I was out in the garden looking for circular things to photograph for Cee;s Black & White Photo Challenge and took this photo of the top of the wind chime that hangs in the apple tree. I thought that it looked pretty good in colour too so here it is.
Naomi’s friend Leigh made this for me probably twenty years ago now. It used to hang on the front porch at our old house. It’s been in the apple tree for many years now and has become over grown with moss but it has a lovely tone. I hope to take it to the next house too.
I first posted this in November last year although I have posted a photo of the hedge every spring since it was put in. It is starting to get a lot of new growth now that spring is supposedly here so the other day I took a few new photos to add to the timeline.
The Photinia hedge was planted in October 2014 to enhance the front of the house. This was long before painting, paths or any other work was done. I chose these plants because I see a lot of them growing around here so I knew they would suit the conditions and also because I like the red colour of the new growth. I have tried to take a photo of the hedge each year . It’s been slow but now it is finally looking like a real hedge even though every bush seems to be growing at a different rate. The ones at either end are smaller. I think they get too much carbon monoxide from vehicles stopping at the letter box and in my neighbours driveway. A couple got nibbled by possums or possibly wallabies who visit the garden although I have never seen them. One was taken out completely either by the postie or the neighbour and just died but the rest are going strong.
Four years ago we decided to grow a hedge to screen the house from the road. I chose Photinia as it is a commonly used hedging plant locally so I knew it would have a good chance of growing and I like the colours as the new growth is red. Jason and Brodie, the “garden guys” got the plants for me and Jason suggested buying an extra one and planting it in an out of the way part of the garden in case we needed a replacement.
Over time we did lose a couple of the plants but the hedge was dense enough that the gap did not matter too much so the odd one was left in peace at the bottom of the garden. Some people do grow Photinia as a tree it is not only used as hedging.
Well today it has well and truly overtaken its hedge based brothers and sisters and is now taller than I am while they have not quite reached five feet.
I was chatting to Jason about this recently and he suggested that it is all about location. It rains a lot here as you know and in summer I water the hedge in dry spells but the soil is relatively dry there compared to the bottom of the garden which in winter is so damp that I nearly got my foot stuck in the mud when I went to the compost bin one day recently. I water the other garden trees but never that one. It has thrived on neglect.
The hedge has been trimmed a few times but only to tidy it up as some plants have grown faster than others and it has not been trimmed for a couple of months. The back yard tree has never been trimmed in any way. It looks untidy because Cindy broke a branch when she was jumping and barking at the neighbour dog who had chewed a hole in the fence.
On Friday my garden guys came to prune the apple tree and after they left I went out to take some photos of it as I do every year. The sun was quite bright and concentrating on the tree I entirely failed to notice that Cindy had more pressing business on her mind. Oh well at least it gave me a bad photo Monday shot.
After a wet week today has been one of those lovely, sunny winter days where it has been warmer outside than inside. I decided that I had better get on with pruning the rose bushes in my front garden. I always like to get the three bushes there and the three in the back garden pruned by the end of July but as July is often one of our wettest months it doesn’t always happen.
I don’t always enjoy the job, the bushes are thorny, the ground is muddy and I am short so it is not easy to reach the tops of them. For that reason I like to cut them back fairly severely every year. If I let them get too tall I’d never be able to prune them.
I did two today before I had enough. It took a couple of hours. I could have done one more but instead had a walk round the garden to see what bulbs were coming up. I have had jonquils flowering since May, silly things don’t know it’s winter. I can see the Erlicheer daffodils and the King Alfred are growing well and we’ll probably see them next month.
I planted a few bluebells and grape hyacinths under the apple tree and I can see a few of them have popped up although they are still too tiny to photograph well.
I planted some pots of bulbs in mid May and of those the one with freesias and bluebells is making the best progress, another one with more freesias and grape hyacinths is starting to sprout but no sign of the tulips yet. I never have a lot of luck with them but they do bloom later here so maybe it is just too soon.
I had a look at the new rose bushes that were put in last summer but they only needed a snip here and there. They are still babies.
Finally I sat in the sun and ate my belated lunch and then brushed Cindy who is shedding like crazy at the moment.
For this challenge I was able to find plenty of examples literally in my own back yard. Frost covered grass, newly reclaimed soil after the old shed was demolished, newly laid gravel in the parking area and Polly investigating the new ground cover made of bark.