My flower and vegetable seeds have arrived...

Yippee! My new spring seeds have arrived, ordered from my real, glossy-papered catalogue. I have lots and lots of lovely flowers and organic heirloom vegetables. This is so exciting! Imagine if every single one germinates and grows. Aargh! All those squillions of lettuces...

Wednesday 8th August

I'm looking forward to the new perennials like Agastache Astello Indigo and the single coloured annual nasturtiums (lemon yellow, mahogany, and 'black velvet'). I love nasturtiums. My vegetable plan is to use patio pots (my patio is sunny and stays warm in the summer evenings) as well as the space in the proper garden. I just hope it is a better summer season for tomatoes.

 A great sign that spring is coming.
Early Spring Azalea

Hee hee. Apart from reading gardening magazines and making silly plans, what do winter gardeners do when it's raining heavily outside? They put all their seed names into a spread-sheet, ending up with 68 different rows, that's what they do. And then they sort the rows into alphabetical order and giggle. Oops. And they remember that multiple packets of parsnips (yum), annual cornflowers (nice), and white cosmos (stylish) have not even been counted. Sixty eight! Perhaps I should start my seed sowing right now in my (unheated) glass-house. Hmm - it's a little bit early.

 Pretty things.
Early Narcissi

Thursday 9th August

The rain has stopped! Thank you, weather - this is so good. I'm off to plant the Trilliums (which look like they're white). And then I'll do a bit of rose pruning, and see what else takes my fancy.


I write this following sentence with positivity and confidence (hoping that it indeed be true): I have finished pruning all the roses. And, because I always do what I'm told - by myself, that is - I've planted the Trilliums. Meanwhile, while I've been stuck inside the house (granted only for a couple of days), the first big pink Azalea has started flowering, as have the early Narcissus bulbs by the house.

The garden is lighter and greener, too. Spring... Maybe the first signs of spring? Maybe?

Friday 10th August

Blast. I need a Campion policy. This flower (or weed?) is an over-generous self-seeder, and I'm weeding over in the gardens over the water race where lots of Campion grows.

Campion :
I think the weed that I call Campion is a type of Silene.

I don't know whether to pull them all out (ha ha) or leave them be. My attitude changes as the seasons, and at the moment, underdone for flowers and flower colour, I want to nurture everything that blooms.

Compromise decision - they can stay anywhere in the middle of the border, and not too close to the bases of the roses. Hope I don't regret this.

 The first I've seen flowering.
Purple Honesty

Pink and Purple

Right. Clutching my new Campion policy firmly to my gardening shirt, I've just returned from outside. A little pink excitement - Bergenia flowers are just starting to form low inside the plants. And a pat-on-the-back thought: never before have I paid such attention to little details in a garden clean-up. I've even picked up all the fallen yellow crab apples from the Charlotte Malus tree, trimmed the Marjoram, and tidied up the daylilies (which are spring sprouting). I did find more roses to prune, by the way, and I gave Honorine de Brabant a light trim.

I've sawed down Pittosporum branches to give the Cercis forest pansy in the Dog-Path Garden more air-room. I've trimmed the Phormium alongside Middle path, and found several little treasures flowering - more cool pink Hellebores, purple Honesty, and one red Camellia flower. All have been duly snapped. I do hope this isn't too boring.

 Green Cordyline in a blue pot.
Winter Garden Greens

Fresh Greens

I sense that the garden is turning slowly into spring. The green colours all around are so much fresher, and I keep finding the prettiest green weeds. Oops...

Saturday 11th August

This has been a most satisfying gardening day. I spread a load of soft bark mulch on my freshly weeded paths. Four huge bags of horse manure have been tipped onto the Hen House Garden.

Then I raked up three barrowfuls of burnable rubbish from behind the pond, adding them to the rose prunings and dead raspberry canes on the bonfire. Whoosh! Up it all went, in several puffs of smoke.

Gardening is Timeless

Suddenly the light was fading, and I'd been so quietly busy I hadn't noticed the time. Gardening is so timeless sometimes.

But... Now we can expect three days of heavy rain, but I'm OK. I've got out my Albeniz piano music (again) and when not doing battle with this wonderful Spanish composer I'll be snug in my glass-house planting my new seeds - all 68 packets. Oops - a bit of an over-supply, methinks.

Little Mac :
Check out my Most Valuable Pet Competition and cast your vote!

Great Cat News: Little Mac the black and white kitten has now been added to the Most Valuable Pet competition. Dear catlet - at the moment she's at the bottom of the animal heap, but I'm sure that won't last. Vote for Mac! Vote for Mac!

Monday 13th August

Hmm.... Rain, rain, go away. A month's worth (65ml) in two days is over generous, really. My garden soil is very free-draining, but unfortunately the storm water drain where my car parks in the daytime is blocked with leaves. I'm not even going to try to do any gardening today. I'm resuming battle with Albeniz (a favourite piano composer) after a short truce, and there's also a big Schumann sonata that I should be able to play better. Piano playing is exactly like gardening, really. If I did at least a couple of hours every single day... Aargh! Now I feel garden guilty.

 This drain needs unblocking.
Rain Puddles

Tuesday 14th August

The rain has momentarily stopped, and it's really, really important that I do some serious gardening this morning, weeding the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden. This will happen before the next batch of serious rain. But I can do this - mud on the jeans is nothing, really. And my dog will enjoy himself. He loves gardening. Hmm...


What a wonderful day I've had. Yippee for my gardening, with lots of happy hours spent in it until the rain started). At which time I played chamber music with my flautist. We had a French afternoon, with Faure, Georges Hue, and Taffanel. Now Escher the big brown dog is here, happily munching a bone by the log-burner. Rusty the dog is in his armchair - his bone has already been demolished and eaten. It's raining steadily again, so the dogs have to be inside.

 In a patio pot.
Wet Cyclamen Flowers

Lots of Weeding

I did lots of weeding behind the Stables, where I found more roses (Kronenburgs and Roydons) needing pruning and Phormiums needing a trim. Then I moved around to the Stumpy Garden, raked up oak leaves, and weeded some more.


I had a slight accident with Little Mac - just as I was tipping over a wheelbarrow full of water, she decided to scoot past underneath. Oops - one totally drenched kitten. But such is her wonderfully sunny nature that she just shook herself and kept on following me.

The first of my 'proper' daffodils is shyly flowering, so I poked my camera rather intrusively up into its pretty yellow face. But the resulting photograph was not really good enough - sorry!