Monday, 27 July 2015

The Fernery

My brother came to visit at the end of May and helped to start the fernery in the bed outside the Rector's Study.  The bed is to the side of a pathway with the house on one side and a tall wall on the other, so it's very shady.  The perfect place for a fernery, a specialised garden for the cultivation and display of ferns, according to Wikipedia.  And, obviously, in this particular case, it is far from specialised.  But give us some credit for at least trying to cultivate and display them!

The big fern in the centre was brought to us from Northumberland, courtesy of my brother.  It doesn't seem very happy about that so far.  I think it's a polystichum setiferum (so much for 'specialised'!).

This one below is quite pretty in a fern sort of way with its bronzed tips.  A dryopteris erythrosora perhaps.  Sounds like some sort of dinosaur.

This one below is ... well, to be honest, I've got no idea and I've lost the receipt. Note the artful bark (the remains of the chopped leylandii) and slate.  I wasn't going to mention it but I was worried that you wouldn't notice.  It looks nice but Sprocket keeps chasing the squirrels up the wall and cares not a diddly-squat (or a squirrely-dot) that he then shoots the bark all over the path.  So it's a daily job keeping it looking like this.  As if I haven't got enough to do.

And this is a rose - for those not up to plant spotting.  Wedding day.  The rose, that is.

This is the reluctant immigrant from Northumberland, trying hard not to enjoy itself in its new southern fernery.  I bet it wasn't planted in anything as grand as a fernery when it lived up north.  But you know what northerners are like.

And these are californian poppies that bloomed for ages to the side of the fernery, preventing me from extending it as far as I wanted because they looked so pretty.

Oh, and that reminds me that I didn't show you the meadow when the daisies were in bloom.  It looked lovely in the sunshine.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Crazy Paving

We had a lovely day on Sunday, working hard in the garden and watching any planes that happened to fly overhead from the local air show.  (This included the wonderful Vulcan, which S used to fly.  Quite a sight, albeit at a distance, and a nostalgic one as it will fly no more after this year.)  The weather started off overcast but cleared to a cloudless blue sky - and it was warm!  And it turned out to be one of those days that goes on much longer than seems possible and enables us to achieve so much.

I don't think I've mentioned that I'm from mining stock.  Well, it must be in my genes because look at the path that I am making by the shed.  With no idea if this is actually how you make a path.  But it's going to be crazy paved with the remnants of the Church wall.  And it leads down the side of the shed to the compost bins, which are now behind it.

I've lined it up quite well with the back door, I think you'll agree.

And I also managed to flatten out the embryo vegetable garden too.  It's starting to look like I imagine it to be.

We had peas and potatoes from the garden for dinner, grown in the raised beds.  Served with Greek salad and lamb cutlets, they were delicious.  Then fresh berries (red currants, blueberries, raspberries and cherries - all from Waitrose!) for dessert with thick double cream.  Yum!

But before dinner, S strimmed the meadow and we made hay while the sun shone.  The garden looks so different without it, much bigger somehow.  Oh, and he took out the gooseberry bush too.  Nothing is safe when S gets a cutting implement in his hands.  It's a good job that I'm so good natured.  And that I kept the dog well out of the way.

And then I watered the plants.  No idea what these are as my mum ordered them from somewhere or other but they are the most fantastic colours and seem to just flower and flower.  One to note for next year.

And here's Sprocket posing by the chimney pots full of begonias.  These were courtesy of my mum again.  I'm more of a cottage garden type.  Begonias are a bit too municipal park for me.

And a pot full of geraniums with the daffodils that we had scenting the house in the spring and reminding us that there is life after winter lurking beneath them.

The hostas are doing well this year.  Here they are, grouped around the bird bath and just starting to flower.

And, following that little interlude, admiring the plants, that wasn't all.  S is nearly finished on his study window.  It's been a learning curve and has taken some time but he has now mended it and draught proofed it, which is not as easy as it sounds, involving using a big machine to cut a groove to stick the draught proofing stuff in.  And he undercoated the window sill.  It will be interesting to see what difference this makes to his study, which is usually freezing cold.

And we had a poor yew tree, sitting forlornly by the door to the Rector's study, waiting to join the five others in the 'formal garden' (which is actually a pile of rubble with five yew trees and four pear trees planted amongst it).  But the remains of the sycamore that we had to cut down following the fallen wall (how that keeps cropping up) were in the way.  So we spent some time removing them - oh, and I forgot to say that we started the day by  removing the massive root that was blocking the perfection of my path to the compost bins, as pictured at the start of this rambling rubbish.

And here is a foxglove in the gin terrace garden, which took my fancy.  But I have aimed the camera carefully as the rest of this garden is a mess again. But next year it will be a lovely lemon and lime garden.  (A lemon and lime garden next to the gin terrace - wonderfully romantic or simply pretentious nonsense?  Answers on a postcard please.)

And then this evening after working hard all day and following my workout with my personal trainer, aka Sprocket, my mole-like tendencies came to the fore again and I started work on my next path.  There's no stopping me now.  I will be burrowing throughout the garden from now on.  It's those genes.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Off Topic

Not exactly the subject of this blog, I know, but can't resist including a picture of my lovely, beautiful, funny and now officially very clever daughter, H aka Minnie, who graduated with a BA (Hons) from the University of Manchester last week.


A Walk Around the Garden

As ever, I'm way behind with my blogging and just trying to catch up by taking you on a little wander round the garden over the past couple of months since Spring began and moved into summer.

First outside lunch of the year - Bread by S, quiche by mum and salad by me - with our own, home grown radishes

Daisies in our 'meadow'

The Rambling Rector Rose

Making progress with the raised beds - note the growing asparagus bed on the left!



Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride'

Old Rhubarb and New Rhubarb
The Radishes - when they were very young
The new corner in the meadow - sweet peas, peonies and aconitum
The globe artichoke is still struggling despite having been planted out
Stepover apples
Cowslips in the meadow
New raspberry plants
Crown imperial
Crown imperial
Hydrangeas with Wedding Day rose
Hydrangeas outside the front door - with the weevil-ridden columns in the background!
The wisteria showing signs of life - but now showing signs of death!
Pear tree blossom
Mahonia in bloom
Clearing the top of the garden to find a wall!