28 June 2021

Sweet Pea Update.

 As promised here is an update on the progress of this years Sweet Peas. I'm going to have to get some dead heading done soon so as to keep them flowering.

27 June 2021

Delphinium Update.

 Some who follow this blog will have seen the series I've been doing on the Delphinium  crown bud cuttings that I took last year, well today I can show you one that has come into flower. This is the only one that I have planted in the ground as I'm growing the rest on in pots to try and bulk to the plant rather than allow it to flower this year. I just wanted to grow on one to give you all an idea of what to expect from the end result. 

If you want to see the whole series just click on the labels for this post.

A few posts ago I showed you the Sweet Peas having just been planted out. Well they are all growing away well now so tomorrow I will post an update picture for you. I will also be posting about a new project that I am embarking on over the next few months so stay tuned.

21 April 2021

A Cherry Blossom Time Of Year.

Hello everyone, 

This week I have been spending a lot of my time cutting grass, in particular the lawns. I have been over them a couple of times this year already with the tractor and whilst it does an okay job, especially at knocking off all the winter rough so making it a more manageable job for the Allett mower which does a much better cut. Because it's the first cut with the Allett mower I also need to mark out the lawns so as to get the stripes right, this takes up quite a bit of time which is why it's taken me twice as long as it would to normally cut the grass. If we don't have rain soon I won't have to be bothering myself about cutting grass though as everywhere is getting to be very dry.

One of the main features of the garden at this time of the year apart from the Daffodils are the Cherry trees which are all full of blossom. Below are a few pictures for you to take a look at.


19 April 2021

Sweet Peas

Hello Everyone,

On Friday afternoon I planted the Sweet Peas but didn't have time to net them so I've just done that this morning.

This year I have put them in a new place as I think they will have a better impact here rather than the veg garden/Orchard area. For the last few years I've been planting them against the north facing wall of the walled garden and they have done very well even though they never get any direct sun on them. The netting they climb up is hooked on top of the wall and the plants eventually reach the top.

13 April 2021

Geranium Planting.

Today I spent most of my day in what we call the courtyard although strictly speaking it is actually the old stable yard which long ago would most likely have been home to the horses and carriages.

I started with a general tidy up of the center area which involved the usual weeding forking and edging type thing. I have some Pelargonium Geraniums and an ornamental Banana plant to go in the center bed when the weather warms up. 

To finish off I did a little planting job around the wall bottom. At the far end of this wall there is a Geranium, not the Pelargonium sort that I have for the center bed but the hardy perennial kind. Anyway last Autumn I split it much the same as I did with the crown bud cuttings on the Delphinium except the cuttings were shoots rather than just buds. These have been grown on over winter and are now able to be planted out. As you can see you can soon have a lot of plants from just one mother plant. In fact what you see here is just a fraction of the plant. Since planting these I have taken as many more cuttings again which I intend to use to reduce the spacing between these plants, and there is still quite a big plant left at the end of the wall.

 The frustrating thing for me is that no one ever sees this sort of work or the savings. All anyone ever seems to talk about is grass cutting and the things one doesn't do. It's that time of year where everyone is making comments about lawn mowing as though I have suddenly got something to do after sitting around twiddling my thumbs all winter.

7 April 2021

Dahlia Planting

Since returning to work after my extended Easter holiday I have been planting up Dahlia beds. The weather has turned quite cold here so as it's a job that involves some digging it's proving to be quite beneficial, especially as the soil is also dry and working well.

Below is a picture of one of the Memorial Garden beds with the tubers set out ready for planting. If you are planting a whole bed with a limited number of plants it's best to set them out first so as to get an even spacing They are planted in staggered rows but once they get going they soon become a single mass and even when planted that far from the edge of the lawn they will eventually grow up to the edge. So as you can see from that it's good to give them plenty of room, especially if you are planting large tubers. If you click on the (Memorial Gardens) label you will see what I mean.

Before placing the tubers I also give the ground a dressing of general purpose fertiliser which then gets worked in to the soil as you do the planting work. To finish off the job I went round the borders with the edging shears which I always think is a worthwhile thing to do if you like it nice and tidy looking.

22 March 2021

Barn Wall Pruning Work.

Today we have been doing some pruning work along the barn wall and border. This is work that continues on from the tree pruning that we did last week.

First job was to tidy up the Ivy on the wall to the steps. The Ivy is under control so it was just a matter of trimming the side and then taking back last years growth. I don't know if you can see in the picture but there are some nice wrought iron rails above the Ivy.  

I think it makes quite a difference to the look of the place once done.

As we move along the wall there are some Dogwoods and a Pyracantha that need pruning. There are several other shrubs as well but they can't be pruned just yet as it would cut off this years flowers.

I just cut the Dogwoods back to last years cut and removed any dead or weak growth. The Pyracantha has to have a degree of training as well as a prune. There are a couple of interesting features in the wall that I don't want to cover so it has to be trained to the wall but around the obstacles. 

This year I added a loop around the statue in the wall, I think you can just make it out if you look close. I now need to get a shoot growing off to the left of that loop to balance things out. Also in this picture you can see a Euonymus to the left of the Pyracantha, this was also given a bit of a trim. As you can see I still have the Dogwood prunings to pick up and cart away as I ran out of time. The Euonymus can be grown as a shrub but as there isn't enough room for that I've trained it to grow flat against the wall. The chunk that's missing out of the left hand side is where some non gardening person decided to install a bird box. I expect it will fill in again with time.

18 March 2021

Pruning Afternoon

This afternoon we had a bit of a pruning session in one of the shrub borders. I say pruning but it was a bit of a mixture of proper pruning with some clipping. I prefer to prune for a more natural look but some of the shrubs such as the Berbris lend them selves to clipping where as the buddleia's get a proper pruning. We finished off by putting everything through the shredder and returned it back to the border It was a nice day for it, dry and quite warm in the sunshine.

Below are a couple of before and after pictures.

16 March 2021

Restoring The Balance.

 We had cause to try and save this tree recently. It got pulled over by the weight of the snow that we had a few weeks back. It was virtually blocking the entrance to the wedding barn so if I could if I couldn't get it back under control it was going to have to be removed which would have been a shame.

Thankfully I was able to save it and at the same time keep it looking respectable.

This is a side view before the work began. Apart from blocking the doorway it was also covering a border.

This is the same side view after the work was done. People can once again walk under it without having to duck or bang their heads.

This the view from the other side and gives a better idea of how far it came away from the wall.

Here is the finished article. It's still away from the wall but I've managed to get a certain balance to it so that hopefully it will reestablish it's self with time.

15 March 2021

 I've managed to get a bit more work done on the graves in the churchyard. This first picture is a reminder of as it was like shortly after I started back in February. At the very beginning there was also Ivy covering both the gravestones as well as the ground.

This is how it was after the initial clearing and after I removed the Ivy from the graves and went over the surrounding area with the brush cutter.

This next picture shows the work I did lastly on the next four graves. The Ivy had climbed the sides and was starting to grow over the top so I removed it from top and sides plus underneath which was the most difficult part as I couldn't get to it very easily. As you can see in the foreground the original graves are now cleared. I'm undecided whether to put in a little plant, maybe a primula or similar but would that be overstepping the mark as the graves are nothing to do with me.

Here are the last four graves I cleared looking from the other end. You can see some of the Ivy I had to remove from them.