the evening the grass cutters came

I decided last year with all the rain and the rate of growth coupled with not being able to get into the garden so much, that I would get help to cut the areas I had not kept on top of cut down once a year, last year I got it done in November but it was only, so, so,

this year when I got home after being away in July even areas I had been keeping up with had got away from me, so last week I contacted help again, only different from last year, they were not sure when they could do it, then this afternoon I got a call saying they could do it early evening,

they did, it’s done and looking great, some photos,

the main area I want cleared is out front between my garden and the road, I like the whole of the front cut between my garden and the ditch, and, between the ditch and the road as it is large, I just do a couple of feet either side of the paths and the section between the paths, there are 2 paths from the road to my garden,
between the front garden and ditch looking west,
the middle between the paths before
and after, this was completely dug up last year to lay new water pipes and as you can see they didn’t leave it very even, 2 years ago I had got it into a nice wildflower area and was going to plant bulbs in the autumn, so glad I hadn’t when I saw the digger arrive last year,
the previous photos were taken from the front gate, now from the road looking back, west side again, I let the wild flowers grow here and there are still plenty in the uncut area,
couldn’t see the ditch before,
this is another view of the middle front,
tra-la-la the ditch, they had quite a wet job getting the cut stuff out as with all the rain we have had this week the ditch was up,
I had been keeping on top of the path to the shed until I went away, now I can get to the door again, and I must go down there and look at the rose as I can see flowers are on it,
this is behind the rosa rugosa and I want to make it another wildish flower patch like the wild willow patch, it is near the damp meadow,
so now the grass is down I am going to put paper/card down and drop all those seedheads I cut off on top, like the oxeye daisies, lady’s mantle, etc.
feeling better now it has been cut, it looks better too,

©Copyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

butterfly bucket list ~ August

at last!!! I had some butterflies flitting around the garden, and best of all the crambe maritima finally has pieris brassicae, large white butterfly caterpillars on, these are the first caterpillars I’ve seen this year,
the butterflies have been making love in the garden, I had not been able to get any photos of them flitting through the garden fluttering from flower to flower so I hope they will not mind the brief intrusion to their love making,
pieris napi, green veined white,
I had never heard of green veined white butterfly and had assummed they were large whites, this is what I love about joining a meme like this it prompted me to look up the pair so this post is correct,

maniola jurtina, meadow brown,
the young of the meadow brown feed on grasses and since I have got rid of a lot of the tough horrid grass and annual flowering grasses are growing I have seen a lot more meadow brown butterflies,

I am joining in the Transmutational garden’s butterfly bucket list meme, thanks Anna for hosting this meme, please click through to the Transmutational garden blog to see more butterflies,

©Copyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

foliage ~ August

I was away last month so did not do a foliage post, last month would have been more of a flower post if I had posted as the dianthus Mrs Sinkins was in bloom and almost all the dianthus in the middle bed are Mrs Sinkins, I have now cut them back so this month they all look a little bald,

the weather has been dry enough to be able to get out, there has been some rain but most of it had the good sense to fall during the night, mostly I have been weeding, weeding and some cutting down, I did however rebelled last Saturday and decided to do some designing for fun rather than what desperately needed to be done, this week I indulged in some plant buying, I liked the grasses I had bought so much I went back to town Friday and bought some more, I think they are just what the middle bed needed,

the middle bed from the gate, 2015

August 2015

August 2015

for comparison and to show how it has changed this is the photo from my August EoMV last year, 2014, you can see on the right the Festuca growing that was killed in the January storm,

August 2014

August 2014

I have bought quite a lot of plants since last autumn, there is little more encouragement to buy plants than having ground weeded and waiting to be planted,
portrait, to capture all the Olearia, just to recap, I cut it down severly early 2014, I had let it grow naturally with no pruning, it was by then like a small multi trunked tree, I decided I wanted it more compact, hence the chop, it grew well last year but lost two thirds of foliage during winter storms, early this year I cut the right/west side severly to encourage growth, recently I ran the hedge trimmer over the left/east side and front and back but didn’t touch the right side, it is starting to look how I would like it, I am glad the base is filling out as I would like a pyramid or dome shape,
the west side from halfway down, I like how it is coming along, the dianthus are looking a bit shorn after cutting the dead flowers and the other plants need to fill out,
from the house, this is the area I now need to find plants for, but it is going to be difficult as it gets very little sun and none for about 8 months, it is also exposed to the west and east winds, most shade plants are woodland plants so need shelter, the hostas are doing fine so I have considered another hosta,
now my designing for fun bit, I have collected a lot of empty bottles with several ideas for using them in the garden, I decided to go with this one, when I did some sorting out last week I came across some driftwood, between the santolina and pontentilla there is as small wind funnel so I thought if I put the driftwood there it might slow the wind a bit, this is a work in progress and it is a path only for maintenance purposes,
the north border by the house and rest of the path, the path connects to the concrete path at the other end, a few months ago it dawned on me that it was silly to have the path where the sun reaches, better to have it the dark end so I will be putting it just the other side of the first hosta,
the north border, I am pleased I have finally got some plants growing but, yes there is a but, the hostas are all blue leaf but growing green, the mint is the same black mint that is in the ditch, tweenie and the north border of the jungle bed just the other side of the middle path, where it is black, why has it turned green here, I just do not understand,
the east corner where the lamium never grew and it is now making up for lost time in the species rose border, when I was doing the bottles I noticed the pontentilla had layered and rooted so I dug it up and cut it, only to find there are 2 small plants, I’ve planted them here as they do stand up to the wind and I am hoping they will offer a bit of shelter from the east winds we keep having now,

