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Just the good bits!


I have been meaning to write a blog for some time, but never seem to sit down and do it! The garden is so overgrown that any spare time I am out pulling up nettles and white dead nettle that has taken over the garden. I fractured my wrist last September and though this seems a long time ago the effects are showing in the garden.
Right wrist of course as I am right handed! The garden got ignored, then we had rain, rain and more rain, then it was too cold, Christmas and a ghastly Spring. Excuses, excuses I hear you say, but I am paying for it now, no tidying up before Winter and the weeds got a wonderful head start on me!
Today (Monday) was wet so not outside, but I have some photo’s from before the rain.
The Iris’s are finished now but I have some photo’s that were taken to show my daughter. None of them have names, the ones that did have labels had them removed by Peacocks, Blackbirds or a nocturnal elf that moves labels!
The first one is not in jail, it was just protected from large Peacock bottoms when it was first growing.

Some of these are a bit washed out in colour, for some reason, too much sun, incompetent person with the camera, they came out too light.

Another couple that were less in the sun when I took the photos.

Something else that has gone over now is the large white Poppy. This one sadly in a bed that is riddled with Ground Elder AND Bindweed, two for the price of one! That’s what you get for moving soil from one area to another without realising, we did it when we first moved in as it was the only decent soil in the whole garden – we thought.

This next picture is of two new lupins that OH bought at what I thought was an exorbitant price of £11.00 each, but I suppose they are nicer colours. Later at another nursery the same plants, but bigger were priced at £24.99 which I definitely would not have paid, nor let him!

I have noticed that all prices are much higher this year for all plants in pots. Now is this because of the dire year they had last year, or is it to cover the cost of the new coloured pots that are recyclable and of course will be more expensive than the black ones? It would be interesting to know what everyone thinks.
Now, what else have we got? The Delphiniums are a sea of pale blue, one darker one which is smaller and a newer one which hasn’t flowered yet. Disconcerting as you catch sight of them through the window, makes you think that someone is standing there.

Talking of people standing there, this is George who stands guard over the pond to keep the Heron away. He gets moved every so often and has beautiful silver Xmas baubles for earrings and elsewhere, just to glitter and startle the b thing. Now I know they are beautiful birds in their own right and probably have young to feed, but when OH was getting up at 3.30-4.30 am to watch it bouncing up and down on the expensive netting we bought to cover the pond, it’s no fun. It would jump up and down until the net was level with the water and then wait, hopefully not getting too many fish. Touch wood George is doing his job at the moment and he does get a different view of the pond on a regular basis! Self seeded Foxgloves in the front.

This next one is a Cytisus battanderi or Pineapple Broom tree, which really does smell like pineapple.

Black Lace Elder (Sambucus nigra) with the pink flowers and the lovely cut leaves. Didn’t prune it this year, so it need shaping next Spring.

When we came here both sides of the front garden was lined with Leylandii hedges about 30 ft tall. We had them cut, agreed height about 10ft feet to save the howling wind in the winter, but if you employ crooks and idiots you get what they decide and it was closer to 15-20 feet. Brother in law cut it again later where it had grown at least 6 feet. So it was bite the bullet and pay to have it cut down to about 8 feet, all the side branches cut off and chipped, so we now have just stalks of Leylandii. But it will be manageable as I creep towards mid-70’s. And I have had great fun planting all the climbers to cover the stalks, Clematis, moved climbing roses, Golden Hop, Honeysuckle and loads more. Can’t wait for next year when they hopefully will come into their own. Lack of the hedge has dwindled the huge number of pigeons that would take to the wing at dusk if you went out and made a noise, 30-40 would go up! We still have large hedges further down so they have probably only moved, still with us and not away!
With the lack of hedge, comes light and several plants have made a noticeable spurt this year just because of that and the hedge not taking so much water.
One is the Prunus lusitanica, Portuguese Laurel which was at the base of the hedge to fill in gaps. I have never seen it flower before so it obviously is going to be a happier plant.

Honeysuckle which went in last year, can’t remember the name.

Hosta near the pond and Physocarpus Lady in Red with yellow Loosestrife and self seeded Foxgloves again.

That’s about all of the good bits, meaning the bits that are not still full of weeds. Today I spent up towards the gate in a bed which was supposed to be partly wild flowers. This is the bed where the ‘nice’ soil came from originally, so Ground elder and Bindweed (well they are wild flowers!) also the Stitchwort and Lady’s Bedstraw which I adore. Planted in here a few years back was a Achillea Gold Plate but it is so unmanageable that it got relegated to the field (that’s another blog for another day). It seeds everywhere and I mean everywhere, the paths, roadside, under the hedges and halfway across the front garden. So today was pull them out so I could see to get out the gate! They grow to 5-6 ft on my soil and even with four 2″ × 2″ stakes I couldn’t keep them upright!
I have a blog to write about the wildlife in the garden but I have to warn Hywel at least about photos of birds so that’s another blog. I can’t believe I have spent all of the time it took to play the football match to write and upload the photos – but time much better spent!

More blog posts by honeysucklegold

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I do sympathise with your weed situation. I had some months last year when I couldn't do anything and am still paying the price now. Keep going, you will get there! Love your delphiniums, and the expensive lupins! Do you have your Ladies Bedstraw climbing over something or just scrambling about?

