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Shall we foregather in the Garden....?

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

I think it's about time we cultivated a little horticultural wisdom, here.... Who's for a garden thread? I promise I won't close it down after a year.... ;) I have loads of pictures to share of my humble plot....



  • GrooverGroover England. Explorer

    It looks lovely. You just need a few gnomes!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited June 2016

    I have faeries at the bottom.... Their names are Steve and Tony. Nice guys.... ;)
    The two plants on the extreme right are Hydrangea Caipirinha, and my new Quince tree.... My herbs are all doing well (oval 'island' in the foreground). I aim to remove the big leafy dome that is a Kilmarnock willow. It's absolutely spectacular, but it hides a splitting trunk leaning at a 35-degree angle, and a top head of branches that is so heavy, it's that weight that's causing the topple... The pampas grass behind it is also going to go, because, to be blunt, I hate it.
    There are five cordylines (just visible 'above' the herb bed) which I am still undecided about.... I may let them grow a bit more, then under-plant with hardy outdoor succulents (sedums, sempervivums, saxifrages, etc)
    The left hand border is a major, major project....
    That first big white shrub is a Pyracantha, but it and its close neighbour have been permitted to grow unchecked. The nearest one is coming out, the farthest one, I'm going to cut back severely and tame....
    There are Rowan/mountain ash saplings everywhere (mainly next to the fence/boundary), thanks to a nearby tree providing ample winter berries to the birds, which they in turn poop the remains of everywhere, thereby disseminating freely...Ivy has overgrown the length of the boundary fence, and that too is going to be cut back and kept in severe check....
    My greenhouse is also a nightmare....

    This was LAST year - you should see it now!
    My dear neighbours (see 'faeries' above...) have volunteered to make this a unified project next year, and will help me restore it to its deserved glory.... I plan to use it for tomatoes peppers, aubergines, chillies and my cactus/succulent collection (of which I have, currently..... two. :D)
    The wonderful surprise was, that, hidden in the dense and virtually-impenetrable growth to the right, at the back - is a huge water-butt! I can collect rain water and of that, we are never short of, it seems!!
    (The garden & shed, to the left, both belong to the downstairs apartment....)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited June 2016

    Yes, @IronRabbit but this is supposed to be about the gardens of members here.... (Edit: Unless, you're gonna tell me that's YOUR garden!! :awesome: )

  • This is the sorry state of my back garden, after the severe storm last week. Alas, this huge beautiful oak tree in my yard withstood every gale the Great Lakes could throw at it, only to have the tree across the alley come down and take it out.

    It ended up on my neighbor's roof. No injuries and that's what insurance is for.

  • How about one or two pictures at a time to make it faster to load?

  • WalkerWalker Veteran

    Sorry, guess I got carried away.

  • @Walker said:
    Sorry, guess I got carried away.

    Fantastic garden though!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Sorry about your tree, @Cinorjer; if ever there was a lesson in impermanence....

    Can you have the oak cut into reasonable chunks and sculpted to make garden furniture? There's some amazing work some folks can do with a chainsaw.... Google 'Tree trunk furniture'....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Cinorjer said:
    How about one or two pictures at a time to make it faster to load?

    (mine loads really fast... I think your system might be slow....? :confused: )

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Don't add Basil. It needs an inordinate amount of water, and the mint will choke it....

  • WalkerWalker Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @Cinorjer said:
    @lobster that looks exactly like the Buddha I had in my front garden for many years, but it disappeared one summer right about the time some Jehovahs Witnesses starting knocking on my door and I had to tell them firmly I wasn't interested in debating religion with them and please give their Watchtower to someone else. They were both frowning at my Buddha and I suspect it was kidnapped later. Alas the sacrifice did cause them to stop coming around so it was not in vain.

    The JWs have gotten very polite around here lately. They knock the door, at a reasonable hour, and simply give out a small pamphlet, with an invitation to attend an upcoming event. No high pressure spiritual salesmanship.

    A couple of ladies from the Church of God came around here about a year ago, and when they asked if I attended Church I replied, 'No, actually I'm a Secular Buddhist.' They looked at me like I had the Plague and beat a hasty retreat.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Yesterday evening, 6pm, GMT, the heavens opened.
    Actually, that's an understatement. The heavens flung everything aside and sent everything they had. Everything. Wind, torrential rain, followed closely by a hail shower, the noise of which was unbelievably loud... I feared for my poor plants outside, particularly my little wonderful bonsai, given to me by my daughter, Caroline.
    I need not have worried. It - and the other members of my little horticultural community - all survived gamely, and with no ill-effects experienced. The only casualties were the tender young leaves on my blueberry shrubs. They took a little bit of a battering and now look a little tatty and frayed around the edges; but it's deciduous. So really, no lasting damage done.
    I had fears for the medlar tree, because in wind, a couple of the new very green branches snapped off, but there too, no damage at all, which I confess surprised me mildly....
    Isn't Nature amazing? We think we're so damn big, but in reality, she holds the winning hand.....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    ...and upon closer inspection, my Strelizia (Bird of Paradise plant) which strictly speaking is definitely an indoor house-plant as far as the UK climate is concerned, really took a pounding. The leaves, although they seem leathery and tough, are actually quite brittle. It will take some time for the plant to recover, but it will push up new leaves, and it will, doubtless, 'get over it'....

