Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: June 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Photo a day....30th June.

More from Chelsea.
I know I should have got down lower for these photos, but late in a long day on my feet it just wasn't going to happen! If you click on the photos you'll see why I was intrigued by this display. It was a sort of block of flats for bugs to hibernate in, which was also attractive to look at. The plants are also attractants for insects.

This was on the Writtle College stand in the Lifelong Learning section in the Grand Pavilion. (I always learn such a lot from this section at the show). This particular stand had lots of wonderful tips for green gardeners....and I loved this one.
In their free leaflet they have a section entitled "Why a Wildlife Garden is a Green Garden". They explain that
"Wildlife can be very specific about the type of habitat it will live in. Often, certain species are extremely sensitive to environmental disturbance and especially so where pollution is concerned.
Quite simply, the more species your garden contains, the healthier it is likely to be. Wildlife in a garden is an excellent indicator therefore of your "green" credentials.
An Army of Garden Helpers.
A vast range of creatures may take up permanent or temporary residence in a garden.Whilst a few of these are well known to us as potential pests that can damage our garden plants, the overwhelming majority will cause no harm at all.

Some species are extremely beneficial in the garden and will actually help you to control [pests by eating them and keeping their numbers down naturally. Encouraging these in the garden can have positive benefits by enabling you to reduce pesticide use.
Any garden can be enhanced through the inclusion of nest boxes or hibernation sites for these creatures; if you have room you can build a "habitat stack" like the one shown here."

So, guess what I'm planning both in my garden and at the plot?!!!!! I hope mine can look as beautiful as this one.
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo a day....29th June.

The Garden of Transience.

Another garden which was difficult to photograph, so I've photocopied the blurb we were given (first picture).

The Chelsea guide says.....

"Garden of Transience has been designed by a Japanese landscape architect. Set within an urban environment, either as a private garden or a tiny space enclosed by office buildings, the themes of this garden are tranquility and a sense of transience. The small garden can be a valuable space
where it is possible to hide away and nurture inner calm; a place for stepping away from our busy lives and becoming immersed in our senses.
The garden ids designed to project light and shadow. Mirror-like water in a shallow basin reflects the movement of the sky revealing nature's constant state of flux. Bamboo sways and captures the sound of the breeze. The design demonstrates a Japanese perspective on the perception of space, especially by changing the quality of light and obscuring the appearance of objects.
This is an experimental garden, which emphasizes the transience of nature; it awakens our memories, just as a poem might awaken something deep within our mind."

All a bit fanciful, but I sort of get what he means....! And I think I might not feel to tranquil if it was my job to mow those slopes and trim those edges. A garden for those with staff I think.

(BTW I completely forgot to do a PAD for yesterday....what a nit!)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

At last I got to the plot this afternoon. It was dry all day (til this evening!) so I took the opportunity to sow some more beetroot seeds, and to weed the onions. I also hoed the weeds on half the plot, the other half was too wet to do.

When I'd finished I took these photos to show the corner which hasn't been touched yet and which I hope to start on soon. I want to get back to bare soil and then build some compost and manure bays using palettes.

I also need to sort out some sort of paving in front of the shed. There were lots of slabs left on the plot so I won't have to get any more.

We have been eating our first earlies. Rocket. I think I let them get a bit large because they are almost the size of Baking spuds. We are not thrilled with them. They have to be steamed or they turn to mush, and there is not much flavour either. I won't have them next year.
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Photo a day.....27th June.

A garden to take tea in.

Almost a black-and-white photo, but there were patches of colour. It was very calming.

The Chelsea guide said....
"This city garden has been designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Benevolent Fund for the Aged. The garden is the centrepiece of the launch of a campaign called Best Tea Time Ever!, which will raise funds for NBFA's work with older people who live on a low income. The garden has a timeless, classic design, to suit the needs of people with busy lifestyles who require a quiet outdoor space.

The clean, formal lines, low maintenance planting, and comfortable sofas for sitting back and relaxing with a good book or newspaper and a cup of tea, create the ideal outdoor room. The mirrored panels, travertine floor tiles and water brighten the space by reflecting light into the garden, and a modern piece of sculpture provides a dramatic focal point."

