A Special Day


One of my new hellebores
One of my new hellebores

Today is my birthday, and thank you to all my blogging friends for the good wishes.  This year I decided that as it was on a Friday I would take the day off work and have a day for me.

As many working Mums will know a day all to yourself, with no chores or having to be somewhere for someone is a complete luxury.  My parents, retired, couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go out for lunch or even go for a car ride to see some birds of prey.  I suspect they think I am still 12 but it’s probably that having all day every day to more or less do as they like they don’t appreciate the complete delight and freedom I felt this morning.

I had a plan.  As usual it was ambitious but that’s me.  I’m so used to trying to achieve so much in such a limited amount of time at home and at work that when I have time I don’t know how to just relax and chill.  So after stopping at the shops to buy a naughty cake and a disappointing Thai salad lunch, I didn’t know it would be disappointing until I ate it, I went to the allotment.  A good hour was spent weeding and pottering and chatting to my Mum on her plot.  Then home to consume naughty cake before visiting a local nursery to buy a hydrangea serrata Shirofuji which I have been wanting to get for a while but the nursery is only open during the week. Weirdly I wasn’t encouraged to walk round the nursery, just asked what I was looking for, shown the plants and money taken – think they missed a trick there!!

After the disappointing lunch it was time for the garden and sadly the sun had disappeared again behind the clouds so it wasn’t as lovely and warm as this morning.  My goal was to plant my birthday treat to myself a Sorbus vilmorinii.   I have got into the habit of buying myself a present on my birthday and at Christmas since this way I get to buy something I really want without feeling guilty.  I have done a lot of research on a tree since I wanted something for the bed you can see in the above photo.  I am trying to bring height into the garden and also to create more layers so that the back fence is not so predominant.  The tree is to go in the border you can see by the gravel path and as it grows it will slightly mask the slope and hopefully mean that you can’t see everything in one go.

You can see the tree is now planted, I remembered to remove the cane after I had taken the photo!  The border has been dug over and I have divided a large clump of iris siberica and planted it around the base of the tree.  Also in this border is a persicaria, white Japanese anemones, lobelia cardinalis and some mixed lupins.  There are also lots of tulips appearing which are the ones I had in pots a few years back, it will be interesting to see how well they flower in this their third year in the border.  I also added some ornithogalum saundersiae which I think are white and should look good.  Now it’s a case of sitting back and seeing what it looks like and how I can improve it.  I think there are some big gaps but I have some seeds for red cosmos which I think will look quite nice against the white Japanese anemone.

A look at the woodland border showed that my Erythroniums are now emerging which  is very exciting as I was completely reckless in the Autumn and bought  lots of corms (is that the right word?) of erythronium Pagoda and a lesser amount of erythonrium albidum.  Amazingly one of the erythronium albidum is in flower although it is so tiny it was incredibly difficult to photograph as you can see.

So that was my birthday.  Oh and I must show you my favourite present from my two sons.  They are bamboo cloches and I think they are just too gorgeous to go down the allotment so I will be using them in the  garden.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Well a girl has to be allowed to eat naughty cake on her birthday doesn’t she! Glad you bought bamboo cloches, I have several in my garden and they look lovely even when they are not covering anything. I found I had to buy some metal pegs to secure them to the ground. The red cosmos against the white japanese anemones are going to look wonderful.

  2. Donna says:

    Hope the naughty cake was delicious and you had a lovely day.
    Excellent idea treating yourself every now and again, and what lovely prezzie from your two boys – i think this post needs forwarding to my two lads (for future ref!)…

  3. Victoria says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I so agree with you about a day to yourself. AND about buying yourself a birthday present. Hope it was a wonderful day, and your tree gives you lots of pleasure – it looks great already. Love, Vxx

  4. Happy Birthday! Sounds like a fantastic day, despite the disappointing salad, and lots to look forward to in the year to come. Wishing you a very happy and hearty year!

