Our New Koi Pond

Regular readers will have followed the progress of our Koi Bond build, heres the finished result

Bright White and full of Light

As well as rebuilding in the garden we had plenty going on inside as well, one aspect was the new conservatory.

Singapore Botanic Garden

Whilst in Singapore we visited the botanic gardens, a fantastic explosion of tropical and exotic plants.


One of the key events of 2013 in our garden was an unfortunate fire coming from a neighbours garden.

Phoenix from the Flames

After the fire came rebuilding and our new Jungle Hut is better than ever!

Singapore SuperTrees

On our trip to Singapore in 2013 one of the highlights was visiting the Gardens by the Bay, with the magnificent SuperTrees

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Colour on the Top Patio

Last year I created a mixed display of mainly succulents in pots on the top patio. I really liked the effect that was achieved and had so much fun preparing the display. Inspired by that I decided to do something  similar again. This time bigger, better, more colourful, more vibrant, and more dramatic

I love it! I'm in love with it!! And I really, really enjoyed making the display and looking at it!

Monday, August 01, 2016

A Quick Peek...

...at some of the succulents that didn't make it out of the greenhouse this year.

The top patio is once again home to a succulent display, similar to how we did it last year (albeit on 'steroids' this year, coming up on a post soon). And because we haven't really bought that many plants this year, at least compared to our usual rate of plant buying in previous years, I used a lot of what I had already to make the display.

Still a few didn't make it out for various reasons. Here's a quick peek:

Some of the succulents are either too small to be displayed this year, or extras that don't need to be out for now. As you can see at the middle shelf, we also have an excess stock of pots that didn't make it out this year.

After just saying we haven't bought that many plants, the above two photos are new purchases. I couldn't resist picking up the possibly Aloe ferox above because of its vivid red spines. Not that I need another one but it was hard to resist!

A closer look at some of our small succulents...

and finally...

The sole survivor of a batch of three. It's looking promising and has put on a lot of growth this summer. Aloe 'Hercules' - thanks Gerhard!

Mark :-)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Suburban Jungle Maintenance

A real, wild jungle is almost maintenance free (or rather self maintaining, striking its own balance). 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pergola, Sicario, and Festive Lights

Funny how you can get inspired from the strangest of places or circumstance, like after watching a very violent film...

Last year after watching the film Sicario, I took note how lovely the pergola was that was featured on the film festooned with garland lights but with big round bulbs, rather than tiny fairy lights usually seen on Christmas trees. I won't go into much detail on what happened under that pergola in the film for the benefit of those who haven't seen it but suffice to say it was very memorable. Anyhow, I jotted it down as a garden idea for 2016.

Fast forward to June and in the midst of searching online for something similar to what we have seen on the film, we have received an email from Festive Lights giving us an opportunity to review one of their products. Lo and behold, there it was in amongst their products are the lights very similar to the one I was looking for, how lucky was that!

So I immediately requested for them and they sent them straight away for us to install and try.

They sent us a 15 meter bundle of the 5 meter festoon warm globe lights, interconnected with an outdoor battery pack as its power source. The length was perfect for our existing pergola on the bottom patio, to arrange them in a similar fashion as to how it was on the film (with a bit of slack on the wires as they hang randomly across the pergola).

We would have preferred lights that were mains connected as they tend to be brighter but this turned out to be fine and sufficiently bright running on size D batteries. Plus, with no wiring involved on to mains electricity, connecting and installation is much easier and convenient to place practically anywhere.

We are pleased with how they look installed on the pergola and how they illuminate the area when it gets dark. Makes hanging out at the bottom patio a tad bit nicer during the night.

Unlike the film, no violent endings on our pergola please! Or anywhere else for that matter!

Mark :-)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dusk in the Jungle

We haven't been that good at posting photos of our own garden recently. But that doesn't mean not much has been happening, in fact it's the other way around. It is summer after all and it's easy enough to get so immersed in doing things in the garden that taking photos gets sidelined.

