Thursday 26 January 2012

What's a gardener to do.

Dear Robert and Rosemary Rabbit,

You have dug holes in the lawn.    Some plants in the circular bed have been chewed and the roots exposed.    Your latrines now extend from one end of the garden to the other.
Whilst I try to sleep, you have your parties.
Have I not been patient?    Did I not feed you during the bad winters of 2010/2011?
Ten years of battles..........well the war is over.   I am waving my white flag.
I give win :(

Yours sincerely
Lady in the farmhouse.

PS In case you are feeling smug dear bunnies,  Nella will not be waving her white flag :)

Sunday 22 January 2012

A little treasure.

The Forge at Appledore sells antiques.   Nothing too expensive, most are very affordable.    It is a lovely place and I could spend the day just browsing through the bits and pieces they have for sale.   I rarely find anything that interests me but yesterday while browsing the book section, I found this.    Hidden in a corner and barely visible, I gently pulled it out from the shelf.
95 years old and still in tact.    A childs to id British butterflies and capture them for your collection.   The Victorians would net them and bring them home to put in glass cases to adorn their sitting room walls.   Thankfully that no longer happens.    What I wanted to show you is the illustrations, so different from today but so beautiful in their simplicity.

I spent most of last evening reading and looking at this beautiful little book.    I felt as though I had been transported to the period.    This little book is one to treasure.   

Saturday 21 January 2012

A good job done!!

At last my task is finished.      I mulched eight areas in all.        I had so much bark left over I ended up extending the pathways........on reflection not sure if that was a good idea !!     

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your garden if you can.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Working with nature.

 To translate the natural world into garden terms isn't easy.    I have worked hard over the last ten years to create a woodland area that is pleasing to the eye but mostly beneficial to wildlife.
 I  do as little as possible with this space.    I try not to spoil the natural balanced cycle of growth.
 Moss, lichen and decay is what fuels a wood and for me, only enchances its beauty.     I find woods are the most peaceful places on earth.   The rustling of leaves, incessant birdsong, and the hum of insects reminds me that this is a very special environment filled with abundant life........I treasure and respect my little bit of woodland and believe it to be a valuable space for both flora and fauna.
 It also holds some of my most treasured plants.    Hellebores, as you well know, top my list of favourites.   I never tire of their modesty, their fragility.   Flowering in the winter months, they bring light, hope, and joy to this gardener.   Harvington double freckles has a place in my heart.
 Double purple is stunning.....I love the depth of colour and the way the winter sun catches me unawares and takes her to another level.
Have I ever told you about number two on my favourites lists.    Cyclamen coum.......they thrive here.    Sometimes I lay on my tummy to take a photograph.    I did that today, just for you sweet blogging friends.   I wanted to show you close up.....she is shy and small but isn't she just beautiful.   Big isn't always best :)

Last autumn in a moment of madness i bought one Broad-leaved Helleborine.    I would not usually be so extravagant but decided to take a chance with this little beauty.   A native and one that grows amongst oak and beech she now nestles in the heart of my little wood.
The specialist told me to plant and leave.   I have done just that.   They are unpredictable plants but if conditions are right they will bloom.      I live in hope:)

Monday 9 January 2012

Taking advantage of the mild weather.

I decided this afternoon I would take advantage of the fine weather, and cut back some of the plants that are becoming straggly.
Geranium Macrorrhizum are one of my favourite.   I love the pretty pink flowers, and the aromatic foliage, which turn a beautiful red in autumn.   Rabbits detest this plant,  for me, that is a bonus.   A lover of clay soil, sun or shade I can ask no more of a plant.   I decided a few months ago that I would take cuttings, and use this plant to give  continuity to the garden.      I shall use the plants to edge borders, along with the meadow cranesbill, which is a pale purple.   
I really enjoy this part of gardening, and I must say, even though I am by no means a professional, this is something that I am good at :)      I got carried away and ended up with three trays of cuttings.
Whilst the weather is mild I shall leave them in the greenhouse but if it gets very cold shall bring them into the house.    The conservatory is the perfect place to bring these plants on quickly.
Mr P will not be amused, he hates trays of plants in the house but he is such a sweet man, I know he will forgive me :)

Thursday 5 January 2012

Battered Britain

 The weather has been dreadful.    Gales and torrential rain have swept the country these last few days.   Scotland has taken the full force of the storms.     In my area there have been fatalities due to fallen trees.   My heart goes out to those that have lost loved ones.

This is our drive.    Fortunately Mr P had the ditches cleared in the autumn, so this water will eventually drain away.
 This is the wildlife pond that is close to the copse.   A few weeks ago it was virtually empty.   How things change.
Most of this water will work its way to the river at the end of the road.    Things are set to change overnight, so hopefully things will be a little calmer tomorrow :)

I wished for rain at the beginning of the year......we have drought orders waiting in the wings.
As mother always says, be careful what you wish for.....I should have said  'a little rain please'
   I cannot imagine that the drought orders will be put in place now.....