Tidy Up Time

Last weekend featured a fair amount of tidying up. Sunday saw me finally clear up the north west bed, pruning back the roses and removing some of the older rose campions to make space for the new lenten rose, a transplanted kaffir lily (which I accidentally divided) and a small dog rose. The existing lenten roses looked so much better for having had the older foliage removed but my clay soil, that will have to be the subject of another post.


ManFlu stops blogging (but not gardening)

A severe bout of man flu means I haven’t blogged for over a week but hasn’t stopped my gardening. In fact I have preferred to be outdoors while under the weather. Unfortunately my preferences aren’t really compatible with the day job and winter…

January flowers

 A Sunday catalogue of flowers in the front garden on a grey January day: 
This rose is a true survivor having been transplanted at least once at Copse Hill and regularly drowned under a sea of bindweed there. Now it and its sibling seem to be thriving in the north-east bed.

A delicate Christmas rose, bought from a garden stall in Norfolk.

A perfectly white Christmas (or is it a Lenten?) rose, which seems to be thriving despite having been transplanted in the autumn.

More Lenten roses, this time bought as seedlings from Copse Hill, and which seem to flower throughout the year.

Me lurking behind the last of the Christmas roses, this time an almost black one in the north-west bed.

Finally a kaffir lily struggling on despite the cold in the north-east bed.

Tiny orange jewels

Family life prevented me from blogging yesterday even though I had taken this photograph first thing in the morning. The photo doesn’t do justice to this much loved tree in the front garden which is covered in tiny orange berries. These light up the garden on the darkest of days as well as providing food for the birds through the winter. Trees have never been my strong point so I have no idea what it is but I’m very thankful to whoever planted it.

A scene of devastation 


This is the scene of devastation that greets me every morning as we pull out of the drive. Although the weather has been mild the winter rain and wind has stripped the remaining leaves from the roses and flattened the stalks of the herbaceous perennials as they die back. On good days the Christmas roses, rose campions seedlings and rose hips give me hope, on bad days I find it hard to imagine it will recover.

Feed the birds

Day five of this blog and I’m already cheating. This photo was taken yesterday when I decided to further complicate our frantic morning regime by topping up the bird feeders in the front garden for the first time since Christmas. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the birds to find them again.

No photo but hope

I didn’t get to take a photo today (my iPhone ran out of memory at the critical moment) but if I had taken a picture it would have been of the Christmas rose I blogged about yesterday. I first bought one two years ago but realised I had planted it too close to its sibling last summer. I read somewhere that hellebores don’t like being moved but took a chance on it in the autumn. So far it has survived and will flower this year.

A bargain in the sales

An unexpected visit to the garden centre (I forgot to pick up bird food while in town) meant I spotted this beauty half price. Needless to say I wanted to buy its brothers and sisters too but didn’t think I’d get them past HAV, even though I know exactly where they would go (in front of the roses in the north west bed). Perhaps I’ll pop back tomorrow…image

A lily in the dark

I conceived this blog as a personal record of 2016 in my garden. Whether or not I can sustain it only time will tell but I’m hoping it will help me appreciate the daily changes in the environment I’ve created for my family and perhaps live a little more in the moment.

The plan was to start this blog on 1st January 2016 but a late journey home from Christmas and New Year in Norfolk (where I shamelessly, faithlessly imagined creating another garden around an empty cottage I covert) means I missed the deadline. However I was greeted on this cold wet night by the sight of this kaffir lily which has burst into bloom in my absence.image.jpeg