my photo


I cannot declare to being a huge fan of this shrub, but we inherited quite a lot when we moved here. Although at this time of year the colours of the variagation do look good together. It is important to remember with any variagated foliage shrub to cut out any stems which revert back to plain green.


my photo


This double-flowered variety of Kerria (Japonica Pleniflora) is also known as Bachelor's Buttons, Jew's Mallow and Japanese Rose. A really pretty shrub to have around the garden at this time of year. I really like the combination of the 'custard powder' yellow of the blooms against the lime green of the leaves.

It will grow just about anywhere and if left to its own devices can reach up to 6ft tall. It will also spread by suckers which grow from its creeping underground root system. A plant which is best kept in check by pruning out all the old flowering stems.

William Kerr a protégé of Sir Joseph Banks, the famous 18th-century naturalist and plant collector, bought this particular variety back from China in 1804. By 1838 it was so common it was to be found in the gardens of labourers cottages!

This post is for my blogpal Daffy from Approaching 40, she has a delightful specimen in her garden too!


my photos

PRIMROSE - I can't live without you, Early youth, Young love
POLYANTHUS - Pride of riches

I like to have some primroses or polyanthus in pots at this time of year, and I am not alone, the woodlice do too!

This year I opted for a mixed tray of white and a pink/orange colour, and I have made an interesting observation. The white flowers have been untouched and the pink/orange have been nibbled to death! Does this mean woodlice are repelled at the sight of white? I need to do more investigation? Has anyone else noticed this?

Great feast for the woodlice community in my garden, hundreds of them! Although extremely annoying in this instance, I really don't think woodlice do too much harm otherwise, so I will continue to invite them into my garden as a friend!


my photo


Also known as Elephants Ears, this perennial is naturally found in Siberia. The large glossy leaves become increasingly more purple at this time of year, and are a great contrast against the greens in the border.

A few years back a TV gardener doing a makeover programme, said he really disliked this plant, but I think it has a place in the garden. I agree that during the year the leaves can look a bit untidy, but at this time of year they come into their own, and look at the flowers to prove it.


my photo


I really look forward to this time of year in the garden when there is new growth on plants, and plants are re-emerging from their winter sleep; and the birds are singing, gathering nesting material, busy making a warm and cosy home in readiness for the laying of their eggs, and the imminent arrival of their tiny fledglings.

This is the theme I am using for my competition to mark the fact I now have 100 garden blog posts behind me. The prize is the lovely bird above, not sure which bird species she comes from, but attractive nevertheless! She wants to go to a home where the occupants are hard working and industrious, just like she is, so there is some thinking involved.

The rules of the competition are to name all six plants below. They are all perennials and these photos were taken of new growth. Please leave your answers as a comment listing your answers from a) to f)







The entrant who guesses the most correct will get the birdie. In the event of a tie, I shall put all relavant names in a bird's nest and pull one out! I shall choose a winner from all entries on Saturday the 3rd of May.

Now get guessing!


my photo


Today the weather is a welcome improvement on yesterday, a mixture of sunshine, blue sky and marshmallow clouds, intermittently being overcast by huge threatening black clouds bringing with them sleet/hailstone showers. I took the photo of the fiery red growth on this Pieris 'forest flame' this afternoon whilst the sun was still out.

An evergreen shrub which I have growing in a pot, placed in partial shade. It likes an acid PH and has white flowers in Spring.

The photo below was taken yesterday, and look at the depth of snow on the bench. Now we don't often see this!


my photo


Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this is the first snowfall we have had this year in West Sussex? It is quite an unusual sight these days, and by lunchtime the ground had become blanketed in the white stuff and some quite deep drifts had formed in parts of the garden. By mid afternoon with the temperature rising, the snow quickly began to turn to slush.

I had to be quick to catch a photo of the weight of the snow on the white blossom of the Amelanchier which is also known as Snowy Mespilus.


my photos


Do you make your own compost? This is the question I asked in my poll for March. Thanks to everyone who voted, a record number of forty-four! Thirty-five of you said you do make your own compost, and nine of you don't.

I am fortunate enough to have a large garden with space to sacrifice for composting, and many of you have allotments which is a great place to be able to do this too.

From this above ...

... the result is this, which is full of worms! At this time of year I leave this lovely 'black gold' in situ to grow Summer Squash and at the end of the summer season, it is bagged up to be used for potting up seedlings, cuttings or divisions, either in the autumn or spring.

If you would like to compost, but don't know where to start, click on garden organic for everything you need to know.