My Patch – A Garden update: February 2019

As January ended in light snow, February began with a thick covering, approx 8cms!  Now the weather forecasters hadn’t predicted that much, so I was very pleased I moved all the pots into the glasshouse! 

February 8th – The first batch of daffodils planted are now doing really well and have been joined by the crocus’ which were put in pots.  In the raised bed the snowdrops are in full flower and the hellebore that no-one has ever seen flower is showing nicely 🙂  

February 15th – more plants are starting to emerge in the ‘woodland’ area, snowdrops, cuckoo pint, what I think are bluebells, the crocus’ I planted and also the first lesser celandine I have seen this year.   Its the part of the garden which has received the least attention and it seems to be happily developing on its own.  The buds on the goat willow tree are beginning to open. 

February 17th – my sweet william’s need potting on again so today for the first time I made some newspaper pots!  They are so easy to make and seem to function well enough.  I have only made 15 so far as I want to see how well they are doing in a couple of weeks time before I make more and pot the rest of the plants on.   

February 19th – I had a short window of light after work today so I pruned the climbing rose on the right hand side of the shed.  I still need to get more wire attached to the wall but the rose is ready to be attached once it is done. 

February 22nd – I had today off of work with the sole purpose of cutting back the hawthorn hedge. 

Now I would have just taken a bit off of the top but two out of the three people that live there wanted it cut down to the top of the fence!  I didn’t get the whole of the hedge finished as I needed some assistance cutting the thicker branches with loppers, as the loppers kept breaking!  What I did manage to achieve was saving the hedge from being hacked off with a chainsaw and cut to the same height as last year.  I have cut the tallest branches to a few inches higher than last year, cut the thinner branches back to bud points and managed to save the side of the hedge which faces the field from being cut at all! – normally it gets hacked away so the top of the hedge can be reached!  I do however think the best option for the hedge is for it to be layed.  It has been cut back so much that the main growth doesn’t actually start until about 3-4 foot up the main trunk.  I am hoping that it thickens this year but I’m not holding out too much hope πŸ™

While having a break from cutting the hedge I noticed flowers starting to open on the Lily of the Valley bush, just in time for some of the insects who have started to appear in the garden.

February 24th – today I ordered my wildflower seeds from Emorsgate Seeds πŸ™‚

February 26th – tonight we put up another nest box, hopefully they will like the location – the guttering needs fixing and a water butt fitting to it! 

My Patch – February 2019

February 1st – I managed to get to work in all the snow and at lunch they decided to send everyone home.  Of course I didn’t go home I went straight to the patch – I wasn’t going to miss using ‘free time’ to check out what’s going on even if it was snowing!  I headed out and over by the copse found deer tracks and found a robin in the brambles.  I really liked the monotone colour of the field with the snow falling the carrion crow added to the artistic feel.  There were not that many birds on the ground though I did hear a buzzard and overhead 8 lapwing, a black-headed gull and a cormorant all flew over while I was out.  I was looking at the trees when a small movement caught my eye, a wren was at the base of tree trunk looking for food in the little bits of ground there where not covered in snow.   

Once back at the house I sat and watched the birds on the feeders: 2 blue tits, 1 great tit, 5 starlings, 1 robin and one bird that made me look twice – a reed bunting!  I have never seen one in the field or the garden before so it took me a while to recognise it as I just didn’t expect to see one.     

February 2nd – Today was a beautifully sunny day.  I had to go out in the field as we don’t get many days like this a year!  The only footprints in the field were mine, fallow deer, fox, brown hare and rabbit. No other humans had been there.  It’s good to know the creatures of the field don’t get a lot of disturbance.  I know people walk down by the river as there are sometimes dog walkers but generally they only seem to be there at weekends. When I reached the copse I could hear a redwing calling, I finally located it at the top of the trees in the hedgerow just opposite.  

I walked along my normal route down the side of the copse what I hasn’t notice when i walked across the field was the fallow deer led down along the side of the trees, they were really well camouflaged against the brown of the tree trunks.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find them there as they were in the same location where I had noticed the snow had been disturbed yesterday.  

