Sunday, 14 December 2014

Just in case I do not have time to write before Christmas Best wishes everyone hope you all have a lovely time.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thursday 11th December

Amazingly this last couple of weeks the group of Arum Lily think its spring and are growing away, this vile weather will no doubt send them off to sleep, I hope not a big set back.
The Mahonia outside the kitchen window are still in flower and such a joy at this time of year, as are the Alstroemeria in the front garden, not for long now though.
Like everyone else we have gales that are bent on wrecking anything in flower, can't wait for Spring.
Love the Cotoneaster at this time, what are left of the leaves are a lovely red. The berries are long ago eaten by the birds.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Saturday 8th November

Oh well winter is now well and truly on its way, someone said we would get bored if it was always summer, who are they kidding, the older I get the less I like winter.
The Garden is now all prepared for winter just the edges to trim.
My neighbours Pampas Grass has survived the winds well and still wafting about, long may they continue.
The hardy Fuschia are still looking great.
This Year the Mahonia is flowering early which is sad I like it best when it flowers in December to cheer me up. It sits outside my kitchen window and is a joy.
I am having second thoughts about the Hosta I put in the front garden, wasn't very pleased with them this last summer, though maybe it was just too hot for them, still thinking of moving them and filling that bed with Geraniums or annuals.
The greenhouse having been bubble wrapped is now lovely and cosy.
I did think of putting a couple of fruit tree / bushes in pots on the patio, but after trying to buy suitable sized ones have changed my mind, just think they wouldn't give enough fruit to be worth the while.
In the front garden I have an Acer  Brilliantissimum which doesn't like its position, and to be honest is a bore, I grow sweet Peas up it to add interest. Thinking of having it removed and putting a Damson tree there.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Monday 27th

Well we didn't miss last weeks gales and they have really flattened my Dinner Plate Dahlias.
Next season I must stake individually with strong stakes not canes, and keep my fingers crossed.
The plug Primroses I planted a week ago are looking very promising.

Most of the pots of Petunia are now empty, just the last 3 baskets of Fuschia to clear when they finish. They as ever never let me down and are still in full flower. Can't believe they withstood all that battering as they are in the most exposed spot on the Patio.
I often say how Dancing Flame and Kit Oxenby can withstand even the very hot sun, seems they can also withstand the gales.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Saturday 4th October

Well its the first day of Autumn here, we actually had daytime rain, the first for weeks. I know others have had rain in August but not us, 5 months of lovely summer, we a little rain at night occasionally, just enough to top up the water butt, it has been heaven.
I have now cleared all the baskets and pots that had Petunias and Geraniums, also the cut back the Hostas and various other perennials in the at the back of the garden, every where is looking tidy but rather empty _ sad.
Must admit the back border wasn't as weedy as I though, the mulch certainly helped,
The Fuschias are still going strong and should be okay for a couple of weeks.
Today the Primroses arrived and as the rain stopped I planted them out into the empty pots for a little winter cheer.
Also bought a Snowdrop tree/shrub, never heard of it before but as I love snowdrops couldn't resist.
Just remains now to finish off the main bush trimming, and then weed the other borders, before moving onto the front garden.
We do not have a large garden but at this time of year we do have masses for the green bin, even so we  have  had to fill 4 bags and to take the tip. Wish we had a second green bin, no room for a compost heap, to be honest i am now beyond digging so its a good thing.
Our new neighbour is happy to receive plants as I divide, thats a blessing.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday 30th August

Well Autumn is certainly on its way, today I have started cutting back the Sungold Tomatoes in the greenhouse, very sad but mustn't complain we have had a massive crop.
My niece Julie over from Nairobi really loves the Sungold and has had a field day eating them like sweets. Last year she bought seeds to take home,  but she says they do not taste the same, must be something to do with the different soil.

Just tied up the hot Chilli's in the greenhouse, look like Christmas decorations. This is the first time I have grown so hope they do last for use in the Autumn and winter. The sweet peppers are slow to ripen or is it me that expects to much to soon.

