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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The best laid plans o' mice and men.......

Last year I grew some celery, but it was tough as old boots..... not even Benji, our canine composter, would eat it. I liked the colour and form of the leaves though, so I kept one plant back and left it to grow at will in an old half-barrel.

Here it is with its dainty pretty flowers.

During a quick tidy-up in the greenhouse last Summer, I came across some lily bulbs. I always grew the lilies in containers but because of the time it takes to water them, I decided to cut down on containers. Having come across the discarded bulbs I thought it was a shame to leave them there, so I planted them in the nearest little plot of ground at the side of the greenhouse. I'm so glad I did. They're one of the highlights in the garden this Summer. Their roots not being confined to a pot (and a couple of liquid feeds), allowed them to grow almost to the height of the greenhouse! I took this photo early in the morning and the sun was shining on them making them seem paler than they are. The colour is more intense.

Here's another unplanned success. We were given this rose some years ago but everywhere was crammed full of plants. The only place available was down at the bottom of the garden where all the prunings and green 'waste' go. Being a rambling rose, I thought it would grow along the top of the fence amongst the other plants. Instead it scrambled its way through the Weeping Willow tree, reaching for the sunlight. Each Summer I think it wont survive and each year I'm proved wrong as it grows more beautiful than ever.

This little corner of the garden has been planned! It's a shady plot where the Weeping Silver Birch tree grows and behind it, ivy has almost covered the old stone shed. I've underplanted the tree with fern and foxgloves and some smaller woodland flowers. The birds like this part of the garden too, as it provides them with a sheltered place of protection. This is where all the baby blackbirds have perched throughout Spring and Summer, waiting for mum to bring them their meals.

The Millenium Bugs at Durham Botanic Gardens..... and 13 year old daughter. :)

This photograph has nothing at all to do with this post. :O) It's for John of Sedgdunum Warbler.


  1. Hi's strange how unplanned bits of the garden will often turn out so well. I have a gravelled area that is covered with self seeded plants (they seem to prefer it to the flower bed:-) It's really pretty and my favourite bit of the garden. I was surprised at how good the celery flowers looked. I might try that myself next year. Helen

  2. What a beautiful garden you have Lesley, I like all of the garden 'rooms' you have created.
    Your lilies and the climbing rose are lovely, pretty daughter you have there too.
    I love foxgloves, I had a lovely cream flowered one which flowered for one season then seemed to die off, I am hoping to buy some seedlings and see if I have more success this time.
    xoxoxo ♡

  3. Hello Helen :) Yes I find that too about gravelled areas. We get annual poppies in ours. The celery flowers are really dainty and the photograph doesn't do them justice.... if you double-click and then click once again, it will show them in better detail. :) Hope your course is going well. I'm struggling towards a tma at the moment. It's hard to keep focused when the weather is just right for gardening! :O)

  4. Thank you Dianne. :) Foxgloves are biennials, which means they flower in their second season and then die off, but they usually self-seed themselves. I hope you're able to get some seedlings. If you do and they flower successfully, cut off the spent flower spikes to encourage fresh ones. That way they will flower for longer throughout the season. But leave a few seed pods to ripen and then you can save some seed. Foxgloves are very easy to grow from seed.

  5. Thank you for the advice dear Lesley, I will remember this and hopefully have some lovely blooms in Spring this year or maybe next year.xo ♥

  6. You're welcome Dianne. Foxgloves are one of my favourite flowers too. Here's a useful link about growing them for wildlife and there's a bit about growing them from seed.

  7. I've never attempted to grow celery. I really like to grow things where I get a lot of bang for my buck!

  8. Hi Debbie,
    Celery is one of my favourite vegetables but my attempt to grow it was a failure..... except for the pretty flowers. :)

  9. Gorgeous! I've never even heard of a weeping silver birch, but your garden rooms are perfect. Love the lilies! And the celery - who knew it could be so pretty?

    Last night at the post office, we had a large package come through containing tree seedlings and bulbs - one was listed as Lollipop Lilies - I've never heard of them, but it makes for a great mental picture!

  10. Hi Ethelmae :) Thank you.
    I'd never heard of Lollipop Lilies either and couldn't even imagine them.... so had to google it. They're beautiful, very bright and colourful. I bet they were quite the talking point in your office. :O) Here's a link to a picture of them.

  11. Great pictures, what a fantastic garden

  12. Thank you for the link. :) xoxo ♡