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Suddenly September

And I'm all caught up with myself! 

Upper lawn 2 Sept 2011

This is when I start to appreciate that some flowers are much longer lived than others. The purple monarda has been flowering hard for over a month now, and the rudbeckia is probably at its peak. But the white just in front of the hazel has also been doing its thing for a while now - it's an astrantia, and for some reason I can never remember that when someone asks. The nasturtiums have come back again, and soon it will be time to make more pesto. Yay!

Lower lawn 2 Sept 2011

This is a good time of year for this garden. 

Concrete 2 Sept 2011

The concrete has actually stayed reasonably tidy, although there's a box of junk appeared that needs getting rid of. That streak of orange is from a leak in the exit pipe of the reed bed. I think I've fixed it now, but the colour is going to take a while to disappear. The potatoes have now been harvested. There are some tiny little chard plants in two of the pots at the moment. I need to decide what to put in the third! Also loving the pink in the tub next to the shed. Those are two pelargoniums that I bought at half price. I'm going to try and take some cuttings this weekend, so I have more for next year. 

Upper slope 2 Sept 2011

The upper slope continues to look pretty good. The verbena has grown well, and really works with the japanese anemone at the back there. That's an amazing plant. It's a bit that my Dad brought down two years ago, and I dumped it in and forgot about it. Well worth the garden space, it seems to flower for ages! The sedum is about to come out too, lots of pinks and purples. 

Path 2 Sept 2011

The view across the path is just starting to look a little autumnal. My grape vine hasn't quite grown the way I thought it would, but the leaves are a beautiful shade of red at the moment. The ornamental currant is starting to drop currants all over the path in spite of the blackbird's best efforts at eating them. 

Veg bed 2 Sept 2011

I started trying to claw back the veg bed from the weeds when I harvested my shallots (which were better than last year, but still room for improvement). The fence quarter is now mostly weed free, and has a row of late strawberries planted for next year. I've been really impressed with how well the rhubarb has done, and can't wait to try some next spring. I cut back my curry plant and used the trimmings as a mulch on that quarter, just to try and keep the weeds at bay. I really need to dig up the spuds in the terrace quarter - the tops have died back already!

Terraces 2 Sept 2011

I'm really glad I put the lobelia into that bottom terrace this year. It's a particularly bad patch of soil, but in spite of top dressing it a few times I've never seen any evidence of worms. With the addition of the cover of the lobelia, suddenly there are worm casts appearing! There is hope! Plus they look nicer that the patch of bare soil that would have been there otherwise. The rudbeckia there seems to have bulked up a lot too. Not that many more flowers to show for it this year, but it does look a lot healthier than when I first put it in! 

So not bad. I've had my first harvest of pears too (although that tree never shows up in these photos because it's right against the house). Tasty. Very tasty. See last year here.


Quickly now... August!

Still playing catch-up, these are the August photos! The knitters were coming for a barbecue on the 6th, so we had a bit of a tidy up in time for these photos. Certainly compared to July, anyway. 

Upper lawn 1st August 2011

The lawn's been mown, the plants are no longer flopping quite so much (we invested in some plant spirals - fabulous), it all looks much neater. The purple on the left is a monarda that I bought last year and didn't flower, so this year it seems to have been making up for it. 

Lower lawn 1st August 2011

These photos were taken later in the day than normal, which is why most of the garden is in sun and the reflections are better. The red in the bed at the back is my Crocosmia Lucifer flowering, and the yellow is the rudbeckia just starting to show. 

Concrete 1st August 2011

The concrete is tidy, but a bit wet. That's what happens when we run the dishwasher or washing machine. It shouldn't be running quite that far - it overflows the bath when the machine empties. I've still not managed to get that working right. The potato foliage is dying back, and the abelia (in one of the pots) suddenly lost most of its leaves. I'm still not quite sure why!

Upper slope 1st August 2011

The front garden is entering its lilac phase, mostly led by lavendar but added to by the russian sage and the addition of some verbena. The golden rod at the back has been and nearly gone in between this photo and last month's. 

Path 1st August 2011

The path view is looking lovely. I spend (probably far too much) time staring out at that. 

Veg bed 1st August 2011

The veg bed is by now totally out of control. Somewhere in there are shallots that need harvesting, potatoes, beetroot... But they are all being swamped by marigolds and the odd self-seeded poppy! I need to be more vigilant next year. That is too much. Even if the marigolds do look lovely, I think they should be restricted more to the top slope and leave my veggies alone! I've not even found the time to make marigold cupcakes this year to justify them. 

terraces 1st August 2011

The terraces have had their explosion of parsley seedheads. I propped up the curry plant too, just to try and help out the blackberry and the rudbeckia that it was swamping. It's at the stage where it gets hard to use the steps, mostly because of all the spiders that build webs across. I like supporting the wildlife and all, but I still need to get through occasionally! 

So, a kind of good/bad, beautiful but unruly month. There's so much more growth than last year!


Shhhhh... (Belated July photos)

Whoops! What on earth happened there?! 

I'm going to do a couple of quick posts to catch up on the gardening photos, then maybe I can carry on as though nothing has happened... 

So back to July 1st. 

Upper lawn 1 July 2011

I'm not sure how much I have to say! It's already like looking back at something I only dimly remember. Ah well. The lawn still needs mowing more than we manage, but it is easier to do now. Although the plants down the left are still flopping over the edge at this point. 

Lower lawn 1 July 2011

All a bit of a mess. Exuberant or something...

Concrete 1 July 2011

The concrete's looking reasonably tidy though, so that's good. The iceberg rose and the daylilies are looking good, and all that good lush growth in the pots!