I didn’t want to disturb them so I walked in the next field over on the other side of the copse.  The sun shining through the trees looked really pretty.  It was hard work walking down to the river as the snow seemed to be deep on this side of the trees, in some places it was half way up my calves!  

As I reached the river I noticed three cormorants sat in one of the trees further downstream.  I wouldn’t have normally seen them as I wasn’t technically in my patch.  I have seen the odd one fly overhead so its nice to know there is more than one passing through.  There were lots of hoof prints down by the river, the deer must use the copse to get to the river to drink.  It is actually really useful to go out in the snow when no other humans have been about as the animal tracks have given me a much better idea of how they use the features of the field.  

I haven’t really got to grips with the river yet and this summer I would like to spend some more time there (though I might need to tame some of the vegetation so I can actually see the river!).  I heard a moorhen, saw a blue tit on one of the trees, two pairs of mallard swam by and four long-tailed tit worked their way along the bank from tree to tree.  There are large gaps between each tree so maybe there needs to be a couple of extras added for them.  I felt like a rabbit at one point as shadows moving along the ground caught my eye, thankfully in my case it didn’t mean danger just two grey heron flying over.

I decided to walk all the way around the field so not to disturb the deer on my walk back to the car.  It looks as though they generally only venture to the copse, the river and the ‘island’ which I believe was a meander in the river which had been altered to straighten the river once more.  I do however think this could also be the reason the river bank is eroding and the trees are leaning in the river as they loose their stable ground.  According to the land owner the river is much wider now than it was when he was a child.  

As I walked along the far edge I noticed fox prints, there were more towards the barn and I think it may have caught something as the snow was all scuffed up but there were not any signs of what it might have caught.  It looks like it could have been hiding in the hedge and pounced out.  I noticed a bird box on one of the trees which I haven’t seen before, they have cleared the ditch so I guess that’s why it’s visible now.  I wanted to check to see if had been used but I don’t know who has put it there and didn’t want to interfere.  One of the trees was old enough, to be large enough, for me to stand against its trunk, I liked the shadow the sun was casting of it on the snow.  

I had reached the barn but had to be conscious of the deer that were still relaxing on the other side of the field.  I didn’t want to spook them so moved slowly and stopped regularly to check on them and take more photos πŸ™‚ 

February 14th – 20:25 no owls heard – none heard all week

February 17th – The swans have returned πŸ™‚ There were three in the field down by the river. I wonder if they will stay; there were numerous feeding on the crop shoots last year. 

This evening I cleaned out all of the nest boxes ready for this season.  I know last year a great tit started to build a nest in the starling box, what I hadn’t realised was it made a full nest; I don’t think it raised any young, though now I’m not sure and wonder if I missed the signs.  The sparrow terrace had a nest too!  Last year there were no signs of nesting in it at all and I was expecting to have to relocate it this year.  Seeing there has been some success all the boxes were put back in the same locations.  Fingers crossed for more nests this year…

February 22nd  – I spent the day in the garden cutting back the hawthorn hedge.  The birds were not happy with me; a) because I was in the garden and they didn’t want to go to the bird feeder on the left side (their favourite feeder) and b) I was cutting down their favourite place to sit before they dart onto the feeder!  I have promised them that once the fence has been jet washed and painted I will make sure there are some shrubs in pots put next to the feeder that they can use as additional cover.  The great spotted woodpecker kept landing in the goat willow tree, then I noticed another land close by, they seemed to have a disagreement and one flew off.  If I sat quietly on the garden bench, one would come down and feed on the feeders a few meters away.  Later on I heard drumming in the distance.  I spotted my first 7-spot ladybird on one of the plants and a bumblebee was buzzing around but I didn’t manage to locate it to find out what it was.  

It does worry me that the insects are out already, that its going to be warm all weekend and it could possibly get cold again.  What worries me more is the majority of people don’t see this as worrying.  Colleagues at work were talking about how nice the weekend was going to be and that soon they will be able to get the BBQ’s out etc, I mentioned the insects and they sort of went quiet (I often feel like the odd girl in the corner that doesn’t talk about normal things!).  A couple of people engage with talking about their gardens and planting some flowers for the insects – a couple is better than none.

