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Growing, growing...


Hello all :)
I’ve not been on for a while, but I hope you’ve all been having a fantastic time and some good weather :)

I’m back at Uni for the moment, but had a lovely four weeks off over easter, and went home again last weekend… things have grow on so much! This is my second year, so all the perennials I sowed last year should be begining to flower, which I’m quite excited about, but still getting used to all the different heights and stuff (Its kindof hard to picture until you experience it :P), So I’ll probably re-jumble stuff up this autum, and hopefully clear more of the garden to put any leftover plants in :) I’ve posted some pics of how things are looking… the lawn is still waiting for re-seeding and theres plenty still to be done, but thats all part of my fun :)

Side border

I’ve found out what the mystery plant is! Its a geranium called ‘Amy Doncaster’…I found a tag in my greenhouse, and recognised the writing from the nursery we visited last year in wales, but still don’t remember buying or planting it!

First rose of the year!

Mum’s aquilegias, and my favourites too :) I prefer these ones to the ones I sowed some last year (before I really knew what ‘columbines’ were… how long ago that seems!), because I’m not that keen on the moderny ones.

Heartsease… still flowering!

It still looks a bit like a scrapyard, but we’re getting there! The alliums flowering has made me realise how quite how much I need some height in my borders! I’m going to see how things develop this year (its all very well reading heights on tags and in books but i suck at picturing how that will look later on;). I am thinking about getting some tulip bulbs this autumn and trying them out though… mum says shes not had much luck with them in the ground here, but if I don’t try, I’ll never know!

The side border: Looking a lot fuller than the big one, but this one had the lungwort and that heuchera already, wheras the big one had nothing but a peony and some bluebells at the back. I’m very glad I didn’t get rid of the Heuchera (I thought it was a weed when I started clearing the border last year!.. how little I knew :P)

One of Spike’s new favourite places is on the bubblewrap in my greenhouse… I’ve accidentaly left the door open overnight a few times because I couldn’t bear to move him, and then forgot all about it. Hopefully the slugs didn’t slime in while my back was turned!

Lady’s Mantle – My mum hates this, but I’m secretly quite fond of it! It has established itself around the garden, but none in my borders just yet!

Clematis on the telegraph pole in the top garden.

Tibby… I’m not sure I’ve put any pictures of her up yet…. shes spike’s sister (they’re going to be 15 this year!)’: Normally shes less sociable than spike, but would hardly leave me alone this weekend! Shes got to be one of the loudest purrers in the world and is absolutely adorable :)

My Echinacea lives! I thought I’d lost it all over the winter, and to the slugs… not sure whether it will be strong enough to flower this year… but I live in hope :P Not sure what I was thinking when I put those harebells there though :P

Squeeeeeeee!!!! A flower spike forming on one of my lupins!! When I sowed them last year I never expected them to survive the slugs, but I have at least three! I went and sowed a load more when I realised they could grow here ;)

The Oriental Poppies are already out in Newcastle, but mine were all still buds when I left home… I’m hoping they will somehow hold on for another two or three weeks so I don’t miss them! You can just about see a speck of scarlet in the middle of this one! It was teasing me :P

I hope you are all enjoying your spring/early summer gardening, and are enjoying the emerging flowers as much as I am :) Jen xxx

More blog posts by jennyfer

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Lovely blog & photos. Nice to have that still open canvas to paint & create on. Keep on gardening, U R doing a fab job.
Lovely rose. Wonder why your Mom hate Lady's Mantle, must be a reason. I find them tremendous in bouquets, but have to be on top not to let then seed freely.

16 May, 2011


It must be hard to leave the garden behind and return to your studies, Jen....I hope when you next get home things haven't overgrown too much (i.e. weeds/grass) and you are able to enjoy pottering around there.

It's a nice discovery that lupins will grow easily in your garden as you mention you want some plants with some height...they will help in that regard.

Your clematis in the top garden is thriving!! It must like its position. It's all taking shape...and your two cats are adorable too :)

16 May, 2011


Hi Jen

What an entertaining blog - your clematis is certainly reaching for the stars isn't it ? You have a lot of lovely plants in your garden so I think when everything else is cleared and the grass mowed you will have a really nice garden, full of lovely flowers.

It must take a lot of hard work on your part to try and clear what is a large patch of garden, especially with studies getting in the way. Still it will soon be the summer hols and then hopefully you'll be home again and have a bit more time.

I love your pussy cats - they are rather like a lovely tom cat we had for many years and who passed away just over a year ago. I bet they follow you round the garden when you are busy working in it don't they ?

Have a good few weeks at Uni and I look forward to hearing from you when you get back.

