Garden Updates

With a nice spell of sunshine this afternoon I thought it was time for a garden update. It’s looking nice out there and going through its annual purple phase at the moment. Bluebells, Aquilegias, Geraniums, Forget-me-Knots and a few other things have replaced the yellows of early Spring with a selections of blues and purples.

Hector and Harriet our robot lawn-mowers have been keeping the grass neat and tidy. They’ve been entertaining passers-by as well.

The various shrubs and perennials in the beds and borders are all in full growth mode now as well. Bumping and bustling each other for space. They look good at the moment as they are all in quite well-defined clumps but they’ll all become a little unruly over summer and merge into each other.

The palm tree that Helen gave us as a wedding present seems to be about to flower as well. I don’t think it’s done this before so I assume that’s a good thing. It’s quite a big tree these days and has done well considering the extreme environment it lives in.

Palm Flower Buds
Palm Flower Buds

There are quite a few caterpillar nests on the cherry tree. No doubt they’ll munch their way through its leaves soon as well but hopefully it’ll cope. These are Lackey Moth caterpillars so its good to look after them even if it means they are eating some of our plants. They will in turn feed the birds.

Caterpillar Nest
Caterpillar Nest

As usual there is plenty to do. I need to reinstate the water feature as it hasn’t been working for a while. It’s quite a big, wet, mucky job. So I’ve been waiting for things to warm up so that I can do it on a nice warm sunny day. At least the bog loving plants around it are growing well. I like the combination of textures here.

Bog Garden
Bog Garden

There are similar but slightly different sword-like leaves of smaller purple irises and the robust Yellow-Flags, along with fresher sword-like leaves if Crocosmia. The bamboo leaves are a similar shape too. All of this contrasts with the softer heart-shaped leaves of Marsh Marigolds and Celandines and some geraniums have weaved their way into the mix as well. A functioning water-feature would finish it off nicely.

Not everything is neat and tidy of course, There are plenty of wild areas full of nettles, brambles, dandelions, goosegrass and willow herb. The apiary is left a little less well tamed too.

Apiary
Apiary

It will get strimmed now and then but the bees like the weeds and it doesn’t need to be too tidy. The bees are doing well by the way. There are no signs of swarming yet but there are plenty of bees so I don’t think it will be long before they do. We’ve ordered some new hardware ready for the action.

The front garden is in contrast to the rear garden fairly sterile.

Just a patio, the driveway and our new lawn. It looks almost tropical this afternoon. There are a couple of trees in the corners but it is so exposed out there that not much will grow. It might be nice to have a few more plants, but a neat tidy lawn is nice too. I’d still like to hide the fairly ugly, dark and dreary wall. I’m not sure how yet so we’ll just have to live with it for a while.

There’s more stormy weather on the way for the end of the week as well. The trees have only just started to recover from having all their fresh green leaves stripped off a couple of weeks ago. It looks as though it will happen again. All part of the fun of gardening on the edge!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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