Thursday, April 29, 2010

Doll's Minuet

I bought these on a whim last autumn for two reasons really.  One was that I liked the name (it conjured up a nice image of minuetting china dolls), and the other one was because they seemed a bit wacky.  Now they are in flower I'm so glad I bought them as they are gorgeous, and seem to almost be dancing by the twists and turns of their petals.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Feeding Roses

 Unnamed inherited rose in my garden (possibly Pink Perpetue)

I love roses. As far as I'm concerned you can never have enough roses (or clematis).  I inherited several, and have planted many more.  My favourites are the English roses which have a delightful scent and gorgeous shape.  I think I now have over 30 (but I'm sure there will be a couple more by the end of the summer - I have my eye on Fantin Latour for a start!).

Earlier this year I bought a book Guide to Natural Housekeeping by Cabbages and Roses after reading about it on Tales from a Cottage Garden.
In this book they recommend using Epsom Salts to feed roses, something I'd never heard of before.  They say that roses fed with Espom Salts are "bushier and produce more flowers than those treated with commercial fertilizer".  So, along with a friend, I'm giving it ago this year.   I gave them their first feed a couple of weeks ago and I'll let you know how they get on.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A nameless tulip

The light and shadows have made this tulip look quite magnificent this week.  I have no idea what its name is as it was planted by the previous owner, but I love it all the same!

Earlier this week I was given two lovely awards by Jo at The Good Life.  They were the Beautiful Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award. It was a real surprise and pleasure to receive them, so thanks Jo.
 The rules of the awards are that you have to link to the blog that gave you the award, list seven random things about yourself and then pass the award on to other blogs which you think deserve them.
So here are my seven random things:
1.  I went to theatre school and trained in classical ballet, modern and tap dance.
2.  I have inherited my father's tendency to never throw away a piece of wood as "it may come in useful one day".
3.  I love children's picture books .
4.  As a girl guide I crashed a flag pole into the door frame of Sandringham church when the Queen was in the service and had to get everyone to reverse so we could get out.
5.  My knees and elbows are double jointed
6.  As children we played on the pump trolley (like the one in the St Trinian's Train Robbery) at Wolverton Museum whilst the owners had their after lunch nap.  We could get it going quite fast, but stopping it wasn't as easy!
7.  I often have to work at the computer with a cat asleep on my left hand. 

I would like to make it very clear that I do not expect anyone to accept the award or pass it on, but the blogs that I would "award" it to are:

Tales from a Cottage Garden
Purple Podded Peas
Impasto Studio
The Constant Gardener
Marigold Jam
An Artist's Garden

I chose those blogs simply because they inspired me to start blogging, but I enjoy reading many more as well - see my profile for the complete list.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A bargain at the price

When I first viewed this garden I was rather excited as it had a greenhouse in it, but unfortunately it wasn't included in the sale price.  After some negotiations, helped by the fact that the sale went through very quickly, we agreed on £50.00.  For my money I got a 6ft by 4 ft greenhouse, 4 ft of staging, a fixed shelf, a table and two automatic vent openers (one for the louvres and one for the top).  At the moment it is full of seedlings and cuttings, over winter it housed cuttings and some tender plants.  It's too far from the house to get electricity to, but I have a little paraffin heater so can keep it frost free.  In winter the twice daily journey down the garden to light it or extinguish it is worth it, not just because of the plants, but because I love the smell of paraffin!  
It's only tiny, but I think I got a real bargain!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

About my garden - part 2

When I bought this garden it also came with a pond, (as well as a large shed, a dog run and a small greenhouse, which I'll blog about another time). In spring the pond has suffered from "green soup" syndrome for the last 2 years, which although the frogs and fish don't seem to mind, doesn't look very nice.

Look closely - there's a frog lurking in the rushes

I'm hoping to avoid some of the "green soup" this spring as last year I bought a small waterlily  to provide some shade -  Nymphaea Walter Pagels.  I bought it from Waterside Nursery.  I was slightly concerned about buying pond plants by mail order, but as I couldn't find this particular water lily locally I decided to risk it.  I needn't have worried as it arrived in perfect condition and even flowered once last year - this year I'm expecting many more blooms.

 Walter Pagels in flower last September

Friday, April 2, 2010

About my garden - part 1

The back garden was one of the main reasons that I bought this house just over 2 years ago.  It is only 5m wide but it is about 50m long.  The house and garden had been rented for several years but we could see that it had been lovingly cared for in the past.  In fact the previous owner had been an avid plants woman and although many of those plants had not survived being rented, the structure was still there.  The garden had a special, "twinkly" feeling, with a sense of mystery and excitement about what was round the next corner, or hiding under the ivy.  The ivy covered most of the flowerbeds, apart from where the Spanish bluebells grew!  I have slowly won the battle with the ivy, but still have some way to go with the bluebells!  Every year the garden reveals more secrets from its past - this spring some beautiful double flowered snowdrops appeared where paving slabs and an old dog run had been until last June.
I don't have any pictures of the garden when I moved in, but this is it after I'd been here for about 2 months.