End of Month View – August 2015

I am very lax in writing an End of Month View (EOMV) on the blog but I am sure you will forgive me if at least I do post an occasional update.

When reading the majority of the EOMV posts from gardeners in the UK you will probably find mention the abysmal summer weather.  We have been unlucky in being subjected to an inordinate and unfair number of wet weekends, and those rare good weekends we have been  blessed with I have not been at home.  I work most of the week and get home late and am tired so my poor garden has become overgrown and now is beaten down by heavy rain.  However, I think it still looks lovely, lush and slightly wild.

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When going through the garden at the side of the house I feel I need a machete.  This year the white Agapanthus honoured me with two enormous flowers which are still in bloom and the Japanese Anemones are standing tall, whilst  as usual the Clematis “Jouiniana Praecox,” is madly scrambling through the climbing rose and along the wall.

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Earlier this year I cut the Elder Sambucus Nigra right down to about 3 foot and in just  a few months it has shot up to over 12 foot, however there were sadly no blooms on it as it flowers on last years growth.  So I have to decide each year whether to go for the height and have blooms or cut it down annually.

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The tomatoes are slow to ripen but getting there.  This year I have grown Sweet Million and they are so sweet and an ideal size just to pop into my mouth as I pass by.   I had a couple of plants left over and for the sake of somewhere to put them I planted them in the raised border and to an extent have let them grow wild just to see what happens.

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I had an idea that I would go for a colour palette of burgundy to lilac in the garden this year and I ordered a selection of seeds from Higgledy Garden.  There have been a few failures but I think that was down to me and not the seeds.  The Sweet Peas ‘Burgundy’ were beautiful although not very prolific and are now over.   Below are those that were successful:

Cosmos ‘Pied Piper’ (with a Cleome muscling in)

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Scabiosa ‘Back in Black’

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Cerinthe ‘Major Purpurascns’

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Amaranthus ‘Caudatus Red – Love Lies Bleeding’

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The other plant that has suffered from neglect and the rain are the raspberries, I have not been picking them quickly enough and many have gone mouldy

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I love peonies in the spring and it is such a shame their leaves go so manky for the rest of the summer.   I had hoped the Guara would hide them but they have gone very straggly and again that is down to me not staking them properly.

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Just in front of the obelisk the sweet peas were growing up there is a very pretty shrub that has interesting blue flowers, I can never remember what it is called, can you help me please?
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The last part of the garden is the on the right hand side, which gets little sun and is full of Astilbe which have turned brown now.  The Alchemilla Mollis are spilling out on to the lawn and I need to get out there and cut it back otherwise I will have bald patches.
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There you go that’s my contribution this month and now I will take a tour of the other EOMV’s for August. Thank you Helen from Patient Gardener for hosting this long running and very popular meme.

Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – February Foliage

Gosh I am on a roll!  Having not written anything on the blog for three months, all of a sudden I have found things to blog about again.  This is my third blog post in as many days – readers will be suffering from Hurtledto60 overload if I am not careful, so I will keep this post short.

What gave me incentive today for this post?   Garden Bloggers Foliage Day : GBFD.   This is a monthly meme hosted by Christina at My Hesperides Garden.

I was listening to the gardeners questions program on local radio this morning and was pulled up short when I heard “We are almost in March”. Crickey where did that time go, it seems only yesterday it was Christmas.   March means the beginning of Spring and with it brings new life and foliage into the garden.   So walking around this morning with camera in hand I found the following foliage:

Peony.   I have always loved the way the peony leaves appear, looking like tiny fingers unfolding.  Maybe they are crossing their fingers that the conditions are just right to produce a good amount of flowers this year instead of the meagre two blooms last year.

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Aquilegia.   Sometimes I think the fresh new rosettes of the Aquilegia are more exciting than when it is in full bloom.  There don’t seem to be as many Aquilegia in the garden this year, usually they are everywhere.  However, most had reverted to their natural state and were a boring dull pink so maybe now is the year to introduce new ones.

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Hydrangea.  I bought a white hydrangea last year and it lives in a large pot on the side patio and produced the most enormous flower heads.  It is now bursting with new bright green foliage and is going to be a splendid plant in its second year.

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Fennel.    The new fennel leaves are small and fluffy and, to me, look like little trees.  This is an old plant and grows to about 6 foot every year.  I often wonder if it is about time to dig it up and cook the bulbs but I think perhaps in view of its age, it may not be such a good idea and I will just let it remain in its architectural glory during the summer months.

