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Fairies and Dragons

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          Do you remember my washing line hooks… Cleverly “Disguised” as fairy brackets for my bird feeders to hang on? 

          Well now there’s another fairy in the garden too… 

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          Mum-in-law brought her… how could I possibly refuse her a home in the flowerbeds, she looks really great against the background of the white wall, she’s lovely.  And what’s more, she stands in front of two little solar powered lights so her silhouette shows up even more as the sun goes down.

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          I’m not what you would call green-fingered at all, so I haven’t made many spaces to grow flowers, I’m enjoying filling the garden with pretty things to look at and what could be more perfect to accompany the fairies in my garden but a “Baby Dragon“…

          Two baby dragons maybe? .

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           More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

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Pink pom-poms

          Armeria, Rubrifolia (commonly known as Thrift) …” Delicate dark pink flowers with distinctive round heads spreading over evergreen mounds of grassy, bronze foliage.  Flowering between spring and early summer, growing to 20cm high and spreading to 30cm. 615201991825

          The colour from the alpines is a little late this year as its their first year… And I was a little late in planting them… But its arriving.

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          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

Fat Pigeon

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          This rather portly pigeon has been visiting the garden regularly for some time now.  Last year he just watched from afar from the tree in next-door’s garden, I’m not really surprised considering the chaos I was causing “building the garden” at the time, but this year, little by little he seems to have become comfortable with us living here.  He started by just sitting on the top of the back wall out of reach and gradually took ownership of the rest of the garden too.  Now he patrols the flowerbeds looking for the seeds dropped by the smaller birds as they peck away at the fat balls in the feeders.

          He’s not particularly careful with my flowers, he does tend to stomp around and flatten them a bit, but since without him I’d have to weed out a lot more little shoots from the disguarded seeds than I do now, he’s forgiven.

          In the photo he was brave enough to come right to the front of the crazy patio to meet “Snap and Crackle“, my two concrete rabbits, but on the weekend he surprised my Mum as she went to the fridge because he had ventured just inside the backdoor. 

        More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

Alpine adventures

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         Surely you didn’t expect me to be on a mountain… I’m just gathering a few notes and pictures to reference back to as hopefully the alpine plants in the flowerbeds survive the “battle of the shells” with the local cats.

          Chiastophyllum oppositifolium (commonly known as lambs tail or gold drop) …  “Arching racemes of yellow flowers above evergreen, bright green, creeping, succulent rosettes”.  Flowering between late spring and early summer. Growing 15cm high and spreading to 60cm. 

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          Lithodora diffusa alba (commonly known as white gromwel …   “Long succession of star white flowers above low evergreen spreading, shrubby mats of dark green foliage”.   Growing to 10cm high and spreading to 60cm. (I seem to remember having a blue version of this one in the old garden… Before the age rabbits) . 

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          Dianthus deltoides brilliant …  “Bright, deep rose, single flowers above dense mats of evergreen, narrow-leaved, deep green, flushed purple foliage.  Flowering between late spring and late summer.   Growing to 15cm high and spreading to 30cm. (again, in sure I had these before, only with blue flowers, in the old garden under the “Orange pyracantha” .

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          Armeria, Bevan’s Variety…” Pale pink flower heads above evergreen mounds of grassy, grey-green foliage”.   Flowers between late spring and early summer,  grows to 10cm high and spreads to 25cm. 

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          Sedum, acre Aureum… “Dazzling, bright, yellow flowers on evergreen, pale green, fleshy-leaved, travelling mats with golden tipped stems. Flowering between early to mid summer, growing to 5cm high and spreading to 30cm. 

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          Sedum, Dragon’s blood… “Deep red flower heads are displayed above a carpet of attractive evergreen foliage in mid summer”.  Grows to 15cm high and spreads to 60cm. 

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          Helianthemum, The Bride. (commonly known as Rock Rose)…“Proffusuon of pure white, yellow centred, saucer-shaped flowers. Vigorous, evergreen, silver-grey carpeting mounds.  Growing 20cm high and spreading to 60cm

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         ” Armeria, Rubrifolia” (commonly known as Thrift) …” Delicate dark pink flowers with distinctive round heads spreading over evergreen mounds of grassy, bronze foliage.  Flowering between spring and early summer, growing to 20cm high and spreading to 30cm. And again, there’s a picture or two of the white variety of these at the old house in the orange flowerbed.

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          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

Battle of the shells

          It would appear the war with the local cats being waged in my garden may finally be coming to an end.

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          Viewing our house before buying it turned out to be quite an uncomfortable moment, we knew the house had a sitting tennant who would be moved on as their home for seven years was sold out from under them, what we didn’t expect was that said tenant would be quite literally sitting watching TV as we were shown around the house.

          During a little forced polite conversation we established that there were three cats living in the house with them.   No big deal breaker there,  I’m a cat-lover myself and if properly cared for they can be wonderful pets.  I’m not at all a fan though of the uninvited, jumping, biting, egg-laying, house guests the cats often bring with them… And in this case, leave behind when they move on.

