Wendy Steele
Anglesey Garden Report

March 2012

No, Wendy Steele is not an anagram for 'Perfect Gardener', surprisingly.

Is there no justice? Anyway, the year has begun and despite the media promising snow, hail and endless rain, the enthusiasm of Wendy Steele for her garden and little blackbird mate remains undiminished.

Trevor "What do you mean carry it over there?" Steele is doing his best.

Some people really should be honoured by the Queen for what they don't say. And not say it so emphatically at that. Ahem.

Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012


Where have I been, you might ask. Well, in all honesty you probably didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway!

Apart from being ill (again) changes have been afoot in the Steele garden. That's what been afoot, Will.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

The greenhouse has a brand new bottom, made of brick, and is now sited next to our hedge on Stuart's side of our garden. At the moment it is bedecked internally in a very fine double (or it could be triple) layered bubble wrap.

I lost nearly all my Fuschias that were in it last Winter and wasn’t prepared to take any more risks. At the time of going to press they are all looking good, as is the delicate Agapanthus, whose name escapes me, but whose label says that it is delicate.

I thought that I had lost it because all the leaves went slimy, shrivelled up and died. Then I noticed on Monday that there are two new shoots poking their little heads up out of the gravel-topped soil.

Oh! How Carol Klein has a lot to answer for covering everything in gravel? It’s even more expense for our garden, but I have it in a fab recycled tyre trug in the potting shed. It makes me almost look like I know what I’m doing! Oh, how I wish.

Wendy Steele March 2012 Garden Report

Lithospermum (blue) growing through an Azalea. It is meant to be a ground cover plant but for some reason has decided it prefers to be a climber!


Does anyone else have trouble remembering what the names of plants are?

I’m fine with the, “Of course, it's an Agapanthus." Or, "Yes, it’s a rose!” Then go and ask me what type it is and I’m well and truly flummoxed.

I always stick the labels in the soil, surreptitiously hidden, of course, so as not to make me look the complete amateur I am. Wendy Steele is one clever cookie, is she not?

Ayiee! Those darned birds! I’m presuming it’s the blackbirds that pull them all out and then sling them as far away as they can. Any ideas would be gratefully received.

Please don’t suggest that Trevor tests me on them every week though.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012


The garage is no more but we now have ‘The Barn’ which proudly stands where the greenhouse used to be. Not that it has all the garage stuff in it. Oh no, all that is still in the tractor shed, the conservatory, the summer house and the potting shed.

I wait for himself to decide where he wants to put the shelves and storage things in the new barn.

Why can’t men make decisions?

If he doesn’t like where the shelves are he can take them down and put them up somewhere else can’t he?

Or is that just female logic?

Anyway, in front of ‘The Barn’ I’ve made a ‘White Bed’, which has about four roses of different colours! Other than that, all the other plants are in fact white so in a year or so it will hopefully look lovely.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

So far I have planted - all in white apart from the roses - heathers, a hellebore, crocuses, liatris, some daffodil type things, - that label's gone walkabout as well - cyclamen ... and so it goes on.

Oh, and a peony, which will hopefully be to die for. Its shoots have just started to emerge, so I can’t wait for it to flower though that may not be until next year.

I’ve just thought of something else, in the soggy corner of the bed I have pinched a Zantedeschia (Calla lilly) from the pond.

Hopefully it will like having a soggy bottom and reward me with a load of white flowers this Summer.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012


The other bit of change is at the end of the lawn at the bottom of the garden. (That's the end where the Faeries are based)

I have dug another bed out of the lawn which mimics one on the other side. I have put in absolutely loads of leaf mould - all homemade - compost (again, homemade), chicken pellets and bone meal.

Either I'm going to grow twelve foot giants or all the plants are going to give up the ghost because of all the stuff I have thrown in to try and make the thick clay soil into something half healthy!

There are seven roses, three peonies, three hollyhocks...

Aren’t you impressed that I can remember what and how many I’ve put in? You should be.

... two verbenas, six primroses (two pink and four blue striped), three different types of tactile grasses all around the edges.

And no, I can’t remember what types they are. There are millions of aquilegias that I have grown from seed.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012


Ah! something else i’ve just remembered. I got three kaffir lillies that are a delicate pink - or there could be four. I’m not sure now.

