Thursday, 2 July 2015

Sammy

It's been a very sad week here, Eleanor's bunny, Sammy, died on Monday.


I've often mentioned both Sammy and his brother, Monty, who died back in February, on the blog. I even went so far as to grow them their own greens which they both enjoyed eating.


Sammy was such a beautiful boy, very soft and gentle. He wasn't quite so inquisitive and mischievous as Monty was but he did love to hop around the garden and have a drink from the bird bath.


RIP beautiful boy.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Photo Medley - June

It's hard to believe that it's time again for my monthly photo medley, half the year's gone already. So, on with this month's round up of photos.

I bought a foxglove last year from a local plant sale. At the beginning of the month it was just starting to come in to flower.


The willow tea cup planter which Daniel bought me for Christmas is filling out. Flowers have appeared on the thyme since this photo was taken.


We saw this laid back sheep on our visit to Temple Newsam. She didn't bother moving even when Archie stuck his nose through the railings to say hello.


Another photo of the rhododendrons at Temple Newsam. If you're in the area I can thoroughly recommend a visit during May or June.


The lake always looks so tranquil with the weeping willows draping over it.


There's lots of new life to be seen everywhere you look at this time of year.


More foxglove photos as more little bell shaped flowers begin to open.




I grew this aquilegia from seed, it's a McKana Hybrid. The red and yellow flowers make a change from all the purple aquilegias I've got in the garden, the plant is absolutely covered in blooms this year.


Irises at Harlow Carr.


A quirky fairy ring where we were invited to step inside and make a wish. These little metal toadstools were available to buy.


I love this seahorse.


A beautiful cistus blooming it's socks off.


I think the bees were enjoying this plant as much as I was.


My potatoes look to be doing well, there's lots of healthy foliage. I just hope there's lots going on underneath the soil too.


Towards the end of the month the foxglove is still flowering away. The bottom flowers have now withered and dropped from the plant but the top flowers are still yet to open.


We're forecast some good weather this week so I hope everyone enjoys it and makes the most of it. I don't like it too hot so I may be hiding indoors for most of the time.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Spreadeagle

You may remember my post last year about A Bargain Fig which I bought from Morrisons for the princely sum of £2. I thought I'd give you a bit of an update and also ask for your opinion.

This is the same fig tree now, as you can see the branches, which were definitely growing skyward when I bought it, are now spreadeagle. They've just grown this way, I don't know why.


I'm wondering if this is normal, should the branches have splayed as they have and will more upright branches begin to grow? It does look like new upright growth is springing from one of the horizontal branches already.

I'm not sure what to do now, whether to leave it be to grow as it wants to, or whether to try and train the branches in to a more upright position. What would you do?

There's one thing though, it was a tiny little twig when I bought it and it's put on quite a bit of growth in its first year. The leaves are beautiful and glossy.


I think it may be some time before I can expect any fruit though.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Colour In June

Back in 2013 I followed Geoff Hamilton's advice, visited a garden centre or nursery each month and bought a plant already in flower. This should ensure that I have something flowering in my garden every month of the year.

My plant choice in June 2013 was scabiosa columbaria Barocca. It was a gorgeous colour but unfortunately it's been another casualty, it's nowhere to be seen now. It's given me the opportunity to purchase something new though.

When I visited Temple Newsam Gardens earlier this month, I was really taken with the candelabra primroses growing at the side of the lake so when I saw a plant for sale in a local garden centre I had no hesitation in popping it in my basket. This is primula Bullesiana.


I think it was the day after I bought this plant that we visited Harlow Carr and I saw them growing along the stream there. Their planting combinations look fabulous. I knew I'd made a good choice this month.


Candelabra primroses are very different to the primroses I associate with spring. They flower much later, from late spring well in to summer and they carry their flowers in tiers on tall, upright stems.

I'm not sure how well it will do in my garden as they require an evenly moist soil, that's why they grow so well along streams or by the side of lakes. I've placed my plant beside my little pond and hope it will do well there.


Let's hope it does better than my scabiosa did.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

It Paid Off

I thought I may have been a little early sowing my mangetout back on the 8th of March, especially considering the weather we've had since. The plants really suffered in the high winds we had once they'd been planted out but they rallied round and the early sowing has paid off. Last week there were just a dozen pods to pick but I wasn't going to leave them on the plants to waste. This variety is Oregon Sugar Pod.


Yesterday there were a few more.


I'm hoping that now they've got going they'll give me a good supply over the next few weeks as they're a vegetable which we all enjoy.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Harlow Carr In June

The forecast this weekend was for lots of rain so I wasn't surprised when I was woken in the early hours of yesterday morning by a downpour. By the time we got up the rain had stopped so we decided to chance it and head off for our monthly visit to Harlow Carr. I'm glad we did as it was lovely and warm and the sun actually put in an appearance. There wasn't any further rain yesterday but it looks as though it's in for the day today.

Harlow Carr is looking very green and lush just now. Everything has grown so much since we last visited and this is the scene which greets you as you enter the gardens.


One area we hadn't visited yet was the Montague Burton Teaching Garden so we rectified that on this visit.


The garden is used for both school and adult education and covers a range of topics. The outdoor classroom areas are wonderful, I just love the large wooden chair.



There's a large greenhouse, coldframes and a wildlife pond as well as raised beds containing a number of different plants.



As we left the Teaching Garden we continued on the same path and came to a small lake. The wildflower planting around the edges must attract lots of wildlife.



There's some beautiful planting along the stream at this time of year, candelabra primroses and hostas make fabulous partners here.


As I've mentioned previously in my posts about Harlow Carr, there are lots of willow sculptures dotted around the gardens. I've never come across this fish leaping out of the stream before though.


I had to wonder who needs a spade this big. Just imagine how quickly I'd have my allotment dug over with that.


Do you remember the bare patches at the side of the stream in my previous posts where I said the gunnera would spring in to growth? Here it is now, not a bare patch in sight any longer. Once it gets going it develops at an amazing speed.


Isn't this acer stunning? I've been promising myself one for a number of years now and it's still on my wish list.


There's lots of irises blooming at the moment.




On to the Kitchen Garden and as you can see, there's been plenty of growth here too during the last month. The beds are filling up fast.



There's some beautifully trained fruit trees, this one's a conference pear.


It looks as though they're going to have plenty of fruit this year, there's lots of apples developing.


The rhubarb bed looks different again, there's still plenty of stalks to pull but it's a tangle with other plants.


I've developed more of an interest in herbs over the last year or two, the herb bed here is flourishing. I want to have a closer look at it next time I visit.


The chicken coop which was empty a couple of months ago now has residents. They've got a good space to scratch around in.



There's six chickens in total, Poppy and Rosemary are the Silver Laced Wyandottes, Dandelion and Sorrel are the Crested Cream Legbars, Angelica is the Blue Laced Wyandotte and the Golden Laced Wyandotte is Saffron.


There's been a tremendous amount of growth in the bed I'm following. Being filled with herbaceous perennials, there isn't much to see at the beginning of the year but that's certainly changed now.



I'm not sure what this lilac flower is but it's blooming away just now. I suppose the look of this bed will change all the time as more and more plants begin to flower.


Lady's Mantle hanging on to a few droplets of rain from earlier in the day.


I think this is Knautia. Can you see the tiny spider clinging on to the underneath?


There's a whole bed of these beautiful alliums, they're such wonderful subjects to photograph, though I can't make up my mind if I prefer a single bloom where each tiny star flower can be distinguished or if I prefer to see them en masse. How about you?



If you're planning a trip to Harlow Carr I can thoroughly recommend it at this time of year, as this post shows, there's so much to see.
 
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