EOMV, Garden blogging

End of Month View: December 2012

It wouldn’t be a blog about an English garden, if there was no mention of the weather.  At the very beginning of December, we had heavy frosts for days, which saw the end of a number of our annuals.

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At the end of December, in fact for the last few weeks, we have seen warmer weather but torrential, incessant rain, leading to flooding of rivers, roads and fields.  The majority of us are suffering from waterlogged gardens, making it almost impossible to do any work in the garden, when we can get out between the gaps in the rain.

wet gardenThis morning, Sunday 30 December, we have a break in the rain (for the time being anyway), the sun shone and the sky was blue, so I donned my new winter gardening boots and headed outside with my camera to do the End of Month View for December, before it started to rain again.

new boots

There is a sign of Spring, which is quite heartening.   The snowdrops are bursting through, and so are the daffodils, although these are the established ones,  the daffodil bulbs I planted last month are yet to decide to make an appearance.   I also saw that the Day Lillies are sending out new shoots, but something is eating them so they look a little ragged.

spring bulbs

Putting the camera to one side for a while, I spiked the flowerbeds to help the rain water drain away, and where the rain had flattened the soil, I hoed gently around the shoots.  Then I emptied out the bottom of the compost bin and spread some very healthy looking homemade compost.

compost Collecting the camera again, I found plants that I was not expecting to be sending out new shoots just yet.  The Verbena Bonariensis is producing new leaves, the Astrantia also has new leaves, and the Sedum is ready to grow again.

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There is a lot of growth going on in the garden, which is exciting but I do hope it is not too damaged by another bout of freezing weather we are sure to get before Spring arrives.   Someone should tell that to the Forsythia and the Elder (Sambucus Nigra) because they are full of buds.

ForsythiaElder bud

I still have some leeks left, and the Swiss Chard is looking such a fabulous colour, with wonderful new dark glossy leaves, so rather than pull it up, a job I had planned to do today,  I removed the old leaves and decided to leave it until the cold weather gets to it.

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Much to my surprise the parsley is looking healthier than I have ever seen it and it has taken over the herb pot.   I need to cut the fennel down to the ground shortly but it is covered in new fresh green, fluffy looking leaves so that, like that Chard, is having a stay of execution for the moment.

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At this time of the year it is lovely to see that there are some flowers in the garden.  The  very pretty, purple/orange Erysium (perennial wallflower) is in full flower and the variegated variety with the yellow flower is just about to send out some tiny buds.

Erysium The Iceberg Rose by my front door is covered in buds.  I love this rose, as it never fails to flower over Christmas, meaning I can have roses in the house in the winter.

iceberg rose

The Hellebores (Lenten Rose) are flowering now also.  They are growing underneath the Choysia (Mexican Orange Blossom) so don’t get much light at all, I think therefore my next job will be to cut back the Choysia to release them from their dark environment.  As I write this I am listening to Gardeners Question Time on the radio where, by coincidence, they are talking about thinning Choysias .  Apparently if I am careful I can thin it out at any time of the year by taking out old shoots, leaving last year’s new growth to harden off for flowering next year.

Hellebore Whilst no longer flowering, the Penstemon and Hot Lips Salvia are looking very healthy, despite being in some very boggy surroundings.

penstemon and salviaI moved some foxgloves in the summer to a different part of the garden, as they were looking rather feeble and not flowering.  Clearly they like their new home and have more than doubled in size so fingers crossed for some great flowers from them next year.

foxglovesFinally a reminder that Spring is really not too far away – I like to be positive! – the garden is full of Forget-me-Nots (Mysotis).  Despite pulling them up every year, the seeds have spread themselves to ensure that they will always appear.  That’s what Mother Nature is all about.

forget me notsThis is the last End of Month View for 2012 and thank you Helen (Patient Gardener) for hosting this meme.   I wish all of you a very happy New Year and plenty of sunshine for gardening days in 2013.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

Garden blogging

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

What a fabulous Photo Challenge this week – “My 2012 in Pictures”. A multi-photo challenge. It has also introduced me to tiled galleries.  It has certainly not been the easiest task to select one photo from each month to depict my year in 2012, but I think I have chosen my favourites.  Obviously, there are lots of wonderful memories of times with my family and grandchildren, but I am loathe to show photos of them on my blog as they are very personal.

Enjoy looking back on 2012 with me; click on any picture to view the photos as a slide show and read a little information about the photo chosen for each month.

I am looking forward to visiting other blogs and see their 2012 in pictures.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

Garden blogging

Alphabe Thursday: F is for Favourite Flower Fotos

I’ve been mulling over my 2012 blog posts and the myriad of photographs I have taken over the year.   With Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe Thursday now at F, I thought Favourite Flowers would be a good post.  For those of you who are sticklers for grammar and spelling, I make no apologies for the misspelling of ‘Fotos’, let’s call it artistic license.

