Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Not strictly true - of ideas I mean - I have lots of garden ideas but most of them would break the bank. Some parts of the garden are OK like the wood - well OKish - and the beds around the house. But the bottom garden needs a-sorting out. And all this without creating yet more work.
Jungle someone cries, let it become a jungle (Or tropical rainforest (except we are definitely not tropical, nor a forest, the rain fits though)).

Then I thought of goats! We could just fence off the bits we like and keep goats - they would east everything - or pigs!! 
This is Pig, from the productive end.
Now pigs would turn over every turf, snout plough the place.  But I remember from my youth the distinctive aroma of pigs, let alone the pong of a billy goat. Once, in Suffolk, we went to a small farm zoo place and in the bottom pen was a lovely looking goat. I patted it and it stayed with me all the rest of the day, no matter how I scrubbed my hands.

Then I thought of concrete - really non green - grey actually and weed free. I could stroll around my concrete wasteland and think of all the work in the garden I would not have to do. In the winter, where the slopes are I could wait for a hard frost and spray it all with water. The water would freeze and then out with the tin tray - wheeeeeeee! We could use it as a skateboard park in the summer and . . . . enough.

So now why have I a lovely picture of the winter view from the house in my blog.
Ah! Memories of how winters were before the endless rain - frost and snow and mist, cloud free clear days of delight.

I know it is not too late for the hand of Mr J Frost to fall upon our garden but the garden plants seem to think winter is done and spring is already here. Bulbs are through, snowdrops, quince, hellebore and so on are flowering. I noticed that lesser celandine (the weed) is well into leaf and the Magnolia stellata is in rampant bud.

You know, doing these blogs is tiring - I think I will just go and have a little lie down - back soon.

Right, now I feel better, cup of tea and a piece of fruit - I shall fade away with this diet - (is that not the idea?) - you forget the title of this blog - devoid of . . .

Just occasionally, this January, the sun has had the affrontery to stick its feeble head through the clouds and this has lit up the garden. The hydrangeas have not yet been pruned and the backlit heads are lovely.

R has been weeding the small banking below the house and I have been shovelling - you know what. It was supposed to rain more today but we had a window of opportunity and took it.

So, to conclude, let me show you another picture from last year - this one of the big sycamore. Ah! Memories - it has gone prematurely dark and is raining on my window again.

Monday, 27 January 2014


Or red cheeked face considering the cock pheasant and the grey squirrel feeding together. The squirrel drops bits of peanut and the pheasant says, 'Thank you.' It also says the same to the tits who are so picky they take a seed, chuck it a way, take another and so on until they find one they like. This, of course benefits the ground feeding birds like the pheasant, doves, pigeons and chaffinches.

The weekend gone was the one of the Great British Birdwatch organised by the RSPB - we were all doing timed garden bird watching counting numbers and species.
The kestrel kept away this time! It would be great to have rarity in the garden but it is really the numbers of common birds that is important - to see how they are doing this year with the wet mild weather.

There goes a wren but it was not there during my hour?

The food was peanuts and a mixture of Nyger and black sunflower seed as usual but I was tempted to stick an apple, in halves, on the ground too. This netted me a blackbird or two. There, I am a cheat.

These are the feeders on one of the sheds - four goldfinches on the left, a blue tit on the peanuts on the right. Note it is a so called squirrel proof feeder and it has worked - so far.
So it was mostly tits, finches and sparrows.

The rooks are having a ball up in rook town next door. They never stop chattering like a forest full of gossips.

And then I tried to upload my information and the site had crashed! This birdwatch is getting too popular. Trouble is the website was a cock pheasant up, would not let me in - drove me peanuts!

Weather - good old British subject and have we not had a load of it. One minute it is raining and dark, the next the sun is out as here.
I don wellies and head out and come in and take them off again.

It is midwinter and I can just about accept the snowdrops being early then I look and the wallflowers are coming out.

Nice to have their scent along with the sarcococcus and winter honeysuckle but, really, seasons are seasons and should behave properly.

I have just read and article in the paper from Helen Yemm - well, she is answering a reader query - about Magnolia grandiflora not flowering. She says it will take at least 12 years before it flowers - so, mine was about three years old when I planted it seven years ago - that makes 10, so another three years to go.
It had better be worth it when and if it happens.

