Wednesday 31 December 2014

End of Month View - December

It’s the last day of December and the last day of 2014 – time for a bit of reminiscence about the past year and also previous years. Today I have been blogging for exactly 4 years and written 292 posts. What started as something I was a bit curious about has turned in to a nice hobby I am certain I will keep doing in the future. I am not the most frequent blogger, however whenever I do write a post I usually write really, REALLY long posts with lots of photos. I kind of put blogging to one side and do lots of other things between each post, but then I realise so much has happened in my garden since last post – and I want to show you as much as possible, and I end up with very long posts each time. Sorry if you are the type of blog reader that prefer one-liners and just one photo, not much of that around here!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas from London

It’s ‘little Christmas Eve’ today, the day before the big day for many people around the world, or two days before the big day for other people, depending on which day you celebrate Christmas – if you celebrate at all. I used to celebrate Christmas on the 24th while still living in Norway, but after moving to Britain I have had to postpone the celebration a day, as the 24th is just a normal working day here. My Christmas celebration is mainly about spending the day with family members, exchanging gifts and having extra nice food I normally don’t have. But I also like to surround myself with light inside and outside in these dark, short days of December, while waiting for the days to get longer.

Monday 15 December 2014

December flowers

It’s time for another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post and I’d like to show you what’s flowering in my tiny London garden. Being December you might think that can’t be much but in my garden there is something in flower every single week of the year. December so far has been cold and we have had one night below freezing. That’s one night more than the whole of last winter – and winter last till end of February so I hope this is not a sign of a colder winter than usual. Despite temperatures between 2-8 degrees C the last 2 weeks the garden is still looking green and the spring bulbs are continuing to pop up everywhere.

Sunday 30 November 2014

End of Month View – November

It’s the last day of November, I made my movie yesterday, and just like last month we had an absolutely glorious end to the month. It was more like a nice spring day, with 14 degrees C and nice sunshine. It has rained a lot this month, but November is the rainy month of the year in my area so that’s just normal. I have had no frost in my garden so far, actually nowhere near frost, not even at night, and even though we are expecting some colder nights next week it will not get low enough to hit frost. 

Saturday 15 November 2014

November in London

It’s garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day again; middle of November and five ½ weeks to Christmas – distinctively chilly with cool days and a lot of rain, but it’s also only 2 weeks since we had day temperature of 24 degrees C. Yes, London can be very mixed in the autumn, but I doubt we will have another day of above 20 degrees C until late spring next year. But even though the weather stays in the low teens now, my garden keeps going and noting really stops, it just changes to a slightly slower gear for a few months. There has been reports of ‘season confused’ plants around the country, I have some too, I guess the nice summer, cool August and then warm September and October made some plants slightly out of balance. However, as I am writing this, the weather is very much like it usually is in November, the rain is hammering down and it is very windy with top temp of only 12-13 degrees. So what could possibly be flowering right now then? Quite a lot actually! As usual I have been having difficulties choosing what to show you, I can’t really show every single plant in flower, you would be sitting here until tomorrow reading – I will spare you that, but I have made a careful selection of the best bits – lots of photos even so.

Friday 31 October 2014

End of Month View – October

Today was the last day of October, and what a day it was! Glorious sunshine and 23 degrees C – that was the temperature officially for London, in my garden it tipped slightly higher in the afternoon. Not a bad way to end October. The next few days the temperature is going to drop around 10 degrees. We will certainly notice that! I am sure today’s summerlike weather must have broken yet another weather record, but who’s counting, we seem to have broken one weather record after the other the last few years, weather records somehow seem to have gone out of fashion. Who cares, it was amazing today!

Sunday 19 October 2014

The wacky aphids are back!

