Monday, 28 April 2014

How to take Sedum Cuttings

When I roofed the insect hotel, lots of pieces of sedum broke off.
I saved all the pieces and I thought I`d blog how I`ve taken cuttings from them.
I hope people find it useful.

It really is quite easy and you don`t need any special equipment, just compost, sand and vermiculite.
 I don`t even use rooting hormone powder.

This is what the pieces looked like when I started.
First of all mix together sand, vermiculite and compost. 
I usually put in more compost so I suppose it is....
1 part sand
1 part vermiculite 
2 parts compost
(I reckon you could also do it in ordinary garden soil.)
Next I fill a 24 compartment insert placed inside an ordinary seedtray.
These are the pieces ready to strip the lower leaves.
Here are the same pieces stripped. 
Pop each piece into the tray and water well.
After that they won`t need too much water.
I sometimes break a bit of bare stem off if it`s too long
and sometimes you are lucky enough to find pieces which already have roots.
These are some I did earlier in the year.
And this is how they will eventually grow.

Finally they can be used for roofing, in sink gardens or in terracotta pots.

Sedums come in many differents colours and are very easy to look after.
Some of my special pots have spent time indoors over winter in greenhouses.
I didn`t think the continuous wet would do them much good.

Enjoy trying out this easy way to propagate plants and get the satisfaction of saving yourself money.
Good luck and let me know how you get on.
 



Sunday, 27 April 2014

Insect Hotel with Sedum Roof

At last I have managed to complete the insect hotel. There are a few finishing touches needed and it remains to be seen how well the sedum roots and stays in position. But on the whole I am pleased with the look.
























I placed a layer of carpet over the roof and a strip of left-over pond liner on top.
Then I laid on the upturned turf and finally huge mounds of sedum from all around the garden.
It was watered really well.

Most of the sedum we`ve grown has come from about half a dozen plants. They are so easy to root.
 I saved some pieces that broke off. In my next blog I will show how I have taken cuttings.




The carpet has been laid on the cob shed roof.

To see how we made the insect hotel see my previous blog called
Nippy November 2013



Saturday, 26 April 2014

Bluebell Heaven



The most popular post on my blog at the moment is about bluebells.

An English Bluebell Wood from 2013

 Here are some more pictures to enjoy.


 






















I have been trying to imagine what people from other countries think when they see these swathes of blue.
And I am sure I would be quite astonished at the sights of seas of flowers from other places, such as the views of nemophila in Japan, if I saw them for real. And I would love to.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Gandalf`s Nest

Yesterday we took lots of new plants for the garden....


.......cornflowers, helichrysum, statice, broad beans and sweetpeas.

It was such a lovely day, the sun was shining, it was peaceful and the soil was perfect for planting.


Cornflower and helichrysum planted and protected.

 
















A new temporary cloche protecting another row of helichrysum and the completed sweetpea row.



Broad beans under netting.





The potatoes had to be earthed up.














The apple blossom was in full flower.



Anne and her dad have worked hard on the polytunnel over the Easter weekend.


The tiny polytunnel has done well over the last few years.


Forgetmenots have seeded themselves anywhere, paths included.


I shall be trying clear icecubes with borage flowers inside this w/end.
I read on Pinterest that you could make the icecubes clear by using boiled water.
Read about it here....



Some low shots of the pond.


Gandalf was waiting to come out of the cob shed but when Anne checked on 
him over Easter, she found this......


....under his left ear. I am wondering if it is a wren`s nest.

I thought it was Radagast the Brown who sprouted birds` nests.
Well Gandalf can`t come out for a while, that`s for certain.













Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Nine Days Queen

We have had a lovely Easter weekend in Leicester, staying with my nephew and his wife 
in their new home.
We made two visits to Bradgate Park which was nearby.
 BRADGATE PARK was first enclosed as a deer park around 800 years ago.
Extending to 830 acres of publicly accessible countryside the Park has a wild and rugged aspect that you do not expect to find so close to the city with dramatic rocky outcrops and gnarled old oak trees, many of which are well over 500 years old. If you do not fancy tramping over the hills, the lower part of the Park is easily accessible with a tarmac driveway running through the middle that is mainly traffic-free and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The River Lin runs through the Lower Park and is a popular spot to sit and picnic or just sit and watch the deer while children paddle in the shallows.
In the centre of the park are the ruins of the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey, the nine days queen.
(from the website  bradgatepark.org)

1537–1554 
 
 
                                                                      Lady Jane Grey was a great-grand-daughter of Henry VII, but her descent was traced through the female line, her grandmother being the elder sister of Henry VIII. Her parents were very strict, but she was exceptionally bright, and with the help of a tutor, showed herself to be an exceptional student. She mastered Greek, Latin French and Italian, and many other subjects at a very young age.
She was at one time considered as a bride for Edward VI of England, but he died at a young age, before any marriage was consummated. Instead, she was forced to marry Lord Dudley, the son of the Duke of Northumberland, who, against her wishes, proclaimed her Queen of England. This attempt to prevent Mary I, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII and a Roman Catholic, from assuming the throne however, was doomed to failure, and Jane was tried for treason. She was sentenced to death, but was spared by Queen Mary, who was fond of her cousin, and did not blame her for the rebellion. Unfortunately, another protestant rebellion broke out the following year, which again had the object of placing Lady Jane on the throne. This time, in spite of her personal innocence, Lady Jane was executed along with all of the other conspirators. 



 









The park was full of herds of deer, grazing or trotting across the paths in front of us.

Quite a sight.





The folly, Old John in the distance




and closer.
















The park was full of ancient trees, reminding me yet again of ents.





 The River Lin meandering through the park. 
Many people were paddling, fishing and picnicking.
A quite delightful area.
I enjoyed the park very much.