I have been reading the Cally Gardens 2014 catalogue - Michael Wickenden bemoans the problems today of plant hunting - he was going to Burma but has had to call it off. You can find the text of a lecture he has given at -
He mentions the ridiculous concept of patenting genes. 
I can understand it, perhaps, if someone made a gene but as most of them have been around for millions of years it all seems a bit crazy.

Anyway no one in their right mind would want any of my genetic material. 
Though my cousin Linda has said I have kind eyes.
I wonder what kind?

Friday, 24 January 2014



It just keeps raining.
It just gets boggy.
The lawn is sodden.
The sky is leaden.

This is not a pome.
This is just a moan.

Streams are overflowing - this is in the Village.
It is no pleasure squidging around the garden trying not to do damage
after so much precipitation.

And it is not just tidying. Digging waterlogged turf and ditches is a back breaking exercise and I am to old and decrepit for that. (Well, that is my excuse.)

Just driven back from seeing Patrick Caulfield exhibition in Kendal through hail, sleet and pouring rain. Then the sun comes out with a wonderful rainbow - perhaps there is some hope?

However there are some side effects from the wet that can delight - such as the intensifying of colour in these dead miscanthus blades. They will have to be cut back soon as the new growth is appearing at the base of the clump.

Now, I have rabbited on about well rotted horse manure and wheel barrows so here is an image of the stuff around a rose.

We could do with a bit of frost as, when the moisture in the soil and muck freezes, it breaks up the texture and gives a finer tilth. (The frost would also nut some slugs.) There is still a third of the garden to do, spreading the good stuff and I have just seen a good offer for strawberry plants in Gardeners' World Magazine. (No, love, it is not a mother new bed, I will use and old one.)

As you can see, the rain was short lived and the sun came out. Below is the garden from the wood after the rain. The brown to the right is a bit of beech hedge - one of R's bits of stuff stuck anywhere as she says. However the wet leaves have the same deep shade as the miscanthus now they are wet.

Now, often we get the weather of the eastern USA about a week or so after they do so, where is the cold weather, the snow?
Obviously someone has been interfering with the jet stream. One thing we cannot blame Putin for as he lives the other side of us. Nor can we blame Al Qaeda, Al Capone nor Alikazam!
If it is Global Warming perhaps we can blame melting tundra, the motor car, palm oil plantations and even cattle being windy.

Think about it - the weather man comes on the TV and says it will be mild this winter in the UK because of an increase in cattle fa**ing.
However, if we all then go vegan and stop eating beef and dairy products will any weather change then be due to us?

"Don't do that dear, you'll make the weather too mild."

Thursday, 23 January 2014


Spring continues to defy winter - the Stinking hellebore is flowering, snowdrops everywhere. Hazel trees out on the Holker Mosses are covered in golden catkins.

The garden is rather messy as much is waterlogged and best left alone. I pray for a dry spell so I can get at the grass which continues to grow in this mild, damp winter.

The amaryllis are over, the Christmas hyacinths nowhere near out - got that wrong!

I have had the idea of digging up the copper beech hedge from the lower garden and opening up that area and moving it to - ? Somewhere - I cannot just throw it away. Then we have 20 box  about 18" tall still waiting for planting - but where, but how, but what shape - is this for low/high hedging or topiary. R would like box balls but where do we put them?

My gooseberry and redcurrant cuttings have taken and will need planting out - somewhere.

This photo taken from the wood shows a surprise burst of sunshine lighting up the garden. The orange blob is a clump of damp Miscanthus. The dark cube in the foreground is one of the old wells, nailed shut and wrapped in wire netting to keep the grandchildren safe.

One of my next jobs, when all is heavily manured, is to clear the ditch, drag out the still flourishing water cress and put it on the compost heap.

We were hoping to drain the garden but the 'I will come" man with the mini digger has not.

On The Nook blog site I have several links - nor to mention a little more about them.
This is the site for R's digital soap that she does with friends. It has been on local radio and television and is nothing to do with gardening.
A wonderful gardening blog celebrating the gardens of Cumbria, England - excellent photography and much, much more.
A garden blog about gardens, plants and landscape design ideas. Jan Johnsen says she writes her blog because - The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away. (Pablo Picasso)
She has a section for recommended books and products.
She has worked all over the world and is now living in Westchester County, NY, USA
An excellent garden blog and much more with much on wildlife.
This is a photo diary from Southwest Washington State (USA), perhaps a bit more personal than mine but interesting.
They are flower farmers in Oxfordshire
This is the site for Taliesin Woodlands and the Orchard and Wild Harvest Project of the South West Community Woodlands Trust in Scotland.
The site for Abi and Tom's Garden Plant Nursery at Halecat in South Cumbria.
The site for the Cally Gardens at Gatehouse of Fleet in Scotland. The owner travels the world as a plant hunter coming back with discoveries he propagates.
Another local nursery - gold medal winners at the RHS.
Blog and other continuing information of the famous restored Victorian garden in Cornwall, UK.
Blogs from the writes etc of the Gardeners' World Magazine in the UK - A BBC spin off from the TV show.

