Tag Archives: Succulents

November 2015

Berries featured image

Mirrors, berries and a hitch-hiker snail

Isn’t November beautiful! Fabulous colours and amazing berries. I picked some red and yellow ones from a Rowan tree and spent a fun half-hour arranging them in vases. My pink cosmos had its last picking and now the cold has just got too much for them. They have been an absolute delight, and have pride of place on the dresser.

My never ending worship at the altar of cosmos.
My never ending worship at the altar of cosmos.
Rowan berries below my painting of a red pepper.
Rowan berries below my painting of a red pepper.
The mind of a crazy person. The cosmos looks the biz.
The mind of a crazy person. The cosmos looks the biz.

Reflecting glory
Top of my list this month was to finish painting a mirror and install it on the wall above the patio table and chairs. It’s painted in a colour to match the kitchen and so as you look through the French doors, it looks like the kitchen is extended. It looks even better than I had imagined. The mirror reflects the sunlight wall opposite and bounces the light into this otherwise shaded area.

Mirror brings life to a bare shady wall.
Mirror brings life to a bare shady wall.
Before.
Before.

It is also fun having a display of the season on the table. My pumpkins weren’t that good to carve but look positively stunning used as planters. The orange meant a home for my continuing successful supply of ophiopogon black grass.

A visit to a garden center procured some Blue Cushion sedum. These coupled with Aloe Vera and other grey succulents (that have names that are impossible to pronounce) all make a lovely autumnal display.

When they haven't made the grade, plant them up. Funky hair-dos and crazy plants will last all November long.
My pumpkins haven’t made the grade, but worry ye not, plant them up is the answer. Funky hair-dos and crazy plants will last all November long.

Plotting revenge

Goal post moved, yeah right!
Goal post moved, yeah right!

Up at the allotment it is easy to get distracted as the neighbouring plot holder’s son still continues to play football. This drives me crazy, as the ball has landed on my veggie beds several times. Whenever I complain, however politely, he and his wife are so rude. This time he thought it really clever to move the goalposts to the other side but same distance from my plot. What do I do now? The problem with privately run allotments is that in this case, there are no formal rules. The plot manager says he’ll talks to these people over the winter. I shall keep my ranting to Facebook.

Baby beans!
Baby beans!

Successes abound with my broad beans germinating! How delightful and so encouraging to see new life in late autumn. Leeks are harvesting, and occasionally I’ll bring home a hitch hiker-snail that is highly amusing for the cat. Broccoli is still yielding and the evidence of Brussels sprouts nestling in their hiding places is so pleasing to see.

We can see you, right at the top!
We can see you, right at the top!

Refreshing pots.
I needed to replace some plants on the rack be the front door and so pansies to match the purple door seemed proper. Plus the great thing about having a potting bench as its somewhere to put your entire garden center buys until I have a chance to plant them! Luxury.

Pansies in the porch.
Pansies in the porch.
Ones purchases. Arranged.
Ones purchases. Arranged.
Skirt and welly choice in perfect harmony.
Skirt and welly choice in perfect harmony.

Gill

OCTOBER 2015

ENVY, FOOLISHNESS AND TRIUMPHS

Oh cobblers!
Oh cobblers!

Why has it been extra hard this year at the allotment? Some of it has been my fault, I’ll grant you. Like daring to go on holiday without inspecting the sweet corn. Then discovering that they had rotted on their cobs. Damn! Then I had great hopes for my pumpkins, as previous years have been good. But no, three tiddly ones, and to rub it in the neighbours pumpkin sits there all fat and proud. Grrr!

So what can I do to console myself? Harvest my successes and arrange them dramatically on the potting bench. See now I’m happier.

Hours of fun arranging this lot
Hours of fun arranging this lot
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.

I am pleased with the tomatoes, chilies, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash and spinach. But feel rotten about the courgettes, parsnips that did not show, or carrots, or French beans, or potatoes, ugly cauliflowers, stringy mange tout and sweet peas that died a papery death.

I haven’t given up hope on the broccoli, or leeks, then onions were OK, but strawberries weren’t. It’s had its ups and downs all right. Not to mention kids vandalizing behavior, aaagh!

All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.
All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.

The glut of tomatoes have been a treasure as I’ve discovered that slow roasting them with a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil has resulted in splendid tomato sauce. And last but not least cosmos, you beauty! Weeks of neglect and you still carry on blooming. My lovely succulents, the wreath, all gorgeous.

Phew, there is hope after all. (Had me going just then)

Cosmos cupcake

Succulent wreath is thriving well.
Succulent wreath is thriving well.

Pumpkin plan
It can’t have escaped your notice that pretty soon we will all be carving pumpkins. But what shall I do with such sorry specimens? Hmm, I’ve been thinking and researching and have compiled a board on pintrest. And here they are, no carving but a planters instead.

