Monday, May 28, 2012

Back to Planet Earth...

...and enjoying the sun!

The past two weeks have been pretty hectic and action packed, with a trip to Devon and Cornwall, and Chelsea being so close to each other that things got a bit manic. But with the heady and heavenly delights of going here, there, everywhere in those two weeks, it was nice to go back down to planet Earth, take it easy, and enjoy some time in our own garden.

And it was nice, very nice to indulge in the purity of gardening on your own turf. So much so that we just immersed ourselves in doing bits and pieces in the garden especially with the weather being so sunny and warm. We didn't even take a single photo of anything over the weekend, have done loads of that in the prior two weeks too so we thought we could give that a rest over the weekend (snaps on this post were taken today).

The joys of painting a bench, a strangely calming and relaxing activity...
With the dry and sunny weather it meant that other things we weren't able to do in the previous deluge of a month we are able to get done now and so we just carried on doing them, with lots of breaks in between activities mind you.

And it was bliss, pure bliss to do some gardening in the solitude of our garden.

The 'jungle' is looking more lush with new growth from the tree ferns...
and the 'jungle' floor is filling out with ground ferns, arisaemas, and hostas...
But this Astilboides tabularis is holding its own right amongst them all!
The main bulk of what we've undertaken was to prepare the garden for the coming summer months. With the warmth and the moist soil everything's growing so quick now and necessary attention was needed by some of them. Garden accessories have started to come out too. Usually it's a flurry of activity in late spring to early summer but usually calms down again later, the period when you just mostly enjoy having a garden reaping the rewards of your efforts.

Schefflera aff. chapana is currently flushing new growth
Unfurling new frond of a Cyathea cooperi
Cheerful blooms of Clematis 'Nelly Mosser'
With Britain being Britain, you just don't know how long the sunny spell will last until we get a period of rainy days again. But you always live in hope that such fine weather does stretch for a long time. So whilst fine weather is here it's worth making the most of it!

Some new garden accessories for this year including... 
a trio of smiling suns in front of the Jungle Hut.
Not to forget the old timers like this trio of elephants!
But saying that, heavy rain every so often, in between days of sunshine would be ideal so the garden gets some needed watering to sustain even better growth (especially now that we have a hosepipe ban!).

Zantedeschia 'White Giant' blooming away...
whilst several of our Trachycarpus fortunei are flowering...
and this Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' has flushed new growth.
Later in June might get hectic again, but in a pleasant way. We do like our period of solitude and gardening but love travelling and going to visit differnt places too (like what happened in the last two weeks...). It's good to intersperse a period of calm and activity once after the other, so you get the best of both worlds.

Almost ready for summer!
Anyway, gardening and enjoying the sun continues!

Mark :-)


  1. Things are really shooting up now. Can't believe the size of your Ferns. Love the bench, like that color. That last photo is just beautiful!

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. It must be such a wonderful feeling to walk through your garden, enclosed and surrounded by those big, tropical beauties. So glad you got some sunny weather so you could enjoy the garden. You're so right - it's bliss working out in our gardens! At least, for gardeners it's bliss, for others it's torture! ha!

  3. Your garden is looking fantastic! This is the kind of lushness we only dream of in our semi-arid climate. And your fatsia looks terrific--absolutely no damage, unlike mine that got eaten by caterpillars.

    I also love all your accessories. Looking at photos of your gardening is like browsing a garden catalog!

    Can't wait to see what the summer brings.

  4. Your jungle is looking lush. You have all that rain to thank for that I suppose, but it must be great to have the sun AND time to spend in your garden.

  5. Looking beautiful, Boys. Almost expect to see a jaguar or a tapir peering out from amongst all that jungle. D

  6. You really seem to be enjoying painting that chair. Your plants are already looking great now, and that last photo already looks like you are having the prelude to a forest. It could be a bit depressing when these growths eventually succumb to the seasons!

  7. Thanks Cher! The tree ferns are my favourite plants in the jungle area and love the colour of the bench too, reminds me of blue leafed hostas!

    Holley, I enjoy spending lots of time in the garden and taking care of the plants (and fish!). So true though, for non gardeners working in the garden is intimidating :)

    Thanks Gerhard! Our climate is more suited for ferns and woodlanders but at least your area is mild and consistently warm enough in the summer to grow more xerophytes well. Wish we could grow more agaves permanently outside here :)

    Hi Missy, the seemingly continuous rain we had the past few weeks have definitely helped the plants grow so well, especially now we have a warm spell. We could do with some rain in between sunny days though, but just glad enough that at least it feels summery now :)

    Hey David, no jaguars yet I'm afraid, only birds, hedgehogs, and the occasional fox (or two!) :)

    Hi Andrea, I did enjoy painting that chair, it wasn't too tedious but a rather calming, rhythmic activity. You do get used to seeing changes in the garden for every season but it just makes anticipation and arrival of spring and summer even more special :)

  8. Oh it must have been so refreshing and cooling being under that canopy of leaves in your garden. I'm admiring those coloured lanterns - I'm after something similar in coloured glass.

  9. Hi Rosie,its nice to finally have the sun after a damp spring! The lanterns came back with us from a trip to Marrakech.

  10. It's all looking very lush. We could have done without the cold in April and May but the rain has certainly stocked the soil with moisture to fuel the growth you're obviously now getting. It must have been nice to get back home after the travels.

  11. Your "jungle" is looking like a real jungle. Very lush. I'm impressed with how you manage it in your climate.
    I had scrolled down the post to Mark's picture but not enough to see the label so I did have a "what is he doing?!" moment. LOL!

  12. Your garden just looks better and better and better, but cut out the relaxing and finish the Koi pond and post about it, okay? ;^)

  13. Mark, I simply love the jungle part of your garden! The lush new green growth almost screaming "life and energy". The Astilboides tabularis is an especially pretty plant with wonderful leaves. I completely can relate to your joy of being able to do some gardening in your own little paradise after traveling. I am still in the UK and love every minute about it, but start to miss my own garden and getting my hands dirty, again.

  14. It looks fabulous, maybe I should persuade my hubby we should move to warmer area then I could grow a whole garden of tropicals!

  15. John, the rain has certainly helped, although warmer weather and rain would have been even better. At least its warm now!

    Bom, thanks, and glad we gave you a laugh!

    Hoover Boo, the pond is coming along nicely now, stay tuned for an update soon!

    Christina, thanks so much for your kind comments, the Astilboides tabularis is looking the best it ever has this year, possibly due to all the rain we had in April.

    Libby, many of the plants in our garden are very hardy, we have introduced more hardy but exotic looking plants after the poor winters. Your garden looked great in your recent photos too.

  16. I love the new accessories! The garden's looking great.


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