers to tip manure from the field down into the garden so that would be an ideal place to put the compost area.. All I need now are some pallets and some old fenceposts and Bob's my Uncle and Fanny's my Aunt.
Afytre Sally had gone, I gathered up all the hedge clippings from Richards final foray with the trimmer, and then I cut back both the white and purple Buddlieja bushes and in doing do opened the borders right up. I gave these bushes a severe cut-back last year but they need an even more drastic cut-back this year.
After this I filled the box with this week's vegetables

We have tomatoes (Tigerella, Black Cherry and Golden Sunrise), Runner Beans, Carrots, Rooster Potatoes, a Red Iceberg lettuce and Rainbow Chard.
And finally here are some pics of the Sky High Dahlias that are in bloom - there is one that has yet to open, but time is getting on now and we might not see it this year! I know you have seen most of these - if not all before, but here they are all together. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Today was a"bitty" sort of day with lots of the little jobs that needed done finally being accomplished. First off, here is this weeks pic of the borders from the potting shed.

The roses against the SF and WF walls have their second flush in full bloom at the moment, the Sweet Peas are still going strong, the Geums are still hanging on in there, there are a few poppies dotted, the Phlox are still about - in fact, pretty much everything is still there to a lesser extent, though some are starting to look a little bit jaded. There is however another new dahlia on the block - well, the first bloom opened last week but eejit here forgot the camera, so here it is, taken this morning - it honestly looks better in real life !

Dead headed the Achillea, some more Lupins, the Scabious and the Astrantia.
Cut two branches off one of the cherry trees as although they were leafy at their extremities, both had long sections with no new growth at all. This also serves to make the tree a better, more balanced shape against the wall and frees up space for either a new climber or fruit tree or for the Ceanothus Skylark at the base of the bare space to be pulled up into.
I also finished digging out the last of the shrub rose roots which were left from last week. Whilst removing the last large chunk, I disturbed this chap but I'm not sure who got the bigger fright - anyway, he waddled off to find somewhere else to settle down, though he did look slightly pissed off about being uprooted !
On the veg front, I harvested the first of the Savoy cabbages - a conical variety called "Samantha" which look really nice, not too big and as I havealready harvested and eaten some of my own, I can vouch for them being tasty too. I also picked a heap of runner beans and cleared the broad beans out. I have saved about 50 pods of the Broadies for seed for next year as they are the Crimson Flowered heritage variety. The tomatoes are ripening slightly quicker now but it might be time for the rotten banana trick soon - hanging a couple of ripe bananas amongst the trusses helps promote ripening due to the ethylene gas given off as the banana starts to brown. The leeks and PSB are looking good though there are still a lot of flutterbies about so I'll leave the PSB under their netting for a week or so yet.
Took three cuttings from the productive redcurrant bush and these are now planted in situ where hopefully they will grow to be as good as their mom!
Sally came down to the garden and we talked raspberries and our initial decision is that the garden will have three rows, each about 5m long - an early variety, a mid season variety and possibly an autumn variety, though varieties have yet to be decided.
We also talked about what plants we would use to fill in the spaces vacated by the shrub roses when the time come for lifting and dividing clumps of perennials.
Up at the house I weeded the small borders along the front and lifted three geranium clumps that had outgrown their allotted space - these were taken down to the herbaceous borders in the walled garden and one was split further so we now have 4 new clumps of pink  geraniums in the borders.
I also cut back a couple of rose bushes to allow the hips to be seen to their best advantage.
For those of you who have been with me for a while, you might recall that I sowed some paeony seeds (and some tree paeony seeds too) last year and these were just stuck outside the potting shed and left to either grow or not. Well, I checked them today and they all have tap roots forming - no guarantee that they will all make it to adulthood but if they do, we 'll have 20 paeonies and 7 tree paeonies to find home for.
Other than weeding round the entrance and the potting shed, that's about it for today but I'll leave you with one more photo of my potting shed resident tucking into a windfall apple that was left on the bench last week. Later..................................