I loved it....except for the "sculpture"....not my taste...!
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Photo a day.....26th June.

Un-tei (Garden of the Clouds).

Because my photos don't do this garden justice, I have photocopied the little plan and plant list we were give as well as posting my photos.

The Chelsea guide says....
"Stepping into this little garden, enclosed by green walls, reminds you of a welcoming place you visited as a child.
Remembering forgotten childhood memories can bring comfort to your soul".

That's all it says.....because the garden didn't really need words to explain it. It was a little dream space......lovely. The walls/hedges were actually moss. I wanted to touch them.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Photo a day....25th June.

A City Haven.

Another small one that optically confused the viewer into thinking it was much bigger.

The Chelsea guide said....
"This is a small, intimate, sheltered garden adjacent to a ground floor apartment within the bustling city of Moscow; a calm space in which to escape the fast pace of a professional lifestyle.
Large shrubs and small trees break up the boundary lines, hold the eye within the space and create a degree of privacy from neighbouring gardens and apartments. The planting is simple, based predominantly on form and shape, texture and shades of green, with the interjection of small flowers. In essence, the design creates the effect of a small woodland area within an urban environment.
All of the plants used are hardy enough to withstand the Moscow climate.
A small raised water feature and bold contemporary artwork provide shots of interest, and contrast with the planting and the rendered boundary walls."

I admit I liked it very much, but I was at a loss to understand how it had a Russian connection. It seemed to be a pretty universally appropriate garden. However, remembering that it had the Moscow theme enabled me to find it in the guide and thus be able to name it correctly!!!

(NB For obvious reasons I have done no gardening today. Tomorrow is looking more promising...!))
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Photo a day.....24th June.

What do you think of these absolutely gorgeous "Wendy" houses being shown at Chelsea. We'd have died of delight if we'd had one of these in our garden as children. In fact I'd die with delight if I had one now!!!!!!
Not much happening here today garden wise as it poured and poured and poured. Must go to dig up spuds for dinner tomorrow, so hope there'll be a window of opportunity or it'll be rice for dinner!
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Friday, June 22, 2007

Not much gardening done today as it rained all morning and this afternoon I was otherwise engaged. This evening though, I watered the tunnel and some of the beds that don't get any wet from the rain because the leaves shed it elsewhere.

When in the tunnel I was intrigued to know where a delightful scent was coming from. It was the lemon tree I bought in May at the Ventnor Botanic Garden. I really hadn't expected that gorgeous scent.

There are seven or eight blossoms, and I hope that means 7 or 8 lemons. There are 5 or 6 tiny lemons on it at the moment, which I hope grow to full size. I need to get some citrus feed for adding when watering.

When I bought the tree it had three beautiful lemons on it. We had them last week. They were thin skinned, very juicy, and really really tasty. I am not expecting it to produce enough for us....we use two a day...but nevertheless there is something wonderful about growing one's own lemons!!!!

What shall I try next?!!!!!

After this season's tomatoes and peppers etc in the tunnel have finished I am going to re-model the inside. I am going to do away with the deep beds and dig the floor up. I see lots of tunnels where they use the soil inside very successfully, and I think it would give me more flexibility. A narrow path down the middle to the back door, and the staging on either side inside the front door will give a huge growing area, 11'x10' with a narrow path through the middle. I have too much path at the moment and wish to use it better. Also, it will be easier to dig the ground and add goodness rather than trying to "stir" it into the deep beds.

I have a scheme for watering it too, using drip hoses attached to a hose from the butts. I might even rig up a diverter on the downpipe which collects the water from the front roof of the house, and bring all that water direct to the tunnel. I can't put a butt on that downpipe because it is in the front garden, but a diverter would be quite unobtrusive. I feel cheated when we have a downpour and all that water goes into the drains.

I am away all day tomorrow at my quilt show, so no gardening or blogging til Sunday.

