The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Bank Holiday weekend!

The last long weekend before Christmas. While others are clogging up the country's motorway system, TMTC and I are planning for spring 2017.

The first of the bulbs are going in.  This was a mixed bag of dwarf narcissus. 

The box hedging in the back was given a tidy up, and a handful of the miniature daffodils were planted here too.

The rain had stopped and since the plants are going over now, I decided that the great division should occur this morning while the ground is damp and warm to give the split plants a head start on developing a good root system before the frosts.

First the grass was dug up and split, along with the huge clump of orange crocosmias. 

Half the grass and about a quarter of the crocosmias was replanted in the same place, behind r. Tall Story. 

The other half of the grass along with a quarter of the crocosmias was planted to mirror-flip with r. Margaret Merrill in front of the window. 

The remaining half of the orange crocosmias have been put out on the public footpath for any passers-by that might like a few freebies. 

Next were the hardy geraniums. We have a deep magenta and a blue-purple variety that have moved with us from previous gardens.  Firstly we lifted this blue-purple one, split and replanted.

The other half was planted by the rose at the other end.

The red crocosmias were also lifted from in front of r. Maigold and split. Half went beside the black sambuccus and the other half were planted in mirror-flip beside Pittosporum tenufolium Tom Thumb. 

The remaining two hardy geraniums were lifted and split into sections.

A magenta and a blue-purple were planted beside each other in opposition. 

The other clumps have been planted in gaps in the back garden. 

And there we have it. Not that it's evident just yet since everything has finished flowering, but with the exception of a hebe to be sought to reflect h. Rhubarb and Custard and a few more spring bulbs, my mirror-flipped bed is complete. 

Not bad for two hours on a Sunday morning. 


We have three compost bins. Today we emptied two of them.


Putting the 'not quite ready' material back into the compost bin. 

And distributing the home made garden compost. 

The heavy rain forecast and worms will do the rest.

Big Butts and bare earth.

We increased our water storage this week, and now have 6. 

An additional big butt under the carport, and an additional slim one at the front.

These are already filling up due to the rainfall overnight.

A yet unnamed deep pink clematis above, with paler c. Comtesse de Bouchard below. 

A single bud is about to flower on the other r. Special Anniversary.  Most of the other flowers in the raised beds were given a little trim as the heavy rain over the last 24 hours had spoilt them.  There's still plenty of vigour in the bedding plants. 

The photo above doesn't quite do this hydrangea justice. It's a lovely dark purple. It's a plant my work colleagues bought me a couple of years ago, but I couldn't find the right place for it until now. 

Strangely this honeysuckle appears to have run underground and is flowering on the opposite side of the patio arch, mingling with the yellow scented variety. It's pretty but quite vigorous! 

Our neighbour is having work done. He has moved his shed which was positioned on the other side of ours here, with a conifer hedge between.  On moving his shed it revealed the lower branches had died.  He in the process of removing the dead conifers, which he isn't planning on replacing.  This leaves us with an odd looking gap. 

We shall be patient and see what is decided before we come up with an aesthetically pleasing solution for our side.

In the front garden, the plans are beginning to take shape. All the aquilegias have been removed, along with a couple of self seeded foxgloves and an unsuccessful lavender. 

I decided not to stick exactly to the mirror-flipped design as I didn't think a sambuccus nigra would be right in this bottom corner where it could get bashed about by passers-by and the wind.   Instead I have picked up the dark colour of the sambuccus nigra leaves in this Pittosporum Tenufolium Tom Thumb. The pale green leaves are new foliage, but I'm going to keep it trimmed to show off glossy purple-black leaves. 

We've kept the hibiscus...maybe one day it will perform. 

Along the border in view of the house, a dark leaved hebe has been added. I couldn't find a variety to match, so although the design is still attempting a mirror-flip, I've decided to have similar varieties of the same shrubs.

And finally an Osmanthus burkwoodii.  This is an exact match, and the anchor point to the design as they are almost opposite one another.

The remaining plants for the design will be added in the autumn when we can lift the plants and divide them.

Finally the tree I named Jeff, outside our boundary was in danger of being swamped by bindweed, so TMTC and I ripped out all the weeds, firkled the soil and scattered some seeds of orange Californian poppies, blue Love-in-a-mist and some mixed aquilegias.   We'll keep an eye on it, and next year enjoy a little bit of colour. 

Just spreading a little gardening joy. 

Maintenance in the back garden.

After a fabulous week at the seaside, we've returned to further glorious sunshine. We're not the only ones to enjoy the summer, the garden is looking a real treat for the senses.

Of course while ever the desirable plants are thriving, so too are less desirable weeds. Thankfully not many since we gave the garden a good firkle before we left.

There was a fair bit of deadheading to do in the borders such as astrantias and roses.

Two unruly penstemons had outstayed their welcome. One I managed to remove but the other will be removed by TMTC later in the week.

The cape fuchsia had also outgrown it's space. This appears to have an unwanted habit of sending out runners beneath the soil in its attempt to rule the garden.

The critter has decided to create a new exit point in the Yen Garden! I've cut back a rose that was encroaching from next door, and temporarily put the thorny stems in the hole to discourage it!

Having cleared the ground in this corner, I've trimmed back the ivy that also grows over the fence from our neighbour. 

A quick tidy up and tying in of the climbers in the pink garden, along with cutting back some old foliage. 

Come the autumn,  we have decided to trim back the overhanging acer from next door...

And completely remove the sorbus.  The local council have recently planted a number of these trees in our road, so the wildlife won't suffer. The area around our tree is unusable during the spring due to the sticky droplets (presumably from aphids) and the flowers play havoc with my sensitivities. From August onwards, we are constantly having to sweep up fallen berries before the dogs eat them! The autumn colour will be missed though.

Having a garden isn't just about working in it to maintain its good looks, time spent just sitting in the sunshine casting an eye over the beauty I've helped nature create is one of the best parts of being a gardener...until a weed is spotted to pull, a spent flower to deadhead or a stem that requires tying in.

I love every moment.