17 May, 2011


Hehe, yes they do Marie! Sitting on my kneeler the moment my back is turned (when it was a bit colder), stamping in front of me on the patch I'm weeding and both trying to sit on my lap in the greenhouse! (its rather hard to fit two cats and a seedtray on there! my poor aubrieta got trampled!). Last year spike had a habbit of sitting behind me when I was tugging on the ivy growing out from the hedge... I'm suprised he didn't get hit!
clearing the front garden last year was quite insane, but it was quite fun and at least it was in spring... I hope to extend it this year, but gonna be fighting the weeds in summer when they're all big and strong... wish me luck ;) I hope your clearing is going well?

and it is hard Jacquie (especially if I miss my poppies... I'd been so excited about seeing those), but I've splurged on a couple of gardening magazines to take the edge off :P Whats better is that next year our house has a tiny table-sized patch in front of it, so hopefully I'll be able to grow something out of that :P
The clematis is probably older than me, but strangely I didn't notice it until last year... its amazing how much gardening opens your eyes :) (although how anyone could miss that I'm not sure :P)

Thankyou Adoons :) The rose was looking very poorly earlier this year, and we were worried we might loose it, but thankfully its picking up again :) Dad bought it for mum as a birthday present before they were married... I am going to take cuttings of it this year and see if I can pop it into the hedge in other places too :)
I think mum doesn't like the lady's mantle because it spreads about so much, and she doesn't have the time/energy to deal with it (admittedly it did take over the steps to the bird-table). I love it especially after the rain, it just glistens :)

17 May, 2011


That was a great blog. You have so many plants there. It's nice to have gardening as a hobby you can focus on inbetween your uni work :)

18 May, 2011


its looking like its coming on vey well indeed. im gald you seem to have luck with sowing seeds i just dont hve any luck with seeds i sow them as they say to but hardly ever see any results. so i have now decied to just go buy some plants im always looking or good deals and the odd hand me down from a friend (if i'm lucky). But the cost of buying is hitting my purse now so as i see you seem to be having good luck with it i seem intregued to try some seeds again.
Your pics look lovely.

18 May, 2011


Thanks Hywel :) Its a lovely hobby... and so relaxing! I used to keep switching hobbies... a new obsession each year, but gardening seems to be sticking and I'm so glad :)

Hchristy, price is one of the main reasons I use so many seeds... measley student budget and all, but also its way more rewarding (although requiring more patience:P). I don't have much luck sowing them in the ground, so tend to sprinkle a few in little pots of compost, then leave them on a windowsill or wherever until they've come up then prick them long as you keep them moist (but not too wet), and don't pot them on into massive pots before they're big enough they tend to do fine :) Some perennial seeds are more erratic and take longer though. I sourced a lot of my seeds off ebay... they don't necessarily come in proper printed packets, but tend to be cheaper than garden centre ones and theres more variety :) Lupins and lycnis coronaria were especially easy to grow, so maybe start with some simple ones and work your way up? I hope you have better luck :) It really is a good way of getting lots of plants cheaply... just takes more time and attention.

18 May, 2011


There are some really pretty plants in the garden, Jennyfer,fabulous Clematis and as for Tibby, she's lovely. I do like a cat with a loud purr! Got one of my own . . .

18 May, 2011


thank jennyfer i'll give it another go. sheer determination to get it looking lovely and i will continue. i have been watching some plants on ebay. need a few bigger shrubs to put in to grow nice and big. seems never ending the work. i just thought it would be easier than it is lol.

19 May, 2011


hehe, the journey is part of the fun Hchristy! Mine still looks a bit of a mess, but there was virtually nothing there last year, so I'm finding it amazing how much stuff can grow in so little time! I just can't wait till we have a lawn again!!! I hope yours takes off soon :) One of the enjoyable things about it is that its never ending, but I think the getting it going is probably the hardest part :)

Thankyou Shirley :) There is something so lovely about a cat that purrs! There is one that hangs around my halls which doesn't purr at all... it doesn't even miow! Its mouth will open but no sound comes out... its unnatural lol

20 May, 2011


Trying to think of the member who has a cat like that ... I know ... it's Clarice ... she has two cats and one doesn't miaow! Caught our cat up in a huge Conifer tree early this morning ... she's after the Pigeons who have built a nest in it! ; o (((

20 May, 2011


Bad kitty! although rather them than some of our more precious native birds, I suppose :/ Tibby used to be very bad at hunting (in that she was extreemly successful), but getting a bit too old for it now.... the local birdies and voles must be sighing with relief ;)

20 May, 2011


'Megan the Mouser' is what we call our cat these days ........ enough said! : o (((

20 May, 2011


I know what U mean, Lady's Mantle can be a pain. I did the same with my "special" rose, I made sure I "tented" the cuttings, and put it in a shady place. Good luck.

21 May, 2011


I found a rooted one when I was clearing the area under it a few weeks back... looks like I must have stuck it in the ground on the offchance and forgotten about it, but I'm going to take a couple more this year incase (especially since I ripped it out thinking it another ash sapling... woops! will teach me to be more careful :P) How do you "tent" cuttings? is that the bit where you stick sticks in to keep the plastic bag up?

Shirley, that is a very cute name for a cat :P Not so cute if she brings back gizzards and leaves them on your doormat! Poor mice...

21 May, 2011


How I tented mine Jennyfer, was I put the growth hormone on the cutting & then put a nice size plastic bag over the plant & pot, so no bugs etc could get in & it will form its own little "hot house".
Water it, place it in a shady protected place where you can keep an eye on it. I am sure there are way more experience gardeners out there that can offer U more advice on this procedure. This is how I started mine, with success.

21 May, 2011


Well I think I'll give that a try this year and see how it goes ;) Thanks :)

21 May, 2011


wellllllllllllll we can see progress !!! love the clemmmmmmm ................. hope you still got the peanie, hope you get home in time 4 the popies tooo lol
lorrrrrvvvve ur cat , gawjuss

29 May, 2011


Thanks Cristina :) Its hard to believe my back border was just a blank piece of earth with some weeds at the back last year! Still plenty to be done though... I seem to be lacking height, so going to have to have a think of that when I get back :)

30 May, 2011

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