I know there is a lot more in the news about the issues we face but I’m not sure people really see what’s going on around them or how everything interacts – I guess they just aren’t interested.  I managed to convince my office to be more aware about crisp packets; to collect all their empty packets so they can be sent off for recycling.  I was known as the ‘girl collecting crisp packets’ for a while after my office manager agreed I could have a box behind my desk for them, but now people from other departments sometime drop off used packets too!  In my mind any packet collected is better than it ending up in landfill.  I’m just not sure how we convince everyone to care about it!  I think they have to see the effects with their own eyes to understand how it actually effects them.   

February 25th – 19:55 no owls – none heard all week

February 27th – there were 19 fallow deer in the field at sunset.  The long-tailed tits wanted to get to the fat balls to feed, they weren’t happy I was stood in the way watching the deer, they were shouting at me from the hazel tree, I moved so they could feed.  Two tree sparrows were following each other through the jasmine looking for bugs, they flew off together, I hope they find one of the nest boxes nearby, though last year some did nest in the roof space just above the jasmine so fingers crossed.  

The mute swans didn’t stayed longer than a couple of days, hopefully they will come back when the crop is more suitable for eating!

My Patch – A Garden update: January 2019

I know everyone says January is the best time to plan your garden for the year because you are looking at it in is barest form.  I think I have a plan for this year, well I hope I do!  I want to try and expand on last years plans and have more flowers and wildflowers in the garden. I have a plan of growing all the plants in trays to start with as I don’t feel they did very well sowing directly onto the raised bed last year, though I might be proven wrong and end up with no plants at all!  This year I also want to grow sunflowers and rudbeckia again but I might put most of the rudbeckia in pots so they don’t take over the beds which aren’t really wide enough.  I plan to have lots more pots in general so I can distribute more flowers to different areas of the garden patio and overall increase the number of plants for the insects.  Again this is all going to be trial and error and I will be making notes as I go so I can adjust next years plan to be more effective again.  

January 1st – I potted on some of the sweet williams into larger pots as they are growing well. 

January 11th – one of the snowdrops is flowering in the garden πŸ™‚ the rest are still really just emerging.  The one which is in flower wasn’t moved last April so I guess it is more established than the rest.  The first batch of daffodils I planted in pots are starting to show and the Cuckoo pint has just started to come through.  

January 18th – I cut back the leaves of the hellebore as I heard on ‘The Garden Log’ podcast that he had been cutting his back.  I like to listen to it when I’m at work as it brightens up my day πŸ™‚ I also started to prune one of the climbing roses which is on the shed, it still needs a bit more work done to it and also needs to be tied back into the wall, though I need to attach more wire to the wall first.  I hope with the roses having a bit more attention this year they will cover the wall more effectively.  

January 31st – As the weather forecast had predicted snow I decided it would be wise to move all the pots I had in the garden into the glasshouse for a little protection.  I’ve not dealt with snow and plants before so everything that was small enough to be moved was!  I think they all appreciated it! 

Compost Bin – it is slowly starting to look a little like compost at the bottom but I have figured out it isn’t being turned often enough.  Part of the problem is I can put the fork down into the bin, I am just too short to be able to actually turn it!  I always have to ask for help!  It was being turned once a week, it was upped half way through the month to twice a week but I think really it should be being turned each day!  A lot of vegetable peelings are added each week, I’m actually thinking of getting another bin so new matter can be put in a separately bin to allow the current one break down fully.  

I am looking forward to next month as it starts to become lighter and I can start to spend short amounts of time after work in the garden – the lists of tasks to complete is growing daily! 

My Patch – January 2019

I was trying my best to keep my blog posts up to date this year, however, I have already fallen behind!  Work has had some changes that haven’t been for the better, so I have been struggling quite a lot with the day to day and not had any motivation to write anything πŸ™ The darkness of the evenings hasn’t helped very much either.  I’ve not been able to have much time off from work, so I have only got to go out briefly on one afternoon.  