I have a bit of a nuisance to sort out at the moment in the tunnel. The barley straw that I got from the pet shop (as I couldn't find anything else) to put around the strawberries has obviously dropped seeds and I am getting a crop of "grass" in the beds. It is difficult to weed out so I have a big job on for one day soon.
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Photo a day...22nd June.

A Pleasance for the Rose & Lily Queen.

Another of the courtyard gardens. Rather strange but others might love it.....

The Chelsea show guide says....
"In 1631 Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1, acted out the part of Flora in Ben Jonson's masque Chloridia. She loved acting so much that even at the height of the Civil War, she insisted on taking time out to learn her lines. This design, with a backdrop designed by Inigo Jones, is her outdoor theatre garden, and offers a taste of courtly drama.

Flora, the goddess of flowers, was sent from heaven to give the earth flowers, to reflect the presence of stars in the sky. Flora sits on a lily throne between heaven and earth. Allegorically, the Queen had the divine right and ability to mediate between heaven and earth. The parterre is based on a design for a bigger garden by Andre Mollet, the Queen's favourite, discovered in the RHS's Lindley Library.

John Tradescant Junior's tombstone, at the Museum of Garden History in London, refers to his "Rose and Lily Queen"; the French lily had married the English rose. Land around palaces was open to the public, but there were small private gardens known as pleasances in close proximity to the palace for the royal family to enjoy. So this garden is a pleasance, for the Rose and Lily Queen."

I didn't get many photos of it because there actually wasn't much to photograph.....!
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just worked in the Kitchen Garden at home today. I pulled the shallots as they keep trying to flower. They are drying off a bit in the tunnel prior to pickling.

In their place I planted the gladioli corms that should have gone i some time ago. They were all sprouting. I had 70 bulbs...which take up the other half of the deep bed which I sowed with radishes etc two weeks ago. These are for cutting and for gifts.

In the garlic and broad bean bed I planted out the p s broccoli, cabbages and red Brussels sprouts. They are well watered in, have their "collars" and stakes where necessary. Also I netted the bed as the butterflies are very numerous at the moment.

I also weeded some more of the deep beds, and picked the strawberries.

I'll not get back to the plot until Sunday afternoon now. I have a quilt show on the mainland (the North Island as wags here call it!) on Saturday, and a busy day tomorrow getting things ready for the day away.

Photo a day...21st June.

Le Jardin de Vincent.

This garden was really cute. The Chelsea guide says...
"Between 1888 and 1890 Vincent van Gogh stayed in Provence. Enthused by the quality of the light and the countryside, he produced some of his most famous works. Le Jardin de Vincent captures fragments of van Gogh's paintings, from Yellow House to Irises. The clues are in the garden
: the easel with its half-painted canvas, palette and brushes on a table, pipe and tobacco on a chair, straw hat, old boots and dried sunflowers.... Visitors can make their own association with van Gogh, his paintings and the gardens he loved.

The garden is simple, with a colour palette of gentle greys and greens. These bring the striking blue of the irises and the sunshine orange of the Calendula to life. A fig and oleander lean lazily against the house. Three cypresses brood dark green by the window. An old olive tree is surrounded by lavenders, santolinas, thyme and oxe-eye daisies. The leaves of Calamagrostis mimic the wheat fields painted by van Gogh.

This is a garden of broad brush strokes, moving colours and a seductive simplicity that are suggestive of van Gogh's work."

That blurb is very fanciful, but the gist is that the garden was simple. It was, but that is its charm. You could "live" with this garden quite comfortably.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Spent a while at the plot this morning whilst it was still shady as I don't "do" sun! I started thinning the beetroots with the intention of using the little ones for pickling whole and leaving the rest to grow a bit bigger before harvesting them for the same purpose. But when I started pulling them I found that there were some big ones already, and a lot of them were being eaten by woodlice....armies of them. So I pulled all that were any size at all, then came home and spent the afternoon pickling them. I ended up with 7 large jars full. That isn't nearly enough for us so I must re-sow and hope to get the same amount again or more before winter. I think there is time.

I'll be looking to pull some of the carrots soon I think. I've not grown this variety before (Flakee) and I'm not sure how long to leave them or how big to let them grow.