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Then, of course, there is the hardy foliage that lasts throughout the winter months giving constant green hues to the garden.   These include:-

Euphorbia

_DSC0890 (1024x683)Eyrisium (Wallflowers)

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Ferns – I am sorry I do not remember what these two are called, maybe someone can help me out with this please.

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Not only has my blog writing mojo come back, so has my photography mojo – hurrah!!

Thank you Christina for hosting this meme and I hope those reading this will hop over to your blog and take a look at your exciting and interesting mediterranean garden.

Eric Has Been Removed and I Am Back in My Garden

Hello there, I am back and Eric has been evicted!!   This post is in two parts, the first a health update and then a garden update.  You are free to skim the first part and go to the garden, which  is probably of more interest.

Eric’s eviction 

As I woke from the anaesthetic I remember patting myself down and saying “Keyhole and no stoma” to the response “Yes, keyhole and no stoma”.  What a relief that was, although if it had been worse I would have just had to deal with it.

Anaesthetics, painkillers and my system do not mix well.   It took me a long time to come round, and although my 4 hour operation started at 8:45 a.m. I was not down in a ward until about 5:30 p.m. and in a comatosed state for the rest of the day on a drip and oxygen.  This meant that the first of the Enhanced Recovery Program (ERP) steps, to get out of bed and move into a chair the same day of the operation, went by the board.   Wednesday was not much better, following a visit from the Pain Team, I was dosed with Ketamine (yes the stuff they give to horses!) and slow release morphine.  By the afternoon I was so spaced out, I couldn’t even form a sentence, was violent sick (not good following abdominal surgery) and every time I closed my eyes I felt black and white patterned walls closing in on me.   It was all very scary, I thought I was having a stroke, and think the doctors had the same worry.   I was taken off all painkillers except good old paracetomol and by Thursday was back in the land of the living – it was certainly an experience I don’t want to repeat.  I was then two days behind the ERP but caught up quickly and was discharged on Sunday into the capable care of my youngest daughter and her husband.

The Surgical Registrar told me they had taken out just over a foot of my colon, and happily announced that they had “removed all the cancer” – making it sound as though I had only had a tooth pulled.   I have an appointment with the Consultant on Thursday 23 May to find out what the staging is and what chemotherapy treatment may lay ahead of me.    In the meantime, I now have to build up my strength and get my appetite back.  I have lost a lot of weight and have cheekbones I haven’t seen for years!

The Garden

I came home yesterday, Saturday, and it was a joy to wander around the garden.  The Forget-me-nots, bluebells and Lilac look wonderful, especially with the alliums just about to come out.  Stupidly, I had left my DSLR camera on and the battery was flat, so the photos below were taken using my little Fuji FinePix and sadly they are not quite as sharp as I would have liked them to be.

The garden over the wall has a magnificent Ceoanthus in full blue bloom, mine is still in tight bud, but then it is probably not getting as much sunshine.

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The Lilac needs pruning hard after it has flowered to encourage more flowers next year, it seems a little top heavy at the moment.

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Imagine this is smellie vision, the perfume at the end of the afternoon today, with the sun shining on the lilac was breathtaking.

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As I said earlier the alliums are just about to flower, which will add to the blue/purple hues in the garden.  Not to mention give me the opportunity to take lots of photos of them from all angles.

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Nestled between a prolifically growing hardy geranium (cranesbill) and the Aquilegia I found the Geum Bell Bank flowering away to its hearts content.  It is such a pretty plant and I am pleased it has decided to return again this year, so many plants in my garden give up the ghost after the first year.  Knautia macedonica is a prime example it clearly doesn’t like my garden.

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Finally, another allium, a giant one this time, which is going to look really colourful against the Eurphorbia when it is out in full.

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© 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.

End of Month View: November 2012

Yesterday morning, when I left for work, there was a heavy frost and traveling on the train through the Sussex countryside was a joy to behold.  To me one of the most beautiful views is when the trees and fields are coated in a hoar frost.  This morning there was another heavy frost which made an exciting opportunity to photograph the garden for the review of the garden at the end of November, albeit a day late.

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The garden itself is becoming dormant, which is to be expected at this time of the year.  The Sedum is almost over, with the flowers now turning black which makes it now look ugly and untidy.  They did look good though with the contrasting white frost on them.