Jenny Matlock

Actually, it wasn’t easy to chose my favourite photos of 2012, there are so many.  Eventually I decided to select just two for the months of May through to September.  I suspect I may well use many more for a recap post on the past year.  It is always useful to hold ideas in abeyance so, as the saying goes, watch this space!

Here they are then, a small selection of my Favourite Flower Fotos, starting with Aqualegia (Columbine) and Geraniums (Cranesbill) in May:

May 2102

In June, there are Roses and Gazanias.

June 2012 (740x1024)

July brings us Lavender and Erysium (Perennial wallflower).

July 2012 (709x1024)

August brings Pom Pom Poppies and Tradescantia.

August 2012 (709x1024)

In September Scabious (Scabiosa) is still flowering and the Michaelmas Daisies (Aster) are in the full glory.

September 2012 (1024x709)

Ah!  How this has made me hanker after warm summer days, working in the garden.  It has rained for days and days lately, there are floods everywhere you look.  Who would have thought that in April we had a hose pipe ban imposed upon us.   Time does rattle by quickly and before we know it, Spring will be here and shortly afterwards our gardens will start to burst into flower again.

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Personal blogging

When Knitting Takes Over From Gardening

This time of the year, when the days are short of daylight, there is no chance of pottering in the garden either before or after work.   There is also the strange phenomenon that good gardening weather happens during the week when I am at work, and invariably it is raining or just too darn cold to be out there at weekends.   Beside, with Christmas just around the corner there are lots of other things to be done, such as knitting.

I like simple items that don’t take too long to knit or make up, otherwise they may languish in the knitting bag under the label “I’ll finish that later” and goodness me, I have enough of those already!

Christmas gifts are always a lot more personal if they are handmade and with that in mind, a few weeks ago, I looked for Christmas Novelty patterns and found a book called “We Knit You a Merry Christmas”  by Debbie Harrold and published by Collins & Brown.

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Before deciding what to knit, I dug out my wool bag, which is packed with odd bits of wool – I never throw any away.   Delighted to find, red, black and white, I chose the Father Christmas for my Mum.

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Whilst Mum doesn’t have dementia, she is 93 and has reverted back to childhood when it comes to cuddly toys and has a large collection of teddies in her room at the Care Home.   Rather than wait for Christmas Day, I gave it to her last week and she was just delighted with it, holding him to her chest all afternoon.  This photo was taken on my mobile phone so the quality is not so good.

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My next novelty knit was a penguin for my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, which I will give to her at Christmas when I see her.   What I love about little toys is that they can be completed within a few days.  I finished this one off last night, although sewing black is not the easiest thing under artificial lighting.

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Now, I have just a week to deliberate as to whether my 6 year old grandson would like a novelty knit, but unless it is something to do with Star Wars I doubt very much he would be interested.   I’ve got the knitting bug now so I will have to knit something else from the book.  At work we have a gift collection box for deprived children so maybe a knitted snowman might be next.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

Garden blogging

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Delicate is the Daily Post Photo Challenge this week and it is set before us as follows:-

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE THAT MEANS DELICATE TO YOU.

Delicate could be the tracings of frost on a window, a child’s tiny fingers and toes, the intricate pattern of a tree’s canopy, or something yet-to-be-discovered. So much of this challenge depends on your interpretation of “delicate,” and we look forward to seeing the range of images you capture.

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del•i•cate : /ˈdelikit/

Adjective :  Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality

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What better form of DELICATE to show for this week’s challenge is the CYCLAMEN. It is a hardy tiny little plant that flowers to its hearts content despite the winter weather.  

This past week, we have had exceptionally heavy frosts, which has seen the end to the remnants of the majority of plants in the garden that are not hardy.  Looking out of my kitchen window the one plant that is still flowering, despite sub-zero temperatures, is the hardy cyclamen.

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Not to be confused with the large flowered Cyclamen grown indoors in pots, which come in bright pinks, reds, and white, the hardy variety has a delicate tiny flower that are usually white tinged with pink through to purples.

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It grows happily in planters or under other shrubs because it loves woodland shade, although I don’t have a label for mine, I believe they are the Ivy-Leaved variety known as Cyclamen Hederifolium.   They are growing in a planter on the table outside my kitchen window and I can see them every time I look out of the window.

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As there are 23 varieties of Cyclamen I am sure that if I am wrong about them being Ivy-Leaved, I am sure there is an expert out there who can put me right.

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Garden blogging

Popular Posts 2012 : Day 5 – May 2012

Continuing the re-blogging of 2012 posts that have been popular with readers, and my favourites. Now Day 5 – May 2012.

Click HERE to read Granny’s Bonnet is Growing in My Country Garden : DAY 5. Most popular May 2012 – this post had almost 800 hits in May and still has people looking at it.

Granny’s Bonnet is Growing in my Country Garden – 12 May 2012

Norah Barlow

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