welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Blossom time

One wonderful thing about spring is blossom bursting out all around (even though I occasionally suffer with hay fever from it)

Easter weekend brought the first apple tree into full blossom, and three more are racing to catch up.

Two are 'proper' purchased trees, though I've forgotten what sort (!), the other two grew from pips, so their fruit is, at first, a surprise.

And to turn the garden completely pink, the ornamental cherry has flowered.

Monday, 22 April 2019

A plague of maples

A large tree grows just the other side of my back garden fence.
For years I've believed it to be a sycamore, because of its 'helicopter' seeds, but having looked more closely at its flowers I think it may be a Norway maple.
In summer and early autumn it shades our side a little too well, hiding the sun from most of the lawned area.
But the greatest problem with it is propagation. Each autumn those 'helicopter' seeds come whizzing over the fence, and each spring those seeds take root.

These little seedlings are an absolute nightmare this year.
I'm sure they'd take over completely if left to their own devices!
I started off with a plan of pulling up half a dozen of them each time I went in the garden. 
It wasn't enough!
I moved on to a dozen, then two, but more seem to keep springing up wherever I look.

Clearing open areas like the vegetable patches isn't so difficult - turn the top few inches of soil, and the roots will shrivel - but they always find a place under a prickly rose bush, or hidden by daffodil stalks, and, before I realise, they're too big to be easily pulled out.

This one escaped last year's cull, though, and is shaping up as an attractive bonsai!

Monday, 8 April 2019


Only one flower on my camellias this year but it looks beautiful - even in the rain

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

New beginnings

I've sadly neglected this blog over the last year, but if there's a time to pick it up again it's now when the garden is coming back to life after the winter. Yes, I'm too late for snowdrops, the first sign of spring; the year has moved on too quickly, and this year hasn't brought the late snow of 2018.

Here's a pictorial round up of what's in flower at the moment

weird and wonderful snake's head fritillaries

early blossom - forsythia, flowering currants, the dwarf peach tree (which rather oddly has flowers in two shades of pink this year), and the over-the-fence bird cherry

and polyanthus in various colours from purple and deep red to these pale pinks

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Snow and after

Like most of the country, last week we had snow. Lots of it, piling up on the windows, and blurring the lawn, flower beds and paths.

It was a bit unexpected as I thought we'd seen the end of winter and were moving into Spring, but it's not unknown at this time of year.

What worried me most was the state of the flowers hidden beneath the snow - while irises held their own against the weather, snowdrops and daffodils 'flopped' over with the cold (minus 6 for a couple of nights), and were then covered by a snow blanket which crushed them to the ground.

At weekend the snow started to melt - and these daffodils weren't looking well. I didn't think there was much hope of them reviving so I pulled a few for vases in the house, and they seemed  to pick up.

 And as the snow retreated, so did most of those outside. Their buds even seem to be opening, so in a few days there should be a 'normal' display of daffodils.

The snowdrops too bounced back, and, strangest of all, crocuses had been growing under the snow, and as it melted they emerged in flower!

I hope we're now finished with dramatic weather and can move gently into spring!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Planting bulbs, despite the time of year

 It's an odd time of year to be planting bulbs, but that's what I've been up to.
Firstly, some fritillaries and mini-narcissi 'rescued' from the DIY store's reductions shelf.

I thought it was too cold to plant them outside (this week the overnight temperature has really dropped), so I put them in pots and left them in the porch, where they'll be cool but hopefully not frozen. In spring, I'll either bring them indoors or just place in the garden somewhere easily visible from the house. 

Secondly, this alien looking growth. 
I deliberately bought a piece of ginger root with signs of a shoot on it, kept it in its supermarket plastic bag in a warm spot in the kitchen, and let the shoot grow. It's done better than I expected - there's a little bulb growing and it even seems to be putting out roots

So I've chopped it off, keeping a little of the original root, and potted it up.
For now, it's in a plastic bag/mini greenhouse, during daytime on a windowsill above a radiator, and at nighttime in the warmth of the airing cupboard.

Hopefully by summer, I'll have home-grown ginger to harvest.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Raspberries in November!

Every time OH brings raspberries back from the allotment I expect them to be the last of the year, but we're halfway through November and they still keep cropping!