Upper slope 1 July 2011

The upper slope out front is looking pretty lush here too. Very green. There are some splashes of colour going on on the path side of the bed, but green is definitely the main impression. Maybe I should add a bit more colour in there at some point. 

Across the path 1 July 2011

Not as much californian poppy as there used to be, but there's not as much space for it so no surprise! 

Veg bed 1 July 2011

Just starting to lose control of the veg bed - I wondered when that happened!

Terraces 1 July 2011

The curry plant has really got a little bit too large now. It's great when it's flowering like this, but for the rest of the year it's just causing problems. I might see if I can take some cuttings and start again with it! 

So. Not very verbose, but that's the July photos! Last year's are here.



June Photos

Bit late on the write up this month. Whoops!

Upper lawn 2 June 2011

This was right at the end of an exceptionally dry April and May, and the lawn is clearly suffering. The blue salvia under the greengage is looking great though, really enjoying the dryness! That bright pink rose is looking better every year I think. 

Lower lawn 2 June 2011

The reflections weren't great this month, so the downstairs shots are not great. Still, you can see that lovely blue geranium under the foxglove too, so that's worked well this year. I think I might need to chop the hazel back fairly hard this year too, or it's going to start shading things out that I don't want it to. 

Concrete 2 June 2011

I tidied up the concrete a little more, so we could even potentially eat out there if we wanted. The red hot pokers in the teardrop bed are flowering for the first time - I grew them from seed, and it seems to have taken a while for them to outgrow the slugs. The dry weather might well have helped too. The potatoes in the yellow tubs are growing well too, let's hope the potatoes are bulking up underneath!

Upper slope 2 June 2011

The thyme is flowering its socks off out front! The self-sown nigella is looking lovely too. I love the flowers and the seed heads, and I don't think they crowd anything out. They are so light and fluffy!

Path 2 June 2011

Across the path is looking fairly lush, considering the dryness. The other red hot poker in the terraces are slightly behind the ones out back which surprised me. Again though, they are looking better than ever. I think they look like fireworks, and I love the bright colours. Well worth the price of a packet of seed, even if they have taken about 4 years to come good! 

Veg bed 2 June 2011

The veg bed is coming along. I've been watering the potatoes, so hopefully they will be ok even with the early drought. The peas and mange tout have been producing nicely, so that's all good. I'm coming to terms with the fact that my asparagus isn't coming up. I won't try again next year, for various reasons, so I'll have to come up with something else for that patch. I need to fill in that slope quarter a bit more too, but the dwarf beans are getting eaten by slugs in the greenhouse even before I get them outside! Still, the courgettes are out now, so that should help. 

Terraces 2 June 2011

Bad shot of the terraces. You can just see ripe strawberries on the lower right corner. They've produced well this year. Honeyoye (I think). I need to increase the time span by getting some more later strawberry plants. Maybe that's what I should put in the top fence quarter! I'm really enjoying the bedding plants I slotted in there too. A nice splash of colour. I might work on that next year too. 

Lots of things working well, but plenty of could do better too. Too many other things to do! Still, that's a good thing. And there are enough perennial herbs and fruit that will keep producing no matter what I do! Just got to make sure I use them well. Currently we're enjoying strawberries and raspberries, currants coming soon though, so I'd better find some recipes.


May photos

A couple of small changes this month. 

Upper lawn 1 May 2011

The obvious one that took us lots of effort is the paving. We'd got fed up of the lawn edging, which worked well but made the mowing a bit harder. So the paving is set to be the same level as the lawn, so we can now just run the mower right over it and get the edge. The other bonus is that I'll be able to use it to get to the birdtable more easily in Winter, and my plants can flop over the edge without as much risk of getting mowed!

Lower lawn 1 May 2011

The other thing that's happened is that everything's come to life! I've cut off the bottom whorl of branches on the greengage which has opened up the back again, and chopped back the clemetis and honeysuckle quite a bit. The area up closest to the house is just past it's best now, but the bugle, epimedium, brunnera and the bleeding heart combine to make a really lovely Spring section. 

Concrete 1 May 2011

We took a huge amount of the junk that had built up on the concrete to the dump a couple of days previous to his photo. It's so much better! The reed bed is working a lot better now too. It's watering three tubs, not overflowing the bath, and the remainder goes down the end of the garden. The potato tubs are back out and the spuds are just beginning to pop through too. Not bad considering I was about a month late putting them out!

Upper slope 1 May 2011

The front has filled out a lot too. The pear tree is leafed up, and I think I've spotted a pear coming too. The rosemary is looking spectacular. 

Across the path 1 May 2011

Looking across the path, the pallet is hiding the fact that the hedge needs trimming! Also, you can't quite see, but the kiwi I put up against the arch is in leaf, and it has a huge number of flower buds on. I'm really hoping that means we might get a couple of kiwis. The grape vine is coming into leaf too - I'm really looking forward to seeing how that will grow!

Veg bed 1 May 2011

The veg patch is starting to fill up. The potatoes are showing well, but the seedlings of parsley and marigold are growing up around them. Time to earth up and kill 'em off! The shallots are growing well, and the peas, mange tout and broad beans are all flowering well and starting to show pods. I cleared out the kale from the terrace quarter and used the compost from two of the potato buckets to mulch it, but ran out halfway! I'll hopefully have a load more when I get into our compost bin out back, so I'll aim to finish it then. Might be able to use the pallet to edge the quarters too, because the soil level is getting a bit high compared to the bricks!

terrace 1 May 2011

The tulips came and went between the two monthly shots, which is a shame because they looked lovely. I've cheated and slotted in some leftover bedding plants in too. The soil in that patch is still mostly chalk, so I figure the roots from those plants can grow into it and that might actually help. Plus I'll aim to water them like the stuff in the pots and that might also help the worms populate that section. You never know, it might just work!