The rest of the garden is now showing signs of the end of summer, all the baskets are still in flower but not now as profusely.
The Pyrocantha  both red and yellow are in full berry, wonder how long before the birds devour them.
The Dahlias that survived those winds are looking okay, as ever the second flush are not quite as large, perhaps this is a good thing, they should withstand the winds that we are bound to get, though next week is supposed to be hotter.
Weather wise we have had a great summer, second in a row, wow, even with that windy week.

One of the great things about gardening you can swop and change things at will, just as nature does, it always amazes me the things that pop up that I haven't planted.

One thing that hasn't done as well is the Alstroemeria in the front garden, wonder if it was just to hot for them. I shall split them next month and hope it reinvigorates them. The other thing that hasn't done as well - the Hostas, sadly the slugs had a good feast, even slug pellets didn't seem to do the trick, must rethink the pots for next year.
The hard work now starts, sorting the Bramley Apples for  for freezing, jelly making and wrapping to store, starting tomorrow our great granddaughter  Jaymie is going to help me, quite a job there are so many.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday 9th August

Well the Stargazer Lilies are now drawing to the end and I have been trimming back, they have been glorious, I think they are due to be repotted, I am sure its 3 years since I did them last.
Thank goodness we didn't get all that heavy rain that was forecast as my Dinner Plate Dahlias are now in full display and huge, heavy rain would decimate them.
We are beginning to trim back the Pyracantha that is now bush shaped by the greenhouse, like so many things has grown hugely, I pruned the front of it a while ago and berries are beginning to set already.
The grass at the back still looks good, could almost call it a lawn.
I have made a space near the Pyracantha to transplant that new Rhubarb, Timperley early, it is still going strong and deserves a place in the garden, keeping it watered is a twice daily job or it flops, it has really done well and so tasty.
Have made the first of the Apple Jelly from windfalls, will make more after  we harvest the main crop.
Also made some Chutney for Jack as the Sungold Tomatoes have also gone mad, first time I have ever made Chutney, looks good, the recipe says to leave 2 weeks before eating!!.
Must admit I planted 2 extra Tomato, never again, as delicious as they are there are only so many you can eat, any one who visits goes home with Tomato and Apples.
Next month is the time to start the Apple harvest and the freezing begins, have already frozen some Rhubarb.
Can't wait for the Peppers Sweet and Chilli,  to ripen, will do as I read and cut into pieces lay them flat and freeze for an hour then scoop up into bags, they will then stay separate like frozen Peas I believe!!!! Watch this space.
I am sure everyone is like me and delighted at the display in their gardens this year and not a single cry about water shortage, wow.
Will take more Fuschia cuttings  next week, like everything else they have been great, though that week when it was humid and 29 degrees I feared for them as they are in full sun until 3pm.
The Australian Restio that I bought at the Southport Flower Show, one plant was for me pricey £10, but it was money well spent, this is what I read about it so i got it right:-
Restio’s do best in open sunny positions with good air movement – they like the wind! Free draining soils with a PH of 7.5 and below are preferable – thats neutral to acid. Thats us in Southport,
(Being mostly from mediterranean climates they are well adapted to summer drought however, during long dry periods the plants will be greener and more lush with an occasional watering. Restio’s look very different as young plants having a juvenile growth form of fluffy green, fairly lax stems. In the third year they start to send up more mature culms turning into their elegant adult selves) Must find out how to propagate.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Thursday 24th July

Mustn't complain about the lovely hot weather but O how we could use some gentle rain.
Two hot summers in a row is unheard of these days.
If it comes you can bet it will flatten all the Star Gazers and the Dinner Plate Dahlias, which are a delight at present,  everything else i feel would stand a chance.
Jack is enjoying lunch in the garden, even trying to dead head the Petunias etc. along side our eldest grandchild Jaymie, we will make a gardener of her yet.
This will sound like nonsense but I have Stargazers at the bottom of the garden, in places I definitely did not plant them. They are not quite the colour of my others, a much paler pink. 
I have always understood that they did not seed, it however seems to be the only explanation, carried by the birds perhaps!!! Will get Scott to take a photo or two as he does.
Those Pineberry plants, which were a gift have done nothing fruit wise, lots of healthy green leaves and what appeared to be fruit forming, I must admit I am disappointed, something different is great, however didn't seem to have work. 
The Rhubarb Timperley is cropping very well, its a family favourite. The new one is now in a large pot and appears to be happy.
What can I say about the Sungold Tomatoes other than terrific, seem to be cropping even better in this hot weather. Must admit I water twice daily, morning and evening and as ever feed weekly along with everything else.
The Sweet Peppers and the Chilly Peppers are also in full swing, shouldn't be long before we are picking some.

