So whilst we were busy indoors, outside was getting on, burgeoning into life in all that lovely warm sunshine. Here is the pond, home to damselflies, an occasional newt, about twelve frogs of varying sizes at present, and twelve small fish... there were more, but you all know about the heron! The irises are lovely, three plants, purple, white and lemony yellow, plus there are waterlilies as you can see, as well as oxygenating plants, and a few other marginals out of shot. It's a lovely place to sit beside on a summery day, in the shade of the birch, with the fountain playing, and just lovely when the water is still, a reflecting pool.
This is part of the 'wild bit' of the garden, right down the far end. Out of sight, to the left of the shot, is a log pile wherein we hope lives the hedgehog, but we have let the foxgloves do their own thing, I just love them wild like this. We also have a rosemary at the back, and a couple of tall grasses, and to the right, out of shot, is a whole load of honeysuckle climbing over shrubs and fence. Behind me, as I took the photo, is the small fruit cage, with rhubarb and two different varieties of gooseberry. Sometime later there will be blackberry and raspberry bushes too. I have wild strawberries nearer the house, which have done ever so well this year, lots of little tiny berries appeared now... so gorgeous, so fleeting.
I love this iris - hidden to the left hand side is a white aquilegia, one of those accidents which looks just right. I know it has a fancy name, it was shown loads of times on the Chelsea programmes, but it escapes me. There are actually three clumps here, we meant to split them, but never got around to it. The greyish blob you can see is a stone cat, for this is where our Rosie is buried. Above this, in the laburnum tree, is the honeysuckle goldfinch's nest, now abandoned and crumbling. There are lots of babies in the garden.. blackbirds, starlings, chaffinch, wren, but no goldfinch that we have seen. Sadly no baby ring-collared doves, and thankfully, no squabs (baby pigeons).
This is a lovely jumbly mix of aquilegia, iris, not only the delicate blue ones on the left, but also some deepest purple ones as well. The majestic tall poppies, flowering better than ever before, and soon to be moved to the cottagey bit below. There are also, in the photo above but not clearly seen, nigella, allium, lemon balm, wild strawberries, heuchera - a pale green one which produces spikes of tiny bright magenta flowers, and a dark green with purplel undersides to the leaves, which produces spikes of tiny pale pink flowers - and a couple of pots of lemon thyme and pineapple sage.
This is the cottagey bit.. there is a six by four feet empty space behind, wherein I shall plant the poppy, and some lupins, and other taller cottagey plants. At the front you can probably see cranesbill, as well as the heuchera with purple leaves, and then there are penstemon, sambucus nigra, lavender in a large pot, nigella, iris, snapdragons, curry plant, and red valerian.
Several weeks ago I planted four tomato seeds in a pot, and nine purple sprouting broccoli in a pot, put them on the conservatory windowsill, where they all germinated within a couple of weeks. They have now been potted on into peat pots and in the absence of a cold frame, I just sit them outdoors from early morning until about seven in the evening, then bring them in. I also planted a mint cutting using a baked bean tin, as well as sowing some basil seeds in another baked bean tin, sitting these on one of the kitchen window sills, and the mint has taken and the basil germinated. Seeds planted in the super duper raised bed haven't done anything yet, but we had torrential rain this week and the temperatures have dropped, so they are probably biding their time.
We will have a cold frame, soon, for nothing. Where my husband works they ship in electronic components from Poland. They come in their own boxes, but then all the boxes are packed into wooden crates, not flimsy old hardboard, but REAL WOOD. They come to pieces, the upright corner posts have slots in them for the horizontal pieces to fit in, and they measure about a metre by just under a metre. And are perfect for the edge of normal sized raised beds, the horizontal pieces of wood being about 12 inches high. So we have two new normal sized raised beds. My husband is also in the process of building a lovely compost bin out of some of these crates as well, of course, having the slots and so on makes them really ideal for this purpose. And when this is finished, he will build a cold frame, and we'll just get a piece of corrugated plastic for a lid.
And this is the gardening journal I made to record all these gardening goings on, in. I covered it with some fancy card, stickers, used a bit of garden twine and a plastic plant label with OUR GARDEN written downwards on it, and stickers too. I also used a plant label as a page marker, you can just see it at the top. I think it looks quite good!
So that's my little gardening blog. Hope you all had a lovely long weekend.