Of course there are thousands of blogs, sites etc but these are a few I especially like.
Suggestions for other blogs/sites to visit would be welcome.

Monday, 20 January 2014


Yesterday there was a bumblebee on the winter flowering honeysuckle - in January!

It is so mild, it cannot go on. Temperatures 6 to 8C or more, hardly a frost at night, damp and misty at times, wet a lot, then the sun comes out, the birds are singing and it feels like spring is here. I just have a feeling that the climate has something nasty up its sleeve.

Snowdrops are well under way and I think I heard a song thrush not far away. The thrush is a summer migrant - it is too early yet.

In a garden there is a tendency to group items together - here flower pots and a sundial. The front pot has yellow winter flowering pansies over tulips, the pot to the right glaucous grass and a cross stone.

Some years ago R found a beach stone with a white vein shaped like a fish that appealed to her Christianity. For years I have been looking for one with veins shaped like a cross and last year I found one. It is now in this pot.
The plant behind should be dead by now, not being truly hardy, but it is trying to flower.

The third image shows a pot tray with many small coloured stones next to a semicircular stone trough that used to belong to my mother. The trough is very small and the hole drilled in the bottom for drainage is blocked - so, with all the rain, it has filled with water.

At other places in the garden are the stones I have brought from all over the country and from abroad.

Stones that look like eggs, have fossils in them, are crystalline or just an interesting colour.

Time to go out and garden.
I barrowed so much manure yesterday that I have an aching lower back - it is tough becoming a decrepit old man but the muck is the key to the growth of plants that erupts from the ground later in the year. One exception being the grasses - leave them in poorer conditions.

The first of our two amaryllis to flower, two stems, is over and now it goes on my study windowsill to build up the bulb for next year. The soil is kept moist and I will feed it every two weeks with a diluted tomato fertiliser. When the leaves die back and wither it will then go into a dark cool shed until next October end. Then we will pray for another magnificent show like this year.

My Canadian cousin Scott has Facebooked a picture of weighing scales - I know, I know, it is time to cut out the pleasure of eating - too much weight gain. So onto the scales, panic! Diet begins today - only two stones to lose (or my will to lose weight)(or my will to live!)

Saturday, 18 January 2014


In winter, yes, the predominate colour is green. But, if one can, there are ways to introduce other shades into the garden - like grey.

Quiz time - what is this? (not the door mat upon which I have photographed it.) No it is not a stone from the garden. Answer at the end.

Let me start with leaf colour, bud colour, well plant colour. (And I have forgotten ash and birch bark).

Cue for a poem - 

(from the Norse)

Ash .....
our flesh is your wood,
you are the Tree of the World*,
you are my hammer haft,
and cleft the cure of my child.
Your flesh comes late,
goes so soon.

Ash .....
when your leaves fall
your limbs are bare and grey.
When a gale blows
your one-winged keys
spin to another day;
your black caps mourn.

Ash .....
your wood is white
and hardened in the years;
your sawn branch
cleaves well, burns long.
Summers ascend in smoke,
and that which remains ..........


I get on with it -

                     Magnolia stellata buds                          Buddleia

Santolina                           Lavender

Euonymus                     Hebe

Snow in Summer                    Rockrose

Pittosporum                 Brachyglottis

These are both shaped by the memsahib's delicate hand into globular shrubs. She likes a bit of topiary - TOPIARY, I said.

Sage               Stachys

But there are other things in the garden that are grey (besides myself)(especially in the winter)(and when tired from forking manure).

The grey zinc of a flower container made from an old water tank, the fake lead look of a fibreglass planter.

Even the outdoor electric sockets are grey (and the bird dropping) as is the hat on Doc in the poppy bed.

Slate chipping paths and paving slabs add to the greyness of this time of year. (What about the dry stone wall at the end of the garden, the greyness of the water in the stream? Okay, I admit it, I forgot them.)(But then I haven't, have I as I have just mentioned them.)

