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Thursday, 29 May 2008

New for Old

Simon the gardener is reclaiming some old beds that had been overgrown by grass and weeds. They had tulips in them but now the dandelions are winning. I suppose that they were originally, rose beds. There are four of them and in the middle is slab for some sort of statuary or sundial.

He has turned them into this!
It was a wonderful opportunity for me to head off to the garden centre and buy, buy, buy.
About twenty minutes drive away near Tow Law in County Durham is New Row Farm Nurseries. A marvellous place to spend some time and money. So I did.

I treated myself to some larger plants to provide the structure for the planting of the new beds and when I returned we spent some time moving the pots around to best advantage.

I shall have to return for more because there are four beds to fill and the borders are quite empty now they have been weeded. Then I will fill the spaces with self seeders before the weeds have a chance to grow back.

Lupins are one of my favourite flowering plants and they are not grown in Australia so I was thrilled to get a few to put in the side bed where the lavenders did not survive. Something tall and striking against the wall will look good. I shall add delphiniums and foxgloves when I find them.

On the plant trail again.

Cheers Gillian

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Within the House

I went on a craft day at Langdon Beck Youth Hostel, way up Teesdale. It was wonderful. It had been organised as part of the "Northern Rocks" festival. We were doing traditional crafts with the scenery and geology in mind.
So... I had a go at Hooky rugging. I prefer it to Proggy/Clippy because you use a strip of fabric and work with the right side showing so that you can se how it develops
This is my version of a ROCK GARDEN. My excuse for its lack of aesthetic impact is that it isn't finished yet. I shall continue with some grey background and then attempt to embellish it with embroidery and beads. Oh Yeah!!!

An improvement on my hooky efforts is my felting project. I must admit that I always thought felting was an accident and when the tutor told us to design an item, I thought she was joking. But this is my MEADOW bowl.
It is cut open at the top which is hard to see because I photographed it straight on. It turned out just like I planned/designed it to!!!. Of course it will leak if used as a vase but it will hold paintbrushes or knitting needles really well. In fact that has given me an idea.........

Cheers Gillian

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Never Too Late

I'm at a bit of a loss. Things here, are not like they were in my thirty years of gardening in Australia. But it's never too late to learn and I have enlisted much help from a professional gardener called Simon who lives in the village and he has already worked wonders with the lawn, some smaller beds and the wilting trees which so badly needed planting out.

At the bottom of the garden the weeds had taken advantage of the warmer weather and had grown about a metre high. The fruit trees have been planted out in gaps along the wall so that they will grow and hide some of it. There are other fruits...pear, rhubarb, gooseberry and raspberry in that corner of the garden so an expanding orchard is on its way. The four new trees are apple, pear, cherry and plum. They are blossoming well and I'm remembering to water them deeply every few days. The rest of the weeds can wait.

There were some more trees which have been planted along the southern street wall. The wall looks fairly bare from the street side and I wanted trees which would grow tall and show over the top, so some of the trailing roses were dug out and the Rowan, Medlar and Walnut replaced them.

There are some interesting flowering plants around the beds but I shall have to wait till they flower to see which ones to take cuttings of. I like repetition of plants. It seems to draw a large space together.

This narrow bed beside the kitchen wall and close to the flagged area was overgrown with weeds and Simon has stripped it back and planted some wilting munstead lavender which had arrived by post and been forgotten by me. I keep watering them but I'm not very optimistic about the lavender hedge becoming a reality.

I also found some fuschias under a cloche in the waist high weeds in the vegetable garden. These will make a nice hedge but first I want to get the stumps grubbed out of this bed at the side of the flagged area. Simon is tracking down a "man with a machine". There are quite a few stumps around the place and they can all be got rid of at once.

And better late than never, I also treated the facade of the house to some new net curtains. It takes away some of the bleakness that the grey stone and the large windows produce.

This means that a visit from a window cleaner is needed. The sun and pretty white curtains show up the smears and spots. A bloke from round the corner will call soon and give a quote. I know he will because his wife said so on the phone. "Oh!" she said "The big house on the green". "Yes" I said rather gloomily, knowing that big house=big bill.

Cheers for now Gillian

Saturday, 3 May 2008

A Scanned Plan

It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it and follow the instructions!
Here is my hand drawn plan. It is not perfect because it should be wider and the trees should look like cabbages and I've found a site with title areas on it and the whole block is a lot less square at the corners than my interpretation.
It's all a bit daunting though, and because of other events in my life the tree planting has had to be deferred. Eight trees to go in
Crab Apple
and a couple of small Acers too.