Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Garden ressurection

This year gardening has taken a different turn for me. I've finally admitted after another year of wasted veggie growing that I really do want to take a break from it for a while - just the veggie growing though.
I begin every new year with the renewed interest and excitement about growing Sweetcorn and onions etc the same way every gardener does I guess but over the last couple of seasons I've noticed it has become a chore rather than an interest and all those lovely veggies I sow and tend to slowly but surely get neglected to the point where they're just left to their own devices - and seeing as they're in a polytunnel they soon succumb to thirst.
I thought maybe I was just trying to grow too much because I have the space so this year I grew just what I knew we liked to eat as a family - Sweetcorn, Cucumber, Strawberries, Beans, Courgette and onion - but even those have been left to rot away, in fact the strawberry runners have just about made their way out of the polytunnel door in search of water.
I haven't even kept on top of the Sweetpea this year and that is the one plant I love to grow every single year as a cut flower. It's usually still producing plenty of flowers this time of year however whereas the garden sweetpea is still in flower the ones in the PT are well into seed now.
So I have decided, next year I am NOT growing fruit and veg (oh yes the apples have all been left to drop and rot too). My polytunnel will get an overhaul, the beds will be renewed and maybe even a different layout installed, I'm not even going to do the cut flowers next year (least I don't think so).
2015 is going to be the year I concentrate on renovating the second half of my garden and it's going to be epic. I have so many ideas floating around - thanks to Pinterest - and I can't wait to begin tearing everything up, building and planting.
So I've been watching the garden more keenly this year to see what works and what doesn't, what plants are thriving and what is just limping along and I have plenty of cuttings taken and a load of new plants waiting for a home.

Here's a few pix of part of the mess I'll be tackling next year, it looks like a lot of green healthy growth and plants but it's really not, there's the odd few decent shrubs and perennials in there (mostly in the wrong place) but it's mainly weeds.

The next picture shows the Leycesteria that has self seeded everywhere. It's a lovely plant and I'm loathe to take any out especially as it tolerates the sever gales we get here but it's getting way too invasive and greedy now. The Hebe to the right is about 13 years old now and is huge, it flowers twice a year and takes a real battering in the winter.

The tall plant in the back centre of the next picture is a Rose bush, it flowers profusely every year and never suffers from blackspot like most of the others however it always (without fail) seems to flower in time for a downpour of rain and then the blooms rot immediately.

The grass in the above picture is so invasive it's ureal, I've been pulling that stuff out for years but you only have to miss one root and it pops up all over again. There are a couple of Rose bushes in there also but they never really did well even before all the rest of the stuff grew so I'll probably dispose of them - though I may plant them elsewhere just out of curiosity to see if they grow better.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Hydrangeas, Willow and Dragonflies.

Well the weather couldn't have done more of a complete U turn could it. we've gone from temperatures in the 80's to pouring rain and a cold wind - is that summer over and done with?

The garden is way too wet for me to get out and clear weeds, I'd be doing more harm than good so I've had to make do with tidying up and filling bird feeders and not much else.
I noticed the Hydrangeas are really doing well this year. I think I pruned them at the wrong time last year and they hardly flowered at all, this year though they are all full of blooms.
Walking from one end of the garden to the other I noticed the gradual colour change in the blooms so going along with the current way of thinking my soil goes from acidic to neutral in quite a short space

Before this weather change I had spent a few days clearing our pond of reeds. I usually refuse to do this job because the pond is huge and very deep and filled to the brim with all kinds of reptiles and jurassic insects ( I kid you not) but Mr TG and Miss TG decided to bring ducks home so i felt the pond had to be cleared and I was the only one with the time to do it. The pond looked much better on completion but I'd been concerned that my interference may have impacted the Dragonflies - the only insects I can stand - however just as I lay next to the pond to get a low shot look what appeared

I guess I don't need to worry about insect life.

I also had a go at turning a couple of willows into an arch a few weeks ago. I tried it last year but it just kept breaking apart with every wind so I lost interest, this time I used more twine to temporaraily hold them together and so far it has held. If this works and holds over winter then I'll be completeing the willow walk as soon as the willows are tall enough to reach over

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Slug free Hosta

I think this is the longest break I have taken from posting on here, I've kind of been unsure what to blog about because although there's been alot going on in the garden and polytunnel there's not much worth blogging about - at least not much that I feel people would be interested in sitting and reading.
I cannot fault the weather over the past month or so though, it has been ruddy lovely here - full on sunshine with a lovely sea breeze and next to no rain.
The flower borders are rife with weeds because I've taken a step back from worrying about them everyday - sure I regret it now but I'm still not letting myself get all worked up about it, I'll get round to sorting it sooner or later.
I did take a wander round after mowing the lawns today though and I'm bemused by a particular Hosta (name unknown) that stands out from every other Hosta I own. Most of my Hostas whether they be in pots or the ground have pretty much been munched to skeletons

Well a few weeks ago I noticed that while the slugs are dining on most of my Hostas there is one Hosta which I have planted in various areas has not been touched at all - I do believe I have a Hosta that slugs do not like - how cool is that! This photo was taken yesterday along with the others and clearly show it's untouched - as are the others of the same variety.

The flower borders may be weed ridden but the perennial flowers are also blooming so at least the borders look full - best use for weeds lol