In hedgehog news….

We have been seeing our hedgehogs for about a month and a half now. They either feed by the back door or in our shed late at night. My hubby goes out most nights to look for them and they will be on the aths round the garden eating worms they have grubbed up or in the shed. We’ve got sand on the shed floor so we’ve seen their paw prints. They were using it as a latrine but that seems to have stopped. When they eat and drink they often knock the bowls over. We put out hedgehog food but they much prefer the dry and wet cat food that the stray/abandoned cat has. (we are still trying to get him in the house). There was one big and one small hedgehog, but after over a month of nightly visits they are both big now! It’s great to have wildlife in the garden.

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Garden today

Just when I think the plants can’t get bigger we get torrential rain and they grow! And it’s hot, they are happy.

I think our back yard is full. The hanging baskets are pulling the old fence down. But I turn round and my hubby has snuck an Ash tree in! I love it. I hope some of it survives into the autumn. I will continue to post pictures as it grows.

We even had three ripe blueberries today.

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Pears

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The pears are growing big on the tree and starting to weigh the crown down. Soon they will be ripe. I hope they are ready before their weight snaps the tree! At the moment it’s held up with a block of wood.

Gardening is learning. Finding out how to support plants when they need it. I’ve been told the tree has black spot, but it survives. And is covered in pears.

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Orchids

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Back from May, and guess what, this is still flowering. Of the other two I have, one is leafy and green, and the other one has withered up and died I think. I keep giving it water, but it’s probably rotting in the pot? Any advice? I gave it new orchid medium but I think I packed the roots in too tight.

I love orchids, so why are they so difficult to look after?

Russian vine

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I don’t have a photo, but this afternoon we removed what feels like miles of Russian vine from our hedge. I think it’s also called mile a minute. It’s also growing at the back of our garden, and bits of it have grown up the telephone wires and even into our shed!

It was hot outside, so we worked in the late afternoon as it started to cool down. The Russian vine is wraping itself round a couple of leylandii, up an old willow tree, into our walnut tree, and around the Holly tree. It’s tough stuff. We should dig out the roots, but it’s too entangled. So we are cutting through the largest vines, then you pull at it, and strands of vine twenty foot long come out of the hedge. Each vine splits into branching thinner pieces. The leaves are green and heart shaped. It looks like a nice plant when you get it. With small white bunches of flowers in the summer. The bees like it, but our privet hedge flowers and that is more pleasant than the vine.

Unless you have a massive garden don’t grow it!

Tulips

These were growing in our garden six years ago. The garden is more overgrown now and we didn’t put in as many tulips this year. I will have to put in more next year. Part of the problem is also the squirrels digging them up. I think they eat them in the winter.

Tulips were precious plants in centuries gone by. Some were more expensive than gold. I can remember the details, but they are beautiful plants. I’m afraid this post is a little lacking in detail. I shall try and add more to it.

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Orchids or Triffids?

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My biggest orchid is getting a bit rampant, it’s ariel roots are slowly growing across the cupboard. The smallest one is gradually dying. I think I need to give its roots a bit more air and fresh orchid medium. The middle one seems OK although it’s flowers only lasted a couple of weeks. The house isn’t very warm (usually between 18 and 20°C, sometimes as low as 16°C) but I’ve made sure they are not in a draft. I found out they like to grow in clear plastic pots, they like the light getting to them. I’m planning to repot after the flowers die off… Any advice about ariel roots. Can I cut them back…. I don’t want to damage the plant.

Pears

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Never seen so many pears on our pear tree! This year there are over fifty. Sometimes the flowers don’t get pollinated, get caught by a late frost. Or it’s to hot and dry in the summer for them to grow. Sometimes we get too much rain and they swell up too quickly and split. Last year a lot got blown off in June. The tree leans over so we propped it up this year to stop it getting twisted by the wind. Perhaps that’s why we have a bigger crop. Anyway fingers crossed for a bumper harvest. X

Gooseberries

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The crop! These are off one scraggy bush in the garden that was surrounded by stinging nettles. There is one red one somewhere in the jug from another bush but that one didn’t fruit well and we only found the one. I’m thinking if making a gooseberry and apple pie or cake. I think I’ve got the ingredients in to make one.

Gooseberries are not that popular and have a distinct taste. I can’t explain it, sour, green and fresh? I don’t know if you can buy them from a shop or supermarket, because they are a bit unusual. If I make something I might post a photo.

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A madness of baskets

A roar of colour, even in late evening light. The triffids have arrived, my hanging baskets are blooming lovely and are growing blousier by the day.

It happens every year, they are not fully grown when I get them, but add water and they burst into life. Plants that I didn’t know were in them are staring to flower, fushias and long trailing pelargoniums. A profusion of colour. I’m probably going to bore you with more of this until the last lobelia dies in the frosts of December! Some of them will survive until spring as they did last year.

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