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Spring really is here!

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Well – this has been the greyest start to the year that I can remember! I am behind in the garden, and I have no excuses (just reasons!) And I am ashamed to admit that the dull weather may be one of the reasons. I have been busy elsewhere, though, and haven’t even kept up with GoY. But I have got back into the gardening swing, and am delighted to have enjoyed a couple of sunny days tidying up and taking stock. So here are a few pictures taken today.

The wisteria looks to have lots of flower buds, so I’m hoping we’ll have a good show later in the season. It’s rather a pale variety, but its blossoms are always very welcome.

I love the sight of forsythia in the sunshine – such a glorious yellow! This specimen started life as pea sticks (the plant it was supporting succumbed within the year).

The contorted willow looks somewhat stunted after its 5-yearly cut-back early this year. I’m sure it feels better, though, especially since the ever-encroaching ivy was cut back. There are already signs of new growth, and by next year there will be lots of green showing.

Such an intense blue! The anemone blanda in the wild area spreads and spreads. Lovely!

The scent of the skimmia is lovely. This plant is obviously very happy here, tucked away under a large holly – it has almost doubled in size in the last three years.

These lilies look very promising. But I have been picking two or three lily beetles off them each time I’ve looked at them. Ugh!

Just a couple of sunny days have such an invigorating effect. I have even been out in the front – my Cinderella garden – tidying up and edging the paths. We’ve had coffee out of doors on two consecutive days (definitely the latest start for several years) and the forecast is good for at least another two days. Happy gardening, everyone!

I am adding this photo of the skimmia japonica in the front garden. It really comes into its own in the autumn, but still looks pretty with both berries and flowers. The scent of the flowers is beautiful – like lily of the valley.

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Comments

 

Your garden is looking good. Very colourful. I love the forsythia and the anemones. I watched a programme about lilies. It was in a series Great British Garden revival. It is the larvae which damages the lily rather than the beetle but his organic solution helps to get rid of both. The chap recommended pounding garlic to a pulp and adding water. It is then strained into a spray bottle and sprayed on any lilies found to be harbouring beetles and larvae. If the same solution is sprayed for a foot up the stem he reckons it also deters slugs and snails. You might still be able to see the programme on iplayer.

20 Apr, 2015

 

Oh, thank you, Scotsgran! The larvae are really disgusting, but I do notice that the beetles themselves make lots of holes in the leaves. I read that they don't fly, but they must travel very effectively! I really seem to have a lot this year. I shall definitely try the garlic solution.

20 Apr, 2015

 

Just checked it will still be on BBC iplayer for another 21 days. It has James Wong talking about Lilies and Christine Walkden talking about woodland plants. I saved the series so must try and look at the other episodes.

20 Apr, 2015

 

Your skimma has me intrigued.

20 Apr, 2015

 

Nice to have you back,Mel,and your garden is looking pretty..I can vouch for the garlic spray for most things..I've never made my own,but I buy one from a GC..It doesn't kill anything,but it's a good deterrent,and organic if you don't want to use pesticides..you can also stick some cloves of garlic in the soil around susceptible plants,which seems to help..a tip recommended by a professional Gardener :o)

21 Apr, 2015

 

Hiya Mel, its good to hear from you again ! I too am guilty of not being on goy much , but thats because of taking on a little allotment just in the village, which has done Rick the world of good! I agree, its been a long dull winter , but hopefully now Spring is here ! Your garden is showing signs of Spring too and this does make us feel better, doesn't it !
Your Skimmia looks great ! I'm disappointed with mine as it looks very sickly. It was moved from sandy soil ( Willow Cottage ) to clay soil, so after seeing Bloomers blog one day where she had put them in ericacious compost in pots, tried this, but it still looks sickly ! My skimmia at the cottage grew under the silver birch and was very happy there !

21 Apr, 2015

 

Hi Rose..your Pieris might just be getting used to being transplanted so don't give up on it,they prefer a bit of shade ,if that's any help? glad to hear the Allotment is giving you both pleasure :o) x

21 Apr, 2015

 

Thank you for checking, Scotsgran. I shall watch that later.

I love skimmias, Bathgate. I have some very large ones in the front. They are old and now form a sort of hedge. They are skimmia japonica, and have beautiful red berries alongside the flowers - great at Christmas. I'll add a photo to the end of the blog.

Thank you, Bloomer - I never use any sprays in the garden, and as the balance is pretty good, I don't often have to worry about pests, but lily beetles ...!

Hi Rose! Yes - the sunshine transforms everything, doesn't it? And, as Monty said on Friday, the garden is really taking off all of a sudden - here, anyway. Sorry to hear about your skimmia. My soil is extremely sandy, so perhaps that's why they do well for me. Your allotment sounds good. You didn't last long in a smaller garden!!

