20 June 2016

Excitement in My Garden

Yesterday was Father's Day and we had the kids over for a bbq.  As we sat on the deck, somebody noticed a wasp nest hanging from the wall-mounted light near the patio doors.  Thankfully it was still rather small but still we timidly kept an eye on it as we ate outdoors on the deck in the warm late afternoon sun.  Every now and then a wasp would enter or exit the nest which was unnerving to me.  Much too close for comfort!!
the remains of the wasp nest

Once we'd all eaten and retreated back indoors my husband did the brave thing.  Not waiting until nightfall when the wasps should be sleeping, he snuck the patio door ajar and whacked the nest off in a sweeping motion away from himself.  It flew across the deck and now sits in the grass by the fence.  Needless to say he retreated indoors quickly.  The wasps buzzed around for sometime.  Only a few mind you, but still!!

It reminds me of an occasion approximately nine years ago when one of our sons, on a dare, decided to attack an enormous wasp nest hanging on a friend's neighbour's garage.  He did so with a hockey stick and quickly jumped into the car but the wasps were just as quick and angry!!  They got in with him and stung him several times.  Poor guy!  I was there and could hear his cries of pain as they sought revenge upon him.  Thankfully he is not allergic and I can guarantee he will not do that again!! Sometimes, teen sons do not heed the advice of their parents and have to learn the hard way. I wonder why it is so, not just sons mind you.  It does give one stories to tell though.

Around the garden today the Annabelle hydrangeas have grown to large proportions and their blooms will soon be opening into large enormous balls of limey-white blossoms.  I love these hydrangeas!  This year I must get some supports for them before the wind or rain causes them to flop.  Generally they will anyway from the sheer weight of their blooms.

The Red Prince Weigelas have been blooming for a few weeks now.  If only the hummingbirds were in around to enjoy them!  The perfect red tubular flowers beckon!  


The alliums and osteospermums are happily blooming in their pot.  The potted tomato plants are beginning to flower.  This year I added crumbled egg shells to the soil and planted marigolds around the tomato plants.  

In another pot kale, oregano, basil seedlings, and thyme are flourishing. Mint and rosemary sit nearby in their own pots.  I've decided this year I must divide my chives.  They've been growing in the same pot for years now and they've gotten so big they tend to flop to the sides.  I let them flower this spring, I usually don't but because the bees love them I did this spring. I've since chopped the blossoms off.

We've had so much rain lately, which I think is heavenly to work in as I work at a greenhouse and a portion of the area in which I work is half a greenhouse, open on one side.  No breeze can reach far enough to cool it on a hot day.  I'd venture to say it's at least 10 to 15 degrees hotter there than it is outside in the open. That's why I love the cooler rainy days.  Others may complain but not me!  I'll take that any day.

Here are a few shots, taken during a break, of what's blooming out in the perennial area.

ligularia

echinacea

echinacea

astilbe

Asiatic lily

Asiatic lily


gaillardia

peony

"Amethyst in Snow' centauria

Marguerite Daisy

19 June 2016

The Greenhouse This Week: Arrival of the Tropics

The tropicals have arrived!!  So many of them it took several people three hours to unload the truck!  Everything from Boston Ferns and Peace Lily to Palms and Bird of Paradise.  There are coconut trees, cacao plants, cinnamon trees, lemons and lime trees too.  Aloe Vera, stag horn ferns mounted on wood, and mini succulents perfect for framed box gardens.  You just have to see for yourself.
















01 June 2016

Visit "Munstead Wood" Garden

Those serious about garden design and garden aficionados will surely know of the famous designer Gertrude Jekyll.  Born in London in 1843, Gertrude Jekyll designed more than 400 gardens in Europe,  the UK and USA.  A horticulturist, designer and author, Gertrude Jekyll contributed to Country Life magazine and other publications and wrote a few books that anyone who wants to get into garden design simply must have in their library.  Gertrude Jekyll's Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden is one of the best resources for designing with colour.  
Quotes of Gertrude Jekyll

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.
There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.


The Gardener's Garden: Munstead Wood from Phaidon on Vimeo.

The famous gardener designer Gertrude Jekyll purchased her home at Mustead Wood in the 1880's.  Here she grew and displayed the plants for her clients to see.  In the plant nursery, she grew the plants she would later supply to the clients whose gardens she designed.

Of all the flower beds in Munstead Wood, the main border, which blooms in riotous colour July through November, seems to be a crowd favourite.  In early spring one would find the hellebores brightening the garden, followed by primroses in March, the spring garden in April, azaleas and rhododendrons in May, the Three Corner Garden in June, followed by the main border in July.

The garden may be viewed by arrangement.  Please see the official site at: http://munsteadwood.org.uk.  Another bucket list item, per chance?  


27 May 2016

A Deep-coloured, Dramatic Container



Plant list
  • Spike dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
  • ‘Salsa Purple’ salvia (Salvia splendens ‘Salsa Purple’)
  • ‘Limelight’ coleus (Solenostemon ‘Limelight’)
  • Black Velvet petunia (Petunia ‘Balpevac’)
  • Phantom petunia (Petunia ‘Balpephan’)
  • ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’)
  • Aztec Magic Silver verbena (Verbena ‘Balazsilma’)

Putting it together

Step 1: Select a container with adequate drainage holes and cover with a piece of landscape fabric (available at garden centres) to prevent the soil from washing out of the bottom.

Step 2: Partly fill your container with an all-purpose potting mix that contains fertilizer.

Step 3: Start with the dracaena and salvia in the centre, flanked by coleus on either side, adjusting the soil height so the tops of the root balls are just
below the rim and firm down. Then add the petunias in the front and back of the container, filling in the sides beneath the coleus with sweet potato vines and trailing verbena. 

Step 4: Water well and place in a sunny location.

Planters, HomeSense; plants, Sheridan Nurseries, The Home Depot; watering can, Fresh Home & Garden.


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