Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Water butt

There's a bargain to be had in slim water butts right now at B & Q.  This was £30 and reduced to £20 and if you have a wrinkly card for Wednesday it will cost you £18.

We used to have one here and we took it to the allotment and it was stolen!  So I am happy to have one back home again replacing the Clampett-like structure of watering can on bricks.

Handy source of water for plants in pots - warmish if weather is warm so less shock to the system, rainwater rather than chemically treated tap water and free (after the £18 investment!!) and 'green' in all ways including the colour - win-win.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Box and Derby Day

Box hedges only need cutting once a year.  If you have any fussy shaped topiary you could be snipping at it non-stop to keep it tightly trimmed.  The downside to that is that if you keep cutting into 'trees' they are weakened by it and become more susceptible to infection from bugs and diseases.

The traditional day to cut any box hedge has always been Derby Day which is the first week in June and the 'rule' is they should always be cut by July.  This is so the new wood gets a chance to harden before the autumn and therefore survive the winter frosts better.

Sometimes it is good to break rules.

My hedge is not being cut at all this year.  Thanks to its over-cut last year by the gardener I had at that time, it took a bit of a beating.  It is not the healthiest specimen in the first place as it stands with its feet, pretty much, in concrete.  Our patio was haunched up with upended slabs set in large amounts of concrete.  It looked pretty ugly and the hedge is specifically there to hide that.

So, as I said, in a ton of concrete and with its back to a slab of concrete which must fry it in hot weather and then attacked with a chain saw.  It needs a good long break and a chance to put on new growth unhindered, so that's what it will get this year.

It will always look very lopsided on the garden side because our garden slopes by two feet across its diagonal and the hedge is cut to be a foot or so above the patio and looking level on that side.  The patio has now become the conservatory but the hedge and the principal remains.

Monday, 29 June 2015

In my garden yesterday

potential olives? - presume they are flower buds but don't seem to be opening

primula capitata covered in farina (white powder) just as it should be

only a few not very impressive foxgloves this year, had a six footer last summer

I love astrantia - this is minor - I didn't notice the hover(?) fly

poppies always aim for perfection

like this corner now the knautia is coming out (the dark pink blobs on long stems)

never show you the utility area

iris - spuria, I think

love this colour mix - nice basket this one

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Noel Terry's Garden, York

The last couple of years I don't seem to have been visiting gardens at all - it tailed off when I got stuck into another hobby.  We hope to visit a few (Yellow Book) gardens this summer.  However we did get a bit of a start by walking around the garden at Noel Terry's house in York a few weeks ago.

He was the Terry of the Terry's chocolate family and sensibly built his Arts and Crafts House in sight of the race course at York and within a few hundred yards of his factory.

The gardens at Goddards are four acres, designed by George Dillistone.  It has garden rooms, with the traditional 'walls' of yew hedging.  Besides the formal parterre-type garden near the house, there is also a bowling green, wild areas, growing area and more to go at.  It is in the process of being restored to its former glory so be a little patient.  It is still worth a visit and tea in the loggia or on the terrace couldn't be bettered.

NB don't confuse it if you are Googling it with Goddards in Surrey - also an Arts and Crafts House by Lutyens and a garden by Gertrude Jekyll.  Noel Terry's might be the 'poorer' version but it is a lovely place to visit with a real feeling of home.

The Burrs

This is intended to be very much a 'local' centred blog so I hope there are folk reading this that know and care about Burrs Country Park.

With the cutbacks from the local council they are very much becoming dependent on volunteer help.  If you fancy doing any bits of gardening however much or however little please get in touch with me here or by email and I will introduce you to the Friends of the Burrs who, I am sure will be happy to find something you might want to do.  Perhaps you could be responsible for one little area, maybe with someone else if you like gardening with company.  As I said whatever you want to do to help will be very, very appreciated.

My husband and myself and two others spent a couple of hours there clearing out the weeds from the four sensory beds.  Moderately hard work for an old fogy like me, but nice to be in the sun and doing something useful and look what a difference it makes.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Lotty update

The Grow Your Own Project is still limping along.  We went round to pick some rhubarb and to see if there were any strawberries ready yet.  My sister is picking a ton of them in Vancouver!  It is hard to imagine we are colder than there!  None ready for us yet.

Two or three beds had been cleared out which was nice to see.  The down side is that they had filled my compost bin with grass which is about to seed everywhere.

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As always my rhubarb and strawberry bed was choking

..........but it doesn't take long to give it some breathing space.

The mixed veg bed is truly that this year.  I have a load of potatoes appearing from last year because we didn't clear it out properly so my salad crops are tucked in here and there and just growing around them, but it is working OK.

mixed bed

spinach and cress among the potatoes

some mixed salad leaves

rogue potatoes look good and healthy

In the same sort of way I have dwarf beans planted with the raspberries.  The raspberries will make a lot of runners this summer and probably fill the bed but until they do I may as well use the space.  They look promising as they are loaded with potential berries.

dwarf beans and raspberries

the beans look just fine

half a dozen bean plants

While we were there I got Ken to shove in some supports for the raspberries - not sure what that achieves....

Friday, 26 June 2015

Greenhouse v. outside

I have started off some plants in the greenhouse and then some went in a pot outside and the other s remained in the greenhouse.  I am surprised to see that the outside ones seemed to be doing much better.  I expected the tomatoes in the warm greenhouse to be romping away.

two tomatoes and one cucumber in a bin outside

two tomatoes and one cucumber in greenhouse

The aubergine finally has flowers - my daughter's, in Edinburgh (this came from her), have been miles ahead of mine.

flowers at last again in greenhouse
The peppers also remain puny.  I am beginning to think my garden is in a cold dark place!

sweet peppers in greenhouse

here are my leftovers waiting to find a home - all doing well outside!

sunflowers, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes