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(Lots still to be done!)

Gorgeous day today! OH and I have just enjoyed a leisurely lunch outside (first of many in 2016 – I am determined!) Yesterday evening was a family dinner, two offspring and spouses plus granddaughter, the Paisley branch – daughter and family – inevitably absent (but not for long!). So we have just dined very nicely on left-overs.

And now I am sitting, on this most English of days, contemplating the garden. I am always taken by surprise at the colour that erupts at this time of the year. There are daffs (finishing now), tulips (always more than I remember) bluebells (Spanish, I’m afraid, but still lovely) Honesty (purple and white, and often popping up in unexpected places) and loads of violets (sadly not scented). The roses are sending out promising shoots, the bergenia and skimmia are covered in blooms, and the pear tree blossom has just broken out in the last three days.

And then the things to come : loads of fat buds on the wisteria and lots on the clematis montana; buds on the dicentra; Boston Ivy sprouting pink and green leaves on the house wall; fat white buds on the kitchen bay, pale mauve on the rosemary; and – let’s not forget – burgeoning bittercress, dandelions and the ever-present campanula poscharskyana – so pretty, but forever in the wrong place! (I see it advertised on various garden centre sites. Take my advice – don’t go there unless you are happy to be totally overrun by a very pretty (and reasonably easy to pull up) invader. I have to confess that once it has started to flower, I cannot bring myself to remove it. Which is why I spent some time this morning removing it from my back steps, around the edge of the patio and down the side passage. I haven’t started on the front doorstep or around the front gate and along the path yet!

I have spent some time observing a large white- tailed bumblebee burrowing under the grass until it is all but invisible. I’m not sure what it’s doing, but I’m not mowing today, so that’s all right. There are quite a few butterflies around. I saw a huge Peacock earlier and a couple of smaller brown ones. Lots of insects, too, but I’m well smothered in Avon dry oil spray (green) so I should be ok!

I hope you will be enjoying good weather – if not today, then in the not-too-distant future. The enjoyment to be had from the garden is immeasurable, isn’t it?

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Its blue sky with fluffy white clouds here Melchi and lots of sunshine, we have just come back from a walk up Rutland Water with Brynner, the cold up there by that water took ones breath away, it was bitter and we wished we had taken our gloves we ended up taking what is known as a very brisk walk instead of the nice stroll that we had envisaged, wasn't tempted to stop for a cuppa whilst gazing out over the water, like you I am determined those days are not far away though, lol.
The gardens are really showing that they liked our wet weather, the flowers are amazing this spring, seem to have been around for ages, There are big fat buds on the roses and the clematis, we have lots of bees visiting and ladybirds are popping up all over the place, I think I only saw a couple in the garden last year so thats an inprovement, I too have seen some lovely Peacock Butterflies and a couple of Cabbage White I love this time of the year, just hoping the frost we keep getting stays on the ground and leaves my plum blossom alone...

23 Apr, 2016


It sounds lovely, Lincs. We are fortunate to be very sheltered at the back - sitting out at the front would not have been an option! I am getting on with a lot of clearing up, feeling very pleased. I am gradually tidying edges and weeding paths and patio. It got a bit hot in the sun, but cooled down quite a lot as the day wore on. Hope you enjoyed your walk, despite the temperature. Sunny days at this time of year can be very deceptive, but as you suggest - quite rightly! - it shouldn't be too long now!

23 Apr, 2016


Lovely to hear that people are noticing the changes that are happening at this time of year. I was hanging washing out and then sneaking a quick sit down in the sun to recharge my Vitamin D supply. (Suffer from SAD syndrome when it has been grey a while) Whilst enjoying the sun I noticed that both a blackbird and robin were seen collecting nest material and worms and taking it back to their nests which were hidden amongst the evergreen ivy growing on my boundary fence. I get very protective of birds that decide to nest in my garden! Yesterday I rescued a brown/red bottomed bumble bee from my toilet bowl! It made a full recovery luckily. Yes nature has definitely woken up....

23 Apr, 2016


I love this time of year....?

23 Apr, 2016


Thank you, Amsterdam. It is a great luxury to have the time to notice such things. I love bees. We have had bumble bee nests in our eaves for the last two years. They don't last very long and certainly caused no problems. We have also has wasps' nests. I'm not so keen on them, although we did tolerate them, with reservations. No stings, though! We have lots of birds in the garden and usually have at least one blackbird family nesting. Better than wasps, that's for sure!

Yes, Pam - there's a lot to enjoy and look forward to...

23 Apr, 2016


Hello Mel, I just couldn't resist popping in to see how you are all doing ! What a lovely blog ! Spring is here ! Mind you, its very cold today, but the sun is shining !
Still haven't had the eye op yet, so am being very careful !
Happy gardening ! xxx

24 Apr, 2016


Meant to say love your garden! Where does the path lead to?

24 Apr, 2016


Your plants seem more advanced than they are in my garden, but then most of mine have only been in the ground for two years. Your garden looks and sounds beautiful. As for sitting outside you must be a lot hardier than me because although we've had some warmish days the wind has been cool. I need much warmer weather than that.

SAD. Yes, Amsterdam, I also suffer from that. Last year was particularly bad as it was coupled with a fair amount of stress, but also because we had so much greyness from August onwards. I hope this summer will last longer. I can't win though because I have fair, sensitive skin and have to smother myself with high factor sunscreen. No chance of Vit D getting through. Calcium/D tablets are the only answer.

25 Apr, 2016


Hi Rose - how lovely to hear from you! Sorry to hear you are still waiting and I hope things will move on for you soon. The weather is a lot cooler than it was when I wrote this blog, but there has been some nice sunshine.

Thank you, Amsterdam. The path just leads to the corner of the garden. There used to be a gate there, which led onto the school site. My children went there and I taught there for twelve years so it was well used! I've blocked it off now, and over the wall is smothered in brambles and nettles. No bad thing, because occasionally there are rather adventurous children playing there after hours!

I am not especially hardy, Arbuthnot, but the garden is particularly sheltered and faces SE. I have spent a good few hours out there this week tidying up - when I have opened the side gate, which leads to the passage where we keep the wheelie bins, I have been almost blown off my feet by a very cold wind! I am glad you like the garden - it is my little bit of paradise!

26 Apr, 2016


Things certainly have moved on since I wrote this blog. Homebird. I have filled lots of containers with annuals. I bought more than I had intended - no surprise there, I always do! I am also intending to go out and get some more next week, having decided there are many more planting opportunities than I thought there were!

I have just written a blog about bees. My daughter was telling me an interesting thing about wasps. Apparently, they feed off something produced by the larvae in the nest and when the larvae hatch, later in the season, the adults need to start foraging away from the nest. That is when they begin to make a bit of a nuisance of themselves, and it doesn't usually happen before August.

29 May, 2016

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