Showing posts from November, 2017


Not being one who likes having wet hands, especially during this cold weather, I have been putting off cleaning the pond and fixing one of its borders for several years.  I can't delay the inevitable any longer so am just going to go for it. The problems we have are varied: The border plants ledge on one side of the pond is not wide enough.  Aquatic baskets are precariously balanced.  The plants themselves need dividing and repotting.   The oxygenating plants have gone mad and need thinning out. The leaves from nearby trees need to be cleared out of the water as much as possible. I have read that autumn/winter is the best time to do this as wildlife is at its least active/starting to hibernate.  That said i've seen two lovely slug-eating frogs today beneath the stones that I have been carefully removing from the edge. I had a genius moment earlier and decided to keep my hands from getting wet by wearing washing-up gloves.  I'm happy to report they

Holehird Gardens

On our way home from a wonderful vacation in the Lake District a sign to Holehird Gardens caught our attention and we decided to see if it was open.  We were delighted to be greeted by electric gates which swung open and welcomed us up the grand drive.  We were not sure if the gardens were g oing to be open having looked on the website as we found the information a little confusing.  We parked the car and entered into the walled garden having made our donation, it was remarkably still and peaceful being the only visitors there. It was a frosty morning having dropped to minus 3 overnight and the information we had read on the website became clear.  The garden is open all year round but is not staffed by the volunteers during the winter months.  Therefore the visitors centre that has a cafe, toilets and shop is closed.  Being the only visitors in the entire space at 10:30am on a Sunday we made our way slowly around the circumference of the large walled garden whispering to each

Rydal Gardens

Rydal Mount and Gardens was the family home of the British Poet Laureate William Wordsworth for the last half of his life up to 1850. Being completely oblivious to his contribution to literature up to now apart from  'I wandered lonely as a cloud' we were pleased to be gifted his work around this romantic woodland garden such as this from 'A Farewell', 1802: There are some steep and narrow pathways that guide the visitor through a zig-zagged descent of the garden, each turn providing a new and equally interesting view of that which is beyond.  The vegetation even at this time of the year remains lush in the sheltered spots below the tall trees and their canopies.  I especially love the framing of the pine beyond the natural border of the garden beneath the branches of the huge Sycamore and the water streams that gurgle through rocks beneath your feet. As the sun quickly set and dusk descended upon us we lingered by the lawn for one more

Hot border

Last year I planted a 3m ²  area that can be seen from the kitchen window with annuals such as cosmos bipinnatus and perennials such as verbena and rudbeckia.  This worked well but the cosmos became really tall (over 6 foot) and straggly just prior to flowering.  By Octobers windy weather it began to look a bit of a mess.  With the recent changes to our surroundings we have decided to take advantage of the suns aspect by creating a Hot Border in this bed which we are going to really pack with plants grown from seed. Today the bed has been tidied as the before and after pictures hopefully show. The cosmos were recently composted, a large potbound Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Autumn Red’) has been freed and split three ways before being given a home towards the front of the border.  The verbena have been moved to the back against the low brick wall prior to their new-year trim.  The soil has been raked and mulched with a thick layer of delicious homemade compost ready for pl

Arley Arboretum & Gardens

Today has been mostly gloomy and grey having rained most of the previous night and this morning.  With the need to escape we went for a drive and found solace at Arley Arboretum and Gardens  near the Wyre Forest.   Now I love trees so was looking forward to this.  Heres me hugging an enormous Pine at our destination just to prove how much... Sharing the <3 Having bought our reasonably priced £5 entrance tickets from the onsite restaurant we had a choice of two routes around the garden and tree collection.  We chose the longer Red Walk and set off through a walled garden with large fountain and out to the arboretum.   Now we aren't tree experts but we do know what we like and we are both drawn to Birch for some reason.  I think it must be that unassuming elegance that they provide and of course the stunning bark on more mature specimens and the delicate leaf canopy glistening up above catching the light in the breeze.   For me there was a strong scent of p