Thursday, 25 November 2021

Goodbye to the Troll

 

I think I mentioned a couple of posts back maybe , that my Troll was now for the chop and that I would put a picture of him on here , in his former more handsome days . 

The bush just became too out of shape and there was no way to  restore him . So "Goodbye Mr Troll !" .

                               😱   😭  😨  😭  😱  😭  

 

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Winter is coming

 

They are saying that it is going to turn chilly tonight . It has been a lovely sunny afternoon and a clear blue sky.  I took this pic just now , around 4pm and I can feel the temperature dropping . There is not the slightest breeze . We don't often get frost here , but I thought I'd better throw some fleece over the cacti in the greenhouse . I don't think I need to light the lantern yet though .

I brought some wood in to fill the log basket and remembered why I wasn't supposed to be doing much this afternoon . I had my Covid Booster Vaccine this morning and my arm is feeling a little bit bruised , but only when I do something stupid like carrying in a load of logs in or if I accidently bump it somehow . It will soon fade . 


                   Ouch ! 

So I took myself off for a walk around the garden , to check the outside tap is wrapped and to throw some covers over a few precious plants  and just to enjoy the loveliness of  Autumn .

The surrounding fields of maize have now all been cut and taken away leaving lots of broken bits scattered about for the crows . This Buzzard surprised me flying overhead , being chased off by the crows . You can click and make my pictures bigger by the way .

I have been thinking about maybe leaving the bean poles up through the Winter this year . The Runnerbeans surprised me this year , by coming back from the previous year . It seems that they can be perennial .. They are still green now , although they have stopped flowering .

I have left the chicken wire up surrounding them and have been throwing in lots of fallen leaves and grass clippings . 

It will all make great compost for next years crops .

We have been picking and enjoying lovely fresh sprouts . Some for the freezer too , but I like to have everything freshly picked as and when they are ready and in the right season ! 

The Crab Apples are a blaze of colour !


I love the Common Alder tree , with it's catkins and teeny tiny cones . I think it is my favourite tree and I felt truly blessed to find one in our garden , when we first came to live here .

All trees are my favourite tree !  ha ha !

The Bees ! The Bees ! They are delighted to find my Mahonia bush full of golden , honey scented blossom . 

I picked a small spray and some of the last remaining Roses . The sound of the bees and the sweet scent of the Roses took my mind back to the warm days of Summer .


I am surprised at how many roses there are still blooming . As they fade , so the hips bring welcome cheery colour into my Winter garden .


The greenhouse is all ready for the Winter . As prepared as I can make it anyway .

The Labyrinth needs mowing , but it will just have to wait till my arm feels better .

A big  ol' Bumble Bee  having a rest in the warm sunshine on a garden seat .

My thoughts turn back to covering  up the Agaves , just for the night and uncover them again  in the morning . Look at the Acer " Bloodgood " losing it's leaves . Another job that I can't do at the moment with my sore arm .

Acers know when Winter is imminent  . 


They just know .

They are always right .

Agave salmiana ferox 

I really need to replace this tatty old cloche , but I just can't find one big enough Fortunately this Agave is one of the more hardy ones `.  This will have to do for tonight , but I think I can do a better job of it when my arm is better .

Agave number two , totally surrounded with a choir of Giant Echiums . I can't wait to see those all in flower next year or maybe the year after . They have completely swamped my Dahlias ,which I had planned to take up, but which will now,  just have to remain where they are .

Agave number three , both of this cloches are really a bit too small for these Agaves .Once again I need to find bigger ones . Where ? Where can I buy giant and really sturdy cloches from ? 

I am going to try and rig something up with a clear tarpaulin . Just thinking about it . It needs to be easy to throw on and then take off easily again in the morning . 

This is still flowering away happily . . . . but may not be happy with tonight's temperature . Impatiens tinctoria will eventually die right back and come back in the Spring .

Rosa Bonica - has lots of beautiful orange red hips . Lovely for Winter flower arranging .

Thinking about making Advent Wreath .

Tomorrow I will gather all the things I will need . 

