welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


 A brief Twitter conversation this afternoon led me to realise that I haven't posted any pics of the honesty running riot all round the garden! I've been too busy looking up in the air at appleblossom or the ornamental cherry bursting into flowers, and ignored this almost weed-like plant.

That ability to seed as well as a weed is one of the things I love about it. Hardly any effort required! I just leave the seedpods alone - apart from a few that I bring inside over-winter to fill vases - and let nature do the rest.

It takes two years to grow to flowering stage, so round the bases of these second year plants there'll be small seedlings starting to grow.
Some years there'll be lots of flowers - this year the plants almost encircle the lawn - others not so many.

Another thing I love is that they hide the dying-back daffodils so I can just snip the dead heads off and leave the rest to die back naturally.

By the time the honesty has finished flowering, aquilegias and poppies will distract the eye...

Monday, 27 April 2015

Bad weather coming ....

 It's been a lovely, mainly sunny week with temperatures getting up to 17 or so during the day and not dropping too low at night.

One of the apple trees is in full blossom, the 'bell' flowers, in pink, white and the occasional blue are out

 Forget-me-nots are spreading over the vegetable patches

There are tulips in stunning red..

and subdued pale pink...


at the back of this photo is a weather warning.....ornamental cherry in blossom. I don't know what specific variety this tree is but it flowers a little later than most and generally marks a down-turn in the weather. For years I've waited for it to flower only to see the blossom dashed within a day or two as the weather changes

Tonight the temperature is forecast to drop to 2 degrees (though one report suggested minus1!) and the week ahead is set to be wet. Well, the blossom was lovely while it lasted, even if only for today.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

26th April 2015 - Picked this week and allotment update

 It's blossom time at the allotment - one of the cherries is in full flower, and the other in bud

The established pear tree is covered in just-breaking buds with apples soon to follow. Some more sunny days should see it at its prettiest.

 Surprisingly my allotment trip this week turned up a lot of produce - spinach that's much bigger than that growing at home, some american land cress

two almost forgotten leeks, the first rhubarb

brassica bits in the shape of bolting brussels, which might get eaten as 'broccoli',and the tiny heart of a cabbage

more of the long white radish

Friday, 17 April 2015

Just half an hour.....

peas in their new wigwam
I started the day intending to have a gentle morning in the garden, maybe half an hour or so, just plant out my purple podded peas and do a little weeding - but somewhere along the line got carried away. So, I planted out the peas, pricked out the kale, pricked out Elefant leeks (a full tray then about a dozen straight into the garden), potted on some Primo cabbages, set more cabbages (Golden Acre for summer, Langedijk, Winter Ling and Late Flat Dutch for autumn through winter), set a dozen Tendergreen French beans, moved some carnation cuttings into the flower beds, planted a couple of lettuce outside and some in a hanging basket (currently in the greenhouse but I may move it outside later, and hopefully the plants will be too high for slugs to reach).
hanging basket with lettuce
By the time I'd finished, I ended up with a very late lunch at quarter to 3!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Away for a few days

 We were away for three days last week, and the changes that have taken place in the garden in that time have me stunned.

 The most noticeable is the huge wild cherry which although outside the garden forms the backdrop to it When we went away there were only a couple of buds opening - now, after some gorgeous sunshine, it's in full flower.

On the inside -the flowering currant has leaves as well as blossom and is hiding the fence nicely.

Lots of new flowers have opened - wallflowers, forget me nots, pansies, dwarf Red Riding Hood tulips with tall Appeldoorn tulips just waiting for one more day of sun.

 The peach tree is now covered in blossom - so hopefully we'll have home grown peaches in summer

 In the greenhouse, a handful of tiny seedlings have grown into ready-to-pick salads

and even the rhubarb has put on a spurt of growth.

The weeds have been springing up too, and I spent Sunday morning trying to clear the paths of sticky-bud, unwanted forget me nots, sycamore seedlings and baby nettles.  So far I've left the self spread strawberries in place but even though I'd like to keep them the path isn't a good place for them.

Picked this week - 12th April 2015

 A couple of good handfuls of mixed salad leaves and more radishes. It doesn't look a lot but it's always exciting to pull the first crops of the year.

Monday, 6 April 2015


 Easter weather turned out rather gorgeous - two days of feeling like summer had arrived!

The front flower beds are filled with daffodils, while forsythia and bergenia are making a bright splash in the back garden

There are buds on the apple tree and blossom on the peach next to the kitchen wall
 Polyanthus still flowering, in all shades

 grape hyacinths/muscaria
 flowers on the self-set flowering currant

huge patch of bergenia