  5. Happy Birthday Helen!!! Hope you have a great year!
    Your Hellebores are very pretty and I LOVE the Cloches! What a great gift.

  6. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Happy Birthday – Here in Auckland, New Zealand – showers – very strong blustery winds – power out in places – no flags on the Harbour Bridge – a tri-athathon cancelled. My beans stood up to it ok though and we will be eating a big handful each. Will cook pasta and stir through home made pesto (still have a lot of basil to make into pesto and freeze) and lots of summer veg – eggplant, capsican, red onion, corgettes and some button mushrooms. Top with grated parmeson and of course drizzle with friends olive oil. Yum Yvonne

  7. I had an email from Blotanical saying it was your birthday (BIg Brother or what?) and meant to wish you many happy returns – and then promptly forgot. So many happy returns and I’m glad the cake at least was nice – though I quite fancy being taken out to lunch and seeing some birds of prey! I’ve planted erythroniums into grass about the Priory – I love them but the eranthis (which I remember you have) which I planted in the autumn never emerged. Perhaps next year.

  8. Firstly a belated happy birthday for yesterday
    love your birthday presents from you sons
    your garden is looking good Helen I slowly getting there with mine

  9. Bridget Foy says:

    Belated birthday wishes! Lovin the cloches!

  10. Gwen says:

    Belated birthday greetings Helen. What a lovely day you had. Hope today is good too. X

  11. Helen, I hope your birthday was everything you had hoped for. Your present is lovely, the boys picked a nice one. Your garden is starting to break through for Spring, so much is coming and your little tree will be happy among all the perennials..

  12. Helen what a wonderful birthday…I love the naughty cake and those cloches are wonderful. I agree buying a gift for yourself and having the day to yourself is the best gift…glad it was a wonderful birthday and I am loving the border look by the fence.

  13. Belated birthday greetings Helen. You were definitely on a mission yesterday. It sounds like you planned every detail. The hydrangea looks very pretty, I am tempted to try it in my own garden. I love the bamboo cloche I think they use them for protecting peonies in japan. Very ornamental for our winter gardens. Sun is shining in Pembrokeshire, enjoy your gardening.

  14. Happy Birthday. I know it’s quite late but it really came from my heart. You’re sons presents are really awesome. Hope I’ll visit again on your next birthday 🙂

  15. Janet says:

    What a lovely present, Helen. I also got some bamboo cloches as a present. They are very useful and look good to boott, although mine have started to come away at the bottom….
    I had forgotten ow much i like iris sibirica until I read your post. They don’t last long but are very pretty.

  16. Happy Birthday! Cake cloches and tree all sound good.

  17. Anna says:

    Glad to hear that your enjoyed your birthday Helen and did exactly what you wanted to. The sorbus should look great there and provide interest throughout the seasons.

  18. Happy birthday! I love the idea of those cloches–do you know what plants you’ll place them over? What a great idea and a wonderful gift!

  19. Sandra Jonas says:

    Happy Birthday Helen! Hope you have a great year, Sounds like a delightful day. xs

  20. Happy birthday! Love the cloches – you’re in very good company there, Arabella Lennox-Boyd has the same ones in her garden at Gresgarth! http://arabellalennoxboyd.com/gresgarth/gres4_02.html

  21. tina says:

    Well I wish you a Happy Birthday! (albeit a day or two late-sorry.)

  22. Dawn says:

    Sorry – meant to come over and wish you happy birthday but, as always, am late!

    Love the bamboo cloches – I have two myself. The kids and I regularly play hide and seek with them – they are somewhat unstable in wind and have a tendency to travel around the garden when you’re not looking.

    Still, they look pretty which, to me at least, is enough!

  23. Christina says:

    Sorry this is a very belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!, I only just read your post. I’m glad you day a special day, shame about the thai salad. Christina

  24. Cathy says:

    Happy Birthday! Cake and gardening… a great way to spend the day!

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