- My garden is high in the Pennines where no-one else is mad enough to even try. I keep it as natural as possible so it blends with the borrowed landscape, but try for lots more flowers.
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3 days ago at 18:02
Winter sunrises - more conveniently timed than summer ones!
Tree skeletons, the inherent mathematics that makes them grow and still preserve their shapes.
The subtle shades of winter landscapes and being able to see the Earth's 'bones' without all the vegetation of other seasons.
Walking in virgin snow
Those precious days of blue and silver when everything glitters and sparkles after a hard frost - and there is no mud! Mud is the worst thing about winter for me.
Little indications that Spring is still on the agenda - fresh molehills, noses of bulbs, stubby catkins and buds and even flowers on the real tough guys like Hellebores and Daphne Mezereum.
Going through the seed catalogues and visualising how perfect everything will look this year
14 Jan 2017 17:29
Don't forget, rat urine can spread Weil's disease, and though the risk may be small, you would be wise not to handle contaminated compost without gloves, it's not something anyone would want to get!
14 Jan 2017 12:40
At least he's a decent height off the ground! A friend of mine had real fun trying to get regular samples from a Jack Russell
14 Jan 2017 12:34
I love Moerheim Beauty too, but find you have to really watch for slugs in spring when it starts into growth. It's not so vuolnerable once the leaves have had time to harden off.
Two good yellows are Eldorado, which seems to flower for ages, and Double Trouble, both strong growers.
AYM - Peter Nyssen (one of the good guys!) has a reasonable range in 9cm pots, and you could get 9 plants in a range of colours for just over £15, though one or two varieties are a bit more expensive. (Sold in threes)
14 Jan 2017 12:09
I've only seen a jay once here, even though there is plenty of woodland a bird flight away. Was glad to see it and add it to my list (!), and it was beautiful ,but not sorry it didn't stick around, wouldn't want it here at nesting time!
13 Jan 2017 17:44
I feed the birds in 2 different areas, one at the front of the house
and one at the back.
I also put food for ground feeders on the flat garage roof outside the landing window, as the ducks and chickens can't get to it to scoff everything. But the pheasants can......!
My birdwatch helper!
Some of todays visitors:
13 Jan 2017 14:42
I may have help for the Birdwatch.... !
My daughter is going to come home to help, so that we are less likely to miss something interesting. I've decided to keep my camera set up ready, so that if things get too busy I can take a snap and do the count more accurately later
I've always interpreted the flight rule as ' you can't count birds flying over' (so that's the flock of starlngs out, or the buzzards) but can count them if they have landed in the garden, so it is ok if they are just moving from the tree to the feeder or back. If I'm wrong I've been doing it wrong for years
I took some pics this morning for Aym, will post them on the birdfeeder thread, but first I've got to feed the sheep and top up the birdfeeders again. They've gone down fast in the snow!
12 Jan 2017 18:55
I'll be doing it, have done for several years.
Could be tricky though, as I now have 2 feeding stations, one front, one back and they both get a lot of use (and cost me a small fortune!)
At round 3pm today it was snowing steadily and the birds were filling up for the night. Out of the back window I counted something like 40+ birds, lots of goldfinches, a number of chaffinches, some greenfinches and maybe some other things as well, but they wouldn't keep still long enough for me to count them accurately They squabble over the feeeders, some fly in from the shrubbery, others fly out, or up, or down and I can't keep up with them all. Hopeless to say how many of each species!
12 Jan 2017 18:40
The pink flowered one in front looks like a Japanese azalea, with a rhododendron or two behind. These also suggest acid soil
The shrub with white flowers could be a Snowball tree, Viburnum Opulus. The green leaved plant between the yellow euonymus (agree on that one!) is most likely a hardy geranium, and, in the earlier set of pics, the plant immediately behind the rotary drier with the pinkish leaves (?) is quite possibly a pieris, as they also like acid soil, though if they are pinkish flowers it may be another rhododendron!
Lovely garden, with well chosen plants that don't need too much maintenance.
12 Jan 2017 18:14
Geranium Cinereum is a good creeper, can spread quite a distance but small enough to control easily if need be -several colour varieties available, also G,sanguineum, which is a bit larger but reasonably well behaved and can be had in white, pink and magenta. My sanguineum flowered all through the summer.
Pratia pedunculata is another possibility, often recommended for your sort of situation, but some people have found it very invasive. Mine hasn't caused me any problems so far, and it does look pretty in the summer with its tiny blue flowers, but be warned!
