Monthly Archives: July 2012

Nice Weather for Ducks

What not to do in the rain …  walk on your soil – you’ll damage the structure.

However, as Sir Rannulph Fiennes once said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”

So don’t be disheartened by a little precipitation, wear decent waterproof footwear, hat, trousers and jacket.  Invest in a garden kneeler to keep your knees dry and have a flask of your favourite hot beverage handy.

At the end of the day, I always like to have a nice bit of carrot cake prepared just before I slip into a steaming hot bath … Ahhhh.

One I made earlier …


Pebble Feet

Pitter patter …

I love this idea, it’s so cute, but remember that collecting shells and pebbles from some UK beaches is illegal, check first.

Choosing The Right Lawn Mower

It is a widely accepted fact among industry experts that grass is one of the highest maintenance plants you will ever grow in your garden and the time and effort you put into your lawn will have a direct impact on the quality of the turf. You only have to look at some of the top-level sports pitches to appreciate the standard that can be achieved with the right maintenance regime. So what does it take to achieve a healthy lawn?

Achieving a healthy lawn is all about the quality of the soil, feeding, watering and of course, regular cutting. Deciding on the right lawn mower for your plot can be a daunting task and it is helpful to ask yourself a few simple questions before you start browsing the multitude of makes and models that are available in today’s market. This is one purchase that should be considered an investment and finding the right one will make mowing a pleasure rather than a chore.

The most important consideration when choosing a new lawn mower is the size of your lawn. For small lawns corded electric mowers are ideal. They’re more environmentally friendly than gas-powered mowers as well as being quieter and cleaner to run. For medium to large lawns there is a range of cordless electric mowers to choose from such as the Black & Decker CM1836. This model has a 36 volt rechargeable battery which makes the engine more powerful than conventional electric lawn mowers. Gas-powered mowers are ideal for large lawns, they tend to last longer and are more powerful than electric mowers.

Many of the models that are available today also have the ability to mulch the grass as it cuts. This is a great feature if you want to improve the fertility of your lawn by returning the mulched grass to the surface of the lawn. This should only be done during the dry summer months however as a build-up of damp thatch during autumn and winter can lead to lawn problems such as fungal growth or moss infestation. If the mulch is not being returned to the lawn it can be composted in the normal way.

A few other considerations are cost, warranty period, ease of storage and safety features. Some lawn mowers for instance have cushioned grips which reduce vibrations to your hands. Most lawn mowers now fold away for easy storage, check this out if space is tight. The warranty period on most new models is around 2 years with additional guarantees on engine life and on some such as the Black & Decker CM1836 the deck is guaranteed for life. So it is important to compare the different warranty periods when choosing the right machine for you.

Even when you’ve asked and answered these key questions there are still a great many different lawn mowers to choose from and a lawn mower review site can help you to focus on the lawn mower which best matches your needs.

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Just a Little Stumped!

I’m all for recycling, upcycling and making the most of what I’ve inherited in the garden so when I turned my attention to this dead tree trunk (still firmly rooted in the ground) I wanted to make something of it.  The previous owners had a wooden top on it and used it as a bird table but I’d like to make more of a feature of it … ideas so far haven’t really hit the mark.  Should I grow something up it or place something on it?  I’ll continue to mull this over and hopefully come up with an imaginative solution.

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’

Flowers just emerging …

This is a delightful little evergreen perennial which will spread by forming new clumps.  It has distinctive black grass-like leaves and racemes of lilac flowers in the summer.  Flowers are followed by small black fruits (inedible).  It grows to a height of 23cm and will spread to 30cm.  It is easy to divide and replant around the garden.  I have just re-potted a small clump for display on the toolshed.


Small White Butterfly

Small White Butterfly

Rather tatty Small White butterfly. They can be seen from March to July. The caterpillar is bluish green with a row of yellow spots down each side and a yellow line along its back. However, if they pupate on fences or walls they are greyish/brown to blend in with their surroundings, clever huh? They feed on members of the brassica family, cabbages in particular and also on garden mignonette (Reseda) and nasturtium (Trapaeolum), which is what has attracted it to my garden.

Gladiolus Flower Bud Update

Finding this hard to believe but the bud now measures 1’7″.  If I got my measurements right a couple of days ago that’s quite a growth spurt!  It’s leaning over for light too, caused by deep afternoon shade.


Sedum “Mr Goodbud”

Living up to it’s name!

Whiskey the Sun Worshiper

This is Whiskey, our other cat, he loves the sun even more than he loves our bed!

The Old Pear Tree

This poor old pear tree is so neglected and in desperate need of renovation but I need to find a ladder tall enough first!  It’s fruiting on current season’s wood so the pears are right at the top, no doubt the birds will love them.  This type of renovation pruning needs to be carried out in the winter so plenty of time to find a ladder.