Sunday, 28 June 2009

Rosa Harlow Carr: According to David Austin

Having seen and smelt the flowers on my rose bush now I thought i'd compare how they look to the pictures in the David Austin rose on-line rose catalogue... I don't know about you, but there does seem to be a slight difference. Although, perhaps as the flowers age they will look more like the Austin picture perhaps?? Admittedly my rose's flowers aren't totally open yet, unlike the picture on the Austin site. I do hope that the flowers look a bit more rustic/dishevelled as they open up further as at the moment they're a bit too alarmingly 'pretty pretty' and perfect - I was hoping for a slightly more cottage garden type look, nothing too perfect/formal.

Here's the picture on the David Austin website:

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Rose Watch '09: The first flowers!

Well, the waiting is over and after watching the buds carefully for the last week I stepped outside this morning into the grey, drab, rainy day to discover that the buds had suddenly decided to open! Not very nice weather to welcome them, but the droplets of water do look really pretty on the petals. Believe it or not I have actually thinned the flowers by cutting out a good few buds to try and let the remaining ones grow bigger - although looking at these pictures there still seem to be lots of buds clustered together, so maybe I'll have to be a bit harsher...

Oh, and most importantly, I can also happily report that the scent is very pleasant indeed! :o)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Greenfly: It's time for an intervention - I'm bringing in the ladybird larvae!

Well, I'm getting kind of tired of squishing a seemingly neverending supply of greenfly everytime I go past my rose bush. They're really starting to annoy me, especially as the rose is now close to flowering and so they're interfering with my appreciation of the soon to be flowers, as each time I look at the pink colour of the bud I can't help but notice some green bug walking over it. Argh!

So, i've decided that it's time for an intervention and have ordered some ladybird larvae through a company on the internet. I decided on the larvae as a) You get more larvae for less money than you do adult ladybirds, b) I figured that they'd be less able/likely to go and eat other people's greenfly as they're not so mobile, being as they lack wings!

Today, they I found an envelope with this little box in awaiting me on my return from work:

I've followed the instructions and sprinkled them, in the evening, around various of my plants. Now i'm awaiting what I hope will be a greenfly massacre... although the larvae did seem very small so i'm worried that the greenfly might fight back. I'll just have to wait and see... here are two larvae on my rose bush off hunting aphids! (but you can see from the photos just how small they are...)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Rose Watch '09: Pink!

Well, since the 5th of May when the rose only had a few leaves on its rather short stumpy stems, there has been a serious amount of growth. Most importantly now we're getting to the exciting part when it's looking like it's going to flower... look, see, the colour is starting to show:

A happily established pot

I love it when you see a pot working out - unlike my Heuchera which I bought at the start of May (and has now passed onto the happy plant place in the sky: aka the bin), thankfully the other plants that I bought at the same time are now looking well established and amazingly happy (thus far!). The clematis is starting to thread its way both up and along through the railings to the left. I thought you might like to see the before & after photos - not bad eh?! ;o)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

New Job = New Plants = Happy Days/Hours Pottering!

Well, I'm starting to realise that my new job might see my hard earnt cash leaving my bank account as soon as it lands there - not helped by the fact that staff are allowed to run up a tab. Now, a tab in a bar would not interest me at all - but a tab at a nursery selling lots of interesting (and some pretty unusual) plants and I'm in trouble!

I spend all day picking out plants for customer orders so it's hard not to start putting the odd one or two by for myself. Anyway, today I had a really tiring/lousy day and decided to indulge in some retail therapy... and brought these sweeties home with me :o) (I'm hoping that bad days aren't too frequent or this plant buying could get out of control!).

So, I tidied my rather neglected looking pots, turfed out and binned the knackered/unhappy looking french lavender amongst other things, and finally have given up on the Heuchera which sadly has carped it (how on earth did I manage to kill a Heuchera??! - I'm going to blame its demise on the viscious greenfly attack last month). Now there's free pot space and the 'need' for plants to re-occupy them.

Here are the new (hopefully) happy residents of one pot:

The cutest Aquilegia (Aquilegia discolor) ever, with
Astrantia 'Roma' (love the delicate pink papery flowers) and Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low' (catmint):

I've also include one Scabiosa caucasica for it's soft blue/purple flowers and hey presto! This is the final overal effect:

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Rose Watch '09: It's budding! :o)

Well, i'm happy to report that the rose is budding nicely! They're quite small at the moment so i'm hoping that the greenfly situation doesn't stop them developing properly... I'm really pleased with how many there are though :o) (that is rose buds and NOT greenfly!)

Ooh, you shouldn't have!

Thanks to Jacqui's Secret Garden for giving me my first award :o)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Mystery Green Bug - what is it?!!

I finally got around to emptying out my old pots of dead and dying tulips, which were totally infested with aphids and looking generally pretty nasty. I'm hoping this will have dramatically reduced the resident greenfly population in one blow...

However, when I turned one of the containers over to empty its contents out I noticed three of these green bugs on the bottom. They look a bit like flattened caterpillars and don't seem to move much/at all - even when poked with a bit of twig (a very scientific method of investigation!). Does anyone have any ideas what they are? I've never come across anything like them before. Are they friend or foe?