My Garden Right Now and End of the Month View – Dec 3rd 2017

I’m joining in with Michelle with #my-garden-right-now and Steve Glebe House #End-of-month-view. Enjoy a slideshow of photos from my garden today. There’s still plenty of colour thanks to the alstroemerias and chrysanthemums in the open-ended ploy tunnel. Keeping the rain off the flowers helps to make them last until Christmas.

I talked about mouldable fairy lights Here. You can listen in to BBC Radio Leicester Down to Earth programme here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05mf51m where we talk about my cut flowers, grown all the year round for friends and family.

The alstroemerias from Viv Marsh postal Plants grow in 40cm pots and flower nearly 12 months of the year. Choose the long stem varieties if you are growing for cut flowers.

White Stallion chrysanthemums came from Chrysanthemums Direct Nursery as cuttings at the RHS Malvern show last autumn. The yellow chrysanthemums are cuttings from my father in law and have been grown in the family since the 1950s. Originally they came from an Aunty Doris. It’s lovely to keep up the tradition of growing these cheerful plants.

The mouldable lights came from Wilco Christmas range and cost £3.50 including the batteries. I’ve wound them around the lemon trees And plant pots to give a cheerful glow.

Just two weeks ago, the view from the greenhouse and potting shed was this :

Now the golden beech trees are bare and the view from the potting bench -where I’m planting up hyacinth bowls for Christmas and putting amaryllis bulbs in terracotta pots -looks like this:

Luckily there’s some early hellebores in flower to brighten things up. This one is called Jacob.

And still on the white theme, this beautiful rose Pearl Drift is in flower today. What a star. It blooms all summer and is free of black spot. I can highly recommend this easy modern shrub rose. It is delicately scented too.

I’m keeping an eye on these huge red rose hips for my Christmas decorations. Rosa Scarlet Fire is another disease resistant variety with large open single red roses and hips the size of marbles. Birds don’t seem to bother with them, probably due to their enormous size.

Something that is also in flower now- and not waiting until Christmas- are these Paperwhite narcissi. I wrote about planting them in jam jars and tall glass vases a few weeks back. Well, November has been so mild with above average temperatures that forced bulbs like these are weeks ahead of schedule. The scent is truly glorious.

This week I also appeared on the Ben Jackson radio show talking about making Christmas presents from items collected from the garden. Here’s my succulent /cacti in a jam jar idea. I used pea gravel, a recycled jam jar and an offset from one of my plants to make this simple display.

Pimpernel Press sent me this award-winning book to review. Head Gardeners by Ambra Edwards would make an ideal Christmas present. It’s full of behind-the-scenes tips and glorious photos. An inspiring insight into what motivates head gardeners at some of the country’s most beautiful gardens. Photos are by Charlie Hopkinson and the book won Inspirational Book of the Year at the recent Garden Media Guild Awards. I rarely sit down and read a book cover to cover- but I just couldn’t put this one down. It is fascinating to hear the voices of the head gardeners. I kept nodding agreement, and scribbling down notes. It’s one of my favourites this year. Easy to see why it is a winner.

To be honest, it was dark by the time I stepped out of the potting shed.

Just in time to see the tawny owls that hatched in our garden this summer. What a wonderful end to a beautiful winter’s day.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my garden in December. Go over to Michelle at Vegplotting to see what others are posting for #my-garden-right-now. And also Steve at glebehouse for the #end-of-month-view. It would be great to see what you are getting up to on your plot just now.

28 thoughts on “My Garden Right Now and End of the Month View – Dec 3rd 2017

    • Thank you Eliza. I’m potting a few more Paperwhites. Difficult to get the timing right with our weather being all over the place. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments. Have a lovely week. xx

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    • Thank you Brian. I’m not usually very good at finding bargains. But I was really pleased with those lights. They are really cheerful for not much money. Thanks for reading and for getting in touch. Hope you have a good week too.

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  1. Hello, Karen. I haven’t been on line for a few days, so you may have got your EE mobile working. If not, this is to let you know ours is on now. Our adviser had to find the best signal spot in the house, which took us back to the days of standing by the telly holding the aerial. He will come back in a day or two to check it out. We have switched off the BT hub.

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    • Thank you Derrick. How wonderful to be able to switch off the BT hub. Does your EE signal come with a new modem? We have been quoted £50 a month for 60 megabytes via our mobile phones with EE. The idea will be to sync the phones when we want to use our computer, laptops and I-pad. I’m not sure how well that will work. All the best with your new system. Please keep us updated. Karen

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      • I have a temporary modem while a permanent one is being awaited. I don’t understand the process or megabytes, but the receiver (?modem) just has to be plugged in and we have the iMac, TV, and two laptops all working at will. I;m sure James Peacock at 01590820040 would be happy to explain

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    • Thank you. We have a colony of short tailed voles up the paddock. They are so numerous the owls are being kept well fed! It’s magical to hear them calling to each other from the front to the back of the garden. Occasionally we hear a very faint owl call from miles away over the fields. So we know there are at least three here. Hopefully they will nest in the garden again next year. We dare not cut down any trees!

