Monday, 31 March 2008

Spring Is Here!!

Just as the clocks go forward, Spring has arrived. Well it might disappear again but Sundays weather was beautiful. There was a warmth to the sun and the weed seedlings are appearing, so that is a sure sign that things are warming up in the garden.

Sunday was a day of maintance. Cutting the grass for the first time this year and sweeping up leaves dropped by the silver birch. Once everything was tidy, I was able to see the bare bones of the garden and make plans. As this is my first year in this garden, I want to see what plants are already in the garden and to see how the sun makes its way across my garden, during the spring and summer months, so my plans are only in my head for now. I have a sunken patch about 4ft x 4ft, in which I thought would be lovely to have a fire pit, with cushions around the edge, for those balmy summer evenings drinking wine. Lets hope for better weather this summer!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Easter Gardening

Easter has been a bit chilly this year. So I have divided my time between catching up on watching gardening programmes I had recorded and planting up my raspberries, strawberries and onions.

I spent Easter Sunday eating chocolate and watching Matt James in about six episodes of his programme The City Gardener. He is a truly inspirational garden designer. I wish he could come and help me with my odd garden. I also watched Gardeners' World, which is back on our screens, to my delight. I have watched that programme for years and it's always been my favourite. I love it when the theme music comes on and I know that for the next half an hour I will be in heaven. When my children were little, they knew not to disturb me on a Friday night at 8 o'clock. My favourite presenter on the show, has to be Geoff Hamilton. I loved his 'make do and mend' philosophy, he really inspired me to garden and I was terribly sad when he died. Then came along Alan Titchmarsh. He was much too flowery in his description of things for my taste. Geoff was down to earth, whereas Alan tried to ponce things up and always went for the expensive option, totally opposite to Geoff. So when Alan left, I was delighted to see the new team, headed up by Monty Don, with Joe Swift and the lovely Carol Klein.

So I have now planted up my strawberry planter with a variety called Marshmellow and my raspberry canes are now in proper. I didn't have enough room for all the canes, so four have gone into terracota pots. The variety is Joan J an autumn variety. And lastely my red onions have been planted next to the garlic. I have chosen the variety Red Baron.

Next weekend the clocks go forward. My favourite day of the year! So more light to garden in and with the ground starting to warm up, it's going to be a busy time in the garden.
These were not from my garden but a bunch from my son.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Gardening In The Rain

My raspberry canes and strawberry plants arrived last week and have been sitting in a bucket waiting for me to plant them. So Sunday morning I was out in the rain digging a border for my raspberries. It was really miserable and very quiet in the garden with everyone in bed. If only it had been a sunny morning I could have enjoyed the tranquillity, instead of getting drenched. My only comfort, was the thought of yummy fresh raspberries - delish!
I needed to get some compost, so I have just heeled them in for now.

I only have two beds for my vegetables so I was a bit worried about using the space for the strawberries until I discovered in the garden centre this patio strawberry planter. They come in a pack of two and are ideal if space is at a premium. They also make planters for potatoes and vegetables too, so there is no excuse for not having a go at growing your own. I will be planting my strawberries and raspberries up at Easter and giving the garden a general tidy. Lets hope for good weather.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

More Photographs From Cornwall

I have now edited some more photographs from my trip to Trebah and Heligan.

When I first started taking photographs, I would develop and print my own black and white film. The whole process, although very enjoyable, would take hours to print the perfect print, with a range of tones from the purest black to the purest white. Now with digital cameras and Photoshop, the process has been speeded up somewhat. It now takes minutes, to do what it used to take hours to do. I feel quite a fraud.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, never cropped his photographs. With exception of the photograph of the man jumping across a puddle. He photographed this through railings and so had to crop the image to get rid of unwanted distractions. I think in these times of digital photography, we rely too much on manipulating the photograph after the event instead of looking at the whole image in the viewfinder before shooting.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008


If you ever need to stay in St Ives, then I can recommend Treliska guest house It is modern and stylish and not a wiff of damp or a chink of chintz and the breakfasts are yummy too! And if you are looking for somewhere to eat, can I recommend the Seafood Cafe but you need to book. Its busy even in the off season.

We visited two gardens whilst we were there. Trebah and Heligan. Trebah is on a much smaller scale and maybe for that reason I preferred it. I wanted to get in amongst the jungle plants to photograph them and this was more practicle at Trebah. Trebah is set on a steep slope, with a private beach at the bottom of the slope, with masses of Tree ferns and Bamboo. In the summer you will see Hydrangeas and a sea of Gunneras but for now the Hydrangeas are brown twigs with green buds just opening and the Gunneras are just waking from their Winters sleep and look prehistoric, a photograph just couldn't do the sight justice. I would like to return during the Summer to witness them in their full glory.

I have just started to edit my photographs but for now, here are a couple taken from Trebah.


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