Wednesday, 18 December 2013

18 December

Christmas is upon us once again, they say not to be white, sorry kids.
A very quiet time gardening wise.
The Mahonia is still flowering as are the primroses, this splash of colour is so welcome at this time of year.
Amazingly those little Dianthus still have some flowers, what a revelation they have been.
Have moved some of the Herb planters into the greenhouse in the hope they will carry on through the winter, time will tell.
Doubt I will get around to write again as like everyone it is mad busy so-

Happy Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year

Friday, 6 December 2013

6th December

Well winter is well and truly here, the Pyracantha and Cotoneaster have all had their berries stripped by the birds. Good news the Cotoneaster leaves are now a glowing red, really quite a sight, makes up for the lack of berries.
The Dianthus I planted in spring still have flowers, and the seeds I took and sowed are also in flower. The family are all in for a treat next Spring when I pass them on. They make a great edging with no maintenance required other than de-heading.
I haven't  pruned the Common hedgerow Fuchsia or the Hydrangea as they, until this weeks frost, have still been in flower, will now do in spring. I will take more cuttings of the Fuchsia then as friends have asked for them.
I have decided to make a few changes next spring so hope we have some decent weather, mainly moving things that have outgrown places.
The new Tulips are now in a large planter and when the delayed Hyacinths arrive some will go on top, This particular planted will then be moved during summer and not disturbed, the other Hyacinths will go into other planters just for this winter.
Everything in the greenhouse is okay, the Sweet peas have been pinched out and bushing well, never planted them in Autumn before so we will see how they get along.

Monday, 11 November 2013

11th November

Well just in time all the work in the back garden is now done, everywhere neat and tidy and now the rain as forecast, once it starts doesn't know when to stop.
I have ordered Hyacinths and Tulips and created spaces for them. Must admit I forgot the Daffodils. they can be layered with the Hyacinths, will order today.
The tip on Gardeners World re cleaning off the plant name tags didn't really work for me, my son used my nail polish remover and hey presto I now have a lot of newish ones ready for use. Glad I didn't do my usual bin job on them.
The front garden is still very colourful, have removed the Marigolds and Sweet peas, so am leaving until all the rest die down, some of the Dahlias are still going strong, the yellow Dinner Plate didn't survive those winds and rain, poor things the heads being so large couldn't take all that battering.
Must find something that is evergreen and flowers, but not tall, for that large planter by the porch. The Rhodadendrum which was getting quite large, had to be removed as it was forever being blown over, it is now on the back Patio in a much heavier planter, keeping my fingers crossed. Our ground is Alkaline so the borders are not an option, even when planted with a large bag of Ericaceous compost, after a year or so the flowers become nothing. I proved this with a Camellia, though it still looks healthy the flowers are a shadow of the original.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunday 27th

Well they promised rain and boy is it raining, good thing I did a few jobs early.
I have been splitting some of the perennials and bagging them for our daughter Jackie's new garden.
This heavy rain will finish off my Fuchsia, they have really done so well.
The baskets of Petunia finished last week, must not complain they have been excellent, flowering none stop since end of May.
We have transferred the Rhody in that large pot from the front garden to the back Patio, it was being blown over with the recent strong winds, it is now rather large, hopefully it will be okay in its new place, also now in a larger stone pot, we can but hope. No use putting it into the ground as we are on Alkaline soil here.
I am well under way with dividing the perennials though it looks like it will be a while before I can carry on if the weather forecast  is correct.
The seedlings in the greenhouse are ready for larger pots, quite amazed how good they are.
I still have a few, very few berries on the Cotoneaster and Pyracantha, the birds are having their usual field day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Well thats the hard work done, the greenhouse and staging are now all pristine, the bubble wrap has also been washed in Jeyes fluid and put up, so we will be off to a good start.
Delighted that the seeds I took from the Pinks have germinated so freely, I have transplanted them into trays and will keep in the greenhouse until spring, as these were a compact a variety should make good edging.
This last two weeks my neighbour at the back has the most terrific display of Pampas Grass, the fronds have never been so large and feathery, must have loved the hot dry summer. Think we have a better view of them than they do, they must be over 8 feet tall, a great sight from our lounge.
The Cotoneaster and Pyracantha are in full berry, wonder how long it will be before the birds strip them!!
The Dalias are going strong and will last well into Autumn. Hate this time when we are trimming back the shrubs, makes me think of winter. The Hosta are flowering for the second time.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Monday 26th Aug.

