Sunday, 28 February 2010

End of month views, February 2010

Earlier today, I posted with photos of a female Sparrowhawk that was visiting my garden this morning. I guess she makes an entry into February’s 'end of the month garden view'. Interestingly, this posting has indirectly kicked up another couple of things.

Suspecting I’m not the only blogger that has had the following problem, I wonder if anyone has a solution for the next couple of photos…



Can you see what has happened? For some reason blogger has uploaded them in the wrong aspect. These photos were cropped to make landscape images not portrait ones in exactly the same way as the others. I have had this happen just once before with a nice shot of a carder bee and never posted it.



My first thoughts tonight, were to look at the HTML code. Instantly I could see that (as you might expect) the ‘px’ for the width and height were round the wrong way. Okay then, a quick edit should have sorted it out. Nope… it just distorted the image!

As there are reasons behind using each image I have decided to just keep them in. The first one above just conjured up images (to me) of the leaf being fossilised by the snow from a winter that has had way more snow than normal. The second one shows that the crocuses are trying to break free and daffodils are not far behind them.

As regular visitors will know, in a bid to stop myself from digging up bulbs (when moving plants around my garden) I decided to plant a large number under my lawn. I love to see them grow through it. Unfortunately, with a snow covering, it is very easy to walk over them…




In other areas, it is Hellebores that I’m trying to see open their first flowers. Nope, this one is being really modest and hiding behind a cone…



In my front garden yesterday, I pruned back hard the dead growth of my Penstemons. I’m hoping they will survive this colder than usual winter we have had. Interestingly enough, one plant was showing signs of new growth (wrong aspect shot).



Coming back to taking precautions re digging plants up I often add short bamboo canes when planting in densely populated areas. This means when the plants die down... the cane marks the spot.

The young Meconopsis below has surprised me here too… the original ones I have die down completely but these ones haven't. I’m really looking forward now, to seeing if these young plants will flower this year and I'm also wondering if they might just set seed too :-D



This next, wrong aspect, shot shows a very sad group of snowdrops. This was a recent planting. These snowdrops were grown in a pot already. I picked them up from a garden centre. As there were already snowdrops beside this planting that are not drooping like this I suspect that this bunch weren’t hardened off enough.



Looking more than hardy enough and showing both glossy leaves and blossom buds is a Pieris in a sheltered spot…



The images above were a few of the things that caught my eye today on my garden wander. However, today is about joining Helen and others with some 'end of the month garden views' so let’s get to it…

Below you can see my brighter front garden. The first shot shows the view from my front step and the other from inside my back garden - standing at the gate. Remember clicking on photos will enlarge them. Yep, this is reality gardens.




Yep, and there is quite a contrast on the other side of the fence in my Gunnera border. Lots of green growth… including on the fence. We need to get that stained again and some of the broken strips replaced.



Let’s turnaround and walk a little further into my back garden now and look across to the arbour. This area is under construction! Well, almost. It’s a stop start job and to be honest until tonight I wasn’t sure how I would tackle it.

This is the area I hope to build a good sized wildlife pond. I’ll come back to this. Let’s walk first across to the arbour and look at the aspect from there.




Yep, you can see that there is a wooden seat being stored behind the arbour and wheelie bins behind the gate. This is a winter arrangement only. From Spring onwards the bins will be behind the arbour and the seat will be returned to under the pergola.



You can also see that there will be a good view of the new camera nestbox from the arbour seat should we be lucky enough to have birds nest in it this year.

Let’s walk down the lawn along the longest strip of the garden. Looking across to the new pond location you can see that there’s going to be a lot of hard work to come there.




Standing in front of the shed and we are looking back to the arbour once again. You can see the main planting of bulbs starting to come through the lawn. You can also see rhododendrons growing around the bamboo on the right. They were relocated from the pond area. I wonder if they will flower this year.




Ah yes, the pond area. Let’s come back to it. This is going to be the main feature in my end of the month views throughout the year and it will indeed show up my progress... or lack of it. Mm… I’m now wondering if this is a good thing!




