Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Percy Pot

"That's not a monster Poppi" says Nanna "just Percy Pot looking for a new hat"


"Oh no" says Poppi "there's a monster coming up the hill to fairy land"

Poppi visits the fairy garden

Poppi greets the fairies with a kiss.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

No snowdrops but look at my helleborus!

Well the poor showing of snowdrops this year has been a bit of a mystery but the helleborus have been wonderful. I have several types and they are all in flower around the garden. Like the snowdrop they can only be appreciated fully if you lift their heads, as the flower always looks to earth.
Something different for my blog I am going to have a competition. All details will be on my blog at the weekend sometime and there will be a prize at the end of it. I hope all that visit my blog will join in the fun and who knows you may win something to. Quote: Gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiraton!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Season of mists

Took this photograph one November. The verbena were still in bloom and a mist hung over the garden. The spider web adds another dimension.
I don't know if I have ever mentioned it but I live in a very old house. When in bed at night and all is quiet the house creeks and groans like an old personwith aches and pains. Last night I went into one of those lovely deep sleeps after a full day of working. Suddenly a blood curdling cry went out, I woke eyes fixed and shot straight under the duvet. "Jeeps we've got a ghost." The scream went out again, now fully awake I realised it was a fox, and he was sitting below our bedroom window. I got up, he was a handsome chap, took one look at me and shot over the fence. Funny now, wasn't at the time!!!!! Quote: Gardening is the slowest of performing arts.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Red sky at night......

Took this photograph last night, just as I clicked the crows flew over,it was quite a magical moment. Red sky at night is one of the most reliable weather forecasts. If as the sun sets, the sky glows rosy pink, this signals dry air in the west, from where the next days weather will arrive. And hey ho it is a lovely day here, so it would appear that there is some truth in these old shepherds sayings.
Quote: A little plot, a private place, is ours to dig and cultivate.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Dingly Dell

My granddaughter will love this when the buttercups and wild flowers come out in spring.


Visited The Serenity Garden last evening, it is a lovely site and gave me a great idea. There was a photograph of a fairy garden and I thought what a good idea for my little granddaughter. I had a mound of earth at the bottom of the garden, and where else do fairies live. I planted with primroses, ivy and lungwort, collected bits and bobs from around the garden and hey look what I created. This is for you little one. When my days are over, may the memory stay in your heart, and be passed on to another generation.
Thank you Becky. Quote:See the world thru the eyes of a child.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

The lovely Nella

A bit of a diversion today, not wildlife or plants but the lovely Nella. I havn't allowed her to read the papers today for fear of hurting her feelings. Apparently terriers are going out of fashion, and there are less being bred because of this. Dogs are not a fashion accessory, they are a family pet and when choosing a dog it should fit in with your life style. It is not about what dog is fashionable. Nella is a loyal girl, affectionate with all who meet her but especially my grandchildren. Yes she is small but very very strong, and I know if anyone dared lay a finger on me or my grandchildren Nella would put her life on the line for us. She is a fantastic companion and fits in well with us and I could not imagine life without her. Come on, look at that face, how could you resist her?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The speckled wood

I absolutely love this little butterfly. We get quite a few appear in the garden in summer. They love the hedgerows in my garden, and become quite territorial about their space. When approached by another butterfly they do the most beautiful dance, going round and round, up and up, higher and higher until one disappears into the distance. Contest over, stunningly beautiful, an absolute and total joy. Its been a fab day, blue skies, and a bit cold. Planted two spring flowering clematis today, my little grand daughter helped me. Peaceful it was. Quote unquote: Bugs are not going to inherit the earth. They own it now. So we might as well make peace with the landlord.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Thistles and the cabbage white.

