Thursday, 31 May 2007


It's been so lovely today to have blue skies, warmth and sunshine...OK there was one heavy downpour this morning but this afternoon more than made up for it...When I was in Bury St Edmunds yesterday some of the plants from the Abbey Gardens were being cleared to make way for the summer bedding...for just a few pence I got this bag of 6 Silene (dioica I think)...I've chopped them back, tidied them up and shall look forward to having a piece of the Abbey Gardens in our humble Great Cornard garden.
I've now managed to get some more of the seedlings and cuttings into various pots; ready for a good Summer show.....there are various kinds of fuchsia (trailing and upward facing), verbena, lobelia, trailing geranium, petunia, bidens, ...all sorts of bits and pieces have been popped in.

The Pitcher Plants ( Sarracenia) I've potted up and put near the pond for the Summer; the leaves were going very crisp indoors and I'm hoping the humidity around the pond will help.
They may not look much yet but the Hestia bean plants (minus the ones caught by the frost) have now been put into a container......a few lettuce seedlings acting as a catch crop....way behind compared to when we've done climbers in the past but hopefully this dwarf variety will soon start bulking up...not sure whether to put some pea sticks in or just let them do their own thing...............
The rest of the lettuce seedlings have now been "troughed" up and hopefully by the time the Little Gems have all been eaten I'll have some tasty Webbs and Red Leaf Curled leaves to replace them.
I've still got quite a variety of "bits and pieces" that can go into the odd space or pot but I'm keeping them in reserve just in case those weather beaten annual poppies don't pick up.
I hope Mother Nature is being kind to you all....I've been reading on Danielle's blog about the terrible drought conditions in S. Florida and I know many other parts of the world have similar problems......and there's me complaining about rain!!!


Wednesday, 30 May 2007


And what does that mean?.......well the weather man has just forecast FROST!!! again and said that we have been colder than Lapland and Siberia. Last night I didn't take it too seriously as it was pouring with rain and I felt the cloud cover would keep the frost away. I did pop a couple of things under a cloche...... but the weather men were right......Now guess which pot of beans hadn't quite fitted under the cloche....those poor little seedlings on the left...................I wasn't going to caught out again tonight especially as the skies have at the moment the garden looks like this.......and as for me....well the gas fires on.......dinners cooked......
and all hatches are well and truly battoned!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007


As it had finally stopped raining this morning (a brief respite as I feared) I went out into the garden to see what damage the torrential rain and high wind had done. The problem with having a garden that is in the shade so much of the time is that everything is inclined to lean towards the light and grow much taller than it says in the "text books". Most of the time I can compensate for this by judicious staking but really heavy rain and high winds can take their toll. The annual poppies in the centre are completely flattened... a few days of sun would probably stand them up again but we have more rain and cloudy days forecast.....they are just coming into bud and I'm loathe to cut them back or even rip them out (boo hoo) until they've flowered...sadly I may have to make some kind of drastic decision as they are now smothering the other plants around them......I'll leave them a while and see how I feel by the end of the week.
The garden was littered with rose petals and I had plenty of deadheading to do....I didn't stay out there long though because it was bitterly cold and started to spit with felt like an Arctic wind was blowing through me. You can see the plants have enjoyed the rain though...the cannas that I left I the ground to overwinter are about 6 inches taller despite the cold weather.
I was pleased to see that the begonia hanging baskets had come through unscathed...they had been blowing about so much yesterday...I could see them through the living room window and had even considered taking them down and putting them in the shed.

As this fellow stayed around long enough for me to fetch my camera I'd better give him a mention too. He stayed watching me the whole time I was in the garden...probably hoping I'd put out more food...which, of course, I did so his patience was rewarded.

Now if you happen to have popped in from warmer climes.....please leave some sunshine in the comment box......feel free to help yourself to some rain in return if you need it.

Monday, 28 May 2007


What a washout this Bank Holiday has been. It has been raining since 6am Sunday morning and is still raining now (2.20pm Monday). I know I should be grateful for this rain, many of my blogpals from around the word are praying for it..... but I wish it would stop for a while. The wind and the rain have played havoc with the budding poppys which have now been almost flattened....and now I have compost (thanks Lynn) I had really been looking forward to potting up all the cuttings and seedlings into their Summer places but "rain stopped play". I'm not just a fair weather gardener but I would be truly mad to go outside at the moment.
In the end the "need" to garden got to me so much I ended up potting up some stuff in the kitchen.
These Habranthus bulbs desperately needed potting .......
or I would never see them looking like this
and seeing the way the water gel had swelled in this pot ........... made me wonder if I really needed this!These lettuce seedlings are waiting to go out but I think they'd drown at the moment....
of course the Water lettuce (Pistia) would love to get out in the pond but with a night-time temperature of 5C and ground forecast for tonight I daren't risk it.
though the Trollius is more than happy..........this plant was affectionately nicknamed Bart Simpson by Mick due to its "spiky" hair.....

