Friday, 28 May 2010

My first Meconopsis flower!

I don't know what it is exactly but there's something quite exciting and exotic about a blue poppy - maybe it's because there aren't that many blue flowers?
Anyway, I was very excited to see that my first Meconopsis (I think it is Mec. Langholm, but will need to check) has flowered. Look!

These viola were looking really pretty against the bronze grass too:

Friday, 29 January 2010

New Year, New Plants and the enthusiastic pruning of a rose bush

Well, now that the snow has melted I've been able to pot up and put out the boxes of plants that I bought before Christmas (just in time for the snow to arrive so they had to spend a month in our hallway). We've had some gorgeous sunny blue sky days in which I've been happily pottering around on the doorstep allocating plants to different pots based on where i'll be putting the pot (sun or shaded side) and whether they like well drained, or damper/humus rich soil conditions. It has been great fun!

Unfortunately in the fun and happy soil covered whirl of it all I've not taken any photos yet... or kept note of what went where, so i'll have to get my camera out when there's a moment and do some detective work. I have also, finally, trimmed back the poor neglected herbaceous plants which had been long neglected and looking kind of dishevelled (to put it politely). The pots are now looking much tidier as dead stems have been cut back, weeds removed, and the rose has had its stems pruned.

Before pruning the rose I looked on the David Austin rose information page and in my RHS book. It seemed that it is ok to prune roses as early as January if you don't have very hard winter conditions, which generally the UK does not (normally) have. So, as I was getting quite into the spirit of all this plant tidying and trimming I gave my rose a bit of a prune too... and a bit more of a prune... and then a bit more! What started as 'a little tidy up' to remove the worst of the dead/diseased/dying wood, turned into a full scale massacre as my destructive instincts took control. It is now VERY pruned! Which in some ways is great as there are no more mildewy/black spotted manky leaves to look at/be concerned about... however now I worry that:

a) the weather will now turn bitterly cold (again) as we did reach an abnormally low -8oC during the freezing spell around Christmas, and that what is left of the rose will suffer.
b) there is too little of the rose left and it won't grow away again in the spring! I'm sure this is just nonsense, but I do get quite attached to my plants. Fingers Xed that the weather between now and spring proper is kind!

Apologies for the lack of photo(s) in this post - i'll certainly try to take some up-to-date photos of my steps as they are now so different looking to when I first started in March '09. I may even post a photo of my pruned rose if I can get over my embarrassment (it really is a shadow of its former self!).

Bye for now :o)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

I dream of summer

Well, Edinburgh is looking a smidge on the grey side these days, and my 'garden' is looking pretty un-sensational. I guess it's a waiting game and at the moment I still have a long wait ahead until things start happening in my pots again.

In the meantime I thought i'd post a couple of ink paintings done by Luke Maitland of the Seigneurie gardens on the Isle of Sark. They capture those lazy late summer days and their beautiful herbaceous borders and kitchen garden wonderfully - and make me long for the seasons to turn and for me to find myself with earth and borders to tend of my own. I will have to go plant some early flowering bulbs to bring the growing season sooner to me, but in the meantime (and I appreciate that I may be a tad biased as the artist is my brother!) aren't these uplifting?! 

If you want to see more art in this style look here: Luke Maitland

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

'Autumn' Crocus?!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted... so much for my good intentions! One day has passed to the next, one week late has turned to a fortnight, and now it's over a month since I last wrote. This feels like the pattern of almost every diary I've ever written - sigh!

Anyways, onwards and upwards. Or as the plants in my pots would say: downwards. It's that time of year, sadly, when the plants are all looking incredibly scruffy. The magnolias are losing their leaves (one got blown down the steps during a particularly windy spell and spent a week waiting to be re-potted causing it to go 'naked' a while back - glad you can't get reported for plant abuse), the geranium is looking lanky and needs cutting back, and the colchicums have long since flowered and died down again. I know that the plants need their rest, but it makes me sad that I have to now wait such a while until they start growing away again. It's as winter sets in that I start thinking longingly of tropical climates where plants grow all year around in glorious colour - I wonder, if in a future home, if I had a sunroom/conservatory whether it'd be possible to grow a frangipani tree and some bougainvillea?

In the world of now, I've been so lax in taking photos that I currently have only one to share - of my 'Autumn' crocus back in August! They obviously don't care when they're supposed to appear. Is it common do you think for them to appear in August? I'm thinking that their name suggests otherwise...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I just love my new local wildlife

Apologies for the extreme slowness in posting...

Anyway, whilst not reporting here, I have been paying close attention to my 'garden' all summer. In particular I've really enjoyed the wildlife that it has attracted - mainly in the form of 100s of hoverflies and later on bumblebees. It has been great to think that my relatively small number of containers has still been found by them and that these insects have enjoyed and benefited from my flowers. In particular they seemed to enjoy the alliums, my shockingly pink/purple geranium and my nepeta/catmint.

Better late than never... here's a couple of the bees enjoying a feast back in July :o) Any ideas what type of bees they are? They're such a fab golden colour.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Meet my new Heuchera - Can Can

Well, as I've recently had my first month's pay packet I figured - what better way to celebrate than to pick out a couple of plants?!

So, I have a gorgeous smelling thyme - which i've yet to pot up - and a new Heuchera to replace the one that's just carped it. I'm hoping that this one fairs better. It was surprisingly hard deciding which Heuchera to choose - eventually I narrowed it down to either Silver Scrolls, or Can Can. In the end I went with Heuchera Can Can as I liked the more purpley tinge to the leaves - although the Silver Scrolls plants were more mature and had flowers which looked absolutely fabulous. I might end up adding a Heuchera Silver Scrolls to my collection yet!

I've just popped the new plant into the pot which the previous Heuchera had lived in... although looking at it I can't quite decide if its colouring clashes or not with the pot colour. I might have to switch it around, but I'll see how it goes... I've also relocated the pot so that it's nearer the door in the hope that the shadier spot will improve its chances of survival - not that the previous location (or indeed really any of my doorstep garden) is really that heavily bathed in sunlight!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A perk of the job: A chance to adopt! :o)

I'm starting to think that my new job at the nursery might have its advantages... a part from the ability to be able to buy plants on a tab, I can also adopt the odd self seeded specimen and take it home with me. We're currently preparing for our annual stocktake and so we're having to check and organise all the pots - which is how I found these primula seedlings in one, self-sown from plants around them - though which variety they are I'm not sure, it'll be interesting to find out.

I've now planted them out into various corners and nooks of my other pots. Aren't they sweet though?