my photos


This weekend the clocks go forward, and for us gardeners is the best time of the year because it means that at last the light has caught up with all our instincts to get out there and garden for as long as possible - Monty Don on Gardener's World.

How right you are Mr Don, and contrary to an earlier post I have been enjoying the gardening coming from your very large patch at Longmeadow.

I know I am going to be envious of your Dahlias come Autumn!

For well over a week now the UK has been basking in the most glorious sunshine, and today has been no exception and an excellent day for making a start on seed sowing - Beetroot, Tomato, Sweet Pea, Nasturtium, Calendula, and Morning Glory.

The seeds I ordered from Thompson and Morgan arrived yesterday, just in time for the weekend - Runner Bean Lady Di, Beetroot Kestrel, Tomato Vilma, Nasturtium climbing mixed and Patty Pan mixed with Cerinthe major Purpurascens to follow.

I also cut back and tidied foliage around the garden, and potted up cuttings from Coreopsis and Scabious - a simple and cost effective way of increasing stocks of perennial plants.

I love the colours of lemon and lime together, inside and outside.

Looking positively zingy and zesty in the sunshine have been the colourful blooms of the Mahonia and bracts of the Euphorbia.

Two seven-spot Ladybirds and butterflies of all colours have been emerging into the sunshine, a Comma, Holly Blue and Small White.

Also visiting, a pair of Goldcrests and the welcome return of Greenfinches to the garden.


my photos


I've been left feeling rather deflated after Friday night's Gardener's World - not sure why, I've been eagerly awaiting the return of Monty Don to the show for weeks.

Toby Buckland, Alys Fowler and Greenacre are no more, and the programme is now being filmed from Monty's own garden in Herefordshire.

It may be because having spent many hours thumbing through the pages, and drooling over the beautiful colour plates in his books The Jewel Garden and The Ivington Diaries, I'm already too familiar with the garden?

Having loved the garden at Berryfields, and being a big fan of Monty Don's approach to gardening, I'm sure to feel different once the season gets underway.

It's early days.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts?

I spent an hour or so this afternoon working on my Spring border - splitting Snowdrops in the green, and planting Honesty, plants grown from seed by my Dad.

Purple Honesty thrives in his garden of chalky soil, but up until now I haven't had much luck with this plant in my rich loamy soil.

It's Latin name is Lunaria, deriving from the moon because of its round and silvery looking seedpod.

This morning we had drizzle and light rain showers - it's been quite dull with short spells of sunshine breaking through this afternoon.

The beautiful lime-green Corsican Hellebore has enjoyed a good soaking.

The Spring border is on a bank which faces North, and sits opposite our workshop wall - it's not in complete shade, and gets morning sun from the East and evening sun from the West.

First to appear are Snowdrops, followed by Primula vulgaris, Hellebores and Euphorbia - I may be tempted to introduce some Crocus next year?

I'm not a fan of bulbs in borders, there's too much danger when digging in for other plants with a trowel.

So as not to disturb the Snowdrop bulbs, I surround each clump with chunky bark pieces, which also adds a more woodland feel to the area.

Whilst working, this lone Sparrow sat above - of course as soon as I came back inside the whole group (host) decide to come out of the hedgerow.

A bit nervous, or camera shy perhaps!

I could also hear a loud hum of Buff Tail Bumblebees - both on the Winter Clematis and on the bank, where they are happy to nest underground.

The Forsythia is not the only yellow shrub in Spring in my garden - there's Mahonia Japonica and Winter Jasmine which has just about gone over now.

I have two large clumps of drumstick Primula in pots coming into bud, and miniature Daffodils planted along the wall edge - though I notice many this year are coming up blind.

There's colour appearing on the rockery too.
This tiny flowered white plant is pretty rampant, and if allowed will quite happily spread a mossy blanket of green across the whole area.
Soon purple Aubrietia will be in full bloom, amongst self-seeded(!) yellow Celandine.

I'm finding myself starting to like these out of focus colour blur pics!

All nature seems at work, slugs leave their lair,
The bees are stirring, birds are on the wing,
And Winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
In Springtime - by S T Coleridge



my photo


If your passing a Robert Dyas store, pick up a copy of this.

It's a 24-page, one-stop guide to tasty home grown crops.

As well as advertising their gardening products, inside are concise articles, hints 'n tips, recipes and money-off vouchers.

On the centrefold is a Grow Your Own pull out and keep planner showing the best times to sow, plant and harvest.

All this, and it's free!