Most gardeners would cringe at this photograph, the dreaded thistle and the cabbage white. I have an area of the garden where anything goes and I love it. The soft lilac flower and the pure white of the butterfly is such a beautiful combination. I can remeber last summer sitting on the bench that is near the meadow and I was totally entranced by what was going on. It was a hot day (one of the few we had last year) and the insect life in that small area was incredible.
By the way have noticed in one area of the garden the snowdrops have just come through. They are going to be late this year, still better late than never.
Quote: All my hurts my garden spade will heal.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Christmas Box

What a dream this plant is. Walked the garden today to see if there were any surprises. Suddenly a heavenly scent wafted around me. Low and behold the christmas box had come into flower. Although the flowers are insignificant the smell is intoxicating. In these gloomy winter months I would not be without this little shrub. It has at last stop raining today, it is a bit drear but at least I can get out into the garden. Also Nella the terrible. She like me doesn't do indoors for too long. Managed to divide some ferns today. Wouldn't normally do this in January but it is so mild and the ground is moist, so decided to take a chance. They will be fine I know.
I wish I had a scent key on my laptop, I would love all you non gardeners to smell this divine little flower! Sorry to backtrack but as you have probably realised I can be over the top with my love of plants. Quote: n Wildflowers are the weeds we have learned to love.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


At last the rain has stopped and the big yellow ball is back in a beautiful blue sky. We have has flood warnings all over Kent and the river at the end of our lane has burst its banks. Global warming? Poppies aren't they a delight. Different colours, assorted sizes and spread all over as long as they are happy. I loved this white variety that just appeared. They look so fragile and pure. I collected seeds, so hopefully. Poppies appear everywhere here and that pleases me. I couldn't live without them. I grow a lot of wildflowers here. Weeds to some people but the bees adore them. Some of my other favourites are lesser celandine, herb robert, selfheal, ladies smock and my great grandmothers favourite ragged robin. I get excited just thinking about them, roll on spring. Quote: Flowers feed the soul.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Blackberries and Butterflies

Another wet and gloomy day here. Yesterday was good though so decided to give the shed a good tidy up. I am terrible for just putting things in and closing the door. Then a few weeks down the line it looks like a bomb has hit it. This is another one of last years photos. I have a lot of brambles in the hedgerows here. How can people dislike them when you get a shot like this? They are fantastic for all sorts of wilelife. The butterflies love the flowers, like the meadow brown. The thorny structure of the shrub enables hedgehogs, mice, weasels etc to travel through the hedge without getting attacked by cats, foxes and the terrible Nella. Of course the fruits are loved by blackbirds, thrushes, to name but two. Then there is me, the crumble lover. Apples from my tree, blackberries from the hedgerow and my oat topping, yum. Just one bush and everyone is satisfied, what an addition to a wildlife garden.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Wild Strawberries Yum

Doesn't it seem a long time to wait for them, strawberries I love them. I always grow alpine strawberries, they are very similar to the wild ones, little and sweet. I took this photograph two years ago, and managed to catch a honeybee just about to land on one of the strawberries. I think it is a fab photo. Thought I would download this today because it is so miserable out. It had rained on and off all day and has been very windy. I hate it when I can't get out into the garden, I am not an indoor sort of person. I find that being out in the garden more or less every day does keep me fit and healthy. I certainly don't need to go to a gym. For me I can't think of anything worse. I would much rather be digging or pruning etc. We have a clay soil here and a high water table for most of the winter and spring. It does make the soil very hard to work. I have added plenty of compost and grit but it still is a bit of a struggle. I think it takes many years to get your soil right. I will get there one day!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Polly Wolly do do

Have been rained off in the garden so thought I would take a moment to introduce you to my other dog. She is a cavalier king charles spaniel and is coming up to 13. She is deaf and has failing sight, also a heart condition. We took Polly in at the age of six, she was a RSPCA dog. She came to us extremely over weight and quite aggressive (due to her deafness I think). With loads of TLC, healthy food, lovely country walks she is now a very happy old dog. Nella was also a rescue dog. There are so many animals that have been ill treated and abandoned out there, I never quite understand why poeople have an animal to mistreat it. I really love my dogs and they are my constant companions. Rescue dogs are hard work but oh so rewarding and do you know something they are always so grateful. I have two very well adjusted and happy dogs now, its a joy to see. Polly does not chase rabbits by the way, why waste all that energy when you can sit in the sun and watch a mad terrier? She has got a passion for windfall apples though, so I have to be religious about clearing the majority. I would have a very bloated dog otherwise! Quote: The more I see of man the more I love my dogs.

