Thursday, 24 April 2014

Blooming marvellous!

Looking forward to mouthwatering apples ...

Angel also quite enjoys nibbling at the
nasturtiums ...
If you don't have an allotment, this can be a solution to ensure that
not ALL your strawberries are eaten by your dogs!
Everything has started to grow all at once it seems - after a gentle start, suddenly flowers are bursting out everywhere! The magnificent show of Magnolias round here weren't blighted by frosts this year - and hot on their heels have come yellow Mahonias, clouds of blackthorn blossom in the hedges, while the cherry, plum and pear trees on my allotment are smothered in blossoms and the apples both there and in the garden are just about to break out too. And there's plenty of insect activity, so hopefully a good crop to look forward to later in the year. The alpine strawberries are starting to get into their stride now too, their progress carefully watched by Archie and Angel, who adore them and have to be encouraged to leave them until they are properly ripe. I also found Angel helping herself to a few viola flowers the other day ... but one of the pleasures of gardening is that plants can not only be beautiful to look at, but edible (or producing something edible) too! Those yellow Mahonias aren't just decorative either, but later in the year will be producing blue berries which you can either leave for the birds, or turn into jam.
If, like me, you have dogs who enjoy the pleasures of harvesting the garden's bounty, you do of course, need to take a few precautions as to what as well as where you plant - more about this next week. In the meantime, happy gardening!

Press HERE for link!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Chilling in the garden

Chilling in the garden - or sunbathing, rather than chilling. 
This is what it's all about as far as Archie and Angel are concerned.
Yes, they enjoy sniffing around and playing games out in the garden, but now that we are finally enjoying a spell of warmer weather the beanbags are moved outdoors for them. 

While I'm toiling on tidying the flowerbeds, they love being able to soak up the sunshine out of doors where they can keep a watchful eye on the pigeons, leaping to their feet to chase them off when they get too close.

The butterflies, also using the sun-warmed slabs of patio as a sunbathing area, are however, beneath their attention and allowed to share! 

Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing Easter, whether you are pottering in the garden or simply putting up your feet (or paws) and simply enjoying it!

Friday, 11 April 2014


I spotted this the other day, and it made me smile.
I love the idea of not getting rid
of an unwanted tree entirely, but of turning it into 
something decorative, even if most of it has had to go.
(And if you have dogs, of course
you then have a ready made pee post too)

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Here's one I made earlier

Here's the heather bank in all its former glory ...

... and here it is looking rather sad and neglected

As I may have mentioned some time ago in this blog, one of my goals this year is to revamp the garden a bit, making it a bit lower-maintenance so I have more time to spend on the allotment, and creating more space for Archie and Angel to scamper around in. The heather bank at the end of the garden was looking rather sorry for itself, having become somewhat overgrown, and the ancient heathers were leggy and past their best. I decided it was time for it to go - the frogs were the only ones who appreciated it. Although I felt guilty about removing a habitat where they could often be found lurking, I have replanted new heathers along the edge of the fence - and there is a pond and wildlife area in the front garden. As the frog population seems to have increased there recently, I'm hoping they have simply relocated.

I didn't want to lose the bank that the heathers were growing on completely, just to reduce its size and make it possible to push the mower around behind it, but I was a bit stumped about what to do with it otherwise. I did toy with the idea of covering it with artificial grass, but preferred the idea of something living. While pondering on it, I noticed there was quite a lot of moss in the lawn: I'm not a lawn purist and I rather like moss - you won't catch me raking it out.  It feels glorious to stand on in bare feet, has a wonderful cushiony quality that grass lacks, and of course, is very low maintenance - unlike grass it doesn't need mowing. So I don't object to its presence at all.

And here's the transformation to a mossy bank.
Well, it will be eventually.
(Archie apologises for still being in his pj's, but it was a chilly morning
when I took the photo!)
And then it struck me - rather than planting the bank with plants which would need maintaining and might object to whippets jumping on and off it, why not try creating a mossy bank instead? I love seeing the soft contours it creates as it takes over tumbled logs and stones out on our woodland walks, and am hoping that I can create something similar here, on a small scale.
Watch this space, as they say.
In the meantime, if you want to know more about creating your own mossy spot - you can make a miniature moss garden in a pot if you don't want it anywhere else - here's a link which will tell you all you need to know:

Click HERE for link