Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Garden Clearing, More Flowers, 14th April, 2009

Path and Stream Clearing

It's been a very busy couple of days in the garden. I've been carrying on with our new 'path' and 'stream' project. It is just full of brambles and stinging nettles and my poor hands are a mess, in spite of wearing supposedly bramble proof gloves. I tell you B & Q, they are not!

Pile of rubbish, trees on the bank and old fashioned pussy willow trees at the top left

Where you can see the lower patch of blue sky is the boundary of our land, the stream runs right to the top then runs parallel with the boundary.

Jim snipping the willows, lots still to trim as you can see from the tall ones behind him.

This dead tree was has been freed and placed on the bank. Where I've cleared all the nettle and ivy, you can now see through to the mini orchard at the top of the vegetable area.

The Dam Builder

Yesterday I paddled up and down the stream as it was much easier than walking on the area I've de-brambled, which is looking a little like the Somme! Luckily my wellies are waterproof. I was pulling ivy and brambles off the bank to clear that too. I did get a bit carried away and reverted to my childhood. My parents used to have a caravan on the Isle of Sheppey and my brother, sister and I used to make dams in a stream that ran down to the sea. It was really pure mud and clay, but we loved it. So, I made some dams in our stream! They were great for washing your wellies in!! What fun I had. Jim threatened to bomb them and was singing the theme from The Dam Busters Film. How childish!!

I stayed outside until it went dark and then lit a bonfire. It wasn't wonderful as it had rained the previous night, but I did manage to reduce the pile a bit.


When I went indoors, Jim had been on the phone all evening, so we ended up having dinner about 11pm! Spag Bol too, which was lovely, followed by rhubarb crumble and cream, also delicious. We had to stay up quite late to work off the food.


Today it was quite sunny most of the time and I once more set about tackling the would be path. Jim did some mowing of the meadow paths, built another cold frame and kept me supplied with refreshments. What a fine husband. By this evening I had almost reached the boundary of our land. It's hard going up there, wall to wall stinging nettles and brambles which I had to mattock out. I also trimmed some of the willows while I was at it. The next run to meet up with the top path is just as bad and looks daunting. Still, we'll do it I'm sure.

I started the bonfire a bit earlier, while it was still light in an attempt to get rid of as much of the rubbish as I could. It took ages to light properly but once it caught, it went like crazy. I managed to burn most of the rubbish and really we only have the piles of cut willow left. We may use some of that for Jim's super willow fences. As it was getting dark, Jim brought me a warm hot cross bun and a coffee. Then Buster returned and wanted some of course. He stayed out with me for ages, eventually settling down on the pile of cut willows, near the fire. I was really tired by then and lay down on the willows next to him. He then climbed half on me and we snoozed a while. The sky was clear and the stars twinkled. All I could hear was the trickle of the stream and the dog's gentle breathing. His warm body kept me warm too, plus the heat from the bonfire. It was bliss.


As it started to cool, we went inside and had dinner tonight at 10pm! That's the trouble when it stays light until late. Chicken pie, broccoli and roast potatoes with gravy awaited me and we topped that off with a Magnum ice cream. Delicious.

Garden Colour

Before I started work in the garden, I couldn't resist taking some more photos as parts of it seem a riot of colour.

These 2 ferns are growing out of our steps

This yellow broom is fully out and smells amazing. This is on the Fairy Hill

Pretty variegated bugle in flower (plus lots of daisies).

Cream tulips, these have several heads on one stem. I love their subtle, soft colour

Look at the pieris forestii now

This is a variegated pieris

Raggy Tulip almost fully out

perennial alyssum

Tiny yellow and white spring bulbs, not sure what they are, maybe a kind of tulip

The Fairy Hill with old farm machinery to the fore

The top of the Fairy Hill, taken from the side view

Tulip Heads

Tulips, narcissus and Magnolia stellata

Red/Orange tulip in the sunshine

The Disintegration Project

Most of you know I'm involved in the disintegration project where I had to make a 'bundle' of papers, pictures, whatever I wished and put it somewhere outside until May 1st. This is what it looks like today, after some serious rain:

Looking decidedly raggy

Even the bee's turned his back on us

Seth Apter's blog can be found here:
and there is a photo of my parcel when it was first placed up the tree on that page.

Gina Rescues a Shrew

I heard Sandy making a horrible 'I've caught a mouse' noise, so went to investigate. He had caught a tiny shrew and it was still alive. I thought it might be worth rescuing, so called Jim and we managed to keep the cats away and caught the little chap in a flower pot. He seemed none the worse for his adventure so I took a photo of him:

Do enlarge the picture by clicking on it and you can see his cute little nose.

