I decided to write about my passion for gardening past, present and future. I have been ill suffering with Lyme Disease since May 2003 but at last after long term antibiotic treatment getting my life back and can again enjoy my garden.
Blush Rambler with Sanders White growing through the old apple tree in the borrowed landscape.
Noble Anthony has this strange luminescence in every photo that is not seen by the naked eye.
Mayor of Casterbridge is a vigorous rose with beautiful flowers on strong stems.
The perfume from Mayor of Casterbridge is superb.
Francis E Lester a beautiful Rambler with an abundance of flowers. I never manage to do justice with a photo though.
Sweet Juliet another strong grower hence the tripods in order to contain the plant in our small garden.
Sweet Juliet perfume is also a delight on this repeat flowering rose.
More of Blush Rambler with Rosa Mundi below.
Rosa Gallica in the foreground. The catmint Six Hills Giant works so well in these beds with the roses far better than lavender with a flowering season for many months.
Just a few phone snaps of my June roses. I always do things the wrong way around and take the photo and then think about deadheading.
I am struggling again with my Lyme Disease especially my legs and have lost my supportive doctor. Damned the NHS for their ineptitude in treating this disease. But at least I am able to enjoy the fruits of my past labours and although difficulty now sourcing treatment I still respond well to Clarithromycin.
Don't you just adore Delphiniums? As always I jumble things together in my garden such that what is supposed to be my Delphinium bed has to compete with Sanders White rose on the trellis behind and two clematis, all obligingly flowering late so as not to spoil the delphinium show. On the left of this small border is a Gleditsia tree and on the right an old cooking apple tree with variegated box along the front. As always the dreaded columbine and ground elder invades everywhere but I can ignore that with these beauties flowering. The Delphiniums were grown from seed many years ago, over the years cuttings and seeds grown from the original plants have helped fill in any gaps. Delphiniums are best grown together in their own bed so it is easier to protect from being devastated with slugs and snails.
The President scrambles across the lower branches of Banksiae Banksiae.
Maybe the last photo of this Banksiae Banksiae, since taking this I see many of the branches are split and dying back. It has been here for about 30 years but always pruned very hard back. As Mike and I are less able to manage the garden we reduced the height to about 8 ft which is not ideal for this rose and it competes either side with other climbing plants. All is not lost because a cutting taken some years ago thrives on the front of the house.
The terrace always looks interesting with a collection of pots and variety of plants.
An interesting variegation no name.
Lovely Arum Lilly
Hosta bed before I weeded it.
Two different varieties of Choisya with golden philadelphus.
The first flowers of clematis Josephine.
One side of the vegetable garden
The same side viewed from the bottom.
Clematis Wadas Primrose.
A view of my front garden. What a view to wake up to. If you click on the image it opens into a better photo.
The various iris have put on a good show and the roses are now flowering nicely. The winter hanging baskets have been taken down to put the summer ones up and are just resting in the border until the next decent rain when we will be able to dig the area over where the Wallflowers were and replace with Dahlias.
I have still been recovering from Pneumonia most of May, it has required two further courses of Clarithromycin so far. The Clarithromycin is my main treatment for Lyme Disease usually these days I find intermittent courses keep me able to function but never without some symptoms. Lyme compromises the immune system and I don't have a robust B cell response which makes fighting infection more problematic, IgM on several tests show a deficiency. ( Dr. Horowitz finds this in 20% of his Lyme patients) I am not surprised then that my chest infection did not clear with the one week course of antibiotics in hospital but it took some time to get a doctor to properly assess me and realise further antibiotics were needed for my Pneumonia.
Despite my health problems the garden is still looking good and I am very good at turning a blind eye to the many weeds when so many beautiful plants and flowers take centre stage.
This post is to thank the staff on Merrow Ward RSCH for my care last week whilst suffering with a rather nasty case of Pneumonia, plus a viral infection.
The care from all the staff was exemplary. I was most impressed. Two nurses I especially want to thank, one I thanked in person who was a shining light on my darkest nights in early illness, the other for her cheary companionship as she tended to my needs - I hope your little rose bushes thrive and give you as much pleasure as my roses give me.
The wallflowers were a colourful welcome on my arrival home.
This lovely Wisteria was grown from seed from a blue one we lost, I was delighted to see it is thriving and one I hope to keep as a standard bush.
The Myrtle tree between a Choisya and rose often gets overlooked but it is a treat to find it in flower. I grow it in memory of my mum who loved Myrtle so much it was in her wedding bouquet.
Lovely Montana Mayleen greated me through the back door with Coronilla Glauca Citrina still flowering beneath it.
A walk around the garden.
Choisya ternata White Dazzler flowering well despite hard pruning last year.
Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' also known as golden Shirasawa maple is one of the best yellow- leaved Japanese maples.
The last of the Camellia
Hostas beginning to grow.
Delphinium plants thriving, fortunately I had staked them just before getting poorly.
Mike has been busy with the vegetables.
Sweet peas and strawberry plants growing well.
Nursery plants and agapanthus waiting to be fed and moved around the garden.
Surplus sweet peas and lettuce waiting for a new home.
Tomato plants thriving.
Not many weeks now before my May garden looks like this.
Mike has done a wonderful job in the garden keeping all the seedlings going, a task I usually do, as well as all the many other jobs in the garden and dog walking Meg.
