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Showing posts from April, 2021

A cowslip survey

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Regular readers know how much I love the cowslips at the entrance to our estate. They usually bloom around now and I'm delighted they've increased in numbers consistently over the years. Here you can see the original roadside bank from which they've spread into the meadow below, and now they've also leapt across the road to the opposite verge. An estate setting like this is more unusual as they're more of a wildflower meadow favourite. I think we're seeing the results of some seed spreading which took place over 20 years ago when the road builders established this mini-meadow and wetland to cope with runoff from the A350 nearby.  Last week I learned the sight I love is becoming increasingly rare owing to habitat loss and the remaining populations may not be as healthy as they could be. As a result, Plantlife is asking for anyone who knows of a local patch of cowslips to conduct a short survey . I've just discovered cowslip plants have two different types; o

Garden Blogger's Blooms Day: E is for...

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... Epimedium aka barrenwort, bishop's hat or fairy wings. Here's another example of Sleep Creep Leap .  I planted my Epimediums two years ago and this is their first flowering. It was worth the wait. Whilst the blooms are tiny, they're plentiful and add grace to my revamped border at the bottom of the garden, where they thrive in the partial shade there. I really should have got down on my tummy for a better photo, thank goodness they also look pretty from above! The one pictured is 'Amber Queen'. I bought a bargain collection of 9 plants with three examples of each cultivar in the pack. 'Pink Elf' is just coming into bloom and therefore it's not quite ready to take a bow on Blooms Day.   Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum' has yet to make its flowering debut; its name tells of yellow blooms to come. The heart shaped leaves turn bronze with age and thus makes this a year-round plant of interest. They're plentiful too, so I don't need

Unusual front gardens #35 Scissors

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I've passed these on many a walk and thought they must be plastic, but a closer inspection revealed our local high street barber uses topiarised plants to advertise his services. They always make me smile and it's a neat modernisation of the traditional red striped pole which showed barbers used to offer additional services as surgeons. I wonder which tools are used to keep these in trim - garden or barber's clippers? 😉 Hairdressers are set to reopen today in England and I'm looking forward to a haircut later this week. Sadly my hairdresser isn't quite so inventive with their display; they usually opt for one of the burgeoning hanging baskets set to grace the town in a month or so's time. I'm looking forward to both haircut and hanging baskets. Have a great week!

The seed tin of happiness

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Like many gardeners, Easter is my starting gun for major gardening activities and also like many of them, I always feel a pang of guilt at starting seed sowing now. Everyone else seems to have lots of healthy seedlings and it's easy to be a little envious of their bounty. However, it's best if I ignore that and crack on now instead. I don't have a greenhouse and only a limited windowsill capacity so I've found a later start works better for me. That way everything should be at peak perfection for planting out in VP Gardens at the end of May.  Having culled all the old or unwanted packets of seeds, my seed tin really is full of happiness with the promise of colour and harvests to come. It's looking a little different in there this year as there are as many packets of flower seeds as well as my usual vegetables.  Some of these are earmarked for the newish border at the bottom of the garden. I'm being a little cautious with the revamp here because there's plen

Easter chicks

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At least one Knatty Knitter has been at it again in Chippenham with a seasonal postbox covering, just like what happened at Christmas 😍  They really do help to bring a smile to the town and I'll be on the look out for more over the weekend. Have a great Easter everyone x