January 18th – I had the afternoon off work to have a walk around the patch, however it didn’t really go to plan!  To start with I had to remove the remains of a spruce tree from the field.  The land owners brother, although told not to, decided to dump in the field what he couldn’t fit in the trailer to take to the recycling centre!  I spent about an hour moving everything he had moved, back round to the house and put it in the so called full trailer!  I knew there was quite a bit there but I didn’t expect to have to drag half a tree down the road!  I’m not very big so it must have been quite a sight!   The vegetation underneath the debris I had moved from the field was yellow from the lack of light, at least now I hope it will recover.  A blackbird was thankful I had moved it as he had found insects to eat in the vegetation.  

The remaining time I had left before sunset I was going to be spent looking at the vegetation in the field, but the hunter was seen going down the track so I couldn’t go far.   He’s not allowed to shoot in the field but he can in the field and the copse next to it, so any stray bullets could be disastrous!  I did take a short walk next to the house; the rabbits have been busy digging new burrows of which they will try and kill me with in the summer when they are covered over with nettles and grass!  Its good to know that they are still there after their burrows were disturbed when the ditch was re-dug. 

There is vegetation, but to me it is currently unrecognisable as it is all leaves – I’m not that good at identification yet!  I was hoping to find at least one plant in flower, but no, nothing in the area that I walked.  I did find some lichen on one of the trees, its not something I have looked at yet in the field but is something I should be looking at more this year – it might mean I need another new book! I think this one is yellow wall lichen but I could be wrong! 

The garden birds are still very present, I saw; chaffinch, robin, blue tit, great tit, collard dove, starling, house sparrow and jackdaws this afternoon.

BTO tawny owl survey update: 
January 9th 19:40 no owls heard – none heard all week
January 16th 20:15 no owls heard – none heard all week
January 22nd 19:15 no owls heard – none heard all week
January 31st 19:40 no owls heard – none heard all week
I really hope I hear one again soon!

My Patch – A Garden update: November & December 2018

I thought I would combine November and December’s garden updates due to Winter being a quiet time in the garden…

November

This year I concentrated on the right hand side of the garden and rather neglected the left.  The left side consists of no beds at all; there is a whitebeam tree planted in the patio and a few pots containing, mint, rosemary, Penstemon ‘Pensham Plum Jerkum’ and Choisya ternata.   There are bird feeders and a bird bath, the birds always feed from the feeder on the left side first.  I think this is because of the extra cover the whitebeam tree and next doors hazel provide.  On the other side of the fence there is also hawthorn hedge that I am yet to cut back as I have read they should be cut once dormant and that is in mid-Winter; the birds like it for darting up into when they get spooked.  

December

I have done some ‘tidying’ of the garden.  The tomato canes have now been taken down and stored in the greenhouse.  I discovered two hazelnut saplings in the raised bed so they have now been transplanted to a large pot.

I have collected all the leaves and put them in an old water butt that has a leak so they can decompose / be added to the compost bin as required.  I have ‘weeded’ the raised beds, pruned the roses and planted daffodil bulbs in pots for spring – there will be more flowers in the garden next Spring than there was this and hopefully they will help support the early emerging insects πŸ™‚ I have sown yellow rattle and lady’s bedstraw in the garden and found a buddlea in the bed which has been relocated to a pot.  I have found more pots, some of which I have washed, but there are still lots to do.

I have been given two very small buddleia by my Auntie as she had a few that self seeded in the garden.  I have decided that they should be kept in pots as I don’t have a lot of bed space! When they are big enough they are going to live on the left side of the garden.     

I have been looking at some wildflower seeds to order for next year:
Borage – The flowers replenish their nectar regularly so they are great for the bees and other pollinators.
Birdsfoot trefoil – is the burnet moth’s principle food plant, I have no idea if we have any burnet moth in the area but I am willing to provide them food πŸ˜‰
Garlic Mustard – to encourage orange-tip butterflies
Cornflower
Red Campion
Wild teasel – as they are popular sources of pollen in the summer and when they got to seed the birds will like them too πŸ™‚

What I also want to do is take a look at the insects that I have photographed in the garden this year and find out what their principle food plant is, I can then help them by planting more of what they like.  So far I have researched…

Small Magpie moth – stinging nettles, less often mint and other labiates – we have mint and lots of stinging nettles in the field.

