Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring or not ?

Is it spring or not?,there are certainly some strange goings on,everything is budding and even starting to flower like my Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata',but according to my gardening journal my Magnolia stellata is also normally flowering now.

Unfortunately the light is not very good today but the flowers have a lovely pink tinge to them and smell divine.
The dog got trimmed at the weekend,he is hoping for warmer weather !! and the Dunnock was very busy all afternoon collecting his hair and disappearing off to the Leylandii hedge,the robin must be a bit behind him as he didn't want any of the soft fur,he was busy collecting bits of dead leaves to make his nest.The blackbird has made his/her nest already and they are busy sitting in the Pyracantha,she  made me laugh the other morning,we have a small plant tray which we put water in for the birds to drink.(you can see it on the Sun Rays post it is tiny)but she somehow managed to have a really long wash in it.Yes all signs of Spring ,as were the Skylarks singing away over the field as I walked the dog,but what I didn't expect to hear the same time as the Skylarks were Redwing and Fieldfare along the hedgerow,when I looked there were a big group of them flying up from the opposite field,maybe they think it is too cold to go back home.
They cut the asparagus down in the field at the bottom of the garden last week,again as I walked the dog I could hear a Lapwing,we get the odd ones but to my delight I saw something I have not seen since I was a child,a whole flock flew up from out of the field calling and with there distinctive wings and flight it made my day.
So I don't know if I dare say the mouse problem seems to now be under control,but we have no sign for a few days, I am glad to say  there is a lot of other activity going on  in the greenhouse

                                             Seedlings are sprouting

Some have been potted on

Onions,garlic and shallots are planted,potatoes are chitting waiting to go into the ground next week-weather permitting.The weather and nature might be telling us one thing one day and then totally different the next.I think as gardeners we tend to be an optimistic lot ,so for me 
YES Spring is here

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Plant of the Centenary

Lots of people are doing blogs on which plant they would choose as Plant of the Centenary.This is because the RHS Chelsea Centenary Show,with a crack team of experts are trying to choose a 'Plant of the Centenary'.
Such a difficult choice;would mine be Albulca nelsonii which I grew from seed and had the most unusual flowers and almond scent or the Angelica gigas who adorned our front garden so majestically,or Aeonium 'zwartkop' which I have as my profile picture,No

Mine would be Rosa' Golden Showers'

The RHS describe it as a deciduous or evergreen shrub or scrambling climber,with usually thorny stems bearing pinnate leaves and solitary or clustered,five petalled flowers followed by showy red or purple fruits.It is a large climber of upright growth with dark stems and glossy foliage. Flowers loosely doubled,fragrant,golden-yellow,paling with age,to 10cm in width.It will grow in clay,loam,sand or chalk s long as it is in a sheltered position not facing north.Making it a plant that most people could grow.

It's colour stands for Joy,Gladness,Friendship,Delight,Promise of a new beginning,Welcome back,Remember me,Jealousy,"I care"

I had yellow roses with freesias and gypsophila in my wedding bouquet

On our anniversary we tend to buy  something that we can plant in the garden,so when we moved to where we are now 19 years ago we bought Rosa 'Golden Showers' and planted it next to our front door.Our anniversary is in May and I always get a single bud/flower on my breakfast tray in bed.
It flowers from then until usually October time but the year before last was still flowering in December

So although I buy and grow lots of different plants the plant of MY Centenary reminds me of the wonderful man I married

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Sun Rays

Thank goodness for the sun,we all need it sometimes it always seems to lift my spirits.I actually have managed to sit in the garden and have a well deserved cuppa. I did a bit too much yesterday and the good old back decided it didn't like it.I was trying to keep my mind occupied as we lost two of our children at the hospice both on the same day,even though you know it's going to happen it is still always very sad.So rays of happiness thank you,I like to think their little souls are the rays and it is them making the crocus open to make us smile.

I managed to clear one small bed yesterday and rake up the rest of the leaves under the maple tree which revealed lots of alliums which always seem to self seed in my garden and a load of tulip bulbs emerging.
I have some more sweet pea seeds on the go and the battle with the mice is on going,I have previous experience with mice when we lived in an old farmhouse so know there is never only one mouse!!
Today I have managed to plant onions,garlic and shallots but they were all in the raised bed but the poor back is still protesting,
Another plant I have in my garden is Euphorbia x pasteurii 'John Phillips',it is slightly tender and although it didnt die in the previous cold winters we have had it certainly didn't perform as well.So I took cuttings and now have 3 in different places

With the sun shining on it today it was lovely as it really showed off the lime green new growth and the white central vein really stood out.It can grow to about 1.5-2.5m,mine is probably on the 1.5m.It is a very striking plant and has yellowish,lime green honey-scented flowers from July to October

So rays of sun please continue to shine and make us reflect and have a light heart