Win A £50 Gardening Voucher

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I have been offered a £50 National Garden Voucher for one lucky reader to win. With access to over 2,000 leading garden centres, make sure your kitted out this Spring! Choose from over 90,000 garden and leisure products – this is the perfect give away for any garden lover. You don’t need to be an experts to appreciate this offer – Enter now for your chance to win!

To enter simply tell us what you would spend your voucher on.

Competition runs until the 30 November 2013. To enter simply reply to this post, making sure that we are able to contact you if you do win – leave twitter, facebook or email. Additional entries can be obtained by sharing this post on twitter or facebook, but let us know in the comments you have done (we do check). Entry only to 18+ in the UK.

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Winter Wet

With winter on its way the wet weather has well and truly arrived. I have been placing plants I want to keep dry into the greenhouse so they can dry out a bit before the cold weather gets here.

It does look like the warmer than normal weather will continue, but some drier than normal weather would really help. Lets just hope we get a mild winter this year.

rain

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Contented Garden

I have a sense of contentment about the garden this year, something I haven’t felt for a long time. It’s almost like I have fallen in love with the garden all over again. And this time I have more knowledge and wisdom, gained through the years since we started developing it.

Perhaps because the big project is over? It’s amazing how much it has taken over our time, and how much focus it needed. For several years, the rest of the garden was sorted in the spring then almost left to fend for itself for the rest of the season whilst we focused on the new area. And now that the new area is sorted I find myself having more time to spend and think about the rest of the garden. A luxury of time that I didn’t really have for quite some time. And now we have it and I’m quietly thrilled. I may not be shrieking and jumping around but inside I’m excited and ecstatic. 

b-luxBut also perhaps because the big project is over. It’s there now, right in front of us full of water and with fish swimming in it. And I’m amazed how incredibly calming it is to watch them swimming around, going about their business, and approaching you as they beg for food. This is what we worked hard for all this time and now we’re enjoying it.

Most likely it is because of both reasons.

And I’m enjoying the moment. Just enjoying being here where we are now, our own garden.

Hence why I’m a bit blasé about attending plant fairs, visiting nurseries, and other gardens recently. Why work so hard only to dart off here there and everywhere

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Aloe Polyphylla

One plant that seems to have really come to the public attention this year is Aloe polyphylla. A significant reason for this has been the excellent displays at various shows by Trewidden Nursery culminating in a Gold Award for them at their first ever RHS Chelsea Flower show!

 

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I had planted our first A polyphylla a few years ago in a gravelled area under the old Yew tree in our garden, someone who will remain nameless managed to step on it and squish it to death. Death by a Size 9 rather than cold or snow! They are quite a hardy plant as our replacement plants have demonstrated, hardy to at least -10C (14f) for short duration’s, although not hardy to my left foot unfortunately.

 

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Give Me a Little Inspiration

When I first started the blog the main idea was to have something that will serve as a diary of what we do in our garden, as well as a portal for us to share our love for plants, gardening, and gardens. It will be a great way wherein we can share our thoughts and ideas about the subject, as well as learn from others via interaction and sharing. Our garden and interests mainly lean on ‘exotic’ plants, but we do appreciate other types of gardens too, as well as a general love for plants. Our idea pretty much stand as it is now from when we originally started, and we continue with it. I think blogging is such good fun, rather in a  sedate and calm sort of way.

There was perception before that we came into the world of blogging with pretty much a finished product already, and that we already have a ‘finished’ garden. I know that there is no such thing as a ‘finished’ garden anyway, all gardens evolve and continue to change in time, and our garden is by no means an exception. In reality we started the blog with a garden that is just ‘beginning’ to take shape. Our garden is far from maturity, and as much as there are ‘finished’ areas of it already based on the photos, there are loads more to do and develop in other areas, not to mention redoing some of these ‘finished’ parts in the future.

It is needing that keeps us alive, and wanting that makes us feel alive. I enjoy the parts of the garden that we have done up already, but at the same time continue to imagine things that we can do in the future to improve these ‘finished’ bits. We enjoy the thrill of the moment, but look forward to the possibilities of the changes we can make if so wish.

I’m sure most gardeners and garden makers are exactly the same!

And on a personal note, it is in wanting and needing that I’m always seeking a little inspiration from everywhere and anywhere, especially when it comes to doing the undeveloped parts of our garden.

As both a plant and garden lover, I have immersed myself on the wonderful world of horticulture and have met various people involved in its different aspects, including ardent plant collectors. Out of naivety before I presumed that anyone who likes to collect plants are also capable of producing beautiful gardens. My presumption though is far off the mark. The reality is that very, very few plant collectors are capable of transforming their collection into a beautiful garden, into something that complements their outside space.

 There’s nothing wrong with that though, different strokes for different folks and if they find that the beauty they find in individual plants is isolated to single specimens and collecting as many as they possibly can of the same type then so be it.

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Musing on what to do in the garden

I’ve been pondering all week whether to go out this coming weekend or not, especially on the Saturday (Sunday we have a prior engagement already in the afternoon). Either to visit a nursery to do some plant shopping and perusing, or visit one of the bigger public gardens near us (Kew and Wisley immediately springs to mind). There are also several plant events we can opt to go to: plant fairs, nursery open days, sales, etc., all happening this coming weekend. Anyone wishing to go out or looking for plant related places to go to this weekend it seems you will be spoilt for choice.


It doesn’t help that I’ve been perusing our blog archives recently, looking at the things we got up to this last year (having is very handy for this, an online diary) and based on that we visited so many nurseries and plant fairs at around the same time last year and the year before that. Compared to this year, none so far. Or none yet.

On a previous blog post I mentioned already about our lack of nursery visits as of late, perhaps we ought to remedy this this coming weekend? 

Go out or stay? Again such a dilemma I have talked about before so this sense of indecision is not new to me at all, in fact it almost always happens every weekend.

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Time waits for no Man

This summer has been a good one weather wise. The spring was quite slow to warm up but we have more than made up for that with decent summer weather. Its been warm here but not so warm to cause plants to dry out, plus there has been a reasonable amount of rain too.

I would go as far as to say that this year has been perfect weather wise for growing tropical plants outside. If only we get a long Indian summer going into autumn and then a mild winter hehe!!

Whether the weather will behave how I want it to is yet to be seen, it rarely is benign for long, although the period from 2004 to 2009 was pretty good. Perhaps it will be like that again starting now (well I can dream can’t I????)

Anyway with so much perfect growing weather the plants have been busy growing and if anything the garden is too much of a jungle and needs some hacking back. I suspect we may have a lost tribe from South America hiding in the back of the bamboos :) Well perhaps not and thats the children from the next door neighbours house.

With the plants doing so well I must trim back so much and get things off to the rubbish dump this weekend. We have guests staying with us soon and I want the garden to be in tip top perfect condition for them, and that includes being able to walk down the pathways and to be able to appreciate the size, form and structure of the plants.

Enjoy the weather and your Garden!

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Summer returns

Summer seems to finally be here to stay in the uk for the first time in 7 years we have a heatwave!

The exotic garden is loving the weather with the plants all growing well and increasing in size, only drawback is all the watering!

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Tree Ferns

tree fern

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Crug Farm at Chelsea

Crug Farm at Chelsea

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