Mother-of-Pearl moth – Stinging nettles

Buff-tip caterpillar –  Deciduous trees; most frequently on sallows, birches, oaks and Hazel (Corylus avellana) – there is hazel in the garden J 

Red admiral – common nettle

Green-brindled crescent moth – caterpillars feed on a variety of trees and bushes, including hawthorn and blackthorn.  There is plenty of hawthorn and some blackthorn in the hedgerows of the field πŸ™‚

Mint moth –  caterpillars feed on various Labiatae – we have Mint in the garden but I plan on sowing more.

Although I have been looking at what I can plant in the garden, I hope to also plant some of the wild flowers I grow in a small patch in the field / road verge. I will be buying them from Emorsgate Seeds so their origin can be traced to sustainable UK sources πŸ™‚ If anyone has any suggestions of other wild flowers I should definitely grow please let me know in the comments or via Twitter. Thanks πŸ™‚  

My Patch – November & December 2018

I haven’t really had that many observations of the field in November and December. The lack of light since the clocks have changed has really been the biggest factor but I have also been having a tough time at work and spent a lot of time trying to problem solve issues that no one else is interested in solving. My attention had unfortunately been somewhere else…. 

November

November 13th – 3 deer were in the field this morning πŸ™‚

November 19th – There were more fallow deer in the field this morning.  Now last month I said I had not knowingly seen fallow deer in the field before.  I was originally told by the owner of the field that they get roe deer so I believed them.  Well that was my first mistake!  I have looked carefully today at the differences between roe and fallow and I believe that the deer in the field have always been fallow! – well all the ones I have photos of anyway!  So I now feel I need to write a disclaimer that all of my ‘patch’ blogs / Tweets before this date have probably got the wrong identification of roe deer.  Yes I feel rather stupid, but I guess on the upside no one has corrected me so no one else has noticed either – I bet you will be looking closer from now on! – so will I!!!   

November 22nd – Tonight I completed another BTO Tawny owl survey.  Unfortunately I didn’t hear any again; I haven’t heard any for a while now, though the owner of the field did say he heard them last weekend.  I will have to try and listen earlier in the evening, maybe 20:40 was a little late.   

November 25th – I heard 2 tawny’s calling tonight πŸ™‚ its good to hear them again, I guess I just keep missing them when I carry out the BTO survey.

December 

December 11th – This morning there were redwing and fieldfare feeding on the hawthorn bushes. Thankfully I had already booked the day off work so I was able to spend some time watching them πŸ™‚

Next year I plan on keeping an extensive list of everything I find in my ‘patch’.  I know this means I will have a lot more learning to do to make sure I log every plant, insect, spider etc that I can find!  I would like to change careers to working in conservation or ecology and hope learning from my patch will a be a stepping stone to gaining the knowledge I need to do so.  

My Patch – A Garden update: October 2018

The garden has certainly started to die back, there are still some plants holding on and as of October 23rd there are still, rudbeckia, cosmos, cornflowers and a yellow flowered plant (I have no idea what it is!) still in flower, and in some cases in bud!  This month I have been thinking about next spring and what I perhaps need to start doing now…

October 7th – I potted on half of the sweet williams, as they were looking a little compact! I ran out of seed trays and peat free compost! I wasn’t expected quite so many of them to germinate, I think I’ll be giving a quite few of them away next spring!

October 10th – I collected more seeds from the flowers that are slowly going over. I have been collecting seeds when I notice them and just putting them in envelopes to dry. Tonight I sorted them out properly and they are now labelled correctly. Some however I have no idea what they are, not because I have forgotten what the seeds are, but more the fact I had no idea what the flower was to start with. They are still on the to be identified list from the summer!

October 11th – There are still a lot of β€˜weeds’ appearing in the raised beds so I removed a few this evening while I still had enough light, I would like them all removed so they don’t re appear next year!

I turned the compost tonight, well, I turned some of it!  I’m a bit short to reach the bottom of the bin so will have to ask someone a bit taller to do it for me! I think it’s going okay, I’ve never had a compost bin before so it’s a wait and see experiment. It’s had lots of material added to it, though I think it could do with some more leaves as it’s all been quite green at present. 

