Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Garden observations...

I grow Hostas. Well let me clarify that statement, each year I attempt to grow Hostas. Usually these are poor attempts, smallish plants ravaged by slugs eating the tender green leaves as one of their five a day! Turning my dreams in to a mottled frilly fretwork of uneven holes.

A few of my friends, who are more gifted than me, grow magnificent plants far larger than mine and I often wonder how they succeed when I view my efforts.

After some recent heavy rain I noted that one of the pots was water logged and turned it on its side to let the excess drain. Then I did nothing as it didn't cross my mind to right the pot in case it got water logged for a second time.

In yesterday's glorious sunshine I inspected my garden for the first time this year, as I'm a fair weather gardening, allowing my garden to rest over autumn and winter months. That is the best excuse I can find for not gardening in the cold and inclement weather.

I righted the pot; to my surprise this pot had a healthy head of live Hosta shoots, far in advance in growth than any of the other five remaining pots! It appears that by turning the pot on its side and placing the crown of the plant in an enforced darkness has encouraged a forced growth!

I'm off to rescue these tender shots now from a slug invasion as I imagine that within a five mile radius these tender shots will attract many more slugs than I already house in my clay logged soil. And perhaps it might be wise to turn the remaining five pots on their side too, and place them in an enforced darkness now.

Let’s see how these fare in a week or two…

Monday, 13 March 2017

The great slug escape

This afternoon was the first time in ages, in months even, that I’ve sat in the garden and done nothing. Well not quite nothing. The sunshine was glorious and its the first proper chance I’ve found to top up the Vitamin D naturally.

It was a mellow moment.

Wonderful bird song filled the air. A lot of noisy wing flapping and posturing by two doves as they made ‘whoopee’ in a large bushy conifer close by drew my attention. A big ol’ bumble bee busied itself buzzing around my head looking for nectar, and the blue canopy of sky seemed further away than it’s done in a while and I couldn’t help but notice that my patio was strewn with large lumps and clumps of drying moss, presumably removed from the roof tiles by the early morning birds looking for nest building materials as there’s a lot of dried stringy plant fibre too and I’ve no idea where that’s come from…

A damp cushion retrieved from the ground was laden with slugs, on its underside, all shapes and sizes, simply Yuk. I pegged the cushion on the line out of the way, while I wandered off to find gloves and removing implements to de-slug it. This was when the moment the conniving slugs made their escape.

I returned to find an unusual sight and as I stood and watched an elongated slug spun itself a fine sliver of a clear trail and suspended from the edge of the cushion it dangled several feet above the ground. The wind buffeted this slipper strand that stretched and stretched until it finally, under the weight of the slug, it snapped and the slug plummeted to the soft new grass below. I’d not seen these slug acrobatics before and discovered there were none left to retrieve!

Before settling down to bask in the warmth of the suns rays again I sprinkled seeds a few Love-in-the-mist and Californian Poppies. If the birds don’t find them tomorrow theses seeds might thrive. As I wandered back to find my seat I spotted a splendid fungi right next to the path, a home for fairies perhaps.

But best news of all is the cherry blossom is in full bud! Encouraged by the warmth of this morning's suns rays a few buds have burst open to reveal soft pink petals. These late winter days, before the Spring solstice, that hold the promise of a Spring day yet to come, is undoubtedly my favourite time of year.