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  2. Karen listened to Ben Jackson’s Leicester BBC radio program on Wednesday, November 19th. I heard you from 11 to 12 in the morning. You have a beautiful and very polite voice. You were very well received by Ben Jackson saying that you bring a basket of flowers, chocolate Tiffins and I did not hear any more. I laughed at the beginning when Ben Jackson told you “Karen sit down”. I picked up loose words and phrases: sometimes I learned more and others less. I liked how you made the gift of filling a recycled jar with pebbles (they were heard) and planting a crass plant and a little water. When the man called on the phone to explain how the bulbs were forced to bloom at Christmas and you told him to put them in the fridge and the man said in the fridge, no! Then you explained it again. You did not seem at all nervous about the whole program. You were nice. I loved it and had a great time. On Sunday I could not hear you because the cell phone (which acts as an alarm clock) ran out of battery and did not ring. And today I have not been able to listen to yesterday’s program. Well, the bouquet is marvellous and the lights of the fairies make it magnificent. Alstroemeria is beautiful, the yellow chrysanthemums that have been in your family since the 1950s are incredible! Only because of the history they have. The White Satallion Chrysanthemums are very beautiful. And the touch of the spruce branches makes it very Christmas. How beautiful are the Greenhouse and the shed with the lights of the fairies. The Hellebore I love and the Paperwhite Daffodils are beautiful like the white rose. Your sunsets are marvellous. And you still have the reddish owls that were born in your garden this summer. You are lucky. Karen for me already seems that we know each other. You are a very good person and a hard worker. Memories to your Mother. Karen you are exceptional. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Dear Margarita, I am so grateful that you have taken the time and trouble to listen in to the programme, and I value your opinion. I am glad you laughed. It is a fun programme and the staff there are very friendly and welcoming. Luckily you cannot tell that I am nervous. Thank you for your kind words on the posy which was gathered from the garden is a huge hurry as I was late for the programme. I am always dashing about. I was carrying everything into the studio when the programme started and that is why Ben laughed and told me to sit down. I was loaded down with flowers, Tiffin, bulbs, hyacinths…..fairy lights!
      Today we stood at dusk and watched the owls. I feel they have adopted our garden as their territory. Thank goodness there is somewhere for them. A safe haven. Well, you are very kind, but I am just doing my very best to pass on any small amount of information I might have so that people can enjoy their gardens more. If I can help someone solve a problem with their plants, then it will be worth all this dashing about. You too are a good person and your kindness and support is much appreciated. I hope you have a good week. Greetings to you and your parents. Love from karen and Mum xx

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      • Thank you Karen for your kind words. She already has a follower of her program on Wednesdays and Sundays on BBC Leicester radio. This way, I am encouraged to continue studying English in earnest in order to be able to take even one more word every week and I pick up pronunciation. And it clears my mind while listening to the conversation! And I laugh! I am your spanish fan. Very very warm greetings from Margarita.

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      • Hello Karen. My name is Margarita. I am Spanish. Are you Spanish, Karen? No, you´re not. You´re English. Your name is very nice. Ese y un poco bastante más es mi English. Jajajajajaja! Tardaré un poco en ser bilingüe. Mientra nos reiremos. 🙂 Saludos de Margarita.

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  3. Hi Karen – what wonderful sunsets we’ve been having lately! I love your lights – they reminded me I have some that plug into my laptop, so I can look all festive when I’m blogging 😉 Alstroemeria have proved to be wonderful for my Flowers for Mum project this year… shortly I’ll be progressing onto tomatoes for my aunt in law – she desperately wants to continue to grow them now she’s in a care home. Thanks for taking part in #mygardenrightnow – I’ve put in a proper link to your post on my blog now 🙂

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    • Thank you Michelle. And thanks for the proper link. You could try the little potted tomatoes, Red Robin being my favourite. Doesn’t need de-side shooting, can be grown in a small pot, or a hanging basket. Cherry size tasty tomatoes. Takes up little space. Your mum will love alstroemerias. They last a good two weeks in a vase. All the best with your growing projects. Thanks again for hosting the meme.

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  4. Some lovely photos. That rose looks like one to make a note of. Amazing that it’s still flowering. Mind you quite a few things are – what a strange (but lovely) autumn this year. Amazing how quickly the leaves fell though. I found they were very late to drop but then disappeared very fast. Looks like that happened to your beech – a beautiful sight.

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