Another damp day much appreciated by my garden.
I love my garden and over the years I have chosen my plants carefully. Every one has a meaning or significance and I have spent many hours nurturing them to maturity. The harsh 2010/2011 winter took its toll and I lost several of my favourite plants, and many others are but a shadow of their former selves and are still recuperating.
But gardens are amazing things and although it isn’t quite as spectacular is as usually is at this time of year, it is rallying nicely. With lots of patience, hard work and imagination I’m sure that this time next year I will be looking out onto my garden back to its full glory.
In the meantime I have gaps to fill, shrubs to prune, and plants to move into more favourable positions so that they are more sheltered next winter. I have hanging baskets to plant, pots to pot and a vegetable patch to cultivate. The grape vine is sprouting and will soon cover the garage and the arch, the peonies are in bud and about to burst into pale pink bloom and the hostas are shaping up to be magnificent again.
Having spent a day in the garden I feel re-energised, healthily tired from being out in the fresh air and my Vitamin D levels have been topped up nicely.
Now all we need is some rain!
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I love charity shops. I can’t walk past without popping in and scouring their bookshelves for little gems. I found some on Saturday and whilst I wouldn’t have spent £4.99 on a little green book called “50 Ways to Kill a Slug” I was more than happy to hand over 75p. It was worth every penny!
I grow some gorgeous hostas, one of the principal targets for slugs and I am always trying to find ways of deterring these grotesque slime-balls from munching their way through the luscious leaves. I have tried beer traps, WD 40, Vaseline, sawdust and egg shells. So what advice does the author give in her book as we head into Spring and those tasty green shoots start to appear? Here are my 10 favourites.
- Keep your garden tidy- clear out all secluded dark moist areas and compost what you find, including the slugs!
- Expose the clutches of white slug eggs and watch the birds feast. Caviar.
- Grow mint, chives, garlic, geraniums, foxgloves and fennel.
- Collect all that hoovered up dog and cat hair and spread it around the base of your plants.
- Copper tape wrapped around plant pots will not only provide a physical barrier but will also emit small shocks when crossed. 🙂
- Upside down grapefruit skins attract slugs so make sure they are provided with a door to enter the dome and they will congregate in their newly created “house”.
- Encourage hedgehogs and frogs into your garden. They love slugs for breakfast.
- Feed them to next-door’s chickens!
- Fill a bowl with beer and the slugs will drown in a drunken haze. What a way to go.
- Pine needles can be a fine deterrent-too prickly to persist.
The author finishes off her advice with “If all else fails……
Venture out into the garden armed with this book. Locate a slug, remove it from among your plants, place the book unopened on top of the slug and squelch down with your foot. Then flick off the dead remains. Finally, wipe down your book!”
Fragrant lavender scent
Purple pom-pom chives
Sundial shadows slowly creeping
Shiny red shells, polished
Weaving between long blades of grass
Lush damp leaves, undergrowth
Heavy showers bounce off paving
Tomato tendrils hang
Giant pumpkins trail, juicy figs
Gentle rays shine
Green grapes bask and ripen
Bountiful bunches plump sweet flesh
Silk spun lace web
Delicate, fine, perfect
Woven thread, elegant patterns
Hollyhock double blooms
Foxglove spires, iris stems arise