16 April 2009

the view from my office

The view from my office, well, the rest of my office.  This spring, as I have all the others since Ms. Martin donated the first plant to us, I'm admiring the Euphorbia characias.  They've spread through the garden with little help and their luminous green flowers compliment everything as everyone compliments them.  I take much credit now for how it looks and am questioned on my gardening 'secrets' but with the explosive growth at this time of year it would be hard for the garden to look anything but great.  Everything is fresh and lush and alive.
Flowering for the first time in the beds completed last year is the ornamental bramble Rubus 'Benenden', it has short lived delicate white tissue flowers and typical 'raspberry' foliage.  I grew this from a cutting rooted in a jar of water on a windowsill, it took months to root and two years to establish properly in a pot.  They make sprawling 3m shrubs eventually so it may be poorly placed - I do this alot - only time will tell but just for now it is perfect!

The improvements made to the soil when these beds were dug has made all the difference to the success of the underplanting of ferns and Brunnera.  These thrive despite the generally dry conditions.  The green lace fronds and eye-bright blue Brunnera flowers are very satisfying.  If only I could partner plants this well all over the garden. 
But, look, here I have again (saved by the frame of the camera, just along its looking a bit of a mess).  Central is a lovely silver foliaged Hellebore out of a bargain bucket unlabelled, with the strap leaves of Dianella 'Red Tas', the cut leaves of an unlabelled blue hardy Geranium, the scalloped discs of Geranium pyreniacum 'Isparta' and cut leaves of Aster laciniata.  What a nice selection of leaf shapes and shades.  Of course at flowering time they will be too close together, look desperately congested and I will be far from happy and unsure of what to do.  
Such is my gardening.   

But the real secret to it all looking so good?  

Child labour of course!

6 April 2009


I am often told how lovely it must be to have my job.  Often it is but life not being 'mary had a little lamb' it definitely has another side.  

Two charming little gifts left by visitors today.

The first in the compost bin.  Often veg peelings are left still wrapped in plastic bags so I check it regularly and empty them out.  Ready for surprises I do this warily so didn't get the worst this claggy little deposit had to offer.  After the surprise had passed and the air and flies had cleared I had to remind myself it could have been much worse - there will be plenty more of this through the summer and most of it won't be bagged.
This next was a first for me.  Left neatly under a bench, the 'digby jones smells the flowers' one, was this.  Some of our visitors are truly skanky!