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Canalhopper's Garden


This blog will just be some random jottings and pictures of our garden, and a way of sending photos to friends on GOY, because there seems to be no way I can send photos in private messages.

Monday, 14th August, 2017
This picture is for owdboggy. We were talking about a plant he has in his garden, and I thought I had the same one. Now I shall find out!

Today has been a good day, I have at last finished weeding this border.

Last year, we went to visit a garden near Bodfari, called Clwydfryn, open under the NGS, and the owner had used Strulch, as a means of combatting weeds. I’m going to give it a go. I don’t have the time or energy to keep weeding!

Below are some pictures of the next job—a border to weed at least twice the size of the one I’ve just finished…..

A couple of hours a day, easy does it!

Here are a couple of pictures of our pond:

The pond is my husband’s province, he had it dug out, and maintains it, though I do have a say! We have to net it, as the heron thinks it’s a self service cafeteria….

Below is a general view of our garden:

Wednesday, 16th August
We had a good day today. We visited Llyn Brenig, never been there before. We went to the visitors’ centre for lunch and had a walk around the area. The scenery is stunning and the heather is out in all its glory. Came home via Denbigh and Ruthin. Wonderful views of the Clwyddian range.

When we got home, there was a delivery of Strulch. I’ve put it on the border I’ve just weeded, and it really looks OK. I had wondered if it would look too artificial. There’s no doubt that soil looks better, but weeds look worse. It was too dark when I’d finished to take a picture, but I’ll do that soon so you can see how it looks.

Thursday, 17th August
Below are two pictures of the border with the Strulch in place. Not too awful and, if it stops the weeds growing, worth the surface appearance.

The next picture is of the table all set under the gazebo, ready for friends to come for lunch.

Friday, 25th August

Below is a picture of the start of my auricula theatre. Yes, the theatre is only a couple of Gardman stands, but great oaks from little acorns grow. I was very lucky, in that I mentioned on GOY that I was thinking of making an Auricula theatre and was offered a lot of auriculas by a friend. It was a great boost to my new hobby!

Tuesday, 3rd October

We’ve just spent three and a half weeks in Alsace with the caravan. The garden looks a wreck! Once I’ve finished the piles of laundry, cleared and cleaned the van, then I shall be spending every waking hour in the garden. Maybe I’ll post some pictures tomorrow, to give an idea of what needs doing.

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018
Well, a long gap between posts, I’m afraid, but I’ve just started in the garden again after a long, cold, wet and dark winter here in North Wales.

The Auriculas have mostly made it through the winter, only a few have died.

Now I need Trev to build me a proper Auricula Theatre…..

The snowdrops are coming to an end, but the Snowflake plant I bought last year is just coming into bloom.

Two years ago we put water in a barrel and put in some plants taken from the main pond. Some weeks later, we saw tiny fish in there. There must have been some eggs on the plants we moved. Now there are at least twenty tiny fish in the barrel.

The hebe is coming in to flower.

The Winter Beauty clematis on the pergola has been flowering for a while.

This heron is the only sort allowed to look at the pond! Isn’t it beautiful? Friends gave it to me for my birthday.

The fish are swimming round optimistically, hoping for food.

We’ve lifted the sides of the anti-heron netting all round the pond, ready for the annual invasion of frogs. I was at a quiz the other week, and one question was, “what is the collective name for a group of frogs?” Apparently it is “an army”. I didn’t know that.

Saturday, 3rd March

Well, I really thought we were on the way to Spring, with the couple of fine days we had, then, wham, eight inches of snow with drifts up to two feet in the garden, and below freezing for days.

Even the river in town is frozen.

No doubt almost everyone else on here is in a similar situation. It will certainly slow down any outdoor work for a while.

Saturday, 29th April
At last a day without rain! Trev gave the lawn its first cut with the new mower. We’ve bought a petrol mower from Aldi, and it seems to be very efficient. It has a Briggs and Stratton engine, and did a lovely job.
I’ve sown lots of seeds in the potting shed, and also planted peas in the vegetable bed.
The auriculas are doing really well, I’m so pleased with them. There is such a variety of colours and forms, they’re lovely. Thank you so much to their generous owner who gave them to me.

More blog posts by canalhopper



Well done. Pity it doesn't stay done isnt it! Its looking very pretty.

14 Aug, 2017


The garden looks great, lovely big borders. The pond is certainly impressive, he should be proud of that. Strange how men like a pond even if they don't like gardening. I have one of those! All those lovely rocks and stones, no expense spared I expect.
And Stera, it doesn't stay done because you can practicularly hear the weeds sighing with relief behind you, that you given them some more room to grow.

14 Aug, 2017


I think the first picture is of Pearlwort. Sagina procumbens which is what is known as a 'primary coloniser'. It is one of the first to colonise waste land or cracks and crevices where little else grows. Hard to kill too. Even my flame gun does not burn it off. However at least the roots are not persistent so you can pull it out without worrying that what you leave behind will re-grow.
Garden looks great.

14 Aug, 2017


What a lovely garden you have Canalhopper. It has a nice soft colouring. I pack the plants in so that I don't have to weed. I have hedges and four lawns to cut tho'.

14 Aug, 2017


Thank you for all the kind comments.
I'm trying to pack the plants in Linda, but have only created this border this year, so am still buying/begging plants! We have someone to cut the hedges once a year, as they're a lot of work.
Thanks for the ID owdboggy.
BeIieve it or not, Honeysuckle, all the rocks and stones were in the garden when we got here. Every time I dig I find dozens of stones, I think they must be growing! Someone told me it is to do with the ice age and glacial movement, and all the stones got pushed down into the valley...... I don't know if there's any truth in that.

15 Aug, 2017


Definitely true about the rocks. We have the same 'problem' if you can call it that. We had a visit from a geologist friend who spent a happy few hours with his eye-glass examining the rocks in our garden and telling us gleefully where they came from. Most of them seem to have begun down the West coast of Britain. They were brought here and to your part of the world by glaciers and left when the ice melted. Glacial erratics is the collective name.
Mind where you are there should be a fair number of bits of limestone from the Escarpment above the valley. The Panorama Walk follows it.
And if you need any more plants you are always welcome to come and collect some.

15 Aug, 2017


You have a beautiful garden C'hopper, your borders and pond look very well cared for, really something to be proud of, I can see why you have someone cutting the hedges though, blimey that would really take a long time trying to cope with that huge job as well, not only that its a very tedious job isn't it, time much better spent doing the nicer parts of gardening....I have rock envy here, the only thing that comes up in chunks in my garden is clay...

15 Aug, 2017


Thank you Lincslass. We keep working at it! Enjoyed your blog too.

16 Aug, 2017


Oh yes we have to keep at it else the plants/weeds think its their decision on where to grow, saying that I do allow a lot of the planting free reign. Thankyou I'm pleased you enjoyed it....

16 Aug, 2017

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