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However, despite two days of heavy frost the Salvia is still flowering and keeping its vibrant blue.  I have shown this plant in the last few EOMVs, and it always attracts comments; unfortunately I am unable to say what the variety is.  It really is as blue as this and there is no colour editing to make it stronger.

Salvia The leeks are looking good and tasting good too!  I must pull up the Swiss Chard, although I am leaving it for as long as I can because I love the colour.   This weekend I had planned to clear it up and sow some green manure seeds, but as the ground is frozen I am going to have to run the risk of leaving it for a weekend without frost with the hope that I have not left it too late.  Field Beans have been recommended for sowing at this time of year. Something is digging big holes in the vegetable bed so I will have to ensure it is well covered to allow the seeds to germinate.

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All the roses are pruned now to prevent wind rock, and the roses in pots still have their leaves which was lucky this morning as they looked beautifully frosted.

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Moving on to the front garden.  Now all the leaves have fallen from the Lilac I can see what needs to be pruned to get the shape right.  A while ago I  took out lots of the old and dead wood, with the hope that it will flower in abundance next year, because it let me down in 2012.   I have adorned it with bird feeders, and this morning when I sat in the bay window, eating my breakfast, they were visited by lots of little blue tits.

To make up for the lack of berries on the holly in the back garden, the Skimmia and Cotoneaster are adding lots of red colour to the front garden.

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The Hydrangea has been flattened in places, and I am wondering if Mr Fox has been clambering through the shrub, I can’t think of what else could have done the damage.

The tops of the Hydrangea were tipped with frost and I don’t usually see this on the shrub in the front garden, it looked very pretty.

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Finally, as a little bit of cheer, there are some Primroses coming out in a pot which is down the side of the house.   They are a little nibbled around the edges and I am never quite sure what eats them, but they are pretty all the same.

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Thank you Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for hosting this monthly meme.  If you visit her blog, you will see links to other EOMV from garden bloggers across the country which always make for an interesting read.

© 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

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14 things in my garden this week.

The saddest thing about not working locally anymore is that now the days are shorter, I leave the house just as the sun is rising and I get home in the dark.  No longer am I able to potter in the garden morning and evenings with work sandwiched in between.   There is no opportunity to check what is going on, or wander around with my camera.   It does mean that writing fresh and interesting blog posts supported by photos are limited to weekends.    I missed Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, which was on the 15th and as I was away last weekend I wasn’t even able to prepare in advance.

Today, the weather is decidedly murky, with a drizzle in the air.  I have done a little gardening but the ground is squelching and water lying in puddles in the border edges.   It is not, however, cold and there are plants still flowering with a few surprises.

As I was walking back into the house, I saw what I thought looked like an ugly bug in the middle of the Pond Iris.  On looking closer, I realised that they are seed heads.  They have been in my water feature for several years but I have never noticed them look like this before.

It gave me the idea to grab the camera and see what other oddities and items of interest in the garden at this time of year.

The Sedum, is sending out new fresh shoots and flowers just behind the larger part of the plant which has fallen over through the weight of the flower heads.

Just to the left of the above plants, the Peony is beginning to send out new shoots.  I am going to leave them alone this year, because I think it was covering them with compost last year, to protect them,may possibly be one of the reasons they didn’t flower this year.   If anyone thinks this is not the right thing to do please let me know, it was so disappointing not to get a single flower.  You can see how very wet the soil is from this photo also.

The roses are still blooming and producing buds.

I still have flowers on the Penstemons and the Salvia “Hot Lips”.

I becoming quite a fan of Salvias and the variety of flowers and colours the species has.   There is a vivid blue at the bottom of the garden which is really eye catching, but I don’t know what it is called.  I must remember to keep labels of plants that I buy, especially when I move them about.

I have several Spirea bushes dotted around the garden and this one, again I don’t know the variety, is producing lots of pink flowers.  So along with the Scabious and the Asters that are all still in bloom, this part of the garden is looking very much in the pink.

There is a heather plant that I put just below the Compassion Rose and despite the fact that it is not supposed to like the soil it is growing in, it has lived very happily for over ten years.  I chop it back in the Spring to keep it in check.  Today I saw that it is beginning to flower.  I am sure this is much earlier than before.

The other plant flowering which I am sure has not flowered in the autumn before is the Choysia, although, I know it can flower over the winter.

 

Finally, I wanted to share the honeysuckle with you, it is covered in dark, juicy looking berries.  That will keep the birds happy.

 

What a shame I have to wait for weekends during the next few months to view my garden.  Fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow because I have bags of bulbs that should go out now.