And these.....................will have to wait until the rain stops as they are to go straight into the garden.

Well must go now....I've a few things I need to hunt where's that list.................

Hat, scarf, gloves
Hot water Bottle
Thermal Vest
Long Johns



As much as we gardeners complain about the pests in our gardens you can't help but admire their initiative and dedication as they fight for survival. On Friday (before it started raining continuously!) I was sitting in the garden watching some ants climbing the stalk of one of my plants carrying a small aphid. I realised that there was some ant farming going on and watched fascinated. Aphids are good at sucking sap out of plants. In fact, they're so good at it that they often suck out more than they can digest. The extra juice is secreted out the back of the aphid, where an ant can milk it like a farmer milking a cow. This is a symbiotic relationship, and in exchange for the nutritious juice (honeydew) the ants protect their aphid flocks from predators. Some species even bring the aphids' eggs into the safety of their own nest, and feed the aphid young until they are ready for grazing. As excess honeydew dripping on leaves can cause sooty mould on many ornamental plants maybe the ants are doing us a favour????

Sunday, 27 May 2007



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Friday, 25 May 2007


I got up extra early this morning; rain was forcast for later in the day and I wanted to catch some more rays

The blackbird high on the roof tops was singing his heart out

The bees were already at work

gathering their own breakfast

This cheeky snail has found a way across the coffee grounds barrier

and for my breakfast...poached eggs will do fine.


Just one gust of windand Mother Nature had sown her Fritillaria seeds

Thursday, 24 May 2007


I noticed something I'd never seen before in our garden today. I am always fascinated by the bees as the race around the garden looking for their favourite nectar bars but this morning I noticed 2 particular bees FIGHTING! They were really having a go at each other and then one of the bees clasped the other in his legs; flew off with him and dropped him on the other side of the fence; then flew back to the Osteospernum that they had both been fighting near. Is this unusual behaviour or is it just that I've never noticed it before?

I'm very disappointed at the weather forecast for Bank Holiday Monday; whereas tonight's minimum temperature is 13C....on Monday they reckon that will be the highest daytime temperature with it dropping to 5C during the night! I do hope the F word isn't mentioned....(frost).....although most of the tender plants are in pots or baskets it would be a heck of a job to fleece them or bring them in. I'm glad I haven't planted these little fellas out yet.........

these are the Hestia Runner Beans that I planted; Talj had bought herself a pack of seed when she visited and gave me a few to try. I've no room in the garden for them so intend to plant them out in a tub; they are a dwarf growing variety that Mick and I had never tried. They are supposed to be disease resistant and easy to grow, bearing heavy crops of stringless, high quality and delicious beans....well that's what it says on the pack! It will be the first time I've ever grown beans on my own...Mick was always the "Bean King" and would lovingly dig out his trenches and fill them with a "good drop of well rotted horse sh*t".........well I don't have any sh*t, an all purpose compost will be filling my maybe I won't reach the lofty heights of "Bean Queen"......maybe "Bean Princess"????

This afternoon was cloudy and warm; just right for a much nicer when the sun's not baking down on your head. We are so lucky to have such beautiful scenery so nearby.

As you can tell I had my camera with me and was glad no one was around as I tried to photograph the ever moving butterflies that flitted about. I didn't manage to get a single photo of one! I did manage to capture this though;
I've been looking through Mark's Gallery to see if I can spot what it is...not quite sure yet. I must get myself a good book..........I think this next one that I took the other day (this photo a slightly different angle than the one I put on my P.A.D.) is some sort of Chaser?

Well I've been typing this in the garden and the light's starting to go so I'm back off inside to watch a programme I've taped........That's right...the Chelsea Flower Shower (sponsored by does make me smile the way Alan T & co have to say that every time they mention the show) what "must have plant" will I see tonight!!!!


It seems the "IN" colour at Chelsea this year is BLACK! Well unfortunately I lost my Aeonium this year................... I forgot to bring it in from the shed during the winter! our remaining "blacks" are more "almost blacks"

A bit of "gardener's licence" with the colours I think.
We do have an Iris in flower at the moment seems they are this years "must have" plants..........






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