Thursday, 20 June 2019

Sunshine and slabs... Yay!

There is a bit of warm sunshine about with a few showers.  The slabbing is now under way so I cannot get access to the garden for the time being.  All very frustrating as I was ill last week and had neither the time nor the energy to get on top of the weeding and dead-heading before the landscapers started.  I am itching to get back out there as some of the plants in need of a bit of TLC. I haven't been able to do my slug patrols either, but, maybe all the upheaval has meant they are less active.  I can but hope.  I will have to just potter about on the patio for the time being, which means a lot of scraping between the slabs to get the weeds out, and scrubbing the wall near the bird feeder (mostly pigeon poo).  There are plenty of butterflies about now and I did get a nice photo of a Red admiral but just missed my chance to get a snap of a Speckled wood.  Too slow getting my camera out.

wildlife, butterfly,
Vanessa atalanta (Red admiral)

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Finally a little bit of sunshine...

in amongst the rain showers. The lawn is like a huge sponge, full of water, and every time my wheels go over it, it gets churned up so is like a quagmire now.  The sooner I get more paving the better. When the sun does come out, it brings the bees out with it.  They are everywhere.  Here is a list of plants in flower now that they visit: deutzia, heuchera, syringia, foxgloves, aquilegia, centaura, rhododendron, geraniums, daisies, thyme, hebe, saxifrages, cirsium, erigeron, geum, clematis and philadelphus.  The garden is literally humming with them.  I have been playing with my macro lens again trying to learn how to use my mirrorless camera.

plants,
Cactus buds

plants,
Aquilegia seed head

plants,
Honesty seed head

plants,
Sepervivum arachnoideum

plants, flowers, bee, wildlife,
Bee on deutzia

plats, flowers, bee, wildlife,
2 bees on Centaura

plants, flowers, bee, wildlife,
2 bees on Cirsium


Friday, 24 May 2019

Sunshine and ninja showers...

are more usual for April not May.  However, it does make everything grow pretty fast.  Keeping on top of the slug population by doing a morning and evening slug patrol has helped enormously, especially with the problem of the huge, so called Spanish slugs.  They did get my Primula vialii so I have covered what is left of the  plants with a 1/2 plastic bottle as a cloche so we shall see if they can still come through.  The Aquilegias are fab at the moment, flowering away, but some of them keeled over in the ninja showers.  I found bright orange aphids on the Mahonia out in the front garden, so hubby gave it a prune and that got rid of some of them.  Aphids are everywhere just now and most of the time I jet them off with a water hose, or squish them as I check the plants (if I can reach them).  The cactus in the conservatory have nice magenta flowers out now.  I love the mahogany of the sempervivum , also in the conservatory.  There are a few nice plant combinations that I have quickly taken a few snaps of (bit windy out there).  Some I like for the flower colours together, and others have the same colours but different foliage forms.    I have taken a few snaps of the raised bed from different angles as it is a kind of triangular shape.  The Erica tree heath is covered in flowers, but just now it is a strange shape due to the pruning it had last year, so this year I won't prune the spent flower heads off at all so that all of the branches will flower next year.


flowers, plants,
Selection of Aquilegias
 

wildlife,
Orange aphids on Mahonia leaf




plants, flowers,
Phlox and chives

plants, flowers,
Erigeron (and peony in background)

plants, flowers,
Cactus in flower

plants,
Sempervivum Reginald Malby

plants, flowers, raised bed,
Raised bed end on

plants, flowers, raised bed,
Raised bed curved side

plants, flowers, raised bed,
Raised bed back end on

flowers, plants,
white Aquilegia and Primula snowflake

plants, flowers, stumpery,
Stumpery (part of)

plants, flowers, stumpery,
Stumpery (part of)

plants, flowers,
Veronica and Tierella

plants, ferns,
Osmunda regalis purpurascens

plants,
Rodgesrsia leaf

plants, flowers,
Rodgersia, fern and Polygonatom

plants, flowers,
Hebe and Heuchera
plants, flowers,
Erica tree heath (part of)

Saturday, 4 May 2019

And, back to being cold again...

