Friday 29 August 2008

woo hoo

I love these birds!
I've just seen my first song thrush of the year!! Aside from the long tailed tits, they have to be the cutest bird. Library picture courtesy of the RSPB


Well I should be doing the housework, but here I am again posting.
The garden is alive with sound of blue tits, and great tits and if I'm very lucky long tailed tits.
I love it when they all fly in with their peep peep peeps, I can even forgive them for plant bending, its funny to see movement amongst the undergrowth then watch a tit on a stem bend to the floor in slow motion. I just wish we had tits all year and not sparrows who scare away the long tailed tits and peck at my lettuce! In decline 'my a*se'.

This the view from my desk where I blog. And above is my kitchen with the sweet peas. So following the garden round from the left, here is the chaos that is my 'under development' garden.

helenium, rosemary, agastache, hyssop, astrantia, santolina, verbena, white rose, raven penstemon and new white honeysuckle.

day lily, dahlia, bay, echinacea, echinops ritro ++

Not really my cup of tea, rosewise, but its a great performer. lemon balmn cotinis, varigated lavatera grown from seed this year, should have burgundy flower.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus', marsh mallow, japanese anenome, white buddleia

penstemon garnet, gertrude jekyll rose hiding, scabious wildly out of control!

bugundy ice rose, squashed in agapanthus, lavender rosea, lemon achillea

Eupatorium cannabinum, berberis, heuchera, hellebore, holly, astrantia claret

Back to the patio with a fatsia and a climbing hydrangea.
So as you can see its all in need of some attention whether it be moving or editing. phew...

Thursday 28 August 2008

a moment of calm

verbena bonwhatsit and agastache

I've come in from the garden to try to calm my nerves. Its that feeling I get in the spring of being instantly overwhelmed by the garden. I feel like I'm in a movie where the camera spins around to capture that moment, that moment of sheer bewilderment. I do love gardening but a large garden doth not make a better gardener.
My problem is I want a lush green cottage garden like you see in the magazines., and I want it now! However this is only my 3rd year in this garden, looking back through my photos it really has changed beyond recognition.

the ugly duckling
to almost a swan..

Do you remember that climber I asked about, well its absolutely gorgeous. I still don't know what it is, I asked my neighbour who thinks she got it from a plant fair, so quite unusual.

Lastly whilst reading amateur gardener in the library again, I found out that the new gardeners world presenter is Toby Buckland, the juries out to whether I approve yet!

Tuesday 26 August 2008

as if by magic

My squash plants are producing babies at last! What a surprise I got when I saw these.

These are the female parts, so now they need fertilising by the male flower, which you can do by hand when the female flower opens. I learnt a lot about growing your own, from a great allotment site.
However my Dad always had a great vegetable patch (and still does), so I guess its in the blood. As I'm going back to my roots I should mention my Mum is a dressmaker, (its in the family) so I couldn't escape the urge to sew and hoard fabric could I.

We ate our first sweetcorn last night, actually we shared it as the crop has been so poor this year, I think we will be lucky to get 4 or 5 more. Last year I grew sweetcorn for the first time and we had a bumper crop, even had to throw some on the compost! Anyway it tasted lovely, I picked this cob and cooked it straight away, otherwise the sugars quickly turn to starch.

An update on tomato watch. I have a red tomato!! Actually tomato watch has turned into blight watch, a few of the leaves have had brown patches, so I have my eye on the foliage now not the tomatoes as its the first sign of blight. At least I'll have one tomato for lunch today!

Sunday 24 August 2008

olympic quilter

This week I have finally started to piece together my jumbled grandmothers flower garden patchwork, mainly thanks to the awful weather and the Olympics. I think I would win a bronze for my efforts. I realised half way through that it looks like a nursery quilt, I live in hope!
The colourway reminds me of the film Amelie, with its red/green tones. I'm hoping that I can fade the colours if I hang it on the line in bright sun...

Whilst I'm on the subject of patchwork I thought I would share my treasured book. I borrowed this book from the library, (yes I still use the library, mainly now to read amateur gardener!!)
I loved it, and wanted to own it, so this turned out to be my first purchase on ebay. Its got gorgeous photos, just my cup of tea!