21 Apr, 2015

 

oops ! I meant Skimmia,not Pieris..sorry . It seems it does well on sandy soil too,Mel..I didn't know that,as it says on both labels ,Ericaceous..live and learn ! :o)

21 Apr, 2015

 

Quite a long wait Mel but just a few days of sunshine have done wonders your garden is looking great and the anemone look like a carpet of little jewels.

21 Apr, 2015

 

Thanks, Stroller. Well worth the wait - I have spent most of today outside. Bliss!

21 Apr, 2015

 

Hi Melchi, sometimes a busy life interferes and something has to take a back seat for a while, a few days of sunshine and blossom and flowers bursting out gives us the boost we need to get back out there, enjoy it is what I say.....

21 Apr, 2015

 

Absolutely, Lincslass. I am now looking after my adorable 12 month old granddaughter once a week. Now, you wouldn't think one day a week would make much difference would you?😉. Mind you, we have had two short breaks recently - the family got together in the Dales to celebrate Son No 1 's 40th (I'm in total denial about that, by the way!) and then OH and I visited him for a couple of days. And I had a weekend in London...and so it goes on! But we have a quiet few weeks ahead of us (apart from a selection of family birthdays) so perhaps we'll settle for a while! And - of course - if the sun's shining (which it hasn't very much recently) I race outside!

21 Apr, 2015

 

Melchi, lily beetles certainly do fly - One flew away from me when i removed it from a lily! Really took me by surprise.

21 Apr, 2015

 

Looking good! I gave up growing lillies because of problems with lily beetles, couldn't be doing with them!

21 Apr, 2015

 

Thats grand Melchi and you make the most of the time with your grandchild, I helped take care of my grandchildren for years but at 17 and 14 yrs old now they don't need taking care of anymore, although I do feed them when mum is at staff meetings and not home until later, I miss those days and don't mind admitting it...

21 Apr, 2015

 

That explains a lot, Stera!

Thanks, Louisa! Good to hear from you - I was just thinking about you yesterday, when I was looking at my semps. I hope you are well.

Oh yes, Lincslass, I shall certainly make the most of it. I was lucky enough to be able to be at home when my children were small, and I look back on very happy times. One day a week is great, because I can keep it clear of any other necessities and just have fun!

22 Apr, 2015

 

I am well thanks, I've just been busy doing other things. Nice to know you thought of me, I'm still semp obsessed like I was before!

22 Apr, 2015

 

I thought you might be!

22 Apr, 2015

 

Hahaa Mel ! I never actually thought I would be on an allotment again after what happened to us ! I did miss growing the veg ! The Skimmia moved from sandy soil to clay and after the first year decided to put it in a pot. Perhaps it will pick up, otherwise it will be on the allotment...in the compost bin ! hahaa!
It is in the shade Sandra, so I'm hoping it will pick up !

23 Apr, 2015

 

I remember the first of your blogs that I saw soon after I joined GoY. You were making a new garden with the help of your granddaughter (I think). I'm not at all surprised that you are spreading your wings again!

23 Apr, 2015

 

Spring is now a fleeting memory. We woke up yesterday to find the Pentlands, the Ochils and the Lomond hills sparkling with snowy caps. The temperature has dropped, the wind is raging and bringing heavy rain showers. The sun peeps through now and again to remind us that hope springs eternal and we need the rain and sun if we are to enjoy summer flowers and autumn fruit.

29 Apr, 2015

 

So I believe, Scotsgran! My daughter sent me a video of thick snow falling (although it didn't settle where they are, on the west of Paisley). We haven't had any of that, but we have had a couple of hail showers and it s definitely a lot colder. Let's hope it's the last of winter. You're quite right, though, that often what we class as "bad" weather is essential for the health of our plants.

29 Apr, 2015

 

We had thick snow on Monday but it did not lie here west and north of Edinburgh either. The forecasters had said that snow would fall on Saturday and we were all praying fervently that it would not be correct. Our neighbours two doors away had a huge marquee in the garden for their wedding reception. They were still singing and dancing to the Beetles Obladi-Ohblada at 3.30am. Great to be young. lol.

29 Apr, 2015

 

Oh wow! How very neighbourly of you to rejoice in such things!!! Mind you, occasions like that are to be celebrated, and we have to be understanding lol! I have to say that when our - now sadly deceased - neighbours had their large extended family round for a birthday barbecue, we used to enjoy hearing their enjoyment. To be fair, though, it was over well before 3 am! But, "live and let live" is a good motto. (As long as these things don't happen every Saturday night!)

I hope the weather has improved for you. It is still a bit cool here, but we have had plenty of sunshine in between dark spells. I have been taken by surprise by the spurt of growth and blossom everywhere. But in two hours it will be May, so I shouldn't be. Spring seems to have arrived so late and then has suddenly erupted!

30 Apr, 2015

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