Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday safari.....

I planted Clematis armandii two years ago. I placed it in a south facing position and had high hopes for this plant. Sadly it has never done well here. The cold easterly winds that sweep the garden and the harsh frost of winter leave much damage. Each year I cut the dead wood away, and enjoy the few blooms that open. You live and learn.
Lords and ladies flower spikes are just beginning to open. The garden is full of these native wildflowers.

Rabbits hide in the shadows. They are nibbling some plants, new plantings have been dug out and the holes in the lawn are too numerous to count. I met the local farmer in the week, apparently numbers are very much out of control in this area. Am I In my opinion, the farmers are partly to blame, because they shoot the foxes that come onto their land.
Maurice Mallard arrived last week......
He brought Mildred with him.......
They take a morning and evening stroll in the garden. They make a lovely couple don't you think? Nella is kept inside until they take flight.......
Blue butterflies are so hard to capture......I am pretty sure this is a holly blue. They are frequent visitors to the garden......I have many holly bushes here.
I watched a bumble take a stroll. Nella does not touch has been hard teaching her to leave them. She now sits and watches with me.
Euphorbias are attracting lots of insects.....obviously you can see the ladybird but can you see the other bug?
Whilst weeding, a bee fly came to join me. I was pleased with this capture as they move so quickly it is often difficult to get a photograph......
The blue bottle on plum blossom fits in so perfectly with the blue sky........I love blue skies.
Happy Sunday safari.......have a lovely week.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Warm days, but the nights are chill. Most mornings there is a light frost. I thought I had lost this hellebore but she has managed a bloom. Harrington Double White is all I thought she would be.
Narcissus 'Thalia'.......I wish I had planted more.......she is slightly dazzling in this photograph. I could not get the light right. Can you see that tiny insect on the bloom?

This is Narcissus cheerfulness..........she certainly makes me feel cheerful.
I cannot believe how many Fritillary have survived this year. Rabbits love them. They are growing amongst red campion, perhaps that is the answer.
I am not sure where this Aquilegia came from. It looks like a double....cannot wait for it to open.
Aquilegia Chocolate Soldier is fully opened. The scent is truly lovely.
Pieris 'forest flame' is a pretty shrub. The perfume is very similar to lily of the valley.
Sambucus 'black lace' is another shrub that does very well here. I have added several new plants to fill gaps.........I do love the colour.
I have added five peonies to the borders. This one I cannot wait to see bloom....Paeonia lactiflora 'Shirly Temple' This perennial has pale pink, almost white, double flowers.
Marsh Marigolds have been added to the pond and are covered in buds.......
Epemedium x Versicolor is blooming well......tks to Mr P and the cloches. I love the hairy leaves.
Euphorbia Characias......a new addition, I am slowly falling in love with Euphorbias. I never realised what a statement they make.....
Euphorbia amygdaloides var robbiae.......I think that is right. I shall let these plants re-seed around the garden.
Arum may remember me planting these in the spring. They are doing well and looking lovely in the borders.
I had to cover Angelica at first....the rabbits seems to like the young growth. Each night I covered them with upturned flower pots.......and now they are gorgeous, green and lush. The island bed is full of exciting.
Ribbon grass.......I love the pink stripe in this one. I have been very selective with grasses.....I have lost many to rabbits.

Many small conifers did not survive the rabbit and winter damage. I have removed them. I wanted to put something back that was evergreen. I chose Phormium 'Apricot Queen'. This is a dwarf variety and has a weeping habit. The leaves on this plant have a lovely apricot flush......eventually they mature to yellow, margined with green and bronze. I was not too sure at first but they are fitting in perfectly with the planting scheme.

At last, a tulip in bloom. They are very late this year.....but this is hopefully the first of many.

All the silver birch that Poppi and I planted are in leaf. A wonderful addition to the garden.....

And finally.....what garden would be complete without a dandelion or two or maybe more....

The journey with the garden gets better each day....many new additions are waiting in the lupins, blue and black iris, allium purple sensation, echinacea white swan and lots lots more. Can't wait to show you.......

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday safari

We have waited 16 months for them to bloom. Poppi and I grew them from seed. Aquilegia Chocolate Soldier is a rare choice species. Sweetly scented, delicate, chocolate-brown blooms. The flower is tiny (1.2cm....1/2 inch) and exquisite. I shall share seeds at the end of summer, let me know if you would like some. These are not for the impatient gardener.
Ornamental apple, a ladybird and an ant. Each year ants farm aphids on this tree. Ladybirds will lay their eggs near the buds. As the larvae hatch they will feed on the aphids. Perfect for the organic gardener.

I followed the orange tip butterfly into the copse.
He was seeking shelter and some warmth.
He danced in the breeze on a spring snowflake.
I sat on the fallen willow trunk and was totally captivated.
Orange tip butterflies are my favourite.......
The male hatches before the female......
I love their dappled green underside, it gives them perfect camouflage.

Happy Sunday safari.........

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Post for Poppi

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardener's shed and you just keep straight ahead-
I do so hope they've really come to stay.

There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merry making there-
Well, they do.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!

They often have a dance on summer nights;

The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,

And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.

Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams,
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!

You cannot think how beautiful they are;

They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King

Come gently floating down upon their star.

The King is very proud and handsome;

The Queen - now can you guess who that could be,

(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?

Well, it's ME!


Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sunday safari

This is my childhood home. My parents, baby brother, and I moved here when I was four. I left when I married Mr P. Mum and Dad had very little money. Father worked six days a week and would come home tired and dirty from twelve hours of manual labour. I would wait at the gate.....watching for the bus to arrive at the top of the hill. As soon as I could see Dad, I was allowed to go and meet him from his day of toil. I would run so fast, red in the face, gasping for breath........and then that moment came when father would lift me in the air and swing me around, until I was so dizzy I could not stand. On Sundays Mum and Dad would take us out to the woods, or Greenwich Park. My time would be spent looking at the trees.....trying to spot birds.........and generally being at one with the outdoor world. I owe my parents so much.......they taught me to love all that is around me.
The hornbeam is showing her catkins.......I planted this tree and she is quite a beauty now.

Blossom is late............the bees will appreciate the flowers.

There is much nest building ......
A female chaffinch sits quietly .......
Love is in the air.....
A robin sings.......
A bumble enjoys the last blooms of the Mahonia.......yes it is still flowering.
The fritillary have opened, the rabbits have not found them yet. Hush, do not tell.
Don't you just love a bloom with freckles. Do you have freckles?
Happy Sunday safari........