Monday, 31 May 2010

Garden tour.......

There has been a garden here for hundreds of years. We recently hired a local historian to look at the house and date it. To our amazement parts of the property date back to the medieval period. During the last few months I have added plants that would have been around during that time. This is one of them, borage.
Bearded iris 'Jane Phillips'. I decided on this variety as it was one of the oldest. I am not disappointed it looks perfect in the border.

Stocks are an old cottage garden plant.

The fragrance is beautiful.

Meadow cranesbill..........what's not to like?
Angelica, just beginning to burst.....can't wait to see her in all her glory. This is a plant that really makes a statement.
Milk thistle .......rabbits adore this plant. Some have survived, many have been cropped. I am hoping they will keep the rabbits away from other plantings. I have to say though, I love thistles, so will be quite happy to see a few more around.
Aquilegia dragonfly....planted for a friend.
There is so much to do in the garden at the moment. I must say I cannot keep up with it. As soon as one job is done, another needs doing.
This border has done very well. There is much waiting in the wings........
'George' the owl is a beautiful feature. A gift from my late father in law. Carved from a felled oak. The young artist that carved George has permission to fell trees that are a danger to the public.
The troughs on the deck are full of tiny blooms. Mr P made the planters so that I could grow alpines etc..........and keep them away from the rabbits.

The obelisks are slowly being covered in foliage. Another month and you will barely see them.

Planting around the pond is slightly (actually more than slightly) out of control but I like it. It is growing on me.

My chair is also carved from a felled oak. Imagine the chair upside down. The legs are carved from the trunk and the back of the chair is the root system. Again the tree was a danger to the public. Sad that it should be cut down, but sometimes there is no other answer.

Salix integra are supposed to stay quite small. Despite regular pruning they are just becoming too big. There here to stay (I think) just hope they don't put on another rush of growth. I now need steps to cut back the tops.......

This is a natural bog garden. When we moved here....I removed the turf, added heaps of compost and sand. The plantings are beautiful.....marsh mallow, large leaf hosta, native sedge, arums.......and dogwoods.
In the centre, a beautiful Gunnera. I thought I had lost this during our harsh winter. Whilst it is a shadow of it's former is alive. Hopefully as summer progresses it will put on good growth.

Nella patrols this area regularly. This is where the rabbits enter the garden.

The beech hedge is now in full leaf.........

The copse is filling out.......

blue tits, wren, and blackbirds are nesting here.

There are also several bumble bee nests.

The view to the house is slowly disappearing.
And finally this is what greets me when I leave the copse. Excuse any netting, cloches, etc in these photographs but when you have a rabbit problem, needs must and all that.

Hope you have all enjoyed the long weekend........I have.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunday safari....

From a tender age, the world of bugs, has fascinated me. A small creature would keep me captivated for long periods ........
Nothing has changed. Early this morning, I decided to water the hanging baskets. As I went to pick up the watering can, I could here movement. I walked over to a planter and gently tipped the contents out.

I watched as the creaure started to clean herself. I am very familiar with this bug, they are very common in this area.

She seemed to stare at me.....I like to think with gratitude, but I would say probably curiosity.
Cockchafers (May bugs) fly at night and are rarely seen. They are clumsy creatures and often crash into things.
The ends of the antennae are club-shaped but they can be extended into a wide fan, enhancing their sense of smell.
Adults feed on leaves and do little damage. Their larvae, however, feed on the roots of trees etc. Rooks and crows feed on their larvae and are frequent visitors in the garden.
It was a good opportunity to study her..........can't wait to show Poppi the photographs.......and for anyone who is wondering what I did with the bug.......of course, I let her go.
Happy Sunday safari..........................

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunday safari

We added the water feature to the garden two years ago. Mr P and I worked together, and also had the help of a friend. It was hard work but most certainly worth all the effort.
I have many plants in the pond. This is our native water soldier (stratiotes aloides). It floats on the surface of the water. During the autumn, as temperatures cool, it sinks to the bottom of the pond. When the weather warms up in spring, it floats to the surface again. Last summer it looked really pretty when in flower. A spike rises from the centre and it has the perfect white bloom.

Yesterday as I sat sipping tea by the pond, I noticed a red damselfly. She carefully placed herself on the water soldier.
Slowly and carefully she started to lower her body into the water.
Is she laying her eggs I wonder? It was at this point I start to become anxious for her. Several damselfly have been pulled into the water this week, possibly by the Great Diving Beetles that frequent the pond. They will attack anything.......
I thought the creature looked anxious.......I can understand why.
Slowly her small slender body disappeared beneath the surface of the water.
After watching for around ten minutes I left her.........I went back a little later to find that she had gone. Hopefully she is a survivor.

I have read many books about wildlife, watched many programmes........they say experience is the greatest teacher of all, I am inclined to agree with that. These are the moments that stay with me, they have meaning and take me away from the problems of everyday life. I am truly blessed......

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

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Wildflowers and fairies....

The weather is warmer. It is good to see blue skies.
Native wildflowers are just coming into bloom.

Solomon's seal is a new addition. It likes damp shady areas, I am hoping it will do well here. I love the colour.....

Some flowers are so tiny I cannot see them clearly without my camera.
It is a fun time watching plants come to life after their long sleep.
Ragged robin is my favourite native wildflower. I collect seeds in the autumn and scatter them on damp soil along the lanes.........we need more wildflowers.
Poppi played with the fallen apple blossom today.......
She thought I was making lunch.........I was hiding and watching. She was singing and throwing the apple blossom into the air........
It's been a good day.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

In the shade......

I have always loved japanese maples. Moving here gave me the opportunity to indulge my passion.
Each birthday relatives bought a plant or small tree for the woodland walk.

Each year my collection grows, and memories of birthdays past are captured.

A gift from Mr favourite.....note the beautiful red bark.
Clematis shelter amongst the trees......'the President' with it's saucer sized blooms has to be the most showy.
A new addition is 'Proteus'. It features single, semi double, and double flowers. I love the colour, it takes me back to a bygone age.
The soil at the back of the garden is perfect for Rhodies. It is loamy, and slightly damp. Forgive me, I cannot remember the names, planted when I first moved here.
A gift from my parents........she is looking a little tired. I shall give her a good feed today and mulch with leaf mould. She will be fine.
I have to smile sometimes. I created a woodland area and rabbits arrived. Should I be surprised, not really. Last night they feasted on the allium buds. They ate ten plants and left me five. The journey continues.......