My Small Suburban Garden

My Small Suburban Garden

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Better Late Than Never...

I have to admit that due to my disappointment regarding the lack of colour and wildlife in my small suburban garden during 2015 I've been reluctant to venture outdoors to see if anything 'exciting' is happening. However, determined that there WILL be some colour out there this year, I've recently purchased a large pack of 425 summer flowering bulbs and had the rather tedious task of planting them into the tubs and borders this afternoon.

Much of the garden still looks dead, but there were a few signs of life, much to my surprise. The mild winter has brought forth magnolia blooms, the mini daffodils are flowering and there's even a couple of pink hyacinths in flower. The yellow primulas are attempting to flower but are far from impressive, and the crosuses failed to appear at all, although the buddleia is predictably producing plenty of healthy-looking shoots and leaves.

After all my hard work it'll be interesting to see if anything other than californian poppies and alyssum grows this year. Only time will tell...

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

What Winter...?!

Despite it being 29th December, the unseasonally mild weather means my Small Suburban Garden is beginning to look rather more like spring that it ought to. Why do I have geraniums and lobelias in flower outdoors?

The jasmine, which I savagely chopped back a couple of months ago, has new foliage and still has an abundance of black berries. There's a ton of parsley available for harvesting and although the chives have gone to seed, the mint has reappeared.

As always, the buddleia is in leaf, and the magnolia is now covered in small furry buds. I'm not quite sure why the seasons are all messed up, and I do hope that it won't interfere too much with the insects that I hope to be seeing next spring and summer. I guess that all we can do is wait and see...

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Not Much to Write Home About...

After the disappointment of a lack of flowers and wildlife in my Small Suburban Garden this summer I admit that I've rather neglected it in recent weeks, however, I did venture outside for a look round this afternoon. Clearly it's still quite mild for the time of year because I have a few alyssum and lobelia dotted about. There's also a couple of late marigolds. The buddleia are sprouting new leaves despite me severely cutting them back, and the parsley remains defiantly strong.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to cut back some of the jasmine that had overgrown around my shed guttering, but now it just looks a bit of a mess. It's uncovered some rotten wood on my fencing and the bee hotels I put out there several years ago now need replacing. Those are jobs that will now have to wait until next spring. There's a few bright orange berries on the magnolia and shiny black ones on what's left of the jasmine. Hopefully the birds will enjoy those.

The wild cherry tree looks very autumnal against the blue sky and after sweeping up dead leaves the garden does look a bit tidier, although there's only so much I can do (it's not a 'magic' broom!) 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Who Stole Summer...?

Apart from a few sunny days here and there, there's really no evidence at all to suggest that summer actually arrived here this year. The majority of days have been gloomy and overcast, and my Small Suburban Garden has looked pretty much the same way. The floral extravaganza of wild flowers I was hoping for simply didn't happen, just a few Californian Poppies and a couple of marigolds. The cherry tree succumbed to blackfly and I'm not entirely sure it'll still be with us next year.

The buddleia bloomed but failed to attract more than a passing large white butterfly and a stray bee, although as I was cutting it down this afternoon I was joined by several Red Admirals and a Painted Lady - better late than never I guess. One of the signs that autumn is upon us is the white flowers on my chives - which are actually one of the few things currently cheering up the borders.

Will we get an 'Indian Summer' this month? Time will tell...

Saturday, 1 August 2015

That Don't Impress Me Much...

Well actually, my small suburban garden doesn't impress me at all this year! I can't remember the last time I was so underwhelmed with the lack of floral displays and I can't help but wonder if Mother Nature is to blame for the fact that I've only seen a couple of small white butterflies and one solitary peacock on my buddleia so far this so-called 'summer'. The fact I got excited at seeing a single ladybird on a dead poppy just about sums up my desperation.

I had hoped that by scattering a ton of wildflower mix into my borders that it'd provide a fabulous and colourful haven for wildlife, however, apart from the obligatory Californian Poppies and a couple of 'love in the mist' there's been practically zilch growing there. The only decent colour I've got is from a Tom Thumb fuchsia and some begonias that I'd actually thought I'd killed off by leaving them outside all winter.

