A new season

Well I’ve had a long absence, but the spirit has moved me back here again – or more likely all the flowers in the garden have prompted me to post again!

Last year was so cold and snowy, but the plants almost all did amazingly well.  This warm but very wet winter has seemed a little trickier than the cold, especially with bulbs and alpines, but on the whole things have survived pretty well.

I wonder how bad the slugs and snails will be this year? I’m trying a garlic spray this year, as recommended by James Wong in his book Home Grown Revolution (a really good and inspiring book, by the way!). Blitz a whole bulb of garlic with a litre of water, leave for the ‘bits’ to settle, then strain into a sprayer. Best used early evening, as the pesky little critters make their way to their evening banquet! Store sprayer in fridge (I haven’t found the smell leaking out!) I’ll report on the success or otherwise later in the season.

Right now the alpines are coming into their own, with lovely mats of colour from Androsace, Aubretia, Lithodora, Aethionemas, and two gentians in flower too!

Androsace sarmentosa watkinsii

Androsace sarmentosa watkinsii

Aubretia Rose Queen

Aubretia Rose Queen

Lithodora oleifolia

Lithodora oleifolia

 

Aethionema grandiflorum

Aethionema grandiflorum

 

Aethionema Warley Rose

Aethionema Warley Rose

Aethionema capitatum

Aethionema capitatum

 

Gentiana verna

Gentiana verna

Gentiana acaulis

Gentiana acaulis

Yes, I did do a close-up of that last one, to avoid showing the slug-damage! (It was before the nematodes got active, and before I’d made the garlic spray!)

The small phloxes are just starting now, and this Phlox subulata Purple Beauty is the first to flower here this year.

Phlox subulata Purple Beauty

Phlox subulata Purple Beauty

And this Tulip batalinii Bright Gem is such a good flowerer, coming back better each year. (There seems to be some question if the bulbs sold under this name are correctly named, but whatever they are, they’re good!)

Tulipa batalinii Bright Gem

Tulipa batalinii Bright Gem

Lastly, for the moment, two Dwarf Irises – I do love Irises of all sorts! Hocus Pocus has just gone over, but Gingerbread Man has just opened.

Iris Hocus Pocus

Iris Hocus Pocus

Iris Gingerbread Man

Iris Gingerbread Man

Next post I hope to show you some of my Primula auriculas which are now flowering!

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Wordless Wednesday – Spring is springing!

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Wordless Wednesday -Massonia pustulata

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Wordless Wednesday – Autumn Stars!

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Autumn colour at Stourhead

How fortunate we were to choose last Friday (November 2nd) for a visit to Stourhead! Lots of sunshine, and still a fair amount of colour, although this doesn’t seem to have been an outstanding Autumn- not surprising after the Summer we’ve had perhaps.
Hard to take an original picture here, but you might like to share the views with me!

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Wordless Wednesday – Beautiful Blue!

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A wander at Pennington

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that we decided to go to Pennington Nature Reserve, in the South of Hampshire – about half an hour from home! It was such a glorious sunny October day, with hardly a breath of wind (& the wind is often biting down there!)

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The cows weren’t bothered by the bogginess underfoot!

I DO love teasels, and believe me these are just a few of the pics I took! The goldfinches must be very happy when they find them- we did see some big flocks of them around!

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There were so many swans around- too many to count- that it was impossible to resist the odd ‘reflective’ moment! (but I did regret not taking my SLR and tripod! These were all taken with iPhone!)

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There were a lot of birds to be seen – time to start learning my ducks and waders again! I always forget them each year! My husband reckoned he saw 47 species (not that he was counting, of course!)

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That was a large flock of godwits- black-tailed I think- with many more species mingling! There were some beautiful Lapwings to be seen too- really should have taken better camera!!

We walked as far as Kehaven, then returned by the inland path.

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There were plenty of berries around for the birds- Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, a garden escapee Cotoneaster (franchettii?), and lots of blackberries still!

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And the bees must be happy to see all the flowers on the gorse- what would they do without gorse?!

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