Tuesday, 31 March 2015

End of Month: March 2015

I love this time of change!
The view from the kitchen door improves daily as the bulbs come into flower and the perennials come to life. 
I have tidied this bed but obviously the sun improves the view too!!
We have blackbirds nesting in the laurel, robins in the hedge and collard doves, wood pigeons, goldfinches, great tits, blue tits, chaffinches, green finches and dunnocks visit the feeders daily ..... and the squirrels!
The daffodils and primulas have added cheer to the back of the garden.  I had a bit of a problem with the large honeysuckle growing over the far fence today.  We have had 60 mph winds and it came away from the fence and trellis.  It was really heavy and fighting me as I tried to tie it up again.  A neighbour's fence blew down last month ... it cost £500 to repair so I was conscious of not putting too much strain on the panels.  Fingers crossed it survives the next few days of strong winds.
The front of the garden has taken up quite a lot of my time and attention this week.  It began as an unsightly mess!
Just removing the dead leaves helped but I added some primulas to the half barrel, moved some of the larger aquilegia from the allotment to improve the display in June and scattered last year's poppy seeds.
The lane itself is now in my sights.  I have a couple of neighbours prepared to help dig up the bindweed and I have 30 packets of wild flower seeds to sow.  I began the transformation by tidying up the bit outside my house.
Here is a half and half photo showing a bit I have done and a bit to do.
The lane belongs to all the residents Derry Lane.  The original hand written house deeds of 1865 explain that the land belonged to John Derry and on his death the plot was divided into four areas with seven houses built: one for his daughter and six for tenants.  The lane gives access for "horse carriages, visitors and servants" and residents share the cost of its upkeep. 
Everything planted under the hedge has grown from cuttings from my garden.  Aquilegia, sedum, corn flowers, blue geranium, snow in the summer, oriental poppy, achillea and daffodils are all doing well.  Can't wait to get the wild flowers growing.
Visit Patient Gardener for more End of the Month views.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

GBBD: March 2015

Well, here we have all the usual suspects.  Only a few of the large daffodils have bloomed so far but the miniature ones are nodding away in the cold wind and bringing a smile to my face.

Now I am particularly pleased with the Primulas this year.  In 2013 I collected lots of seeds, threw them in a few pots and left them .... suddenly I had so many seedlings I had no idea where to put them!  They are all bulking up nicely now so I will have another dilemma in a couple of years when they will need dividing (dreaming of a full lane lined with primulas).  They really are a delightful plant ... I have a garden full but I BOUGHT another one this week .... it is a double called Amethyst Ice.  Hoping for more seeds!!

The front garden is dominated by the green Hellebores (I refuse to call them Stinking!).  They self seed all over the place so I have to keep an eye on them.  They have such a lovely flower .... I have used the larger ones as cut flowers and they lasted ever such a long time. 

Some of the Wallflowers are beginning to bloom too.  The fruit trees have small buds, the Japonica and Forsythia are thinking about appearing while the Snowdrops are bowing out. 

We have a Robin bringing nesting material into the holly tree and a Song Thrush singing away calling a mate.  Lots of bird activity as you would expect and frog spawn floating in the pond ... although strangely, I haven't seen or heard any frogs yet.
The greenhouse is filling up nicely. Trays of Asters, Delphiniums, Hollyhocks, Rudbeckia, Phlox, Dahlias and Aubretia on the go. I can't wait to plant the Sweet peas out. I have potatoes chitting and trays of cauliflowers, cabbages, peas and beans, beetroot and cucumber seeds planted. I say trays - I actually saved space and money this year by cutting up plastic milk bottles and punching drainage holes in the bottom.   
We visited the allotment this week - bit of hoeing, bit of digging (although I began to feel quite ill after half an hour ... so unfit!), bit of tidying up.  The Strawberries have spread out, the Raspberries have lots of buds and the cutting patch is coming along nicely.  I picked up a copy of Grow Your Own magazine this week: it is their 10th anniversary so they are giving away six packets of seeds (carrots, lettuce, basil, celeriac, kale, courgettes) on the front and offering 6 tomato plug plants, a pk of tomato feed and five packets of T&M herb/veg seeds for £5.65 postage .... and the magazine is pretty interesting too .... more than enough to keep me going for a week!
I am linking to May Dreams Garden Blog for GBBD.