(ok so its not a slug but a snail ! a slug proved too horrendous to photograph !!)
In the past two days I have been offered much sagely advice on how to deal with that stickiest of characters, the loathsome slug.
Both sets of advice were imparted to me with a kind of reverence and double dip of the head as though these were trade secrets indeed. Let’s be honest there is not that much to endear slugs to you. That ghastly tutu frilled undulating skirt is not winsome and a reminder of a ballerina , no -more the reminder of a grotesque puppet show mannequin. And that attractive leopard skin look is not visions of Africa but more visions of a ghastly drag queen soiree in Belgrade.
The first recipe involved copious bulbs of garlic , hot water and a judicious decanting and mixing of the liquor with water . The idea was to then water this mixture over the beleaguered plants and voila ! but questions arise from this already .. how many times do you water this in ? ratios of mixture to water..? another drawback mentioned by the partner of the sorcerer was the fact that you have to put up with your house stinking of garlic for days , whilst and during the miracle product is created.
The second recipe went for the completely chemical approach. The lady suggesting this anti slug remedy advocated the use of WD40 sprayed all over the upper and under side of hosta leaves . The Wd40 spray apparently works a treat and deters all slugs. Mention was not made about the long term effect on the plant !
Posted in Garden, Plants, Seasons, Slugs, Summer | Tagged ballerina, garlic, leopard skin, liquor, miracle, recipe, slug, snail, sorcerer, tutu, wd40 | Leave a Comment »
This is the time for Big Love in a small garden
If you are hunting for mini prairie inspiration then this is surely it . Our bijou jewel box of a garden is hidden just around the corner from our pay in bothy at the garden entrance. Not many people discover its treasures so I feel that I should point it out for a special mention. While the big prairie landscape is all about brash and bragging on size , Charlottes garden is petite and shy and unassuming.Hidden behind a hornbeam hedge it is a little tricky to find and sits to the north of the main house.
We designed and planted this garden with a lovely french student called Charlotte who came to do a placement with us a few years ago. hence the name of the garden.Plants include Astrantia major Rosea,Allium Summer Beauty, Deschampsia cespitosa Goldtau, Pulmonaria ( a lovely pink one under the apple tree mixed with hellebores ), Phlomis russelliana, Persicaria Firedance among others! Prairie mix in miniature .
Here it is , shaded by its apple tree guardians and goose shed companion. In this garden we have tried to show how prairie planting can still work successfully but on a smaller scale to elsewhere in the garden. Groups are still generous but again it is important to use texture and structure of leaf and stem to bring about the unity and difference.There are no hard surfaces as all the pathways through the garden are made of wood chip.
And in the lee of the house the hostas grow enormous !
A sweet little place for secret assignations , intrigue and dalliance . make sure you don’t miss it ! It can be seen at Sussex Prairies every day except Tuesdays , 1pm until 5pm until 11th october 2015
Posted in Charlotte's Garden | Tagged Aliium Summer Beauty, Astrantia major Rosea, bijou, bothy, Charlotte, Charlotte's garden, Deschampsia cespitosa Goldtau, generous, jewel, mini prairie, nornbeam, Persicaria Firedance, petite, Phlomis russelliana, scale, shy, unassuming | Leave a Comment »
New rustlers out on the New Frontier Border this week !
we were adding to the pioneer mix by adding in Angelica, poppies and the gorgeous dark purple Chenopodium.Now we are wondering who will triumph , who will fall .. so far little impact or swing to any party but I can see them flexing their pecs and tightening their belts. The spurs clatter menacingly and the tumbleweed blows through.
Posted in Frontier, Frontier Border, Garden | Tagged angelica, chenopodium, pioneer, poppy, rustlers, saddle up, tumbleweed | Leave a Comment »
Oh Beehive !
Feel the buzz and make a bee line for Sussex Prairies from 1st June when we shall be celebrating our love of bees ! Pollenicious baby !
Our whimsical celebrity, Austin Flowers ,will be creating a buzz in the largest beehive in Sussex. Find him bee- hind you in his foppish attire and count his collection of pin badges and jewellery as part of the bee quiz .Will you be bold enough to feel the bees in his bee box ?
You can also follow the bee trail of bee factoids around the garden.. you will be able to answer such questions as -what does a Queen do ? how fast can a bee fly ? how do bees communicate ?how long have bees been here ? how is honey made ?
and finally make it to the teashop and the Queen Honey Cake Tower ! and sample some of our cakes made with honey , herbs and flowers.Bee – licious !
We shall be joined by local beekeepers and a local blacksmith and green woodworker making bee related items on Friday 5th , Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015. The sculptor Alison Catchlove will be exhibiting her bee sculptures in the garden..