Saturday 23 August 2008

gertrude jekyll

At last just about enough sunshine to appreciate
Gertrude Jekyll.
The perfume of this rose is heavenly

Friday 22 August 2008

bring me sunshine

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine that I ordered yesterday. I'm on tomato watch, and no its nothing to do with Bill Oddie. No I am watching and waiting for the first red tomato. Oh no its just started raining and I've washed towels too!! Its my daily ritual to wander down to my veggies to see whats going on and to check out my tomatoes. I lost all my tomatoes last year to blight which affects tomatoes as well as potatoes as they are from the same family.

Here are just some of my 37 leeks that I'm hoping will see me through the winter unlike my gigantic squash plant which is yet to fruit!

Will someone tell mr and mrs puffball that its not autumn yet!!

Lastly, can anyone tell me what this plant is sneaking through the fence? I think its random turn up is just lovely, is it some kind of clematis?


I'm backtracking slightly so I can mention Ethel and Ednas tearoom who have posted lots of lovely pics of Gwithian/Hayle, as you know I went there in June.

I bought a bag in the excellent sunsetsurfshop to take to the Maldives. This cafe is so cool, it could be Summer bay!

I think I might send them a pic.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

shout out

Is is just me or is this blogging thing all consuming? I feel like I'm juggling with 100 balls afraid to drop one or lose one! Here are some appropriate photos for some of my fellow bloggers whom I have tagged. I have read most of your lovely blogs but forgive me if I mix you up its all making my head spin, in a good way!

This picture is for Simone at linden grove. I too have inherited a wisteria which I have trained, I only wish it was less rampant and white like yours.

This ones for Sal at sals snippets. My collection of embroideries that never see the light of day!
Its difficult when you live with a man, to have chintzy things on display.

And lastly just some of the blessed teasel seedlings for Louise at this is my patch. I only wish I had taken a photo in spring when there was a lovely carpet of the blighters! Thanks to the heads up on the borage setting seed issue, my aunt has just given me some seeds, dare I sow them?

Tuesday 19 August 2008

catalogue crazy

Its crazy that I'm even considering orders already for next year, this is usually an autumn pursuit. But it feels like autumn when I'm stuck indoors and yes I have a winter roll neck woolly on! With the lure of free bulbs I'm pondering on an order from J Parker Bulbs I've had mixed success with this company however their bulbs were good last time so I'll give them another go.
The use of catalogues also gives my choice that I'm afraid to say garden centres/nurseries do not. I've had so many disappointing visits now that I will resort to buying online, however I do support local shops and have the bank balance to prove it!

These allium christophii are £1.45 for 10. I did want white alliums but at that price they are worth a go. The giant heads claim to be 25cm!!

These are camassia bulbs which I saw at Malvern this spring, I bought one, don't ask my why just one duh!! I 'm really into this pale blue colour.

Queen of the night tulips which are the freebie. These tulips are stunning I have grown them before, I think I will grow them in pots either side of the bay window.

If you love plants I urge you to visit hayloft plants online. Its a company started by three friends and you can tell they really love plants. I have not ordered from them before as I think they are a little pricey, however their catalogues are to die for and I use them mainly for inspiration. They do have an iris that I want want want though! Iris Elizabeth of England

and penstemon sour grapes....

Its not just plant catalogues that land on my doorstep, this morning the autumn Cath Kidston catalogue arrived! Lovely!

Apart from fabric I've not ordered anything from CK. I just like lusting over the gorgeousness!

Love that polka dot bag!


Monday 18 August 2008

at last

Gosh so much blogging! Finally I've got round to making the hand embroidered heart hangers for my friends girls, the backing fabric is ottoman rose from Cath Kidston. After receiving Sals parcel it reminded me how nice it is to receive something you are not expecting, I hope they like them!

old and new

I love this blown out nostalgie rose quietly decaying.

From the old to the new~ this is a rosebud from my new very pink Gertrude Jekyll rose. This is the second flush, the first blooms were ruined by the heavy rain we had back in June.

I've had to pick all our apples this morning due to an influx of wasps, the poor tree looks quite naked! Its a discovery apple which is meant to be an eater, though like most fruit I grow they are a little tarte. So last night I tried cooking some with last years blackberries et voila cest magnifique! No added sugar! Unless you count the ambrosia custard!

And the new~ at long last my squash has a flower. I know this is pretty late for a reasonable sized squash to develop, though its been an odd year again so I live in hope!

My outdoor tomatoes are somewhere between old and new. They are struggling with this not sunny summer. After gardeners world on Friday they mentioned to go for a tomato that ripens early, these are gardeners delight and I'm not sure they will all ripen. So a note for next year will be to grow early ripening tomatoes and blight resistant potatoes.