oh this fickle weather.  You just never know when you can put the thermals away.
I spotted the common morels again this year but a metre or so over from where they last appeared.  It is always lovely to see fungi in the garden.  I often go around the garden looking for slugs and it is a great opportunity to find unexpected things popping up in the garden.  I noticed also that the ragged robin hasn't appeared yet so I don't know if it has died, along with the blue poppies and the bronze fennel.
While I was on the patio I spotted a pigeon, just sitting having a wee soak in the pond, he then started splashing about having a real bath.  I took a pic from upstairs of some of the back garden.  I am finding it more difficult as the years go by to push over the grass, especially when it has been raining, so we will be getting more slabbing put down in June sometime.  I don't want to have a lot of slabbing but it will make gardening easier and a lot less messy.  At the moment, every time I come in from the  garden, I have to get a stiff scrubbing brush on my wheelchair tyres, and also an old towel, to get most of the dirt from my tyre treads before going into the house proper.   The new slabs won't prevent me getting pigeon poo in my tyre treads though, and it can be very tricky trying to dodge them.  The grass is also very uneven and some of the slabs we put down years ago have actually sunk as they were only put down onto sand.

plants, fungi,
Morchella esculenta (common morel)

plants, fungi,
Morchella esculenta (common morel)

pigeon, birds,
Pigeon in the pond

garden,
May 2019

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Hot, hot, hot...

21° C today!  You just don't know what to expect, weather wise, these days in Scotland.  I have been working hard the last couple of days to get all the plants watered and fed.  Some of the hellebores are past their best and I have been dead-heading them regularly in the hope of more flowers.  I have trays of plants to get ready for sale (at the Duddingston Kirk garden club plant sale on May 4th) getting hardened off.  A lot of taking the trays out during the day, then bringing them back in at night,  just in case of frost.  Lots of weeding and moving pots around.  The pots with bulbs, that have gone over, are now on the back steps until their foliage dies back.  After that,  the bulbs will get dried and stored.  I am being ruthless, and anything that didn't do well in the last couple of years is for the heave-ho.    On my rounds around the garden I took a few snaps of some of the plants in flower at the moment.  I am pleased to say, that after watching Gardeners' world last night, that I have many of the shade loving plants that Carol Klein was enthusing about so I must be doing something right.

plants, flowers,
Fritillaria meleagris

plants, flowers,
Cymbalaria muralis (ivy leaved toadflax)
 
wildlife,
snails on the wall looking like a caterpillar

plants, flowers,
Oxalis acetosella (wood sorrel)

plants, flowers,
Dicentra formosa Bacchanal (bleeding heart)

plants, flowers,
Polemonium reptans (Jacob's ladder)
plants, flowers,
Violet riviana (dog-violet)

plants, flowers,
apple blossom (forget which type)

And in the conservatory: the cyclamen will soon be over, but the cacti, ferns,  and sempervivums will take over from them, as will the herbs.  Meanwhile in the corner,  the streptocarpus has started flowering, and different forms of foliage placed next to each other adds interest and texture.


plants, foliage,
Pellaea rotundifolia (button fern)

plants, flowers,
Streptocarpus saxorum

plants, flowers,
Streptocarpus saxorum

plants, flowers, foliage,
Streptocarpus with button fern and Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail plant)

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Still cold...

but the weather is supposed to warm up starting from Wednesday.  I went into the garden this morning with great intentions of feeding and mulching the roses but I was just feeling too cold so I just took a few quick snaps.  A couple I took a few days go when the sun came out.  A few plants are going over now like the cherry and the pink corydalis.  Even some of  the hellebores are looking a bit ropey.  Some of the narcissi are flowering away, like Cheerfulness, whilst others are not up yet, like  Erlicheer and Pipit.  Some of the brunnera and forget-me-nots are flowering but the brunnera 'Jack frost' is very nearly in flower, (the foliage look fabulous though).  The cowslips are looking cheery but I had thought they would have self-seeded a bit but looks like I will have to divide it to get another clump.
My friendly crow followed me round the garden again so I blathered to him while he was pecking away at the old log.
crow, wildlife, birds,
Crow

plants, foliage,
Astilbe leaves

plants, foliage,
Brunnera 'Jack frost'

flowers, plants,
Prunus Shirota Mount Fuji

flowers, plants,
Corydalis solida pink

flowers, plants,
Primula veris (cowslip)

flowers, plants,
Corylus avellana Contorta

flowers, plants,
Narcissus Cheerfulness