October 16th – We put up an RSPB diamond nest box on the wall where much of the Jasmine has been removed.  Earlier in the year fledgling wren’s were seen there so I thought a box should be put up for them to roost in over winter just in case they used the Jasmine last year.  I have seen birds leave the leafy part of the Jasmine so I hope they like it.  

October 20th – I potted on the rest of the sweet williams πŸ™‚ 

October 22nd – I’ve planted some crocus in the β€˜woodland’ area.  The snowdrops that I moved in April are growing – I only know this as I accidentally dug a few up when making holes for the crocus! They were quickly put back in. I think I need some bulb markers!

October 23rd – I sowed 3 sweet chestnuts seeds in a pot. I figure it is worth a try, if they germinate then I will have trees to plant out in a few years πŸ™‚  

My Patch – October 2018

October 10th – this evening I rescued a lesser yellow underwing moth from a spiders web; it had lost a leg but flew off.  I know I should leave pray in webs but this web looked abandoned so thought it was only fair to rescue it. 

October 15th – 19:50 a tawny hooted. There is definitely a male and female about, there was definitely both parts of the call together later in the evening πŸ™‚

October 16th – The tawny was calling again πŸ˜‰

October 17th – The tawny was calling again πŸ™‚

October 18th – Three fallow deer walked across the middle of the field this morning. One stag and two doe.  Now I haven’t knowingly seen fallow deer here before so it was a bit of a surprise.  I managed to take a rather bad photo through the window (which needs cleaning, the pesky birds have made it dirty!). 

This evening 93 gulls  were out in the field feeding.  A buzzard flew into a nearby tree and then flew off again, another buzzard was in the distance. I had mainly headed out into the field to look at the ditch now it has been finished.  I know all the ditches round here have been cleared, and all the vegetation which was in front of them has gone.  What I didn’t expect to find was the fence around the edge of the field has also been pulled down and just left where is lays!  I have no idea if anyone is going to put it back up but I’m guessing not! Any trees that were dug out have been burnt and now there are charred tree trunks just led on the margin of the field.  It looks a bit of a mess!  

Tonight I started my ‘heard an owl survey’ at 20:07 – I didn’t hear any in the 20 minutes slot but half an hour later they were calling πŸ™‚

October 22nd – This afternoon there was a European hornet feeding on the bananas that had been left out for the butterflies. It’s the first one I’ve seen, I recorded it via the Asian hornet watch app.

October 23rd – There was a moth discovered in one of the bedrooms so I was called rescue it –  a green-brindled crescent. 

October 25th – It was a foggy start today with the temperature being 3.5C, winter is starting to be more noticeable. 

October 31st – this morning there was a light frost across the field…

My Patch – September 2018

September 5th – I spotted a common frog in the garden tonight but didn’t manage to get a photo.  House martin’s and some unidentified geese flew over the field.

September 7th – there were rabbit’s in the field this morning.  It is so rare I actually see them that it is so nice when I do. 

September 10th – all of the hedgerows are being cut back as the ditches are being cleared and piping put in ready for the winter.  It looks very bare where everything is being removed πŸ™

September 13th – this evening there was a common wasp on the ivy flowers at the front of the house.  Its lovely to see them using the ivy, I have made sure that no one has cut it back!   

September 16th – finally a picture of the common frog who has been using the back garden.  I must start wandering around in the garden after dark more… I found a brown garden snail eating the blackberries I had relocated for the birds, who have unfortunately ignored them.  At least someone was making the most of them! 

September 17th – I took a walk into the field this evening to look at the hedgerow and the ditch that they have dug out.  What I wasn’t expecting to find was quite so much rubbish!  There are loads of plastic bags, traffic cone parts, bits of metal fencing etc I will have to start to pick it all up before the field is planted again! I don’t think the contractor who dug the ditch is coming back to do it!  The rabbits still have burrows, though, I think they would have had to dug themselves out as their original entrance holes were mainly covered over.  When I reached the copse a roe deer appeared from around the corner.  I didn’t take a ‘proper’ camera with me as I was only going to look at the hedge!  At sunset about 40 geese flew over in 3 separate batches.

