Hello there yet again and a big hello to Wendy and Trevor in Bull Bay.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to keep us all updated on events in and about your absolutely delightful garden.
May I also take the opportunity to send you, Wendy and your husband, Trevor all my very best wishes in this your Silver Wedding Year.
It’s so appropriate that you therefore mention your daffodils, as I remember they were a prominent flower during the Queen’s own Silver Jubilee Year.
I’m also glad that you have advice for us ham fisted gardeners out here about Dead Heading Daffodils. Oops! I dun a boo boo, Wendy.
In case you're confused, these are Anglesey Bluebells
and not Daffodils.
My friend tells me that MONTY DON of BBC’s GARDENER’S WORLD is dishy. Don’t see it myself. Though, like you I do admire him enormously and am envious of the sense of his large Long Meadow garden.
Anyways, the stage is yours Wendy once again.
Blackbird image courtesy of Pete Birkinshaw from Manchester
MY MATE’S BACK!
I thought that he must have gone to the great Blackbird cloud in the sky but he arrived the other day as cheeky as ever and proceeded to fill his beak full of Seven Sultanas!.
So Bless him. He’s obviously been a New Age Dad looking after his brood. How he takes off and lands when he has so much food in his beak is beyond me, but its now his third season (and it could well be more) of raising a family.
I suppose he must know how many he can carry before having to either abort his take off or risk a crash landing.
WHO YOU LOOKING AT?
THE EAGLE (Well, Robin) HAS LANDED
Out of the five Robins that we have, all of whom seem to be bezzie mates, I’ve managed to get one of them eating out of my hand - Oh that I could manage to get Trevor to do that!
Unfortunately, I have yet to learn the knack of holding out my hand full of suet pellets whilst holding out the other hand and take a picture.
I know us woman can multi task but this is one task that has so far defeated me.
One of the other Robins did come down to feed off my hand one day. Sadly he misjudged one of my porky fingers for a suet pellet and CRIKEY! did he nip the end of my finger.
Alas, the taste of my finger seemed to put him off as he now plays it safe by landing on the floor for his food.
BEDECKED AND CERTAINLY BOTHERED
IF NOT ALSO BEWILDERED
The silver wedding decking (as I’ve just decided to call it)is now almost complete and looking fabulous.
The glass goes in this week so that we will have an unobstructed view of the sea when we sit down. Still haven’t managed to stain it all, though.
Ye Gods! What a job that is turning out to be and patience never has been one of my strong points (not that I have many anyway).
I think that staining the decking and all the steps would try the patience of a saint.
I LOVE YOU.
I REALLY LOVE YOU.
TADPOLES & FISHY ASBOS
The worry that the frogs wouldn’t return was in vain and there was tons of spawn.
Trevor has devised a wonderful nursery for the Taddies, which comprises of some square net type thing that fishermen use lined with some of Birkenhead Market's finest net curtain.
We realised last year that tadpoles can get through the tiniest of holes, either that or the fish can suck them through the tiniest of holes, and we lost them all.
To date we have literally hundreds of very healthy looking tadpoles that do not appear to complain in the slightest that their view has been ruined by net curtains.
It’s amazing to watch the fish all hovering round the net like Teenagers on ASBOs hoping in vain to be able to have a good slurp on this year’s models.
TO DEADHEAD DAFFODILS OR NOT?
For all you would be daffodil growers, whatever you do, do not, cut the leaves back or tie them in knots or bend them over with elastic bands.
Leave them to wilt down naturally so that all the goodness goes back into the bulb for next year. You can then pull them up in about 6 weeks when they have gone all brown and 'orrible and put them in your compost bin or heap.
Up until last week's BBC GARDENER'S WORLD (Friday April 15th 2011) I would have said that you must dead head them and Uncle Alan et al used to say that if you didn't then all the energy went into making a seed pod and not back into the bulb.
But the Great and Good Monty Don declared last week that you should leave all the heads on and not touch them. So, who am I to argue with the great man?
So in a nutshell, leave all your daffodils to look an unkempt straggly mess for about another 6 weeks before pulling up the leaves. They will all come off easily and if you have to tug them they aren't ready.
AND INTO SPRING COLOUR
The daffodils have been absolutely wonderful but have all too soon gone over and are now looking really tatty.
Before this year it really was a labour intensive job to go round and regularly have to dead head them all. No longer. Thank you Monty Don.
The Hellebores and Heathers have also been wonderful and now the Bluebells are taking over.
I really do love Spring. To see all the colours and new leaves appearing after Winter.
And Oh What A Winter It Was. In a sense it was wonderful. Although I've never having seen snow like it on Anglesey.
I have lost a number of plants the majority of whom were in the greenhouse bizarrely enough. I know that I don’t have a heater in it but I really would have thought that more plants would have survived.
I am a greenhouse novice though so I suppose like everything else I shall have to live and learn as the seasons go on.
“A lonely little Petunia.." Well, daffodil really
but it doesn’t sound the same!”
WENDY HAS STARTED REVIVING HER BEAUTIFUL GARDEN
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Further to what I said last month, it's important to have your plans and plants in place before the growing season because that's the only control you'll ever have.
Currently the days vary between lovely sunshine and warmth with very cool evenings. So make sure you protect the more sensitive plants by bringing them in at night.
Also, a good rule of thumb is to get all your vegetables, tomatoes and the like planted before the end of April. That way, you'll guarantee them a good long growing season.
And keep in mind the possibility of another viciously cold Winter and start considering your plans for that eventuality as well.
I’ll be back next month with the latest report from Le Jardin Wendy at Chez Steele in Bull Bay. In the meantime, please do get in touch to share your news.
I'd love to hear from you. You can do it below.
Do you have any questions for Wendy
or want to share some thoughts?
It's good to share, especially if you can spare someone's feeble back with your magical advice.
I am so delighted that Wendy has decided to write her articles and to share the challenges and delights of her gardening adventures.
So if you have any questions about how to engage with Nature to transform your garden into the best room in the house, then do get in touch.
If you have any photographs then we'd love to see them.