A week away has kept me out of the garden but it sounds like the weather in Wales has been so atrocious that I wouldn’t have made it outside anyway. A break in the rain today found me itching to get muddy so I donned dungarees and got out there. It’s a mess. A soggy, floppy, slimy, tangled mess, punctuated with molehills. Refusing to be disheartened, and grateful for a glimpse of weak sun, I decided to start by tidying up the small flower bed closest to the house. When feeling daunted, I have found that focusing on a single, contained task, preferably in an area that is seen most often, makes things feel more like they can be got under control and makes progress more visible, spurring me on to do more in similar bite-size chunks. That’s my theory, anyway… I have to say that the garden’s resilience never fails to amaze me. There is much to be done, but there is also a lot going on without need of my intervention. I approach the new gardening year full of hope and plans. These are not very exciting photos but hopefully posting them today will get me back into a routine of blogging (and indeed gardening!)
Happy New Year! I’ve neglected both blog and garden terribly in the past month or so. The weather has been terrible, life has been very busy… I have a catalogue of excuses. I had every intention of posting here for New Year’s Day, but that didn’t happen… no matter. I must remind myself that gardening and blogging are hobbies pursued for pleasure, not chores to be ticked off a list! New Year’s Day brought a welcome break from the rain and quite a few garden tasks were started, if not finished. I savagely pruned the gooseberries and moved them to a sunnier spot, in the hope of improved yields; I was similarly brutal in pruning the currants, with the intention of moving the red and white currants to make space for more blackcurrants (the latter being more useful in the kitchen but less bountiful in the harvest). None of that makes for terribly interesting photos, though, so I haven’t included any.
I enrolled in an Autumn/Winter 10 week beginners’ course in floristry at a local college and enjoyed it so much that I have signed up for the advanced course starting in March. I never expected to find the course so relaxing and fulfilling – it has been rewarding in ways I never imagined, something about it really speaks to me and harnesses skills and parts of my brain that seem to have been crying out for stimulation. I’ve included here a few (really poor!) photos of the arrangements and wreaths I made for Christmas – better late than never! I thoroughly enjoyed making these and was really pleased with the results, so I’ll be practising with dried materials throughout the year and shall make more with fresh materials next Christmas. I discovered the joys of spraying foraged items in gold, silver, cream and snow-effect, and got a bit carried away… I think I missed my calling as a Blue Peter presenter, frankly… the Under-Gardener and Chief Engineer both narrowly missed getting bronzed and snow-dusted!
I hope everyone had a restful holiday season. Many thanks to new followers new and old – I’m continually amazed and delighted that people are interested in seeing what I’m up to in the garden. Please do share your comments and thoughts if you are so minded, I love hearing from you all! I shall try to blog at least weekly through the year now… of course, I say that every January!
I didn’t get around to blogging this weekend and missed a day in Cathy’s floral week, but I think I’ve just about got time to post a floral reminiscence today as part of Cathy’s event. Pop over to see her at Words and Herbs and see some other photo selections from other people’s gardening year: https://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2022/12/04/a-week-of-flowers-2022-day-five/. Thanks Cathy for cheering us all up on these cold gloomy days (well it’s certainly cold and gloomy in Wales, anyway).
I have only just stumbled across ‘A Week of Flowers’ hosted by Cathy at Words & Herbs – she is encouraging us all to post photos of our summer flowers every day for a week, to brighten the winter gloom for those of us in the Northern hemisphere. Having just had our first frost of the season here in Wales, this seems like an excellent idea, so I’m jumping aboard for the rest of the week! Pop over to Cathy’s site and be warmed by everyone else’s pics too. https://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2022/11/30/a-week-of-flowers-2022-day-one/
After an absence, a post on IAVOM from me, in haste. I simply cannot get the hang of chrysanthemums. This year is my best year yet inasmuch as I did get some blooms at last, but these were on the end of rampant, tangled stems – I planted the plants in the greenhouse border and lost interest in all that pinching out and disbudding, as mentioned yesterday. This rather clashing collection represents all the blooms left languishing in the greenhouse, which has now been cleared and restocked with all the tender plants brought in from the garden against tonight’s forecast cold snap. The chrysanthemum crowns have been tamed and potted up – I’ll try again next year. Try again. Fail again. Fail better!
You wait weeks for a blog post then two come along at once… a low of 3 Celsius is promised tomorrow and the Met Office tends to underestimate the low in our exact location. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security by the mild autumn and I needed to move quickly today to take the necessary precautions… plus there were a few other jobs I’ve been putting off for weeks…
It’s funny how one’s approach to some tasks evolves. Things that one might once have considered an almighty ball-ache become the obvious way to do a thing, after a while… instead of striking cuttings from my salvias and having to cosset baby plants through the winter, my more recent approach is to just lift the plants for overwintering. Monty Don does this with various plants, including his cannas, and I always used to think it looked like far too much bother, but actually it’s much less work. It has the advantage that the plants are more likely to survive; cuttings can always be struck from the over-wintered parents in the spring, when they are easier to care for and more likely to survive; plus the plant bulks up year on year, giving much more impact in the border and creating the potential for divisions, too. Now I’m not saying these plants won’t look sorrowful when they emerge from the greenhouse next year, but they’ll bounce back quickly and be more able to withstand the dreaded mollusc onslaught than tiny offspring could. Yes I know there are too many plants jammed in here too tightly, and I didn’t do an especially god job of potting them. It doesn’t matter. It’s good enough, as is the job I did of putting bubble wrap over the greenhouse louvre. Sometimes getting something done is more important than doing it perfectly. The greenhouse is utterly filthy though. Fingers crossed Chief Engineer will take pity on me and clean it for me in the spring. I am not a suitable height for the job (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it).
Hello! I haven’t blogged or SoS’ed for ages, due to a combination of truly atrocious weather, an overwhelming schedule and a hefty dose of general malaise. Friday (yesterday) brought a brief moment of respite, so I grabbed it with both hands and got a spot of gardening done (though I still managed to cop for multiple soakings from unforecast heavy showers, prompting some choice Anglo-Saxon language from me).
Anyway, I battled on through the rain regardless. So here are six photos, not all of them especially pretty, but then neither is the garden after so much rain! Don’t be fooled by the slanting autumn sunshine… the rain fell regardless.
I’m creeping in at the eleventh hour here but I didn’t want to miss Jim’s first week of hosting SOS as he takes over from Jon, Mr Propagator. You can take a look at Jim’s blog for this week and the activities of all the other SOSers here http://garden-ruminations.co.uk/2022/10/22/six-on-saturday-22-10-2022/. Happy weekend to gardeners around the globe, here is a dash around what’s happening in soggy Wales this weekend. We degenerate slowly into autumnal chaos with flashes of bright colour and we like it.