How does your garden grow?

I'm on a voyage of discovery in my first garden.
It's mostly about the veggies at the moment but I'm also discovering lots about flowers and other plants - quite often the hard way and always on a very tight budget.
But this blog is not just about my garden, it's about all the things I see and discover in Sussex and beyond and I would love to hear from you too.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Garden visit: Parham House and Gardens

It's rare for me to have free time these days but today was one such occasion.
I spent the afternoon at the stunning Parham House and Gardens before having dinner in the Red Lion in Ashington - I highly recommend both.
These are some of the photos I took of my visit today.
If you do visit Parham, be sure not to miss the beautiful greenhouse and the marvellous long room on the top floor of the house.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cucurbit troubles: a glimmer on the horizon

Since the really dry spell in April my cucumber plants have been looking less than healthy.
The leaves went all white and papery - a sign that they have had too much sun - and growth was stunted, to say the very least.
My solution - because my garden does not have an ounce of shade in the summer until 6pm - was to place assorted items around the plants to give them some respite from the glaring sunshine.
The patio table, the potted walnut tree and the eastern white pine (also potted) were all enlisted to help. In fact, my patio hasn't been looking quite its normal self lately - it's been a collection of items huddled around the poor beleaguered cucurbits as if they were protecting it and seeing what was wrong.
But I persevered - at every stage, new growth has been apparent. I've fed them, watered them and made sure they don't get baked.
Alas, one by one the little plants perished. I have gone from 10 plants to just four in a matter of recent days.
But just as I was beginning to lose hope, I discovered a tiny little cucumber hiding under one of the crumbling leaves. The plants were recovering!
The moral of this story is that sometimes there is no magic cure when your plants have got poorly, but don't give up on them - they're doing their best.

Threatened hawfinch rescued in garden

A hawfinch had to be rescued after being found in a garden in Etchingham unable to fly.
The birds, which are on the RSPB's Red List of threatened species, are the UK's largest finches.
Trevor Weeks of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (ESWRAS), which rescued the hawfinch, said: "This is the first time we have ever had one to rescue or to treat in 26 years.
"It has a swelling on one wing near to the shoulder but we don't think there is a fracture, but it is being checked by the vet to assess the damage.
"We know they can be difficult in captivity to treat, and hope that it will be able to go outside as soon as possible and released quickly too.
"It has a large and powerful bill and is an amazing colour, and much bigger than I was expecting."
ESWRAS said hawfinches had previously been found in Kent but were "not so common" in East Sussex.
It is estimated that there are between 3,000 and 6,500 breeding pairs in the UK.