Spiders Artwork

Took this photograph yesgterday morning. We had another heavy frost and I thought how pretty the spiders web looked. It turned out to be s lovely sunny day so worked in the garden all afternoon pruning fuit trees. Managed to do all of them, just took out the dying and cross over branches. The lapwings are back in the fields opposite, I heard them calling as I went to sleep Saturday night. It is such a gentle sound, hence their common name peewits. Also heard the owl calling. I am gLad he is around as there are a lot of field rats around at the moment. Nella caught one the other day. To be honest they don"t actually worry me, as long as they are away from the house. They generally live for around 18 months as they have many predators. They love composters so have to make sure that everything fits nice and tight. Now that 2008 has arrived have started thinking about planting for the spring. I always try something different every year. Havn"t decided for this year yet. I have the tail end of a cold at the moment. Did you know that a few thyme leaves in boiling water keeps the lungs clear. I drink it every day and use a lot of my plants medicinally. I have been doing this for many years and it really does seem to help when you know what you are doing. Quote: The garden is a mirror of the heart.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The beloved bumblebee

Thought I would come back and download one of last years photos. The weather has been so dreary and this pic shows of the promise to come. Verbena Bonariensis much loved by bees, butterflies and me! My garden in the summer is full of it. It self seeds everywhere if the conditions are right. As well as wildlife, the environment and global warming are important issues to me. I really do believe that we owe it to our children and grandchildren to take more care of this planet of ours. Every little bit helps, no matter how small. I try to recycle as much as I can. I have six composters and seven water butts. All my prunings etc go through a shredder and are either put in one of the composters or put back on the bed they came from. I have bags of leafmould rotting down ready to be spread around the garden come spring. I have planted numerous trees here, and it is such a joy to know as they mature future generations will be able to enjoy them. My garden is organic, I refuse to use those dreadful sprays that pollute us and the atmosphere. If something looks sickly, here its do or die. A bucket load of muck, good watering (if necessary) to give it a fair chance. I find that nature takes care of itself in my garden. Yes I have had problems, but hey thats life. Quote: You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt!

Woodland Walk

I have planted this border over the last three years. There are numerous shrubs and trees here. The idea is that as they mature there will be plenty of nesting places for birds and other creatures. I have a woodmouse in one of the bird boxes at the moment. The shrubs provide a continuous source of pollen and nectar for bees. Mahonia Charity if in flower at the moment. It has tried to snow today and is very cold, we have an easterly wind. I have mason bees overwintering in the shed. I started with one unit four years ago and now have between 400 - 600 bees. They really are lovely creatures, they do not sting, which is wise, when you have very young grandchildren as I do. When the bees leave the units around April time they pollenate all my fruit trees. They only live for around six weeks and the female of the species spends her very short life feeding and depositing her grubs into the clean units. Then she dies. Sad eh? I really enjoy taking care of them, and feel it is so worthwhile to make life a little easier for these beautiful creatures. Quote: Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Oh no their back......rabbits!

Happy New Year to you all. Stewart(my husband) and I went away for a few days after Christmas. I always find it a bit difficult leaving my garden, I think a my soul belongs here, in saying that I had a lovely time and now feel thoroughly refreshed. With Nella being in kennels the rabbits had a grand old time. My lovely lavender plants have all had their tops munched and there is lots of digging around the roots of the conifer trees. I can imagine them charging around thinking "that rotten dogs gone, we will show her". Well rabbits Nella is around again so watch your backs!!!!! There must have been strong winds while we were away as the crack willow in the copse had started to come down. Stewarts great with a chain saw, so he removed some of the heavy canopy and a huge part of the trunk.. I don't really like noisy equipment in the garden as it really frightens the wildlife, but the tree was becoming dangerous so it had to be. In the photo you can see a little of our work. The ivy that is hanging down has a drey in it, so there is now a homeless squirrel wandering the countryside. Poor little chap. Mind you they are resilient creatures, am sure he will be fine. Quote:As Rosemary is to the spirit, lavender is to the soul.