It is pretty hot here right now – about 31C (getting on for 90F) in central London.  I am ratty, my children are ratty.  I have sunburn (I did put cream on but it wasn’t enough) and I can’t concentrate.  I had a piano lesson today and it was quite embarrassing because I just wasn’t getting the rhythm right.


Not a whole lot has happened here.  I’ve ordered my son’s uniform for next year (it will be nice if he starts the school year without a load of pasta sauce stains on his polo shirt and with shorts that aren’t too tight).  I need to get him to do his reading and piano practice but haven’t quite managed to stir myself.

Sorry, this was a bit of a pointless post.

New plants for my birthday

Sorry it’s been a while.  We are on half term and yesterday was my birthday.

We did a few things yesterday and one of them was to go round a garden centre – I needed some more coriander and dill (both had bolted) and while I was there, I also picked up some hyssop, chervil and basil (Greek, Genovese and Black).

I also wanted to tackle the bed nearest the kitchen door, which has a hideous slug / creeping yellow buttercup problem.  I ended up getting another sea holly, six marigolds, two petunias (one black, one purple and white) and some thing I can’t remember the name of.  It is quite possible the slugs will eat the petunias but maybe they won’t.

Before I planted all that out, I sprayed the creeping yellow buttercup with some noxious weedkiller.  Then I had an attack of guilt and became I had killed the entire bed.  So I got the hose out and watered the whole bed down.  Then I did what I did last time and dug the yellow buttercup out with my hand fork.

Flowerbed with new plants and without the yellow buttercup (for now)

One thing I did notice when I was planting the new sea holly is that there seemed to be three little sea holly plants already in the bed.  I will be amazed if they are actually sea holly plants (because plants I like don’t tend to reproduce, only ones I hate – like the yellow buttercup).  However, I have moved them (one to the middle of this bed and two to another bed) and will see how they do.

I love marigolds but was always convinced that they would clash with all my other flowers.  However, I am past caring.  As long as the bastard slugs don’t eat them, I will be happy enough.  The pelargoniums have only just started to recover.

My kind husband also got me another cold frame (because, once I repotted my foxglove seedlings, I didn’t have room for them all.  Then the slugs ate most of the ones outside the cold frame).  I got some yellow foxglove seeds and sowed them in a tray with normal compost.  I’m not sure how they’ll do – there were only about 65 seeds in the packet (the packets of ordinary foxglove seeds have about 1,500 in there) but I hope that two or three will come through.  I’ve never seen a yellow foxglove.

Flowers from my husband’s mum

The garden

Our apple tree has already got a load of apples on it.  If I were a better, more committed gardener, I would thin them out.  However, I’m not so I won’t.

Apples – these should be ready before October
Guelder rose has berries
I love cotoneaster – this is covered in bees. It will look super when the berries are out

Unfortunately, our carrots aren’t doing very well.  They were looking great but it seems that they occupy the easiest spot for the blackbirds to dig up worms. So the blackbirds have dug up all but six carrot plants.  My husband’s mum suggested that we put chicken wire over it (which we may do next year).


The weekend before last, I repotted my foxglove seedlings.  This was actually trickier than usual because they’d done so well; the trays were covered in little plants.  In the end, about half were repotted.

Repotted seedlings in the cold frame
Seedlings in a shady bit of the garden (there wasn’t room for this tray in the cold frame)

The rest were planted throughout the garden.  In particular, I have a corner of the back garden that is a bit difficult – it’s underneath some trees and gets a lot of shade.  I hope the seedlings I put in do okay.

Tricky spot

My daughter helped me decide which seedlings to put in and where.  She quite enjoyed that.