Tuesday 31 March 2020


The sun is shining, tempting me to be outside, but when I put on my coat and boots and venture out I discover that the wind is still as viciously cold as it's been for the last few days, the sort of weather that makes your head ache. So frustrating, because the garden is bursting with colour and emerging growth. How resilient nature is! The little plum tree that stands in the teeth of the east wind has held on to most of it's blossom.
Other shrubs are bursting with life.

But my lovely camellias have suffered a certain amount of wind and frost damage.

The primroses, although they look so delicate, are obviously as tough as old boots. They've taken over the ground beneath my blackcurrant bushes.
This is how the veg garden is looking. The contents of one of the compost heaps have been put in the potato trenches and onto the greens plot.
Last years 'Charlotte' potatoes are planted, but the varieties that I ordered some weeks ago have yet to arrive. Deliveries have gone to pot, I've been unable to get food deliveries from my usual sources in spite of being in the vulnerable category. (The computer just wrote, 'venerable' - I like that!) The soil has taken a battering, months of rain followed by a scouring wind.
Absolutely the best place to be is in either of the two greenhouses. They are crammed with seedlings.

So is the house!
A few random potatoes put to chit.
'Red Cherry' tomato seedlings. 
Last spring I bought a dry-rooted rose for the house greenhouse, a spindly-looking thing, 'Maricel Neil'. I had grown it at our last house over twenty years ago and suddenly missed it's soft, floppy pale lemon flowers.
It has grown wonderfully and is full of bud-
watch this space!
A new cushion from my friend Janet.
Dear Bloggers
keep home, keep safe, keep well.

Sunday 22 March 2020

Strange times

Mothering Sunday and we woke to sunshine. But what a strange day. We had planned to spend it with our grandson and family but since we are in the self-isolating bracket we remained in our own space, thankful that ours is a generous plot.
The community are rallying wonderfully to the crisis. I phoned the local garden centre this morning and tomorrow they are going to deliver my order. Local pubs have changed to providing ready meals and there are offers from the younger members of our small hamlet to collect any items that we might need when they shop for themselves.
A lovely bouquet from Heidi to celebrate Mothering Sunday
and cards
from our vegetarian daughter
and from Wee One of her beautiful boy.
No cuddles and wild games for months to come,
that's going to be the hardest thing!

Tuesday 17 March 2020

St Patrick's Day

Our St Patrick's Day daffodils are flowering right on cue. They are a cheering sight in rather grim times. It appears that Himself and I are officially old and are to be confined to quarters for the foreseeable future, so anything cheerful is very welcome.
As I wander round the garden I can see things springing into life, with buds forming on the pear trees,
shrubs full of blossom,
and my lovely camellias in flower.
There are still a few things to harvest from the veg garden along with a fresh crop of purple sprouting.
I'm planning what to grow during the coming season with greater care than usual so that we can be as self-sufficient as possible. Our holiday plans have to be cancelled, visits too and from family have stopped. If I spend a lot more time blogging you'll know the reason why!
Go carefully and keep well, folks.

Saturday 14 March 2020

Seed swap

Today was our local seed swap and potato day. Who would have thought that there is such a huge variety of spuds to grow! Shops and nurseries stock such a narrow choice and that is why an event like this is so valuable, keeping unusual old heirloom and local varieties of plants in cultivation.
In normal years, when we open the doors at ten, a large crowd has already gathered and they all surge in, many clutching their carefully harvested seed, ready to exchange. How different today, the virus threat kept many away, I think we were down to less than half our usual number.
What a shame, because the stall holders had brought a lot of lovely things.
Although, of course, when the stall holders looked around the room they couldn't resist buying some plants for themselves!

I liked the hive and herbals products.
Lovely beeswax candles!
And their beeswax food wraps are a great idea.
I couldn't resist photographing this jacket because it reminded me of my childhood when these fabric badges were very covetable. I wonder what happened to mine? The owner of the jacket told me that she'd bought it second-hand and hadn't visited any of the places depicted. We had a lovely conversation reminiscing about hotel luggage labels and other things that have disappeared into history. Am I showing my age? Yep, I am.
Thank you to those people who washed their hands, didn't cough and turned up to seed swap and share the pleasures of gardening.

Monday 9 March 2020


It's officially spring, the daffodils and primroses are flowering and I even saw a bit of blue sky yesterday - for a while!
I was outside this morning to take these photographs. I had intended to dig up  and divide some perennials for the forthcoming seed swap, but the wind was bitingly cold so I chickened out and worked in the greenhouse instead.
Spring flowers around Maisie's grave.
I've had a good crop of oranges this year.

The Meyer lemon bush always crops well.
I've repotted all the auriculas. No matter how hard I try to eradicate vine weevils the auriculas always get reinfected. What horrible grubs! But happily they don't seem to bother with any of my other plants.

The seed swap and potato fair is on Saturday and I'm manning a stall. I've got a range of cottage garden plants to sell and the greenhouse is crammed with pots that I'll be taking.
Inside the house the 'avalanche' roses are looking even lovelier as they age. I'm hoping I'll be able to root one or two of the stems once the flowers have faded.
I hope spring is behaving itself wherever you are.