Monday, April 25, 2011

Is it too early..... ?

My geans are in flower, although the display is all too brief.

More tulips!

The rhododendrons are beginning to flower. This was the first one I planted some five years ago: Elizabeth.

This went in last year: Cunningham's White.

The wall is now repaired and a new path laid.

On a visit to a garden centre last week, I saw pots of this little white vinca on sale for £7 each. It grows at Skip like a weed. It is one of the plants which came originally from Meikle Burntshields where I used to live, having been 'boarded out' with friends when I was abroad.

Lots of activity, pricking out and potting on!

I have lots of space, so I have a variety of things I've divided, or needing to be potted on.

I usually buy some plug plants or small plants early in the season, so that it's not too expensive to fill containers. These have been growing on, and I've been hardening them off. Some are ready to go into the containers.

Is it too early? There's still a risk of frost.

But I couldn't resist getting this one done. The fleece is on hand though, and the weather forecast is studied each day!

The recent spell of good weather has made it a real pleasure to be out in the garden. Things are growing so quickly. Especially the weeds - but that's another story.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bed Improvements

I don't have many tulips in the garden. These started life in a container last year, and dug into this spot when they had finished flowering. They obviously like it here!

You can see where they are in this pic of the lowermost level in the garden. Note the bed behind the patch of tulips.

This bed has a retaining sandstone wall, and is the sunniest, and driest in the garden. Over the years I've struggled to get this bed to my satisfaction. Even if the perennials I planted survived the rabbits, then it was often the case of the wrong plants for the conditions. The geraniums like it, and some day lilies are well established. Alchemilla mollis too, although it seems to grow everywhere! A trip to the garden centre was in order last week, and the gaps are now filled in. I wonder how things will develop this summer.

The daffodils are beginning to go over, but yellow is still the predominant colour. I just love how the garden changes with the seasons. There's a pic of the same spot in early February here!

Photos © Skip Cottage

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Steam

This was the sight at Lockerbie Station this morning as the (busy) First Transpennine DMU pulls away bound for Manchester Airport. Emerging from the up loop is LMS Class 7P 4-6-0 no 46115 Scots Guardsman.

Here is the locomotive, with its support carriage, pulling away headed for Edinburgh Joppa, having begun its journey at Carnforth earlier.

Don't you think it looks splendid! The locomotive is set to pull the Day 2 leg of the Railway Touring Company's Great Britain IV from Edinburgh to Inverness via Aberdeen tomorrow, see here.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April sun

There were three days last week when there were blue skies over Annandale, and it was a delight to be outside. I managed into the garden on two of the three days. I loved it. I do so enjoy pottering around in my outside rooms. Earlier this week I set out again to do just that, and get on with all the jobs that need doing. But it was so cold, a real lazy wind, and quite unpleasant. Yes, it's April.

Here's a few photos I took last Friday. The earliest blossom in the garden is usually on this Ribes sanguineum.

The daffodils were at their best.

I love this one. I'm not very good at labelling things around the garden. I wish now I had done so when I planted these bulbs a couple of years ago. Anyone know what these are?

Much of the enjoyment I get from the daffodils at this time of year are NOT from bulbs I planted myself. These are growing 'wild' on the verge just opposite the cottage. Someone in the past has planned for the future, and I am grateful to whoever it was! Note 'my' standing stone.

I have made a 'spring resolution' this year, and that's not to spend all the time working in the garden. Yes, the battle against the weeds and to make improvements goes on, but it is nice to jump over the fence ....

... and sit by the River Annan, watching the world go by!

It made me smile to see this little clump of wild primrose growing amongst the roots of a large beech near the river.

So, here's the allotment. I'm joking of course! This view of Skip across a newly ploughed field.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Monday, April 04, 2011

April 2011

April's here, and the daffodils are getting to their best.

I was given this white pulmonaria as a division by a friend. I suspect it is 'Sissinghurst White'. What a pretty thing it is!

My favourite in the garden at this time of year is the Glory of the snow - Chionodoxa. I must plant more of these bulbs around the garden.

It will be a while yet before the big beech trees which line the road come into leaf.

This is my 'wild' north facing slope. I've thinned out some sycamores and have a few ideas to improve this part of the garden. We'll see!

Having watched the Beechgrove Garden tonight, I'm thinking I've been lucky with so little damage in the garden at Skip over the winter.