Two years ago I wrote about the yellow-orange aphids invading my lovely Dregea sinensis, maybe you remember them? If not, or if you are new to my blog since then, let me fill you in: the aphids are called Aphis nerii and if you are from Florida or southern Spain you have probably seen them and hated the sight of them many times. If you are from more northern parts of the world you have probably not seen them or not even heard of them.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

October GBBD in London

It’s that time again, Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, and I can’t understand it’s a whole month since last GBBD post! October so far has been chilly and the rain we didn’t get all September we certainly have got the last 2 weeks. I went outside yesterday to take some photos for this post, in pouring rain with an umbrella, realising that I had not been out in the garden for more than a week because it’s been raining every time I wanted to go outside.  The forecast is promising us some warmer weather the next 4-5 days, and possibly no rain during the day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – but you never know, that might change again by the time we get to the end of the week.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

End of Month View – September

September brought the summer back here in London, it’s been lovely! Not too hot, not too cold, hardly any rain and the few drops we have had have mainly come as some short thundery showers at night. Payback will come when my water bill arrives in November though, as I have had to water a lot more than I usually do at this time of year. It has been the driest September on record – mind you, we had the wettest January on record this year too so I suppose it kind of evens out! The weather forecast says we get to keep this lovely weather until the end of this week and that’s it, autumn will arrive whether we want it or not!

Monday 15 September 2014

September beauties from London

It’s the middle of the month again, time for another Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post. In my garden it’s still very much summer, and with the glorious weather we have had the last 2 weeks – and is expecting the next couple of weeks, summer is very much on the agenda. In fact, by Thursday we might get above 25 degrees C, which we haven’t had since the first week of August – since August turned out to be the coldest in 20 or so years. The days are getting shorter and the leaves have started to fall, but as long as we have summer weather, who cares?!

Sunday 31 August 2014

End of month view – August

August in London has been unusually cold and windy with some really heavy downpours, some spectacular thunder and lightning and all I can say is; we have had a lot of weather. After the amazing spring and summer, August came crashing down and the temperature never really got much above 20 degrees C or so and some nights were much colder than in January and February. Yep, August has been a disappointment so, upwards and onwards, September looks more promising!

Friday 15 August 2014

August GBBD in London

We have had a great summer so far, but August has brought cooler weather and some really heavy downpours. That’s been good for my parched garden although heavy rain for a few hours doesn’t last for long, I soon have to drag the hose out again. I don’t think I have ever watered as much as I have this summer and I have already decided I am not going to have as many pots next summer as I have this year. The plants in the pots need water at least every other day, the plants in the ground manage for much longer.

Thursday 31 July 2014

End of Month View - July

I heard on the BBC weather today that here in the south-east of England we have had warmer than average weather for the last 8 months in a row. I can believe that! We had an amazing summer last year, I didn’t think we would get a repeat this year, but here we are at the end of July and it looks like we really are repeating last year’s amazing summer. Long may it last!

Tuesday 15 July 2014

My bountiful July garden

Can you believe it – it’s middle of July already! Here in London we have had amazing weather for a very long time, actually since it stopped raining in  March, although it was rather cold in March and April. But since May we have had summer basically, and not many days below 20 degrees and many days hovering around 30 degrees C. The last week we have had some welcome torrential rain, but although it has been good for the flower beds, all the pots and containers still need watering almost every day. I am glad I have managed to reduce the 350 or so pots down to a more manageable 200 plus!

Monday 30 June 2014

End of Month View – June

It is a whole month since last time I uploaded a video of my garden, I am not sure where that month has gone, I have been so busy! My garden is growing like mad and with the fine weather we have had for ages, I need to be around watering and taking care of the garden  on a daily basis. We have had a bit of rain the last few days, but it really doesn’t amount to anything, just enough to be annoying, just enough to keep me out of the garden, having to go inside during the showers - but I still have to water the pots and containers every day. This week the weather looks to get better, back to low to mid twenties and no rain at all it seems.

Sunday 15 June 2014

June GBBD in London

Did you see Gardeners’ World on BBC this week? Monty Don said it was only one word to describe the garden this month and that was ‘Lush’. I couldn’t agree more, although in my garden, lush seems a bit inadequate word these days, my garden is filling up and has already started to take on the jungle feel it gets in the late summer.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Tree following - hard pruning

It’s time for the monthly post about my two Magnolia soulangeana, the two trees I have growing in containers on my patio. Last month, in May, the leaves had come out and the trees looked very different from April’s photos. This month the changes are more subtle.

