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Gorgeous geraniums

We were browsing around our local garden centre when I spotted some attractive clay pots at a bargain price. There were five left and they quickly found their way into my trolley.

I had an idea they would look good on the wall surrounding our garden pond. But the question was what to put in them? The answer came when we passed a display of summer bedding plants – geraniums. That was back in the spring. Now the geraniums are putting on a beautiful display for us.

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Monet’s garden – the lily pond

Ten years after his arrival at his house in Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighbouring his property on the other side of the railway (now a road). The land was crossed by a stream, the Ru, which eventually runs into the River Seine. Monet had a small pond dug, in spite of opposition from the local farmers. They were afraid that his exotic plants would poison the water.

Later the pond was be enlarged to its present size. The water garden is full of meandering curves and shady areas. It was inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected.

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How to use stacked tubs for a dazzling display

Here is an idea that I came across in a French town square. I plan to try in my own garden next year. These impressive towers of petunias and geraniums are planted in a series of tubs stacked on top of one another. Once the plants grow bushy they drape down to hide the tub structure.

Impressive towers of petunias and geraniums seen in France.


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Glorious Gazanias

When we were in the garden centre choosing some plants for our tubs the brightly coloured gazania plants caught our eye. They have settled in well and continue to produce new flowers. The daisy-type flowers open when the sun comes out and close up in the evening or on a dull day. The label that came with them tells me they will flower from spring to autumn so we are looking forward to some continuous colour.

Glorious Gazanias

Glorious Gazanias

Runner beans survive blackfly infestation

A few weeks ago the new shoots on our runner beans were covered with blackfly. After consulting the wisdom of the Internet I sprayed the blackfly with a weak solution of washing up liquid. This seems to have slowed down the breading program of the little critters. Also, some ladybirds have appeared and seem to be making a meal of the blackfly. The runner beans have put on a lot of new growth and are cropping well. There are still a few blackfly around but I will leave the ladybirds to deal with them.

Yucca recovering after frost damage

My five foot yucca has survived winters unscathed for many years. However, the winter of 2010/2011 took its toll and left the plant with a mass of brown dead leaves. I started by trimming back the leaves but it then looked a sad mess. I decided the best approach was to saw it back to some low buds. As the picture shows, it is now sprouting well and hopefully will make a well shaped plant as the summer progresses.

A walk up the Mostnica gorge, Slovenia

A beautiful walk near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia takes you up the Mostnica gorge to a waterfall. We were there in early July 2011. The walk starts at the alpine village of Stara Fuzina. At times you are walking high above the river as it races through deep cuttings in the rock. At other stages the path runs alongside the river where it widens out and flows over boulders. Along the river banks can be found exquisite wild orchids and other delicate wild flowers.

Mostnica gorge, Slovenia.

Click on the pictures below to see a larger version.

Beautiful Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

We visited Lake Bohinj, Slovenia in early July 2011. The area is in the Triglav national park so remains relatively unspoiled. Lake Bohinj lies between Bohinj’s mountains, which rise from 1,600 to 2,000 meters, and is Slovenia`s largest glacial lake. It is 4.2 kilometers long, one kilometer wide, and forty-five meters deep.

One side of the lake is bounded by a road and the other side is bounded by a footpath. The first picture with the goat statue was taken from the road side and the others were taken from the footpath side.

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

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Camellias blooming well

In spite of the hard winter our camellia shrubs have held on to their flower buds and are putting on a magnificent display. I guess it is a matter of timing as in much milder winters gone by a late frost has caused many of the buds to drop off. I have two camellia bushes against the garage wall and they provide a colourful sight from the kitchen window.

Camellia

Camellias