A Beneficial Thursday in the Garden

I do like working part time! It gives me a few days during the week in which I can get out into the garden. To me this is especially important when the good weather happens during the working week and it’s rotten over the weekends…why is that?

I missed out on Patient Gardener’s monthly meme “End of Month View” at the end of March.    This is my ‘Into The Second Week of the Next Month Review”.

This year the Ribes has been particularly splendid and, with the forsythia, this corner of a somewhat shady part of the garden is looking very colourful.


I decided not to grow any vegetables this year in the raised bed, replacing them with cutting flowers instead. Because it then proved to be an invitation to the local cats to use it as a public toilet, I have had to cover it with wire mesh.  Initially a wily puddy tat wriggled its way under the wire and had a good dig around, so the edges are hooked down now and this seems to have done the trick.



There are some tiny flower buds on the Aquilegia and in a week or two they will be in full bloom.  Most have reverted to a dusty dull pink colour so I bought another two at the weekend, a William Guinness and a Blue Star and today they were introduced to their new home.

The bottom border is starting to look lush, the Agapanthus and the Allium are filling out well and I hope will produce lots of blooms this year.  The eagle eyed of you will see that I have some Spanish Bluebells. Purists will throw their hands up in horror at this.  When I moved in 14 years ago the garden was bursting with them as well as being over run with ivy.  I pulled the majority up but they do add a lovely blue tinge at this time of the year and as long as I keep them in check I am ok with them.


Well aware that Peonies take a while to settle and decide to blossom,  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it produces a lot of flowers this year.   It is now five years old, I had one flower in 2012 and two in 2013 so it is about time it flourished!


Last year, I bought a Rudbeckia and Echinacea from Crocus and am delighted to see that they have made their way through the wet winter.  In order to protect them from cats and foxes, both seem to delight in digging up the garden, I covered them with bamboo cloches during the last few months and today have put little wire guards around them, with plenty of sticks to make it less attractive.    If we really do come back as animals in our next lives, cats were certainly never gardeners, they have no respect at all!

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The north facing border, which has been waterlogged for the past few months and gets no sunshine, is always a bit of a struggle. However, the hydrangea is in its element as are the Astilbe.  Somewhere amongst them is hidden a very large hosta.  This always takes a little time to make a showing and I am wondering if the Astilbe has choked it out this year, but then again maybe not, we shall see.


Also in this damp border, happily growing in moist clay,  is the Euphorbia Fireglow.  I know if it was in drier conditions it would be spreading prolifically but this is its third year so must be quite content.   The orange spiky plastic strips at the back of the bed have fallen off the top of the wall.  I had them “glued” up there a few years ago to stop cats/foxes jumping down onto the plants.  Well it was worth a try.



I have had a problem writing this post which has tested my patience.  I used my iPad to take the photos as the battery has gone on my camera.  Then I tried to write it using the WordPress iPad App with great difficulty, so saved it as a draft and moved over to my lap top.  The formatting was shot, the photos were not in the right place and it kept shooting back to the beginning – never again!   Back to the good old camera and pc for future posts, and now  I am off for a much needed cup of tea to soothe my nerves.

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7 thoughts on “A Beneficial Thursday in the Garden

  1. Hi Ronnie,

    Glad to see you’ve enjoyed yourself out in the garden today; here it’s been gorgeous and my car was showing 16oC on the way home so I got to mowing the grass as soon as I got in – no way I was missing the opportunity again.

    Congrats on the Coneflower, mine rarely ever come back for a second year. I have one that usually pops up; not sure if it has this year, but I hope it will! Rudbekias I have no problem with, in fact they are expanding and seem very happy.

    I have some Spanish/hybrids which I think came from next door as they have some under the front window. I allow them to grow, mainly because there’s no way I can get rid of them, they’re under the privet hedge and growing through the path to the house! They will pop up anywhere!
    All I do is cut off their blooms so they don’t hybridise with my natives, so I always end up with vases around the house. However they tend to bloom a little before the English bluebells anyway, so often I don’t have many problems (they might over-lap a little).


  2. Well done with the Echinacea! I can never get one through any winter in our heavy clay soil. I love seeing and reading about other peoples’ gardens but I never manage to write about ours, just post pictures in albums on facebook. I finally invested in a couple of Ribes last year, the usual pink one and a white one. The white has gone over now but the pink is in full bloom, as is our enormous Forsythia at the front of the house. All the different blossom is suddenly out and the camellias are gorgeous this year.

    I’m not sure where you are geographically but our weather in Yorkshire today wasn’t brilliant, but we have a lovely day forecasted for tomorrow/Friday so I’m hoping to get a lot of repotting done. I grow many things in pots and they can be very tiring and difficult to manage each spring! This year I need to divide and pot on my collection of alstromerias so I can get them out of the overwintering greenhouse and into their places outdoors. Thank goodness I finally completed sorting out the dahlias earlier this week.


    1. I left my alstroemerias in the ground and have lost them so will be visiting the garden centre shortly. I am on the South coast near Brighton. It’s been hot in the sun the last few days but a chilly breeze off the sea and really quite cool at night.


  3. Yvonne Ryan Matakatia Whangaparaoa Auckland New Zealand April 10, 2014 — 11:25 pm

    Nice to see your garden waking up! We are supposed to be early autumn here and a few colours on the deciduous trees. Most NZ trees are evergreen. We have been having an Indian summer in auckland and it is very dry. Rain is promised but we shall see. I live at the end of Whangapararoa peninsula just north of Auckland city and we often miss out. Not everyone in on town water and have rain tanks so the water tankers have been very busy. My daughter at Omaha, further north on a sand spit and beautiful white beach is only on tank water so that combined with pure sand is quite a challenge. She has had a raised garden made and her veg are amazing – and she a non gardener. We mostly have palms, cycads and tropicals here and I have quite a few special brommiliads. 300 or so of my pots of special plans were moved up here from Mt Eden Auckland when I moved up here a year ago and most have ended up at no3 daugther’s garden around the corner from here. We have 1 acre of clay here! Used to be forrest before our ancestors came and cut it down! I have views over paddocks (fields) out to the gulf. My daughter has a clifftop view of little island, bush and a huge view of the gulf, islands, beaches and back to the city. Amazing! We don’t have much forsythis up here, seems to need the cold. I always used to enjoy it in Christchurch! Happy gardening!


    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, it is really interesting to hear about your garden on the opposite of the world. Keep it coming! Do you write a blog?


  4. I’ve been pulling out Spanish Bluebells with no success at all. Mostly the leaves just come up without the bulb and it doesn’t disturb it in the least, next year it seems to come back even stronger, just to thwart me.
    My Echinacea has not fared so well, no sign of it.
    I was hoping to try the WordPress App… oh dear!


    1. Oh yes the leaves come away easily don’t they! I usually have to take a trowel and dig deep to remove the bulbs, however it doesn’t eradicate them completely which is why they are such brutes and so disliked by many.


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