Thursday, 18 May 2017

You know you're obsessed when...

You know you're obsessed with gardening when, on a trip to Lidl after work, you prioritise buying compost over food (multipurpose peat free 20L bag only 99p!!) because you can't carry it and a bag of shopping home.

You then are willing to plant potatoes in a tub of said compost in the rain before realising you are actually starving and should have bought food instead.  You then have to walk to Tesco in the rain to buy food and end up not eating until 11pm (when you know you have to get up at 6am to spend the day planting shrubs in the rain at work anyway!).

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Tiptoe through the tulips

You may or may not be familiar with the Tiny Tim song (title of which is the same as this post), and if you are it's probably because you saw that horror film it's in (can't remember which).  That's a real shame because I love that song.  It's silly and happy and makes me smile because I tend to avoid horror films and all the lovely little songs they ruin.  So if you don't know the song, go look it up :) Anyway...

It's April! And the tulips are out!  Not all but most.

The first to appear was Apricot Beauty and what a beauty she was! She's dropped most of her petals now sadly, but here's a photo of her with her equally gorgeous friend, Spring Green.

Spring Green is I hear a reliable perennial who will come back to grace your garden year after year.  Hope so!

Ms Green also had some other companions today...

Yes here she is with her more than sophisticated friends, La Belle Epoque (far right) and Mistress Grey (centre).  The white Narcissus 'Thalia' joined them here too. They insisted on some individual shots of their own:

La Belle Epoque

Mistress Grey
All are friends of the dark and handsome (but not tall) Black Hero.  Here he is whispering sweet nothing to La Belle Epoque.

And now photobombing Spring Green's close up...

He is a cheeky one but a charmer none the less.

Spring Green, Black Hero and La Belle Epoque
When Black Hero and Mistress Grey are feeling a bit more like letting their hair down, they love to join the company of the pink crowd.  Here they are with Royal Acres (back centre) and Antraciet (front centre) and also a mystery guest...

'Who's this mystery guest?' you ask.

Well to be honest, I'm not quite sure...

The invite said 'Red Spring Green' but this lady is looking a lot more magenta than red and not quite the figure I imagined either... did Sarah Raven (whose online tulip sale these all came from) get it wrong??

Red Spring Green? Doll's Minuet? Sarah Raven herself??
Who knows! But she's a welcome guest here all the same.  A beautiful contrast to our double flowered friends below:

Royal Acres


That's eight so far.  

Next, the oranges, the more vibrant of whom love a colourful fiesta with the pinks. Here's HRH Princess Orange (front right) and the famous Ballerina (left):

Forgive the treason, but I have to say that as Orange Princess can't help but be so showy I really think she is much better suited to a floral display than in the flowerbed.  

She is also a little dumpy, certainly the shortest of the lot, and so if you do invite her home, grow her in a pot where she can have your undivided attention.  Keep her at eye level too.  She doesn't like being looked down upon! (That's not just a pun, she looks messy from above and so does Anthracite.  They look much better at eye level).

Orange Princess
Dainty Ballerina is much smaller than i had imagined but pretty all the same.

Ballerina is certainly the prettiest shade of all the oranges.  She is the brightest whilst many of the others have more brown tones.  Annie Schilder is also bright and pretty with pink tones.

Annie Schilder
On to the brown oranges...

Here's Cairo with the tall and majestic deep red Ronaldo (Ronaldo is also a good match for Spring Green).  One Ballerina also snuck into the middle here.

Then there is Bruine Wimpel who I have to admit I am not sure about at all.

Bruine Wimpel is such an unusual colour the petals are almost metallic.  I'm concluding perhaps he is another better suited to the vase than the garden.

Finally, we have Request who is another strange yellowy brown one.

La Belle Epoque brings out Request's orange side perhaps...

So there you are.

Still to come (to flower) is 

Groenland, Havran and Typhoon!

Thanks for tiptoeing through the tulips with me ;)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Heard it on the grape vine...

I didn't hear anything on the grape vine actually but I did massively hack it back yesterday.

My landlord had planted it several years ago and it had gone as nuts as the squirrels, smothering the tree next to it then on to conquering the big conifer next door. Not any more!

Grape vines are so vigorous you can cut them back by 70%. I probably cut it back more than that to be fair but I'm sure it'll be fine.  I'll be interested to see what it does next...



After (turned out it was holding it's rotten old arbour together too so that half came down with it):

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

How to spend a Saturday morning

If you're a massive geek, do as I do and get up at 7.30am to spend the day measuring your garden and drawing a 3D model of it on your computer!

It's looking pretty accurate!  

You can even set the exact geolocation and orientation of your model, then play around with the shadow settings which will show you exactly where the shadows will fall at any chosen minute of the year. 

All this and more can be done on Google SketchUp which you can download for free! It's super easy to use, and all the complicated bits like trees you can download and import from the 3D Warehouse.

Guess who's back?

After hiding in a gutter for many a year, I am back here, writing, to you (too many commas, Sophie).

I suddenly realised I do enjoy writing more than hiding, as much as hide and seek is fun...

I also love gardening, as in I am totally obsessed... and art and design and general creativity.  Good thing I'm a garden designing landscape architect really!

So here I am to add to the great pool of knowledge so at least if I do suddenly drop dead, it won't be for nothing as I will have left behind some great tips e.g.  how to deal with ASBO squirrels and what lots of plants look like when they're not flowering (something Google will never normally show, just like how we never see celebrities without a bit of airbrushing).

I do hope someone other than me has a good laugh reading this back anyway. Have fun :)


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