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Rampant Spring!


Now that we can say (more or less) that the night frosts have finished everything has burst into life and is starting to run riot. Turn your back for a minute and the grass has grown and as for the nettles – well the less said about those the better. They love it here and any amount of digging out just seems to invigorate the bits you didn’t manage to get!
We have a silly little narrow border near the back door which was created when the new (now not so much) extension was built. Having bought a whole sack full of mini daffs and not much energy or enthusiasm to dig a load of holes (I love buying them, love to see them out, but HATE planting them) they got plonked into this bed temporarily and compost from the heap put on top. Three years later they were still there. They look lovely when out, but then flop all over the path and look a mess, so when finished they got dug up and Pansies and little Violas put in instead. They won’t take over the path at least and being near the back door stand a better chance of being dead-headed! They were bought late and reduced to 10p and 20p a plant so a bargain.
Pretty little faces, my Grannie loved them, so a memory of her.

Having planted them, added more compost and watered them in, OH produced some worms he had left over from fishing, so they got put in a couple of holes between the plants hoping they would aerate the soil. Within a couple of hours the Blackbird had been there and scrapped up three poor plants. This went on for a few days, not much chance of the plants getting their feet down, so they got some wood chipping put round them to deter the Blackbird. Can they HEAR worms? It hasn’t helped much, he/she isn’t digging them up any more, but the path gets covered in wood chip now! The peacock just coming to see what’s going on.

One pot got planted with matching Pansies and Violas and is looking good, again near the back door for dead-heading.

This little miniature Pieris was bought from Tesco, I don’t usually buy plants from them, but liked the look of this a couple of years back, paid £5 which I thought expensive at the time, but when you’ve got to have something – well! They told me it was a Hebe, but I knew it wasn’t but of course it had no label, so they could say anything to someone who didn’t know. It’s grown massively and flowered nicely, so happy with it.

The Thyme in the path is spreading nicely and flowering well and smells lovely if you step on it.

This Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ was planted to cover the bare trunks of the old Leylandii which got cut down from about 30ft and this has gone rampant. It’s even out the top of the hedge now, like a cloud of lavender-blue. The hedge is about 15ft or more tall.

The garden is also full of self-sown Aquilega, many the same colour but some different. These are holding their own among the goose-grass and other weeds, need to get to that bit!

The white Clematis has this year made a few flowers, planted to climb through one of the old apple trees and this one (probably Nellie Moser) was here when we came and struggles near the old derelict greenhouse, something else that needs some loving care.

The rose on the old shed (which is two storeys) was neither pruned not tied in, so has run rampant and hangs dangerously when you want to get in the shed. It has also climbed up through the Beech tree and is heading for the barn!

This little plant is a violet of some sort, label of course lost, but has an upright habit like a little bush.

Splashes of colour elsewhere in the garden, the Red Robin leaves a vibrant colour, Weilegia and Choisyia, Libertia and the little yellow shrub (is it a Berberis?) which is struggling with a self-sown Buddleia which needs to come out!

This variegated Rhododenron is one of three that I bought from a fairly local Nursery, straggly and reduced to £1 each, after a year has thickened out and is producing flowers. Planted at the back of the bed as I wasn’t sure how big it will get. Knowing my luck it will be a dwarf!

The Forthsythia has been pruned and has given the Snowball bush more room, looks like that will need a prune later. Lurking at the back corner is a white Ceanothus which I don’t even remember planting! This has grown into a tree now and not as prolific with flowers as the blue one. The Lilac is very pretty but the flowers are high so that will need trimming to a more sensible height. Always something to do!

Spent the day yesterday gardening with the mattock! At last have got round to (trying) to get out all the Japanese anemones round the column Yew. Two trailers full, huge roots, hopefully only a few will survive. Just to prove there is much more to do, this is the side of the bungalow which has just blossomed with nettles and weeds. Hidden is the old boat shell which is one day going to be dropped into the ground and made into a wildlife pond. One day!!!

Thank you for reading this far, now must press on while I wait for the ride-on lawnmower to be collected AGAIN, seems to have a fault they can’t trace. Ho Hum, all sent to try us.

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Really enjoyed my visit round your garden. Everything seems to be flourishing now the frosts have gone.

My Snowball tree has to be either trimmed back, or tied back as it is encroaching on my two gooseberry bushes! The Snowball tree has done really well this year. I saw it in a container pot and fell for it. It is certainly rewarding me now.

Love your lilac also. Do you have the cut blossom indoors? My grandmother and mother would not allow lilac in the house and I seem to have carried on with that (stupid) tradition.

Do you still have Zebra Finches, HoneysuckleG? And Parrakeets? I do miss my aviary.

22 May, 2017


You have lovely areas flourishing around your garden I love that rose also your Clematis they look healthy.
Same here like Eirlys Lilac was never bought into our house as kids it was said to bring death and bad luck same with Broom sweeps all luck out of the house that one Broom I can vouch for had nothing but bad luck for 10 years when I first moved into my house after bringing Broom through my house.

22 May, 2017


We have the same problem with our ride-on mower Honeysuckle. And OH was going to phone the engineer today, but has forgotten again. Im impressed at how you remember the prices of your bargain plants. You've got some great ones. That Pieris is really lovely! Im totally in love with your pink aquilegia as well. Thats so pretty! Some of mine have started self seeding as well. Its always exciting to see what colours you'll get. Great blog, thanks for sharing. :)

22 May, 2017


Some nice plants there -I liked that pale blue Aquilegia. Yes blackbirds can hear worms. I've seen them standing on the lawn with their heads on one side listening...

