Category Archives: Garden Diary 2012

Garden Diary 2012

Best Garden Gloves

The Best Ever Garden Gloves

Truly, they are. The best ever! Well, not if you’re mucking about with thorny plants, but if it’s general gardening like tidying-up, deadheading and weeding, plain old disposable latex gloves are just the best ever for the job. You can feel what you’re gripping no matter how tiny the plant, and yet your hands stay clean and dry. Also, if you smoosh a bit of hand lotion on before you put on your gloves, the warmth inside the glove will give your hands a free massage and a lovely soften.

Just don’t use these for trimming roses! Ouch!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for this week is “Growth”. These photos were taken in my garden.

Join the photo fun by reading the details at WordPress Daily Post feature

Garden Diary: June 2012

May and June were the wettest and coolest months in decades, and yet we still have a hosepipe ban enforced. Daft? You betcha. Lucky? Yes, because with all this rain we’ve not needed to give any plants a drink of water, so using the hose is immaterial. Here are a few photos from the garden taken during June. The (undercover) grapevine that’s tied into the roof-ridge of the greenhouse is happily setting clusters of grapes, so a good crop is expected from them this autumn. The outdoor vines are less happy with the cool temperatures.

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Garden Diary: 1 May 2012

Tulips, Cucumbers and Gnomes

The mid-spring tulips are blooming. Bright and fiery in colour, these tulips are one of my favourites for adding a bit of visual heat to the garden. I even wrote a poem about them on MiskMask’s Poems called “Fiery Tulips”


In contrast, there are soft and gently coloured pink tulips that compliment the still blooming purple and blue hyacinths.


The rain stopped for a few days, just long enough we hope for the bees to pollinate the apple trees. April has been very wet. Our local reservoir, which was only 33% filled in March, is now at 67% full. It’s been the wettest April for 100-years. Everything is very green though!



The cucumber seedlings are growing in leaps and bounds. I think Elmo and Jack have been talking to them, saying sweet-pickling-nothings into their ears … assuming that cucumber seedlings have ears. We’ve moved the entire into the greenhouse now so that they can be hardened off before they’re planted out.


I’m not sure where Elmo (the gnome) is at the moment. Busy under a bush probably, but Jack has been seen several times crossing swords with baby slugs. I wondered why he wanted all those toothpicks ….


The chives are a natural (companion planting) insect repellent. It’s not 100% effective but it does help deter green and white fly infestation. I hope you’re happy in your garden right now, enjoying the early days when nature awakens in vibrant colour and sweet scent.

I would love to hear what is thriving in your garden right now! Leave a comment, and tell me.

Danish Cucumber Seeds Germinate

(Den danske oversættelse er nederst på denne side.)

The cucumber seeds germinated and made an appearance after 5 days. We kept them under a layer of cling film for warmth and moisture. These cucumbers are for pickling, in particular for Danish asier (pickles).

cucSeeds1_22Apr12 (b)
At 7am, a sunny corner of the conservatorycucSeed2_22Apr12 (2)

At noon.

cucSeed3_22Apr12 (2)

At 7PM, twelve hours after the first photo. They grow quickly! In a few days, we’ll select the strongest and healthiest of the two seedlings in each pot to grow on in larger pots.

All of the annual flower seeds have germinated too, so we’ll have lots of colourful blossoms in the garden (if they survive the hosepipe ban!). The fun begins – happy gardening!

Danish Translation:
De agurk frø spiret og gjorde en udseende efter 5 dage. Vi holdt dem under et lag af plastfolie for varme og fugt. Disse agurker er for bejdsning, især for dansk Asier (pickles).

Det sidste billede er tolv timer efter det første billede. De vokser hurtigt! I et par dage, vil vi vælge den stærkeste og sundeste af de to planter i hver potte at vokse på i større potter.

Alle de årlige blomsterfrø har spiret også, så vi har masser af farverige blomster i haven (hvis de overlever det hosepipe forbuddet!). Det sjove begynder – glad havearbejde!

Elmo’s Gnome Gnotes: Seeds, Fleece and Hearts

Elmo’s Gnome Gnotes: Seedlings, Fleece and Bleeding Hearts

Gardening at this time of the year means changeable weather and precautions. We carefully stretched a length of horticultural fleece over the newly planted daisies in the garden; frosty mornings are still a problem here. And then the wind and rain arrived – the stones I’d put down to hold the fleece in place popped off like popcorn in a hot pan. I needed a better idea, so I put Elmo on the task, literally, I put Elmo on it.

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I think Elmo went online while I slept and ordered himself a friend. I’m told his name is Jack. I’m also told that he’s named after me, which is odd because my name isn’t Jack.

Elmo Gnome with Seedlings
Elmo’s tending to the seedling that are just now starting to break through the soil. We seeded Danish cucumbers, nasturtiums, Danish cucumbers, marigolds, cosmos, and more Danish cucumbers. I’ve also slipped in some herbs while Elmo wasn’t looking.

Elmo Gnome with Bleeding HeartsI was very excited to see that the bleeding heart has self-sown itself along the soakway in the garden. Bleeding Heart is one of my favourite plants, even though its dainty and delicate blossoms don’t last very long. The red and white flowers are spectacularly shaped. Elmo uses the soakway track as his personal footpath, and he was a little surprised to see a camera in his face when he the rounded the corner. He runs very fast. He’s often a blur when he whizzes by, so he must learn to take care near corners.

Bleeding Heart Blossom
A close up of the Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart plant (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) native to eastern Asia, from Siberia to Japan. More info at Wikipedia entry for Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart

Elmo’s Gnome Gnotes

[Dansk noter er i bunden af siden]

He’s not to be ignored, my little garden helper. I introduced you to Elmo a few months ago, and even though he’s totally unforgettable, I’ll reintroduce him for the sake of good manners.

Elmo, meet my friends.


Elmo’s in his element right now with all the flowers blooming, birds collecting twigs and making nests, plus chasing off that darned nosey dog named Molly with the heavy wagging tail that knocks tender  blossoms off the thin stems of newly opened tulips. That dog!


Elmo just told me that the Bleeding Hearts are ready to bloom. I must go see.

These photos are also for the WordPress Daily Post Challenge at


Danish Translation:

Kære mor og far, er Tulipanerne blomstrer i haven, og de tidlige blomstrende påskeliljerer færdig. Den blødende hjerter Anlægget er klar til at blomstre også, og det er en af mine foretrukne tidlige forårsblomster. Jeg håber du nyder de tidlige dage i foråret iVester Aaby.