Showing posts from December, 2014

Unusual Front Gardens #21: Nativity

Winter interest in the garden is always a challenge in December. Chippenham's Methodist church  solved the problem by planting a Nativity in theirs.

Merry Christmas everyone and here's to a peaceful New Year.

Wordless Wednesday: A Perfect Place for Plant Lovers


GBBD: Unexpected Honeysuckle

I expect to see my winter honeysuckle starting to bloom at this time of the year, so it was a bit of a surprise to find this summer flowering version instead on my walk around the garden this morning.

It's a self-sown flower too, so it qualifies as a double Against the Odds for my front garden this month. It suddenly appeared through my Euonymus 'Silver Queen' last year, presumably a gift bestowed by a passing bird. It must be a keen survivor as it germinated in a deeply shaded spot.

The scent alerted me to the second flush of flowers appearing after its usual summer blooming earlier this year. It's not one of the most spectacular of summer honeysuckles in looks, but it certainly makes up for it in terms of scent.

I'm undecided whether it'll remain in my front garden. Tough as old boots and scented plants are usually welcome, but like the old man's beard which has crept through from the hedgerow nearby, this one looks like it's set to dominate the gard…

Plant Profiles: Mistletoe

I walked past this spot for years before I noticed the tree had mistletoe. There used to be two distinctive balls of it sitting side by side, but when I went to take a photo for this post, I found there's now just one. As far as I know it's the only tree in central Chippenham which hosts this parasitic* plant. Having gone round the shops to find some, I see it's the only place in town to have it on display too.

Mistletoe (aka Viscum album**) is one of our most romantic native plants. I don't just mean because of our tradition of kissing beneath it at this time of year, there are also a host of other associated myths and legends. On Tuesday, I went to a fascinating talk at Bath University Gardening Club, where Dr Michael Jones entertained us with all kinds of tales from his years of research.

As a result I've been musing about growing some of my own as I've discovered there's a kit available and I'm tempted to ask my niece and nephew for one for Christm…

Evolution Plants: One Year On*

Late October saw my latest trip to Evolution Plants, to take stock of the first year and to see what else has changed since May's visit. It was a very busy summer and autumn for us all so the timing was much later than originally planned. **

The visual clue above hints at more changes at the nursery. I usually go though the gate, but now visitors are asked to take the side path on arrival.

But first I needed to take one of the standard photos I've taken for every visit; the view of the nursery from the gate. This time I poked my camera through a gap to get my desired shot. For once my arrival coincided with a beautifully sunny day, during that late unseasonal warmth you may remember we had in late October. A day which meant most of my time there was spent outside - yay!

When Tom and I discussed this series of posts, we agreed it would be good if I got to know the whole team at Evolution Plants. It was great that at last I had the opportunity to talk at length to nursery manag…

Tree Following with Lucy: November's Drama

This month's Tree Following post is completely different to the one I'd planned. I was going to explore the myths and folklore associated with my ash tree. The above picture contains a couple of clues to show why I abandoned my research.

Can you spot the taped off area and the ladder propped against my tree? The slideshow below shows you what happened next...

On November 17th my ash tree had visitors! After the tree's unexpected visit to VP Gardens last December, the local council decided the remainder of the tree was a potential safety hazard and commissioned a local firm of tree surgeons to give it a bit of a drastic trim.

The slideshow gives you a flavour of what happened. I apologise for the quality of some of the pictures, but it was a typical drizzly November's day. NAH and I hung out of our bedroom window watching what went on - judging by the tree surgeon's remarks, the trunk was quite slippery, so he was quite glad to be using crampons as well as all the …

GBMD: Thou Bleak December Wind