Monday 27 April 2020

Fleeting pleasures.

I walk round the garden first thing in the morning. Everything is still and quiet and it's cooler than the previous few days.
The crab apple tree is laden with blossom.
My topiary pheasant is starting to look quite respectable.

The tree peonies have responded well to the warm weather. I found a label on this one that was still legible. "Hu Hong" 
The names of others are quite forgotten.
I should be grubbing out the forget-me-nots now so that I can plant out some cosmos and other annuals, but I'm always loathe to be rid of them, I love the mist of blue that they spread all about the garden, looking equally good underneath both flowers and sprouts!
The pleasures of many of the spring flowers are fleeting.  Is that why I like them so much? Favourites are the tree peonies and camellias.

But as the peonies fade the iris buds start to open.
Goodbye to camellias
and tulips.
Hello to some eye-popping colour
and the first pickings of asparagus!

Saturday 25 April 2020

Busy day

We have more light coming into the garden now that the birch tree has been felled.
The wood is green and easy to split. Himself has been busy cutting and stacking.
I've barrowed some of the chippings into an empty compost bay. Because the tree was in leaf the chippings are moist and are heating up well, meaning that they will decompose fairly quickly and make good compost for next year. There is still a good load of chippings left and I'll spread them out on  pathways and mulch under the trees - but that's for tomorrow, I've done enough today!
We've stacked the wood in various corners of the garden where it will stay until it is dry enough to use. We don't want to get it mixed with the seasoned wood already stored in the wood shed.
It's busy work, but very satisfying.

Thursday 23 April 2020


The silver birch tree in the centre of the picture has been a troublesome beast for quite some time. It tangles with the overhead wires and twice we have had professionals come to thin out the branches in an effort to avoid problems during wet and windy weather. It is looking it's best at this time of year but is a miserable sight in the winter months when stripped of leaves, exposing the cut back limbs. The tree  borders the road, which is much quieter than usual because of the pandemic shut down, therefore a good time to arrange for the tree to be cut down.
Today was the day. The men came bright and early.
"There's a firm in California with the same name," they told us.
"That's who I was expecting," said Himself. (Not everyone understands his sense of humour.)
It was fascinating to see them work.

They almost made it look easy!

It took the whole day to winch each piece safely down. 
They did a great job.

Friday 17 April 2020

Rain today

Rain today, the water butts are full
and there was no lounging about on the steamer chair.
Every member of the family, spread about the country, has been working on their garden space during this period of isolation. The First Born has been scrubbing the boards on her little London patch. Easy peasy you might think. But not when you've got to lug soil up and rubbish down three flights of stairs!
Wee One and family are working on quite a different scale to solve the problem of a steeply sloping back garden.
It involves moving a great amount of earth.
Oh, the boys are happy - there's machinery to play with!
Wheelbarrows at the ready.
Welly boots on.
There's 50 tons of topsoil to move this weekend.
But today was all about the pleasure of playing in puddles.

It's quite exhausting!
I hope that, like us, you are keeping safe, 
keeping busy and keeping well.

Wednesday 15 April 2020


The rhubarb is ready for picking and this is my favourite recipe.
I've got just two oranges left on my small tree, it has cropped really well this year.
The roof beams in the greenhouse are hanging with Maricel Neil roses. It's planted in a pot and has made good growth since arriving in the post last year as an unpromising looking dry root.

The flowers are soft and floppy and held on spindly stems. They are a bit tricky to arrange in a vase because the heads tend to hang down.
But dangling overhead they are a delight.