The parsley is providing me with plenty of leaves for salads, as are the chives, but apart from that I'm extremely miffed at the lack of anything interesting out there. I'm now pinning all my hopes on some late flowering. Fingers crossed...

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Could Do Better...

While my North-facing front garden, which has mostly been left to Mother Nature, is currently an extravaganza of wild flowers of all shapes, sizes and fabulous colour, my South-facing back garden remains a major disappointment. While there are some nice bright Californian poppies and a couple of apparently self-seeded lobelias, most other plants are not really performing as well as I'd hoped.

The honeysuckle looks and smells gorgeous, as does the white jasmine, and the red jasmine has been constantly covered in bees (shame none of them have chosen to nest at chez moi again this year), however, the newest cherry tree has suffered terribly from black-fly and had yielded just one sad and lonely cherry, and there's also just one marigold!

Along with the buddleia, the mint, chives, rosemary and parsley are all doing ok but as for everything else...well... things can (surely?) only get better...

Friday, 5 June 2015

Stormy Weather...

After thunderstorms you usually get some nice, fresh air; however today we just have that clammy feeling. I don't think that my Small Suburban Garden is enjoying the current climate either, as my aquilegia is now covered in greenfly, the cherry trees are laden with black-flies and the Miracle Gro Flower Magic seeds I lovingly scattered in the borders all those weeks ago have so far yielded a few Californian poppies and not much else.

The jasmine, both white and red, are now flowering profusely which has attracted lots of bees. Unfortunately, for the second year running not one of those little creatures seems to want to make it's next in any of my 3 carefully constructed bee hotels.

The mint and buddleia are thriving, but then again they always do. All in all, I'm not (yet) very impressed. I'm hoping that things will improve soon...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Looking Good...

The sun is shining and all appears to be going according to plan in my Small Suburban Garden. The wildflower seeds I scattered in planters and borders a few weeks ago are beginning to grow (although they'd stand a better chance if the local cats would stop digging them up), and the polyanthus have decided to flower.

The wild cherry trees have blossomed and now it's time for the not-so-wild cherry to do the same. The magnolias have flowered, and now there's a ton of white petals to sweep off the paving slabs on a daily basis. The mint is thriving and I appear to have acquired a lemon balm (or at least, that's what it looks like at the moment).

I'd been collecting up random seedlings from around the garden and shoving them all in one planter, and now I have some white alyssum and some pink stocks. This is coming up to an exciting time in the garden and I can't wait to start seeing bees and butterflies returning. Hope it's soon...!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Magnificent Magnolia...

Well, one of the magnolias is in fine fettle while the other (smaller) one is lagging behind in the flowering department. There's also still some miniature daffodils along with some rather ragged looking yellow primulas and 3 pink hyacinths. It's good to finally see some flowers in the garden.

The wild cherry has begun to bud and I can see a few small leaves about to appear and the buddleia is beginning to grow again (although it's remained in leaf all winter).

The mint, rosemary and thyme have survived the winter, as predicted, and the recent rain has filled the water butt so I can keep the wildflower seeds I recently scattered in the borders and planters nice and damp. Fingers crossed that 2015 will see a good display of colour in my small suburban garden.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Sun Is Out, The Sky Is Blue...

...the garden's full of pussycat poo..... (Or it WAS until I removed it!)

It's very spring-like outdoors today and my small suburban garden is now looking tidier after I spent an hour shoving dead leaves and other garden litter into the compost bins (not the poo though!)

The mini daffodils (dwarf Narcissus 'Tête á Tête') are all out and are looking pretty and there's a few yellow primulas also in flower. The mint and rosemary are all starting to re-grow although the thyme is still looking a bit under the weather.

I've taken all of the geraniums from the planters and have put them into the front garden, and the planters are now full of Miracle Gro Wildflower Mix in the hope it'll give me a beautiful display throughout the spring, summer and even early autumn. Fingers crossed it'll attract the bees this year.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

I Spy With My Little Eye...

...something beginning with "L".

It's a beautiful, bright, sunny February day with barely a cloud in the sky, but I was still a bit surprised to see this little chap sunbathing in my small suburban garden as there's still a very distinct nip in the air.

