scribbles tagged ‘garden’
A temporary break in the flood production system. No rain this morning.
Laundry to be washed and dried. No modern tumble-drier accessories. My laundry its catching some rare sun rays in the Wendy House wind-swept garden.
Extra ballast had been added to the ‘airer’ to prevent it attempting a take-off garden tour. Bricks.
The ships that carried lumber from Seattle to San Francisco, to build the beautiful houses there, carried stone back to Seattle as ballast to weight the ships appropriately on the return journey. The stone was used to build many of the Historic buildings in the Pioneer square area of Seattle. Awesome.
The RSPCA has warned that cats are likely to take-off in these strong winds. Despite her own substantial personal ballast, Sampo’s a cautious cat.
Sampo’s not risking any unplanned flights.
When I moved into the wendy house (2008), the garden was completely covered in low maintenance and BBQ friendly patio. Bleak. Sitting on the loo with the doors open, produced the sort of view that would induce minimalists’ premature ejaculation. A bit dull.
Now, the vital view from the loo has been cluttered with the sort of frivolity that might lure a Victorian for a brief promenade:
- A slate slab covers the drain-lid and supports pebbles stolen from Pacific and Atlantic beaches
- A black hare keeps an eye on approaching guests
- Rockery shrubs and grasses provide Sampo with delicious hors d’oeuvres
- A Rhus provides shade in summer and colour in autumn
- Honeysuckle and wisteria cover the fence filling the garden with sweet scent and beautiful blooms.
I love my garden, I spend a lot of time there watching the butterflies before Sampo eats them, pulling weeds and contemplating blooms. I still have patio, but the lines are broken by borders full of colourful and scented plants that change with the seasons.
I’ve also sprinkled Poppy, Campanula and Forget-me-nots here. A couple of each have taken root and I’m hoping they’ll self-re-seed and spread to make a green foliage and blue summer border. A winter Jasmine is also beginning to settle on this border, to add some winter colour. I may try to train a Ceanothus up the wall to add spring colour and winter foliage.
From the drive you open my garden gate to see some more Foxgloves, Ferns, logs, a thriving Ceanothus and a white Wisteria that will eventually cover the woodshed and fencing.
Many pathways in heaven are herbaciously bordered. Not all, but a big darn lot, 700 or more
This little beauty is in Buscot Park, along with water gardens, kitchen gardens, walled gardens, Italian gardens…. …all immaculately designed from the perspective of a person wandering through them. I managed to spend the best part of a day drinking the visual beauty
I can’t decide whether I first rescued this courgette from:
- a potential slug attack, or
- early onset obescity
Now, don’t you think it’s a very pleasing size, shape, and colour? It’s also quite firm and smells very like ‘vegetable’, not at all like ‘book’
Ratatouille here we come!
PS 65 word post before the PS
Not the ‘splat’ of squishy birdpoop dropped from above. Too large for mouse droppings. Not the firmer logs of rat or hedgehog poop. A pub discussion concluded that my garden has been invaded by an escaped tortoise. Hmmmm….
I wonder who and what my visitor is?
Facebook advertising says so
With each Facebook personalised advertisement pushing me to update my relationships, jobs, looks – a little bit of my self-esteem slips away.
Actually it doesn’t. For some reason I’ve developed an immunity. I’m an exceptional person. It seems like many women do loose a little bit of confidence, a little bit of heart. Advertising standards could do so much more to protect the mental health of the public, saving oodles of money
Today Facebook recommends that I get a rich (or poor) dad, presumably either by:
- persuading my father to become an entrepreneur, or
- marrying a ready-made dad
The other adverts suggest that before I can successfully bag myself an effective male entrepreneur I’ll need to lose 7 pounds in 10 days, head-off any rogue menopause symptoms and get my nails painted with miniature masterpieces representing different garden views from famous stately homes of Britain. You can just see Cliveden’s terrace garden on the last adverts’ forefinger
While on my annual national Holiday manoeuvres in National Trust properties I managed to snap this undercover, long-distance, sniper photo-shot on Cliveden’s terrace garden. Here we see an entrepreneur with child springing a suprise ambush on an unsuspecting slightly plump, sweaty, female with unpainted nails
Be careful out there
The Wendy House housewaring anniversary is always accompanied by much excitement and clucking around in chicken like chaos. This year has not been an exception. Even the local wildlife wants to get involved.