Monday, 14 July 2014

July 14th

One of the mistakes this year was over mulching around the Peony, thought it would wash in more, sadly it has now raised the levels at the base of them and they have not flowered. Must admit I wondered why, then remembered, they do not like the roots covering more than a touch, ah well, you live and learn, I hope!!.
I am so pleased with the garden generally  I could become quite a bore.
Does anyone know what you use Quince for, other than jelly, must look it up.
The Bramley Apple is loaded so will freeze some and repeat the Apple Jelly as last year, it was soon used up.
The John Downey Crab Apple is also looking good, keep telling myself to be patient as it is only a young tree, my mind keeps going back to my old large one. Perhaps its a good thing as I was making jelly for the whole family!!!
At the foot of the garden just in front of the revived Laurel, the Crocosmia Lucifer and the White Marguerites are giving their usual show stopper.
I forget at times about the front garden, the Queen Elizabeth rose is covered in flowers, likes being transferred to its new spot.
Have just potted on the Fuschia cuttings I did earlier so will be well on the way for next year.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Saturday 5th July

I have just staked the Dahlias, idiot that I am I had forgotten to do them, as ever broke one stem. Each year I promise myself I will do it very early but somehow leave them "just a little longer" and pay for it.
After not having much rain for a very long time last night it made up for it, sadly the weeds will also love it.
First pull of the Rhubarb that I planted last year and thought wasn't very tasty, well it must just have been too young as this is great, also found the label Timperley Early. Shall do as I read and leave this year to mature.
The photo of the back garden enclosed makes it look smaller than it really is, shame about the ramp hand rail. The Hydrangears especially the Mop Head in the front garden have benefit from the winter rain and sunny spring, plus all the lovely mulch I put on.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Saturday 14th June

Arum Lily- Spectrum Mixed.
This is an advance part of my birthday present, and yes from a car boot, scott is the original car boot kid, comes home with some amazing things.
These are from a chaps stall who Scott has had some great plants from for me. The only problem as in the past there are no labels, good thing I knew what they were. Looked them up and there are only half hardy, need a dry frost free place in the winter, so can't put them in the garden by my white Arum Lily. They are a great addition to the garden. I love the speckled leaf.
The White Arum Lillies are looking even better as the red Asiatic Lillies along side them are just open.
Every where is looking great, I love this time of year.
Just sown the Dwarf Alstroemeria seeds he also got for me, plus some Chive seeds. For some reason my  Chives have lost their onion bit, they were growing like mad but no flavour so they have gone to the green bin, I shall start over with the new ones.
The Common White Fuschia cuttings I took a couple of weeks ago have taken very well I'm delighted to say.
I have repotted and taken so many things and taken so any cuttings that I am running out of space, would be lost without my potting bench by the greenhouse. At this rate I shall need a bigger garden!!

Monday, 9 June 2014

8th June

Every thing is now looking good, amongst others the Foxglove and Alstroemeria are in full flower and looking great. Have decided that the Foxglove will have to be moved from the tub into the garden at the back end, the ones in the front garden are far larger, so think maybe the ones in the tub are outgrowing the space.
All the cuttings are good. Funny if you don't want something like Sycamore trees, they seed like mad. At the back of a Hardy Fuschia  bush I found one about 18 inches high and a really bushy strong little tree, shame it had to go in the green bin, but do not know anyone who would have it.
The Fruit trees are full of fruit, lets hope in the June drop we get off lightly.
Don't remember if I mentioned the Quince for the first time in 7 or 8 years it is actually in fruit, surprise surprise.
Have had to resort to Slug pellets around the Hosta, can't have the little blighters spoiling them.
The triple basket stand at the end of the garden is now in flower and well worth the effort. This is the first time I have not had Fuschia in them but felt a change was needed.
The White Arum Lilies are splendid this year, there are 12 flowers open at the moment, must be all the rain.

