Viral flowers

Social media is a strange thing as we all know but one thing I’ve learned from my time on Twitter is that flowers are more popular than vegetables. I can’t imagine why. Anyway there is a trick to getting lots of likes and this flower has it all: It’s a very beautiful aquilegia, self-seeded randomly in the middle of my raspberry patch. You may be able to spot the raspberry leaves in the background. Apparently the variety is something like Aquilegia Winky Double Dark Blue (and according to one website attracts hummingbirds though probably not in my garden). I’ve no … Continue reading Viral flowers

Friends and foes in the garden

I’ve been out in the garden today, catching some of the actual sunshine and imagining that spring has arrived. It has turned back to cold and fog this evening but there was some warm sunshine for a little while. The rare appearance of the sun led me to all sorts of garden activities. I checked on all the fruit blossom which is looking very promising: four different apples, redcurrants, raspberries and even pears – still hoping for more than one fruit this year: I planted out some peas. These are the heritage ‘Salmon Pink’ which I’ve managed to keep going … Continue reading Friends and foes in the garden


Here we are a month on from my last post and spring is really on its way. February disappeared in a mist of good and less good stuff – a little holiday, a birthday, some family worries, catching up with friends and family. No gardening got done but the garden got on all by itself, producing daffodils and crocuses and all the springlike things: The snowdrops are still doing really well too. It’s all magic really. I’ve made this year’s first green soup. We were away for a few days in the middle of the month and I came back … Continue reading March

Coming to life

The garden is a bit bleak at this time of year and every time I look at it I see all the things that are looking dead or overgrown or just a complete mess. It’s hard to remember what it looks like in high summer with all the vegetables in full production. It’s too early to sow any seeds but I did do this year’s seed order today. Then I went into the garden to a little bit of tidying up. It was frosty this morning and the soil was very cold even for doing a bit of light weeding. … Continue reading Coming to life

Big Garden Bird Watch

in which there will be very few birds and certainly no photos. The Big garden bird Watch weekend is the one when all the birds fly off somewhere else for the day, leaving many of us feeling like failures in this national celebration of all things birdy. It helps if you have multiple bird feeders to attract them . I don’t feed the birds in the back garden because Bella might eat them, and, in the past it has attracted squirrels which are cute but have caused expensive damage to our house. I do put a little bit of food … Continue reading Big Garden Bird Watch

Brightening the January gloom

I get all excited when we pass the winter solstice and the New Year and it’s January and there’s a whole new gardening year ahead. Then it stays dark and it rains for the first fortnight and January suddenly seems almost as miserable as November. However, I forced myself into the garden today for #SixonSaturday and found tiny points of light as some brief sunlight shone on the emerging snowdrops and other little winter flowers: These certainly helped to lift the spirits and bring some cheer. They’re not so useful on dark January afternoons and evenings though so I had … Continue reading Brightening the January gloom

Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022

As we approach the end of 2022 and venture into the wilds of 2023, this post celebrates all that has been joyful, exciting or downright disappointing in my garden and allotment this year. This year my main achievement was my challenge to harvest sixty different vegetables, fruit, herbs, or edible flowers or weeds in the garden and allotment. In fact, my list reached sixty nine. This was an interesting challenge for me and I didn’t do anything very different from usual other than try some new varieties of veg that I’d grown before and make sure I recorded every new … Continue reading Reclaiming Paradise Awards 2022