Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Sun Shines so it's Gardening Time. 20.5.09


In spite of a rainy start, this afternoon the sun shone. It was really warm, too and I had to go and change my thick gardening trousers for a thinner pair. These are in worse condition than the others and have rips on both knees. More patches!

Jim has left me again, off to the UK for a meeting on Friday and to visit family, so there could well be one or two Poppy photos in the next day or so. He has just rung me and sounded a bit fed up. However, before he left, he gave me instructions on what I could plant from the cold frame. I did quite a bit of work before the planting. The grass around the edge of the front lawns was long, so I tidied that up. Part of the front rockery was really weedy so I cleared that, put some potting compost in it and planted some 'garden flowers'. Jim has sown them from seed so we're not sure what they are. It'll be a fun surprise.

Then I moved over to the 'semi-wild' bed which is just by the path up to the vegetables. It has lots of primula in it and primroses, loads of aquilegia and other odd bits and bobs. I weeded first then planted some of the 'wild flowers', also sown by Jim. I can recognise that some of them are poppies but I'm not sure about the rest. More surprises.

The path up to the veg plot had very long grass either side of it, I mean, about a foot long. So I managed to find a pair of shears and cut it all down. It looks so much better. I did take the odd photo of course:

They look a bit thin and scraggy but should firm up now they've been planted out.

The grassy path on the right is the one up to the vegetable patch

The grass on both sides was as long as that shown here on the right! That has gone now, as has the pile of builder's rubble. I'll take another photo tomorrow if it's fine.

I also did quite a bit of work on the compost heaps. They have become very weedy on the outside, so I pulled all those out and the honesty, which has finished, so now we have a lot of ready compost to put on the beds. Compost we can actually get at!

I came in at 10pm eventually! A quick dinner (yesterday's leftovers) and here I am. The back survived today but I might have a soak in the bath before bed to ease it a little.


I received 2 ATCs from Cris, Artist in Oregon this morning. They are lovely, as you can see:

If you click on the picture, you can enlarge it and see the details.

It's so exciting to look in our post box and see what goodies have arrived from all around the world.


The builders have been working for the past 3 days. They are about to render the outside of the extension and the guttering man is also supposed to be coming tomorrow and the electrician on Friday.

Joe is putting wood around the windows and doors in readiness for the rendering - look at that lovely hawthorn on the right.


With the sun shining, I took some photos of the flowers and I hope you enjoy them:

This little rockery plant spreads like mad and is covered in tiny blue flowers

rhododendron. This really doesn't like our soil and the leaves have yellowed, but the flowers are still gorgeous. This is the first to open

The dark sambucus 'Queen of the Night' is growing daily. The lupins have flowers coming too. The pale, circular leaves at the front are on The Judas Tree

talking of the Judas tree, this pea like flower is almost out. Maybe I will get to see one after all

Jim recently bought this bottle brush shrub. We have one in the UK and it's gorgeous

This is our medlar tree. It has strange fruit and you are supposed to leave it until it goes soft before you eat it. You can also make medlar jelly. This year it is covered in flowers

Medlar flower

I love the glossy leaves of the pittisporum. The green ones will turn purple later in the year

The pink azalea is still flowering

This is a wild strawberry and came originally from an old school friend of mine who lives in Suffolk. I love the pink of the flowers

These two acers are a picture together

The delicate flowers of London's Pride are a delight

This huge bee was resting by the cold frame

I couldn't resist a photo of the alchemilla mollis after the rain

These tiny heuchera flowers still attract the bees. I think they are so pretty

Common or not, this geranium flowers where nothing else will survive

This is also a perennial geranium and has rather unusual cut petals. Jim doesn't really like it as he things they look raggy!

The lovely Hilary from down the road called today. She didn't want her photo taken. I can't imagine why, she is so slim and attractive

This really does need enlarging. Do click on it. You will then see the bee snuggling down at the bottom of the one on the right! They are white cornflowers

I wasn't so pleased to see this wasp on the flower head. It's a little early for wasps.

We brought this ornamental thistle from the UK too. Here's a montage of the flowers, plus the odd bee gathering pollen

That's it for today. It's a funny time of year, the bulbs have finished and the flowers are on their way, but some of them not appearing yet. It has been lovely to see so many insects around today. Butterflies, bees, hover flies and moths, plus little beetles scurrying along the ground (and across my floor in here).

I can't believe it's 1am, it feels like about 11pm. I hope the sun is shining where you are.


Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Oh good The ATCs came. I thought they might have been lost. Glad you liked them. HOpe you liked the card too. Looks like you were busy. We have been out in our yard working lately too. It has finally warmed up enough to do so.
Its all looking good.

Mildred said...

I enjoyed seeing all your hard work in the garden and the unique flowers and trees you have. I hope a hot soak helped your back to feel better. Your extension is really moving along now. I love all the windows. I also am thrilled to see that you are receiving ATC's - it's fun to see where all they come from. Feel better soon.

Renee said...

BT you are hillarious. You say your friend didn't want her picture taken but yet I am looking at her picture.

har har


Carol and Chris said...

Your garden is looking lovely and your ATC's are gorgeous!! I'm not surprised you look forward to the post arriving!!

C x

marianne said...

Wonderful pictures Gina and your building is coming along nicely!
You have such a diversety of flowers in your garden!

Have a nice day!

marianne said...

Forgot to say (thought it was a different post...) that Chris'ATC's are gorgeous!
And it was lovely weather here too yesterday and I worked all afternoon in the darden. So we were probably doing the same thing at the same time

Jason said...

The buidling looks like it is progressing, good stuff.

Hilary looks ,like she is carrying a shank! Watch your back. lol

I was out yesterday afternoon evening, fixed the lawan tractor and did a bit of lawn. Looks nice again today, hope you have sun (or at least dryish.


Leatherdykeuk said...

I love the Acers and the cornflowers

BT said...

Thank goodness the ATCs weren't lost Cris. They're lovely. The card was just beautiful. I can't believe you did that painting, it's brilliant. Your garden is lovely.

My back is much better today Mildred thanks. Hoorah! The sun is shining now too. Double hoorah!

Ha ha, Renee, well, I took it anyway!! I wanted her to stand between the 2 conifers!

Thanks Carol and Chris and Marianne. We keep adding to the mix of flowers!

Indeed Cris's ATCs are gorgeous, aren't they? I love hand painted ones. Probably because I can't do them.

Jason, the sun is still shining, I'm so glad you've fixed the tractor/mower. The grass was getting a bit long! A shank?? You mean a gun? AAAH!

Rachel, me too!

Jason said...

Shank as in a home made prison knife. lol

Look in her right hand (keys).

BT said...

Oh my goodnes, Jason, you are right!! Maybe our nasty neighbours have paid her!! lol.

Bea said...

You are such a hard worker.
Beautiful, beautiful flower pictures. The Medlar bush is interesting. I don't think we have anything like that around here.
Thanks for sharing your day with us. :)Bea

aims said...

Oh Gina. Where on earth do you get all your energy? You exhaust me just reading this. I am stunned by how much gardening you do. And with a sore back? How can you manage?!

Our flower beginnings took a terrible beating with the heavy snow. My one and only tulip hadn't even started to bud and the leaves were trampled underneath the weight.

Of course now that it is all melted again we'll see. The grass is greener everywhere.

It is dry prairie here. Almost desert like. It takes a lot of water to make things grow. Strange country isn't it? But beautiful. Oh yes. It is definitely a beautiful place to live - without months of snow.

soulbrush said...

cris's atc cads are filling us all with glee and happiness. your garden is a true 'picture' talking of a picture, i love that one with you and your 3 kids on your sidebar.

Heather said...

You must look very young and trendy with the knees out of your trousers! Love the ATCs and all your beautiful flower pics. It must be like working on the Forth Bridge in a garden that size but you and Jim are doing a great job. It's 8pm as I read your post and we have blue skies and sunshine but tomorrow could be showery again. You must feel as if you're making real progress when the electrician starts work. Happy gardening, ATCing or whatevering.

BT said...

Thank you Bea. I first saw a medlar in a commercial orchard. I think they're very old fashioned. I have to work on today's post, it's complicated!

BT said...

hello aims, I pressed 'go' before I'd finished! I just hate to be inside when the sun shines, aims! The back's getting better. A bit sore tonight but after my sleep I expect it will improve some more. I would hate to live somewhere with all that snow.

Thank you soulbrush, nobody else has commented on our 'family' photo. I was so happy that day. My young son and daughter coming was a surprise, especially Ben as he was in Spain and I do miss him. I said if you could bottle my feelings that day, I'd make a fortune.

Hello dear Heather. It is a bit like the Forth Bridge. I almost despair at this time of year. The arboretum now looks like a field, the grass is so long and Jim away until Sunday! I just try and keep up with the weeding and planting and .....LOL.

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I love her photographs, especially of the bee in the window is very nice.