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Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring Walling Workshop

Saturday was a glorious day to introduce our 9 participants to the craft of Dry Stone Walling.

Once we got to the hands on stage, within minutes, complete strangers are discussing the merits of various stones and cooperating like old friends. 

Saturday evening, as with every workshop, was spent discussing the days progress and relaxing with beer, wine and pizza.

Even the Sunday morning drizzle did not dampen their spirits.

One would think that flat square stone would be easy to wall with, but while it is angular, it is not regular like bricks,

and even the slightest deviation in height, makes it difficult for C to contact both A and B.

Whereas with the rounded corners of fieldstone, C makes good contact with A and B, even though A is slightly higher than B and E makes good contact with both C and D, even though D is substantially higher.

In my opinion, the learning curve with angular stone is steeper than with fieldstone, but once learnt, will allow you to wall with most types of stone.

Our next workshop is Sept 29th & 30th. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018


Daffodils, or more correctly Narcissus, the harbinger of Spring.
 White and yellow


Double flowered

Yellow and orange

Small flowers

Large flowers


 White and pink

 An ever increasing variety of shapes

and colours

from exhilarating 

 to exotic

Even fragrant and as far as I know, vermin proof.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Oh Dear!

We've spent the whole Winter cooped up indoors and now that Spring has finally arrived, we can get out and enjoy the garden, but these critters have beaten us to it.

I'm sure we all swear by our own secret recipe, or a commercial deer repellent. The truth is, if a deer is hungry , it will eat practically anything that is verdant and vegetative.

At this time of year, their favourite snack is the newly emerged leaves of the Daylillies. 

I cover the smaller Rhododendrons with netting, unfortunately the wind uncovered this section which is now devoid of buds and leaves.

Iris are also a favourite of deer

and the lowest branches on the Magnolia are almost always lacking of buds.

I find alternating various deer repellents is the best method of limiting grazing. Spreading milorganite on and around the most vunerable plants like this Sedum, followed by a homemade spray of eggs, garlic, hot peppers, dish washing detergent and water, which is allowed to ferment in the warm greenhouse for a couple of weeks before use, works well. Frequent applications is essential, especially after rain.

There are some plants that deer never graze, one of them being Dicentra spectabilis "Gold Heart"

One of my top five all time favourite plants.

I'll get to some more next time.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

English Gardens

A collection of individual flowers and colour combinations designed by English Gardens & Landscaping to brighten this miserable cold day.