Saturday 31 May 2014

End of Month View – May

People say a picture says more than a thousand words, I tend to agree, but I also believe a movie says so much more than pictures. So for my very first ‘End of Mont View’ I am posting a movie of my garden – instead of the 50 or so photos I would need in order to show you the same. My garden is growing like mad and my inner London paradise is starting to take on the secluded and secret look it gets during the summer and autumn.

Monday 26 May 2014

The first lilies!

Yes, the first lilies are flowering in my garden, just thought I would share that with you :-)
The Asiatic lilies are always the first one to flower, but all the oriental lilies have fat buds and won’t be that many weeks behind. Despite my absolutely tiny garden I have managed to squeeze in more than 150 lilies of various type and height, and I am sure I can manage to fit a few more. There will be more lily photos next month!

Thursday 15 May 2014

May flowers in London

For us gardeners it seems difficult to talk about anything else than our gardens and the weather, yet – we seem to have a rather short memory when it comes to past weather. Do you remember what kind of weather we had last spring or the spring before? Well, I do, because I have written it down, but I also do because it was so extreme! I suppose for many of us, EXTREME is the word we could start using to describe the weather by in the future, no matter where we live.

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Tree following, arrival of leaves

It’s already gone a whole month since last time I wrote about my tree, my lovely Magnolia soulangeana 'Heaven Scent', so now it’s about time for another update.

Monday 28 April 2014

A guest in my garden - and on my blog

Hello folks, I am guest writing on the Graphicality blog today and I just wanted to tell you a bit about what’s going on in the garden right now. But let me present myself first....

Tuesday 15 April 2014

April bloomers in London

It’s middle of the month again and time to show you what’s flowering in our gardens. It was a funny winter here in London, with no frost at all and just rain, rain and more rain - but although spring so far has had many nice days, the temperatures hasn’t been that impressively high. Some plants are very early in my garden, others are taking their time and seem to not have been influenced at all by the mild winter we have had.

Monday 7 April 2014

Tree following, after the flowers

It is time for another post about the tree I am following this year, my lovely Magnolia soulangeana 'Heaven Scent'. Last month was the first post I wrote about my tree and I described how I came about ending up with a tree like that in my tiny garden.

Sunday 30 March 2014

My Amaryllis

I used to have 5 amaryllis bulbs, I had them for many years, they flowered every February/March and I always took the plants outside during the summer. And in late autumn every year I took the bulbs out of the compost, cleaned them up and put the bulbs in a container under my garden bench for the 6 weeks that they needed to be chilled in order to flower again. But one winter we had a lot of rain, the water managed to enter the box where I kept my amaryllis bulbs and they all rotted. I had to throw them all away and that was the end of it – for quite a few years.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Ohhh, those squirrels!

I have a love/hate relationship with the squirrels in my garden. I should perhaps say ‘squirrel’, because I have only ever seen ONE squirrel at the time, and I don’t know if it is the same squirrel that I see every time, or if there is a whole colony of squirrels queuing up to come into my garden and make havoc, but squirrels can live for 20 years so you never know, might be just the same one that visits me.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Swapping plants – long distance

I have written about the plant swapping site I am a member of before, a site called Green Plant Swap, and the whole point with it is to meet and swap plants, basically to see each other’s gardens and perhaps find something you might like and see if whatever you can offer can be used to swap with whatever they have to offer. That’s fine if you live around the corner for each other or at least in the same city but what if you don’t do that?

Saturday 15 March 2014

March flowers in London

It has been a weird winter, with more rain than ever recorded – in 360 years I think it is, but the plus side of that has been the mild weather we have had here in London. Still no frost in my garden this winter, and I hope the rest of March, or April for that matter doesn’t have some silly surprises for us, like snow – the latest I have experienced snow here in London these 15 years I have been here was 8th April! The snow didn’t lay for more than a few hours but it was cold for a few days and the frost killed all the flowers that were out on my camellia. No silly things like that this year please!