          The house was supposedly professionally cleaned in the time between the tenants moving out and our moving in but within only a short time we discovered clues left behind by our uninvited house guests.  Youngest Daughter stayed for just one night and took home with her a few tell-tale reminders of the visitors while I sprayed the house liberally from top to bottom and without an animal to host our unwanted guests, I found myself on the menu while I waited them out.

          Before long, the house was thoroughly clean and clear but confusingly, I was still being eaten, not Hubby, or anyone else who visited, just me.  It turned out that one of the local cats was visiting our shed through the broken window and leaving its own little house guests behind.  Fixing the broken shed window, as you can imagine, wasn’t high on my “to-do” list, so for a quick fix I bought a piece of perspex the right size and glued it to the inside.

          No more visits from the local cats, or their visitors, problem solved… That is until my flowerbeds were ready.

          The fresh well levelled soil in the bed’s was apparently just calling out to the local cats and I found my flowers turned over or buried on many an occasion.  I tried a few repellent treatments but the cats kept coming back, eventually the pansies grew to fill the gaps at the front of the bed’s and most of the big bulbs survived to fight another day, but as the big bulbs started to die back the pansies grew scraggily and needed replacing, the cats attacked again, very inconveniently using my flowerbeds for their convenience.

          I bought some little alpine plants to replace the pansies on the front line and remembered a bag full of shells I’d collected from the beach which were sitting in the shed ready for just such an occasion.  Instead of taking out the pansies completely, I moved them to fill the gaps between my alpines until they spread and the shells are spread over the soil in between.

          Who knew cats didn’t like to walk on or dig up shells.  They make a very pretty deterant.  The alpines are settling in nicely since the digging has stopped, they’ll soon fill most of the front flowerbeds themselves, the borrowed gravel can then return to the front garden and the shells can move to the back of the bed’s ready for the bulbs to lift them when they poke through in the spring.  

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          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

Flowerbed update

          The winter pansies in the two flowerbeds have more or less run their course and are soon to be removed and replaced by summer plants, but instead of more seasonal bedding plants, I’ve been to “Goulds“, my local garden centre and picked out a few evergreen Alpine plants.

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           The daffodils behaved beautifully, growing tall and strong, battling the winds with great success as we caught the tail end of the few storms which made it to our island.

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          The purple pom-poms did extremely well too, they held their pretty round heads high on solid, stick-like stems. 

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          Unfortunately the honey lillies didn’t fair too well, whether from battling against the winds of from not being assertive enough against the daffodil and pom-pom leaves as they grew I’m not sure, the stems seemed strong enough, but they wound their way upwards and needed a lot of help to find a skyward direction and to support their pretty flowered heads.  I’ll make sure they get a little earlier help next year.

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        Sparaxis, these are new to me, they’ve brought many smiles this year, lots of different colours at just the right time and height for me to enjoy them. The number of bulbs has at least doubled for next year and I’m already looking forward to them.

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          The little bulbs at the front of the bed’s, the snowdrops and crocuses didn’t fare do well, they came up and went pretty much un-noticed which was a shame, the weather beat us back indoors instead of inviting us out into the garden and the little bulbs were too small to see from the kitchen window so as I poked around in the soil, removing the odd old pansy and planting the new alpines, I gathered a few handfuls of the little bulbs and Mum-in-law is taking them home for a patch in her garden where they will get the appreciation they deserve.

        The four clumbing roses have grown far more than I expected them to. Mum-in-law has shown me how to not just grow long stems up over the arches with next year’s roses all flowering at the top, but to keep cutting a few shorter stems too, meaning I will have a nice spread of roses over the whole arch next year.

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          As the bulbs have finished flowering and the leaves have died back to provide next year’s plant food, I’ve had a running battle with one or two of the local cats over who’s flowerbeds they really are.  Now that the back of the bed’s underneath the arches are a little bare, I’m expecting another cat attack so I’ve headed them off by placing pretty shells over the ground to keep it safe for next year’s bulbs to come through.

          I only had enough shells for the one flowerbed, and that was including all of the broken pieces as well as some tiny ones, so I spread them out prettily under the arch and around the new plants where the cat made its last attack… Success… Sort of… The cat didn’t like the shells… But it moved to the other flowerbed.

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          I called in reinforcements, and borrowed some gravel from the front garden. I moved the whole, larger shells to the front of each bed, carefully placing them around the new alpines and in the gaps left by the retiring pansies, then spread a very thin layer of gravel “Underneath the Arches“, to hopefully be replaced by next spring as the storms bring me more shells on the high tides through the winter.

          The broken bits of shells?  Well, they’ve gone to join the gravel on the front garden to add interest to my repayment when the borrowed gravel is returned. 

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          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“. 

Garden Frogs

          I’ve got frogs in my garden.  But not normal frogs who live in a pond … Normal is way over rated, my frogs are green bendy frogs and live in my roses …

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          More from before : going’s on in my “Garden“.