Saturday 31 December 2011

A positive start to the New Year.

 As most of you will know the Woodland Walk is one of my favourite areas in the garden.   I shall be working in this area today.   The pretty Cyclamen Coum that you see above is in bloom.    Planted under the apple tree, they are a welcome addition to this garden and are thriving.
Whilst in the village one day, I visited the little nursery that lives amongst the shops.   I noticed a tray of rather unloved Cyclamen.   I asked the owner if they were for sale.    She said not really because they had been neglected and she did not know if they would do well.    I offered to take them  for a small sum (£5.00).     She gladly accepted.   I planted them under the Apple tree, added some smashed egg shells (which they love), watered them well and let them be.    They have grown into the most beautiful plants and I love them for the sweet scent and dainty little flowers.
Our native hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), commonly known as the stinking hellebore.    The nose wrinkling smell of the flowers attracts early pollinating bees, so is absolutely essential in this bee lovers garden.   I must say I find it strangely attractive and now have a small colony of these unusual plants.    Interesting fact :     The plant has evolved an unusual way of dispersing its seeds.   They exude an oil that attracts snails, once a snail has consumed the oil, the seed sticks to the slime and is carried away to a new site.    I find many babies in my garden.....long live the snail :)
I decided a few days ago to add more trees to the garden.     I wanted to plant in numbers, not just the odd tree here and there.    I visited the local garden centre yesterday to browse, and came back with a huge smile on my face.   Ten bare root Hazel.    A native, and a lover of damp soil.   It can be planted in sun or shade, and that suits me well.  

I would like to leave you with a passage from A Tree in my Pocket by Jacqueline Memory Paterson.

The Hazel Tree.......Magic and Inspiration.

Hazel has always been regarded as magical for its presence inspires our intuitional senses.   It is called the poets tree, for in the mind of the ancients it had great associations with faerie lore and supposedly allowed entrance into such realms.

Druids carried rods made from hazel to gain poetic and magical inspiration.

The Hazel is powerful in early spring when its energy and sap are surging outward and in autumn, when its energy is contained within its harvest of magical nuts.     

Hazel can be used for protection.  Its ruling planets, the Sun and Mercury, make it a brilliant healing plant.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

A garden never stands still.......

 Our climate is changing.     2011 has been a difficult year in the garden.    I have learnt a great deal, mainly through experience.    For the last few weeks I have been reading about climate change and how to garden with extreme weather conditions.   Changing my planting scheme is high on my agenda, and the mild winter is allowing me to make an early start.
Many old friends are going to good homes, others will meet their demise in the composters. 
If all goes according to plan the garden will be easier to manage.........yet full of flowers, native flowers.
I am looking ahead.........I am excited.....I needed to change things.