We took a beautiful early morning walk around Boscawen Park, Truro yesterday and I couldn’t believe how pretty the flower beds are. A lot of time, effort, planning and hard work goes into the park making it one of the prettiest places to take a stroll around in my local area. Perfect for lots of different children’s outdoor activities to do in wide open spaces.
Over the past few weeks we can all agree that the weather has been not quite ‘Summer’ weather. We have had a few great days of sunshine here and there, but when it has rained, well it has almost been like the heavens opened and flooded us all.
This mixture of warm and wet weather conditions has been perfect for gardens. As I walk around my parents garden and also my own I can see how all the plants look brighter, full of life – nature at it’s very best.
This photo of the perfect bee accompanied by the lovely ladybird, is one of the few shots captured around the garden. I feel there is something very special about this picture.
All of the following pictures are taken with just a camera phone. Some of which can be very good these days for capturing those precious moments.
This gorgeous pink rose is one of my favourite colours. The petals are very pretty and perfectly formed.
One the slope part of my back garden, this type of reed plant has started to grow all by itself. It fits in perfectly with my other shrubs so I have left it where it is and weeded around it. The type of soil in my garden is clay so its always wet most of the time, especially with our damp climate in Cornwall. I’m assuming that these conditions are perfect for this type of reed, hence it growing very fast!
This gorgeous yellow flower completely brightens up the garden – reminds me of the sun.
I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of the gardens, you can keep up to date with future posts by following me on Facebook Twitter and bloglovin
This is one of my azalea shrubs out in bud. It’s a gorgeous red colour and stands out well in my back garden against the barked area. My back garden is sloped into the hill, so I have found that azalea’s are perfect for bringing colour and interest to this drab area.
The azalea’s I have are very young plants, so I am looking forward over the coming years to see them grow and develop. This is my white azalea below, it’s very forward compared to the red one above. They have such beautiful spring blooms and bring joy to my garden.
So as you enjoyed my other hints and tips post’s here is another 7 Hints and Tips to add to the series. This time on how to plant and care for azalea’s.
- Appropriate Location – choose a location that is not in direct sunlight. Azalea’s prefer the morning sun and afternoon shade. My shrubs have the morning sun and are shaded by the house in the afternoon due to them being planted in the slope. Azalea’s grow well when planted under shady trees
- Soil Conditions – Azalea’s love well drained acidic soil. My garden has a very high clay component in the soil, so to get around the drainage problem, I loosened up the soil with lots of compost and other organic matter. Another way to get around bad draining soil is to plant the shrubs in pots or raised beds.
- Watering – When newly planted, azalea’s need to be watered every 2-3 days until the roots are established. They need to be kept moist, not wet or dry. Too much water is just as bad as too little.
- Mulching – Azalea shrubs like some sort of protection around their roots. This can be pine bark, pine needles, wood chips or something similar. This helps to keep the roots warm in winter, retain moisture around the roots and keep weeds away.
- Pruning – To keep the shrub full bodied, you can prune azalea’s after blooming. Prune no later than 3 weeks after the blooms have died down, otherwise you will be cutting off next years flower buds.
- Fertilising – I think the best time to feed your azalea is after blooming. Only use a little as they are light feeders and only require a small amount of feeding, otherwise you could burn your plants. Do not use any fresh manure on your azalea’s as it is too strong, and could kill your plant.
- Common Diseases and Pests – Insects that can affect azalea’s are lace bugs and spider mites. Lace bugs are more prone to attack your shrub if it is grown in full sunlight. They attack the underside of the leaf sucking out all the chlorophyll, leaving the leaf a grey-white colour. The azalea can be treated with sprays which you can buy from your local garden centres who can advise you on the best course of treatments.
I hope you enjoyed this post and find it very useful. You can follow me here on Bloglovin Twitter and Facebook
Over the past few years orchids have become very popular for indoor plants. You can find them in almost every supermarket nowadays at various prices and in many different colours. The orchid below was given to me about 4 years ago when we just moved into our first house. It is still going strong by following a few a tips on how to care for your orchid.
Due to the popularity of my previous hints and tips posts (book reviews, photography and caring for cacti) I have decided to continue the series, so here is another set of 7 hints and tips, this time on how to care for your orchids.
- Watering instructions – Water every 5-12 days depending on the temperature of the room, the type of orchid and the time of year. More frequent watering is required during summer months. Always check the watering instructions when you buy the orchid. Orchids prefer soft water.
- Support – When your orchid is in bloom support the stems with clips and sticks, which you can pick up from any good garden centres.
- Sunlight conditions – Orchids prefer bright indirect sunlight. North or east facing windows during summer and south facing in winter months.
- Trimming – Orchids have little nodes (triangular bumps) on the stem and each one is a potential flower bud. So when all the flowers die and fall off, trim the stem down to the lowest node and cut diagonally to stimulate new growth.
- Growing media – Orchids prefer moist well drained conditions. There are several types of growing media that can be used: fir bark, rocks, cork, sand and potting soil. Most of the orchids you buy at the supermarkets are grown on bark. Re potting should be done every other year to encourage growth. Remember to remove any dead roots and old compost.
- Leaf health – You can tell how healthy your orchid is by looking at the colour of the leaves and checking to see if they are getting enough light. They should be bright green rather than dark green, which tells you that the orchid is not getting enough sunlight if it’s too dark. Reddish green leaves is too much light. If the leaves develop black blotches it most likely has sunburn, through being in a hot sunny window. So move to a north facing window.
- Pests and disease – Orchids can be affected by mealybugs, scale and aphids. These can be washed off and treated with insecticidal soap, which again can be found at all good garden centres.
This stunning pink orchid I picked up at M&S at a reduced price.
I love how perfectly formed the flower heads are. The orchid is one of the most highly coveted ornamental plants, and in ancient Greece the orchid represents fertility, because in the ancient Greek language, orchid actually means testicles!
It’s also associated with beauty, love, luxury, strength and wisdom. They have very delicate and graceful flowers which shows perfect symmetry.
Different coloured orchids have different meanings:
- Pink, like the one above represent happiness, innocence and joy.
- Blue represents spirituality and meditation. They are also very rare.
- White stand for beauty, elegance and innocence.
- Yellow orchids represent friendship and new beginnings.
- Purple symbolises royalty and respect.
- Lavender coloured orchids represent grace and feminine beauty.
- Green orchids represent health, nature, life and longevity.
- Orange coloured orchids stand for boldness, pride and enthusiasm.
My favourite colour orchids are the pink ones and they represent happiness which is how I feel at the moment in my life. What would be your favourite colour orchid?