scribbles tagged ‘garden’

I want to bonsai a wisteria

Sunday, May 1st, 2016 | tags: , , , , , ,  |
Bonsai'd wysteria

Bonsai’d Wysteria

The light spring breeze danced with his loose, sparkling, Celtic curls “Can I interest you on some gravel Mam?

The earnest delivery by a boy untouched by razors was enough to make me laugh. Laugh out loud in the old fashioned, diaphram-shaking nature of the emotion. “Thank you, but no thank you, I’m looking for a wisteria in a pot, do you have any?”

Pale as his completion was, this question still managed to still further bleach colour. In seconds,  self-disappointment showed, more effectively than words, across his face. “it’s my second day, I’m only really familiar with the gravel, but I know someone who can help us

He walked me towards another member of staff  “that’s a lovely accent you’ve got, where are you from?”

England, do you have a garden?” Oh dear, I’m interviewing him for his job, must stop being so judgemental…

He introduced me to the next assistant, a boy who looked young enough to still be in high school with the heavy black loose curls that I associate with Italians. I asked about Wisteria. The Celtish boy quickly added “She’s from England, that’s the accent

I suspect they don’t get many people from outside this city district of South Minneapolis. The Italian looking boy replied with a ‘Whatever’ nonchalance “It’s my first day, I don’t know” By now, the store manager had noticed the flocking of her new employees and made a very personable b-line for me. She found out about my general gardening requirements and the boys hovered in the background, witnessing an excellent role model.

No wisteria yet, but I’ll be back. I could even put in a personalised order for the wisteria of my choice. I left empty handed and happy

I want to bonsai a wisteria
6 votes rating 4.33

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bluebells, whitestone, orangecat

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

SampoFrom 7.8 to 6.2 KG in one year is great progress for Sampo’s diet.

We’re aiming at 5KG so still some way to go this year.

I love her cuddliness.

Seeing her get perky, running around more often, as a slimmer cat is really pleasing for both of us.

Here she’s parading around the recently pressure washed patio of the Wendy House, soaking the  sunshine in the warm inviting garden.

bluebells, whitestone, orangecat
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nature’s pace

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 | tags: ,  |

April 2008. As found on moving in, lots of patio and a small  lawn
Stalking a Cautious cat

April 2009. Rearrange Patio, introduce borders, do some planting, and put a hair sculpture over the drain lid
April garden 

May 2010. Almost getting some ground cover and some flowers to welcome me home from work

March. 2011. Add more garden furniture…. wait for plant growth
Morning light

April 2014. Enjoy the Easter sunshine and the last few years lf plant growth taking the borders to waste height. The dwarf trees (Acers) may stretch to near 6ft in another decade….
Spring in the garden

nature’s pace
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Laundry ship set to sail

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 | tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,  |

Laundry ShipAnother stormy weekend chez Wendy House.

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.

Sampo stretchSampo is staying in.

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.


Laundry ship set to sail
3 votes rating 4.67

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vital view from the loo

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

view from front doorview from the Wendy House toilet(Warning: ‘I love my garden’ post)

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.

View from sleeping quarters in the North WingEchinops and beesI 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.


vital view from the loo
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Saturday, June 15th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

Foxglove drivewayI sprinkled foxglove seeds along the border of my gravel drive 2 years ago. They’ve taken the hint and I’m liking the new foliage that softens the border between the gravel and the wall.

Through the garden gateI’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.



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Herbaciousness abounds

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |


Many pathways in heaven are herbaciously bordered. Not all, but a big darn lot, 700 or more

herbacious borders

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

Herbaciousness abounds
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I grew some ratatouille!

Sunday, August 28th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

I can’t decide whether I first rescued this courgette from:

  • a potential slug attack, or
  • early onset obescity

CourgetteI slipped a seed into the sod last April. This chunky hunk has been brewing ever since

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
I grew some ratatouille!
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nocturnal visitors

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Mystery poopMost mornings I walk through my garden at 7am. There are fresh droppings on the pathway.

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?

nocturnal visitors
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Raddish Crop3 mins from garden to tummy

My first crop was crunchy-yummy!

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ding dong bell, pussy’s in the well

Monday, April 25th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |

Facebook determined to destroy my self-esteemWendys – be prepared

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

grrrrrrWhile 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


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bouncers required

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Break in (or out) through garden gatThe 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!

There’s a high risk of a break in my blogging resulting from over-excitement due to the fun and games, parking chaos in a permit-only zone and excessive bounce-related falling-over
Garden colour and texutre

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Saturday, April 9th, 2011 | tags: ,  |

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.
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Derek Jarman’s garden

Friday, January 7th, 2011 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Derek Jarman's GardenFrom 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
Derek Jarman’s garden
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plant rescue

Thursday, August 19th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

It’s time for plant rescue.

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.

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cranky jaspers

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

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

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Friday, July 16th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

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

tut tut
wood wasps
they’re aggressive
He removed the bird-feeder from the plant, gave me 2 leaflets of safety instructions for myself and the kitties. Then insectacide blasted the nest. Dead wasps sit like statues on the outside. You can see them if you squint at this picture or look at the full-size version on flickr.
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tactics of destruction

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Wasp nestThe 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:

  • gas
  • fire
  • Council pest control services
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synchronised plant ponderings

Saturday, May 1st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

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

Phlox, Bluebells and white armeria

Phlox, Bluebells and white armeria

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a girl and her gimlet

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

asphaltIt’s beautiful

This weekend my gimlet helped me get dozens of flush screws in the woodshed

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

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in the garden

Monday, January 25th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Recovering from an intensive weekend de-savaging  the wendy house garden:  

  • woodshed shopping
  • leaf brushing
  • weed plucking
  • bush pruning
  • snowdrop shoot admiring

Savage garden sang I want you

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pleasing the knights who say Ni

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 | tags:  |

Magnolia  StellataChristmas 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

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Wandering around the stunningly topiaried gardens of a stately seat in Kent.  There some some significant, and in significant, discoveries:

  • 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)


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tango kitties

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Matrix hiding in the NigellaThe 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.

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get orf moi land

Sunday, June 14th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

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.

Twigletssomeone 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)

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wild wendy home life

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

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.  

Real bee feeds on Allium Peacock butterfly feeds on Allium The local Robin harlequin spectabilis ladybird on Acer cat under katsura acer

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EXtreme gardening

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

allergic reactionOn 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

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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Before amatuer pruning After amatuer pruning

My new pruning shears may not be electrically powered tools but in my hot little holiday  hands they can power through  a Viburnum Tinus at dusk before the sun fully sets.  

Invite me to all your pruning parties…

clip clip clippy!

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Gardening leave

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Brushfields Yellow Chamelia

  sun drenched crociDuring a week littered with  uncharacteristically fabulous sunshine I’ve been wrecklessly wandering out without a coat or a vest.  

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?

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Monday, November 17th, 2008 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

HittavainenHittavainen, 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.

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