Sunday, 30 June 2013

Understanding importance and usefulness.

A few days ago Jean from "Jeans Garden" admired one of my photos and asked what the striking blue geranium in the picture was. My response was along the lines of "oh that's just a plain old Johnson's Blue" - in other words a very common geranium indeed.

A day or so later I found myself enjoying one of the warmest sunniest days of the year so far, and was sitting on the grass next to the Johnson's Blue Geranium  -, looking at it with fresh eyes, thinking how vibrant it really is when I noticed to my delight that it was absolutely covered with Bumble Bees - about 20 at the time I looked.  Creating a habitat for Bumble Bees is very high on my list of priorities for the garden, so I was thrilled as you can imagine. 
So pause a second with me and take in the loveliness of my very special, life enhancing, Bee supporting Johnson's Blue!

Whilst I'm on the theme of not taking things at face value, I will ask you all what you think I should do about my wildflower meadow.  I was told, yes I know I know, that patience is required to grow a wildflower meadow and that it would look awful in the first year.  Trying to alleviate the awfulness I planted annual seed alongside the perennial in the hope of producing a better year one display.  But really - look at it:
There are flowers in there down low below the copious grass, mostly pink geraniums.  H keeps trimming the edges (a subversive attempt to do away with it all together I think!) and we have even mowed a path through it, but it now looks worse than the pasture in the next field.  Shall I hang on in there or mow it flat and see if it looks better next year? Does it have hidden qualities that I'm not recognising? Decisions decisions........

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Long time no blog

I woke up to find this morning that my blog has been nominated as a "blog of the month" by "Jeans Garden"  Jean blogs about her garden, also a clearing in the woods, but in Maine USA rather than damp South Wales.    Despite the distance between our respective plots I see many similarities, the woodland location, a love of traditional cottage garden perennials and an interest in gardening as part of social history.  I have added a link to Jean's blog in my reading list, so take a trip to Maine when you have some time.
The summer continues here as we have come to expect.  A few hot sunny days then wet wet wet.
Things are coming on quite well though. Work has prevented me from blogging recently so, time for an update.
The vegetable plot is establishing itself, with the herbs over their initial shock of a soil change looking green and happy and everything else doing OK so far.

 The main cottage garden border has come on leaps and bounds and our initial worry that we had been over enthusiastic with our winter clearances have been dispelled - as we hoped clearing out all the old shrubs has given the perennials a chance to re-establish and come into their own.  It's a bit green at present but will hopefully get brighter later if we get at least some sun.  The naturalized foxgloves are wonderful though and suit the garden really well:

Our embryonic orchard seems to be happy; all the trees are in leaf and have had at least some blossom.  The winter Nellis Pear was covered in blossom - but that tree is a year older than the others.  It remains to be seen whether they try and set any fruit this year, and if they do whether I am able to be very self controlled and take it off to allow the trees more time to mature before they have to work so hard.
Winter Nellis Pear
The protectors we put round the saplings are doing their job - no Deer damage yet, but they will soon be too small.  H is off on a stock fencing course later this month and I hope he will want to practice his new skills!

Sapling will soon need a new protector

Old fashioned climbing Rose improved by pruning

Our Wisteria continues to take me by surprise - its such a huge larger than life  plant - some thing that belongs in a "real" garden.  From this you will conclude that I don't think I have a real garden - well to be honest its taking some getting used to, and my toes still curl with pleasure every time I open the front door and find all this floating above me!

Sea Thrift thriving in the wall