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Wet Wet Wet

And I'm not referring to the boys from Clydebank. Although we seem to have missed the winds from the tail end of the Hurricane, unlike those firther south, we have had non stop rain for 36 hrs, and the ground is sodden.
Anyway, first off this week, an apology. I forgot to puit the camera in my bag this morning so I'm afraid that there are no piccies today, not that there would probably have been very many with the rain being so heavy - at least this morning - it did brighten up to a drizzle this afternoon but as I sit here typing this it is raining outside the window.
To start the day I thought I would try and take advantage of the shelter offered by the Garrya Elliptica tree and weed the bed underneath it - shame no-one told the tree to stop the rain for me. So, already soaked through the waterproofs, I set about digging out another three shrub roses. The amount of space their removal (and the removal of those taken out last week) has created in the border is quite astonishing and will take a bit of filling, but there are more plants on order. I staked one clump of Echinacea as they had been using one of the shrub roses for support and it's removal left them flopping around quite a bit.
Of the six T&M Sky High Dahlia tubers that were planted, all have now flowered bar one. So far we have a yellow, a red velvet, a dark red velvet, a pink/white and the newest arrival looks like a double with a very frilly centre which is red with yellow edges and reflexed red petals surrounding this - this is where a camera would have been handy! It looks really good so hopefully we'll get loads of cuttings from this tuber in due course - photo to follow next week. I relabelled all the dahlias with the colours so we know what tuber is what when we put them down for the winter.
I gathered up a box of windfall apples, leaving those that were badly bruised or slug damaged on the ground for the birdies to enjoy - there is another huge crop of apples this year and the trees look healthier this year than they did last year - possibly due to the winter wash they received.
Harvested another pile of Rooster tatties, carrots, runner beans and picked some more plums too.
Whilst picking the plums, I noticed small green round fruits on the tree in the corner of the west facing border. This tree did not have these last year, or at least they went un-noticed. They are the size of a very large cherry and have a stone in the centre and I think they ripen to a red colour. The leaves however are definitely not cherry tree leaves. I have taken a cutting with leaves and two fruits attached to try and identify them, so will hopefully be able to let you know soon.
Started into cutting back (I'd prefer down) some sort of Viburnum by the rose bed - it is full of pests and looks nondescript - however it does perform one important role - it is support to a very large and very old climbing shub rose, so for that reason alone, some of it will have to stay.
Anyway, that's about it for this week, aplogies again for no piccies.
See you next week

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Happy Birthday to Richard !

If the recent weathet is anything to go by, we ain't going to get any kind of summer and now that the leaves are turning ( as well as the temperature) I guess Autumn is just around the corner, if not here already.
However, all is not doom and gloom in the garden. And as usual here is the view from the potting shed this week.
So, the Sweet Peas are still flowering their little heads off and are definitely amongst the star performers this year, the Echinacea purpurea are looking well as are the Sea Hollies, and some of the climbing roses are having a second flush of flowers too. The Crocosmia is in full bloom, there are Alastromeria in flower, as well as the Dahlias, Sunflowers, Scabious, Phlox, Verbena (bonariensis and hastata), and lupins by the hundred. The oriental poppies are making a late bid too, along with Geranium "Splish Splash" and the Geums just haven't stopped all season.

Also new in flower this week are some Kaffir Lilies

And the small White Echinacea are looking good too

And so to what was accomplished this week. I weeded one of the small "bulb" beds at the side of the Summerhouse, stalikg up some of the dwarf Gladioli as I went, and cut back all the growth on the sycamore trunks that were beginning to get out of hand again - as soon as I get a dry day I will paint these over with the stumpkiller. It should have been done before now but it hasn't been easy getting a dry day recently!! I then cut down three shrub roses that were given a second chance this year but didn't deliver and then dug out the roots - no mean feat as the roses had been in the garden for a long long long time - I also broke a spade into the bargain! However, their removal has let light in against the wall for one of theclimbing roses by the garden door, and has cleared a fair bit of ground for new plants.
On the veg front, I lifted another lot of Rooster potatoes and carrots, picked a cabbage, some beetroot, a load of broad beans, some runner beans and some carrots. Add to that the tomatoes and cucumber Sally took away in the morning and the veg is starting to pay it's way. We also got a punnet of plums off the unidentified tree against the West facing wall.
Anyway, that's it for this week folks. See ya next week.