Plus there's also a little element of being temporarily selfish too, taking delight in keeping most things to oneself and having a breather from sharing what you see, of one's own personal space.

But time's up now for being selfish and here's a quick look of how our jungle is looking like in early July, with photos taken at dusk today.

The lighting contrast was less than ideal this evening and many of the shots we took turned out blurred. Thankfully a good chunk still turned out fine and good enough for sharing.

We've been having so much rain recently, not that unusual for Britain of course and the ferns especially have been loving it! Much to our delight...

Some cutting back on the other plants in the jungle needs to be done in a week or so but we're mostly satisfied how things are growing so far.

Mark :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016 - Show Gardens

Our coverage of this year's edition of Hampton Court Flower Show continues with a look at the show gardens. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016 - Floral Marquee

The 2016 edition of the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show opens today. Set in the sprawling grounds of Hampton Court Palace, it is the biggest flower show in the world with its many features and opportunities for shopping: food, sundries, and of course plants.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Woburn Abbey Garden Show

Last Saturday we decided to check out the Woburn Abbey Garden Show. It's been three years since we've been and being only twenty minutes drive from ours, a couple of hours spent there sounded really appealing.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

And so we embrace Instagram!

And we finally embraced  Instagram! If you use it do follow us @aegarden for more photos of our garden and garden adventures.

We're rather late to the Instagram party I know but do we really need another social media to be preoccupied with? But after having a look and seeing the simple format of basically sharing photos I thought why not? Seems simple and fun, what's not to like I suppose!

Photos we've posted there so far (we haven't been there long just to show a 'sample'):

On other updates, we've had a double whammy that affected our blogging recently: our internet connection went down and our camera broke down....technology eh! Both sorted out now thankfully, with a new router and a new camera. Our old router must have been overheating for quite some time before it gave up the ghost. Its white casing has noticeably took on a brown-ish tinge in the middle when we spotted it after inspecting all the connections. But of course it was the last one we checked which added to the delay of it all. Anyway, I'm glad it's just the router and we didn't have to resort to getting a different provider and new set of connections.

As for the camera, it took a lot of abuse from us as we used it in the garden rain, soil, and shine. Hopefully this new 'weatherproof' one will prove tougher and last much longer. We shall wait and see...

And back to Instagram, hopefully see you there!

Mark :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Yay! and Yikes!

Yay that our Kumara plicatilis (syn. Aloe plicatilis) is flowering...in the summer!

It's not much and the display isn't spectacular by no means but still very pretty, considering that this is the first time it has flowered for us during the warmer months, not during the winter.

Love its coral colour!
It's one of the few remaining original plants we bought in Cornwall the first time we went there almost ten years ago. It used to live in our lounge during the winter wherein it flowered then, in tune with the inverse season in the Southern Hemisphere. It started off as a single fan with no visible trunk and grew slowly to how it is now by virtue of being kept in a pot. The last two winters however it lived in the minimally heated greenhouse during the winter, hence experiencing some relative chill when before it was warm and cosy in the the house at the same period. This has obviously re-set its rhythm and now it is flowering when it is supposed to be, in the summer.

Yikes!! This Yucca linearifolia is about to flower and the spike is growing really fast. So fast that I only spotted this a couple of hours ago and we both go past this plant at least twice a day, and so many times during the weekend.

Nothing bad with it flowering as such but blue yuccas tend to look worse for wear afterwards, for an entire season as it recovers from its floral display after putting so much energy to it. 

As this yucca is already well rooted and established in its spot I'll leave the flower spike be and enjoy the spectacle. Had if it's just been planted I'll cut the spike off so it can put its energy in re-establishing itself.

Hopefully none of the other blue yuccas will follow suit and flower this year, or in the near future. I much prefer then with perfect heads with blue spheres of leaves.

But I think I spoke too soon...

Oh no!
Yikes again!

Mark :-)