    On the plus side, some pomegranate seeds I planted a while ago, are now sprouting and doing very well - I don't now recall exactly how many I planted - but 5 have come up!

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    My lavatera just keep on growing, they're like bleedin' triffids.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @federica said:
    Isn't Nature amazing? We think we're so damn big, but in reality, she holds the winning hand.....

    Yes indeed.
    My sister face-timed me [similar to Skype] yesterday and I was able to see the first flower on a white lily I got her several weeks ago. Beautiful, indoor and fragrance filling the house ...

  • Once the tree cutters started chopping up the behemoth that fell in my back yard, I realized my old lilac was underneath it also. Well, it needed a good trim anyway and these lilacs aren't delicate, so I'll trim all the broken stems, give it a good fertilizing, and see if it comes back. Then I have to start repairing my fence. I was going to wait until next year to do some work on my long envisioned Zen garden but looks like the storm made my decision for me.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Damn, crappy, blasted, British weather.
    No really, damn it. :rage:

    The UK is known lyrically as a 'Green & Pleasant Land' and I truly believe that there is no country more beautiful in the Spring, than here (Browning even wrote a loving panegyric poem...) but goodness me, enough's enough! A couple of weeks ago, we had enough rain in 2 hours, to match our annual average rainfall. (already recounted). This past Saturday we had the mother of all hailstorms that actually ripped several of my garden plants to shreds.... Thunder, lightning, wind, torrential downpour - then the hard bits. Oh, my, God. The hard bits.

    I was overly optimistic on the 'no harm done!' news. Now, the 'cracks' are beginning to show, and the affected plants are showing the after-effects.

    And it's cold. I mean, 'jumper and jacket' cold.

    So, if anyone could transport a bit of "Good Ol' Summertime", our way, that would be truly much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I have a humorous theory:
    On a programme we have in the UK called 'Countryfile' (it talks and discusses current events surrounding all matters to do with Nature; Flora & Fauna husbandry, global warming, farming, conservation projects...) they commemorated the fact that 40 years ago this year, we had the longest and hottest summer ever, on record. Water stand-pipes in the street, reservoirs COMPLETELY empty and bone-dry, previously deep rivers fordable on foot, fish stocks wiped out, crop total failure - but hot sunshine, blue skies and absolutely no let-up in temperatures in the high 90 degrees F from early April until late September... Admittedly, previous summers had also been great, and we had a good division of seasons....back then....
    It was around that time that we joined the EU.
    Since then, our summers have by and large been relative failures, and our seasons indistinguishable, one from the next.

    I think now we have left the EU, we will win restitution of proper seasons and highly-agreeable appropriate summers.

    I might lay a bet with the bookies, because if this ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek and entirely frivolous prediction actually comes true, I could rake it in hand over fist!

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I'd gladly exchange some of our heat-wave (90's to 100's F the past couple of weeks) for some of your virile storms! (And I hope you're prediction holds.)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    What I wouldn't do for a bit of warm sunshine - given that I haven't had a good and proper holiday since 2009, that would be a dream come true!!

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Didn't want to see this thread disappear off the 1st page -- what's going on in that garden of yours?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    The lawn is reaching jungle proportions: we have had very few days giving us any opportunity to go out and mow it; sure we have had breaks in the wet weather. But unfortunately, they did not coincide with our being home from work to actually mow it. And in between it's been wet, windy and really quite unpleasant. Any dang fool knows you can't cut a wet lawn....
    We've had some pretty atrocious weather. I'm really just fed up with it now.
    I mean, I know th UK has a 'soggy weather' reputation, but even this is excessive. C'mon, enough's enuff!
    Apparently we have a warm weather front arriving from Spain (It's called a Spanish Plume'). It seems however, that it will also bring thunderstorms.
    I honestly don't know how saturated this summer can get!

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Well shucks. What I wouldn't do for a small portion of what you get and it's hard to believe it's that bad, but it was like that growing up in north-central Pennsylvania. Maybe we could do a reverse rain-dance or something.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Ok, I'm game if you are. Just going outside to my lawn to dan...oh.


    Sorry, no can do. It's pi$$ing down.....

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Do you know, the poor guy was running a 104 temperature when he did this skit? And they had to mix a small amount of milk in the 'rain' to make it more visible. otherwise the cameras (being relatively unsophisticated then) didn't pick up the rain properly...(See Item #11...)

    The final shot of him and Debbie Reynolds was shot in my garden, as it happens. 'S true! I made it up myself! I still don't have the Billboard to prove it!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It's actually a beautiful evening now, though very breezy...But the Euro Cup Final (Portugal V. France - Host Country) is about to start - and we can't miss THAT, now - can we - ?!

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    My front garden. I like to sit out there and be present

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    What a beautiful day... what a lovely place - nice dog!

