Thursday, 19 March 2015

Taking stock

I decided to do a list of all the plants I have in my polytunnel ready to get planted out in the garden this year - the result surprised even me and I see them every day.
Here's part of the list:
Roses x 17
Hydrangea x 4
Caryopteris x 3
Geum x 6
Hebe x 9
Honeysuckle x 3
Thread palm x 8
Rosa Rugosa x 15
Hosta x 12
Hibiscus x 20
and that's without all the Day lilys, pokers, Crocosmia and heaps upon heaps of other plants and bulbs.
What the heck am I supposed to do with 20 Hibiscus? I mean, I don't even know if they do well in this climate.
What about Thread Palms? Do they survive the weather here?
I also have a Chusan Palm but I believe they're supposed to be hardy enough to survive here and in fact someone along the main road has a huge one in their very exposed front garden and that one appears to be thriving, though it is secured with lots of pulleys.
I have a Phoenix Canariensis too but I'm not sure whether to plant it out and protect it through winter or leave it in a pot and bring it in for winter - I suspect the latter because I had one many years ago that died in the winter.

Anyways, those geese that arrived earlier in the year are still here. They appear at the same time every year but I've never known them to stay longer than a few days so I'm not sure what has happened to make them stay all this time. I'm not complaining though cos I love seeing them especially when they get ready to take off and land - they're so chatty.

The gardens been too boggy to work in at the moment, I've managed the odd day of weeding and tomorrow MrTG has stated that he'll be taking the day off work to give me a hand out there (Yes, I know how lucky I am) but for the moment I'm making use of my new workshop and decided to make a few bird houses.
I don't know why I did it but I decided to make a bird house from an old wooden carriage clock we were going to throw out, I figured it would look nice on my worshop wall when it's done and maybe even a Blue Tit would make use of it.
I kind of like the finished look but I am totally disappointed with Ronseal clear external varnish - it's not clear and it's ruined the colour of the paint I used, it's given it a dirty look and so the finished piece doesn't look like what I wanted.

See the dirty grungy look that the varnish has left! Not cool Ronseal!!!!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Crocus - the Tulip wannabe?

So today we're battening down the hatches ready for these storms that are supposed to be hitting us overnight and tomorrow. Already the wind is picking up and I'm finding myself looking out at my garden more and more as it starts to whip through - the damage from the last storm has been recified but I don't want to subject it to another onslaught.

I'm happy to report though that I am now quietly confident that the Yucca which had its root snapped during the last storm is looking like it is going to survive.
I really did have my doubts because the main root was snapped to halfway though but we staked the Yucca up using a scaffold pole, insulated all round the base with straw held down with slate and the Yucca appears to be thriving (if not a tad wind burnt).

I grew Crocus in pots last year and left them in my polytunnel pretty much forgotten about so I was really surprised to go in there a couple of days ago and find them flowering their little socks off despite my neglect. I bought them in doors onto the kitchen window whereby they very quickly seemed to wilt and as I've never grown these before I'm not sure if this is normal or whether they didn't like being looked after - ungrateful so snd so's.
Anyway with the weather outside being naff for a change (yes I joke. Not about it being naff but about it being for a change) I decided to get to grips with an Olympus bridge camera that I got for xmas 2 years ago after much moaning to MrTG that I desperately needed one (I've used it about 4 times...including this time).
As it turns out my Nikon Coolpix camera that is only 2 years old has finally given up the ghost. It's been repaired 3 times under warranty but I'm not paying for this new needed repair (dropped it in the pond for literally 1 second) so I figured I should get used to this Olympus bridge camera.
It has some really weird and strange functions and I can't imagine why a person would need to use them but I thought I'd try a couple of them:

Here's the reflection setting

I kind of enjoyed playing with that setting, it made the Crocus look so arty.

This next setting is called starburst I think and it adds a sparkle to the white highlights

The next two are just the usual P setting meaning that I could set all the white balance etc.

I'm not actually a fan of Crocus - they look too much like a Tulip wannabe to me, so I suspect these bulbs will all be planted out once flowerng is over along with some Iris retuculata in pots that seems to be determined not to flower despite producing lovely foliage.