For the roses

You know how it is when you need to make an urgent garden purchase? Like a new rose bush. You can live for years with the same old roses and then it seems essential that you get some more. Well they were for a special family celebration – but the point is that I needed roses, today. But I have a problem. I live in the centre of the city which means that all the decent garden centres lie in a semicircle stretching from between six and and fifteen miles away. It was a lovely day so I took my bike … Continue reading For the roses

A closer look

What with all this sun and rain, everything is growing very fast just now.  That’s great for the runner beans, courgettes and tomatoes but not so good when it comes to weeds.  I dashed out in the rain today to dead head some roses, harvest more peas and try and keep the lawn edges under some kind of control.  I was down on my knees, cutting the lawn edges with shears, when I spotted this lovely viola, self-seeded among the weeds between the paving stones.   It must have come from the exploding seeds in 2014.  I think I’ll just leave the … Continue reading A closer look

Broad bean guacamole

Broad beans are great but this year there are just a little too many all coming at once. So I raided the various ‘how to use up your garden vegetables’ cookery books on the shelf and found ‘broad bean guacamole’. I have to say it is one of those recipes that just doesn’t convince. A bit like green tomato marmalade (which is great) and green tomato mincemeat (which was not a success in this house) or ‘Mock chrystalised ginger’, made from marrows (which I’ve yet to try – I’ll let you know).  Anyway I love avocados and found it really hard to believe that … Continue reading Broad bean guacamole

Not knowing what you’re growing

This years the peas have been spectacular. We’ve been eating pea salad and green soup nearly every day. I have three varieties this year – the reliable ‘Sugar Pea Norli’ which I’ve grown for several years. It has white flowers and continues for weeks, turning out lovely little mange tout peas:   Then I have the slightly mad but beautiful Carouby de Mousanne, which I grew for the first time last year. It has glorious flowers and is worth it for those alone: The peas are nice but not quite as good as the shy little Norli and the plants are a … Continue reading Not knowing what you’re growing

Bees and roses

What is more beautiful than a rose? A rose with a bee The bees have been very happy today so I’ve been trying to photograph them – not an easy task.  But they like the wild roses, and the self-seeded campanula and clover: They are rather fond of cotoneaster (also self-seeded): But what they really love is escallonia: This bush was buzzing with bees – unfortunately I haven’t pruned it properly so the flowers are all above head height – and so are the bees.  They’re still very welcome in my garden. Continue reading Bees and roses

Saturday ducklings

I’ve been away from the blog for a bit – bit of holiday, bit of work, bit of trying (and failing) not to think about UK politics.  Meanwhile there’s raspberries and redcurrants for breakfast and we’re overdosing on pea salad and green soup.  No photos yet but here is a duckling from our local park to keep you entertained: .. and a cygnet: Off to do some gardening now – hope you’re all having a good weekend. Continue reading Saturday ducklings