I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Monday, 28 April 2008

In between the April showers...

The weather today has gone from one extreme to another - very stormy and wet with hail stones, thunder and in brief patches, beautiful warm sunshine... so at least I've been able to catch up with some jobs needing to be done in the garden as well as update my blog!

We have an area of mature woodland which includes a number of hazels which come in very handy for making supports in various forms in the garden - equally good for plants as for supporting climbers in the vegetable patch!
We inherited many beautiful plants when we moved here - I'm still discovering new ones as they find the space to emerge as we continue clearing away brambles, couch grass, and ivy in the main. I've got a small area of Peonies which were planted very near to a Lilac and as a result the Peonies are always straining for the light (the lilac considerably bigger now than when it was planted!) and with wet & windy weather once flowering begins, the beautiful flowers very quickly go over, so this year I've constructed one square and one triangular support to prevent them from flopping over! Time will only tell if this does the trick! I've also used the Hazel for supporting the Runner Beans that are currently being brought on in the greenhouse - they won't be ready to plant out for another few weeks yet.

On a last visit to the vegetable garden this afternoon, I spotted a slow worm basking in the sun - they're great for the garden and should not be confused with any form of poisonous snakes!


Cheryl said...

Love the supports, so natural looking...hazel is great.

Lovely sloworm basking in the sun, we do see them here but not as much as I would like.

Miranda Bell said...

The hazel is great to work with and seems to last well too.

The slow worms are amazing - they love living in the compost heap mainly as I guess it's the heat that attracts them - I can remember the first time I turned the heap over a couple of years ago to find a number of bronze tails disappearing back into the compost... gave me a bit of a shock as I'd not really seen them close up like that and then last year when digging in the garden came across some babies - the size of a fat earth worm - but the colour of them is incredible! Hope you discover more in your garden! Miranda

beckie said...

Miranda, found your blog through Cheryl. Love your photography! You have many beautiful plants and i will be coming back to watch them grow. I like the fact you are using what is available for supports. Very 'green'!

Miranda Bell said...

Welcome to my blog Beckie - and glad you enjoyed it - with a good supply of Hazel here I'd much rather use that than other things - as well as being more environmentally friendly and natural looking it's also free!! See you again soon - Miranda

Border Reiver said...

Hi Miranda, great to see your garden and of course the slow worm, a gardners friend. I'll look forward to seeing the veg develope over the summer. Being organic myself it's a battle with slugs in Dorset, not least as I'm only there weekends really and her indoors isn't one for pest control. We need more frogs.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi BR - glad you liked the pics and of course not forgetting the slow worm - great to have around and they usually surprise me being that they camouflage themselves SO well!

I've got quite a few more pictures to post of the garden which I think I'm going to do as before and after's on my business site... so you can see the progress to date!! It never feels like you're getting anywhere fast but good to look back to remind yourself of how far you've come!

Enjoy the rain... Miranda

Merisi said...

Dear Miranda,
thank you for leaving such a kind comment on my blog! Like you, I have not managed to visit other blogs as often as I would love to, but it is with great pleasure that I now looked through yours again. You posted a few of the same flowers that also brighten our spring here in Vienna. I spent some time around the hills and meadows of the Vienna Woods during this past week, and hope to be able to post more of the flowers I tried to capture. I had one particularely intense visit in terms of wildflowers at the Alpine Gardens of Belvedere Castle, I am looking forward to share my impressions on my blog. Should you ever plan to come to Vienna, please let me know if I can help with pointing you to certain interesting gardens.
We have been blessed with splendid weather this past week, I hope sunshine has arrived also at your beautiful part of the world.

Merisi said...

Have you noticed that I have another blog, besides the "Strawberry Fields" Frippery? Here's a link:
Merisi's Vienna for Beginners.

shirl said...

Hi there Miranda, sorry it has been so long since my last visit :-)

Here in my Scottish garden I am not at all familiar with the slow worm so I decided to enlarge your photo. Oh... Ah... it gave me the absolute hebe geebies (no idea how to spell it!!.

This is not of course a criticism of your post but more a phobia of mine. I don't have a complete phobia of snakes etc but some reptiles do really make me shiver.

However, the idea of having a 'proper' woodland garden makes me smile, smile, smile :-D

Hope your birds are all still busy nesting and you see many juvenile birds in your garden this year.

Have a great weekend :-D

Wicked Gardener said...

I like the hazel supports, too. Wish had some of that. And the slow worm - I've never seen anything like it. I'm sure it would scare me.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Wicked Gardener - welcome to my blog - I'm imagining that gardening in your neck of the woods is going to be quite a lot different to Brittany - Hazels are one of the native trees here - what varieties grow mostly with you?

The slow worms are great - I've never been aware of them until we came here - they love the warmth of the compost heap - they're totally harmless to humans but do a grand job in the garden! Adders are the things that get me scared - we used to have a few of these in the garden before I started to rejunviate the garden as it has been left for about 9 years to return to a wilderness - perfect for adders! Have a good weekend - Miranda