January 16, 2012 · 3:14 pm

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  :)

For us, the focus of this weekend has been ‘ project garden tidy up’.  I’d been waiting for everything to die back before I tackled the big garden tidy up, but due to the crazy warm weather we’ve had during the past few months, everything’s just kept on growing.  I’m sure the plants are as confused as the ducks ;)

While some winter plants have just started to bloom, such as the beautiful snow drops…

two sets of purple flowers have kept on growing out of the cracks in the walls and blooming non stop since LAST SPRING! 

  Can anyone help me with the names of these flowers?  I’ve no idea what they’re called!

Saturday was one of those freezing cold, but gloriously sunny days with a cloudless blue sky.  It was truly beautiful… and totally invigorating! :)

Whilst busy chopping back the shrubs, I reflected on how the garden has evolved over the past 12 years since we moved here.  For the first few years, I was constantly battling with the huge amount of slugs and snails that appeared every night in the garden.  Each new plant that was introduced to the garden would last a matter of days before it was totally munched.  Nightly patrols of the garden ensued, with slugs and snails collected up and re-homed.

In the end, I worked out that it would be far better to simply grow plants that that slugs and snails aren’t partial to rather than enduring the nightly hassle of ‘slug patrol’.  It’s been a case of ‘trial and error’ over the years, but I’m happy to say that the garden is now filled with flowers and shrubs that can be left to their own devices, while there’s plenty of vegetation in the undergrowth to keep our slimy friends happy :)  

Here are some examples of plants that seem to be slug and snail proof (in our garden anyhow): 

1. Roses. I adore roses, especially the heavy scented ones.  Have you ever experienced the scent of roses carried on a gentle warm breeze.  It’s heaven!

2. Fuschias. We’ve got 4 hardy fuschias in the garden, which have lived there longer than we have!  Apart from a severe prune in the winter, we just leave them to their own devices and they bloom in abundance, year after year.

3. Equinops.  Incredibly, the slugs and snails manage to eat the super spiky leaves of this plant, but leave the flowers alone.  The bees absolutely love them!

4. Sweet William.  My mum gave me one plant originally but each year it self seeds, I’ve now got about eight!

 

5. Lavender.  I adore the smell of lavender and the bees love it too!  I can’t wait to try some baking some lavender cupcakes and cookies this summer!

6. Hardy Geraniums.  I’ve got baby pink, magenta and purple hardy geraniums in the garden.  They are so resilient and the slimy ones seem to stay right away from them.

 7. Astrantia.  A delicate white flower on tall stems that the bees adore!
 

 8. Monbretia. This plant is so resilient.  I try to dig it out every year but it keeps coming back.  On the plus side, it has beautiful orange flowers that the damselflies love sitting on throughout the summer! 

9. Sedum.  These buds turn a deep pinky-red when they bloom.  The bees adore them!

10. Salvia.  I believe salvia comes in all different colours and sizes.  Our’s has a very delicate head of purple flowers on a tall green stem.

 Other plants that are slug resistant in our garden that I’ve yet to photograph include Snapdragons, Penstemon, Heuchera, Cyclamen, Bluebells and Aquilegia.

 I’m happy to report that I now have a garden where all the plants and critters can live happily together… including me ;)

Next job is to review the 2011 veggie growing experiment and plan what we’re going to attempt to grow this year.  Me thinks this review won’t be so positive as the flower review.  Hmmm… we’ll see…

Have a great week everybody!  Hope the sun’s shining wherever you are :)   xx

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8 Comments

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  • Naomi

    Hi Sharon – your garden looks wonderful. The purple flowering plant is what I know as Periwinkle. I don’t know much about them except the leaves are toxic and that it can spread widely across the ground. My mum is a live and let live gardener (to her a weed is just a plant in the wrong place!), and she has lots and lots of periwinkle!

  • Anonymous

    I think periwinkle too – great for spreading and helps avoid weeding.

    We have loads of lavender all over the garden – I’ll be really interested to see how we can eat it – after all, it does pretty much everything else, like scent, antiseptic, antibiotic etc.

    Just don’t eat the salvia ! It’s up there with the magic mushrumps for dodgy hallucinogens. ;)

    A friend of mine told me today that she has developed a ‘mush rump’ – is there a cure? LOL :)

  • http://www.bitofthegoodstuff.com Sharon

    What a cute name! I love it! Thanks so much for helping me out. I’m really rubbish when it comes to plant names. I only knew the names of the plants photographed in this post because there are sticks in the ground with their names written on. As I wrote the post, I had to keep dashing outside to find out their names lol!
    Thanks for the warning about the periwinkle spreading. Most of our’s is growing out the cracks in the dry stone walls and it looks beautiful. It has started sprouting on the ground though, so I’ll make sure I pull it up before it gets out of hand x

  • http://everydaysapicnic.com/ Sarah (everydaysapicnic)

    What fantatic weather it’s been this weekend – I don’t care that it’s so cold when the sun is shining so brightly!
    Your garden is gorgeous. I haven’t got green fingers yet, but my Dad’s garden is glorious, so I’m hoping that it will rub off eventually.

  • http://storiesandsweetpotatoes.com/ StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    So jealous! I will just have to live through your gardening!

  • http://healthifulbalance.blogspot.com/ Shannon (Healthiful Balance)

    Those are such pretty flowers!
    Have a great week! :)

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com/ Rachel@MyNaturallyFrugalFamily

    Hopefully next year at this time you will have a positive veggie report as there were a few hiccups this past growing season!
    We’ve started our planting for the spring already and are plotting out what happens next…such exciting times.
    I love when I can go out into the garden daily and find stuff to eat for dinner, so much better than a trip to the grocery store.

  • http://www.healthyincandyland.com/ Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land

    Such gorgeous flowers! I am really loving the Equinops–I don’t know that I’ve ever seen them! I applaud you for using naturally slug resistant plants in your garden instead of appyling tons of slug bait and other toxins! I *still* haven’t done my winter garden clean-up! It looks terrible, but I’m thinking it will soon be a spring garden clean-up!