Monday, 30 January 2012


I waited and waited and they all went somewhere else until the hour was up - well not quite but later in the day the bird feeders - here almost empty - were chock-a-bloc with avian creatures.

It is frosty and forecast for the week but it makes no difference to the marigolds - here they are, albeit a bit ragged, flowering next
to the snowdrops!

The sarcococcus is flowering well outside the back door which is not of much good to the memsahib as she has lost much of her pong detection to a virus a while back.
The main path has been hoed and mem' has been clearing much of the dead and scruffy stuff from the flowerbeds. However we seem to be over run by broad-leaved willowherb and cress - weeding to do.
The compost heap is too small so plans are afoot for a big drive-in one or two beyond the veg beds a la Monty Don.

The thin wide image below is of the woodland path with the snowdrops getting going on the upper side. Every year divide and spread - in the end we will have a white carpet. The price for such as snowdrops and bluebells in the catalogues is absurd.

Now some more cash would be a help for doing more to the garden - I wonder if a directorship is vacant at RBS - I could just take the bonus and resign?

And to the surviving flowering nasturtium of which I was so proud. I was tidying the bed ten feet away where there was a sad gooey mess - nasturtium remains - so I pulled (and pulled) to find at the far end the remaining flowers.
Bye bye nasturtium.


Monday, 23 January 2012


I start with an image of the garden showing the neglect caused by my inability to get out there.

Uncut grasses , tangled roses, weeds - the only consolation is that the garden is bathed in a warm morning light as the sun broke through the cloud over Morecambe Bay.
Sitting back I can see so many jobs to be done - redo the paths with new edging and chippings, ?get a sit on mower with a trailer so I can trundle down the track and get my free horse manure, the catalogues are here and Sarah Raven's looks wonderful and I know the plants will be in tip top condition - but they are EXPENSIVE.
One very welcome catalogue is from Cally Gardens in Gatehouse-of-Fleet. There are always tempting things brought back from the Far East. I have one unusual berberis from there by the back door which has the most vicious thorns.

Back to the garden and our snowdrops which are dug up every year in the green and spread out. The policy is beginning to work and with self spreading the white carpet is not too far away.

On the right by the rhododendron you can jut see the first daffodil in flower.

So I tell myself to go out and just do a bit and - it is raining again.

This typing is getting difficult as I have suddenly started to hiccough (hiccup) - ?spelling.

So out with cold keys - down the back, drink of water or best of all - just hold my breath hard for 30 seconds - it worked.

Talking of the first photo in today's blog - I love that pot.
Does that mean I am a ceramic lover, a potophile or just a bit potty?

Thursday, 19 January 2012


So here I am listening to Barry Maguire
singing The Eve of Destruction just after Sonny Boy Williamson's Fattening Frogs for Snakes!
Well you can't have everything.

This is a frosty dawn from the house with a strange yellow glow.

The snowdrops have changed from odd spots of white to more of a ragged carpet. Only one daff is out, yet the marigolds flower on as does that single tenacious nasturtium.

Music has changed - to Guy Mitchell and She Wears Red Feathers - Ah! Well.

So to an amazing sunset over the garden with rooks returning to their roost next door.

Oh! My G. it is the Stargazers now with I See the Moon. As you can see my taste in music is improving with age. Now it is Lena Martell with One Day at a Time - my nephew the Rev. might approve of this one. Though the Ghostbusters theme is next so . . . .

I have decided to have a clear out - I know you do not believe it - but many of my books are just there and most of little value -though when my Granddaughter handed me The Observers Book of Wild Flowers the other day and I found a personal inscription in it from 1957! Keep that one. I have a feeling I will keep on saying, "Keep that one."

The last picture is of a wisp of Miscanthus back-lit by the sun. I am trying to increase the grasses to give some interest in the winter but I will have to watch the new growth with the mild winter to cut back the dead growth at the right time.

Now some Aussie chap is singing Duncan's Me Mate - definitely time to go and have a cup of tea but as I turn to leave Rolf Harris starts on Stairway to Heaven . . . . . .

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Second morning of frost and still the marigolds flourish.

The warm sun (in colour) lights up the garden as it rises over the shoulder of the distant Forest of Bowland - thirty miles away across Morecambe Bay.

I am torn between getting out into the garden and doing something and knowing that if I do I will be laid up with the pain in my knee and the threat of ice packs.. (Slow recovery from a replacement).

Here and there flowers still show -
pink quince and red roses.

Up on the banking the daffs are pushing out of the grass and a carpet of snowdrops is beginning to make headway.
Stinking hellebore has been in bloom for a while and the sarcococcus pours out scent by the back door.

It is wonderful to see the sun again after a dreary Christmas and New Year with cloud and rain, if mild.

The rooks are starting nest-building and we have two cock pheasants in the garden - Mrs Phes can only watch the battle.

We thought of a week of winter sun but my lack of mobility is a problem. We thought of a cruise but events off Italy (liner on its side) make one think. I could not sit for long in a plane seat without needing to walk up and down.

On that cheerful note I shall pop a paracetamol- cue for a song? - "Better pop a paracetamol or two-oo?" More cried Oliver, less cried me.

So to HS2 and all those billions of pounds.
Do we really want a High Speed rail link up north? Well Birmingham is north of Watford. With all those BBC people getting to Salford quicker and easier, I say we should have a vote on Independence from the South East of England, sell them water when they run dry and build a Watford Wall - to keep them in their enclave. (Sorry Patiopatch.)

Perhaps it should be compulsory for all students from the South to go to Universities in the North and vice versa?

What am I rambling on about?

Moon in trees, morning sun, winter garden, cup of tea and some painkillers - time to shut up.

Friday, 6 January 2012


I have been around the top part of the garden today.
There are sticks everywhere (and weeds). The gales have pruned the trees.

The garden is surprisingly lush and the small area of lawn up in the wood had grass that is 5" tall.

There has been such a lot of rain and there is a new spring in the wood - just where I do not want it. Digging ahead.

The flowerbeds are neglected and need a
good feed - hence the moss as shown here.

The leeks look good but the turnips look more like swedes - now I know that up north a turnip is a swede - no, the other way around - so what do they call a swede? A Finn? So what do fish have?

And just to prove that the weather is potty here is a picture of marigolds becoming
perennial taken today.

Winter draws (DRAWS!) on and we have snowdrop(s) in a small vase in the kitchen.

I am busy transcribing Emily Rowntree's diary notes on the last months of the life of my Great Great Grandfather - her handwriting is a challenge - but it is interesting - well to me.

Another blog I follow - Patiopatch - has just done the twelve days of Christmas - a labour of ? - but done it well and an old friend George Kosinski has started a blog with delightful watercolour sketches at

The internet is awash with blog, the garden is awash - a bog!
Time for tea.