Thursday 24 June 2021


 We have had both sunshine and rain and it's great growing weather. The garden and the roadside verges around the village are blowsy with vegetation. Wind and rain came and knocked the grasses about under the fruit trees so we've had to cut back into the paths a little to avoid the grass soaking our legs.

Some bushes have had a haircut and plants that have finished flowering have been cut back. The iris were wonderful this year but now I've cut the stems and leaves so that the sun can get to the corms.

In a previous post Colette asked how I take rose cuttings. I have a patch of soil outside the fruit cage that I keep for cuttings of anything that I would like to propagate. I just stick lengths of stem into the ground and hope for the best. I don't always get round to labelling and rely on recognising the variety if it takes successfully. (Sometimes I'm left with a mystery!)

I also put cuttings in pots.

Either way it is hit and miss. The advantage of outside is that I don't need to water, I can forget about the stems until they come into leaf.

I have propagated this little Raubritter rose and given it away as a gift many times. It is a sweetbriar and seems to be equally happy tumbling over low walls or climbing up them. It flowers only once around midsummer but the flowers stay on the plant for weeks.

Cinderella climbing up the kitchen wall. This rose is happy enough in dry weather but an absolute flop if the rain gets to it.

Chapeau de Napoleon behaves well whatever the weather. It is a crested moss said to have been found in the wall of a Swiss convent in the early 1820's. I think the name probably comes from the curious shape of the emerging buds.
I think I rather maligned Honorine de Brabant, she is doing rather well this year. She came as a cutting from a friend.

The climbing Iceberg will flower all summer long!

Sunday 20 June 2021

Happy Fathers' Day

A card came that reminded us how much fun it is to be grandparents! Last weekend, splashing about with water in warm summer weather. 
( It's raining today!)

Monday 14 June 2021

Family meet-up

We went to Bournemouth at the weekend for a long overdue meet-up with family. How glorious! Last year when our daughter was home-working and her partner furloughed he set to work on their steeply sloping back garden. Confined to quarters as I was by the Covid rules I could only watch the progress via Facetime or photos so I was really looking forward to seeing the finished result.

This was the state of play last year!

Retaining walls and steps being constructed to create three different levels.

And this is how it was looking in the early morning at the weekend.


 The weather was perfect. We spent all day outside.

 The rhododendrons are in full bloom all over the town but only one bush remains from the many that had been crowding out Wee One's garden.


A  few of the rhododendron flowers brought into the house together with a vase of roses from my garden.

June is the month when my garden is full of roses, many of them grown from cuttings that came from our former home. Others are cuttings from friends or bought because I couldn't resist them or their lovely names, such as Honorine de Brabant (even though she is rather spindly in my garden!) Here are  some of the roses that I grow.

Gertrude Jekyll.

The Queen of Denmark.

Rosa Mundi.


Climbing Iceberg.

Paul's Himalayan Musk  on the veg garden fence. It is such a strong rose and gives one great burst of flower each year before I cut it hard back. (Hard to imagine that such a vigorous rose came as a small cutting from my previous home.)

I fill the house with cut flowers so that we can enjoy the perfume. I don't know the name of this rose. It came as a sliver of stalk from Corfu many years ago. Perhaps someone can recognise it?

The petals soon fall, but they are wonderful while they last.

Monday 7 June 2021

Are you a lark or an owl?

For much of the year I can confidently say that I'm an owl, slow to come to my senses in the morning and wide awake at night. But for a few weeks in the summer I'm up and raring to go as the sun comes up, wandering round the garden in shoes wet with the dew or, as yesterday morning, in mac and wellingtons because there was a fine drizzle of rain. June, the most delightful month. By lunchtime the rain had stopped. Friends came in the afternoon and we sat in the sunshine for afternoon tea and caught up on our news. (News! What news? We have been nowhere and done nothing for months!)

While strawberries are the favourite fruit of Pascale, whose blog is Le Jardin de Pacalou, mine are cherries. There are plenty in the shops just now. I make a chocolate and cherry cake filled with cherry jam and a sprinkling of frozen stoned cherries. (Fresh cherries I just greedily save for myself!)

A generous layer of cream on top of the fruit and it is good to go.

I praised the free-range eggs of Jack, the local farmer, in a recent post. At the weekend when I went to collect some more I learnt that a fox had come in broad daylight and killed thirty of his hens. The foxes are very active at this time of year, presumably with young to feed. But really, although they are lovely looking creatures, they are vicious and just love a killing spree. I would keep ducks again if I thought for one moment that I could keep them safely in the garden. We had Khaki Campbell ducks when our children were small, sweet natured pets and prolific egg layers, all killed by a fox on the one night that I forgot to shut their hut. There were tears all round!

Wee One and the ducks were good models for my illustration work!

Morning walk  with the camera around the garden.

It is great growing weather. The spuds are looking promising in the veg garden - now that's a sight to gladden a Murphy's heart!