Friday 7 March 2014

Tree following, my Magnolia soulangeana

I have decided to sign up to a new meme called ‘Tree following’ and in my postage stamp size garden I actually have a few trees, the tallest tree, the Red Cedar is just over 9 m (about 30 ft) tall! I also have a rather unusual lilac, and a little conifer that died and now the tree stump is working as an obelisk for an almost 4m tall Passionflower - and I have a tall mature camellia – so big that it is a tree and no longer a bush. I used to have a tall holly tree too, but it had to be taken down when my neighbour built their extension and I am not that sorry to see it go, it was absolutely enormous. But I am not going to ‘follow’ any of these trees in dept, apart from mentioning them perhaps. No, the tree I am going to follow is a magnolia.

Saturday 1 March 2014

My Hellebores

Today the meteorological spring starts here in Britain and although some people stubbornly keep to the astronomical start of spring, which is 21st March, here in London 1st of March is a good time to start talking about spring – the gardens and parks have usually started their spring flowers well before this date anyway.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Sunday 23 February 2014

It’s spring in London!

The last couple of days has done wonders for my garden, it’s like the whole thing has been hung up to dry - and it has helped immensely that it hasn’t rained for a few days. The flower beds are no longer making swish-swashing sounds when I dare to step into them and the pots no longer drip when I lift them. I even had to water the large hanging basket with my tender fuchsias, now renamed evergreen fuchsia! All the fuchsias have started to grow like mad and I am not quite sure what to do with them, normal rules has to go out the window, I have never had evergreen fuchsias before, things like pinching out the new shoots....ehh, how do I do that?

Saturday 15 February 2014

February in my garden

The news is repeating itself to such a degree that it makes us kind of numb – I don’t think I can hear about any more storms and floods and yet, every day the news is filled with it and every week we are hit by more storms and floods somewhere in UK. Wednesday was dubbed ‘Wild Wednesday’ by the media and the winds reached hurricane force certain places on the west coast of England. Here in the calmer corner of South East England we are more worried about flooding and the saturated rivers, and where on earth all the water is supposed to go eventually. It all leads down to the Thames River, and that river goes straight through London. The Thames barrier is currently saving London from being flooded and since it was built in 1982, the Thames Barrier has been raised 150 times in order to prevent flooding in central London. This year's wet winter has required it to be closed 28 times since December the 6, accounting for 18.7 % of the total closures in its 32-year history. And the forecast today is for ANOTHER month of this weather.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Cooped up indoors

The relentless rain and stormy weather is continuing here in Britain, we are well into the third winter month and the third month of the same pattern of days and days of rain and wind with the odd single day of clear and sunshine. For me here in London, this winter has mostly meant a very mild winter. I have not suffered any flooding like many people have done here in the south. But my garden is so saturated with water that I am wondering if everything will survive or if bulbs and herbaceous plants has started to rot. Every time I lift up one of my several hundred pots and containers in my garden, a flood of water runs out of the bottom. It feels strange after having worried about getting enough water to my garden last summer when we had such a long spell of warm weather. It seems a rather long time ago now, but it is only 7 months ago.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Sink or swim!

About 2 years ago I wrote a post about ‘the troublesome corner’ in my garden. I told the story about how I had tried for years to make things grow in that bottom right corner and that a combination of dry shade, cats and foxes jumping over the fence and foxes digging a tunnel under the fence through to next door garden made that corner a real challenge. You can read that post here to get the rest of the details.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

January’s GBBD flowers

Despite having had one winter storm after the other the last 4 weeks, and now having quite cold weather for the last 5 days, my garden is bang on schedule and is completely normal-mid-January in terms of plants and flowers. I just had a look at my GBBD post for January 2013 and 2012 and my garden look so similar that I could easily have used the same photos today – except that I have done changes and added plants since then. Last year the cold weather didn’t arrive until end of January, and stayed on for what felt like forever. I am hoping for a more normal spring this year!

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Great expectations

It has been unusual weather in the northern hemisphere for the last month, whilst parts of America is experiencing very cold temperatures, here in Britain we have had one winter storm after the other with relentless rain, wind and subsequent flooding. Info from the MetOffice shows that it was the windiest December on records since 1969, the warmest December since 1988 and the south and south-east, and also the far north were much wetter than average with over twice the average rainfall in some places. 8 people have died so far as a result of flooding and the bad weather. Whilst rain, wind and flooding have made havoc and disaster for many people up and down the country, my garden has survived well and not experienced any major damage so far.