Category: garden

Photo a Day – week twelve

graphic15-16

Something different this week. A week of Hosta’s.

I adore Hosta’s. I apologise in advance for not knowing the variety’s I have pictured here. Well I think I know two. I have tried to look them up but goodness there are so many Hosta’s out there I didn’t know where to start. (Note to self – keep plant labels!)

pdweek12sat

pdweek12sun

My favourites are the glaucous blue coloured ones. Pretty sure the big leaved one in the photo below is aptly named Big Daddy.

pdweek12mon

pdweek12tues

Apart from the blue/grey/green leaved ones my next favourites are the deep green and creamy ones. This is a delicate little one and fabulously named – Night before Christmas.

pdweek12wed

pdweek12thurs

pdweek12fri

Just love these plants and making a little photographic collection here has made me realise I need more!

The click, tick list – plant a living fence

clickfence1

I’m making some progress on crossing things off this year. Hooray. Next up was to plant a ‘living’ fence.

We ordered Salix viminalis rods from here. Ours were 2.5m tall and we got 100. That was a rough estimate based on my idea for the pattern and the length of the finished of the fence but I think we’ll end up with quite a few left over.

They advise that you plant through horticultural membrane to help with the weeding so we prepared the area and laid it out. Then we measured out the spacing, cut slots into the membrane and used a poker to make the holes. We have three rods closely planted together.

click-living

We got so far and then I tied in the first couple of crossovers using soft string. This should eventually rot away and the structure still be strong after a bit of growing time.

click-fence

This is something that needs a little bravery, for us anyway because it’s a statement and we have chosen to use this fence as a divide between one part of the garden and another but I know we’ll be wondering why it took us so long to do it by the end of the summer.

Little roses

roses

My Mum bought me a bunch of pink roses for my birthday. I have been in love with short packed vases of flowers for a while now but never really tried one with roses like this before.

There wasn’t much about in the garden to pick but I managed with a few stems of Viburnum tinus and some Lamium.

roses1

I need practice but I think the roses are enhanced by the additional foliage and being more compact packs a bigger punch. Must remember to try this in the summer.

The Garden in February

gardenfeb5

It was funny. The minute I typed up that post about the new Mac it dawned on me I had taken more photos last week than I had for ages and the reason for that? More daylight hours. Ha! About five minutes after I figure out why I haven’t been blogging as much the problem is almost over, well the part about the winter at least, not so much the part about the Apple…

Anyway I took a few garden pictures and thought I’d share. Of course no garden chat would be complete at this time of year without a nod to my adored Euphorbias. The shot above is a Wulfenii variety.

Leeks still hanging in there.

gardenfeb4

And something is sprouting in this pot apart from the weeds that is. I think it might be a Hosta.

gardenfeb2

I couldn’t resist this light.

gardenfeb3

Looking forward to these wallflowers blooming.

gardenfeb6

And finally.

gardenfeb1

No lettuce here but there are a few other biennials next to the terracotta label and few Tulips are just peeking through the soil.

The balance is tipping. Spring is almost, almost on its way.

The Garden in October

garden-pots

Things are slowing down out there but Gav has planted his winter pots and been making some repairs.

The plants growing up the arbor had really started to take over and the top of this structure had been slowly falling down for a couple of years. We bit the bullet and chopped everything back.

gardenblue-sky

Then in about an hour he replaced the top structure!

garden-pergola

Hooray. Now all we need to do is a really good tidy up as the garden and half finished building work had got out of hand.

And while Gav has been busy with all the hard labouring I’ve been planting bulbs.

garden-tulip

You have to gloss over the mess around this end of the garden too. But if I waited to plant the bulbs till it was tidy and finished it would be next autumn. I got on with it now in the hope it will look slightly better come spring.  In this bed I have added Queen of Night, Princes Irene and Black Parrot tulips. Then I planted Fire King and Blood Red Wallflowers and a few Euphorbia oblongata.

Just a quick glimpse at what’s been going on in the garden.

The garden in late September

garden-sept5

I was like a bee to the honey pot when the sun came out last week. I happily snapped away making the most of the pretty light.

An apple now eaten and enjoyed.

garden-sept7

Love the combination of these two deep pinks. It’s good to capture things that go well together for reference next year. Here is a Knautia and Antirrhinum.

garden-sept3

These Dahlias have done really well in pots this year.

garden-sept2

Next doors Eucalyptus tree hangs right over into our garden.

garden-sept6

You know I can’t resist a bee.

garden-sept

garden-sept1

And someone else can’t resist a spot of sun bathing.

garden-sept4

He just flopped down in amongst a load of wood and rested his little head on it.

 

Autumn is coming

autumn-is-coming

I am almost certain I feel this way every September.

Not. Ready.

We’ve been lucky this year with our summer weather, not quite as good as last year but so much better than many I can remember. So it’s a shock when nights draw in and you spot leaves on the ground. I said to almost everyone I know last week that I wanted just one more warm week, one more week to soak up the summer before the thick socks get pulled out and the heating goes on.

