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Monday, May 11, 2009

The blooms & beasties in our garden this week.

This is Clematis 'Miss Bateman'. It's a large-flowered clematis with creamy-white petals tinged with pink. The claret coloured stamens make a wonderful contrast.

On top of the table are pots of herbs and baby tomato plants getting the sunshine on the patio. Underneath the table are this week's plants on my eBay auctions. :)

I did this at the weekend. It's a wigwam of bamboo canes. Runner Beans (Scarlet Emperor) will grow on the outer ones and Sweet Peas on the inner ones.

This is the lilac tree from underneath. It's growing next to a weeping willow, so it has to stretch way up high for the sunlight and all the flowers are at the top. It creates a pretty dappled light.

And, of course, we have fairies living in the garden whose help we couldn't do without ..... a little bit of magic fairydust works wonders! Oooops, looks like they have a pet rabbit. Can you see him?

Monday, May 4, 2009

I've ruined my Constance!

fuchsia Constance

Last year, round about this time, I began training a standard fuchsia.

<--------- This is what a standard looks like.

The variety I choose was Constance, gorgeous with her pale pink sepals, purple corolla and mid-green foliage. She was a baby when I potted her up thinking what a perfect standard she'd make with her nice straight stem. During the following months I carefully and lovingly pinched out each axillary bud as they appeared, to prevent side shoots from growing.

<---------- some botany.

Constance was very obliging, growing quickly and forming a pleasing shape. She even produced many fine flowers that first season. Round about November she went into the greenhouse for the Winter, safe in her container and stem tied loosely to a stake for support. Just this week I noticed that she had the beginnings of a whitefly infestation so I brought her outside for some fresh air. Whitefly is caused by warm temperatures so she needed to be outside, despite me opening the greenhouse windows fully each day. We've had very high winds in the U.K. over the past couple of days and the wind had blown poor Constance back and forth, loosening the soil round her stem. Hubby carried the heavy container to the patio for me, where she would be more protected and I set about firming the soil round the stem. Alas, I wasn't as gentle as I should have been and snapped it! Hearing my cry of dismay, hubby looked round and all he had to say was, "I'm bl**dy glad I didn't do that."

From the remains of Constance, I took about thirty cuttings. Oh well, here goes again......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happiness in the small things......

Hey I've been tagged and the culprit is..... er, I mean it was that wonderfully talented writer by the name of Greenfingers at A Gardener's Life in Motion.

Here are the rules:

1) Name the person who tagged you. Mine is the aforementioned Green One.
2) List six unimportant things that make you feel happy. I've taken the word 'unimportant' to imply everyday things, and so here are mine:

* Walking on the hills or through the woods with our dogs, feeling the stillness and 'hearing' the silence except for the birds calling to each other.

* Watching sparkles of light dancing round the garden, reflected off an old glass lampshade hanging from one of the trees. Charlie, one of our dogs, likes watching that too. :)

* Going down to the greenhouse in the morning to open the windows. Every visit feels like the first. I feel so lucky to have this greenhouse..... hubby built it out of various bits and pieces and it's fab!

* Having a break from the day's work with a nice cup of Earl Grey and a good book.

* Spotting a germinated seedling in the garden that I didn't plant. It's either been from a seed in a bird dropping or blown there by the wind, etc...... a gift from Mother Nature. :)

* The postman bringing me some 'interesting' mail..... usually stuff I've ordered off eBay. :O)

3) Tag six people and make a link to their blog. Here goes.....

Tileena in Behind the Lens
Barbara at The Serenity Gate
Gledwood at Gledwood Volume 2 (Main Blog)
David at Snappy's Gardens Blog
Nancy at Writing Novels
Small Footprint at Reduce Footprints

4) Leave a message on those peoples' blogs to let them know they've been tagged...... and off I go. :)