Sunday, 5 August 2012

Garden firsts

I love gardening and grow both flowers and vegetables in my small garden. When we first moved here almost three years ago, the garden was clearly planted for low maintenance and was a sea of conifers and shrubs. I've gradually been replacing them with flowers.

It's always so exciting when something flowers for the first time. Watching the buds appear and slowly swell. Checking on their progress every day. Then the anticipation as the petals gradually unfurl to reveal their full splendour.

This beauty is the poppy 'Oriental Royal Wedding' which I grew myself from seed last year. I planted out about half a dozen plants and this is the only one to survive. It was touch and go for this one for a while: all the leaves turned brown and crispy and I thought it had died. However, there was a glimmer of green hope in the middle so I left it in, and slowly but surely, new green leaves started to appear. This is the first time it's flowered and, wow, it was worth the wait!

My peony has also flowered for the first time but this one made me wait a full two years! Unfortunately I can't find the label and don't remember the variety.

This graceful lovely is Penstemon 'Apple Blossom' and was planted earlier this year. I bought another at the same time, 'Snow Storm', but that one is still making me wait.

I've also tried a new vegetable this year, kohl rabi. This one is Azure Star and was chosen purely because it looked interesting and was a nice colour!

Looks good doesn't it. Growing nicely. Swelling to maturity.

Until you look at the back.

I started out with five plants and only two remain. The others have been completely ravaged by the slugs and snails which have been rampant this summer. In the end I resorted to pellets in the hope that enough might survive to at least give us a taste.

The pellets saw off enough to allow this plant to continue growing. However, many of the critters survive...

This is Arnold searching for my peg box. Chickpea had left the box, which is a black plastic food container, next to a trough of petunias and pelargoniums. When I came to peg out more washing, Arnold was attached to the side of the box. I took him off and put him on the floor. I put the peg box on top of a small wall. Half an hour later, Arnold was on top of the wall heading like a heat-seeking missile for the peg box. I moved the peg box to one side and Arnold changed course. I moved it again, and again he changed course. Eventually I had to put the box in the house out of temptation. What was it that fascinated him so much? Whatever it was, we were amused, enchanted and entertained.

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