Tonight I heard a tawny twooing – I have now signed up for the BTO’s ‘tawny owl calling survey’.  All you have to do is listen once a week between September 30th and March 31st for 20 minutes  a week and record if you hear a tawny or not. You don’t have to listen every week if you don’t have the time, but a minimum of six records is recommended – you don’t even have to leave your house if you don’t want to, you can listen with a window open! Check out more information and how to sign up HERE 

September 20th – this evening there were martins swirling in the wind over the garden, it makes me happy and sad at the same time knowing that they will be leaving us soon.

September 23rd – this evening there was a common toad in the garden, I think it lives under the step to the back door.

September 27th – it is starting to feel more like Autumn, there was a mist over the field this morning.  This afternoon I found a rove beetle near the bird feeders. 

My Patch – A Garden update: August & September 2018

August

I like how the garden looks in summer but the amount of patio is starting disturb me!  There just seems to be so much of it which is not covered in greenery! Seeing this is only one half of the garden and the other half is all patio I find it even more disturbing! 

I was hoping by the end of August the patio will have been concreted – since it was cleaned there are now huge gaps in between the slabs that concern me, they are more than big enough for a hedgehogs leg to fall down!  However I have only managed to complete half of it  and unfortunately I don’t think the rest of it will be done this year!  

I have found some of the taller plants have needed to be staked up this month as they have been falling over onto the shorter ones.  The method I have used this time is to just put a cane at the back of the plant and use some twine to wrap around the plant to hold it up.  I might have to look for a better method for next year.  I have removed some of the leafy weeds that have been taking over the garden, I don’t have any idea what they are but they have gone as they just seem to be smothering everything else! 

August 1st – a small purple flower has been teasing me all summer, its either a bud or a seed head and its taken me ages to figure out what it is…well I think I know what it is… a perennial flax.

August 8th – I sometimes get a small helper in the garden!  He sits there looking grumpy until he gets cuddles and then thinks its helpful to use the raised bed as his bathroom facilities!! There’s a field behind that fence – why can’t he use that!!! 

August 14th – I have been around the garden this evening and deadheaded the roses.  I keep forgetting to do them so tonight they have all been cared for.  I have also been collecting some seeds from the plants that have been going over. 

August 21st – I’m rather pleased with the tomatoes, I have never grown them before and there seems to be loads of fruit forming on them πŸ™‚

August 27th – I have been gifted a couple of lavender plants, they will have to live in pots as there isn’t really any where for them to go in the garden but at least the pollinators will appreciate them when they have grown a bit bigger.

August 29th – I had to cut back some of the jasmine tonight.  It was on the list of things to do but the task had to be brought forward as the brother of my friend decided he didn’t like it dropping water on his head and took a chainsaw to it!  I was going to cut it back so that it would have the best chance at flowering again next year but I don’t really know how it is going to do now πŸ™

August 31st – I ordered a compost bin so I can make the most of the ‘waste’ from the garden πŸ™‚

September

September 2nd – Last month I sowed some Sweet Williams and they have sprouted πŸ™‚ 

September 10th – I cut back some more of the Jasmine, half of it has now gone! 

September 12th –  I trimmed back the hedge at the front of the garden and collected up the fallen blackberries for the birds.  I removed most of the brambles from the front garden as they were running very wild and tangling themselves around everything, they were newly established so thought it was best to get them removed before they took over entirely! The ivy has started to flower πŸ™‚

September 17th – I’ve had to pulled up a few of the leafy β€˜weeds’ as they seem to have taken over again!  I really hope they aren’t so much of a problem next year! Also I have had to relocate some of the daffodil bulbs as a certain four legged creature has broken the pot they were in and dug them up! He wasn’t admitting responsibility!  

September 20th – I have been tidying up the jasmine by pulling out the wilting vines which we cut off the other week.  It still needs to be reduced and weaved into the arch way to make more of a feature out of it.  It has become obvious as it has been cut back that it has been winding its way into the cables for the house which has made it a little more difficult to deal with. It has however started to sprout at the base again so I am hoping that the new growth can be weaved into the trellis on the wall and then managed as it grows so it doesn’t become unmanageable again.     

September 27th – The jasmine was finally fully cut back tonight, I feel awful for it!  I just hope it does okay over winter and bounces back next year.