Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Good Afternoon to you,

We have a house guest staying with us this week.  It would be fair to say, that she is rather elderly, as she is the grand old age of 17 years..... that is right, you did read it correctly, her age is 17 years and here she is the Grand Dame or as we call her,

Miss Snuggles.  She is our house guest because, George's sister, has gone away for a few days. She still loves her walks, but not too far as nowadays they are taken at a leisurely stroll, as apposed to the quick trot of her youth.  

There is plenty of time for little snoozes and Miss Snuggles snoozes while George watches the tennis, and sometimes George joins her for a snooze, although he says he doesn't, he says, he is just resting his eyes. But if you listen, you can hear them snoring in unison. 

When Miss Snuggles isn't snoozing she likes to take a stroll around the garden, as there are lots of things for her to enjoy. It takes a lot of energy to stroll around the garden, sniffing the flowers and chasing the butterflies and frogs..... I think the word chasing is the wrong word, as she "chases" them at a leisurely pace and of course the butterflies and frogs have nothing to fear from Miss Snuggles as they are long gone before she can reach them.

.... and speaking of gardens, Natasha asked me to send her some photographs of how our garden was progressing, so I thought you might like to take a peek as well. I know I never get bored at looking at other peoples gardens..... does that make me a nosey parker or just inquisitive.

I love Cranesbill Geraniums, but they are not to be confused with the summer flowering geraniums, Pelargoniums,  which we use as annuals.  These beautiful Cranesbills, flower during the summer, die back during the winter and then they pop their heads through the soil again in late spring.  Take a closer look and you will see how beautiful this Himalayense Geranium is. Look at the delicate veins running through the petals and if you look just behind, 

there are the gorgeous white variety of  Cranesbill. This is a Kashmir White and it flowers all summer long. I love their spreading habit, yes they can be a little invasive, but it is so easy to dig up the rogue geraniums, to put them into pots and pass them on to friends or family.

.... and here is the pink variety,  Wargrave Pink, I love how they mingle easily with other plants and how they grow into great swathes of pink flowers.  It's neighbour on the left hand side is a Sedum and behind the Sedum is a beautiful blue Penstemon and beside that is Ladies Mantle, with full luscious leaves.  They all have buds, but are just waiting for a little sunshine to allow the buds to open. 

...... and just popping it's head behind the statue of Daphne is Red Valerian again, it is another plant which has a tendency to wander around the garden, but I like how they pop up in the most unexpected places, they always seem to self seed in just the right spot.

This lilac bush I am so pleased with, as three years ago I took a cutting from Sadie's lilac bush, well actually I took about ten, as I thought they might not all take, but do you know they did and this is the first year this lilac bush has flowered.  Every time we sit in the garden, we see this lilac bush and we always think of Bob, George's father. Bob planted the original bush in his garden, which is now about 15 feet high and smothered with lilac flowers.

Now on the other hand, I also think of my father, who had a beautiful lilac bush in the garden, which he loved.  For some reason, Phyllis was, and still is, a keen pruner of plants. She tells me, this is to encourage new growth, which of course is true, but a plant needs a chance to grow, and every  year the bush became smaller and smaller, because she would prune it within an inch of it's life.  Of course the lilac then would not bloom the following year, but this process went on and on, because Phyllis said that the Lilac bush could become very invasive, which of course it can, if it was given the chance to grow.  My father said he would not mind it spreading just a little, if he could enjoy some blooms..... but that never happened. The war with the lilac bush carried on, as Phyllis continued to prune it, until the poor lilac gave up the ghost and never flowered again. Phyllis' reasoning when the lilac bush died, was "it's such a shame, if only it could have flowered, then it would have been fine!".... mmmm, I never did say anything..... I thought it best to say nothing.  Consequently when Phyllis visits us and offers to prune my bushes, I never take her up on the offer, I suggest she puts her feet up and enjoys and cup of tea instead!

Can you believe it, I still have Bluebells flowering. Normally they are long gone, but as the weather has been so strange this year, they are still with us.  This Bluebell is in flower and if you look beside it to the left, I have more in bud..... that shows how cold the weather has been, because normally come July, they are long gone.

Underneath the Pear tree, I have planted Ferns and Hostas, and they love it in this spot, because it receives a lot of shade and the soil is always moist. This is where the little frogs hide during the day, well actually they aren't little frogs, they are huge, full bodied frogs, who live close to the water fountain. I love the fact that they live in my garden as they reduce the numbers of slugs and snails.  So the frogs are happy and so am I.

.... and behind the Crocosmia are Fever few with it's dainty little daisy flowers.

The first of my roses to flower is Golden Showers.  When it first flowers it is a bright yellow, then as the days pass, it gets lighter and lighter in colour,

but that is alright, as it is such a prolific flowerer. There are always more flowers to enjoy when the buds have opened. Do you see the Clematis bud, well just look how beautiful these flowers are,

These clematis are as large as tea plates. I have been trying to find the name of this clematis, as it was a small plant which I bought cheaply, without a  card with it's name.  It has taken three years to reach this stage and is now growing well and eventually it will mingle with all my roses, which I am looking forward to, as the display  will be stunning. 

Say hello to Henryi, this is such a beautiful Clematis. What is not to love about these beautiful climbing plants with their large, beautiful flowers.

We are told by the weatherman that we are going to have glorious weather for a full week, so if that is true, all the flowers which are in bud at the moment, will burst through to give me a glorious amount of colour.  

This weekend, when Miss Snuggles returns home, we are going to be busy digging a new flower bed, so there is a lot of hard, but rewarding work ahead of us. I am looking forward to planting as that is the exciting part of gardening, as the reward when the plants grow is tremendous.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I shall be joining,


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