Meadow Update: Survival of the Fittest

Back in February I had the bright idea to plant a mini meadow around the four apple trees I ambitiously refer to as an ‘orchard’.  It was of course the wrong time to do this.  Autumn is the best time, as you can sow Yellow Rattle to weaken the grass and so give wildflowers a…

A Rainbow of Roses

Yes, I did get carried away. No, I am not sorry! OMG, it was fun! It was Stevie’s fault really. I had collected five or six blooms and was getting him to sniff too, so we could compare ‘tasting notes’. And Stevie said, “we should get the super-taster in.” Super-taster/Super-sniffer daughter helps Stevie identify wine…

Death-trap Corner

In my post on Sunday, After the Storm…, I christened a slightly wild and unkempt area of the garden ‘Death-trap Corner’.  It earned its name due to several toxic plant species, a few stingers, lots of spikes and spines, and some spring-loaded rose snares. Well reader, such is my dedication to this blog, I braved the…

The smell of the sweet shop

I mentioned my hedge of rugosa roses in After the Storm… I’m just going to have a totally self-indulgent moment now with these roses. The rugosa roses are tough little nuts. They will grow in sand-dunes, are disease-free, and always look lush and floriferous. There is a continuous display of blooms, each one being replaced…

A Warm Welcome

When we moved into this house, there was a double row of lavender up the path to the front door.  In late June it was a cloud of colour and scent, nose-high, positively abuzz with bees.  This created some distress for very small visitors and those with a stinging insect phobia, but was rather lovely….

The Ugly Duckling Becomes a Beautiful Swan

For the last couple of weeks I have been bud-watching.  You can see these posts here: first Early Birds, and then The Dawn Chorus and Bursting Buds. On Friday evening, this is how Stevie and I inspected the trees, accompanied by evening sun, a glass of wine each, and the smell of the barbecue.  It was the…

Meadow Update! Seedballs!

I had one of my bright ideas back in February (always a dangerous time).  For a wildflower meadow.  The digging was quite hard-going, and I got about a square metre in, and decided I only wanted a very little meadow anyway. Well, I planted my plugs.  It snowed.  It snowed again.  But guess what?  They are…

I have jelly in my lupins!

  This post is written in haste because I have just been able to repeat a discovery I made a couple of weeks ago. Water turns to jelly! My step-daughter and I discovered this together when we poked the water in the bird-bath early one morning, and it was gelatinous.  The surface tension was stronger,…

Cultivating a growth mind-set

I am an optimist.  I was blessed with optimistic parents.  I was brought up with a Northern “you’ll be right” sort of approach to minor disasters.  As long as you can’t see bone, a plaster will fix it. That is the most negative thing I can say about their optimistic outlook.  The positive aspect is this: Anything…

My fantasy dahlia garden

Greed.  Isn’t it wonderful? Is there a word for people like me?  Do I need to go into rehab?  Do I need an intervention? For my birthday last year I was bought a book called ‘Dahlias’ by Andy Vernon.  It is like the crack cocaine of the gardening books.  I can’t get enough.  I need more. …

Folly alert! The meadow experiment.

I am a very impulsive gardener. I do sit down and make lists and draw plans, but I also have mad moments of ‘inspiration’ as I’m emptying the washing machine, and have to rush to order seeds/plugs/bulbs right now. Stevie is more considered. If I have an idea which requires his cooperation (i.e. it is…