Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tidying Up


Bank Holidays with sunshine are too good to miss when thinking about making an impact on a garden that tries it's best to cut out the light. You turn your back and whoosh there are branches everywhere.

Our neighbour had a couple of trees trimmed back, so I launched in with a bit of judicious pruning, mainly on holly trees, and it's surprising what a difference it's made.

You can actually tell this year that there are two different colour rhododendrons as previously there's been a purpleness going on.

Things are flowering that weren't before.

I've kept it much the same round this foxhole not to inconvenience them too much.

I've got to sort out the tiny pond next. Three quarters of the water has disappeared. Has the liner got a hole near the top or is something drinking it? I wouldn't drink it! It's empty now, really it's in the wrong place as it's under the trees.

There's always something to do in the garden, even one that mainly looks after itself. It's also nice to have a vase of offcuts at the end too.

Have fun.


Monday, 30 May 2016

The Wellington Trail


Making the most of a sunny morning, I set off on the Wellington Trail where the path starts up on a hill and descends through the woods to a boggy area near the railway line.  I always miss the wildlife like sloworms, Dartford warblers, nightjars, adders and green tiger beetles, they all hide when I'm walking nearby but the flowers and plants keep still and are easy to spot.

The light was particularly good near the railway.

Emerging near the old station which is now a beauty parlour, a few shops line the road.

You never know who might be at the shops these days.

Just to round off the trail, a few colourful azaleas scream out for a photo although a Gardner is in the middle of cutting the grass in front of them.


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Oak Apple Day


Thanks for calling in.

Did you know that today is Oak Apple Day? Between 1660 to 1859, when the Victorians abolished it, 29th May was a National holiday in England.

Following the Battle of Worcester in 1651, King Charles II was pursued by Oliver Cromwell's troops and had to hide in an oak tree in the grounds of Boscobel Hall in Shropshire before fleeing the country.  However, nine years later when the Protectorate came to an end and the Monarchy was Restored, Charles II was crowned on his birthday, 29th May and to show Royalist support, people would wear a sprig of oak leaves each year on that day - Oak Apple Day - in commemoration of the events.

I have been trying to spot oak apples on my walk today, but could only find this rather mouldy one! Sometimes they are pink and white but this looks like an old one. What is it though? They are galls which have been injected with larvae by a tiny gall wasp. Apparently, there are a number of chambers inside with larvae in each which develop until the adults eat their way out in June/July.

I probably wouldn't have known about Oak Apple Day if it hadn't been my Grandmother's birthday as well and I fondly remember her wearing her oak apple and leaves and being very proud. She would have been 123 today.

Bye for now

Saturday, 28 May 2016



We are blessed with lots of pretty towns and villages nearby.  Wargrave, near Henley, is on the River Thames and the confluence of the River Loddon. It's difficult to get photos of the quaint shops and houses that don't include cars as the buildings are based around the road with cars zipping along at regular intervals. We couldn't find a riverside path on our bank of the Thames as all the houses seemed to have gardens right to the water's edge.

The Woodclyffe Hall has an unusual window and decoration at the front.

The original church of St Mary's on Mill Green was set on fire and gutted mistakenly targeted by suffragettes in 1914 and was rebuilt afterwards with only the door and the tower from the original.

Woodclyffe Hostel was used as a Red Cross hospital during WWI, run by the Voluntary Aid Detachment, eventually the Woodclyffe Hall was also used as space for extra beds was needed. Nowadays, the Hostel houses the library.

Wargrave has featured in an Endeavour TV programme, the prequel to Morse and among other notable residents were the late Magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee.


Friday, 27 May 2016

Five on Friday - Off to the Library


Welcome to the blog, whether you are a regular reader or just passing by it's great to see you.  Today we are joining Amy from Love Made My Home's Five on Friday link up.

I hope you've had a good week. There's a lot going on at this time of the year - the Chelsea Flower Show, Roland Garros, the Great British Sewing Bee, the Hollow Crown . . .it's a wonder I've got anything done at all!!

So do join me for some fresh air as we pop down to the library.

One - On the Way There

It's wonderful at the moment with all the trees in leaf and the rhododendrons out.

Two - The Recreation Ground

We're lucky to have a large grassy park big enough for football matches between local clubs and for fairs yet which can be enjoyed by dog walkers and families.
There are various swings and slides for children plus this get-fit assault course for Keen Types. I think of it as a Sculpture to be admired from afar!

Three - The Library

Round the corner, we arrive at the library which has had a coat of paint fairly recently. Libraries used to be a place of hushed silence and books but nowadays it's a real community space.  A space we must use or we'll lose it as many libraries are being closed down or run by volunteers.  When I was there, people were browsing books and DVDs, a couple of ladies were chatting whilst knitting, others were researching on the computers. There are storytelling activities, computer games, family history research, knit and natter, magazines, leaflets for local area events. So much to do.

Four - Christmas

A quick dash up the High Street, some of the shops can be seen in my Five on Friday Valentine Reflections post, shows we're ready for Christmas as you can see! The decorations are in place all year ready for the big switch on later in December!

Five - Going Back Home Again

Back past the colourful gardens, by the railings alongside the park.

Can you see the tree growing through the railings? Modern Art! Some people would pay a fortune for this natural phenomenon! There's only a chunk of wood left as the tree has been cut.

Not quite in the Chelsea Garden league but we're lucky to have so much greenery and clumps of wild flowers/'weeds' all around us.

Time for a cup of coffee.  Enjoy your week.


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Garden Progress


How are you today?

Even though we only have a small amount of grass to mow, the container on the mower fills up very quickly now that there's been some rain and warmth.  I was hoping to let it grow so that the daisies and dandelions could shine and help the insects but there's too much grass and not enough flowers at the moment and it just looks untidy.

The tomatoes have been transplanted into growbags, the potatoes have been topped up with soil to the top of the compost bag and the little seedlings are getting bigger by the day. Down the woodland path, the rhododendrons are all purple surrounding the lily of the valley which seem to have spread all over the place.

Chilliwise, we've got a selection of red, green and black. The eucomis or pineapple lilies have started their alien journey upwards although one has had to go into part shade to straighten it up. Excitingly, the 'whites' look as if they are going to show us a flower soon and then we might be able to find out what they are!

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.