Thursday, 29 December 2011


Not of Tunbridge Wells.

For the first time for 5 weeks had a stroll in the garden yesterday, albeit with 2 crutches. So much to do, clear up, weed, repair.

The small stream in the wood - which I cannot reach - is blocked and the water is running down the slope to puddle around the Bramley Apple. This cannot be good for it. The mild weather ploughs on and, though January is nigh, geraniums and hollyhocks flower not to mention (as I have done before) marigolds and nasturtiums.
The first tete a tete daff I potted up for Christmas is flowering on the living room windowsill.

The cold frame is a disgrace with withered willowherb
coming through the broken glass.
The top is old, salvaged from the garden that was here before we arrived and the wood is rotten.

Come better weather and limbs I will have to make a new sliding cover. Meanwhile any cuttings are either in a veg bed or in the shed by the window.

A gale is blowing yet again so there will be more arms full of sticks to collect. Almost all will be off the ash trees

The last image was taken yesterday and apart from the last rags of cherry leaves there are still a few rose flowers - pink in the photograph.
The cold frame is on the other side of the blue bench.

And so to Assad - I offered tea and advice to Gadaffi which he rejected - so now I offer a mug of hot chocolate and a hot mince pie with a daub of rum butter inside in the kitchen by the Aga to Assad. This matter can be sorted I am sure.

And thus to Ping Pong Ball and the bats.
Is he really enjoying all this fake sycophancy. I have my doubts that he has any real power - too much gold braid in his vicinity. Not the sort of career (pun) I would wish upon anyone.
He can come too, and bring Adminajabberwocky and his Persian Cat. I wonder of the cat's smile would fade away like that of Lewis C. if he realised how absurd his posturing is. (Though, admittedly, dangerous.)

Mmm! Mince pie. . . .

Saturday, 24 December 2011


What a mad weather world we live in!

Last year all was ice and snow, this year flowers still abound - nasturtiums and marigolds - even the quince is coming into flower. Astrantias and roses still bloom and daffs have pushed through on the upper banking. Snowdrops are almost out by the kitchen doors and I can even see a wallflower through the window.
It is mild and raining a lot.

Now, I know you are saying - why no blog for a bit?
Problem has been a knee replacement that has not quite gone according to plan so I have not been around the garden since November 21st!
I have to write part of this blog then get up and hobble around with the crutches, sit for a while with the foot up and then return.

See you in a few minutes.


Life can be tough and sometimes even sheep have to sleep rough. This one in the back field has a bad case of the lastyear'scoat.

I suppose, psychologically, I can identify with this ewe. Things are a bit ragged at present.

However I would rather identify myself with this fine Herdwick tup at Tilberthwaite,
king of all he surveys - but, of course, then one gets back to hormonal implants so I would not be much good as a Ram.
I wonder, do sheep get hot flushes - it would be very uncomfortable under all that wool.

So, despite the world straining to entropy, come next year and a healed knee, I shall fight the good garden fight, challenge the rabbits with chicken wire, mow the grass and slay the weeds.


Sunday, 11 December 2011


Nothing political, nothing X factor (thank heavens), just nothing much as I am still 90% housebound after the new knee.

So to some pics of the wonderful November 5th we had at The Nook, fire, fireworks and family. No big bangers just sparklers and such. The snowstorms are not what they were, nor are the golden rains - remember the ones with a handle so you could hold them!

Could not have a fire today as it is raining steadily.

The garden is full of pigeons come in from the fields and yesterday there was a large flock of fieldfares hunting for berries.

I gaze out of the window in the study and can see the weeds growing, the dead plants needing cutting back and Bert the Rabbert is chewing away on the banking. Mr and Mrs squirrel are still at the feeders and managed to dismantle one last week. No sign of bramblings yet.

The last picture is a morning after one of the bonfire - November 6th. The ashes were still hot and burst into flame when I stirred them. Then I chucked on some damp leaves and such, hence the smoke.
One visitor to my Flickr site said that it resembles a ship going down with its funnel crooked.

What a good job I had the knee done whilst the garden was not in need of too much attention.

Time for exercises and another ice pack.


Thursday, 1 December 2011


If one is trapped indoors by a new knee and a pair of crutches, well, actually a pair and a half, how do you write a garden blog?
(At this point I should say that three crutches a used - one left at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom as only one is used for going up and down).

So, to start with the decay of leaf litter, there are still beautiful patterns and colours, look closely. Then, if a frost comes, this heightens the detail.

Going backwards to autumn, (I was mobile then), many of the old and diseased leaves had dramatic hues and shapes as with this example of a sycamore.
Some leaves, for example, cercidiphyllum, smell of caramel or toffee.

As the green cellulose degenerates and disappears other hidden colours, yellow and reds come to the fore.

This is particularly noticeable with the maple family.
Unfortunately, though sycamore is a maple, most of its leaves go a muddy brown, If they went a spectacular yellow the British countryside would be fantastic.
But they do not.

Then there are the trees and
shrubs which keep their leaves through the winter, some dead as with beech and to a lesser extent the oak, others living as with this next leaf - Magnolia grandiflora.
The undersides of the evergreen leaves have a wonderful warm hue.
(I just wish that the shrub would flower in the summer - we are still waiting.)

Another dilemma is how to get images for the blog - through the window? Is that cheating? Should I change tack and ramble on about banks, the Euro, politics and other things that seem totally irrelevant as I sit in the garden and decay along with it.

Absolutely not!

This is a Garden Blog not Panorama or Question Time.