Friday 22 May 2020


How are you doing on the food front? If we didn't have our friends the Young and Fit to shop for us we would be on rather slim pickings. We are both in our late '70's with health conditions and supermarket delivery slots remain erratic. In our area it seems to be the small independent shops who are going all out to provide a reliable service. We've finished eating the home-grown asparagus for this season and there isn't a great deal to pick in the veg garden at the moment. The courgettes look promising and we had a couple in today's stir-fry.
Hopefully there will be plenty more to come.
The artichoke plants look very healthy
and the spuds are up.
But we shall have to wait a while for everything else.
It's Bank Holiday on Monday.
We won't be going anywhere!
But do have a lovely time.

Wednesday 20 May 2020


It's the most glorious day. I woke to stillness and a mist that had reduced everything to pearly grey. I love my first walk of the day around the garden while the  sun is barely up and the shadows are long. There is a heavy dew. That's good, we haven't had rain for a while and the garden is in need of watering.

This lovely iris came from a friend of my father's very many years ago. Since I don't know the name of it I call it Mr Pick. I love to have plants in the garden that come from friends and family.
This paler variety I call, 'Molly'. Molly and I used to visit open gardens together and because we liked the same flowers and colours we often shared a purchase, feeling very pleased with ourselves for saving money.  Of course, we did nothing of the sort because we then felt we had a good excuse to buy more!
The lovely rose scrambling up the studio wall was a cutting from a friend's garden. It is Blairi, not too sure which.

Isn't it beautiful!

Saturday 16 May 2020

Border control

First thing in the morning I stick my head out of the window to see what the day promises. Is it going to be a shorts and boots day, happily grubbing about in the garden, a keep warm day, baking in the kitchen, or even, extreme measures, one where I get out the vac? The kitchen porch roof is laden with honeysuckle, the sun is shining. Hurrah, it's a boots day!
I had good intentions for the border at the far side of the lawn. In theory it is planted in a colour scheme moving from dark to light.
The left-hand side, dark reds and blues are behaving quite well.
Last autumn I planted a bag of mixed alliums, taking the precaution of laying a square of wire mesh just beneath the soil and above the planting so that the squirrels wouldn't dig  up the bulbs and eat them. (I also did this with the tulips and for the first time ever had a decent display.)
The alliums are putting on a good show.

I was looking with pleasure at them when my eye caught this loud explosion of colour, slap bang in the middle of the border WHERE IT SHOULD NOT BE. Once you have finished flowering, matey, you are outa there!

From my large mixed pack of alliums only one white flower has emerged. It looks very elegant - I am going to buy more!

Sunday 10 May 2020

Suttons seeds.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Sutton's Seed Company asked people to send in photos and stories relating to the 2nd World War 'Dig for Victory' campaign and to say who or what inspires them to garden today.
This is the introduction to their 1941 catalogue.
It is the bounden duty of those who have even the smallest space to cultivate, to do so intensively, that the brave may be fed and that the lifeline of the Atlantic be not unduly strained.

I sent in a photo of this scruffy little book. It looks very dull, but it is a book that I treasure greatly because it maps out the orchard and garden that I watched evolve and where I played throughout my childhood.
My father bought the book while he was serving in the army and he covered the end papers with a plan of the trees that he intended to plant once he returned home. He started planting in 1945 and continued doing so for a number of years. He laid out a formal rose garden and the central bed was filled with 'Peace' roses, a rather ugly scentless cabbage of a rose, bred in France in 1945 and extremely popular because of it's name.

My love of gardening stems from the enthusiasm of my father and his elder brother, William. After visits to Uncle Will I would return home with large posies of sweet peas or luscious black grapes from his greenhouse. My mother was completely disinterested, her head stuck in a book or the daily crossword. When I had grown up and moved away from home, phone calls, usually on a Sunday morning, would keep me up to date - the clematis is looking good, the peonies are flowering and so forth. I miss those conversations still, but  happily they continue in a similar pattern with our daughters. Sometimes I long to pick up the phone and say, "Hi, Dad, Mr Pick's iris are looking wonderful!"
Talk of problems in the food chain, due to the virus, has prompted me to give careful consideration as to what to grow in the veg plot this year. The weather, until today, has been kind and most things have been planted out. Have I been too hasty? There is a bitter wind out there, I'm skulking inside, but my plants are getting hammered!

Friday 8 May 2020


First thing in the morning we hung up some bunting and a flag to celebrate Victory in Europe Day.
Neighbours did the same.
Our hamlet usually comes together to celebrate national events and until the new houses were built a few years ago we were small enough in number to all be able to fit into one property. The photo below is of everyone being photographed to celebrate the Queen's jubilee.

Other group celebrations have been for the new century and a royal wedding.
It has always been fun.
With a summer pudding for everyone!
Today the weather was simply beautiful. We had both been at the VE day celebrations in 1945 and were certainly not going to miss out today! We set out a table and had afternoon tea on the village green. A neighbour came and photographed us and others stood at a distance to talk. All very different from the usual celebrations, but there is general agreement that when the virus threat is over we shall all come together and party.

A photo sent from another part of the country, where family got themselves rigged out for a 'bit of a do' to mark VE Day. Good for them! (Like the balloon hat, Judith!)