Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Gardening Disappointment

Did a bit of a scout around the back yard in the 12 minutes it took for my lunch to heat through in the microwave. The first flower on my "Gold Lace" primula has opened today. But it isn't a "Gold Lace" primula. It's a boring purple one with a yellow middle, nice enough I'm sure, but not what I purchased. This is what it should look like, and here is what it actually does look like. I am not a happy bunny.

Here's a side view.

But the rest of the yard is full of greenery and a few blooms, so guess I shouldn't complain. These pots will get moved again once the re-pointing and painting get done, but they seem happy enough here for now. The foxgloves have tall flower spikes on them now, and the fuschia has buds forming. The bamboo always looks rather bedraggled - I think it dried out completely over the winter, hence the tatty looks of the leaves... It did the winter before too. I think that once the first part of the deck is done the bamboo will go close to the kitchen door - that way John might remember to water it occasionally!

I'm not sure what this shrub is, a gift from the birds we presume, but the leaves look a little like lilac leaves to me. Guess I'll have to pot it on and grow it on to find out what it is! Or maybe we'll plant it out behind the shed at the caravan.

The scillas are beginning to come into flower. I'm not sure I'll keep them, think I'd rather have the proper English bluebells. I have some seed, but it's a couple of years old now so may not be viable. I think it needs treating in the freezer once it's sown, will have to try and check out the details.

We still have to re-organise the big pot by the front door. This variegated lemon thyme and the cottage pinks are both to go there, I'll take out the rather strange heather and the chrysanthemums to make space. The

Monday, May 02, 2005

View down the gardens down the road - guess this is why the swifts wheel overhead here. In the distance the trees are on the edge of Sefton Park. Another shot from the bathroom window (where else!).
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My garden table - hopefully the snails won't reach these plants! The sooner we get the longed for deck installed across at least part of the yard the happier I'll be. It'll be wonderful to step out into the open air without having to do anything more than step over the lip to the kitchen door. John built me steps to get into the yard, but I still find them difficult to use. For some reason I find it harder to go down steps than up, at least from the dizzyness point of view. Even the short flight of four from the kitchen is difficult. Going *up* a short flight is OK, but up the stairs in the house is a problem.
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Today's yard picture - more paint achieved, but the variable weather means the repointing can't get done as the mortar takes too long to dry. You can see the yard is wet!
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May day and beyond

I was all set to post an entry earlier when there was a flash followed by a rumble of thunder, so I shut the computer down and read a book for a while. I'm reading "The Blood Doctor" by Barbara Vine. Fair to middling interesting, not one that I will keep on my bookshelves when I've finished it though. The thing I find strange is that she also writes as Ruth Rendel, and I can't stand those books, but I quite like her Barbara Vine books.

Best news of May Day is that the swifts are back! We were sitting outside and planning which plants to put where when we heard the familiar screeching, and looked up to see them flying high over our rooftop. So I went to the Springwatch website and entered my data. I love to see the swifts wheeling overhead, the gardens down the road must generate a lot of insects as most evenings in the summer you see them flying over.

The plants are all growing away really well. Four of my six Gold Lace primulas are showing buds! I'm really quite excited about this - they arrived as teeny tiny little plants, only about 2" high, and here they are producing flowers! At least they will if the snails don't get them.

I finally split up the hostas and got 8 plants from the one pot. Three I have put in the flower bed, the rest I'm going to grow in in pots for now. John informs me that something nibbled the ones in the flowerbed overnight despite the hosta haloes I put round them, so we'll probably move the pots onto the table for now. At least it makes it more difficult for the slugs and snails to get at them. I've ordered some more nemaslug, had hoped it would come this weekend (they only dispatch once a week) but it didn't, so hopefully next Friday. In the meantime John is applying garlic granules from the same people (you'll need to scroll down to read about them).

My foxgloves are getting huge. Not sure if I'll get to see them flower, as may be in Abersoch by then. But John will enjoy them I'm sure. I just wish I'd found the red campion seeds that I saved last year sooner, will just have to toss them into some pots and see what happens.

Work on the yard is coming along slowly. John has been raking out the old crumbly mortar from the walls, and repointing them. Not a huge amount achieved today because of the thunder and rain, but he did manage a bit more painting (in fact he was out there painting already when I woke up at 6.30 this morning!!!). Already the yard looks so much brighter! Here's yesterday's picture from the bathroom window.

I seem to have strained my right wrist, probably hacking up the hostas. Or maybe I just lay on it awkwardly last night. Typing is being a bit awkward, so I think I'll wrap this up for now, hopefully it will have improved by tomorrow.