29 October 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - A Quiet Week And Some Pics From a Devon Break

Evening everyone,

It's been a bit of a nondescript week regarding the weather. Apart from one day that felt like summer it's been murky and foggy and damp and miserable. Today's been warm and sunny though, albeit a bit windy. And now it's getting darker an hour earlier. I was looking forward to my extra hour but today seems to have gone on forever.

I moved the olive tree, lantana huff, lemon tree and alstroemeria plants into the greenhouse this morning as it's forecast to get colder from tomorrow and we could have some frost
There was a tomato plant growing in with the alstroemeria
I've pulled it out but it was growing well and even had flowers on it.

Also in the greenhouse is the jasmine, bougainvillea and mimosa. I  potted on the poppy seedlings and sowed sweet pea tickled pink which are on the shelving in the greenhouse along with some cuttings and the three lemon plants grown from seed.

I replenished a couple of the bird feeders and hung out the fat balls. The seed feeders have suffered in the gales we had and are basically beyond cleaning so I will get new ones. There are a lot of red admiral butterflies in the garden this afternoon.

Earlier in the week I went out to pull up some carrots. The parsnip leaves have drooped and are starting to go brown and I started to move one out of the way...and stopped. Because it wasn't a leaf...
it was this little fella. Thankfully I stopped just in time and saved us both from unnecessary squealing!

The only other job I've done this week (apart from feed the fish who are still loving the full pond) is rake the leaves off the lawn and put them at the back of the beds as shelter for wildlife and also for the worms. Did you see Autumnwatch during the week? There was a piece about how worms drag the fallen leaves into the earth and, of course, the leaves are good for the soil. Nature is amazing.

On a walk round the garden I discovered the miniature buddleia in flower (it didn't do anything in the summer!)

and the winter jasmine.
It's taken a couple of years to get established but looking good now.
A couple of weeks ago I went on a short break to Devon with work. We went to Paignton Zoo and this tree caught my eye, contrasting with the surrounding green and reflected in the water

And when we visited the reptile house I had to take a pic of this...
 which is...
We stayed in a hotel on the banks of the River Teign and the view was amazing (this doesn't do it justice)

And then on another trip we went to Babbacombe Model Village which I definitely recommend. This gorgeous acer caught my eye as soon as we went in
and these trees
It's an incredible place and must have taken a lot of hard work and patience to create.

The fish weren't small though
Well that's it for this week. According to Countryfile, October has been a dull, dry and warm month but over the next couple of days the temperature is falling close to freezing overnight then mainly dry and warming up slightly.

I'm not going to tidy up the garden too much now until the spring so that the birds and other wildlife can make use of the seed heads and shelter so I'll be blogging once a month for a while. Have a good month and catch up at the end of November.



Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga

22 October 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - An Autumn of Wacky Weather

Evening everyone,

Hope your gardens have survived Storm Brian. Here a couple of plant pots were blown over, the insect shield across the greenhouse door came down and, thankfully, that was it. The fish are enjoying the high water level in the pond which is the closest it's been to the overhang

Unfortunately, I've not had much chance for gardening over the past couple of weeks and it's interesting to see what's been happening. The Webb's lettuce and spring onion seeds that I scattered  have grown

and the onions sets I planted three weeks ago are growing rapidly
am wondering if they're supposed to be growing this quick.

I cut back the dead wood on the pear tree (not sure I've done it right but I'll find out next year!) and I've been out a few times to rake the leaves off the grass (not the best job to do on a windy day) and put them in piles at the back of the flower beds for insects to over winter in.

The day before the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia were due to land I tidied up the pots etc at the side of the pottering shed - before
and after

a job that has been long overdue. It was a perfect autumn day and reminded me why I like this season...the light is mellow and the air is still balmy from the summer.

Last Monday the weather was weird. Early morning, the sky was a green-ish yellowy colour and the sun, when it could get through the flat blanket of cloud, was red. Then the wind dropped and it felt eerie and came over dark. Spooky. We found out later that Ophelia had brought us sand from the Sahara and smoke from fires in Spain and Portugal.

The rest of this week has been damp and misty and foggy and raining and windy. Thursday it rained so hard for a short time that water was running down the roads in rivers. Since Friday night it's been incredibly windy. It's hard to take a pic of the wind but I hope these convey how windy it's been.

