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Thread: The Garden Opera

          
   
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    The Garden Opera

    I thought I could start a thread about gardening; where we can share ideas, tips or just an area for chit-chat.

    So not really about opera but gardening is a bit like opera. There are divas, explosions of beauty, tragedy (I lost my Angel's fishing rod after being with it for almost 25 years), lots of personal taste and is a constant developing program.

    Name:  Angels fishing rod.jpg
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    Angel's fishing rod or Dierama Pulcherrimum

    Like my music my gardening has been almost completely neglected for the past 15 years but I am rediscovering my love, now that I have more time.
    Most of Berkhamsted town is Victorian cottage (2 rooms upstairs 2 downstairs) terrace housing and so the gardens are tiny courtyards, made even smaller by the necessity to include indoor bathrooms. So my garden is almost all in containers (pots, old water tanks, hanging baskets etcetera) which has its limits but benefits too.

    Name:  Office.jpg
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    Clayton's office

    Is there smething you can share about your garden opera?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Azalea bloom at about 90% this morning...

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    Good bloom every year, it just needs soil improvement with organic material once every three years and a feed about three or four times during the summer. Oh yes, and plenty to drink after flowering (it drinks a lot like me anyway).

    The bees love it too.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Lavender in full bloom...

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    Another high performance, low maintenance favourite. Just likes good drainage, full sun and a good haircut when bloom finishes (you will not get new growth from woody stems). Again a favourite with the bees.

    This year so far I am seeing a lot of bumble bees but very few honey bees.
    Speaking of garden visitors, last year had a very high population of Lilly beatles but I have seen none so far this year (please, stay away). Also far fewer sawfly larvae.

  5. #4
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    This year so far I am seeing a lot of bumble bees but very few honey bees.
    Does England have the dreaded varroa mite? It's badly affected our honey bee numbers here.
    Natalie

  6. #5
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    Does England have the dreaded varroa mite? It's badly affected our honey bee numbers here.
    Yes, I think so. Though in the UK I think it is still a smaller part of the problem. A lack of good food sources and ecology management in general seem to be the bigger threat. It is very sad considering how much the English love their gardening...

    I am quietly optimistic as I do notice trends and last year was very good for honey bees in Berko; I counted a lot!

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    I thought I could start a thread about gardening; where we can share ideas, tips or just an area for chit-chat.

    So not really about opera but gardening is a bit like opera. There are divas, explosions of beauty, tragedy (I lost my Angel's fishing rod after being with it for almost 25 years), lots of personal taste and is a constant developing program.

    Name:  Angels fishing rod.jpg
Views: 98
Size:  58.9 KB
    Angel's fishing rod or Dierama Pulcherrimum

    Like my music my gardening has been almost completely neglected for the past 15 years but I am rediscovering my love, now that I have more time.
    Most of Berkhamsted town is Victorian cottage (2 rooms upstairs 2 downstairs) terrace housing and so the gardens are tiny courtyards, made even smaller by the necessity to include indoor bathrooms. So my garden is almost all in containers (pots, old water tanks, hanging baskets etcetera) which has its limits but benefits too.

    Name:  Office.jpg
Views: 89
Size:  62.4 KB
    Clayton's office

    Is there smething you can share about your garden opera?


    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/na...-thing-n116696

  8. #7
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've stopped that. Sunscreen got too expensive.

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  10. #8
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Fine in England; instant melanoma in NZ.
    Natalie

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I could have used NOT seeing these images...
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #10
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Philadelphus "Belle-Etoile" at full bloom now

    Name:  Philadelphus Belle-Etoile.jpg
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    Also known as mock orange but I call it the bubble gum tree (it smells sooooo sweet like the bubble gum from my childhood). Flowering this year from mid May and will go on until end June. Beautiful hibiscus like flowers and VERY fragrant...

    It is very easy, can grow in almost any conditions. No bugs, diseases or feeding required, full sun or partial shade (in fact I even had one on the north side of the house at one point) and pretty much any soil.

    The only thing to remember is that it doesn't flower on green stems (first year growth) so just remove these when maintaining and or remove sections from base when resizing.

  13. #11
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Does by bum look big on this?

    Does this colour suit me?

    Name:  Harlequin ladybird.jpg
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    This ain't my lady...

    Harlequin ladybird "the most invasive species"; last year I had a lot of native species too but have not counted any yet this year...

  14. #12
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    Philadelphus "Belle-Etoile" at full bloom now

    Name:  Philadelphus Belle-Etoile.jpg
Views: 77
Size:  61.7 KB

    Also known as mock orange but I call it the bubble gum tree (it smells sooooo sweet like the bubble gum from my childhood). Flowering this year from mid May and will go on until end June. Beautiful hibiscus like flowers and VERY fragrant...

    It is very easy, can grow in almost any conditions. No bugs, diseases or feeding required, full sun or partial shade (in fact I even had one on the north side of the house at one point) and pretty much any soil.

    The only thing to remember is that it doesn't flower on green stems (first year growth) so just remove these when maintaining and or remove sections from base when resizing.
    Love philadelphus as well. We have one by the clothes line and it makes hanging out the washing more tolerable in summer.
    Natalie

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  16. #13
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    This is not my cat

    Name:  Princess.jpg
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    but we share the same garden so we have a relationship.

    It is a very intelligent cat and likes all opera but I think especially Mozart and Wagner when it will sit by the window (as pictured) for up to an hour or so.

    It normally sits outside the kitchen door and waits for my morning potter around the garden when it will have something to say. Of course I have no idea what it is trying to say so I just smile and nod and it seems to be content with that.

    I call it princess.

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  18. #14
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    This is not my cat

    Name:  tiger teeth.jpg
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    but we share the same garden so we have a relationship.

    It is a few whiskers short of normal behaviour and likes Verdi but not baroque and will decide to go for a wander elsewhere if I play Vogel or Gluck.

    I will need to give it a short sharp reminder every so now and again when it forgets that it is not allowed in the house. It will even try to get in the house by the upstairs bedroom window.

    It is a very talkative cat and likes very much physical contact as well, though I have a cat allergy so can not touch it. Consequently when it aims for my legs to rub against, we end up doing a ridiculous dance that looks like something from the Britains got talent show.

    I call it tiger teeth.

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  20. #15
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Easy gardening

    Calibrachoa - aka Petunia on steroids (not actually a Petunia and has no history with any controlled substances) - in full bloom

    Name:  Calibrachoa.jpg
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    For a splash of colour, very good cost performance. I bought 6 plants for GBP 2; that is 6 hanging baskets full of flowers and should go right through to first frost. Also hardy in most parts of the UK, these were purchased last year (so for two seasons so far, I calculate that as GBP 0.17 per basket!). Available in almost any colour.

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