Anyway I’ve borrowed those from another part of the garden because they needed splitting up.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012



Something happened last week that I have just got to tell you about.

I was sitting on the wall between the pond and the long bed having a rest and, AS USUAL, I was being moithered to death by all the robins and blackbirds.

They were being really good and playing nicely. All of a sudden one of the blackbirds started to have a strop and throw his weight around to scare a little robin.

Wendy Steele's Bull Bay Blackbird Buddy

"I didn't do it. Why you looking at me, Wendy?"

Then. Then, I tell you, the robin jumped and ran behind my legs to hide. It was just so wonderful I can’t tell you.

I was howling with laughter. It was like having a toddler running behind you and saying, "Help me, Mummy".

The little mite was sat sitting and looking up at me. I thought that he really must trust me to do something like that. Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012


Mum is here for a few days as I’m drafting this so naturally the weather is absolutely awful. Bloomin’ typical! She always brings Bramhall weather with her. As long as she takes it back with her then she's forgiven.*

I’ll let you know next time how we go on with cleaning the decking and steps. We’ve never had decking before and I can’t believe how green it's gone. Ugh!

Stermat have recommended some stuff so I shall report back. It was only £4 something compared to Ronseal, which is nearly £15. So I think it’s worth a try. Watch this space!

* Wil of Anglesey-Hidden-Gem.com would like to distance himself from any suggestion by Wendy that her mother is a 'Rain Magnet'.

Although I understand Mum's for hire.


You can tell I’m orthopaedically trained, my prize Deep Purple Tulips (not the rock band) are all now splinted up in their pot. Could be the band, mind you.

I’ve been nurturing the damn things for weeks now and last Wednesday when we left home at silly o’clock to go to work they were fine, but came home twelve and a bit hours later and everyone was bent over double and dying as I looked at them.

Wendy Steele Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

I look in your eyes and see de-feet
Anyone seen Trevor recently?

Trevor, the sensible one, went in and sat in front of the tele whilst I, the stupid one, went and sought canes and string from the potting shed and fought the Force 10, or at least that’s what it felt like, and wrestled with the canes to splint each and every one of the poor tulips.

I have to say though they look fine now apart from the canes and string, that is!

Wednesday was a bad day right from the beginning so I should have known as that ship at Llandulas decided to try to use the A55 as a bus stop, so we had to queue to get off the A55 at 6.30am and do a detour up and round the old road along with everyone else. Oh, happy days!

I’ve been re-potting all my fuschias this weekend and have to my horrow found a million (or two) Vine Weevil grubs ugh and OMG they are gross and I’ve never found them in any pots before, so we had to go to the Holland Arms Garden Centre today to buy some stuff to shrivel the hateful things up. I so do not do creepy crawlies.

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.


Just when you thought Wendy's garden couldn't get any more exotic.

This little critter somehow found it's way to Bull Bay, Anglesey carried in on the wings of the winds that damaged the Clematii and buggered the tulips.

Either that, or it came in the back of Trevor's car.

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

Meet Burt the Bird. Expect to see much more of Burt over the Summer.

There's a rumour in Bull Bay that Burt will be writing his own article next month.

Wendy has pointed to the ossified feet in a less than subtle hint about what happened to the last to usurp her stage - decking ... stage. Definitely deh ... stage ...

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

This image is of the Tulip Orthopaedicii. These were the ones that I stood in that horrendous northerly gale the other week, in my work suit, splinting all the flipping tulips. I have to say that they picked up really well, they just look an awful sight.

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

This image is how the same winds affected two of my clematis’s. (Should that be clematii???).

"They are absolutely buggered and burnt," as my friend Jan used to say. However, all the buds look absolutely fine. It really is very odd indeed.

Pfff! What's it all about, eh? - (Brecht)

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

Pieris Forest Flame

Wendy Steel Bull Bay Garden Report March 2012

A Glorious White Tulip


Thank you very much for popping in to find out what's been going on in our Bull Bay garden.

The only bounds to my imagination is the patience of others.

Oh yes! Please check out this link if you fancy coming to spend a few days in our lovely little appartment.

It would be good to greet you here and show you around. Check out The View (Yr Olygfa).

This is Wendy signing off. See you all soon!

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