Most of the plants haven't over-wintered particularly well although predictably the geraniums are determined to stay alive. The white jasmine still has some flowers, along with it's small, shiny black berries, and the magnolia is sporting some furry buds on it's branches.

Mini-daffs, crocuses and hyacinths are beginning to poke through the soil next to the yellow primulas, so it seems that Mother Nature is trying to let us know that spring is on it's way. The sooner the better I say!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Freezing February...

Blimey, it's cold! My Small Suburban Garden never looks great at this time of year, but this year it seems to be suffering particularly badly. The jasmine remains determined to bud no matter how low the temperatures go but there's not much else willing to brave the chill.

A few crocuses are beginning to poke through the soil, maybe even some daffodils and hyacinths, and a couple of primulas are out, but so far it's a pretty poor show. The geraniums are beginning to die off and rot, there's dead leaves all over the place and even the fairly hardy rosemary isn't looking very happy.

The buddleia are, as ever, oblivious to the seasons and have new leaves appearing and the mint is seemingly indestructible, but the whole place lacks colour at the moment. Hopefully in a few weeks time we'll be over the worst of the winter and we can finally look forward to spring.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Wot, No Snow...?

With half the country under a white blanket of the cold stuff, my small suburban garden remains unaffected. The sub-zero temperatures have managed to kill off the begonias but I'm not at all bothered. I did toy with the idea of digging them up and over-wintering them again but to be honest they're 80% leaf and they don't attract the bees and butterflies very well. Next spring I shall plant mostly wild-flower seeds in the hope that my bee hotels will once again become popular.

The geraniums, as ever, never cease to amaze and are still in flower. The white jasmine clearly thinks it's spring again as it's in bud (quite mad really). The buddleia has also grown new leaves and my lovely new fuchsia is also showing signs of new flowers.

This time of year, the garden is far from looking its best and all around are soggy brown leaves and dead stems, but the magnolia has also decided to join in with the springtime theme and has produced some furry little buds on it's branches. Will it all end in tears? Only time will tell...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Damp and Dreary...

Although it's mid-November, the temperatures remain remarkably mild, which has extended the flowering season somewhat. The geraniums continue to bloom in abundance, although I've had to snip off a few mouldy flower heads due to all this dampness.

The jasmine is clearly confused as it begins to blossom once more, and there's even a stray alyssum flowering in between the paving slabs. There's some honeysuckle still out and the chives and parsley are both present and correct.

The buddleia, which I cut back a few weeks ago, has new leaves and the mint, which I also chopped down, is thriving. I suspect that within a couple of weeks we'll see the first of the frosts, and that will mean digging up the begonias to protect them over the winter, but for now I shall enjoy their big, beautiful flowers for a while longer...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn Arrives...

My small suburban garden is looking rather worse for wear after recent high winds and heavy rain. The begonias took a real battering, poor things, and there were terracotta tubs upturned, spilling soil on the concrete slabs. Soggy, brown leaves are in evidence, as if we needed any further proof that autumn has indeed arrived. The jasmine is playing host to numerous spider webs, which look quite pretty in the early morning sunlight.

A lovely fuchsia, given to me by a dear friend in July for my birthday, is currently in it's third bloom, adding a fabulous splash of colour beside my back door. The geraniums are still going strong and there's signs of primulas poking through the soil at the far end of the garden.

The chives and parsley are now in seed, and the rosemary, mint and thyme are all looking a bit worse for wear. I really do need to keep a close eye on the weather forecast now as the begonias won't tolerate sub-zero temperatures and if I want a gorgeous display next year I'll need to dig up the tubers and keep them warm and dry until the spring.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bye Bye Buddleia...

I only intended to trim off the dead flowers from the buddleia, but then I figured I'd be chopping it all down for the winter within the next few weeks so I got it all done sooner rather than later! There were hardly any new blooms on it anyway, and any passing butterflies can feast themselves on mint and chive flowers instead.

The begonias are looking splendid, as are the pink geraniums. The magnolia has bright orange berries which add a bit of colour to the far end of the garden. A few primulas are beginning to poke through the soil, as if any proof were needed that it really is autumn now...