In Animals, arigna, Gardening, Herbs on July 2, 2011 at 8:48 am
A pair of Spotted Flycatchers have set up home at our neighbours house and produced this brood of 5 chicks. They are 13 days old now and will fledge in the next few days.
At Prospect Cottage we feed the birds all year, mainly with peanuts. Usually we don’t get too many takers in Summer, but this year, because of bad summer I presume, we have more visitors than usual.
The long border is looking good right now, everything looking lush and healthy. Really like this Buddleia globosa with it’s balls of yellow flowers. The Carex, grown from a division given from my friend Colette, has really done well. I will be able to make divisions from this next Spring and pass it on to someone else and increase the plantings here. So the circle goes, round and round.
Now is a good time to take semi-ripe cuttings of perennials. Choose a sturdy side shoot, soft and green at the top, stiff at the base. Plants like Buddleia, Escallonia, Pieris and Hebe to name but a few take root easily at this time.
Feverfew is in flower now, this is the double flowered form. Culpeper said that Feverfew is good for “melancholy and aches and pains in the head.” Most people who suffer from migranes find significant improvement after eating a number of Fererfew leaves every day. This is best taken with other foods, maybe in a sandwich, as Feverfew is very bitter. Three to five leaves a day is generally recommended. An infusion can also be used as a mouth rinse after tooth extraction. Be careful though as it also acts as a mild laxative.
In Animals, arigna, Gardening, permaculture, sustainable living on June 24, 2011 at 8:37 am
The Forest Garden area is coming on nicely, plants are filling out and more are being planted all the time. Everything here is perennial, a mixture of herbs, fruit bushes and flowers. Comfrey is interplanted throughout, chopped and dropped around the base of the plants to provide fertility. Rushes strimmed from the fields provide the mulching material, eventually rotting down to build up the topsoil. Permaculture techniques at work.
This little pond at the bottom of the polytunnel provides a paddling pool for the many frogs that have made their home in this microclimate. They in turn pay for their keep by gobbling up any slugs and other pests that invade their area. Nature working without any human interference.
I recently bought some plants for this pond as it tended to have a lot of algae. Now that they are becoming established the algae problem has disappeared. The little water Forget -me-not has just started flowering, pretty little thing. There’s also Water Lettuce(bottom left), Water Violet(bottom right) and a Flowering Rush beside the Forget-me-not.
Outside the back door Buddha keeps watch over this little pot of Sedum and Sempervivum slips. These plants grow easily from even the smallest piece.
In the field the animals relish the abundant Summer pasture.
And a curious Donkey comes to check out the camera or maybe see if I have any tasty morsel for her.
In Gardening, sustainable living on March 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm
Another beautiful day in the garden today. On days like this I really have no wish to be elsewhere. Flowers like the little Primula pictured above gladden the heart and lift the spirits. Most of the day was spent lifting, dividing and planting perennials. Division is a great way to get free plants, it is a form of propogation in which new plants are not grown from seeds or bulbs but separated from the parent plant. Division is also a way of stopping clumps from becoming overcrowded and ensures the new plants come true to type. Most of the plants from today’s work are going into a new flower border that is being established. Pics when it is finished, hopefully by end of coming week!
Pulmonaria or Lungwort as it is commonly known is a plant that can also be divided. This really needs to be done in Autumn or early Spring as it is in flower at the moment. I would’nt have the heart to divide it when it’s in flower, probably would’nt be a good idea anyway.Lungwort is a great plant for shade and will thrive even under trees. The flowers change from pink to blue as they open. The name Lungwort refers to the blotchy leaves, which were likened to diseased lungs in the past, the plant was once used to heal various lung disorders.