I have ordered some Dwarf Alstroemeria seeds, rather Scott has, so will soon have plenty, much less work than than annuals, but still giving lots of colour.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Sunday 11th May

Well thats the worst job over, the washing of all the plant pots and seed trays.
Why do I always choose a windy day to do this, as they are draining they blow all over the place, still it done now.
I have completed planting out all but one tray of Geraniums, must find a home for these, lord knows where.
 I took a cutting of a yellow flowered shrub, whilst passing, its growing well,  thought it was Forsythia but realise its not, after Googling think it might be a Kerria Japonica Pleniflora.
I have decided to have a curved path going up the garden towards the greenhouse, this is to make it easier to push Jack now he is in a wheelchair. Sadly the door isn't wide enough for him to go in to side shoot the tomatoes, this was always one of his jobs.
Everywhere is looking good now all the planters and baskets are racing along, hope the weather lives up to the forecast and it is going to be warm next week, will be able to sit Jack on the patio, they are coming to put in a ramp from the Patio doors onto the Patio next week (I hope).
Have put the Hyacinths and Tulips into permanent pots, will keep at the end of the garden until next winter.
The greenhouse is now full, I have planted on the Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers plus the Chilly Peppers.
I really should have bought a larger freezer. May have to buy a smaller one just for fruit and veg.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday 4th May

Don't seem to have had much time for the computer since my husband came out of hospital, as things settle down and we get into a routine I shall hopefully have some time for me.
The garden is a constant joy,the Apple trees look really good, the John Downey Crab Apple seems to have thickened and is full of blossom so hoping for lots of fruit to make the Crab Apple jelly, a family favourite, the Bramley never lets me down.
The Rhododendron really likes its new place on the Patio at the back, it really is beautiful.
I have planted up all my baskets and a long planter and basket for Jackie (the eldest) with the help of our great grand daughter Jaymie.
I seem to have plenty of spare plants so am going to change my usual planting scheme for pots, simply can't waste plants. I  seem to have Petunia and Geraniums and Cosmos coming out of my ears
The Tomato and Peppers in the greenhouse are all looking very good. Looking forward to a bumper crop. I shall try the tip I read about slicing Peppers and laying on paper on a tray and freezing for a hour they say that then you can scoop into a bag and they stay separate ( like frozen sliced Beans.) Can but try as I use rather  a lot of them, it worked with the Chives.

Monday, 24 March 2014

24th March

Tom Thumb
A fairly recent addition (12 Months) to the front garden, replacing the now defunct Ceanothus. 
It is a very attractive dark wine coloured evergreen with rounded habit, the new grow shows as pale green making it very attractive. I believe it is slow growing, which suits me fine these days, especially where it is situated. I try to create interest with the evergreens by planting different colours / shades, so the wine colour is added interest. So far it has proved to be slow growing and trouble free which is a bonus. I am considering putting one in  the back garden as another shrub has come to the end, more dead wood than good, so its gone to the green bin.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Wednesday 12th March

Well after all this time I have actually found the name of the Hellibore that is such a great plant, almost a small shrub- Hellibore Argutifolius.  Doesn't  look good  in this shot, but with its evergreen foliage its a winner.
The new Hellibore doesn't look as if it will be shrub like, but the flowers are lovely, the only fault they hang their heads downwards, its by the Bramley apple so in partial   shade which it appears to like.
I have planted some of the Dianthus seedlings close by to give a continuity of flowers, I hope.
With the last couple of weeks lovely weather spring really has sprung, its a pleasure to go into the garden, especially now that Scott has trimmed all the  common Fuchsia and shrubs for me.

The Compost is next to go on now everywhere is weeded.
Welcome Spring, I hope.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday 24th Feb.

