Slow painting

Monday 26 April 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day April

After a hard winter of snow and frost I had forgotten that the world held delights such as Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Donna at Mamma Mia Days reminded me with her shots of her spring garden, especially the Brunnera variegata, which I now covet. So here are some of the blooms from my chilly Scottish garden. Above, a Magnolia stellata, already going past. In taking this shot I had to get right in among the blooms - I'm sure the neighbours thought I was mad - and the delicate scent was all around me.

Below, a bee enjoying my abundant Helleborus.

The red accents of Pieris something or other, below. In the foreground, some bargain tulips from B&Q, which have outlasted all the more precious (and expensive) bulbs I bought some years ago from specialist suppliers.

A mixture of Arabis and pear blossom:

Abu Hassan tulips, and some Wallflower which I think are called something like Orange Delight. I've just made that up, but it sounds feasible.

Another Pieris, given to me by our then Swedish au pair about 6 years ago.

Finally, basic and cheerful daffodils, with my Brunnera which is not doing too well this year. I have given it my usual regime of benign neglect, but perhaps it needs a treat.

Blooms from around the world are at Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Back to basics

We're almost weed free, thanks to the bitter winter, most of the plot is dug over, and we're further ahead in terms of clear ground than we've been since we took on the plot. But we've decided to go back to basics this year, and spend our time on getting the shape of the plot in hand. Sorting out the borders, defining the central path (look how ragged it is), evening up the size of the two beds on either side, getting rid of The Heap and the corrugated iron.

So this whole big bed is planted with potatoes, onions, shallots and garlic. Red Duke of York and Charlotte potatoes, Shakespeare overwintering onions, garlic (Solent Wight??? I've forgotten already), and several varieties of onion which I must remind myself of. And that's it. Nothing fancy, no celeriac, no green peas which need staking. Just a basic Scottish diet and a lot of hard work on edges and earth moving.

Just to situate you - the bed in front of the dark orange shed is ours. The other half of the plot is off to the left, and the bed to the right, in front of the black shed, is our neighbour's. The hand that is just reaching out to close the blue-spotted shed door is my husband's.

I will post about the other half of the plot when I emerge from another busy spell at work, daughter about to sit important exams, son looking for flat for next university year, hamster in the last couple of weeks of her short life (sob).

Wednesday 7 April 2010

The work squad

So nice to watch other people working!

Saturday 3 April 2010


Arriving at the plot on Sunday, it took us a few moments to realise that although the shed door was bolted shut, the padlock wasn't to be seen, and the ring that it had been fastened to had been cut off. Yes, another shed break-in. This time we were one of about 20 sheds to be 'done'. Inside, everything was very tidy, except that our petrol strimmer was gone.

This is the second strimmer we've lost to theft, and I suppose it means we'll have to keep the replacement in the garage at home. For me this is less than ideal, as the garage is where we hang clothes to dry on a pulley when it's too wet to use the outside clothes line. Having made it through 19 years of children's washing without a tumble drier, I'm not about to cave in now. So either I have to reconcile myself to a faint odour of petrol around the clothes (my husband swears he can't smell anything), or we risk having the new strimmer stolen.