Wildflower patch

The wildflower patch is starting to look rather nice.  I had been getting a bit nervy, partly because this is the first year that I haven’t sown any wildflower seed or planted foxgloves in this patch.  However, there appear to be quite a few things there.  Plus when I took these photos, I saw a male orange tip.

Forget me not
Red helleborine?

Although the plant above looks like red helleborine (from the picture in my book), it is described as “rare, protected by law” so it might not be.  The book does say that it grows in woods and shady places which sort of covers my wildflower patch so it is possible I suppose.

Rose garden

Yesterday, I had a morning pulling weeds out of the rose garden – my hands are scratched to buggery, even though I wore gloves most of the time.

Some of the weeds I kept – in particular there was a load of deadnettle that bees seem to like so I left that.  However, all the grass, stinging nettles and some weed that I’ve only ever seen in the IoW but which gets everywhere came up.  I filled a builder’s sack with it all.

Afterwards, I put wood chips down in the gaps.  The lavender plants are, on the whole, doing very well (and all but one are enormous) but they will do better without a load of goosegrass and grass clinging to them.  A couple already have (small) bracts coming up.

One thing that has done well is a thyme plant.  As the rose garden is walled and sunny, I assume that it is a bit more sheltered than the rest of the garden.  Usually thyme dies here but this is looking super.

Thyme in the rose garden

The roses have buds but also, sadly, aphids.  I hate using chemicals but I might have to.  Unless we get a plague of ladybirds.

More rose garden
Yet more rose garden

The lower garden

I don’t write about the lower garden but it is looking rather nice.  In particular, the acers have lots of leaves this year – far more than last year.

The lower garden
Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’
Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’

The purple acer is the largest, while the dissectum ( the one at the front) is quite small.  The dissectum is meant to eventually grow to 2m tall but I don’t think that will happen for quite a few years (perhaps 50?).  Acers are quite slow growing.

I have a couple of other things in there as well.  The violets that I had thought would be dead for sure are still going and, surprisingly, haven’t been eaten by slugs.

Sweet violets

The dutch honeysuckle, which I could have sworn was dead, is now looking terrific.  Not in flower but it isn’t meant to flower until quite late in the summer.  There’s a really horrible grass growing right in front of it but I haven’t quite got the will to do anything about it just yet.  It’s growing right next to a pipe so digging it out will be tricky.  Plus my husband says that he doesn’t mind it (it’s only me who hates grass).

Dutch honeysuckle

For planting later in the year

This week, I got round to sowing my foxglove seeds in some compost.  I used ordinary compost this time, rather than seed compost (out of laziness – the ordinary compost bag was already open).  If it doesn’t work, I’ll know that was a bad idea.

In the past I have waited until October to plant the foxglove seedlings out (because the packet told me so) but the result was sort of pale and leggy so I think that I’ll do it in August instead this year.

Seed trays in my cold frame

Having had balmy days and warmish nights, we are having a slightly cold patch (I think it got down to 3C last night).  However, the cold frame is right by a building so I hope will still be warm enough.

In flower early

I have a few plants which are in flower early – it must be the complete lack of rain that has convinced them that it is summer.  However, the bees are happy enough.

Euphorbia – this is a bit of a monster but rather eye catching
French lavender – I bought this from a garden centre so it being just about to flower may only be due to having been in a greenhouse
Foxgloves in the lower garden – not quite in flower
Tiarella – this looks quite pretty next to this acer


Crooked Heart

I’ve just read Crooked Heart, which was very good indeed.  We’d agreed to read it for my book club and I’d been quite put off by the title – it sounds like some horrible “women’s genre” novel.  However, the book itself was terrific and I recommend it.  It is possible that the author didn’t get to choose the title and it was foisted upon her by her publisher.

Pottering about and fancy children’s clothes

Now that we have no visitors, we aren’t really achieving anything.  My son didn’t even get dressed the day before yesterday (although we did find both my children sitting in the front of my car in the garage, pretending to drive to “emergencies”).  I have done my music theory homework and practised the piano.


My husband is not being lazy, he has a gardening project that I am not involved in.

While they were here, one of my guests mentioned a place that sells awesome party dresses for little girls.  They are called Tutu Du Monde.  I have had a most enjoyable browse through the website but am not going to buy anything from it:

  1. Their dresses are $180 / $200 EACH and all require dry cleaning.  My daughter is not getting a dress that is more expensive than almost anything I wear;
  2. She will slop chocolate ice cream on it and then she (and I) will CRY; and
  3. She already has quite a few dresses.  Plus my husband would be horrified.

However, if you like looking at incredibly expensive children’s clothes, go and check these guys out.