Saturday 30 May 2015

Photo Medley - May

It's time for this month's round up of photos, again, no particular theme here.

A stone lion at Harlow Carr. Two lions guard six Doric columns which were originally from the Cheltenham Spa Rooms in Harrogate and were donated to Harlow Carr by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society in the 1960's. This is the site where the main entrance to the gardens used to be.

There are a few willow sculptures around Harlow Carr, I believe this is a dragon.

The view from my bedroom window. I love this time of year when I can open the windows and get the scent of lilac wafting in.

Waiting for a poppy bud to open. I think poppies are so tactile, right from the time their hairy buds appear right through to the time their crinkly, papery petals unfurl.

I bought this geum - Koi last year. It's a dwarf variety, perfect for my border, and has the most striking orange-red flowers.

Borders at York Museum Gardens. I can't make my mind up about the heuchera, I have dark varieties in my garden, I'm not sure about the lighter varieties.

Poppy bud starting to open.

Peaches on my little peach tree. I'm sure lots of them will drop, the tree isn't large enough to support much fruit. I just hope that some make it to maturity.

Lily of the valley. I wish it would spread a little, though I don't want it to become a thug as it does in some gardens.

The poppy as it is today, almost fully open.

I hope you've enjoyed this month's selection of photos.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Catching Up

I've got behind with all my gardening jobs this year, even more so this month as it's been a busy time with one thing or another. After making sure that my dad was on the road to recovery after his operation earlier this month, my mum was rushed in to hospital by ambulance. After a short stay she's home again and recovering well. Gardening has been taking a back seat but at the weekend, I had a bit of a catch up in the garden.

We visited a couple of garden centres on Saturday to replenish stocks of compost so that I could get at least some of my tomatoes in to their final positions. I haven't yet dealt with the cordons but the bush varieties are now in their permanent pots. Whilst I was at the garden centre I noticed they were selling off their dahlia tubers and couldn't resist this Blue Bell for the princely sum of 50p. I got it potted up straight away so I hope it hasn't been planted too late to flower this year.

I finally got round to sowing my beans. I'm growing three types of climbing beans this year, St George runner beans and Cobra and Blue Lake climbing French beans. I also sowed some more mixed lettuce seeds to keep a succession going as the ones I sowed earlier are coming on well and I sowed some purple sprouting broccoli. I've gone for Early Purple Sprouting and Purple Sprouting Late to, hopefully, give an extended cropping time.

Daniel bought me some willow tea cups for Christmas and I thought they'd look nice as herb planters so whilst I was at the garden centre I picked up some plants. I've gone for lavender - Papillon, common rosemary, lemon thyme and sage - Tricolour. I hope the plants will put on some growth but they'll be happy enough in these planters until they do.

Whilst I was at the garden centre, I came across a yellow aquilegia, something I've been coveting for quite a while so I couldn't resist. I'm very pleased with this purchase.

I also managed to get other seedlings potted on, the potatoes in containers earthed up and carried out a general tidy up. The next job is to get the squash bed dug over at the allotment so that the plants in the greenhouse can be planted out. Whilst there's still lots to be done, I feel much better for making a start.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

A Bank Holiday Outing

The weather wasn't very good yesterday, it was only to be expected though, it was a Bank Holiday. At least it stayed mostly dry, there were just a few spots of rain. We fancied going out somewhere but there were lots of jobs to do in the garden so we decided to stay close to home and went to RSPB Fairburn Ings for an hour before getting stuck in to the chores.

This bird box is positioned directly below the cafe balcony. It hasn't put the birds off from nesting in it though. The great tit has just been to feed its babies which we could hear chirping away.

We always see robins around the reserve and they're quite happy to sit and pose for any passing photographers, perhaps serenading them whilst they're at it.

We had Archie with us so we decided to take the walk by the river so that he could come off his lead. The path is far enough away from the river to prevent him jumping in which he would do given half the chance.

I noticed all the different greens yesterday, some are still bright and vibrant as new leaves often are, other foliage is taking on a more mature shade now.

It was lovely to see things blooming and blossoming along the sides of the path.

There weren't very many birds on the lake yesterday and you can see how dull it was by this time.

I'm not very good at identifying water birds, I'm not sure what this bird is.

This moorhen was happy enough hoovering up the seeds which had been dropped from the feeders.

While this mallard was taking it easy.

We may not have seen many birds on the lake but a first for us, we spotted a kingfisher on our walk back. Thank you to Eleanor for these photos, mine were rubbish.

It was back home after our walk to start on the garden jobs. I'm pleased to say that we made quite a bit of headway, though there's still more to do. Isn't there always?

Sunday 24 May 2015

York Museum Gardens In May

We had a trip to York yesterday so while we were there we popped in to the Museum Gardens. We last visited in November last year, you can read about that trip in my Garden Visiting In November post.

The weather was lovely yesterday and many people were taking advantage of it, the gardens were packed. It's such a great idea to have green spaces in the middle of cities for people to make use of.

I think some people were there to visit the birds of prey exhibition, I can never resist a look at these beautiful birds myself.

A lot of the colour in the garden was provided by tulips, however, some of them are just starting to go over now. They're much later than the ones in my own garden which finished blooming quite a while ago.

Some tulips were still going strong though. I love this variety.

Autumn was in full swing when we last visited the garden so it was nice to see such a contrast yesterday with borders filled with colour.

I'd love to know what the red plant is which is providing the backdrop to these tulips, it's so pretty.

There's a lot of naturalistic planting around the gardens, I thought the poppy and aquilegia pairing was really beautiful.

There must be a secret to keeping hostas slug free, such fabulous specimens.

We were being serenaded by the sound of bagpipes while we were looking around the gardens. It turned out that there was a wedding taking place in the Hospitium, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the piper.

I don't know very much about trees at all but there's some real beauties in the gardens, all shapes and sizes. I liked this spiky form.

Tulips and alliums look good together, I might try a similar display next year.

This is such a well kept garden and it's obviously well used. How lovely for people who work in York city centre to have such a beautiful place to spend their lunch hours, especially when the weather's so nice as it was yesterday.

Friday 22 May 2015

Starting To Grow

I didn't grow any dahlias last year and missed their striking, showy blooms. I decided I'd rectify that this year and picked up a couple of tubers which have been started off in pots in the greenhouse.

No matter how central I place the tubers, there's always one which decides to grow right at the edge of the pot.

I've never grown Bishop Of Llandaff before but I love the bright vermillion-red flowers against the dark foliage so this was the first variety I decided on. The other is another bargain purchase from Wilko's for just £1. Procyon is a decorative variety with red/orange and yellow petals, it should add lots of colour to the garden.

Both of these dahlias are good for cut flowers but I don't think I could bear to remove the blooms from the plant, I do like to enjoy them where they've been planted.

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Colour In May

Back in 2013, I followed Geoff Hamilton's advice and visited a garden centre or nursery each month of the year and bought a plant which was flowering so that I'd have something blooming in my garden every month of the year.

I chose aquilegia vulgaris Clementine Purple in May 2013 and it's blooming again at the moment.

It's a much smaller plant than the other aquilegias I grow in my garden and although it's put on some growth in the two years I've had it, it's still rather small. I wondered if this plant would self seed as prolifically as other aquilegias do, but I haven't had any seedlings from it as yet. It's quite a showy aquilegia having fluffy, double flowers.

Most of my other aquilegias are the run of the mill ones which have self seeded, their heads face downwards so it's nice to have one which looks up at me, something a little different.
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