I've put in more pond clear - the water is definitely clearer, and I cleared leaves out of the small cauldron pond.

Something has been burrowing through the gravel and under the back gate.
The photo doesn't show it clearly but it must be something quite big as the furrow is a good foot across and 6-8 inches deep Just goes to show, if something wants to get in you can't stop it. Wonder what it is??

Next door's bay tree is growing through the fence - that's useful!
the poppy seedlings will need re-potting this week
and the birds left me some raspberries - so kind!
I managed to get the garlic (French germidour) planted today, a job I've been meaning to do for over a week.
Well that's it...the weather for the coming week is changeable, getting warmer then getting colder. Have a good week and catch up next Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga

8 October 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - It's Feels Like Summer

Hi everyone,

Didn't think I'd be blogging after a week away but it's been a mild week, the flowers are enjoying the clement weather and today has been like summer. From early morning the garden was full of birds (the sparrows were in full chirrup until lunchtime) and the blue tits, collared doves, magpies and pigeons were pottering.

Him indoors did a good job of looking after the garden whilst I was away although he did spoil the fish! I haven't done any gardening but I thought I'd share the flowers that are enjoying the early autumn mild weather - this alstroemeria is back in flower for a third time
The primulas are starting to emerge
 The  'fried egg' rose is flowering again
 as is Ena Harkness

I think this is coreopsis (almost certain) so pretty hiding amongst foliage
 I love the faces on these violas - they look so grumpy!
 and the pond garden is still colourful with verbena, black cornflowers and lodging snapdragons
On my walk around the 'estate' I see that something has been burrowing into the soil around the new apple tree we planted last week
not sure if it's bumble bees or could be toads or frogs...maybe??

The squirrel has been active and is now burying walnuts in my pots - this one is the gardenia
but hey...this is a wildlife garden!

Due to the warmth there have been two surprises in the garden...
one of the onions I planted last week to overwinter has started to grow

and the purple poppies have started to emerge...really pleased.

Although I love being in the garden every day, it's also nice to come back to it after a week or so to see how it's grown and changed.

So that's it for this impromptu blog. The weather for next week is staying mild and maybe windy at times with the chance of shower. Have a good week and catch up next weekend.



Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga

1 October 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - Autumn is Creeping In

Evening everyone,

It's been damp and muggy most of the week which was fine because we haven't had much time to get out in the garden, but we still achieved quite a bit.

Early Monday morning the garden was full with swathes of sparrows and our blue tits were in the apple tree. Plus we had collared doves, two magpies and a squirrel rooting through the pots.

Tuesday was productive; we created two bug houses - winter bookings now being taken!

We dug up a small tree that wasn't doing anything and planted the apple tree that I've grown from seed (no idea what sort)
If this and our original 'non-fruiting so far' tree pollinate each other it will be interesting to see what type of apple we get.

We put metal frames over the newly-planted onions as the birds keep pulling them up and him indoors pruned and tied back the climbing roses.

The flowers on the lemon tree are delicate
the lily has appeared at the top of the garden again. I keep forgetting about it so it's a nice surprise
and the garden definitely has an autumnal look about it

Saturday started sunny-ish then gradually clouded and over and just as I'd finished for the day the rain came! I was up early and took down the remaining cucumber plants as they aren't producing anymore, removed the tomato grow bags then washed and disinfected the inside ready for over-wintering plants
I put the lemon plants grown from seed back in there together with the jasmine, mimosa and the bougainvillea which I notice has come into flower - yes!!
I planted out the freebie daffodil bulbs. One of the neighbours must have a walnut tree because everywhere I dug I found walnuts the squirrels have buried!

In the cottage garden I discovered these dahlias growing
and in the top garden the yellow snowball buddleia is in flower
it looks similar to the lantana huff.

The Ena Harkness rose him indoors pruned back has a flower on it - stunning
and the lettuce seeds I scattered a couple of weeks ago are growing well (Webbs)
That's it for this week. Watched Countryfile this evening and the weather for the coming week is sun and showers and getting slightly cooler. We have workmen in next week, I'm making myself scarce and him indoors is in charge so catch up in a couple of weeks.



Follow me on Twitter @DaisyDigga