francescaple.foliageaug8the east side, I finally seem to have this side planted all along, it’s my favourit side and the one I walk along going from and to home,

francescaple.foliageaug9the buddlia on the other side of the driftwood,

francescaple.foliageaug10from nearly halfway looking back towards the house, just love the artimisia with the sedums,

francescaple.foliageaug11looking towards the gate, yes that is a small statue of an oriental lady, another of my fun gardening bits, there is some driftwood to,

francescaple.foliageaug12I love the sun through the crocosmia leaves here, and they are bronze tinged afteral, the lady was a lamp which broke, I kept the lady as I like her then a few years ago had the idea to use it in the garden,

francescaple.foliageaug12athe rest of the east side, the foreground has lots of carex frosted curls seedling growing,

francescaple.foliageaug14going back to the middle and the grasses I bought, when I put this one in I realised it reflected the bronze tinged crocosmia leaves and I thought the area would benefit from a couple more, hence the second trip to town,

francescaple.foliageaug15I have not planted any yet, just put the pots in the ground until I am sure that’s where they are to go, I think it would be better if I take out the dianthus and move the grass forward,

francescaple.foliageaug16Uncinia rubra, they have made such a difference, it is just what was needed,

francescaple.foliageaug17I love the Uncinia and Festuca together, the contrast not just in colour but one is flowing and the other stiff,

francescaple.foliageaug18the other small bronze grass did not have a label, after looking up grasses I think it is, Carex comans, bronze form, here it is with C. comans frosted curls,

francescaple.foliageaug19when I put it here, I liked it but something was missing,

francescaple.foliageaug20a few more, that is the Festuca glauca, Intense blue behind, these 3 carex cost just £1 more than the 1 festuca did,

francescaple.foliageaug21first you don’t see it,

francescaple.foliageaug22then you do, I wasn’t sure if this Carex buchananii was the same as C. red rooster which have in the damp meadow, C. buchananii is the species (if that is the right word) and C. red rooster is a cultivar, so full name is C. buchananii, Red rooster,

francescaple.foliageaug23some of the C. frosted curls seedlings,

francescaple.foliageaug24the sedum black beauty that I was concerned about 2 months ago so replanted it raised up by the stones, has survived and has buds, I like the foliage of the dark sedums,

francescaple.foliageaug25and I know it is a foliage post but I wanted to show the flowers of all those corms I dug up and replanted last autumn, only one has sent up a flower stem, I like them the soft orange looks nice with the dark foliage plants,

francescaple.foliageaug26I know I have been talking about grasses in this post when most of them are sedges, apparently sedges like moisture and less heat so should do better in my garden climate,

thank you to Christina for hosting garden bloggers foliage day, please click through to Christina’s blog to see more foliage posts,

©Copyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

wordless Wednesday ~ shopping


©Copyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

tree following and wildlife Wednesday

yes, I know it’s Friday ……. I have good reasons for being late, 2 weeks away and then having a very bad cold for 4 days, today it was nice, dry, just enough breeze to keep the midges away, however a bit of warmth would have made it nicer, I hate wearing a winter coat in August, I did though spend several hours in the garden, it is amazing how just one day in the garden (or just getting out) can revive my spirits,

the lodge pole pine, is greening up, the dead part will never come back but the part of it that is alive is growing well, the usual 3 views,







this little one has appeared just next to it on the west side, I am going to leave it as it will grow to give protection,
I enjoyed seeing the green shoots at the top against the sky,

the crab apple is, well, growing, I can’t get a photo of it against the conifers as there are too many tall plants blocking the view, I did manage a close up of the leaves, some have brown marks but nothing looks as if it is drastically harming the tree, the leaves are quite smooth and shiny,
underneath the plants have flopped and covered the bare ground, I must cut the A. mollis or it will be full of seedlings,
from under the pines looking east, you can perhaps just make out the crab apple from all the other green,
thanks to Lucy for hosting the tree following meme, please click through to Lucy’s blog to see more tree following posts,

wildlife Wednesday, as it was dry today, I was looking for pollinators but saw very few, no butterflies, I have some kale and a crambe maritima in the garden and there is not one butterfly caterpillar, last year they were ravaged, decimated, this cold and rain really worries me with the pollinators as they need warm and dry, no sign of the great yellow bee either, I did see some white tail bees,
and moss carder bees, this year I have seen more moss carder bees than ever before, I don’t think there are more I think it is just that I now have more of the plants they like, which pleases me,
when I was away in south east England I didn’t see a great number of butterflies either, especially considering I visited 3 gardens, there was a peacock butterfly in my son’s garden but it flew before I got a photo, this Red Admiral is on a butterfly bush at Monk’s house which I will post about later,
when we visited Newhaven fort I saw these Kestrels (I think they are Kestrels) on the cliff below us, I think these are this years chicks as they have not got full plumage,
as  a vegetarian I don’t know why I love birds of prey so much but I absolutely do, I adore them,

thanks to Tina for hosting the wildlife Wednesday meme, please click through to Tina’s blog to see more wildlife posts,

wishing you all a great weekend x


I’m having a bit of a problem with pop ups, I don’t know why and can’t find the solutions yet, wordpress is not posting all my ‘likes’ I’ve found a way to get around most of it, but, with blogspot the pop up box to prove I’m not a robot is not opening, so my comments are disappearing, sorry, I hope I can resolve it soon,

©Copyright 2015 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.