Tag Archives: garden

Sunflowers Shoot into the Lead

The sunflowers in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 are loving this sunny-one-minute-raining-the-next weather. All the flowers are reaching for the sun and drinking in the rain but three have shot into the lead.

Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Em&Em shooting ahead
Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Gibbles on the chase
Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Bears are close!

All plants are looking healthy and the pots have all managed to stay attached to the fence so far.  But will the pots fall when the flowers get bigger and heavier?  The bunnies hope so.

One flower that’s not in danger of falling  is Shmelling:

Sunflower in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
Smelling needs some love.

Come on little one. Reach for the sun!

The Sunflowers are on the Fence

The competitors in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest have moved from the safety of the Moomins’ greenhouse to the Bull-Knox garden fence.

To prevent the carnage of the 2015 contest, when all the sunflowers were eaten by bunnies, pots have been attached to the fence out of the rabbits’ reach.

Le Bowd’s plant, maybe deciding the competition was too risky, failed to show up. This opened up a spot on the fence for substitute number one, Bobaul.

Sunflower didn't sprout
First casualty!
Substitution sunflower
First substitution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby sunflowers in pots along the fence of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017
On the fence!

The competitors (from left to right) are Pears, Gramps, Ricarah, Em&Em, Bears, Steclaire, Choltman, Bobaul, Bull-Knox, Moomins, Shmelling, Amme, and Gibbles.

Early leaders are Em&Em, Gibbles and Amme but all plants are looking healthy.

Substitute number two, Dojo, will return to the Moomins’ greenhouse and prepare itself to join the competition should another flower perish.

Baby sunflower
Sub 2 Dojo

Resident cuties, Pongo and Indie, destroyers of the 2015 sunflowers, are fuming about the new tactic to keep the flowers out of their reach. Will they find a way to get themselves a sunflower flavoured snack?

Rabbits
Seething!

The Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2017 has begun

After a year off, the Bull-Knox sunflower contest is back! And this time it’s bunny proof. We hope!

Demand for a seed in the 2017 contest has been higher than places available  so some people have teamed up to cheer on a seed together.

The competitors are Bull-Knox (me, Knoxie and Fozzy), Moomins (my mum and dad), Bears (Knoxie’s mum and dad), Gramps, Shmelling (Lemming and Carly), Choltman (Abi and Lauren), Em&Em (the two Emmas), Le Bowd, Gibbles, Amme, Steclaire (Steve and Claire), Ricarah (Richard and Sarah), and Pears (Kirsty, Helen, Mark and Kayleigh).

Plant pots with labels
The seeds are in!
Sunflower seeds in garden pots being watered
Drink up little sunflower seeds!

The seeds will be nurtured in Dad’s greenhouse until they are ready to take their place in the sun along the blue fence.

The aim of the game is to grow the tallest sunflower. Measuring will take place at Knoxie’s birthday barbecue in August. But the flowers have to survive first! And life won’t be easy. As well as the usual threat of snails, and stem rot, further danger awaits these sunflowers in the form of the Bull-Knox beasts.

Rabbit running towards camera
Pongo!
Black rabbit
Indie!
Dog in a garden
Fozzy!

 

 

Protective netting proved no match for the Bull-Knox resident bunnies, Pongo and Indie, in the 2015 sunflower contest. The rabbits breached the defenses, slayed the sunflowers and devoured them before they bloomed.

The competition didn’t take place in 2016 as we couldn’t think of a plan to keep the flowers safe. But genius o’clock has struck! This year the plan to safeguard the sunflowers is to keep them out of the rabbits’ reach. Instead of going in the ground, the flowers will go in pots attached several feet up the fence.

Colourful pots along a fence
Pots at the ready

We’re hoping this new tactic works. Come on sunflowers. We’re rooting for you!

How we Made a Reindeer for the Garden

We made garden reindeer by attending the reindeer making workshop at Wimpole Estate.

Ciaran, from the gardening team, made it look easy as he demonstrated how to do it.

How to Make Reindeer - Wimpole Estate Gardener

Now it was our turn to create a creature. We gathered up the materials:

  • A log for the body
  • A smaller log for the head
  • Four long sticks for legs
  • A shorter stick for the neck
  • Two sticks for ears
  • A conkers for the nose
  • A pine cone for the tail
  • Twigs for the antlers
  • A mallet
  • Glue
  • A nail to attach the nose
  • A staple and wire to attach the tail

Materials to make a reindeer

Ciaran had kindly drilled the holes already so we just had to fill the holes with glue and set about assembling our masterpieces.

Wooden reindeers
The finished product!

Transporting two  reindeer in a Renault Clio was probably the trickiest part.

One reindeer went to live at the Moomins’ house and the other was released into the wilds of our garden where it was soon greeted by the other residents.

Rabbit and reindeer
When Pongo met Twiggy

 

Saying hello nicely
Saying hello nicely!

Fozzy greeted the reindeer nicely and then decided she needed to get to know it a little better by sniffing it’s bottom.

Dog sniffing wooden reindeers bottom
Getting to know the reindeer better!

Merry Christmas!

A non-gardeners Guide to Brightening your Garden

I love outdoor living but gardening is not really my thing so I decided to brighten up the garden by other means.

After a trip to Budapest, I was inspired by the colourful and quirky ruin bars, particularly Szimpla Kert, pictured below.

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar BudapestSzimpla Kert Ruin Bar Budapest upper levelSzimpla Kert Ruin Bar flags, BudapestI purchased some spray paints in a variety of colours and gathered some items to spruce up. I already had dining room chairs, terracotta pots, a hammock stand and a lantern and I picked up a child’s bike (purely for decorative purposes) and a table from the local recycling centre.

Our rabbits like to eat the grass in the back garden and probably wouldn’t like the taste or toxicity of spray paint so I lay down a sheet in the front garden, moved my car well out of the way, and started spraying.

Plain pots before spray painting Chairs, hammock stand, lantern and pot Table and bike from the scrap yard

I was really pleased with the results.

Colourful chairs Colourful table Colourful table, bike and pots

I found an unusual plant pot  to add extra decoration but Fozzy, our mini-labradoodle, did not approve.

The newly painted furniture was arranged in the corner of the garden and flags added to brighten up the wall.

Colourful garden with flags

The garden was now ready to be enjoyed by friends and family at the barbecue of the year.

Party at Fort Bull-Knox