Friday, 31 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 31st July

Day 9

The buddleia is becoming a buddy nuisance! It grew of its own accord a few years ago and I decided to let it grow, at that point in time Mr Daffy was going to extend the pond anyway. However, he has built a bigger pond at the bottom of the garden and despite chopping it to almost nothing this winter it has got bigger and bigger. 

Mr Daffy is getting annoyed because of the debris that is ending up in his pond and I'm getting annoyed because of all the little plants underneath that can't grow properly. Additionally it is blocking out too much light in the woodland area under the tree. So it has got to go - however it won't be going today, because today I'm off to Brighton with a friend for shopping and lunch - happy days:)

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 30th July

Day 8

Oh crumbs - day 8 of 38 already, but the garden is looking a lot better. The golden rod is now out and has been replaced by an erodium and an aster.

I also found a rose (top left of the picture below) growing under a pant - so I have pulled out as much root as I could get and moved it forward - will it survive? Probably not!

Crafty news ...........

I am still currently working on my Bollywood Top and as you can see in my notebook the maths behind it is taxing my brain.

I have been playing around with the beading and have a few options. I was originally going to put blue sequins on the panels but have just bought some gorgeous little grey beads that I think will be better on the panels. I could then use the sequins on the blue strips.
Sequins on the left and grey beads on the right.

Decisions decisions? I have a while to decide as I'm only just up to the neck shaping on the front.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 29th July

Day 7

The Shady Bed has been extended with a railway sleeper and my old terracotta tubs. I have decided to only have blue pots on my patio, as it has all got a bit messy over the years, but I couldn't bear to throw the terracotta ones away either. They are all planted in yellow, white and orange and will need to settle in a bit before they look their best. 

The railway sleeper was left over from the decking area - you can see where it was used on the edging. As I said in a previous post, a neighbour built the decking area for us around the raised pond. Mr Daffy built the shed, isn't he clever:)

I have also planted up a big green bottle for a dry part of the patio, it originally belonged to my mother-in-law but she didn't do anything with it (she wasn't really into plants) so we have rescued it and we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 28th July

Day 6 

The last of my four base plants for the cool bed are the dahlias (the others being roses, penstemons and hydrangeas). I didn't lift my dahlia corms last autumn, but they are springing up all over the place. That said we had a mild winter and no snow, so I think I just got lucky.

The only two actually in flower at present are two I bought from a garden centre this summer, here is one of them in the Shady Bed. It did get a bit munched on by slugs and snails (hence the slug pellets down now).

I have 11 dahlias in the Cool Bed beginning to bud now.

Dahlia bud on the left.

I think this dahlia is Sir Alf Ramsey, a pale pink bloom.

I must just have a focus on Mero Star - look at the size of this dahlia, it is huge and it is covered in buds. 

Here is the 2013 bloom, you can see the actual plant was a lot smaller then - I really hope they'll be as good this year.

I took a lot of the golden rod out yesterday and replaced it with a salvia and penstemon I found growing under the buddleia, however it does look a bit bare now. At least I can see the lythrum which is getting swallowed by Mero Star.

One last batch of golden rod to come out, on the left. Yesterday's bunch looks lovely in a vase outside my front door. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 27th July

Day 5

The Roses

For a long time I didn't have any roses in my garden, I know we had some when we moved in 20 years ago and last year I began to wonder why. Then I remembered - Mr Daffy doesn't like them, apparently they used to puncture his footballs as a small child.

I, however, do like roses, in fact I love them and so they are making a return. At present it is not a spectacular show - but give it a few years and it should be. 

Patio Tubs

This is the best rose display at present, two mini roses I bought on Saturday.

Cool Bed

I have a white climber rose that I put in last year, it has grown a lot but only a few flowers so far this year.

Bottom left you can see a new hydrangea to add to my others, this one is a traditional mop head and is currently pink but is not far from my blue one - so we shall see what happens next year. 

Further along down the Cool Bed this year I have planted a bright pink rose, two pale pink roses and a bright pink climber.

I'm going to train this to go climb over the shed at the end of the bed. The side next to it has a jasmine climbing up so it should be a pretty show in a couple of years. 

Middle section of the Cool Bed, I love the height the hollyhocks bring but this is the last year I shall let the golden rod grow.  In fact I'm tempted to take it now! BTW Mr Daffy made the fence.

In crafty news.......

I have finished the back of my Bollywood Top.

I shall add all the ribbing when the front is complete. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 26th July

Day 4

Penstemons have long since been a favourite of mine, I do love a trumpet shaped flower and these ones just keep coming all summer. My first penstemon was Csar, which I no longer have but I did put some cuttings in my aunt and uncle's garden and they have taken off rather well.

