Garden at the end of May

French lavender
Bottom of the garden
Geranium Phaeum
Blue geranium – this didn’t flower last year but it is looking super this year
Blue geranium from the back
Californian lilac
Honeysuckle and clematis – this covers a really ugly wooden fence
Wildflower patch

Foxgloves 2017

My foxgloves are also looking rather pretty.  Most of them are in the lower garden, which was where I’d put the smaller plants (the larger seedings had gone in the wildflower patch – these flowered last year).  It doesn’t really fit in with the original “Japanese” theme of the lower garden but never mind.  Foxgloves are in flower for a short time and it is wonderful when they are.

I’m sure that you know this already but foxgloves are really poisonous.  If you touch them, please wash your hands afterwards (although, to be fair, this is a good idea whenever you’ve been gardening).

The bees love them
It’s unusual for white foxgloves to get this tall
I just love this colour
Foxgloves at the back

Foxgloves in the lower garden

Rose garden

My roses seem to be doing rather well.  They aren’t fully flowering yet (there are loads of rosebuds yet to blossom) but the flowers that are there are looking very pretty indeed.  They’re also quite fragrant – the rain has done them good.

Gertrude Jekyll
Gertrude Jekyll
Claire Austen
Claire Austen
Munstead Wood
Charlotte – not yet in flower
Anne Boleyn
William Shakespeare
Gertrude Jekyll – this seems the best flowering
Rose garden

The lavender has lots of bracts but isn’t yet flowering.  This is probably a good thing – it tends to be the last thing that flowers and once that is done, that is it (more or less) for the summer.

Thyme is flowering
Giant fennel

I got the roses from David Austen a couple of years ago – I planted them as bare root plants in February / March (it was drizzling at the time).


I read a column in The Times today by Rod Liddle (called “Greetings from Corbynia, home of yak cheese and grinding poverty. Wish we weren’t here”).  I know that not all of you will have access to this article – The Times is behind a paywall – but this article is about Islington.  It irritated me no end so I am going to RANT about it here.

  1. “… the bistros doing an excellent trade in iced vegan coeliac-friendly lattes”.  All lattes (in fact all coffee) should be coeliac-friendly – I can see no reason to put gluten in a latte.  Friends of ours have a daughter who is coeliac – it is a real (incredibly inconvenient) condition, not an excuse to be poncy.
  2. “Islington North is safe for Labour, whether the candidate is Corbyn or a pig’s bladder on a stick (which is what they have in Islington South and Finsbury. Yes, Emily Thornberry).” Emily Thornberry is my MP.  I am quite irritated with her so I’ll let this go.
  3. “In the leafiest bits of Islington the average house will cost you not far shy of £2m”.  Ha ha HAAAAA!  In the very leafiest bits (not mine), a house will cost a lot more than this.  Check out Zoopla.
  4. “…yet there is enormous poverty in the borough … two-thirds of residents don’t own a car”.  Not owning a car is not necessarily a sign of deprivation, particularly in the centre of a city.  My parents live in the centre of Brighton, are definitely not poor and don’t own a car.  It’s a hassle that they can avoid by getting taxis.  In fact, the father of a boy I went to school with lived for part of the year in France – when he came back to Brighton (and managed to park in front of his house), he would then refuse to move his car until it was time to go back to France.  Otherwise, he’d have had to look for another parking space.
  5. “Upper Street is the kind of place where Waitrose actually lowers the tone”.  No it isn’t.  There’s a Wetherspoon on Upper Street.

I’ll stop whining now.  This probably isn’t a very interesting blog post, particularly if you live nowhere near north London.

Anyway, here is a picture of a demonstration that went on outside the Town Hall a few days ago.

Pensioners who want everyone to stop being horrible about Jeremy Corbyn


The other day I came across this fantastic video on YouTube.  Since it’s got so hot, I’ve really noticed all the people (mainly women) who wander about in their activewear.  Perhaps they do it all the time but I haven’t noticed.

I look like a boiled egg in my activewear (although someone did once tell me that it made me look younger) but if I didn’t, perhaps I would wear it.  It has the advantage of being (relatively) youthful without being tarty.  Although, I can imagine getting to the point where I wouldn’t know what else to wear.

I’m sort of at that point already.  The other day, I ordered some loose black yoga trousers from Sweaty Betty (to go under tunic – type tops) and they were sodding shiny (those went back to the shop).  The last pair I had were matte cotton and so super useful.  The lady in the shop said that the new ones are designed to wick away sweat more easily – fair enough, it is an activewear shop – and suggested I look at the grey ones they have.  Perhaps I will.



Yesterday, I passed the Worker’s Cafe and saw this:

They’re having building work

I really hope that they’re not closing down to become something poncier (like a Prada).  My husband and I were in there a week or so ago and Jeremy Corbyn walked in.  I didn’t notice (I was probably on my phone) but my husband said that he bought a bunch of coffees and took them out.  Possibly somewhere like the Worker’s Cafe is quite useful to Jeremy Corbyn – there’s no embarrassment if he gets photographed coming out of there.  Might even be good publicity.

The Smokehouse

Yesterday I met some friends for brunch.  Except two of them didn’t come – one because her baby kept her awake half the night (fair enough) and the other because someone had pranged her new car.  I got mildly ratty by the time the second person cancelled, partly because I was off to go for a run and every time I thought I was ready to head off, there was a PING! from my phone.

Plus, I’d messaged them all the night before to say “RIGHT, YOU ARE ALL COMING, AREN’T YOU?!?!?!?”   Also, I ended up changing the booking at the restaurant three times (which was embarrassing) – the first time was to increase the number of people and to make it a time that would suit one of the group better, the second was to reduce the number of people from six to four and the third was to say that, actually, there were now only going to be three people.  The lady on the phone was kind and said that it’s only a problem if I wanted to increase the number in the party – they get so busy on Sundays that having fewer people is no problem.

Thankfully, the other two people still came and we had a lovely time.  We ended up drinking two bottle of English sparking wine, had roast beef / lamb and we all had pudding.

This was so delicious