Monday 30 May 2011
I was out in the garden yesterday, busily potting on a buddleia and a couple of box bushes, and within two minutes of me being out there, Ginny came strolling down the garden, jumped onto her favourite pot and surveyed my activity with a knowing stare. She then posed very obligingly and even looked at the camera for me. Both cats enjoy watching me gardening, and really love to be in the garden when we are out there. However, I do have to protect some of my lovely plants from Ginny's claws ( I am sure she purposely chooses my best plants) as you can see from the chicken wire wrapped around the trunk of the magnolia in the photo above. This pot is one of Ginny's favourite places as it is high enough to give her that feeling of superiority which she loves, and also big enough for her to sun herself on.
Saturday 28 May 2011
This is how the garden is described:
"This is an eco-friendly office and garden for a lover of plants and wildlife. The office, made out of sustainable materials and powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof sits in the corner enjoying the view out into the garden and its variety of habitats.
A stream runs through the garden and is planted with water-loving plants which are also good for insect nectar sources. The movement of the water through the stream also creates sound in the garden to make the space and office feel tranquil and cut out external noise such as roads.
A meadow, created from year-old turf with extras sown in (like ox-eye daisy, salad burnet, meadow saxifrage, horse-shoe vetch and bird's foot trefoil) sits in the centre of the garden with a wildlife border to one side and a woodland to the other. The wildlife border contains plants, which from Marney's own observations, are great for wildlife. The woodland is planted with Swedish Whitebeam, Rowan and Silver Birches and underplanted with shrubs and native forest floor plants.
A herb area is dressed with gravel designed to soak up heat and attract butterflies who prefer to lay eggs on plants in warmer areas (so the larvae develop quickly and have better chances at survival). The herbs spill from the garden onto the path waiting to be crushed under foot, filling the air with scent attractive to wildlife and humans alike."
I did like areas of planting from lots of the gardens, but no one garden really grabbed my interest.
Monday 23 May 2011
Sunday 22 May 2011
Saturday 21 May 2011
Link to iplayer and more info - see it for yourself, if you haven't managed to yet:
Chris and I will be glued to it in the coming weeks...
Tuesday 17 May 2011
Monday 16 May 2011
Saturday 14 May 2011
This morning, I went out in the garden, as I do, to have a good look at things and check on pests and diseases, and whether my pots need watering and was literally stopped in my tracks by an open flower.
Tuesday 10 May 2011
The garden at Ninfa (from the Great Gardens of Italy book to accompany the series)
There were many gorgeous gardens featured in the series, but my absolute favourite was the garden at Ninfa. This is about 30Km south of Rome and was created around the ruins of a Medieval town. Monty himself described it as "the most romantic garden in the world" and even though I haven't seen it in the flesh, it looked magical on the programme. If I ever get the chance to go to Italy (I have been once but it was a school trip and didn't include any garden visits), I would love to visit Ninfa and some of the other inspiring places.
The last programme is available on iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010y067/Monty_Dons_Italian_Gardens_The_Veneto_Lucca_and_The_Lakes/
Monday 9 May 2011
On a sadder note, I have finally sent my hardy fuchsias off to the great nursery in the sky. I had left them in the hope that they would grow, but no such luck. They had come through the previous winter, but the extreme temperatures for such a long time finally defeated them. I have also lost a grass (used to be called Stipa Arundinacea but is now Amenathele lessoniana or something like that!) and several other plants too. Still, that is the nature of gardening and it does gives me more planting opportunities. However, I think that any replacements will have to be tough, hardy and easy to look after!
Sunday 8 May 2011
"St Cuthbert's church stood on the top of the hill. It had a square tower and we used occasionally to climb up the worn stone steps which corkscrewed up to the first floor, where the three bells hung. Next there was a ladder to climb to the second floor and the ladder had then to be pulled up in order to reach the trap door at the top of the tower. On one occasion, the boys sent semaphore messages from the top of the tower to the foot of the hill.
" The Butcher, Mr K was a very prosperous farmer. He also kept the Durham Ox..he was a church warden.
A second small shop in Crayke was kept by Miss S and her two brothers H and C. They were the carriers of the village. The shop sold corn and meal, flour, dog biscuits and chicken food as well as sweets. One could get a half penny square of Fry's chocolate or a Fry's cream bar there. Miss S was a small, stout person with a round, pale face and her hair was done up in a bun on top of her head.
We saw very little of Mr G, the blacksmith, but could hear the clank of his hammer on the anvil from the Rectory garden.
"Another outstanding family in the village were the G's. The eldest brother, A, had the farm at the foot of the hill and kept a herd of milking cows. His old mother lived at the farm and was the backbone of the family for many years. She came to church regularly with her grand-daughters as long as she was able. I remember going to see her at the farm when she was quite old. She sat by the fire in a rocking chair with a shawl round her shoulders and a cat or two beside her. The hearth-rug was made of pieces of coloured cloth.
Mr G was the village tailor. He made some Robin Hood costumes for the boys for a fancy dress party and a Puritan dress, cap and apron for Hilda Mary.
Our most remote parishioners was the M's. They lived nearly two miles away on the road to Orlston. Mr M...was a short, round man just like a kind dwarf in a fairy story. He has white whiskers all round his face and he wore a frock coat and a tall felt hat when he came to church. He was usually accompanied by several small brown-eyed boys and a little girl called Emily."
I was surprised to read about the number of amenities this small village had. Over the years, many small communities have lost these businesses, so now are left with just a pub and possibly shop/post office if you are lucky. Life then was much more self-contained, unlike today, where it is a necessity to have a car to travel to the local town or city for work and shops. The above photographs are all taken from Granny's album, but there is no clue as to the photographer.
Tuesday 3 May 2011
I had a lovely morning out this morning as I went to Hall Farm, one of my favourite local nurseries/gardens. The house itself is a beautiful stone farmhouse and the garden leads away from it, with compartmentalised areas and an orchard at the bottom. This gives lots of interesting vistas which lead the visitor all around the garden.
A view looking down towards the orchard area.
A view looking down towards the orchard area.
Looking back the other way, towards the house.
The very pretty sunken Spring garden beside the house, with forget-me-nots, tulips, hardy geraniums and alpine plants.The view at the entrance to the garden, with more spring planting. It is the kind of garden I like best, with good formal 'bones' but lovely 'floofy' planting within that. There were tree peonies in flower, lots of hardy geraniums and camassias, bellis, honesty, wiegela all flowering away. A perfect way to spend the morning.