What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don't make the grade? Plant them up and they'll last all though November!
What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don’t make the grade? Plant them up and they’ll last all though November!

Gill

OCTOBER 2015

ENVY, FOOLISHNESS AND TRIUMPHS

Oh cobblers!
Oh cobblers!

Why has it been extra hard this year at the allotment? Some of it has been my fault, I’ll grant you. Like daring to go on holiday without inspecting the sweet corn. Then discovering that they had rotted on their cobs. Damn! Then I had great hopes for my pumpkins, as previous years have been good. But no, three tiddly ones, and to rub it in the neighbours pumpkin sits there all fat and proud. Grrr!

So what can I do to console myself? Harvest my successes and arrange them dramatically on the potting bench. See now I’m happier.

Hours of fun arranging this lot
Hours of fun arranging this lot
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.

I am pleased with the tomatoes, chilies, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash and spinach. But feel rotten about the courgettes, parsnips that did not show, or carrots, or French beans, or potatoes, ugly cauliflowers, stringy mange tout and sweet peas that died a papery death.

I haven’t given up hope on the broccoli, or leeks, then onions were OK, but strawberries weren’t. It’s had its ups and downs all right. Not to mention kids vandalizing behavior, aaagh!

All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.
All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.

The glut of tomatoes have been a treasure as I’ve discovered that slow roasting them with a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil has resulted in splendid tomato sauce. And last but not least cosmos, you beauty! Weeks of neglect and you still carry on blooming. My lovely succulents, the wreath, all gorgeous.

Phew, there is hope after all. (Had me going just then)

Cosmos cupcake

Succulent wreath is thriving well.
Succulent wreath is thriving well.

Pumpkin plan
It can’t have escaped your notice that pretty soon we will all be carving pumpkins. But what shall I do with such sorry specimens? Hmm, I’ve been thinking and researching and have compiled a board on pintrest. And here they are, no carving but a planters instead.

What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don't make the grade? Plant them up and they'll last all though November!
What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don’t make the grade? Plant them up and they’ll last all though November!

Gill

SEPTEMBER 2015

My little garden got a corner revamp this month. I wanted a shaded space to sit and relax and found an area where I could extend the paving by adding gravel. Shabby black chairs got a lick of paint but the table was now so rusty it is destined for the dump. However, as I only wanted a table for coffee cups, and only really needing two chairs, I cut the back and arms off the worst rusty chair and voila, a matching table. I used paint left over from the she-shed french doors too. I am so pleased with the colour as now the chairs really stand out.

Grey colour scheme is very chic.
Grey colour scheme is very chic.

Whilst placing the chairs, I couldn’t resist using the table for a display of grey succulents in terracotta pots. I also have a big pot nicotina that filled gap. Lavender and a pot of the annual Didiscus ‘blue lace’ completed the colour scheme, almost as if I had planned it.

Cupcake with petticoat.
Cupcake with petticoat.

My big ‘annual’ success is Cosmos ‘Cupcakes’. They have a unique flower shape with petals all fused together, forming a bowl. But one rouge plant produced extra petals in the center and so saving the seed of this plant is a must.
I also went on a two-week holiday and actually left my garden properly prepared (for once) by extensively dead-heading practically everything. I was so pleased when I came back to see lots of lovely blooms welcoming me back. The deadheading worked a treat and meant that didn’t really need to do much except admire the view.

Crocosmia and sedum buds looking fab.
Crocosmia and sedum buds looking fab.

I’m also especially proud of the front garden were the combination of crocosmia and sedum buds looking fantastic.

Just hanging with the chilli peppers!
Just hanging with the chilli peppers!

In my green house my cucumber has been roaming around the tomatoes and peppers, using the other plants as support. I finally caught it hanging with the chilli peppers. How cool is that?

Happy trug.
Happy trug.

At the allotment there was plenty to pick including my first head of broccoli. But more problems: this time with a neighbouring gardener putting up a football goal six foot from my plot. It has meant that kids are playing ball games and this doesn’t mix with vegetable growing at all. I also suspect that it’s the kids that have vandalized previously. Very difficult to prove and trying to convince over-protective parents that it might have been their little darlings as resulted in strained relations.

Ball games and veggie growing don't mix.
Ball games and veggie growing don’t mix.

The drawback with privately run allotments is that the rules are often all done on good-will and very casual. Despite reporting the incident to the caretaker, unfortunately the goal is still up a week later.
We will have to see what happens, as I may have to explain more specific detail to the parents what happens when a football destroys a bed of treasured leeks, and how much it will cost them in compensation. Maybe that will help.

Will keep you updated.