Dates for the Chelsea Fringe Oh Beehive
Monday 1st June 1pm -5pm
Closed Tuesday 2nd June
Wednesday 3rd June 1pm -5pm
Thursday 4th June 1pm – 5pm
Friday 5th June 1pm – 5pm
Saturday 6th June 1pm – 5pm
Sunday 7th June 1pm – 5pm
Venue : Sussex Prairie Garden , Morlands Farm, Wheatsheaf Road (B2116 ), Near Henfield, West Sussex , BN5 9AT.
Tel 01273 495902 email email@example.com website http://www.sussexprairies.co.uk
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sussex-Prairies and Twitter @sussexprairies and on Pinterest- look out for the board celebrating Oh Beehive !
Posted in Austin Flowers, Autumn, Bees, Chelsea Fringe 2015, Honey, oh beehive !, Summer, Sussex, Sussex Prairie Garden | Tagged alison catchlove, Austin Flowers, bee, bee box, bee licious, beehive, beeline, Bees, buzz, Chelsea fringe, factoids, garden, honey, oh beehive, queen, quiz | Leave a Comment »
We have been forging new frontiers – Thursday was a Lock,Stock and two smoking Trowels day !
Some of our pioneer plants that have a bit a chip on their shoulder rode into town and rode out again into our New Frontier Border next to the house. These are the thugs and the reprobates of our garden . The ones with a swagger and a bad case of droopy jeans and gringo moustaches. You know ,the no-good guys in the westerns, the ones with the bad ass attitude and a tendency to cause just a little bit of trouble.
Well we decided that these bad guys should have their day and fight it out at the high noon under the poplar trees, in the driest most inhospitable wasteland badlands. It is a dry , stony , arid strip and the tumble weed will blow through in the dry summers. Inattentive groups from coach parties may well trample them as they descend from their buses and a multitude of dogs may poo and pee on them .Can these plants survive , fight each other for supremacy and establish their mighty kingdoms ? We have taken the worst of their kind -the big seeders , thugs, ne’er- do- wells , cads and colonisers and put them in a border together to fight it out . Who will win , who will get the upper hand ?
Who is on the Outlaw Roll call ?
These are the awesome eight plants that we have chosen for this stage of the experiment –
Verbena Bonariensis ,Thalictrum Lucidum,Lythrum salicaria,Erigeron Annuus ,Knautia macedonica,Cephalaria dipsacoides, Foeniculum vulgare purpureum,and Echinops exaltatus.
Is this what they call a Matrix Planting ?
well matrix is as matrix does ! certainly the plants are in a random interlaced pattern of sorts. But the theory is ,and this is the exciting bit which should come to pass in time ,they will make their own pattern and hierarchy as they fight it out for supremacy.The strongest will no doubt survive and the weakest shall fall ! Let the fun commence !
Posted in Autumn, Frontier, Frontier Border, Morlands Farm, Pioneer, Plants, prairie, Prairie garden, Seasons, Seeds, Summer, Sussex, Sussex Prairie Garden | Tagged bad ass, badlands, barrels, cephalaria dipsacoides, echinops exaltatus, erigeron annuus, experiment, foeniculum vulgare purpureum, frontier, kingdoms, knautia macedonica, lock, lythrum salicaria, matrix, ne'er do well, outlaw, pioneer, random, roll call, seeders, stock, supremacy, thalictrum lucidum, thugs, verbena bonariensis | Leave a Comment »
or rather, Pocket sized propagation of plants in Bhutan .
This post is all about the ingenious ways we saw plants being grown on a small scale in Bhutan . It was not so much about formal fancy gardens , but more about reusing what you could find as a container , thus reducing waste and promoting recycling and creating your mini garden around your house or appartment.
Gardening for decorativeness is not high on the agenda of many Bhutanese who let it be said ,are more concerned with the greater importance of living day to day and eking out a living from either their small shops , businesses , plots and fields clinging to vertiginous slopes and the ever so demanding landscape.
So it was with a strange fascination that I started to photograph the many ingenious and curious ways in which flowering plants were nurtured and obviously enjoyed by the Bhutanese around their homes.
A popular vessel was the ever rubbery car tyre .. A staple and popular plant pot around prayer wheels.. often cunningly embellished with a painted design but tin cans ,oil containers,plastic bottles also proved useful and were all stripped down and made into pots for plants. Geraniums did feature highly on the list of favoured house plants with many still flowering gamely at incredible altitudes and in all sorts of dusty corners.
There was obviously always someone with a soft spot somewhere keen to prettify their space or home with flowers and foliage. I rather liked their reckless and fanciful combinations too and a spare corner or space could prove useful for that prize cobbled together collection .Here is a group of plants at the village prayer wheel . This plant hoarder even risks having his collection being knocked off by an over exuberant prayer wheel turner !
Posted in Bhutan, Garden, Plant pots, Plants, potted history | Tagged apartment, Bhutan, bookshelf, Car tyres, collection, containers, flowers, geranium, house, plant pot, plants, prayer wheel, recycle, recycled, Reuse, Window ledge | Leave a Comment »