New plants for my birthday

Sorry it’s been a while.  We are on half term and yesterday was my birthday.

We did a few things yesterday and one of them was to go round a garden centre – I needed some more coriander and dill (both had bolted) and while I was there, I also picked up some hyssop, chervil and basil (Greek, Genovese and Black).

I also wanted to tackle the bed nearest the kitchen door, which has a hideous slug / creeping yellow buttercup problem.  I ended up getting another sea holly, six marigolds, two petunias (one black, one purple and white) and some thing I can’t remember the name of.  It is quite possible the slugs will eat the petunias but maybe they won’t.

Before I planted all that out, I sprayed the creeping yellow buttercup with some noxious weedkiller.  Then I had an attack of guilt and became I had killed the entire bed.  So I got the hose out and watered the whole bed down.  Then I did what I did last time and dug the yellow buttercup out with my hand fork.

Flowerbed with new plants and without the yellow buttercup (for now)

One thing I did notice when I was planting the new sea holly is that there seemed to be three little sea holly plants already in the bed.  I will be amazed if they are actually sea holly plants (because plants I like don’t tend to reproduce, only ones I hate – like the yellow buttercup).  However, I have moved them (one to the middle of this bed and two to another bed) and will see how they do.

I love marigolds but was always convinced that they would clash with all my other flowers.  However, I am past caring.  As long as the bastard slugs don’t eat them, I will be happy enough.  The pelargoniums have only just started to recover.

My kind husband also got me another cold frame (because, once I repotted my foxglove seedlings, I didn’t have room for them all.  Then the slugs ate most of the ones outside the cold frame).  I got some yellow foxglove seeds and sowed them in a tray with normal compost.  I’m not sure how they’ll do – there were only about 65 seeds in the packet (the packets of ordinary foxglove seeds have about 1,500 in there) but I hope that two or three will come through.  I’ve never seen a yellow foxglove.

Flowers from my husband’s mum

Gardening for wildlife

A while ago, my husband’s mum got me a marvellous book, RSPB Gardening for Wildlife.  It is super handy and has lovely pictures.  I still refer to it quite often.  Anyway, if you are looking for this sort of thing, I recommend that you get a copy.

For my birthday this year, she got me this:

Insect Hotel!
Insect Hotel!

This is very exciting.  All the different sections are meant to house different insects (mason bees, ladybirds, butterflies, green lacewings, digger wasps and wild bees).  My children helped to decide where it should go (facing south, above knee height and out of the wind and rain); luckily, we had just the spot by the rose garden.  Also, as my children are Not Allowed to go in the rose garden, it might mean that anything that chooses to live there will escape poking.  They can see it though so I hope that we get some visitors over the winter.

I’ve been having a poke around in the wildflower meadow.  I took some nice photos with my husband’s camera but haven’t downloaded them yet – in the meantime, here are some taken with my iPhone.

Foxgloves and tall blue plant
Foxgloves and tall blue plant

Could the tall, blue plant be tufted vetch?  I didn’t think that got to be particularly tall but these are quite a bit taller than my foxgloves.

On one of the plants, I noticed this.

Weird metallic blob
Weird metallic blob

I have no idea what it is – I had thought a beetle but it’s actually a blob covered in other blobs.  Is something cool going to hatch out of it?

In another patch of the garden, I noticed a load of what looks like white rosebay willowherb.  I know that this attracts Elephant Hawkmoths but I must admit that I’ve been pulling a few out as they’d rather surrounded my hydrangeas and I really want my hydrangeas to survive (thrive? flower?).  I understand that the willowherbs tend to be quite invasive so I’m sure there are enough left for the moths.

White rosebay willowherb
White rosebay willowherb

It’s Fridaaaaay!!!

Sorry for the lack of posts.  Not a lot has happened.

  • I got over my pisco sour hangover (not a terrible hangover actually, I’ve had white wine hangovers that lasted for DAYS and felt like serious depression – this was nothing like that);
  • I got some lovely presents from my husband and children.  It feels a bit uncouth to do a present haul but they were very nice indeed;
  • I had a giant spot between my eyebrows that has gone but has left a scar.  I hope this will fade;
  • I ripped one of my Boden tunics, right at the front.  It’s gone to the dry cleaners to be patched.  Surprisingly expensive – but not as expensive as a new one;
  • Mice have EATEN holes in one of my favourite cardigans.  All right, it was as old as my son and bobbled but I LIKED IT.  My friend A has sent me the details of a mouse killer man she uses; and
  • That’s about it.

I’m spending the weekend with my husband’s parents so there are going to be a couple of days without posts.  It is Father’s Day this Sunday – do not forget.

Guerilla gardening in Barnsbury.  I reported all the dogshit nearby (out of picture)
Guerilla gardening in Barnsbury. I reported all the dogshit nearby (out of picture)

Roses, window boxes and my birthday

Today is my birthday so this will be a short post.  There may or may not be a post tomorrow, depending on whether I have a hangover.

The other day I weeded my window box and it looks so much better.  For some reason, I can’t put the picture in my media library so you will have to take my word for it.  However, here is a picture of someone else’s window box and it is even better.

I'd never thought to put nasturtiums in there
I’d never thought to put nasturtiums in there

Since I love them, also have some pictures of some roses from Gibson Square.

I love multicoloured roses all jumbled in together. I hope mine end up looking like this
I love multicoloured roses all jumbled in together. I hope mine end up looking like this
Roses and heuchera
Roses and heuchera