Tuesday, 26 May 2015

New growth

The weather here has really scuppered my new found enthusiasm to get my garden in order. No sooner had I decided on some lovely new features and actually started building them when the heavens opened and don't seem to have closed since. I'm certainly no fair weather gardener but I hate, hate, hate sloshing around like a pig in muck so most of my time outdoors has been spent either in the workshop or in the polytunnel - which has actually never looked so organised.
There's not much flowering in the garden at the moment - a design flaw (I use the word 'design' very loosely here) on my part, most things seem to flower in summer in my garden with little interest the rest of the year round - a flaw I aim to correct this year and next year.
The polytunnel is a different story though, there's greenery everywhere and plants are starting to flower that wouldn't be flowering for another 6 weeks or so outside.

These Hostas and Acers are romping away under the polytunnel staging.

This Weigela is in full flower whereas the one outside has barely leafed up yet. The Heuchera next to it is also in full flower.

My first standard Fuschia! It was a cutting from a Fuschia I found growing wild up the road and it's perfect for standards - grew very quick and forms lovely. It is starting to flower but I've pinched the ends out again since this photo was taken so that I can get a larger shape.
I also have a Hawkshead standard that I grew at the same time as this one but it doesn't look anywhere near as impressive and the growth is nowhere near as bushy.

In December 2013 I thought I'd give Rose cuttings a try. I took several cuttings from various roses I have and quite a few have taken and succeeded. This one is a climber called 'Snowqueen' (I think) and will be ready to plant out this year along with the others I did.
I forgot to take cuttings late last year so I did them in January this year on the off chance they would take - out of about 10 cuttings only 3 have taken but that's 3 new roses I don't have to buy.

Outside the Rhododendrons are flowering, at least the ones near the polytunnel are, the ones on the garden are still just in bud.

THE most loathesome plant I have ever had the misfortune to come across - Gorse. At first it was a novelty, it completely covered our 3 acres here but to start with we found the spears amusing and the flowers and scent made up for the fact it's such a bully. But that was before we knew how hard it is to eradicate.
The first 2 years we lived here we bulldozed the land of all this gorse and set fire to the heaps - huge mistake. The heaps were full of dry spindly gorse which doesn't really burn well but given that the soil was peat based THAT managed to burn and burn and burn. 2 years after lighting the fires if we got a good crosswind we could see smoke start billowing from those heaps - I kid you not!
That was our first realisation that this awful plant was not going to go down easy, followed by the renewed growth that was thigh high by the following year. We knew then that all those days and nights with the bulldozer, all those blisters and all those painful piercings from the spikes was a complete waste of time.

We contemplated weedkilling the lot but in the end, 2 years ago (10 years after moving here) we got another bulldozer in, scraped the lot out, pulled out every root we could find, every rock we could find, levelled the land and then reseeded it all. We figured that our mowers could keep the stuff down if it manages to start growing again.
This is the land that we've managed to sort out as it stands now. The bottom fence is to keep the dogs on this area but we also have the trees past the fenceline and a lovely burn running straight the way through. I love the deciduous trees down there, especially the Oak trees but we haven't even made a start on the Gorse that grows beyond the point of the fence.

The area of grass directly in front of the house is the land that MrTG ploughed by hand, rotovated by hand, de-stoned and raked and flattened all by hand and it has to be said it's the best bit of land we have. The land further down is what the diggers and ploughs did and it just isn't as level as we'd like PLUS that darned Gorse is still attempting to come through. There's a carpet of it around the corner of the polytunnel but luckily the mowers do keep it down. Think that weedkiller may be coming out after all!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015


I'm so lucky that I have a daughter that works at a DIY superstore! She's bought me back many many plants that were destined for the skip for various reasons - often times they're on the brink of death - and I cherish each and every one of them.
The latest haul she bought me back included Hyacinths in Teracotta pots, loads of Erica, a few Leucothoe and plenty of Viburnum Tinus - all healthy plants too.

These are Pansies that she rescued from the skip a few weeks ago - they've given me weeks of colour and smiles.

Lovely aren't they. I've never grown Pansies before though so I really don't know what i do with them after they've flowered - do they come back next year?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Pallet wood Adirondack chairs

My garden really is taking some neglect of late. I really should be much further along with the re-design than am I, in fact to be honest I've done nothing out there since my last post. It's not from a lack of caring though it's down to the fact that I've been super busy in the workshop building furniture for the new decking (that isn't even in place yet) and building planters for Roses.

I was super surprised the other day when my daughter came home from work with a boot full of plants that were headed for the skip, once I've sorted through them I'll post pix but I know for definite I'm  making a hedge from the amount of Viburnum Tinus I now have.

For now though I'm simply going to show you my latest project. Remember the Adirondack chairs I made last year? (or the year before - I forget), well I've made a second batch and MrTG has declared they far exceed the previous ones in both looks and comfort.
I couldn't find the exact plans I needed to make this design so I basically made it up as I went along but used inspiration from 3 seperate designs. Of course I made the footstools to match though I have since realised they don't actually match as they are angular on the ends as opposed to rounded like the chairs.

What i love most about these chairs is that they have cost me nothing more than time as all the wood is either from pallets or old stuff I have stored. All I have to do now is paint them and while I painted the last ones in 'Summer Damson' by Cuprinol I have chosed 'Fresh Rosemary' for these ones because I'm going much lighter on the new part of the garden.

Cuprinol Garden Shades 'Fresh Rosemary'
The shade is actually a mintier green than is showing above.
Here's the Adirondack chairs I made previously. A very different style as they're more angular and don't have floating arms like the new ones do.