As this lovely weather continues I am making plans for the Autumn.
Last year I washed the greenhouse but this year I am going to give it a really good clean with some Jeyes fluid, feel sure that all this lovely sunshine will have given the beasties a field day, just to be sure a good scrub will put my mind at rest.
I am under way now with cuttings of the Fuschia etc. so all is well.
The Bay tree/bush has been well trimmed also the red Pyrocantha and Holly so the Autumn work will be easier, especially fitting every thing into the dreaded green bin, last season it was nearly Christmas before we were clear.
The Apples are continuing to drop, some quite large so have started to freeze them.
The Surfina Petunias in a basket by the garage are still terrific, they must have been in flower for 12 weeks, you really cannot ask more of a plant than this. I have decided next season in the triple basket at the end of the garden, to plant up with the same Surfina Petunia, they are dearer than the others but well worth the difference. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Saturday 17th August

This is the first wet day in a long time, it usually rains at night here thank goodness. Hope its as forecast dry tomorrow as I am bowling all day.
Went to the Southport Flower Show yesterday, lovely weather so able to stroll around being tempted to buy plants. This is really a very good show and there are plenty of places to stop and have a seat for a while, to Jacks delight.
Treated myself to a floaty type of thing, not a grass, sturdier, called Baloskion Tetraphyllum - Tassel Cord Rush, from Australia. Just what I was looking for to place amongst the Fuschia.
Another stall had a great display of Alstroemeria and a good display of the cushion type so have decided to order some.
The display of dahlia tempted me and shall order a rather lovely pink one -  Can Can.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tuesday 6th Aug.

Well I just knew it would happen, the dratted heavy rain has flattened some of my lovely Star Gazer Lilies, I hate this much prefer them in the garden than in vases. The worst affected strangely are the ones in a sheltered spot, doesn't make sense.
Quite amazes that the Dinner Plate Dahlia are still upright.
One of the good things this rain is certainly swelling the Bramley Apples.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Sunday 4th August

Today was forecast to be very wet, but thankfully it rained during the night.

The Dinner plate Dahlia are opening now, just praying that we only have normal rain so as not to spoil them, with the large heads they soon hang and break if the rain is heavy no matter how well I stake them.
I am still amazed to see so many Bees in the garden, still feel it is the Foxgloves that have brought them.
I am now cutting back the stems on the Foxgloves that have finished flowering, there are many smaller branches bearing flowers, so looks like they will continue for some time yet.
 Pulled some more Rhubarb today, will freeze most of it as I have now used all the apples I froze last season, must admit a family favourite is Rhubarb and Apple Pie or Crumble. Must make some for my niece Julie when she comes over from Kenya next month, they do not grow Rhubarb around Nairobi.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tueday 30th July

As this lovely weather continues it has made me settle down to taking cuttings, our eldest girl is moving into a small bungalow which needs the garden sorting out, hence extra cuttings and later on plant divisions for her.
The Fuschia cuttings I am taking for both of us, I always take far to many, I already have two hardy ones ready, also a Hydrangea, knowing she was hoping to move I did them last year.
Looking at our garden in general she will not have to buy much if anything.
I have been reading about the Foxglove Illumination Pink that are doing so well. On some Blogs there are those who think it may not be fully hardy, though the grower T & M say they are, so I shall hedge my bets and over winter some in the cold frame. As the Foxgloves are finishing the Stargazer Lilies next to them are just coming into flower, quite by chance they are both in the perfect spot to give a spectacular  long show.
I have asked Scot when the conditions are right, to do another photo of them showing the raindrops hanging from the leaves, this always fascinates me, small things and small minds comes to mind.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sunday 28th July

