Sunday, 31 July 2016

Three sunny days

Sadly I do not think summer has arrived - it was only three days and it was not sunny for all of them (or particularly warm) but we've just had a very pleasant long weekend where M. got to spend some time playing with his bikes and I got to spend some time playing in the garden.  By the look of the photos I might have spent more time playing with Daisy but that's no bad thing!







I'm still trying to be good and keep my promise to Liz and Management - anything you like as long as it is only for 30 minutes.  As a strategy for minimising further shoulder damage it works very well but does mean a great deal of 'stop/start' which is why there have been jobs done in the garden that didn't get photographed until it was nearly too late.  One area which has been tweaked recently is the end of the Top Pond.  I've extended the beach area which not only makes it easier for hedgehogs to get out but gives us a much clearer view onto the water, and then created a planting zone either side.  This weekend I finally moved some gorgeous Primula florindae, also known as Tibetan cowslip, which have been waiting in one of the vegetable beds.  They can grow up to 5 feet tall and have the most amazing scent with flowers which last for ages.



After the playing came the real work - weeding the big fruit cage.



The strawberries have finished and whilst it wasn't a bad year, it was not a particularly good one either.  Too dry in May when fruit were forming and then, as per bloomin' usual, horribly wet as soon as the fruit ripened.  So, as per bloomin' usual, I lost a lot of berries to rot and slugs.  Next year I really, MUST, MUST, MUST work out a way of protecting the fruit.  Maybe temporary collars on the soil?  The blueberries however, just go from strength to strength. 



I cannot ignore the mess which is our "new garden".  The original idea was to have a wildflower meadow but I nixed that thinking it would be better to reduce the amount of ground which needed mowing.  In a moment of utter stupidity I thought that summer annuals for cutting would be easier - what was I thinking?   After the absolutely-accidental-no-work-success of other lawn areas which have been left to their own defices we are definitely returning to Plan A.  The flowery stuff is going to get the heave-ho, I'll chuck in some wild seeds and the 'grass' will just arrive on its own - it does almost everywhere else in the garden!



In other news - apparently you cannot grow agapanthus in the ground in such a wet area as this.  I beg to differ - these bulbs have been in place for three years although I'm going to dig them up this winter.  I think I've pushed my luck quite far enough.






Apparently you cannot grow Eucomis outdoors this far north.  Clearly you can although I don't think I will bother again.  Whilst fairly attractive the flowers have a particularly unpleasant 'something-rotting-to-attract-insects" smell.



It is not just the New Garden which will undergo a big change.  The willow fedge has outlived its novelty value and the rampant annual growth has become a nuisance.  All season it has been annoying me when I look at it and after a chat with Management I started to give it a good pruning to see how things looked when cut back.

Immediately the area looked better so the decision has been made to take it out and replace with something that will be rather less work, maybe yew, maybe hornbeam, maybe something else entirely?




There was probably more gardening but if I didn't take a picture of it then I have already forgotten.  There was definitely more playing with Daisy - sometimes it is hard to remember this is the same dog as the skinny little thing who arrived here nearly four years ago.







I know (nearly) everyone has seen the Animal Care pictures before but sometimes they really do warrant republishing.  If ever a Poster Girl was needed to show how a rescue dog can be transformed, then I reckon Madam is a good candidate for the role.












12 comments:

  1. so many things in your garden. x and what Huge ears Daisy has! haven't noticed before x

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    1. Well Tess, it's a bloomin' big garden, so yes, we've got lots of different areas.

      Daisy's ears are ridiculous. Sometimes I think she is a cross between a House Elf and Yoda :)

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  2. Your garden does look lovely and very green. Daisy looks absolutely gorgeous as ever. What an amazing transformation. Mog decided to take ownership of us at Animalcare. X

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    1. Thanks Jules, it is looking very green at present, unfortunately not as many flowers as I would like. I really must improve the planting to have stuff which blooms later.

      I hate rescue centres - they make me so sad - but it does seem like the staff at Lancaster do their very best.

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  3. I love the pond, it looks very pretty. The transformation in Daisy is wonderful - I love the photos of her with the ball, she looks absolutely gorgeous :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice. Yes, sometimes it is hard to remember how she was, it has been quite a transformation as you say, and yes, we think she's gorgeous too!

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  4. Even though she was obviously thin and malnourished, it's the look on her face in the old picture that gets me. She looks as if she's been wounded by the world. Now she has a look of confidence and trust- "This is where I belong!" That's a great achievement.

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    1. Aww, thanks Mereth :-) you are absolutely right.
      Although we don't believe Daisy had been physically abused she had that air of being cowed and beaten down when we met her. Yet despite that, there was still a spark of her gentle nature, her playfulness, and we could see that deep down she was still a lovely little dog. Although she was absolutely not what we thought we had gone there for, I remember saying to Management "how on earth can we leave her behind", and so the die was cast :-)

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  5. Lovely to see Daisy in your garden, I know what you mean by saying 'how on earth can we leave her behind' that was the exact thought I had when I went to see Moss - 'I can't leave this dog here'. After 2 weeks on our holidays - she has been a wonderful wonderful addition to our 'pack' and I am so glad she is now part of us xx

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    1. Thanks Hawthorn, it's why I hate visiting rescue centres - I cannot walk into the kennel area, breaks my heart to see all the animals I can't help. Look forward to seeing Moss's holiday photos :)

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  6. I must have missed this post, but great to see some of what is out in the garden and Daisy having fun too. I've never noticed the smell of pineapple lillies, but even though agapanthus are a menace over here (growing along roadsides and all), I have a soft spot for them and for many years had gardens with lots and always had them as arrangements inside at Xmas. Any veg yet produce yet?. Meant to ask you last night with a load of other questions. Still thinking, awake at 4am this morning. I really need some sleep. Take care.

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    1. Susan, thanks for your lovely comment. I can't imagine agapanthus growing all over road verges, what a sight that must be :) No veg here this year, I completely failed to get anything planted, but a decent amount of soft fruit.

      Lovely to have our chat this week. Hope you're feeling a bit better.

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