12 Jan 2017 15:07
Our big male cat is another clumsy cat, we call him the dyspraxic cat, I'd never known one before we got him.
He has a lovely long fluffy tail, but never seems to know what to do with it, he just leaves it lying about behind him for people to tread on!
On one famous occasion, daughter and I were enjoyng a lovely, relaxing evening in, when the unmistakeable aroma of singeing hair alerted us (but not him!!) to the fact he had left it trailing over a tealight. Daughter leapt to the rescue and serious harm was averted, but he hadn't a clue what it was all about
12 Jan 2017 14:09
Are you sure you need to grow crocosmia from seed?
It usually bulks up fast enough on its own - many people treat it as a weed! - and it is easy to split if you need more clumps.
I would save the space and time for something more precious
11 Jan 2017 18:50
I have done as Dove says and cut down a large weigela and moved it to a new site, It had a new lease of life and grew really well for over 20 years, until Honey Fungus took over the border where it was growing. I've got some cuttings from it though!
11 Jan 2017 18:43
You could get much more variety from your bed if you would like to .
Have a look at 'Metre square gardening' and 'Square foot gardening'. Suttons Seeds are offering a free 7 day trial of a veg planner tool and suggest seeds for small varieties that would be suitable to grow in this way.
You don't say where you are. In many parts of the UK peppers would not be a reliable crop outdoors, as they like lots of warmth. Cucumbers too would struggle in some places.
Another thing to think about is cost effectiveness. The cabbage family generally make quite large plants, so you wouldn't get many, and caulis can be tricky to get right, but they are all fairly cheap to buy. Peas and beans are easy to grow but quite expensive and so are salad leaves, so if you like them it would make more sense to concentrate on these in your limited space.
Lots to think about, but don't worry, you don't need to plant much for another month or two, so you still have time to think about it
11 Jan 2017 18:06
Salad leaves, like green and red lettuce 'Salad Bowl' , red amaranth or beetroot leaves and parsley all make pretty edgings and you can keep picking them to stop them getting too big. Mizuna has attractive leaves and rocket adds another taste to salads, but they grow a bit taller so need to take a step back.
French bean 'Purple Teepee' is a good cropper and looks lovely with its purple pods and you can get a broad bean with crimson flowers too.
Nasturtiums for bright, edible flowers and seeds - pickle these to use as capers.
11 Jan 2017 17:37
Mine are all planted round my hellebores, which don't have any big leaves while the snowdrops are out, but do for the rest of the year, so there is no space to be tempted to plant something in! Works well for me, and they both like leafmould. Hardy geraniums are good companions too.
Mine are heirlooms, they all came from my mother-in-law's garden, single ones and double ones. I have never bought any, but in the last 3 or 4 years they have developed several clumps that are much taller and have larger flowers. Presumably a natural genetic variation, as it is highly unlikely that any of the few people who live within bee flight distance of me have any thing other than bog standard snowdrops, if they have any at all. Gardens aren't a big feature round here (except for me of course, but I'm clearly mad!)
11 Jan 2017 17:10
It will be nice to have one near enough to visit more often. Even Harlow Carr, for me means a fair chunk of the day spent driving, and negotiating a rush hour M62 on the way home is not a relaxing way to end a day out!
A lot of the most well-known gardens are in southern England, but I'm not sure that they are necessarily better, just easier to reach from London to film! There are plenty of interesting gardens around the country that never get shown on TV, while the same few are shown over and over again.
11 Jan 2017 13:49
Rozanne's flowers are a bit larger and it went on flowering well into the autumn.
Ours did start a little later tnan Brookside, but it hadn't been planted as long and position might have made a difference too.
I like the shape of Brookside's leaves, but it is quite a spreader with a more running habit, while Rozanne is more a big plant that covers a wide area.
For a blue geranium, I still prefer Mrs Kendall Clark, but as a a Pratensis variety it doesn't flower for as long.
11 Jan 2017 13:36
Should be fine if it is pebble type, some are limestone based and these would affect soil PH and the plants that would grow there successfully.
11 Jan 2017 13:32
Loam based (J.I.) compost, small pot, they don't need deep planting. They are woodland plants so will not be affected by bark mulch and they must be outside. somewhere cool and fairly shady.
Are these special ones, that are having a pot to themselves? Are you turning into a Galanthophile?
Last edited: 11 January 2017 13:32:41