He scuttled off into the field and I felt good.

That's about it for now. Sorry if you're sick of tulips. The black ones will be out soon. The Judas Tree isn't yet in flower but you can be sure it'll be well photographed when it is.


marianne said...

Your garden looks more beautiful every day, What a lot of work you have to put into it!
Good you saved the mouse, Sjimmie had a mouse this morning but he was dead......(his first mouse)
Have a nice day!

Leatherdykeuk said...

You work so very hard in the garden. Go you. It looks fabulous.

EB said...

- can't resist commenting before I've read all of your lovely long post, sorry - I wear suede gloves from Homebase. They're not expensive and they are bramble-proof. I think they that they get tougher as you use them, especially if they get slightly damp and dry slowly every now and again - it all seems to season them somehow. They also fit better then. I replaced mine, with another pair just the same, after about 5 years of heavy regular use. I envy you your tulips - ours come up again but won't flower :(

BT said...

Thank you Marianne. Oh dear, cats will be cats I'm afraid.

Thanks Rachel. It's getting better. Of course the back garden is no more, it's under builders' rubble!

EB, thanks so much for the tip on Homebase gloves. I did have some suede gloves and they were tough but when they were wet, they dried so stiff I could hardly get my fingers in them!! I'll have another go next time Jim goes to the UK.
We had just that problem with tulips in the UK but here, in our thick, heavy clay, they seem to love it!

soulbrush said...

what lovely things starting to flower all over the place. ha ha i liked the description of the dinners best.

Heather said...

What a mammoth task you are tackling, and doing a great job by the look of things. Your garden is a delight and you can never see too many tulips. Looking forward to the Judas Tree photos. Glad you saved the shrew, they are so tiny aren't they? Don't work too hard.

Stampmaiden said...

Oh My! There's always something great for me to see here at BT's! And thanks for the explanation of those initials, btw. LOL! It makes sense to me now. Back to your are a busy one! Love everything you're doing. Lots of work but look at the rewards. I'll never get tired of your tulips. Can't wait to see the black ones!
Thanks for posting such great visuals for me.

BT said...

lol, soulbrush, Jim wants to know why his dinners are so amusing!!

Heather, thank you, we do love the work though. The tulips have been the best yet this year. Jim planted some new ones last year and we have reaped the benefits. The Judas tree is so slow to flower. The little pink buds are just starting to open but only just. The shrews are so cute, but too easy for our cats to catch. I came in at 10.45pm tonight! Phew, I'm tired now.

Linda, I'm so glad you haven't tired of the tulips. I rather like the creamy ones. I spotted some on one of the Arboretum beds today and they are just glorious. I hope the sun shines tomorrow so I can photograph them.


The Tart!!

DK Leather said...

What a glorious tulip filled post mum. I particularly loved the image of you snoozing at the fireside with Buster, made me teary smile!
:-) xxx

Twisted willow said...

Meanwhile, I'm just perfecting that bouncing bomb. I'm using failed suet dumplings. Those dams better watch out.
Daaa daaa da da daaaa daa daaa

Son1 said...

Marvellous. :-)

BT said...

Ah, glad to bring a (soppy) tear to the eye, K! More tulips!!

Twisted, you're a bad boy.

Jason, ha ha, short and to the point!

Renee said...

BT BT how does your garden grow? With tulip bulbs all in a row.

Okay that is it for poetry.

I love the cream tulips and the yellow and white that look like a type of tulip are divine.

So beautiful BT.

Love Renee xoxo

BT said...

Hello Rennee, love the poem!!! I love the cream ones too, one of them today has a red middle streak! That was a surprise. Hope you're feeling ok today.

Elizabeth Golden said...

oh your tulips are so beautiful. And your garden is really shaping up. I can't wait to see what you do.

BT said...

Thank you Elizabeth. We are trying not to make it too formal but don't have a drawn plan, we just see what develops, have odd ideas and try them out. It usually works in a haphazard sort of way. Thanks for your visit.

aims said...

I just love your place Gina! You and Jim do so much work it amazes me!

It's called love of the land isn't it?

Bella Sinclair said...

I love your riot of color, all the varieties of lovelies blooming all over. I especially love the little fern growing there. Aaah, I love fern. But you want to know what I love best about your garden? That it's something you and your husband are working on together. That is absolutely marvelous.