Wednesday, 26 March 2014


So we have a small problem - lawnmower man versus nowt but paths and grass woman. Can we compromise? Can we? Mmmm! And we have the proposals from Gary re changing the garden. And I have still not got my mowers back from the service agent.

Let me get the daffs done first - they are splendid up by the wood and I love them tumbling over each other. I would have preferred them to be wild daffodils - we have some as you can see below - but

many bulbs were here before us and they just burst from the ground every year. We pick them, fill vases and the house is full of scent. So to those of you in Canada, especially London, at 43 deg north - come over here - we are at 53 deg north and, unlike you, it is not snowing. In fact it has not snowed significantly all winter.

Between the daff clumps there grow primroses - one of the most delicate and pretty flowers of spring. The narcissi are all a bit stiff and sappy but the primroses, especially when wet from rain or dew are a delight.

R has just been out blasting the back paving with the Karcher as it had become very slippery when wet. She seems to like doing it so who am I to object. Whilst she was doing this I weeded the bay bed by the shed and found it had become riddled with ground elder! There is, however, some satisfaction in digging up the long underground roots and following them to the end. Unfortunately there is probably no way I have got every bit. Weed killer might be called for - it is not somewhere mowable.
At this time of year the list of things to do grows faster than they can be done - well faster then I do them. The cutting garden has been tidied. Here you can see old tulips in the front and then a line of Sweet William (Stunkin' Wullie if you are Scots) which, of course, is grown as a biennial.

At the far end are the alstromerias and in between room for calendulas and other annuals. Actually there is a clump of last year's marigolds in the bed. I cannot throw them away without seeing how well they will do in their second year.
Our garden designer told me off (gently) for not using matting and mulch around all my trees and shrubs so they would grow faster without competition at the roots. Correcting this has been added to the list, slap wrist, naughty lazy boy.

Back to R and the lawn thingy - she hates lawns and wants long, wild bits with paths through. This is ok but it means that later in the year will come a need for strimming. Now my regular readers will know that I love strimming (Hem, hem) so she said we can get someone in to do it. Should I shout, Whoopee? (Love the Ray Charles version of Making Whoopee by the way).

So a big garden year approaches, my back twinges, my knees knock (and grate), you should see me - 'What a figure, what a bank balance,' what a load of rubbish. (Quote is from Major Bloodnok.)

The Invasion of the (not body) Time Snatchers comes this weekend. We are both looking forward to it and the joy they bring - the grandchildren. These events are also known as the Lego explosion when the big box in their spare bedroom is emptied onto the floor. Then from a seemingly meaningless jumble of bits of plastic comes a vehicle with a motor and flashing lights.

And final here are some pulmonaria in flower.

When I worked, in the 1980s, I had Sir Austin Bradford Hill as a patient. He was the statistician and epidemiologist who, with Richard Doll, were the first to demonstrate the connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. (So pulmonaria - lungs etc.)(Get on with it.) Well I visited him fairly regularly and he was a great talker but I never put two and two together (well I did and made zero) so finally he asked, "Do you know who I am?" I mumbled something negative. He then told me in no uncertain terms who he was. However he remained my patient whilst he was in the area despite this.
One just does not expect famous people to pop up in places like here.

Just a minute, there is someone at the door . . .

It is all right. It is only Mr Putin asking my advice on how he can become buddies again with Mr Obama.
(I did tell him - get everyone at the next summit to learn the Hokey Cokey but he had forgotten.)

(Any way mentioning him ups my readership numbers in Russia a lot.)


  1. The daffodils are such a welcome sight, although like you, I wish that whoever planted them in my orchard had put in wild ones instead of the hotchpot of varieties chosen with no regard to form, size or colour. Still they are a cheerful sight. Ground elder! You mention it so casually. You can dig it up, stamp on it, mow it, curse it and weedkill it. It will thrive whatever you do.

  2. Ground Elder - something else we can thank the Romans for.