It is half past three, the sky is grey and the light is failing. Oh! For the long evenings of summer when twilight and dawn almost meet.

So what is today's mystery object?

Clue - I picked it up on Oputere Beach.
Clue - it had floated there.
Clue - it is as light as a - well bit more than a feather but you get what I mean.
Clue - Oputere Beach is on the North island of New Zealand.
Clue - it probably came from somewhere called White Island.
Clue - it is good for removing hard skin from your (not my) feet. (I do not have much hard skin on my feet.)

So to the answer - next week?

No, cannot be so rotten - it is a piece of Pumice fired out of a volcano.

What that has to do with gardening (apart for the hard skin bit) . . . nothing.
However - IT IS GREY! (unless you live somewhere where they cannot spell properly and call it grAy.              

No offence meant.
(Not much I hear a voice.)

Thursday, 16 January 2014


Yes, welcome to the garden of disorganised thought. R thinks we need to call in a designer. She has decided she likes gardens with structure, with organisation. She has decided that our garden is uncoordinated (a bit like my mind) and needs sorting out.
She likes the woodland area and the beds around the house.

Beyond that all is bitty - a bit here and a bit there. This is true though creating what she wants will take money and TIME.

R wants instant garden (as we are getting older) and waiting ten years for something is not on her menu. This is tough as trees and hedges take a long time.
However, I have to agree that the lower garden is a bit of a shambles with a stream wandering through a bog and two silted ponds to the bottom corner.
I know she does not like the willow tunnel and the veg beds (which should be moved out of sight).

So, let me start with what we keep - the upper banking and woodland, though she wants a big tall hedge to keep us private from the field - snag - the soil there is poor, people ride by on horses (so the hedge needs to be HIGH!), there is competition from nearby mature trees.
We also keep the flowerbeds around the house, more or less, and, perhaps the path leading down the garden and, perhaps, the path to the Wendy House.

So, what have we left?
We have the lawns, veg and fruit beds, cold frame and all the far and lower garden plus the big banking. At the far end is a dry stone wall and along then lower side is a ditch backed by a field hedge. From the septic tank located just beyond the flowerbeds runs a long pipe and soak away. It goes under the blackcurrants and fruit trees to the stream where it turns sharp left (had problems with the stream disappearing into the soak away pipe at one time) and continues down to the hedge ditch. The water running out of the pipe feeds the ponds.

So what is permanent in the affected area?
Firstly the big eucalyptus - an R favourite, perhaps the six white birches and definitely the Wendy House (R's writing shed). The stream will have to stay in some form or other somewhere and the soak away pipe mud be considered.
The problem with the big banking is that it is a huge heap of hardcore tipped when the house was built to extend the platform on which the house stands. The photo shows it when I decided to clear the grass by burning it - a decision I regretted and I only just saved the plantings by bashing the grass with shovel. It has a thinnish skim of soil - a foot or so thick and is alkaline. This means rhododendrons, azaleas and heathers are out. R dose not like heathers anyway. When we first moved in I asked the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) for ideas and there reply was mainly unhelpful. Since then I have planted shrubs and small trees in a rather haphazard fashion. (R hates haphazard, she says.)

Alternatives might appeal - what about concrete? Really ungreen, hideous to look at but very very low maintenance - at least in my lifetime. Then there is the let it go thought, allow it to become jungle, do not weed. Possibly a path could be mown through the middle so the mess could be admired.
A BMX track, artificial ski slope, a beach, a children's playground, drive-in cinema all spring to mind.

So, rather than calling it The Garden of Disorganised Thought it could be The Disorganised Garden of Thought?

Or we could move house.
Or we could get planning permission on the bottom garden and sell it off.
Or we could keep looking at it and what to do.
Or we (R) could get in a garden designer and I could grumble and mutter.
Or we could spend thousands building steps and walls, buying mature eight foot hedges and then, realising the amount of work needed to keep all okay, get a gardener as well as a designer.
Or . . . . . .

My raspberries have virus. Time to dig them up and burn them. Perhaps I have virus too. Perhaps I need a designer?
Come to think of it I needed that a long time ago.

Monday, 13 January 2014


We all know the five senses - sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. But are there more?

In a garden sight will predominate - not just colour but shape, not just shape but movement, shades and shadows, the visual composition of the garden with lines leading to and across things, using focal points for statues, a shrub, a dramatic plant. And contrast is important - variegation, light an dark, green and red, other complimentary colours. Placing one particular colour next to another can heighten its intensity, change how the eye and the brain register the hue, taint, shade.

