Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Make Haste Whilst the Sun Shines!

It's a bit of a blockbuster diary this week - there's been a lot going on in the garden.

The two girls from next door have been helping by clearing overgrowth around the veg beds and the shed.  It's a major job keeping the Productive area clear of weeds and their efforts have been a real help.  There may soon come a time, in a few years, when they're interest in gardening is surpassed by more 'girlie' interests such as boys, shopping and parties so I try and encourage their enthusiasm as much as possible at the moment in the hope that it will come back to them when they're older as it did for me.

Whilst the two girls were getting on with that I  tackled the barren area between what I call the Alpine Bank and the lawn area.  Most of this area will eventually form the pathway through the formal area to the gate into the Productive area. However I'll eventually do something with the small area (shown on the right in the next photo), at the bottom of the Alpine Bank; install a small water feature there and probably plant amongst gravel......well that's the thinking so far.

I've added 5 more alpines to the bank hoping that they will eventually help stabilise the soil. I planted a couple of Sedums (album 'Coral Carpet' and Acre 'Aureum'), a Rock Rose (Helianthemum 'Jubilee'), a Poppy (Papaver neudicaule 'Pacino')and a Phlox (x Procumbens 'Variegata'). I understand that the Sedum Acre could become pretty invasive but for the time being I'm happy for it to grow and stabilise the bank; I'll worry about the invasive-ness of it later.

Sedum 'Coral Carpet'

Phlox x Probumbens Variegata
 On the opposite side of the path to the Alpine bank is another 'unused' banked area, next to the patio. It's been slowly taken over by Aquilegia plants and it was time to clear them and add a bit of variety to the garden. So off I went to the garden centre and purchased 3 ornamental grasses; a Carex 'Amazon Mist', an Uncinia 'Rubra' and a Molinea 'Caerulea Variegata' (aka 'purple moor grass - which is weird because it's not!).  I chose these three simply because I liked the combination of their colours and because they will grow to different heights (the Molinea grows to about 60cms in height, the Uncinia around 30cms and the Carex 20cms). I'm now on the lookout for a larger, scented plant to sit in the corner of this bank against the fence (see the picture below) so that you can smell it's aroma as you enter the garden.

patio bank cleared and new grasses installed

closest to the patio - the Molinea

half way down the bank I planted the Uncinea
followed by the Carex at the bottom
As for the veg beds, well the last cauliflower was dug up and eaten at the weekend.  The pumpkin plant is doing really well and developing fruit so I should mulch the ground around it soon; whilst the courgette plant is not doing well at all.  It's flower heads have all dropped off and despite various anti-slug tactics it seems something has been having a nibble at it. I'm keeping a close eye on it at the moment. The peas are coming along brilliantly and several pods should be ready to pick sometime this week and I have 3 cobs coming along nicely on the sweetcorn.

Not long now!

A lantern in the making perhaps?

two little white tufts indicate sweetcorn
in the making

But the most exciting addition to the garden this week is my new outside tap. My next door neighbour fitted it for me this weekend which means I can finally stop making numerous trips up and down between house and garden carrying a watering can and bucket full of water. Not only can I water my plants properly now but it's also going to be easier for me to fill up the water butt in the Productive area.  I was so excited at finally having an outside tap that I spent this evening watering various plants and veg, trying out the different watering options on the hose gun - from 'watering can' to full 'wide spray'.  I'm not sure the novelty of this is going to wear out all that quickly!

By the way, I've just discovered it's supposed to rain tonight.


Dancin' Fool said...

You have been busy, I love your grasses by the way. Congratulations on the outside tap! We have never tired of playing with the hosepipe! Its such good fun!!!

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Dancin'! I'm amazed at how much the plants have reacted to being watered properly........never under-estimate the power of the hose! Of course, since it's been installed we've had a good downpour of rain; typical!