22 Jun, 2021


I have a bed full of bind weed so i do sympathise. I need to bite the bullet and get in amongst it all and clear as much as i can and then keep at it.

22 Jun, 2021


I've realised that it's at this time of year that I always feel most overwhelmed by (and fed-up with) my garden too. And I don't have the excuse of a damaged wrist!
This year we seem to have imported milkweed into every border and we're conviced it's come from some soil conditioner we bought. We've never been so inundated with the stuff before. At least it's easy to remove.
Your delphiniums are gorgeous and the irises are lovely, too. And the pond planting is beautiful. I'll think of you while I'm pulling vegetation out by the handful! The sun is shining this morning - must get on with it!

23 Jun, 2021


Thanks Yorkslass, the weeds had got so bad that even OH, who hates gardening, has been out pulling up nettles, which he doesn't mind but usually steers clear of the garden bit. The Ladies Bedstraw is just in the edge of the wild bit and hopefully hasn't been smothered with Bindweed. Grown hopefully to encourage Humming Bird Hawk Moths to come and stay, which they won't do if they can't see it!

That's my theory on a couple of beds of Bindweed Seaburn. Clear out most or all of the plants, then dig deep and long. Leave the bed empty apart from pots and dig or poison ever time they rear their little heads. Murderous person.

I agree Anget that it's easy to import things, weeds as well as pests from plants and soil. We have a sow-thistle, name unknown, which has fleshy running roots underground that break off and every bit grows, so another pest plant like the bindweed. Add to that the Briony which has a root like parsnip, is a beautiful plant but we think it was the berries of this that killed one of our Peacocks, so it has to go as soon as it is noticed. The pond planting is very natural, in place too natural and some of the wild Yellow Flag Iris will have to go, it can be very invasive. Sun shining here too, but rain forecast for the rest of the week - whether heavy or not we will see.

23 Jun, 2021


I like your Irises I always think they're a regal-looking flower.
What a price for Lupins ! I have a pack of seeds but forgot to sow them lol.
You have majestic Delphiniums. I enjoy seeing them but they always get eaten by slugs when I try them.
George seems to be enjoying his place and he's doing a great job :)
Thanks for the warning about birds. I am being plagued by a robin in my garden who keeps wanting to come near me :( ... GO AWAY !

24 Jun, 2021


Thanks Hywel, You just can't believe that something as ordinary, in the sense of always used to be in a cottage garden, as Lupins can now achieve that sort of price. I shall certainly be growing some more from seed next year and as they don't grow true to colour it's always exciting to see what you get. Patience is the word for growing from seed! My daughter is the same as you and doesn't like birds too close and as for when one gets into the house - she has my Granddaughter to usher it out.
I thought my Delphiniums looked good until I saw a picture of some on our gardening club email, then they looked a bit thin and spindly! But still magnificent flowers, once you get past the stage of eaten by slugs, squashed by Peacocks, eaten by rabbits or blown down by the wind.

25 Jun, 2021


Just found your page Honeysuckle! You sure have your work cut out there , don't you!
You sound very much like me! I suffer with athritis in my hips and still think myself to be young, like you even though I am in my early 70's!
Your delphiniums are magnificent! I imagine your garden is a picture in the summer when hopefully all the weeds are gone!
I have tall anemones in the front round a big cherry tree which were here when we moved nearly 3 years ago. They have totally taken over this area and have spread into the gravel area. I spent a whole day cutting them back and digging quite a lot up, but they have come back with a vengeance now! They have swamped everything else which is growing in there and if I was much fitter would like to take the lot out and start again! The problem is that the people here before us cut back the plum tree and cherry and laid all the branches criss cross all over this area so is difficult to stand on!
I love to see birds in the garden, big and small!
Take care and don't overdo it!

7 Jul, 2021


Thanks Rose. We are obviously of an age by your date attached to your name. I was born 1948 so just a bit ahead of you! I know what you mean about still feeling young, I think I can do so much more in a day than I really can! Hips are dodgy and the gay abandon of jumping off a box or height now has to be considered in case of damage to hips, ankles or just falling over. But.. when I have bemoaned my age, I was told that I shouldn't complain as many people don't get there. Very true, my Mother died in her 50's and with the pandemic old age is not guaranteed. I pity you about the Japanese anemones, ghastly things in the way they spread, pretty in their way, like a bamboo and mint - needs to be confined. Seems a weird idea to lay the branches of the tree like that, I know wood piles are encouraged for the wildlife, but just laid out seems strange. Perhaps they were just too lazy to move them. Today is a day to pull up nettles and thistles that have grown all across the top garden, there used to be a path, so I will first attempt to find that, then move on. I planted an Achillea Gold Plate and a Tansy up there, but one of them seeds itself everywhere, grows too tall to support itself and flops across everything else, so it's another that I am trying to get rid of. Another blog soon about the birds and another visit from the Fox!!!

9 Jul, 2021


You are right Honetsuckle! I am sure he ( only one man lived here) was just being lazy and couldn't be bothered to bag it all up and go to the skip!
I have Achillea Gold Plate and I love it! I get it staked very early in the season so that it doesn't flop.

10 Jul, 2021

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