My weekly blogs

February    Donsgarden.co.uk

This page as updated on 28th February 2011


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The end of February and the garden is still in a mess, but plants are still flowering. The forsythia is reaching its full bloom and cheers up the garden in these bleak overcast times. So is the Berginea, but there is some sadness as the harsh winter might have done for my Calstemon or Australian bottle Brush. I have some hope as some of the buds seems like they may recover. I live in hope. Inside most of th orchids are flowering. Thw first blousey Dendrobium looks great and in front I think it is one of the pansy type flower stem shooting up. The last picture shows another Dendrobium. Although not shown there are several Phalanopsis in flower also.

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There were several pole displays or orchids and other plants displayed in a way perhaps only Kew can do. How about this for one leaf of the Titan lily. In the palm house the bamboo was magnificent. I then wandered off to another of my favourite places at Kew the Marion North Gallery, where they have returned all the original paintings after their restoration. They were splendid and much more vivid than a couple of years ago when they were taken down and replaced with photographs when the gallery was reopened. The interactive computer display means that you can learn more about individual paintings and athe wood pannellings of many of the woods she collected on her travels. Next door in the sShirly Sheerwood Gallery there were botanical paintings for sale. This one of a tulip was especially magnificent and sooooo! real that if I had the money and space to put it I would gladly pay the £4950 cost.

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I managed to visit one of my favourite places a few days age; Kew Gardens. At Kew at the moment there are many activities every day one of the main ones is the Tropical Extravaganza in the Princess of Wales conservatory. This is agood time to vvisit Kew to look at the structure of the various trees as many do not have leaves on and the full structure is shown. Here this Oriental Plane tree, Platanus orientalis outside the orangery is one of the Old Lions, which are trees planted by Princess Agusta who started kew gardens in 1760. Other Old Lions are the Maidenhair Tree, the Ginkgo biloba, the False Acacia, the Robinia pseudoacacia, the Zelkova carpinifolia and the Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica. The pines also have wonderful structures and must be very old also. In the Princess of Wales Conservatory is the Tropical Extravaganza and although this exhibition is not one of its best, there were many things that were well worth the visit. This ornamental tree covered in orchids is wort a visit on its own. The arch is covered in many types of orchids and other tropical plants. It is not practical to have birds in the conservatory, but these paper birds were supplemented with real bird chirping which made you feel that you were in a real forest.

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Fancy some Iron works statues from a female blacksmith. Driftwood ornaments can be so exciting I have a large tree trunk in my front garden displaying many plants. With global warming how about some roof gardens or walls made from plants. looks quite real doesn't it. The Society of Garden Designers had a large display showing hundreds of garden designs. How about this garden chair made from cows horns. It was very heavy and sturdy as far as I can tell.

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How about this stall displaying succulents, The next stall displaying a much maligned plant the Ivy. This just goes to show what you can do with the many varieties of Ivy. If your Garden is big enough What about some bronze statues. How about some batik working cards, pictures and scarf's based on garden plants. If you like minimal gardening how about some grasses.

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As I had to prepare the soil for the Garlic quite late I planted the garlic plugs in trays and they are shooting up. All the Strawberry bags have been emptied of the strawberry plants and will be re-potted with new soil ready for this years show. I managed a trip to the RHS London Plant and Design Show held at the RHS Halls near VIctoria on Tuesday. As usual the show was to a very high standard and there were several Stalls displaying plants in bloom despite the winter we have just experienced. I now wished I took the names of the stall holders, but I think the flowers speak for themselves. There were plants and bulbs galore for sale.

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The garden is in quite a mess at the moment. Much tidying up needs to be done. Nevertheless My special Rosemary is flowering away well, Next door's Prunus which have been in flower since November is blooming well. The Winter Jasmine is in flower. Inside The Cestrum has continued to flower and the Achema is still pushing out its last flower.

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Well I have finally found time to update this blog. For the past two weeks I have been down with the flu and found it hard to get work done due to lack of energy. During this time I have had to mend at least three leeks in the greenhouse. This was made very hard as I could not find where it was coming in from. Water like electricity always find the route of least resistance. I ended up ripping up several sealed areas and resealing them. I will find out tonight when it rains if I was successful. I am still spending a lot of time trying to finish the Pest section of the website. It has proved a much longer job than I imagined. In the mean time plants have not been waiting around and have started into growth. The Chives in the pots have already shot up. So has the Rhubarb on the front porch roof. I have not pulled up the Swiss Chard in the front garden as yet as it will continue to produce leaves for eating until I need the area for replanting. The Hazelnut Catkins are getting ready to shed its pollen load and the Pear flower buds will soon breakout into flower.

Chives0211 Rubarb0211 Swisschrard0211 Hazcatk0211 Pearbuds0211

That's all for this week folks
Happy gardening


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