The onions are swelling slowly....I think we'll have enough here for us for the winter.

These still need a jolly good weeding when I have a minute.
The courgettes are slowly picking up and beginning to fruit.
The cabbages which were a gift from my neighbour at the plots, and the p s broccoli, are really growing on now. I'll have to remove the net next time I go to the plot and hoe the weeds off before they get a hold.

I might have time soon for a good clear out of the shed at the plot. It needs more shelves to make it organisable.
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Photo a day.....20th June.

Casa Forte.

It was a pity I saw this when the sun was hiding. It is a Mediterranean garden that needs the sun to make it "sing".

The Chelsea catalogue tells us that...." This is a cool Mediterranean retreat, reflecting the essence of styles from that region to emulate a relaxed holiday feeling within the garden at home.
Crushed Limestone, geometric shapes and Roman terracotta roof tiles pick out the colours and textures of classic Mediterranean architecture. The rustic walling of rammed earth adds a North African flavour to the fusion. Hot, dry planting, such as Olea europaea, pays tribute to the countryside, and contrasts with the cool, lush foliage in the shade of the courtyard wall. The traditional elements of running water from the village spring and clipped Buxus sempervirens have been given a contemporary twist."
This was another garden that I fell in love with. It makes me feel I am on holiday, and sitting reading a "summer" read novel would be very appealing in these surroundings.

Another small garden that manages to look big!

NB For those who haven't been following these photos of mine from the start....they are from my visit to the Chelsea Flower Show last month, and the quotes are from the show catalogue which I bought there.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Photo a day....19th June.

"Moving On".

This garden was very pretty. The guidebook said
"moving On" depicts a complete rear garden, seen from a couple's Victorian terraced cottage. They have downsized from an agricultural background. With its original boundary wall restored, this is a traditional, easily maintained garden that is both productive and pretty.

Soft pastel planting, punctuated by a careful selection of small trees, shrubs and climbers, creates the perfect setting for the couple's memorabilia. The original privy is used as a utility area, and has been lovingly restored with reclaimed timber and enhanced with a drought tolerant living sempervivum roof.

The Moving On garden provides a relaxing environment that the couple can enjoy together, whether tending to the needs of their plants or sitting with a glass of wine on a warm summer evening. This reflects the ethos of our sponsor, Warner Breaks."

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Well everybody....dinner tonight consisted of veg almost all grown on the plot or here at home. We had a romanesco cauli, some mangetout peas, courgettes, garlic, and my first early spuds "Rocket". The skins melted off when I scrubbed them..! All was fresh and tasty.

I went to the plot to dig up spuds, pick courgettes and hoe all round. I was thrilled to see that the last of the raspberry canes was finally showing green leaves; so all 11 are fine, whereas I only ordered and paid for 8.

At home this afternoon I weeded two of the deep beds and picked the mangetout and a lettuce. Tomorrow I need to carry on with the weeding as there is loads left to do.

At the plot I should spend some time tidying up the shed. I have another spare set of shelves that I'm going to take to the plot to help me organise the tiny shed interior.

At some point soon I really want to get on with the bank that still needs clearing, but weeding the onions comes first I think. I'll do some of that tomorrow.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Photo a day....18th June.

East Wind.

This delightful "Courtyard" garden was the same size as "Shinglesea" but the clever design makes it seem much much bigger. It was lovely...!

The blurb in the Chelsea guide says.....
"The Japanese people are used to the rich, seasonal and spontaneous natural landscape of Japan. So how do they feel when seeing the beautiful English countryside for the first time, or watching clouds blow over the Cotswold Hills? These feelings are the inspiration for East Wind, a garden that fuses English plants and scenery with the Japanese landscape.

The garden mixes east and west. Patterns of white sand wrap softly around flowers and green foliage, and a garden gate and stepping stones lead to a bench where, if you sit, you may be able to feel the wind from the east. In a Japanese garden it is common to find features such as the garden gate, or paving, which are included here.East Wind features a fusion approach to garden design that we hope will become popular in the future."

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