Something, or someone, has improvised a cat-door in the garden gate to prepare for the frenzied comings and goings. There will be bouncers at the gate, providing instructions on how to bounce safely, a first-aid cat will be offering first-class purring and warm poltices. A log fire will be available on demand for any freak cold-snaps and extra kettle-boiling duties incase the lashings of tea fail to keep up with guests enthusiasm, god forbid!
Words of wisdom from an almost stranger*. A product designer gave me this little gem while discussing options for an upcoming Wendy House garden party:
Don’t be fooled into taking the shell off of your racing snails to make them more streamlined, all it does is make them more sluggish.
I am now planning to require that all the racing snails come with their own shells in place
* Past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser. Lucia the hairdresser, an Essex girl, an anonymous manicurist, a Jackson’s sales assistant, a bus stop philanthropist, a mini salesman, Windows Network Diagnostics, Flat Eric, a girl on a London commuter train, a Redmond based software developer and Reading Police.
From the orangerie, she looked around the garden “it reminds me of Derek Jarman’s garden‘. She described pebbles, driftwood, wilderness holding-up brave plants. A pleasing story, as if she could see potential in my newly planted garden. As if she had a vision that flowed with my own anticipation
Later, I placed felled tree-stumps in the borders and a few big pebbles between the about-to-overgrow plants
This christmas she gave me a book, so I can see Derek’s garden for myself. As with his films and life, it continues to inspire
Inspiration is one of the best presents ever
PS 100 word post before the PS
Plant rescue is just before the perenials begin to die for the winter. The local garden centres sell the dying plants at half price.
All year round I rescue plants from mumzies garden, she just volunteers to pull them up then pots them for me to take home. Honeysuckle, virginia creeper, oriental grasses, small alpines, her garden is gradually reproducing in mine.
lady at stable door: I live in that house there, we’ve just had a wasp nest treated and those left alive are a bit cranky, probably best to keep the cats in and the doors and windows shut
wendy: there’s a lot of them about this year
Paul Bendell, MBPR, from Berkshire pest control took one look at the nest and in classic call-out service person style he shook his head slowly, sucked air through his teeth and said
The wasp nest in the Viburnum Tinus. A quick poll of my facebook contacts produced the unanimous decision to DESTROY, DELETE, DEVASTATE the nest. My friends don’t care for wasps.
The nest is quite quiet at the moment I can only ever see one or two wasps working on building the structure and one or two wasps coming and going, pressumably feeding the lava inside. It’s my first wasp nest, so with no real comparator it looks quite big to me, about 10 inched tall and 7 inches wide. Branches of the viburnum go through the nest. I suspect that destroyinh the nest will involve destroying part of the plant.
Friends varied in their favoured tactics of destruction. Suggestions included:
- Council pest control services
wendy: I was gardening every evening this week
julie: me too, I’ve planted potatoes and herbs, last night I spent 2 hours gardening, it feels so good afterwards.
wendy: Oh (signifying impressedness) um, I just really pull out weeds and think about doing other stuff
julie: I pull out weeds too
wendy: mainly I stand with my mug of tea looking at my borders thinking things like ‘that Phlox looks good even though it’s pink, maybe I should plant some more’
julie: Yeah, I do that in the morning before I come to work too
wendy: me too
julie: you are not alone
What was once a flat pack is now a full 3 dimenisonal experience with an asphalt roof. No avatar necessary, just a black and decker power drill, tape measure, tacks, hammer and the essential gimet
Recovering from an intensive weekend de-savaging the wendy house garden:
snowdrop shoot admiring
Savage garden sang I want you
Christmas bought a Magnolia Stellata. It is 1ft tall. If left unpruned it will grow 5ft in 10 years and mature to a hieght of about 10ft
It is a SHRUB*!
(*or a tree)
The Wendy House garden has attracted many shrubs since last autumn when the low maintenance patio was broken into by a range of muddy borders.
The Wendy House garden has become one large SHRUBBERY. This gardening direction will please the knights
King Arthur meets the knights who say Ni
- a pole dancing topiary bear
- a Virgin balloon full of hot stagnent air
- Woodwormed Jacobean panels beside a spiral stair
- Ms Scarlet’s radical stealth mohican-style crop of not-ginger hair
- some bushes (not Scarlet’s)
The local cat herd has well choreographed dance routines. The balletic movements involve sudden, synchronised, dashes and leaps that are contrasted with subtle coordinated pre-dash tail-fluffing demonstrations.