With hearing we do not just experience plants like grasses, the aspen, leaves in general rustling in a breeze, but intrusive sound from cars, rushing of water, birdsong, the susurration of the wind, a croak of frogs (is this a collective noun?) and call of spring lambs. Sometimes, if you listen carefully, there are stranger noises - the squeak of a mollusc, one's own heart beating, the squelch of a boot in wet ground. Of course we can make our own garden music with chimes and water features. Listening to running water is one of the pleasures of life.

The we come to taste and the fruit and vegetables of the garden, the tang of clean icy water, the subtle flavour of good soil sucked off a finger. The is nothing better than sinking one's teeth into a ripe Victoria plum and letting the sweet juice trickle around the mouth, except, perhaps a strawberry, or, even better, a raspberry. The there is the delight in pulling up a young carrot, brushing off the soil and crunching into its orange flesh, the joy of running ones finger through a pea pod and consuming the contents. For more exotic tastes try biting into a lovage stem, chewing parsley or excavating a pignut and letting the pepperiness fill your mouth.

Taste and smell are inseparable senses. I know, as an ex medic, that the two interplay and loss of one can deeply affect the experience of the other. However a garden is full of scents - not just the heady scents of flowers like sweet peas but the aromas of herbs, their leaves gently crushed in the fingers, the smell of warm compost, dry grass in the sun, even good horse manure. And different collections of plants can have widely various associations. The scent of the herbs and plants of the limestone pavements around south Cumbria is wonderful but completely unlike that of a mountain grassland, a peat bog, duneland and so on.

And so to the last of the official five - touch. I know holly leaves are spiny but the glossy surface between is such a contrast to, say, the featheriness of catmint (nepeta) or lavender. Soil can be gritty or sandy, wet or dry, full of organic matter or just clay and many other - I want to say feelings but that is not right - textures is better. Bark on trees can be smooth like the birch or rough and fissured like oak, papery or abrasive. In ponds and streams we come into contact with sliminess (and with slugs and snails), smoothness and the sensation of water rushing through the hands, the satisfaction of squeezing mud through the fingers. And with water comes cold, warm, hot. I have not included nettle and insect stings etc etc.

The list is endless but there are other senses!

I have just been picking up the windfall sticks off the top banking before I have to stay away as the bulbs are coming through. When I had finished I had another deeper sensation - backache. That is not really touch but something much deeper.
When I am gardening and gradually keel over backwards (Oh! the travesty of old age) it is due to a disruption of the sense of position, of balance.
And then there are the times when a shiver goes down my back. I look around but can see no cause but it is a strange perception.

And where do a feeling of delight, an aura of peace, of happiness come in? The first snowdrops announcing a new year does involve sight but more?

They are common in the garden - inner senses?

So now I bow to thirst and hunger and head for the kitchen to assuage my senses.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Quiz time - what on earth are these?

They are not R and my haloes. Answer at the bottom of the blog

Now to the blog.
No loaves and fishes though it feels a bit like that at times - feeding the avian population of our garden - so black sunflower seed, nyger seed and peanuts (not salted nor honey roasted).

Below are four images - the first shows feeders on the left and my dwarf - NOT a gnome - on the right. It is Doc given to me on my retirement. The bed in which he stands has been recently manured and the green shoots of oriental poppies are pushing through. There banking behind is liberally planted with bulbs - daffodils, snowdrops, crocuses and camassias. 
The birds that feed here are mainly chaffinches and goldfinches with all sorts of tits, the odd dove and pigeon, pheasant, woodpecker and this morning a magpie.

This second image is also out of my study window and shows the feeders currently hanging on the shed - two with seed and a peanut feeder with an anti-squirrel cage. This seems to work (so far) and the beasties are trying to tear apart the one in the first photo.

Now we are looking out of the kitchen window at the feeders in the buddleia - one big seed feeder and peanut one. This is the dining area for house and tree sparrows, the ubiquitous tits and a few finches, mainly chaffinch and greenfinch. The population of the latter has suffered in the last year or so from sone sort of virus. They used to be the most common of our finches here.
The buddleia is approaching February end when it will be cut back to one bud above last year. By the summer it will have regrown to over eight feet tall and be covered in butterflies.

And so to the mower shed wit its attached trellis hiding the bins, barrows and stuff. Here is the giant peanut feeder and one seed feeder. This is again a sparrow area and especially where the greater-spotted woodpecker comes. The trellis is covered with a clematis montana and a honeysuckle - Halliana.

