#mygardenrightnow: the autumn edition

If you ever visited my garden, you wouldn’t describe it as “lovely.” You’d probably shake your head and walk round muttering “what a flipping mess!” Waist-high stinging nettles and thickets of brambles are definitely an acquired taste. But despite its terrible weedy bits and uncontrollable corners- I love my garden and like nothing better than to ramble about picking a few flowers here and there and munching on blackberries (there are plenty).

So I’m joining Michelle at Veg Plotting again for #mygardenrightnow meme. Enjoy the view, but remember, I only show you the flowery bits. Behind the scenes- there is chaos!

Flowers from the veg plot are still going strong. New Calendula Snow Princess is a firm favourite. So prolific and pretty.

Jam jar flowers include annual chrysanthemums, white dahlias,verbascum and grasses from the hedgerow bottom. Here’s a posy I took into BBC Radio Leicester recently. I’m sitting in the reception area- waiting to join Ben Jackson for the gardeners’ phone-in programme. You can have a listen in at http://bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05btvd7 whiz past the news to 2.08.10 on the timeline. I’ll never get used to wearing headphones. They never seem to fit me. But Ben and the production team are very kind and let me mess about with the height of the chair and plug and unplug the headphones until I’m comfortable. Then the only thing to worry about is the fact that it’s live….and we never know the questions in advance. It’s an awful long time since I attended horticultural college. I might need a refresher course to be honest!

The sweet peas have been amazing this year. I used some new Plant Grow fertiliser which seems to have kept them going for months. Plus they are still healthy. Usually by now they are getting brown and mildewy. I’ll definitely be using Plant Grow again next spring.

In between the sweet peas I’m growing some white and pale blue gladioli. To save the trouble of staking them, I just tie them up with the sweet peas and grow them down the middle of my hazel rod wigwam. It doesn’t matter what the weather throws at them, they still grow upright. Much less trouble.

I love the way the flowers open from the bottom of the stems and work their way up. They last for two weeks in a vase.

My £1 cactus dahlia Chat Noir from Wilkos has been such a bargain. It’s 6ft tall and full of glorious flowers. I do love a bargain.

Mum grew trays of pansies to pop in amongst the vegetables. They are perfect under tall brassicas such as kale and Brussels. We both love these jet black ones. They remind us of velvet.

It’s not just us appreciating the cut flower patch. This has to be the fluffiest bee ever to visit the garden.

In compensation for all these overgrown weeds and brambles, we had five baby hedgehogs born in the garden this summer. They are currently living under the rose pergola by the back door, and I’m trying to feed them up in time for their winter hibernation. Of all the things I’ve ever grown in my garden, I am the most overjoyed with these beautiful hedgehogs.

The hedgehog house was half price too. I’m sure it will keep them warm and dry over the winter. Do feel free to join in with Michelle’s meme and share your news on what your garden looks like this weekend. It’s fun to see what we are all getting up to in our gardens all over the country- and also abroad!

51 thoughts on “#mygardenrightnow: the autumn edition

    • It was called a Hogilo by Wildlife World – half price £30 – at Wyvale garden centre. It’s really well made with a waterproof roof. I’m going back for another one tomorrow. Last year I made one out of an old pallet piled up with logs on the outside and covered in twigs and topped off with a turf roof. Before I’d even finished it there were babies born underneath. I had to leave the job half finished. This year I’m madly piling logs under evergreen bushes and next to the washroom. This year’s babies were born under the duck hut! Good luck with yours. I’m trying to find out what weight they need to be to hibernate. Do you know by any chance?