The garden stage provides props for leaping over, dashing around, hiding under, elegantly perching upon and a liberal dose of insects to piroette with.
Here we find Matrix lurking in the Nigella, where she prepares to launch straight into a dash, bypassing her weakest move, the pre-dash tail fluffing.
get orf moi land,
or in regionally more accurate terms ‘OI! git orrrf my lahnd with the optional extra ‘OAR isle shoooooot yew” is often creatively used by Bristolians to deal with all sorts of naughty intrusiveness.
someone hogging the twiglets? ‘OI! git orrrf my lahnd…’
Seattle symphony stealing your artwork? ‘OI git orrrf my lahnd OAR else….”
Seattle symphony orchestra is (allegedly) stamping on your emotions: ‘OI git orrrf my lahnd OAR isle shoooooot yew”
A birdy around the Wendy House garden has a reasonable variation on this call, here she goes, sat in the neighbours Rowan tree:
(18 seconds of chirpy & wobbly camerawork warning)
An action packed weekend in the Wendy House garden:
- a fuzzy-buzzy bee feeds on a rotund allium
- a Peacock butterfly feeds on another allium
- the garden robin feeds on insects attracted by my recent digging
- a harlequin spectabilis ladybird takes a break from aphid eating on one of the acers
- Matrix snoozes under another acer
- A large hornet (2 inches) found its way into my bedroom. I didn’t know it was a hornet. They look scarey. I panicked, squeaked, opened the bedroom windows, wrapped myself in a curtain and wafted the corner of the curtain at the hornet until it took the hint and left via the window.
On a sunny April weekend post-youngster Brits launch into the highly risky business of sculpting their garden. This weekend I fell victim to the under-publicised gardening health hazards. Not a muscle problem from lifting, digging and carrying, or falling over a garden ornament, but a little arm-blush reaction to a local ant.
Kids, beware the garden, its a jungle out there
Invite me to all your pruning parties…
clip clip clippy!
Wandering nowhere in particular. Directionless in the garden.
Planting bulbs and border-blooming plants for the summer, digging-up weeds, drinking gallons of well brewed tea and generally admiring the arrival of spring blooms from bulbs and bushes planted last Autumn.
It’s leave from normal work. It’s in my garden.
Its not technically gardening leave.
How silly is that?
Hittavainen, the Karelian god of hares has turned up in the Wendy House garden.
According to the BBC Hares crop up in Mythology all over the place and are associated with the Moon, the celestial skies and the Sun, with fertility, the dawn, cunning and bravery.
This one is associated with pebbles purloined from beaches all over the world.
After consulting with the experts (mum, friend, their books, the internet) I thought that the nobly, noble, small tree in my garden was a ‘Sambucus nigra’ more commonly known as an Elderberry and before that as aeld.
Like many trees the Mythical history of the Elderberry proposes, or describes its traditional uses. The name may come from the Anglo-Saxon term ellaern or aeld which means “fire” or “to kindle a fire“. It was associated with female-centric goddess systems then over time gradually perverted to represent ‘mischievious faeries’ by both the celts of Ireland and England. Traditionally the Elder is placed by the back door of a home, where mine grows, to keep evil spirits from influencing or entering the home and used to pin the thatch to a roof. The runic association is with Feh, the first rune, indicating where one sequence ends and another begins, the cusp of transition, renewal.
British Christians gave the Elder a more sinister press, claiming that Judas committed suicide by hanging himself from this tree. He must have been short or the tree leaning over a decent drop. Along with many other trees it is claimed Jesus was crucified on an cross made of Elder.
Then a garden specialist happened to wander by saying that’s a Viburnum tinus…
I will have to put something in the line of view to make it a tad more pleasurable than just patio and fence. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been contemplating the garden rather a lot recently…
According to the principles of Feng Shui, I should change the layout of the bathroom, keep this door closed, change the colour scheme from blue and white to red and red then add a few candles or my career will flow into the sewers. Alas, I’m way too busy building my career and going on holiday to bother with arranging and paying for builders to rebuild my bathroom in a Feng Shui approvable layout and colour scheme. Pleasing plants in line of view will have to suffice.