Tag Archive | Home and Garden

Iris

You don’t need a pond in your garden to grow lovely water plants. These iris are quite happy in an old plastic recycling box courtesy of our local council!

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Garden progress

014After last week’s Sunny Sunday at the garden centre, the weather today has been very kind to me and, although there is a strong breeze, it is a warm one and when the sun peeks through the scudding clouds it is perfect for planting.

I have a small garden, but having stripped the borders last year, it’s amazing how many plants you need to start again without them looking sad and isolated. There is nothing worse than eking out a few plants over a large area and I prefer to focus on a small area first and make sure it is planted effectively. I still leave plenty of room in between for future growth but I’m convinced that plants are much happier when they have a leafy neighbour close by to whisper to.

I like to plan my garden so that it contains a high number of evergreen shrubs which not only look good in the winter but also provide a great backdrop in the spring and summer for the more colourful perennials and bedding plants. There are lots of shrubs which make great canvasses and I love adding the splashes of bold colour to complete the picture. I love bright colours and funky shapes and my garden will undoubtedly reflect these preferences.

I also love their names. I have bought many a plant because of its name and I have never been disappointed. My garden is full of “”William’s” which is my son’s name and include the gorgeous fragrant red rose Royal William, the dark purple/cream Aquilegia William Guinness and of course, Sweet Williams. I’ve even found an very unusual Dahlia-Willie Willie!

Dahlia Willie Willie

Dahlia Willie Willie

Some of my latest additions are pictured below and there will be many more to follow. The garden is taking shape again and I just need to find some more poppies to replace those I have lost. It’s a little early yet, especially after all the cold weather we’ve had but it won’t be long now.

Spring has sprung at last!

Twisted Willow Dark Snake

Twisted Willow Dark Snake

Hebe Green Globe

Hebe Green Globe

Contorted Hazel

Contorted Hazel

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Hebe Pink Elephant

A walk in the Leicestershire countryside

015Today I was left to my own devices at the local garden centre, Wistow Rural Centre, there to browse the new crop of plants and choose some for my revamped garden. The Centre is a perfect way to spend a few hours of  “me” time and I made the most of every sunny minute.

After buying some plants and leaving them safe whilst I busied myself with other things, I went to the cafe for my lunch. A nice and healthy baked potato with ham salad went down a treat before I was off across the nearby fields to commune with the new-born lambs and swans. The woods are still carpeted with a mass of snowdrops and looked a picture in the dappled sunshine breaking through the trees.

018I walked along the stream into the fields where the sheep and their lambs were mostly snoozing in the warmth of the early afternoon sun and I enjoyed watching the lambs snuggling close to mum and every now and then helping themselves to a little sustenance, little tails wiggling away merrily whilst they fed. Like the apple blossom in May, it’s a favourite sight of mine and a sure sign that Spring is on its way even if it’s taking it’s time this year.

008On my way back to the centre I stopped to look at the large bare-earthed field which in just a few months time will be transformed into a Maize-Maze. This is an annual phenomenon with the maze changing shape each year. I remember taking William around the maze when it was in the shape of a pirate ship, trying to find our way out of the 6 feet high maize without cheating. When you enter the maze you are given a flag to wave if you need help and there are  number of “spotters” standing on platforms dotted around the maze looking out for anyone who needs help to escape. Children and adults alike have great fun wandering around the passages formed by the  maize searching for clues to the quiz that is also part of the experience.

A hot cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle cake were the perfect end to my afternoon and I managed to fit them in just in time before hubby arrived to bring me home.

How’s that for good timing!

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November in the garden

There’s nothing like some fresh air and gentle exercise to lift your mood and boost the Vitamin D levels which tend to lapse a bit through the winter months so, although early morning was a little grey, misty and uninviting I set out into the garden to do some tidying up. It’s very long time indeed since I’ve been outside in mid-November in a t-shirt and I can’t remember ever seeing cowslips and fuchsias in full flower as well as self-seeded foxgloves, aquilegia and hollyhocks already well established for next year.

The grape-vine which trailed across the garage and into next-door’s garden (clearly aiming for the pergola to cling to) is now trimmed ready for winter and a barrow-load of grapes which shamefully went to waste this year is now in the compost heap. I hope the scavengers enjoy the intoxicating effects of fermentation as much as these elephants clearly relished the ripe marula fruit!