The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.


When I was young, younger, all photographs were captured on a film, taken to be developed and then returned, often with little stickers on the duff ones suggesting what might have caused the failed capture.  These days of course if you take a bum shot, you can just delete it and have another go.  

Last weekend whilst sorting through some photographs I came across photos of my very first attempts at gardening.  The Man that Can scanned these into the computer to make digital versions so I could upload them to my blog to help recall those early days.

I bought this little two up two down in early December, so not a lot of gardening was even contemplated until the following summer.

The Yorkshire Terriers in these shots are Muffin & Fraggle.

I lifted up a large number of flagstones to create flowerbeds.

The second year I had filled the garden with my favourite spring flowers, the humble daffodil.  Not quite the spectacle that was in my granny's garden, but enough to make my heart sing.

I quickly realised that having such small beds and a plethora of containers just wouldn't be enough.  I had to think beyond the 'floor space' size of the garden and I figured that all that space upwards was also mine for the taking, so along came the trellis.

And along came my love of clematis.  It didn't take me very long to realise that I could have a clematis in flower pretty much all year round if I chose carefully.  This one was alpina 'Willy' and despite it's roots being in a container, it was very happy to scramble over the old shed.

Trees could also be happy in a pot.

The back of the patio where it met the wall was then lifted to create yet more planting space and a couple of climbing, scented roses added.  Most of the colour was provided with cheap seeds germinated on my windowsills.

Trellis was added to an old lean-too greenhouse that the previous owners grew tomatoes in.  I removed the corrugated plastic panels and tarted it up a bit.  It made the perfect place to harden off my bedding plants and I grew a couple more clematis over it.  One was c. Bill McKenzie and the other I forget the name of, but it was a lovely rich purple viticella variety. 

I have to say that this garden did take up rather a lot of time.  I would come home from work and spend at least an hour deadheading, training and pruning....once I had put my little Toad to bed.

And then came the greenhouse.

It dominated the patio, but was my pride and joy.

The amount of plants I could propagate now was amazing.  My hardening off space was made into a seating area since the patio was now so small.

 Rambling Rose and a very young Toad

The Man That can with the young Toad

And more trellis was added.  I had grown this 'mile-a-minute' clematis from a cutting taken from a friend's garden, After 3 years it began to flower, and each spring gave a fabulous display of pale pink almond-scented simple flowers.

The Man that Can painted the back wall and erected yet more trellis.

Not forgetting the very very tiny patch out front.  I lifted a section of the paving and planted this rosa Albertine.  It flowered it's socks off, perfumed the entrance to the house perfectly, and without fail succumbed to blackspot once the blooms had faded.

The pink scented climbing rose in the back garden however was a repeat flowerer and really earned its keep.

I was able to learn how to perfect my pruning techniques on it too, it was very forgiving.

But had to remain in the garden when we moved north.  I did however manage to take a number of plants with us - pictured here on the patio in planters.  The greenhouse was sold as we were having most of our belongings put into storage.  I wasn't sure all that glass would be safe for such a journey.

The garden was prepared well, with enough plants to keep the new buyers happy....and off we went for pastures new.

September's end

Last week I 'tested the water' by driving to the garden centre (well a girl has to get her priorities right). Since I managed that ok, I figured I would be OK to drive to work.  The plants were purchased, but there was a distinct lack of energy to be able to plant them, so they waited patiently for today.

Here, violas, white cyclamen and variegated ivy above white narcissus bulbs for the spring.

All of the bulb containers were emptied, sifted through and repotted.  Beneath these self seeded violas in this little blue pot hides a multitude of spring bulbs. 

Likewise in the naked pot below crammed into fresh compost are the remaining bulbs from our bulb replanting. I have absolutely no idea which bulbs, which colours or when they are likely to bloom, so it'll be a surprise.

Another two containers have been emptied, the compost riddled through to remove the bulbs (lilies this time) and replanted in fresh. A skimmia in each pot to extend the interest completes the sentry either side of the gate.

And although it's not evident yet, a pink late flowering clematis has been planted either side of the Folly and trained around the arch.

Out front, the hydrangea has been repositioned beside the rhododendron. Leaf mould has been used as a mulch and the bark and twiggy bits replaced to discourage the local cats...

There has been a couple of fatalities. I've lost one of the fuchsia cuttings and the last remaining clematis cutting from NL. 

The fuchsias in the mangers and the last remaining hanging basket of summer bedding were potted up, along with two pelargoniums to be brought inside as it turns cooler.  Bright pink cyclamen from last winter's containers have been planted into the birch bed and the white ones that were being swamped by the ruby violas have been replanted in this wooden trough along with some lilac and yellow violas and white narcissus bulbs.

And still no wildlife in the pond.
Not even water boatman.

Other jobs around the garden that have been ticked off, mainly carried out by The Man That Can, are emptying and refilling of the compost bins, putting the leaf mould product into hessian bags to try to prevent the blackbirds chucking it about, and planting a large clump of crocosmias from our friends' garden into the front garden.

Bring on autumn. We're ready!