Monthly Archives: July 2014

Wordless Wednesday



Two delicious ‘firsts’ of the season…

Delighted to find a red tomato in the greenhouse yesterday (and a few more orange ones turning…) and a small but beautifully formed crystal apple cucumber.


I grew these little round cucumbers last year for the first time & found them so tasty I gave them another try this year – one plant has provided this single cucumber and the other is bursting with flowers & growing out of the greenhouse like a massive triffid but no fruit ready yet. Must try and be patient…

We were about to head out for a meal but thought we’d better try out our lovely fresh picked produce – absolutely delicious so hoping for lots more of both.


Braving the thunderstorms…

Visited the first Stratford on Avon Home and Garden Show held at Alscot Park, we had a great time in spite of black clouds, thunder and lightning and heavy rain!


The house was out of bounds but we had a wander round the grounds. Really loved the
stunning lavender garden which was humming with hundreds of bees making the most of it.






The black clouds were beginning to get closer so we didn’t spend quite as much time looking at the gardens as we would have liked (another reason to come back again next year!) but here are some of the views we saw:





We had to escape thunder, lightning and heavy rain so nipped into the demonstration
marquee to listen to the Weber BBQ chef talk about pizzas – with some tasters too,
a nice little interlude.

Then it was time to make our purchases before heading home. These included some metal
garden sculptures from Zimbolic:



Thyme and sage from Hooksgreen Herbs:

Campanula from Naieus Exotics:

Seeds from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants (really looking forward to growing these flowers):

No photos of the chocolate brownie, that disappeared quite quickly…

Shame about the weather, but it didn’t spoil a lovely day for us and we’ll definitely be back next year, hopefully without the storms so we can spend more time in the garden.

Garden memories & favourites

Do you ever wonder why you love certain flowers? I’ve been thinking about this when
considering why I always grow particular flowers again and again.

I think for me it is about remembering sights and smells from childhood. My dad was in the RAF so we moved a lot – and I don’t think we lived anywhere with a garden for long until I was a teenager. And yet the few gardens we did have left me with strong memories of certain flowers which I still love today.

Marigolds for instance. I love the smell as you dead-head them or touch their leaves and their bright orange or yellow flowers.

Roses, almost goes without saying, don’t we all love them? The really old fashioned, blowsy, dark red roses with that strong and beautiful scent are the ones I remember best. Geraniums in lovely bright colours, again with their distinctive smell.

Nasturtiums spreading all over with those fantastic pale green leaves and electric orange

And the sights – neat white rows of alyssum, beds full of brightly coloured snap-dragons, big white daisies.

Now I have belatedly developed a love of gardening, I’ve got all those flowers I remember on display in our garden and I think I always will! I’ve added lots more new loves (the smells are
obviously important to me, stocks and sweet peas are new favourites) but those first flower
memories are still a must for my garden.


Tree Following – July update

It is that tree following time of the month again – it does seem to be coming round faster as the months go on!

The changes don’t seem quite as obvious this month, plenty of crab apples on the tree but still very green. It all looks very healthy which is good – I think hacking it back quite drastically a few years ago did the tree some favours, it looks better for it.




If you want more details of the Tree Following challenge and have a look at a wide variety of trees that are being tracked, head over to the Loose and Leafy blog. If you click on my Tree
Following category you can see my original post in March, as well as the monthly updates to compare the difference.

Mystery solved

Decided to repot a tomato plant which was in too small a pot and beginning to struggle – and saw this when I got it out of its container:
I carefully picked it out, to find that it was a row of carefully wrapped leaves, containing some sort of pupae
I’d got no idea what could have done this – but the wonders of social media meant that I got an answer fairly quickly – a leaf cutting bee! Which also explains the strangely cut out leaves on lots of my flowers…
We’ve put the pupae in a container in the greenhouse and hopefully it will still manage to hatch out (if that is the right technical term!).