This Month

This Month May 2015 - Thursday, 30 Apr 2015

This is such an exciting time in the garden after the anticipation of waiting for rare and special plants to show their faces we can now assess the success, and occasional failures, of some of our daring planting schemes. I particularly enjoy the appearance of the ground cover in the shrubberies where in recent years we have been planting more and more unusual plants. This year is no exception as on a recent trip we bought some new treasures - Lilium pardalinum (Leopard Lily) which can grow to 8ft (2.4m) and has flowers of salmon pink and yellow with brown spots and likes to be cool in the summer. Peltoboykinia watanabei  which is a hardy Japanese woodlander with creamy-yellow flowers and palmate leaves. Uvularia sessilifolia (Bellwort or Merry Bells) which is a low perennial  with small delicate bell-shaped yellow flowers. Betula nana (Dwarf Birch) of only 2-4ft (0.6-1.2m) from above the Artic Circle for a cold damp area.

Last year mum saved seeds from our Martagon Lilies and they have germinated so well that she potted them on with about 5 in a pot and still used 100 pots. If they all grow this should give some lovely displays when we plant them out.

When we had a little rain I moved a few more plants such as white Violets to a dry shady area and Cowslips into the grass in the Lower Garden. There are a few areas where rabbits are a particular nuisance not allowing anything to grow and I am trying to decide whether to mass plant and surround the areas with netting until the plants take hold. On the other hand if I did that there is the chance that the rabbits would attack areas which have delicate plants and so cause problems there. I am quite pleased that a neighbours cat has a partiality to rabbit meat as she is helping to protect our vegetable garden.

I haven’t found time to make a new seat for the Lower Dingle and now I am thinking of a very simple construction with a wood base, maybe just one very large log, and on top placing a large natural stone from the garden which I just happen to have lying around waiting to be used.

I spent an hour ambling around picking the top fresh leaves off nettles, then added water, lemon zest and ginger, simmer a while, add lemon juice and sugar, when cool add yeast and put in a demi-john. In three months I will bottle it - not quite sure what I will do with it then!

I heard the 1st cuckoo near the garden on 24th April and as I write this I have not yet seen any Swallows returned but they do have such a difficult time avoiding the guns in the Mediterranean area it is just gook luck for those which do get through.

One evening as it was dusk I was looking out of the veranda window and saw a Tawny Owl perched on an old horse plough, I was pleased it stayed long enough for me to take its photo.

April 13th - 19th was National Gardening Week and we were asked by the RHS, upon recommendations if we would open free on 17th April - National Opens Gardens Day. With features appearing in some national newspapers we welcomed several visitors some of which came up from Surrey and down from Scunthorpe for the day just to visit Moors Meadow.

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