flowers, Plants


The blossom is now giving way to potential fruit.  Walking around the garden a couple of evenings ago I marvelled at how a flower – petals, pollen, delicate things – will change and swell and eventually turn into a fruit.

The plum blossom in our garden is finishing, but the big apple tree’s just starting to come out, taking its place.  Meanwhile a new little step-over apple tree (a gift from my lovely parents!) is in full bloom with gorgeous pure white flowers and a sharp appley scent.  They’re surprisingly large flowers given the size of the tree.


The step-over apple ‘James Grieve’

Right next to it, the gooseberry bush is promising a healthy crop this year – much more, I think, than the eight which I picked from it last year!  Actually it doesn’t matter how many I get…I still have no idea what to do with gooseberries.  I’ve never cooked with them and there certainly wouldn’t be enough for jam, even if I wanted to try it.  I will google some recipes – if there’s enough I may try and include them in some form of baking.


It was a flower…now it’s a teeny tiny goosegab!

It was the little blueberry bush which started off this train of thought.  I love how their delicate little bell flowers with just a hint of blue already look like berries in the making.



As you can tell from the photos it’s been a damp few days, which I don’t mind as I know it’ll give everything in the garden a proper boost, especially the young veg.  But I’m hopeful the weekend will bring a bit more sunshine and dry weather.  I’m currently hardening off my seedlings and the cosmos and marigolds will need to be planted out soon as they’re becoming rather leggy in their pots.  Other jobs for the weekend will include staking my one and only tomato plant (it’s becoming enormous!), sowing my remaining annuals straight into some of the borders, a bit of weeding and maybe even a trip to a local plant sale to see if I can find a few bargains. I can’t resist a bargain plant!

flowers, Grow Your Own, Plants, Pots and containers, Raised Beds, Vegetables

Sunshine and snow

It has been a week of VERY mixed weather, with the past couple of days seeing glorious sunshine…while little flakes of snow gently drift down from above.  Beautiful but c-c-c-cold.

So I’ve been wrapping up some of my tender plants or bringing in those in pots which I’ve been hardening off, like geraniums and fuschia.  The passiflora I planted up in a lovely blue pot just last week is currently ‘dressed’ in one of my husband’s old t-shirts pinned together with clothes pegs.  And my pea seedlings, which are showing signs of slight frost damage have most recently been protected by a free fleece cover which I got when I  recently bought a little growhouse.

I chose the wrong week to move my seedlings from the utility/greenhouse into their new growhouse (I got it partly for hardening them off and to make watering easier, and partly to get some space back in the utility room!) because I think they’ll be ok inside their little plastic cocoon but I’ve been worrying about them during the snowy days – maybe it’s just too cold for them to be outside??  I’d be frustrated to lose them after spending the last few weeks watching them grow.  But I suppose that’s the joy/despair of gardening! Fingers crossed they are protected enough and will survive this cold snap.

Checking the raised beds in the secret garden, I discovered signs of germination – hurrah!  The purple sprouting broccolli is emerging, along with a few pea shoots and some rocket and lettuce.  I am slightly worried about my potatoes – not a sign yet, although my dad, who planted his just the day before I did, has already got green tops showing.

Back in the main back garden, the blossom on the apple and plum trees is there, tightly wadded up, just waiting for the next warm and sunny day to burst out and really show off.  I love blossom.  One or two little flowers are already emerging – a hint of what’s to come…







Garden design, Secret Garden, Vegetables

10 minutes digging

Sometimes spending just 10 minutes in the garden can be just as satisfying as a whole day.

This afternoon I grabbed the opportunity to do some digging – I’m anxious to prepare the raised beds for the new growing season and had a few spare minutes, so grabbed a spade and fork and got to work in the late afternoon sun.

10 minutes was enough to dig over one raised bed, incorporating a trug-ful of homemade compost.  It’s the bed I’m using for fruit and rhubarb.  There are two crowns already pushing up a number of vivid pink stalks , four small strawberry plants I grew from the runners of a very old one which has since been composted, plus the resurrected shoots of a tayberry which I (mistakenly) pulled out last year. There are now six raspberry canes soaking in a bucket overnight, ready to join this bed as soon as I get the chance to plant them tomorrow.

Look how good this soil looks – ready to grow lots of great stuff!

strawberry plant in the foreground – rhubarb at the back!

And here’s a reminder of just what my raised beds look like at the beginning of the year…

A bit bare at the moment, but I have big plans for this area – lots of fruit, veg and flowers in the short-term and hopefully a potting shed, maybe a greenhouse in the future.  I call it the Secret Garden, because it’s hidden behind a door to the side of the main garden, and there’s so much potential in it, both for growing things and for creating a very special private allotment.  Watch this space.