My husband wandered by as I was cropping this view and I found myself explaining roughly what I was thinking about. I selected the airbrush tool in PhotoShop and started sketching it out. Before I knew where I was I had finally formed a plan!

Okay, now I did say it was a sketch… it is a rough one too so bear with me. The blue lines as you might guess suggest the water. I’ve brought that forward across the gravel path to the area where the Rosemary plants have died this winter. The sage there isn’t looking too good either.

So, as often the case with gardening, with the loss of some plants a new opportunity has opened up. The brown strip represents a path across the water. I need somewhere to stand to use an ocassional washing line! The green represents plants around the pond.




Yep, this is reality gardening and looking now at the pink arrow on the left in the image below you can see where the temp washing line retracts to. I have two hooks on my pergola and this line crosses in a zig zag. I don’t use it all the time but it is very handy. I love the ability to hide the line when not in use.



Don’t laugh now… I know my sketch is a bit ropey ;-) However, the final red part of the sketch shows the position of my rotary dryer where my washing is usually dried when outside. This too, gets removed when not in use.



So there you have it... washing line and all!

As often the case, I do post pretty late on in the evening. However, tomorrow I’m going to enjoy browsing the blogs of others that have joined Helen through the links in her posting. I’m looking forward to it :-)


All photos above were taken in my garden on February 28th 2010.

11 comments:

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Shirl - I love the washing lines in your sketch!

Great end of the month views - I do enjoy seeing the "larger picture" in peoples gardens and it will be great to see how your wildlife pond develops over time.
K

Orchids and Nature said...

Lovely to view your blog again. I havn't been able to follow you for the last few days because your servers been off on my computer.
David

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great end of the month shots. I like seeing how you hide your wash lines.

patientgardener said...

Hi Shirl - thanks so much for joining in again this month. I am very worried about your washing falling in the pond though!!!!

Shady Gardener said...

It's also fun to think that Spring is on its way and we're getting excited about being outdoors again! ;-) Your garden areas are wonderful.

Miranda Bell said...

I love the photos of the beginning of the year... I love the anticipation in waiting for all those lovely plants to come into flower and it takes such PATIENCE!! Sorry you've had such a horrible time with your weather and your poor little snowdrops... looks as though your Penstemons are okay though... plants are amazing aren't they! Have a good week - we had a lovely sunny day here today and I was able to get the first of my grass cuttings done which is always great - take care Miranda x

shirl said...

Hello everyone, sorry I thought I had answered your comments :-)

shirl said...

Hi again Karen, Thanks! Well… not taking the reality route there ;-)

Yes, the larger picture does give the macros a sense of place. My main problem with the larger picture is trying to limit views of my house and that of my neighbours. Yes, but it will definitely track the progress of a new pond too :-)

shirl said...

Hi again David, I am sorry you had problems. Hope all is still well now.

I have to confess that I don’t get around to visiting your blog as often as I mean too. I’ll sort that right now though by adding you to my blog list.

I’m guessing my current posting on displaying videos might not be what you were looking for but it has been difficult deciding which way to take these posts. More will follow :-D

Have a good day :-)

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa, Helen and Shady :-)

Lisa, Thanks… much better than the reality stuff there ;-)

Helen, You are most welcome. I enjoyed it. LOL… I’ll post on the reality of washing over a pond too ;-)

Shady, it is, isn’t it although the frost is still gripping the ground here at the moment. Delighted you enjoyed seeing my garden areas. You always wonder what others will think don’t you. It was a beautiful Spring like day yesterday. Went out and about and have some lovely pics to share soon :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda, me too. Sometimes though that anticipation runs into panic too don’t you think when everything in the garden kicks of into gear at the same time.

Och… the weather has been a pain but it often can be at this time of year. We just accept it interferes with everything. For those who aren’t used to it, it must be much, much worse to deal with. It has been a bad one for everyone.

Yep… that one Penstemon looks okay. It was close to the house wall. The others aren’t showing any signs of re-growth :-(

Och, och, och and some… grass cutting already! On the flip side of that, delighted to hear your weather has improved for you to be able to do it. You always sound like you enjoy it ;-D