I have now taken cuttings from them and stuck them in my garden, if you look in the bottom right of the next photo you can see a lone stem penstemon cutting.

Also in the Cool Bed are these:

I think this is called Blackbird - but I'm not sure.

There are two together here - another Blackbird and in the background a pale blue penstemon which has just finished its first bloom of the year. 

Also in between blooms is this bright pink penstemon on the right.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 25th July

Day 3

The future of the cool bed is being changed at present. I was going for a traditional British cottage garden look but I find that the flowers come in waves. Whilst the bed looks great in spring with ox-daisies, bluebells and aqualegias, by summer it has fizzled out.

So I'm moving towards a new look that involves my four favourite flowers: roses, penstemons, dahlias and hydrangeas. Other plants will remain but where there are gaps one of the four base plants will go in. 

Today's focus is the Hydrangeas of which I have four at present.

Cool Bed

No apologies for yet more photos of this fabulous Hydrangea in the woodland area. It was pale pink when I bought it and I feed it huge amounts of banana skins, which may account for the gorgeous purple and blue blooms next to each other.

Also in the cool bed is this tiny pink hydrangea....

And this one which I think is white but it has no buds as yet.

Shady Bed

In the shady bed there is a pale pink hydrangea just coming into bloom and as you can see my shady bed needs weeding!

However if you really want to see fab Hydrangeas then have a look at Hydrangea Valley in my favourite Cornish garden Trebah Garden.

Crafty News

I am currently working on a summer top I'm calling Bollywood Top. It is based on a pattern from Sue Bradley's 1980s book - Traveller's Yarns. This sideways knit is from her India section and it will require beading when finished.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 24th July

Day 2

Today I'm loving ......................

My gorgeous woodland area Hydrangea.

A Lythrum that I bought at the Eden Project in Cornwall about 4 years ago.

An Agapantha that finally seems to have settled in and flowered after 4 years.

The multitude of Campanulas that have returned to my garden this year.

In other news........

The patio pots with life still in them are now gathered. I'm planning blue pots only on the patio in the future - to streamline and tidy it up.

A new plant, Mukdenia, has been added to the woodland area and a Rudbeckia to the shady area. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Summer 2015 - 23rd July

Day 1

This summer holiday I'm not going away anywhere, so I thought I would keep a diary of how my
garden changes over the holiday. I have 5 weeks 3 days off work (although there is still work to be done!) and this summer I want to focus on creating a variety of planting areas in my garden.

So day 1 - what have got to start with?

Area 1 - The Patio

We are currently building an extension to the house, so the contents of the garage are on the patio - I'm hoping this will be resolved over the summer:(

Area 2 - The Cool Bed

This is my main flowerbed and it is called the cool bed because I generally only allow pinks, purples, blues and whites in it. This year however I have allowed the Golden Rod to grow but on reflection I'd prefer it not to have any yellow in it.

The woodland glade area

This area is looking tired and needs some life.

Again - this area needs some life and colour. 

Dahlia Mero Star dominates this area so I hope it blooms well. 

Area 3 - The Shady Bed

The shady bed - needs more ferns and Hostas. 

Area 4 - The Decking

A new area for us - built by a neighbour. As you can see the wrappers are not off the cushions yet. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Out and About - On the Thames

My youngest son turned 21 this week and so to celebrate we had a family day out in London. I wanted to book something a bit different and I realised that whilst we have had a lot of boat rides as a family over the years, we have never all been on the Thames together. So I booked the Jet Boats.........

Here we all are at the beginning, we set off from Westminster Pier - opposite the London Eye.

It was a gentle start to the ride, past famous landmarks, with a commentary going as we went.

The London skyline - old and new - with cranes building the next phase. 

The Shard

HMS Belfast - quite a good day out in itself.

Norman Tower and 21st Century Tower

The fabulous Tower Bridge
After we went under Tower Bridge things got a little faster - the river opens up and there is not a much traffic - the commentary drew us into a scenario whereby we were chasing a criminal and the Mission Impossible music began to blare out. Next thing we were hurtling towards the Thames Barrier at top speed. It was cheesy but hilarious and slightly terrifying.

And here we are at the Thames Barrier

The Tate and Lyle factory, Silvertown

The Tate and Lyle factory was the setting for a social history book I read a while ago called the Sugar Girls - you can read the review here.

The Dome and Cable Car - top left. 

The Banker - my eldest son's favourite London pub - looks like it has a good view:)
Back on dry land we headed off down the South Bank and went to The Real Greek for a meal, we've been here before and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Finally the sun set on our day in London:)

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...