Sorry to go on about my sore arm , it will be fine again very soon :)

Wrap up warm and I wish you a peaceful evening .  x 




Sunday, 17 October 2021

Brambles !

 

So the next big task is to cut down just about everything you can see in the above picture .The reason being , while I wasn't well for a couple of years ,the brambles had grown up through all the shrubs  . I just wasn't able to climb in there and do it . Well I have news for you Brambles ..... I,m back !

The other thing that I have to attend to is the Amelanchier tree . It just isn't earning it's space . 

You cant even see it in this picture , but it's there , just a boring green leaved tree . It does have white blossom on it for a very short time in the Spring . The tips of the leaves are lovely in the Autumn if you go and look close up to it . Mine has never been all that spectacular . 

I cant understand why so many gardening shows and magazines recommend this tree for small gardens when there are so many far better trees you could choose . 

Maybe there are better varieties of Amelanchier tree that you can get now .


I took off a branch .


The closer you look the more beautiful it is .


I think I might like it better if I cut it down and continue to let it grow as a bush .


So back to work !


There is a beautiful red leaved Acer that I planted a few years ago and I think that when I ve cleared all the "waste of space "bushes , it will be able to spread out it's branches and look so much better .


So , I'm in there somewhere ! 

Somewhere in the darkness , armed with shears and loppers , beneath a great heavy weight canopy of Brambles .


I took the camera in with me too . There are three or four clumps of Hydrangeas  which I have now cut down . I have to be careful or I might never be seen again ! I think this is the best way to do it , but not totally sure . At the moment the bushes are all cut at the bottom but still standing and the bramble canopy is above my head . 

I need to go and have a cup of tea and have a little ponder on this .

Even in here , there is much beauty to be found  .


More Autumn treasures .


            Gone for a tea break ! 


Sunny days and tasks of Early Autumn - Good leaves and bad leaves

 


The Beech leaves are gently falling and I am gathering them up to make good compost .


These make lovely worm food , who in turn give me beautiful compost and I gather what I can for the vegetable garden .


I have filled four wheelbarrow loads now and tipped them out over the vegetable beds .


I have chicken and pig-wire around most of the vegetable beds , which will keep the leaves from blowing away .

The Runner-beans  are still growing and may even come up again next year . This mulch will keep their roots warm .I will still sow more beans next year though too . We had a good harvest in the end , but I want to do better next year .


Carrots still to harvest . Courgettes are coming to an end now , due to the decreasing day light hours really . It's been quite warm .....hmmm...  we have had one or two chilly nights though . No frost .


Spring onions doing well and I have sown some more that are coming up now in the shed .


I,ve sown some more Calendula seeds as I love their simple cheerful flowers . 


There are good leaves and there are bad leaves. These are the bad leaves ! Sycamore leaves , not so good simply because there are also millions of sycamore key seeds in with them and they germinate so easily and are so hard to pull up once they get a hold . So this lot are for the bonfire .



Then on to the next task .  I'm loving the sweet woody fragrance of the fallen leaves . This is my favourite time of the year , early Autumn , before it turns too cold  . 

Friday, 8 October 2021

My Carnivorous Plants - Winter Care

 


I noticed that the leaf/traps  on my Venus Fly Trap plant are beginning to turn brown  . This indicates to me that my carnivorous plants are starting to go into their winter dormancy period .


The three plants that I have would all survive the Winter , even with snow over them I am told , but for the last two years I have brought them into the woodshed , where it still gets quite cold . I think , why make them struggle , just for the sake of a little protection ?


I have a scented pelargonium and a couple of Mesembryanthemums in this large round shallow planter and I think they will be happier in there too . They will get off to a better start next Spring .


We also have to bring in the garden seat . It makes for a lovely place to sit , in amongst my plants , while the weather is doing it's worst outside . 

The roof is clear corrugated plastic sheets , so plenty of light for my plants .

I can start off some seeds in there too and can check on them all as I come and go to collect logs for the fire . I will make sure that they do not dry out . Not as much rain water to sit in as during the Summer months , but they must not completely dry out ....and it must only be rain water .

They will die back and indeed they do need this dormancy period , but they will come back in the Spring .


               Well , they all look happy enough for now !