Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spring has arrived in my garden - at last!


It's so nice to have a lovely sunny day after the long winter and the flowers in my garden thought so too!




It will be Easter very soon and there will be other jobs to do as well as gardening, like making some of these:


and visiting the bluebell wood.


Whatever you are doing, enjoy your time with family and friends.

Happy Easter!


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

My Wintery Garden






Woke up this morning to a wintery world and very cold temperatures. The garden looked so pretty in its frosty cloak, I felt I just had to take some photos.

The holly is glorious and full of berries this year.  This one is Golden King, a female variety - yes you read it right!



Here I am peeking through the lilac tree, trying to see a robin feeding at one of the feeders.


My winter cabbages are frozen!


and so are the plants in the border, but they will all recover.


What's happening in your garden today?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Scarecrows for Halloween


There's something about scarecrows and Halloween, isn't there!  There's always the feeling that one of them might come to life and start harassing the neighbourhood!  A few years ago, in the village of Shillington, near where I live, they had a scarecrow festival.  People there made scarecrows and put them in their gardens for others to come and see. I went along and I was very impressed with their efforts.  We were given a sheet with details of the exhibits and encouraged to vote for the one we thought was the best.

Walking round the village had an eerie feel to it.  Almost the first one we saw was exhibit number 31, see above, which portrayed a very creepy pumpkin head man. It must have taken ages to make this one up.  

Here are some more:







This last one really did come to life and walked down the street right past us!


After we had looked at all the wonderful exhibits, we had tea and cakes in the village hall and admired all the goods on sale. It was a lovely afternoon.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Answers to Round One of the Gardening Quiz



Well, here are the answers to the Round One Gardening Quiz  -

1)  What is the correct generic name for the hardy perennial commonly known as the Day Lily? Is it a) Helxine  b)Heliopsis or c) Hemerocallis

Answer: c) Hemerocallis

+++

2) Do the species Pieris, Permettya and Philesia require acid or alkaline soil conditions?

Answer: Acid

+++

3)  A native of southeast Europe, the hardy perennial Alchemilla produces intricately branched heads of star-shaped yellow green flowers, making it a favourite with flower arrangers.  What is it's common name?

Answer: Lady's Mantle

+++


4)  In a flower, what name is given to the part of the stamen on which pollen is borne?

Answer: Anther

+++


5)  Approximately how many species make up the Anemone genus of hardy herbaceous perennials?

a)  12  b)  60  c)  150

Answer: c) 150

+++


6)  Formerly known as Funkia, this hardy, herbaceous plant is grown for its foliage and trumpet like flowers and is suitable for shady borders and waterside planting.  By what generic name is it now known?

Answer:  Hosta

+++


7)  Which of the following terms is used to describe a plant that flowers and dies in the second season after germination, producing only its stems, roots and leaves in the first season?
a) Annual  b)  Biennial  c) Perennial

Answer: b) Biennial

+++



8)  What is the common name of the hardy, quick-growing annual Limmanthes douglasii, a name the plant acquired from it resemblance to a popular breakfast food?

Answer: Poached egg plant

+++


9)  Two of the species of Allium listed below would be found in the vegetable garden.  Which is the odd one out, grown mainly for it's ornamental flowers?

a) A. moly   b) A, porrum,  c)  A. sativum

Answer: a) moly

+++


10)  The hardy perennial Acanthus has deeply lobed leaves and tall spikes of mauve and white bracts.  What is its common name?

Answer: Bear's breeches

+++


11)  In a botanical name, what does the word vulgare mean?

Answer: Common or ordinary

+++


12) Dog, Marsh and Sweet are the prefixes for three of the ten species of which British hedgerow and woodland flower?

Answer: Violet

+++

How did you do?

Questions taken from Geoff Hamilton's 'Gardeners Challenge' book

Sunday, 9 October 2016

It's Quiz Time!


Let's be a little different today. Let's have a quiz. Together we will test what we know and add to our knowledge.

1)  What is the correct generic name for the hardy perennial commonly known as the Day Lily? Is it a) Helxine  b)Heliopsis or c) Hemerocallis

2) Do the species Pieris, Permettya and Philesia require acid or alkaline soil conditions?

3)  A native of southeast Europe, the hardy perennial Alchemilla produces intricately branched heads of star-shaped yellow green flowers, making it a favourite with flower arrangers.  What is it's common name?

4)  In a flower, what name is given to the part of the stamen on which pollen is borne?

5)  Approximately how many species make up the Anemone genus of hardy herbaceous perennials?

a)  12  b)  60  c)  150

6)  Formerly known as Funkia, this hardy, herbaceous plant is grown for its foliage and trumpet like flowers and is suitable for shady borders and waterside planting.  By what generic name is it now known?

7)  Which of the following terms is used to describe a plant that flowers and dies in the second season after germination, producing only its stems, roots and leaves in the first season?
a) Annual  b)  Biennial  c) Perennial

8)  What is the common name of the hardy, quick-growing annual Limmanthes douglasii, a name the plant acquired from it resemblance to a popular breakfast food?

9)  Two of the species of Allium listed below would be found in the vegetable garden.  Whis is the odd one out, grown mainly for it's ornamental flowers?

a) A. moly   b) A, porrum,  c)  A. sativum

10)  The hardy perennial Acanthus has deeply lobed leaves and tall spikes of mauve and white bracts.  What is its common name?

11)  In a botanical name, what does the word vulgare mean?

12) Dog, Marsh and Sweet are the prefixes for three of the ten species of which British hedgerow and woodland flower?

Answers at the end of the week!

Questions taken from Geoff Hamilton's 'Gardeners Challenge' book

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Apple Harvest



This is our Cox's Orange Pippin harvest for 2016. We've had the tree since 1985, but after a disappointing few years at the beginning, we decided to get rid of the tree, which was not producing very tasty apples.  I think maybe it was the fault of the rootstock. The top half of the tree (Cox) was amalgamated with a different rootstock, but it didn't really work and the apples were more than sharp.  We cut down the tree, applied acid to the base and put a bucket over the top of it (for three years). After that time we decided the tree must be dead and removed the bucket. It still looked dead. However, the next year it showed signs of life and you should see it now! This is a charmed tree and no more harm will come to it. I promise.
This year we had a bumper harvest, which we collected yesterday. I tried one of the apples and yes! it was edible and nicely sweet, yet a little sharp, just like a Cox is supposed to be.


The apples which had been a little damaged on cropping, I have made into some Golden Apple Mincemeat for the mince pies at Christmas.  The recipe is below.




and it turned out very well. I have 8 llb jars of mincemeat to eat and share, just right for harvest.

Do you have any apple tree stories to share?

Happy Gardening.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

September is here.




Although September has arrived, we still have a good show of nasturtiums in the garden. The hanging basket is nearly over, but some of the seeds have dropped off and taken root in the soil beneath and these are flowering in abundance just now.  We don't eat the flowers nor the leaves, although both are edible, but the lovely colours give much joy in the garden at the moment.


I've managed to save a lot of bulbs, which have been dried off in the shed and on the lawn and kept, to replant this month.  Each year I buy new bulbs, but also mix in some older ones.  Some of them are immature and will not flower for a year or two yet, but each year, I plant them so they can get a bit bigger.

We usually plant daffodils in September and tulips in October.

Have you got your bulbs ready yet?


Happy Gardening!