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Ah, belle 25, the cobbler's children are always the worst shod. As gardening is your husband's work, the last thing he wants to do is gardening when he gets home. But it would be nice for him to sit and have his dinner on a patio full of plants and wildlife that you have created. I would scrap grass altogether except for a mini meadow full of native flowers, have birdbaths and feeders as the birds must love your trees, fill all corners where you don't walk or sit with pots or troughs of flowers to attract bees and butterflies and have a mini pond for frogs. I would also grow a rose up one of those trees.
How about Lilium lancifolium? Just pick off the lily beetles every day without fail. and a lovely late summer, autumn flowering allium - Allium tuberosum? Grows to two feet and white flowers.
too quick to dead head your hydrangeas and they will surprise you with beautiful dried flower heads like this "Limelight" in my garden, Feb.11th.
Winter heather and snowdrops, sedums and semoervivums. small, tufted grasses, violas,hardy orchids and alpine geraniums, alpine dianthus species, campanulas, pulsatillas. How big is your rockery? Could we see a picture?
Well, alpine troughs round the concrete and you could have a rockery up the slope or terrace it. How about a red,white and blue bonanza for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee or Olympic rings in the five Olympic colours? Be different and grow wonderful vegetables in the front livened up with flowers for cutting.
Hazel7, bog plants do very well in a bog rather than a pond so you can have it wet mud which beetles will scramble over but I've never had that problem. Some beetles are at home in water but others avoid it.
Hardy geraniums and osteospermums if you are impatient. Plant at least three of each plant, always an odd number. Looks better. Alchemilla mollis too.
And I bet you are as brown as a berry after researching all those mini-ponds. i find plastic buckets from the pound shop make great containers for bog plants and the frogs love them too.if you dig a hole in the border and lower them in.
No snow but very cold so had a go at getting Cassie the pictures she wanted. Not v ery successfully as the limitations of the site meant I had to cut a lot off. but I will get out my big camera soon aand see wat i can do with that. The floor of the conservatory will soon be covered in seeds and seedlings to be planted out in the new potager when April arrives.
David, winter was very slow to arrive in the UK this year after a very warm October so lots of bulbs have put on early growth, only to be hit by a colder, snowy February. The only bulbs behaving normally seem to be the snowdrops. Snowdrop gardens that opened on the 5th of Feb. had grear displays and ones opening up til lthe end of the month are looking good. But many bulbs like tulips are showing a lot more leaf than usual and some daffodils are flowering.