  • WalkerWalker Veteran

    Black-eyed Susan vines took quite a while to flower, but they're going now. White wave petunias have really taken off. And our snap-dragons are finally starting to blossom too.

  • I love this thread! So much that I thought I should add some pics of my own garden ❤️

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited July 2016

    Well, thanks to this absolutely, utterly abysmally atrocious weather we've had for the best part of the year, my prized and precious Quince succumbed to Quince Blight, and it rather looks as if my poor medlar took a similar hit.
    Yesterday evening, I painstakingly trimmed off every single quince leaf, one by one, and will have to buy some copper fungicide spray....

    On a brighter note, both avocado pits have rooted and sprouted, and my mango seed has too. although obviously these are going to be primarily confined to indoor living for the better part of the year.... my pomegranate seeds have also sprouted and I have some ready and eager takers at work (colleagues) who have all expressed an interest in taking one off my hands....

    The Strelizia which took a real pounding during a hailstorm (as previously mentioned) is now safely tucked up indoors on a sunny windowsill, and has brought forth a new leaf.....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Together with my book on the Ginkgo (Mentioned in the "Currently Reading" thread) I also purchased myself a Ginkgo tree.... well, I say 'tree'...it's barely three feet high from soil level.... but a small side branch was whipped off by the wind, one day (even though I had staked it). I felt somewhat slightly crushed and disappointed, but then, knowing what a tough cookie this tree is, I took this little torn-off side-shoot, trimmed off the lower leaves, cut it neatly just below the lowest leaf node, and poked it into some rooting powder and potted it up. Well blow me down, I think it's growing....

    I'm also growing some tomato plants my mother gave me before she left for Italy (San Marziano plum tom's) but am not sure whether there will be enough warm weather for the remainder of the growing season, to give any decent crop at all... She should probably have sown them earlier, but she waited until late May.....

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Hi @LadyLou99 - glad you joined in- I wonder if those low-lying plants next to the pot with the geraniums were Lilly of the Valley? I know - no blooms, but they look like my mom's favorite flower - she had a nice little patch of them.

    I kept some of the honeydew melon seeds and wonder if I should try growing them- anyone grow melons here? I guess melons need direct sun? I bought a lot of black plums - I'm wondering about trying to grow them as well.

    Sorry to hear about your situation, @Federica. :(

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited July 2016

    What Honeydew melons need, probably more than anything else, is huge amounts of water. The heat helps, of course, but be prepared, in hot weather, to water up to 5 litres of water per plant, twice a day.....

    Thanks @silver , we Brits take it all in our stride, come what may, the weather will always be the weather, and there's always next year.... (She added, optimistically!)

  • LadyLou99LadyLou99 USA New
    edited July 2016

    Me too @silver :D and I honestly have no clue my grandma is the gardener... I am just her wing man xD sounds like something I have heard her mention before though :P
    I'm the one who likes to meditate while she dead heads the plants the scent is so wonderful ❤️

    Moderator note: Double post with similarities, combined. :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Well, 6+ months on, and here we are, just past the dead of winter here, creeping inexorably toward the Lady Spring.... But still, everything is damp, and seemingly lifeless.... The garden is in a sad state... The grass never got its final cut in the Autumn, and is now looking dishevelled and desperate for care, but the current climate and wetness prevents any tidying trim...
    The Kilmarnock willow is dipping its toes into the water, and some white furry catkins are peeking from their small, shiny polished brown shells, wondering whether to yet venture further, or stay put a while longer....All my potted plants look very much the worse for wear, but I have visions of emerging growth rubbing its hands in glee at the prospect of warmer and kinder weather....

    In the meantime, I'm keeping an eye out for the first snowdrops in the garden to bow their pretty little heads, as they respectfully herald the Princess's arrival....

    The anticipation is wonderful....

  • Already seen snowdrops in flower, daffodil shoots are up. Seasons. Good plan.

  • WalkerWalker Veteran

    Stop it, you're making me jealous.

    Cold here, probably won't even be seeing brown grass, let alone green, for at least six weeks.

    We got a head start on procuring our flower seed. Usually we're looking in the stores in March, trying to find what we want, but we joined the 21st century, and ordered online this year. We were happy to find orange-coloured calibrachoa, were looking forward to it. Unfortunately, there was a crop failure, and the supplier sent us red. Oh well, it can usually be found in hanging baskets anyway, with a little looking around. Were hoping to grow our own though.

  • DharmaMcBumDharmaMcBum Spacebus Wheelman York, UK Veteran

    Here is my go with the flow garden, the flow has blackberries, figs and possibly potatos in it. Out of sight is a herb tyre with rosemary, mint, curry and possibly a strawberry or two surviving in it.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Very nice picture of your garden, @DharmaMcBum -what are those gigantic leaves in the foreground...I see the berries but doubt they go together. Thanks for sharing!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    My youngest son picking blueberries in nature's garden ;) He insisted on leaving plenty for the animals since "They live on them and we just like them as a treat!" We left plenty for the wild critters, including the bear that was ambling about the area just before we got there. But still picked about 3 gallons worth of berries in a few hours of work (compared to the $6 a pint they are to buy here).

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