Really can't believe July is almost over, guess it was the late start that threw me out.
One thing that has made me rethink for next years planting, the Deep Purple Fuschia has not looked as happy with this excessive heat, it has in the past been happy in full sun, guess this year was just too much of a good thing for it, must give it a little more shade next year, though you can bet we wont have this heat to contend with. Dancing Flame really takes the brunt of all the sun and is fine thank goodness as are the others.
I have just made room for and planted two Roses a gift from my son Scott, the white/pink Margaret Merill is said to have a great scent along with being repeat flowering, hope so.  The Yellow Rosa Karessia is said to flower all summer, well we will see. Must admit I do not have much yellow in the garden at the moment. Wish someone would breed a yellow Fuschia.
The Bramley is still dropping Apples, thank goodness it is laden, as a family we all rely on it.
The lilac Lupin seedling I swopped a Hellebore for with Sam last year are flowering well.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday 26th July

I feel very lucky 3 nights ago that torrential rain didn't do any  damage, really thought that I would get up to find things flattened. Thank goodness I had well staked up all the tall things.
The corner of the end bed looks great now that the white Marguerite's and the red Crocosmia Lucifer are in full flower and despite the storm still upright, both are  4ft and 5ft tall. I guess its asking a lot for them not to be flattened if we have another rain storm.
The Star Gazer Lilly  are ready for opening, they always give a great show with the wonderful perfume as an extra.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Tuesday 16th

This wonderful weather has really brought all the Fuschia into flower, one or two that were not doing as well as usual have made up for lost time.
I had to cut back the poor old Peony after those awful winds a couple of weeks ago, they were in tatters, such a shame.
The Rhubarb is really in full swing, have frozen 4 packs a great start. The little Herb planters are really proving good value, like the Rhubarb I have frozen more packs of Chives for the winter.
I think I have been very lucky,  the Queen Elizabeth rose I transplanted seems quite happy, have watered it every day, keeping my fingers crossed that I am not counting the chickens before hatching.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


What a delight these Foxgloves are, our Great Grandchildren will be amazed to watch the Bees visiting each of the tubular bells, we certainly were, realising there were more Bees in the garden than we thought.
Sadly it would appear they have missed the John Downey Crab Apple, there are very few apples, I use these to make Crab Apple jelly, its great with Chicken and Pork, a change from Apple Sauce. Oh well there is always next year, I hope though I must admit I am very disappointed.
During the earlier part of the so called Spring, I moved various things to give the front garden a new look, seems to be working. 
Adding the Queen Elizabeth rose to the  back of the side boarder, just behind the young Yucca gives it colour, the Alstroemeria are looking good at the front edge, the common Fuschia and Hydrangea never let me down, though the variegated Holly  rarely has berries. The Mahonia  is a gem, just around Christmas it is always covered in flowers, slowly things are taking shape to give me more colour and dare I hope less work.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

4th July

A glorious day seems a shame not to be able to garden, other than pottering, I have just had a Carpal Tunnel op. the left wrist, so must behave and not get get stuck into anything other than dead heading.
The new Foxgloves are in full flower and look good, the Bees love them, at present they are in a large planter, will have to find a permanent home for them. I also planted some in the front Garden but they are only half as tall, theres me thinking all the manure had really enriched the soil, oh well, will have to investigate their likes and dislikes.
The Alstoemeria pictured that Viv gave me, I have since divided, are now in full bloom, I shall divide again as the new colours I bought are not compact like these and that is what I was looking for.
This is the time now that things are catching up that I start to take cuttings, must find a glove large enough to keep my left hand covered!!

Saturday, 22 June 2013


 Wow, two weeks of lovely warm sunshine, one and a half days of showers and now more sun, the garden is in heaven.
Now everything is growing so fast I have been weeding the back of the borders, I will not be able shortly to get under the bushes as the perennials are all racing along.  As usual I got impaled on the Holly and Pyracantha I grow as shrubs, I never learn.
The Pinks are in full flower, better than ever, the pink climbing rose Zephirine Drouhin an old climber, with a really strong perfume is a sight for sore eyes. Sadly it only has the one full flush of flowers, odds and ends there after, but it is worth it.
The Fuschia  are all beginning to flower now, I shall hopefully be looking to introduce some more varieties this year, whilst still growing my favourites of course.
The big disappointment this year is the Foxglove that was such a success at Chelsea last season.
They have grown well, the stems are full of flowers but the actual flowers are so much smaller than displayed in the gardening Magazines,  I thought they would be twice the size they are, still they will add to the back of the borders well and are a change.