I look forward to the day when those who struggle with chronic Lyme Disease which is known for being a persistent infection are treated as well as I have been last week. My Lyme symptoms abated and fingers crossed don't return too quickly, after the massive tritherapy antibiotics needed to treat my Pneumonia.
For anyone interested in what forward thinking doctors and veterinarians are sharing about vector borne diseases including Lyme Disease look at charity website http://www.visavissymposiums.org/
I was reminded in one New Years message not to let your disease define you. Those of us who struggle daily with a chronic illness, in my case Lyme Disease are constantly aware of their pain and incapacity.
Another comment made in that New Year message was about winning a lottery prize. I often feel that I have won the lottery being able to make some enormous strides in recovering from my Lyme disease, but that was thanks to an ILADS doctor and a sympathetic GP who could see the benefits of long term antibiotics by the effect it had on reducing my visible symptoms. These days my symptoms are much milder and although they still relapse, the relapse is slower and the response quick with a short course of antibiotics.
I spend a lot of my time advocating to help share information and science on Lyme disease and a quick glance through my Looking at Lyme disease blog https://lookingatlyme.blogspot.com/ shows how much is available that our governments choose to ignore.
However anyone who follows this garden blog will know that what really defines me is my garden.
I rarely like to post about personal information or family but I am fortunate to have 5 grandchildren with another expected in a few weeks. I am lucky to be able to spend time most weeks with all my grandchildren.
I have been involved in several projects such as making a Dolls House.
I have had many sewing and knitting projects, but one of my favourites was to make this little jacket plus a skirt for my granddaughter. Why this was so special was because aged 6 she designed her own fabric which her mum had printed and then asked if I would make her this jacket and skirt to match.
Another project I enjoyed was making a lion for each family this was a blast from the past when as a young mum I made large soft toy animals.
Many years ago when I belonged to Blotanical I was challenged to write a Meme post which shows some of the animals I used to make
So our latest project was to make a Hornby 00 train layout, thanks to Ebay the train sets were not too expensive and Mike was happy to get involved with laying it all up. My contribution was mainly in building the model buildings thanks to Wordsworth Model Railway for providing the downloads of the buildings http://www.wordsworthmodelrailway.co.uk/
So I can count many blessings in my life but here is hoping that 2019 brings big changes in the way doctors handle Lyme Disease, they need to recognise the unreliability of testing, make clinical diagnosis and treat empirically using antibiotics for the infection and support for our immune systems and halt the devastation of thousands of lives by this persistent bacterial infection - Lyme Disease.
I was reminded by a Garden Blogging friend today of how long ago it is since I started this blog. Ten years in February. So much has happened in the last ten years. Many of my Garden blogging friends are still active today with their blogs as can be seen by a quick look at my blog sidebar. Most of them I met about ten years ago when I joined Blotanical. What a fun resource of garden blogs that was. So thank you Catherine from A Garden in Progress for that reminder on Facebook (where I still have contact with some garden bloggers).
These days however, my energies are spent on my Looking at Lyme disease blog which helps me to advocate to try and prevent others struggling with this dreadful disease Lyme Disease, because our governments fail in their duty of care.
In sitting to write my Christmas message I realised that I never posted this year about my roses or my clematis, the first time in ten years, thus here is a quick collage put together to remind us all that spring and summer are not too far away.
So this is to wish all my virtual friends a very Peaceful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Delphiniums need careful attention in my garden to achieve success.
Usually about February I should weed the bed because it is very full of ground elder as well as bind weed and other weeds.
The above two photos are of the half of the bed which I have yet to prepare. It is hard work trying to bend to weed since I struggle with arthritis from Lyme Disease so half a bed is as much as I can manage in a day.
It is difficult to see the shoots because they have been badly eaten by slugs and snails but once the bed is weeded then grit and slug pellets are a must.
The plastic bottle tops make excellent protection from late frost although as it is actually April now I think I missed the boat this year but fingers crossed something is saved.
Another bit of a disaster was that the mice got into the lean to and devoured the sweet peas. I think there are probably enough saved for what I need, I have now moved to the greenhouse where mice can again be a problem so I am not taking any chances.
I was encouraged by others to leave my Agapanthus outside this winter and I belatedly realised that it was a mistake these should be evergreen, fingers crossed the bulbs are intact.
These Nerines thankfully survived the cold weather in an unheated greenhouse.
A few cuttings also survived including a couple of clematis cuttings in the plastic box.
A bit of fun growing Echiums but I am not sure if they will transplant and flower this year.
Thankfully I did bring most of my Agapanthus into the greenhouse in time to miss the very cold and wet weather.
The black plastic is to prevent ground elder popping up but it makes a useful area for pots of cuttings
More cuttings and a rather weedy cold frame with hopefully some Hollyhocks to plant out.
More cuttings make this area a bit more interesting. The area is riddled with ground elder and so I covered it with weed suppressant and bark.
The white Camellia struggled with late frost and many of the buds were browned.
The red Camellia has fared better with less damage to the blooms from frost.
Tomato seeds are germinated on an indoor window sill then moved to the lean to until they are pricked out.
Coronilla Glauca Citrina brought indoors during the winter and makes a welcome sight with its dainty yellow flowers.