What a joy to see all the Crocus and the few Snowdrops in full flower. The Crocus in the front garden have really multiplied, with Hellebore and Primroses also in flower quite a sight, really cheers me up.
One of the new Alstoemeria plants that I bought is actually in flower, it really is pretty, the others are not as far on, perhaps in the wrong place, will move later.
The seeds I sowed last week are showing, in fact the Cosmos are so far on I have transferred to the greenhouse. I haven't even bothered with the propagator this year, proof of the mild if rather wet winter. Have started to prune the shrubs as all are now bursting. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thursday 13th Feb

Well last night were the very worst gales I can remember , luckily we came off unscathed.
Sadly the garden at the foot of ours, whose lovely Pampas grass has been a joy to view over the fence, are now just a few broken sticks, we will miss them.
An older tree by the Hospice, that used to be Kew Woods, is no more, hope the road is open tomorrow when I take Jack into Hospital, as they are next door to each other.
I have now sown the Cosmos and Marigold seeds, am waiting for the Sungold Tomato seeds to come, couldn't buy locally so sent off for them.

Thank goodness the Primroses and Snowdrops are low enough to have survived, surprisingly so have the Hellebores, which are now in full flower.
With this winter being so mild, if wet, I thought the Daffodils would have been further on.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Saturday 1st February

Will it ever stop raining! a couple of hours of sun and off it goes again, so glad we are not in a flood area, wind, being coastal is our problem.
My only clump of  Snowdrops are now in flower and the Crocus are just starting to open, with the Primroses and Hellebore makes me feel optimistic, perhaps the better weather is on its way, hope springs eternal.
I delayed sowing the Marigold, Cosmos and Tomato seeds but now February is here I shall get started. Family health problems have delayed me.
 I have tub of Geraniums that I wasn't keen on and left out and they are looking very strong, if I had liked them they would have died, they actually have flowers forming!!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday 19th January

Pottering this morning whilst it was still dry and sunny!! noticed the Arum Lilies , this is the first time ever that by December they have not died back, they are still in leaf, showing what a mild if wet winter it is. wonder what, if any difference this will make to the flowering next summer.
The first Snowdrop has opened. I have planted Snowdrops a few times, in different places, but only one little patch ever survives, no idea why.

Bought some Dwarf Cosmos seeds on the way to bowls yesterday, read about them, they should be great. It is far too windy here I found for the usual taller type, the winds just flatten them, they don't look good staked, I really love the feathery leaves.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wednesday 15th

Well thats the Marmalade made for another year thank goodness, yes the little shop is still going strong.
Looking at Revival Gardening I picked up a tip on cuttings. Like me Christine Walker prefers not to use rooting powder, she says to put some Vitamin C  in water and pop cuttings in for while before potting up, must try this on a couple of the more reluctant Fuchsia like Deep Purple.
The Primroses are looking bright and cheerful and the Hellebore are all starting to flower, seems I hope that worst of the winter is over!!
Those Dianthus cuttings that I hardened off are still amazing me, they are I know in a very sheltered spot but beginning to flower!! Guess I shall have to pinch them out again.
Having left the Hydrangea and Common Fuchsia pruning I am sorely tempted to do it next week when Scott is on holiday. Need to stand over him or he goes mad with the trimmer.
The Daffodils are at last showing through, began to wonder if I had lost them.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Thursday 2nd January.

Hope every one has had great festive season, if so probably as tired as me. Wouldn't change it for the world.
The Garden is looking neat and tidy, thank goodness we are  not in flood areas.
I wasn't successful with the Chives I put into the  greenhouse, must look into this more carefully, breaks my heart when I have to buy same.
Our Grand daughter is now starting to be interested in gardening, this means another home for excess plants.
This next week is the Marmalade making time, hope the little shop in Birkdale, I get the Seville's from is still open, no answer when I called today. Strange but we do not have a green grocer here in Marshside or Churchtown, the Seville's from the supermarkets come far to late, and are not firm enough, here's hoping!!
The Fuschia's in the greenhouse are beginning to break now, just hope we do not have any heavy frost, though I do have a heater.
Must now think about seeds, makes me think Spring is on the way, this also means the bowling season, always good to look forward to this.