Part of my love of living in the UK are the seasons but the transition from summer to autumn is the hardest of all to adjust to.

I guess I shouldn’t complain when you get photos like the one above. They are only possible on those mornings when the air is just full of autumn.

We did have a few days of better weather last week and it makes such a difference to life in general but I think I am just going to have to accept that autumn is coming.

A summer list with H – part two

b-flowers

My lovely niece came round last weekend and we crossed some more things off the summer list.

Here’s a reminder of where we’d got to – stargaze, go bowling, ride in a boat, make s’more, visit a beach, pick berries, fly a kite, make lollies, feed ducks, visit a museum, eat watermelon, paint rocks, collect seashells, make ice cream sundaes, learn a song on the piano, make pizza from scratch, blow bubbles, ride your bike to the park, have a picnic or 3, make lemonade, get ice cream from the ice cream man, play rounders, make cupcakes, play giant jenga outside, write a story, pick and arrange flowers, listen to music outside, take photos and make a summer album, write letters to Mel and Gav about you Portugal trip, make a flower headdress.

So in round two we picked and arranged flowers.

b-flowers-1

Visited a museum.

b-museum1

We picked the National T.V and Film Museum in Bradford. Which was really good. Full of interactive exhibits like making a stop motion film – in the shot above – and a timeline of technology which was displayed in a very creative way.

b-museum

And after all that fun a cuddle.

b-museum2

That wasn’t on the list but I’ll take one of those every time.

She also picked berries. There is a very unruly, wild blackberry patch out in the wood so we attacked it and gathered a harvest.

berries

We also had a game of giant Jenga. I just love that she went to get the little stool, not to offer me it mind, to use herself. And Buddy getting on with whatever it is he’s doing in the background. Thanks Gav for capturing a perfect shot.

b-jenga

And finally make ice cream sundaes. (sorry about the appalling photos.)

sundaes1

sundaes

I should also mention that a few items got crossed off while she was away on holiday with her family. So the list stands like this right now.

stargaze, go bowling, ride in a boat, make s’mores, visit a beach, pick berries, fly a kite, make lollies, feed ducks, visit a museum, eat watermelon, paint rocks, collect seashells, make ice cream sundaes, learn a song on the piano, make pizza from scratch, blow bubbles, ride your bike to the park, have a picnic or 3, make lemonade, get ice cream from the ice cream man, play rounders, make cupcakes, play giant jenga outside, write a story, pick and arrange flowers, listen to music outside, take photos and make a summer album, write letters to Mel and Gav about you Portugal trip, make a flower headdress.

I think we’ve done pretty well but have extended the deadline by two weeks just to see what else we do…..

Bumbley bumble bees and other critters

bumble-bee-garden

Oh the humble bumble bee. I love bees.

I know I’ve said it before and I count myself very lucky to live next door to several apiaries but there are also lots of regular old bumble as well as the honey bees in our garden.

A few weeks ago I was stood by a clump of knautia plants which were full of bees. I stood and watched them and after a few minutes I rushed back into the house to get the camera and proceeded to snap away hoping to get some pictures of the different kinds of bumble that were feasting on the flowers.

After several attempts at scouring the internet for bee identification tips I think I have identified these beauties… gave up!

But I hope that somewhere amongst these photos is the tree bumble bee, a black bee, a carder bee and a garden bumble bee.

bumble-bee-tree

bumble-black

bumble-common-carder

bumble-bee

bumble-bee-garden1

bumble-which

Along with these lovelies I also spotted this….

nursery-web-spider

Eeeek! More internet searching this time I was successful in identifying the spider as a nursery web spider. She is so pretty, as long as she is out there in the garden.

nursery-web-spider1

I’ve been waiting for the buddleja to pull in some butterflies. Here is one of three peacock butterflies that I spotted feeding.

bumbly-butterfly

And finally in this creature adventure a few hover flies landing on a pretty and crinkly poppy.

bumbly-hover

I’m off to hone my creature spotting credentials and see what else is out there.Oh and dream of a macro lens….

From garden to table – pea and bean pasta

peas-and-beans

We grow veg. We love pasta. We love making easy simple sauces for said pasta.

I am sure I have posted photos of similar meals year on year but since we are eating this kind of pasta dish weekly at the moment I thought it would be good to share again.

One of the most perfect moments in growing vegetables is the day you wander around with your little trug and pick pick pick till you have the makings of your supper. Truly perfect and you know what? It never gets old!

So I collected a trug of green veg. Broad beans, mange tout and a few pea pods.

peas-and-beans-pasta

Get the pasta boiling. With these veg I could add them all into the pasta water to cook. No extra pan – bonus! I threw the veg in with about three minutes left on the timer for the pasta. They were perfectly cooked and just a little ‘al dente’.

I mixed lemon juice and olive oil and a few herbs together with seasoning and after I drained the pasta and veg returned these to the pan and tossed in the lemon oil dressing.

A grating of vegetarian Parmesan and there we go.