Monday, 27 May 2013


After 3 lovely summer days we are back to pouring rain, what a dreadful climate we have.
Just as I thought things we shaping up in the sunshine, oh well, here's hoping, summer must surely start soon.
Whilst the sun shone I have been able to get the garden into trim.
The front raised bed that I had split and transplanted some Hosta, to have as a permanent edging, well I didn't have them in quite the right place so have moved them into place, they look fine now, just need something in the centre to give colour.
The Geranium plugs I bought are for the first time ever, a disaster, have contacted the grower but will need to rethink this.
 In the front garden the Mahonia that I trimmed earlier has lovely reddish young leaves, at least that likes the wet.
Just reading an article about the awful winter weather washing out all the nutrients from the soil, our sandy soil especially, so adding to the feeding programme  slow release fertiliser and hoping it does the trick.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Red Bird

Well of all the things I write about I never thought it would be a bird.
It really is lovely, seems to be a small type of Parrot. Scott went round to take a photo or two as ever.
It appeared on the garden fence in next doors garden, looks like an escapee, so Allison has bought feed for it.
Unless we catch it the R.S.P.C.A. don't want to know,  we will keep an eye on the local paper to see if anyone is looking for it.
Just hope we do not have any more frost, can't think it could survive that.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

What a joy to see the garden in bloom, the Apple trees are covered in blossom, just hope the Bees etc. do their bit this year, I have almost run out of Crab Apple jelly as the John Downey really suffered last year,
The new Rhododendron that my son bought last year and didn't flower!! I thought oh dear he has been sold a pup, but no, this year it is lovely. The nearest to the colour would be Apricot with darker edges.
Hope it doesn't quickly out grow the very large planter which I filled with Ericaceous compost, I'm really delighted with it. 
I have now hardened off most of the Fuchsia, al are now in their baskets and pots, just wish the wind would ease off.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wed. 1st May

Can't believe at last sunny warm weather, the garden is looking great and the greenhouse is now bursting with plants that really need hardening off. Starting now to do this but keeping them under cover at night, just can't believe that the frost is over. I usually have my baskets outside by now.
Just received the Geranium plug plants I ordered so will pot on tomorrow.
The bowling season has started, what a pleasure to be bowling in the sun.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday April 21st

Can't believe all this sunshine, it really has made such a difference. The Apple trees are bursting into life and the Hosta are popping up nicely, began to wonder at one spell as I had split them to plant around the edges of the front raised bed, this will save me planting annuals, have had to face facts and admit that I need to reduce the work in the garden. Must admit I really like the Hosta, they give a great display all summer and other than keeping the slugs away are trouble free, in the centre I am planting Geraniums as a change.
In the back garden I have now thoroughly weeded and cut the edges. Spring is when I usually do this then in the Summer the basic trimming is all that is needed.  Whilst amongst the shrubs in the back garden I got tangled up and ended flat on my back, more bothered about the the plants than me, we all survived except an old Hydrangea, this was in the wrong place any how, so it had to go to the great compost in the sky, or rather the tip.
Every where looks good and the Daffodils, Primroses, Hyacinths etc. are really looking so colourful, really cheers the soul. Good that all is ship shape as the Bowling season is now upon us. Hope the good weather continues, make the early bowling season a joy.
Took a chance and planted out the new Alstroemeria, Hellebore and Foxglove, which I have I hope, hardened off properly, they all look okay, just hope the frost is well and truly over.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thursday 11th April

Well what a month March turned out to be, thank goodness its over.
Went to a garden centre to see if there were any new Fuchsia I could be tempted to try, there were not. About to leave sitting in the car park and a man reversed into my car, said he didn't see me, by the way I was static!! He however did admit fault, but the ensuing month was stressful as my son would not except the repair, its taken just over a month for the job to be completed satisfactorily.
I have during the month now planted up all the baskets and all but two pots, they are all doing well, I also plant up baskets for the family, "Gran will do it".  What would I do without the greenhouse and the portable one that I use each spring to start the hardening off.
As spring is so late I have planted some more Primroses to add more colour, the Crocus and Hyacinths and latterly the Daffodils are a such a cheer at this miserable time.  Can't believe that it is so dry I have had to water.
I have decided to grow more Herbs and my husband and son have added a set/ tower of herb planters, in advance of course, as part of my birthday present, have decided to have it by the back door, so much easier than trailing down the garden.
A new mower as the cost of a complete service was so high, good excuse to give my old one to my youngest Grandson, who is just starting his first garden.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Wednesday 6th March