We also have half a dozen nesting boxes like this one in the wood.

No we have not had any snow yet - this is an old pic. You will note the metal surround to the entry hole. This is to stop the woodpeckers enlarging it and eating the chicks. I did consider other boxes - kestrel or owl - but as they are very much predators of small birds I have decided not to erect any. Visiting raptors are enough - low skimming sparrow hawks - and no doubt the squirrels eat many eggs and young.
One small mammal we have in our garden but we do not see often is the common shrew. I found one this morning lying dead in a puddle at the back of the house. It looked uninjured so I wondered if it could just have drowned in the heavy rain in the night?

Now, before, I have mentioned the fly infestation we had from our supermarket basil. I have had a letter from them (and £4 of vouchers with apology). It states that the insects are sciarid flies and a hazard of not using any pesticides on the basil. Thank heavens they do not bite - swat!, slap! - but been so . . 
We have removed plants with infected compost elsewhere and now just have the odd bug about.

With the mild weather (so far)(I believe that the Vortex will soon be with us)(but not as extreme as North America)(we hope) the winter has been very kind to molluscs - especially slugs and snails. Hence a cold snap would be welcome even though it puts small birds like our wrens at risk. I see one almost every time I go into the garden this year.

So, back to the quiz. 
They have nothing to do with Roswell, ET, aliens let alone our haloes.
They are, in fact, reflections on the ceiling in the kitchen from the small lights above shining on a pan.
Is that not very disappointing.

Monday, 6 January 2014


So it is freezing across the pond whilst over here storms traipse across the garden. In fact the weather is so mild (if wet  and windy) that we have not had any Bramblings, Siskins, Waxwings or any other  -ings as winter visitors. I lie - we had a brief flurry of redwings and fieldfares but they too seem to have been blown away.

Today is gym day but it has also been manure day - just a couple of barrow loads in the continuing mulch. It has also been clear out the stream day and now there are no blockages, just a lot of muddy water.

Whilst doing the stream and spreading molehills, of which we now have a Andean range, I discovered a new tree on a bank. This is a willow and has been put there by someone - just a twig shoved in. I have missed it and it has rooted. I can only think it might have been someone small and mischievous - Mmm!

In the lower boggy garden I stuck in a few willow wands myself a few years ago - side by side and then twisted then around one another. It will be interesting to see what they look like when grown - reminds me of the Trees on Arnside Knot. It is said a couple tied two trees together as a lovers' knot. The remains were still there the last time I walked past but a bit worse for wear.
When the den was made for the grandchildren we failed to stick the wands into the ground and this will be remedied in the spring. However, it may look a bit strange - willows grown up through a rhododendron.

The area around the Wendy House needs clearing. I have cheated with the photo below as this is how it looked after winter tidying two years ago. The garden is so wet I have stayed off it as much as possible. Anyway there are other things that have to be done like taking down Christmas decorations, visiting my sister-in-law, her daughter and son-in-law and their daughter, my great niece. It was a bit of an anti-climax as she was not even sick on me! The highlight of the visit was really when one of the dogs stole half a bun of the kitchen worktop.

So to the Plague - the small flies are everywhere - the ones that came as a gift with the pot of basil from the supermarket. Almost all the houseplants have infestations in the soil and when I took the Christmas crib off the windowsill it revealed hundreds of dead and living beasties. The surface of the water in a vase of alstromerias (don't they last well) was carpeted with them. 

We have removed all plants from the living room - some can go outside as no frost, others into the porch or shed. If one looks closely you can see little tiny white maggoty thingys wriggling about.
The amaryllis seem not too badly affected but the never flowering hyacinths are riddled. I suppose they can go outside but one lot are in a rather nice Chinese bowl (that I say is Famille Vert but R says that is wishful thinking and anyway it is just a bowl) so they can not be exposed to adverse weather.
If all else fails I will remove them and plant them in the garden.

At least we are not sub zero, snowy and icy like in the North of America. Apparently the papers say they are suffering from a vortex. Makes one wonder if you can get something for that?

Anyway, to those over there who mistakenly read this blog, do take care and keep warm. Frostbite can strike so quickly. 
Now it is said that the weather you have today will soon be ours. It is very kind of you to send it to us but, in this instance, please do not bother - really, we will not mind if you keep it all for yourselves.

We will just settle for our own weather.
It is raining again.