Category Archives: gardening

Garden Revamp – bits and bobs

conservatory side dillyMore work in the garden, starting with a tidy up at the side of the conservatory by way of a gravel path. We discovered why plants were not growing well there – a simple matter of an 18inch wide concrete shelf to the front and side!  The new path has duly passed inspection by our resident Forecat, Miss Dilly. Plants also adjusted to allow for the additional path.

side 1

We n20180423_133012ow have a small trellis to hide some of the pots etc. Large pot each side as there is always a stiff breeze down that side.  Jasmine in one pot and Hypericum in the further side.





figsIn other news – the fig has recovered from the move and is forming fruits. And the Apricot – despite the severe haircut (back to the trunk) and twice being repotted, has begun to show signs of new shoots. apricot buds_edited-1



Garden Revamp – add a table #garden #courtyardgarden

20180418_135759More gardening today – and I think I now have most of the plants out that I don’t want and moved and/or ‘pruned’ the rest.

The mosaic table and chairs that we bought in the sales last autumn and which have been stored in the garage since look rather nice in the sunshine. (There are 4 chairs but only brought 2 out today)




The camlia will be here and after some wavering I decided that

20180418_135906the large pieris has a reprieve for the time being. Put in the huge cyclamen (rhs)  two ferns and a heuchera. Had thought of gravelling that section as the window cleaner has a habit of treading on it  but just going to put in a pebbe; section down the side of the conservatory. The large pot contains a Rodgersia pinnata.  Not the best pot but its a plant that like to be kept quite damp.

The side border looks a little spartan but it now has space for new things. The acer in the centre may yet end up in a large pot. It seems to be one of the weeping varieties, which is wasted in a mixed border. They are far  better displayed in a good pot.



20180418_135759From now on it will be the judicious buying of plants for seasonal colour. With such a small  courtyard garden I can’t afford to bung stuff in as I used to. But on a day like this it is a perfect place for tea and a book!



Garden revamp – more evictions

I spent the afternoon pottering around the courtyard moving this and evicting that – the main eviction was yet another euphorbia – this one the common variety. Pictured is an outdoor cyclamen – a single corm this fills the entire pot!  yet to decide where to put that one.



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Garden Revamp : Invasive Plants

Now that spring is (very nearly) here I have started to look at what still needs to come out. I posted recently on the removal of one huge clump of Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae – and the resultant skin irritation, which came from secondary contact with the sap. (I used gloves when dealing with the plant itself.)

Looking at various sites that deal with Schedule Nine invasive plants I was surprised to see several garden regulars on the list.

The ones we are all probably aware of are:

  • Japanese Knotweed – Fallopia japonica
  • Giant Hogweed – Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Himalayan Balsam – Impatiens glandulifera

I was more surprised to note that also on the list (of which I note that I have three in my garden) were:

  • Montbretia – Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora
  • Variegated Yellow Archangel – Lamiastrum galeobdolon argentatum
  • Giant Rhubarb – Gunnera tincoria and manicata
  • Goldenrod – Solidago canadensis and gigantea
  • Cotoneaster (all species so far as I could see)
  • Spanish Bluebells – Hyacinthoides hispanica
  • Japanese Rose – Rosa rugosa

There are others on the list – but these few did surprise me slightly being seen so often in the average garden. One knows they are garden thugs  but not that they have the plant equivalent of Asbos!

Just so you know…

“Plants Listed as a Schedule 9 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is an offence to allow these plants to spread onto adjacent land and into the wild. Possible fines and prison sentence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”


Garden revamp

As it was a nice bright day I spent a lot of it in the garden.  Repotting plants that I brought with me in plastic pots into ceramic containers. And then playing musical plants – shifting things around before they start putting on too much spring growth.

Two olive trees,  a pot of blue agapanthus and (not shown) a pot of  Bela Lugosi Daylilies.

small olive


also disposed of a large quantity of Euphorbias and Montbretia and  resited a large Anemones in their place.

odd and endsMoved two Hydrangeas from the front garden, a Red valerian that I had in a pot and a  Broom plant that was in the rear to the small border at the side of the house.

And re planted the Acer that was hiding under that Spotted Laurel to the front.acer front



Still to decide what to do with another Acer in the back garden and two Pieris in the front garden.  That is a decision for another day.

I also have a Fig and a Ginko to be repotted. Plus some Azaleas in the garden that would be better off in containers in ericaceous compost.

glassWe have a selection of lumps of glass scattered about – gathered them all togther and not sure what to do with them.

Though I wore gloves when digging them up I seem to have a  slight ‘burn’ from the Euphorbia sap on my left hand.  Must have brushed up against them after I took my gloves off. That being the case the other clump of same plant will meet their doom quite soon!

A day off

Day off from the kitchen mayhem today.  Went shoppingm and yes we bought food – but also a rather lovely white camelia.  Large specimen that will look gorgeous in our courtyard garden. And from Morrisons in Festival Park of all places!  Just stood it in the blue pot for now to stop it getting blown over whilst  I decide its final spot. Lots of buds on it ready to flower.



Having shopped – and as we have no means of cooking – we decided to have lunch at the Toby, but were a little early so went for a stroll along the canal.  Spring is well under way judging by the bird life.  Some very vocal Canada Geese along the towpath – and one rather wild fight!  They kept this up for a long while – beaks clamped on each other’s necks and much bashing and battering with wings.


Today in the Garden

Today was all about cutting back ivy – which had smothered 5 panels of the rhs fence.

Image result for english ivy on fence flowersThis is an ancient ivy – or to be more precise ivys because there are at least five different varieties there. The largest leaf variety is covered on flowers and fruits so I am loathe to cut too much back because they are a source of winter food for insects and when the sun is out the flowers are ashimmer with bees and hoverflies (and even the occasional late butterfly).

Likewise the fruits provide winter feed for the birds.


I also feared that it was going to pull the fence down. Having  chopped it back from the end two of the spread I realise that the ivy may be the only thing holding the centre three sections up! So have limited myself to trimming the long non-flowering strands for now.

Also in tidying the edges beneath found that the ivy roots were holding the grey-water drain cover tightly in place. Much swearing and hacking with secateurs has freed it up and pushed the border edge back by almost a foot.

Bin is brimming and I am exhausted but a good job done.

I will start taking pics of my own at some point 🙂