2015-04-25

Cross-pollination

Today we visited a nearby garden center (Van Goidsenhoven in Holsbeek). It was great! ;P

We got 4 bare root, low-stemmed fruit trees for 7 euro each. We could choose and pull them out of the ground ourselves. We got an apple (Elstar), two cherries (Regina and Early Rivers). The elstar is supposed to cross-pollinate nicely with the Jonagold we already have, and the Regina is cross-pollinated by the Early Rivers (the other way around was not mentioned in the label however?).
We also got a medlar, we have never tasted the fruits, and they seem quite particular, so we'll see.

We hurried home and immediately planted the trees, the apple had some flowers already so it's probably not the best time...



Medlar

Early Rivers

Regina

Elstar

I also found a few other plants I wanted to get for the garden, all with white flowers:


Except the hops, which blooms green, and the three ferns, which have no blooms ;)
So the rest are a variety of broom, which has small, nicely fragant cream white flowers (Cytisus praecox 'Albus'), a white lilac, an elder bush and a white wisteria.

Tomorrow I have to find places for them and plant them.

Edit Nov 2015: I realise I did not write down the cultivar for the lilac. I think in the shop they had Madame Lemoine which I had read about, but then I bought another white variety. Could it ve Edith Cavell? I actually don't remember, I hope the label shows up somewhere.

2015-04-24

Another update

Maybe I should just name all my posts "update" followed by a roman numeral ;p 

So ok, here comes more pictures.




Pim got another large container and removed the large pile of bricks at the edge of the garden (we have some sort of concrete driveway-court on the side of the house). We kept the best bricks and pieces. I cleared grass of this area and put some bricks around the base of the ivy. The lower stalks are loose, difficult to see and fragile, so I wanted to protect them. I tossed some poppy seeds in there as well.





I also cut up bamboo stalks and stuffed them in a large flower pot (plastic, from a berry bushes). I noticed the mason bees did not have enough nesting places. 
Most of the stalks are too small, but I didn't have enough large ones and the small ones anchor the big ones.
I think there's some smaller bees later in the season anyway. 
Already today I saw activity at this new nest.






Some seedlings starting to emerge. If course the radishes are fast. I think the others might be carrots.





This bee was spring cleaning :))





Good news everyone! Lemon verbena survived the winter! It was quite woody ... when the leaves died from the cold, before it was freezing, I covered the bottom of the stem with a large pile of straw. Earlier this spring (might have been the end of winter) I pruned it back, and was glad to see the wood looked alive. It's taken a long time but here finally are leaves! Love love the scent of it and I use it in infusion, got a big handful last year and I hope to get more this one.


2015-04-22

I have been taking pictures and not posting them...

17th april:

Hawthorn buds developing

First white peony bloom!

Apple blossoms nearly there

18th:

Iris eats grass

Nom


19th:

Won't focus ;P
First narcissus
Some got munched

There we are
Lots and lots of blossoms this year

We've got fruit!
Redcurrants

Redcurrants


Today:

The soil under the apple tree is acid
so I've been keeping eggshells

Woot!
The buds are pink but once they open they become white

And that's the apple tree


Loki has discovered dirt

Which is yay
I sowed in there dude

Dirt and sticks is heaven

King of the compost heap

I had forgotten the white muscari I bought in a small pot
They were languishing and fading
I separated them and planted them next to the hyacints, hopefully for next year

More surprise bulbs

First raspberry blossoms

One of the gooseberries also has some
The other one is too small I think

And the hawthorn buds slowly ripen



2015-04-17

Sowing

Today I sowed (?) stuff in the area Pim cleared away.

Tada
First, all along the perimeter I sowed a mix of seeds we got in a box, supposed to deter slugs. They're gonna be laughing all the way to the bank. In any case I'm at least hoping for some nice flowers, it's like dwarf nasturtium, borago, calendula and stuff like that.

Then I used some long bamboo sticks held in place with small bits of bamboo to make little "paths" limiting the "beds".

In order from the front towards the back of the picture, I planted a little bit of rucola (path), three rows of karina peas, which are low (path); three rows of paris market or something carrots [which are small and round] (path); one row of egyptian? beets [also small](path);  and two rows of radishes, one red and one white tipped, that came in ribbons (handy).

I actually ran out of peas (packet was like two years old) by the end of the first row (first in the picture) so I put in a few more beets there, closer to the wall.

We'll see!

We also replanted a Boston ivy at the front. Unfortunately last year's didn't make it :( I am afraid I underestimated how dry the conditions are on the front fa├žade. At least the local garden center has just the kind I like.

New Boston ivy


 I also took a few photos with the camera.

Welcome to your summer!

Hi there smaller ones.

This dude hovered and I thought it looked more like a bee than a fly.
In the photo now the wings look like a fly's to me.

Loki as usual trying to chew on branches.

2015-04-16

Few photos

These are from two days ago (first 3) and this morning.
Phone pictures. Sometimes I have to put my hand behind small, close objects, or my phone won't take a macro.

I removed the straw and Pim put the clematis back in the sun
(it was next to the hedge, probably thought there it was more protected
for the winter). Probably should have done it earlier.
Also retied the trellis since the rope had rotted.
It's grown a bit. Just a bit.

Very excited for figs (although probably not this year or the next).

Apple blossoms two days ago

Apple blossoms today
Yes! At least two mints I planted here last year were munched
into oblivion. As I was clearing this year I saw a root system that I
thought might be mint, so I left it alone. Yes!

I grew a few "pastel", and white, I think, sweet pea indoors. Planted them out
yesterday evening. I am encouraged to see they have not been munched overnight.

I've had a wild strawberry planted in a for for like 4 years. Amazingly
enough it has survived all these years, even though it's gone dry more than
once. It was all root, very crowded. We divided it into three chunks and
yesterday evening planted them in the strawberry patch.

I'm bummed that slugs seem to love hyacint :(

Rose on the left

Rose on the right. It must not get enough sun here.

Red currant :D

Asshole.
Ok, I get hungry too...