Saturday 31 December 2011


I have been very neglectful of my garden blog this last year due to various things not least my involvement in advocacy of Lyme Disease not just through my Looking at Lyme Disease blog but in helping support other sufferers and campaigning through my Member of Parliament, who is being very supportive. The replies however from our Department of Health would be laughable if it wasn't for so many people's suffering, they trip themselves up frequently and show how ignorant they are of the developing research.

The garden continues to be enjoyed and there have been various changes. Due to having some lovely new hardwood windows and Mike decorating the house, we decided to cut the Wisteria hard back. I did check on Google and found re assurance from Arabella Sock who I know of through the blogasphere but can't now find the link. So with fingers crossed we cut back the Wisteria to about knee high and at the end of the Autumn we were rewarded in seeing one new shoot reach about 3 feet before the Winter.
The Fuschia bushes have been flowering well into December as we still have not had much in the way of frost yet.
I took the opportunity to get Mike to relocate the water barrel which was always an eyesore next to the garage. So painted black and at last connected to a down pipe it already is proving to be less of an eyesore and very useful.
The Wallflower are looking good this year and again were grown from seed in the greenhouse to start then into pots and planted out in the vegetable patch after  we had harvested early crops.
My daughter Rachel took me to a lovely pub/eating place The Churchill Arms not far from Notting Hill, the eating area was in a conservatory and the ceiling was covered in hanging plants it was absolutely amazing, so I decided to have a go at making our lean to a bit more interesting. The roof height is a little low but already it is looking rather nice.  
The yellow flower on the bottom right is a Coronilla Glauca Citrina. It was a present from my daughter Rebecca two years ago. It has not stopped flowering since she gave it to me, but in Winter it flowers the most and the perfume is so delicate and welcome at this time of year. It says it is fully hardy but I bring it into the lean to during the Winter months because I am not altogether convinced of that.
Still interesting colours along the back terrace
Although the climbers were very hard pruned for the decorating and new windows they are recovering well. I love the new door which is a stable door something I have always wanted.
In March my 90 year old Dad came to live with us, he is still able to get about slowly but decided he couldn't manage his house and garden alone.
 Leah at the well came with him.

The Hydrangeas are looking particularly colourful this Autumn.
There are still a number of roses flowering and the box comes into it's own dressing the vegetable garden in the Winter.
This was another big change to the garden. Thirty years ago when we moved  here we planted a hedge of Leylandii. It made a good hedge between us and the neighbours at the bottom and although Mike pruned it hard it was a mammoth task. About 10 years ago the fence behind the Leylandii came down and with agreement of the neighbour we decided we didn't want another fence but in order to disguise the brown Leylandii which loses it's green against a fence and does not re grow, we planted Laurel in between the Leylandii. All the best advice said not to do this as they would not survive. They were small plants and needed watering during the Summer months but had grown well if a little sideways. So we decided the time had come to get rid of the Leylandii and hopefully in the next year or two the Laurel will shape up to become a more manageable hedge.
With the removal of the Leylandii we gained 3/4 feet across the bottom of the garden so scope for other things which is always fun for a gardener. Mike did the spade work in digging up the no mans land in this bottom corner much of which is riddled with Ground Elder and Bindweed. We will never get rid of it but every now and then we have a purge in one part of the garden or another. This has all been replanted now with plants from my nursery so looking forward to seeing how it progresses. I had grown lots of plants over the last couple of years because Rebecca and husband moved house and so lots of nursery plants have helped furnish their new garden.
The greenhouses are tucked up for the Winter, those plants on the left were grown from seed and in true Joanne fashion I lost the label and name. I do know what they are not and am hoping they are Dierama pulcherrimum or Angel's Fishing rods but maybe that is wishfull thinking because I lost the original plant and had tried seeding them. 
Of course I am as usual slow to get my head around blogger changes but seem to be coping after having initially tried adding this to my wrong blog!

So all in all it has been an interesting year but the best news was becoming a Grandma to a lovely little Graddaughter.

Wishing all my blogging friends a Happy and Healthy 2012.