22 May, 2017


Thank you Eirlys, I agree that the Snowball tree has really performed this year, it just needs shaping up a bit!
the Lilac was a tree on it's own in the middle of the grass when we came, now part of the garden surrounding the circular lawn. It is miles too tall and though I pruned a bit last year, I don't think I was ruthless enough, it needs bringing down to a height I can admire and smell the flowers better.
I also don't bring Lilac into the house, though I adore it as a flower, but then I don't bring any flowers in unless they get broken off by mistake, I much prefer them in the garden.
As for the little Zebra Finches, we still have those and they are multiplying rapidly, so that I shall have to extend their aviary for them! So sweet and chirpy little birds, happy in a flock.
Poor Barney the parrakeet died must be two years ago now, while my husband was away visiting his brother abroad. I was distraught, but in-laws couldn't understand why I kept leaving messages for OH to contact me! Barney disliked being handled so when his claws needed trimming it was a case of do it as quick as possible and put him back to recover. It wasn't until he had died we got to read his leg rings and found out he was 19, so a good age for a parrakeet. We had him about eight years so were very attached.

23 May, 2017


Thrupennybit - Strange how some old-wives-tales linger on! I wonder how many will linger past our generation in these days of high technology. We watch lots of the quiz programmes on TV and are sometimes appalled at the lack of what used to be basic knowledge in some of the younger people (and not always younger). Things we took for granted, geography in your own country and recognising a common bird for instance. I suppose you don't need to know now, you can always look it up on the internet! With a dictionary you always had to have a rough idea of the spelling to know where to look, but the internet will give you choice from a garbled idea. Enough moaning!!
The Clematis sadly gets no attention, but still performs beautifully, perhaps I should lavish more care on them all. The rose is one of four that were planted to hide an unsightly shed, I thought that was just cheap a common or garden climber, but it is actually a named rose from Peter Beales Roses, called 'Arthur Bell' climber. It has definitely out-shone the other climbers, so you obviously get what you pay for! Height given is 4.5 M which I think it has excelled!

23 May, 2017


For CottageKaren, perhaps it's because I have a large garden and not a fortune that I remember the price of my bargains! It would be lovely to lay out a plan and just go and buy anything you wanted for the design at the garden centre, or would it? Half the fun is acquiring something you have been looking for at a bargain price preferably. The Aquilegias are everywhere, usually in a spot where you wouldn't plant them, but I haven't the heart to rip them out when they get bigger. Always mean to cut them down before they seed, but that usually goes by the wayside.
The mower saga may have been fixed! It has been back and forth probably five times, but they have just rung and said they think it's fixed, a burnt wire on a circuit board, could we just try it out and let them know as they have no grass to test it on.

23 May, 2017


Good to know Stera that the Blackbirds can hear the worms, I did wonder. I am going to blame OH as I had just finished putting in the plants and he appeared with some worms, where would I like them. Like a fool I said "you can put a few in here", so three huge handfuls later I didn't like to say no as he is touchy about me picking on him about gardening (why do they always do it wrong?). So they got put in and covered up, but miles too many. Another saga about him clearing places, he decided that the area behind the pond was overgrown, so he completely cleared it all, including the Arum Lily! Then he cleared the derelict greenhouse, bang went the cowslips, some bulbs and goodness knows what else. Mustn't moan, but we do have beds of nettles he could do no damage in.
Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated.

23 May, 2017


Thats a good point Honeysuckle...I was really just amazed by your memory. Mine is terrible for most things. But I can remember most of my plant names. :)

23 May, 2017


I really enjoyed this blog Honey, your garden fascinates me and I think we do tend to have the same attitude towards our gardening, I also hate stripping things out, I now have Welsh Poppies all over the place and Aquilegia's in some very odd places, I know I do have to get rid of a lot soon because they are taking over but I'm leaving them until its time to plant out my Asters and Dahlias..
My Snowballs shrubs are going to have to go, they have been attacked again and already the leaves are going like skeletons, looked awful last year but I have given them a chance at least....

23 May, 2017


Thanks Karen, my memory is good for most things, then.. I get a complete block, the name of something really common that I have known for decades, suddenly disappears! That blue shrub, what is it, what letter does it begin with? - Oh! for goodness sake it's a Ceanothus!
The major block is where did I leave...? How do trowels, forks, secateurs and such go missing? Perhaps some Hi-Vis glow tape would help. I know they have a place, but when using them they get laid down while I empty a barrow, then I get distracted by another job and they are gone!!!

24 May, 2017


What a shame Lincslass that the Snowballs may have to go, they are so impressive when in flower. I had never had one until we moved here where there was one hidden among derelict shrubs and masses of seedling Elder. With Elder in the hedges and masses of birds we still get hundreds of those, you just have to try to keep on top of them!
The reason my garden is usually so full of weeds is my dislike of pulling up a flower in the wrong place when it is almost up to flowering, leaving the seed heads of things for the birds, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) being my worst culprit, the Goldfinches love it and it's a joy to watch them. Lots of small wildflowers get left as well, nostalgia and old age being the culprit there, but the countryside as a whole is not a good place for wildflowers any more, too much spraying, so I feel sorry for the ones that struggle into my garden. The same applies to the odd mole that has ventured in. If it has dug through solid clay to get here a slight reprieve in softer ground is OK. Strangely they don't seem to stay long and only up one corner - now if they got into the flower beds and created havoc I might be less sympathetic!

24 May, 2017

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