Thursday, 30 April 2009

Thursdays favourite plant

So I want to do a weekly show of love for some of my favourite plants, I'll add some tips and advice too if i can. Todays is.....

Snakes head fritillary (Fritillaria melagris)

Love love love this gorgeous little gem.

This little baby is a quite rare native of damp meadow and chalk soils (I've sadly never seen it in the wild). I grow mine in a container (and I've also got a small clump in my wild patch) that way I can enjoy it close up whilst it's flowering. You can buy it as dry bulbs in the autumn but like snowdrops I find it grows better if you get it ready growing or after flowering ("in the green"), check out the alpine section of the garden centre, they sometimes reduce them when they've finished flowering. Although in the wild they like damp soil I plant mine up with gravel mixed in the compost to improve drainage, and to prevent the bulbs rotting in the winter.

There such beautiful delicate flowers like Tiffany lamps.

I'd love to know what your favourite plants are, or if you've seen fritillary's growing wild.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

cherry blossom

Ok so it's been in flower for a week or two now, but isn't is pretty. (it's just starting to gently rain blossom confetti whenever the wind blows)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

£20 is not enough

So at the weekend I convinced husband to take me bedding plant shopping, now I love bedding plants I get all excited at the beginning of April planning containers and colour schemes for the window boxes and baskets (hey it keeps me out of trouble) so off we went to (nearly) all the little local nurseries. One of my favourite places is hill house nursery. Its a fairly small place tucked away in the south hams with old greenhouse's stuffed with their own grown plants, total plant heaven. Anyway husband set me a budget of £20 to spent which was a nightmare because i could spend a fortune there. So i got my mix of bedding plants but sadly had to leave behind a Melianthus major that i really wanted and a clematis viticella "purpurea plena elegens" that i also really wanted to replace the clematis that the naughty puppy decided to chew through. So a return journey is on the cards.

so here's my stash of bedding plants

Now there are still a few more I need like some white and purple geraniums and some trailing plants for the window box and basket at the front door

this year I'm going to have yellow, pink and blue at the front. The sun disappears at lunch time so the yellow with brighten it up. In the back garden I'm going for pinks and purples mixed with lime greens and orange. I like a bit of clashing

I love these Nemesias aren't they gorgeous, berries and cream on the left and blue buttons on the right, and they smell lovely.

Monday, 27 April 2009


Finally it's raining, ok so I've been loving the sunshine we've had these past few weeks everything in the garden has been loving these warm sunny days but I've noticed a few plants looking a bit droopy so hooray rain, no need to lug the watering can around.

But boo, because now I have no excuse not to catch up on all the housework I've neglected. Also double boo because I'd planned on sowing more veg and doing some much needed pricking out of the veg seedlings fighting for space in my little plastic greenhouse.

This year I'm starting a new veg garden in a stolen part of my mothers garden, the area she's kindly donated to me used to hold a swimming pool (one of those giant upright inflatable things) so digging the ground is seriously hard work and incredibly hard soil so hopefully this rain will soften it up a bit too. Hopefully I can post some before and after photos soon (and hopefully the baby seedling will have a home soon as well).

So I'm off to do some boring housework and then plan my summer bedding schemes after having an exciting day yesterday buying bedding plants. Hopefully the rain will stop later or all my tulips will fall over.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

more birds

following on from my last post I thought I' write a list of the birds I get in the garden or I can see from the garden
in the garden
song thrushs
blue tits
great tits
coal tits
long tailed tits (cute little fluffy lollipops)
marsh tits
nut hatch
pied wagtails
a single male pheasant ( i think he fancies my chickens)
spotted woodpeckers
wood pigeons
tawny owls (only at night though)
sparrows (very exciting)
from the garden
barn owls (sometimes, ok heard rather than seen but still)
canada geese
kingfishers (only if you point the binoculars at a certain point on the river)
phew I think that's it, bill oddie would be proud.

happiness is a noisy little brown bird

I got woken up really early today by my puppy, (somebody didn't shut the door properly last night) after sorting him out and then getting back into bed I was then kept awake by bird tweeting outside the bedroom window, really noisy birds who wouldn't stop tweeting so I got up.
whilst making a cup of tea the flipping scratching in the wall started up
(ok so I live in an old cottage with eaves and beams and old brickwork and over the winter we've had cheeky little wood mice coming in and living in the walls)
So fast forward half and hour or so and I'm siting in the kitchen watching the birds feeding in the garden and i see this unusual brown and grey bird hanging of the peanuts, then another and another .
in my garden
ok so to most people that wouldn't be that exciting but in the two years I've lived here I've never seen a sparrow, ducks yes, barn owls sometimes, a family of buzzards that sit on the fence posts all the time (and many other birds that you don't often see in most gardens), but never sparrows. Anyway they were the culprits tweeting outside the window and hopefully making the noise in the wall under the eaves.

If your wondering why I' so excited it's because in the last few years the once common sparrow has been on the decline, I only ever see them in towns and villages never this far out in the sticks. Also it makes me happy to think that this little troop of birds likes the look of my garden and wants to make their home in my brickwork

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