This last few days the weather has been so lovely, really cheers me and the garden up.
At long last the Daffs. are in flower and along with the Hellebore, Primroses, Snowdrops and Crocus there is now at last colour in the garden.
All the shrubs are now trimmed ready for spring, heaven knows how the Green Bin Men ever empty ours it so tightly packed.
The remaining Hosta have all been split and given to friends along with other bits and pieces.
Went to see if there were any new Fuchsia at the two local Garden centres. Very disappointed nothing to tempt me. To make matters worse a chap reversed into my car whilst I was stationary!!!!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday 24th  February
What a good week, the plug plants I ordered arrived, in excellent condition.
After the Chelsea Flower show I was impressed with and ordered the Foxglove Illumination Pink, these are sterile and are continuous flowering, they claim, for 6 months, to be divided in time as with other perennials, really looking forward to seeing these in bloom. The Hellebores also arrived,  different colours to the one I have,  problem is as ever I am running out of space. Still potted on they are safe in the greenhouse for now.
 Had another brainstorm today and bought some more Primroses and Crocus, you can never have to many!! at this time of year they bring so much colour to the garden.
A friend popped round so was able to off load some plants I had divided and didn't have a home for, can't somehow throw away good plants. She had a bit of a disaster last year and was looking for new plants thank goodness.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Tuesday 19th
Well at last the first snowdrops and crocus have appeared, surely spring is near, or is this sunshine just to kid us along.
The Hellebores are also in flower .
This week we have started the hard work, last summers constant rain has produced an amazing amount of Moss between the paving blocks, the tedious job of clearing it is now well under way and I have sprayed weedkiller just in case any escaped.
The Tomato seeds are now germinating well in the propagator as are the Peppers, the French Marigolds are yet to show but there's plenty of time for these.
In the greenhouse the Fuchsia, Sweet Peas and Alstroemeria are all looking good, hope this cold spell doesn't set them back.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

February 14th - Pancake Tuesday
Well things are really beginning to come alive now, makes me feel that Spring is on the way, can't come soon enough for me, still wondering if the roses are going to have a nasty shock, they seem very far advanced at present, though the bulbs are slower than usual.
The Primroses continue to look really bright and cheerful, they are so reliable.
The Fuchsia cuttings in the greenhouse are all looking good, haven't lost any, hope I am not speaking to soon. Just transplanted the Sweet Peas, shall start pinching out next week, if as forecast it is milder, they really are ready now.
The new Alstromeria roots are beginning to show growth, still wondering if these are going to be taller than I wanted, time will tell.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February 2013

Well the New Year certainly started with a bad news, I hope February is the turning point.
The two friends who ended up in hospital are now improving.
This is the time I start thinking of sowing my Tomato seeds, mind you it helps if you have bought same, or can remember where you put the half a packet from last year.
I  as usual will be sowing French Marigolds for protection against Aphids in the greenhouse.
Last season I was pleased with the red, green & yellow Peppers, I seem as time goes by to use them more and more. This season I shall try the larger Chili Peppers, the small ones did very well last year but I fancy trying the larger ones.
Seems strange not to be up to my neck in material for the opening of the Bowling Club, though must admit it has given me chance to do other things.
Looking forward as ever to the outdoor bowling, the Short Mat at Dunes on a Friday is fun but there is nothing like Competitions and Leagues.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year News
I hope every one like us had a great Christmas and New Year.
Yesterday I checked the greenhouse, first time since before Christmas, what a surprise, having read about sowing seeds in Autumn I did a tray of seeds, taken from my own sweet Peas in the front garden, to my surprise they have germinated well and are now one and half inches tall and look really strong. This is the first time I have  tried this, wish I had also done the Marigolds and Petunia, still a lesson learned.
The Roses are are all sprouting, I guess if we have a really cold spell it will set them back. Strangely  the Daffs and Tulips are not as advanced as usual, still plenty of time for these.