Thursday, 30 December 2010

I'm not Anti-rrhinums!

Good old antirrhinums. They just keep going don't they? This little fella is still hanging in there right at the end of December after weeks of frost and snow. He may have lost his 'snap' but it's still a bit of colour at this dark time of year. Yes, I'm Pro-rrhinums!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Just my opinion, but I think seed companies are going a bit far in order to attract punters. The latest catalogue plopped on my mat today - I won't say which company - and I had barely got through a few pages before it ended up in the recycling. I understand the need for businesses to find new ways of keeping themselves in profit, but all these new-fangled varieties are not for me. Some of the colour combinations just look so artificial. Now I'm not the greatest fan of annual bedding so maybe I'm biased, but it's the perennials too. They're mucking about with Echinacea just a bit too much now. Want yellow Echinacea? Buy Rudbeckia! And delphiniums - aren't they beautiful as they are? The latest 'doubles' just don't look right to me. If they give people pleasure then that's great, but they won't be appearing in my garden this year. Am I just a boring old cultivar?!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Foxglove Fever

Foxgloves love my impoverished soil. And luckily I love foxgloves! They seem to last a few years in my garden, and I've decided to plant more in my 'White Garden' this spring. I say White Garden, it's really only 2 metres by 4 and has not been a great success. It's in a tricky area of the garden - not much sun and lots of roots from a nearby mixed hedge. So foxgloves should be ideal - I'm going to plant lots of them in mixed colours, with some poppies, which also like my soil. Below are some pics of foxgloves and poppies which looked nice earlier in the year.

Monday, 27 December 2010

In praise of Erysimum

I think Erysimum are the bees knees when it comes to long lasting colour. I use them all around my garden to ensure there's interest from March to November. It's unbelievable how this plant just keeps on flowering - and it loves my chalky soil - if you can call it soil! Some of my specimens are looking a little bedraggled after the heavy frosts we've had, so I'm going to replace them in March or April. Mum has had great success with cuttings, so I'll see if she has any going spare before I fill a trolley with some. Here are some photos from the summer to show how I use Erysimum - mostly 'Bowles Mauve'.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

After the frosts...

It's Christmas Day and I've braved the cold with my camera to see what has survived after over a month of constant frosts. I was pleasantly surprised to see a reasonably healthy Aloe that had almost succumbed in February, and an Agave in a container which should have been protected but is still looking quite happy. My faithful standard bay by the back door is looking strong. Here are some snaps of some frost survivors!

Friday, 24 December 2010

A Winter Retreat

Most people have Summer Houses. We have a Winter House! When you are blessed with two sheds, why not convert one into a cosy area to retreat to on a cold winter's day? We ran electricity up to the top of the garden and installed an electric fire and lamps. It warms up in no time and is a great place to curl up with a coffee and a book! I think it will be too hot to use in the height of summer - we'll have to see!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

My Web Albums

Have a look at my online albums at:

Not much there yet, will add to it soon!