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  1. Another delightful virtual ramble through your garden… You mention chaos, but I’m sure it is a carefully tended and lovingly nurtured sort… Your Sweet Peas sound heavenly.. Aslo, good idea to carpet the base of some veg with Pansies… am also a huge fan of the noir ones…’When Violas Go Goth’ ; ) How heartening and lovely to have a family of hedgehogs taking up residence in the garden! Haven’t actually seen a ‘Hog House’ before, but nice to get one a a good price…Imagine, like birdhouses, they can be occupied over a number of years…Do hedgehogs return each year to the same domicile? Hope you’ll post more photos… xx

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    • Thanks Jo. I think they do, because they sometimes go off in the spring and we don’t see them again until they emerge with babies. The parents have now gone- but left the babies behind. I feel quite responsible for them. The tawny owl babies are still in the garden too. Parents still feeding them. Feels like the garden is turning into a crèche. Thanks again for reading and for your lovely kind comments. Much appreciated xx

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    • The hedgehogs are worth it, like you say. Seeing them scuttling about the garden at dusk makes me really happy. I’m just going out there to feed them now. Thanks so much for reading and getting in touch xx

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  2. It sounds like we have similar gardens Karen! And as you say, they’re OUR gardens and that’s what makes them special and precious to us. One of the ideas behind this meme is to show gardens needn’t be perfect to be well loved, though we’re often the one who is most critical of our efforts!

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    • That’s so true. When I visit someone else’s garden and they apologise for the weeds, i honestly don’t even notice them. That’s because it’s not going to be my job to sort them out. I am there just to enjoy the beauty in their garden, and not to pick fault.

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  3. Karen I also have Brambles and Nettles and weeds that I do not want to take away for wildlife and because I like them. His five hedgehogs are worth all the gold in the world: I’m glad I bought him a house for winter-at half price! The photos are magnificent as your garden. All her flowers are spectacular. The Princess of the Snow of the Marigold is precious. Sweet peas are beautiful as are Gladiolus. The dark red Cactus Dahlia is wonderful. Thank you very much for the walk through your beautiful garden. Memories for your Mother. Greetings from Margarita.

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    • Ah, thank you so much Margarita. Your lovely comments have made my day. You always make me smile. I’m taking mum out to a grand house this week to see the walled garden and have tea and cake. Have a lovely week. Greetings from Mum and karen xxx

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    • Thank you Brian. That Snow Princess has been the star of the show this summer. Non-stop flowers and they last for ages in a vase. Such a pretty range of pale hues. Luckily no badgers here. Phew! But we have still got our tawny owl babies that fledged this summer. They are still in our mini wood. They are ever so noisy. Thanks again for reading and for your kind comments Brian. It’s much appreciated.

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    • Thanks for your lovely comments. And thank you for reading. I’m ever so pleased with the gladioli this year. None of them have crashed to earth- like usual. Thanks again for getting in touch. x

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  4. Lovely that your hedgehog box is working Karen. Reminded me of my youth when I used to mark the hedgehogs in the garden to keep track of them. I thought I had half a dozen but it turned out in the course of a year 15 passed through!

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  5. Good to read this post, Karen, and about all that is going on in your garden just now – I can’t imagine what it would be like feeling pressurised to have a weed free plot! I do see or hear hedgehogs in our garden periodically and like to think they are resident but have not seen them nesting although there are plenty of places where they could nest! Will look out for Plant Grow for my sweet peas next year but my problem is not picking them enough!

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    • Thank you Cathy. I had the same problem with my sweet peas, but i was given a pair of Burgon and Ball snips which makes it really quick to pick them. And any that are going over just get a quick trim with them. Much faster than secateurs and easier on the hands. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch xx

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      • I find snips easier to use for cutting flower stems too. You can read in yesterday’s post that I have another potential solution…Up to now it hasn’t helped that they were at the bottom of the garden and increasingly I was having to reach over my dahlias to access them

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      • Just catching up on reading Cathy. I was at the NEC yesterday for the GLEE event showcasing all the new products in gardening, it was my first time there. Absolutely fascinating to see what’s in store for the next 12 months. Some great new ideas. Catch up later when I’ve read your blog too. xx

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    • I couldn’t ever use chemicals here. The garden is full of wildlife. We even had a grass snake come in the front door, all down the hall, and into the lounge, looking for somewhere to hibernate. I’m so pleased to be able to grow fruit, veg and flowers using your fabulous products. I’ve had the best yields and the best flowers ever. Just shows you don’t have to compromise to grow the best produce. I will spread the message about PlantGrow far and wide. Good luck with all you do.

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