Showing posts from 2018

Beetles and (kidney) stones

The winter months become a time to reflect on expectations and reality.  What has worked, what has over-achieved, and what has under-performed.  As I take it all in I realise how far we have come this year, despite the barriers I've been faced with over the last few months.  With the leaves cleared, what remains is a scattering of evergreen shrubs, a selection of perennial stems, an icy-cold pond and a layer of half-rotted bark-mulch.  The attractive seed-heads are a reminder of the lush plants that once filled the space.  Colour and scent a distant memory, the gold dust within their long-since fallen petals, a reminder of the lively pollination activity that took place.    For me, this is a time when the bare bones are plain to see and it becomes the ideal opportunity to plan next years transformation. At some point I would like to create a green and white border where every inflorescence is pure white, the foliage striking in form and bright green.  I would a


Recently I enrolled on an RHS Level 2 in Practical Horticulture and we have been learning about weeds.  Apart from the Dandelion I haven't really held them in high regard.  However, adjusting my mindset and thinking of them as plants in the wrong place, has helped a bit.   Learning the Botanical names for these was a challenge as weeds aren't something I've paid too much attention to. (Apart from pulling them out of the ground and fighting a losing battle).  But now that I have learn't them, i've started noticing weeds more and the types of habitats that they grow in. Yes, i've become that irritating person* who can spot a plant a mile off and identify it in Latin. (*sarcasm, i'm actually rather happy about this development) It's not just the Genus and species i've been paying attention to.  It's been their preferred environment and their life-cycle.  With this knowledge I can (hopefully) learn how to control them more successfully in my own

Using a shed over the winter

Image utilise the Potting Shed over the winter months.  Leaving work early to get home  this afternoon rewarded me about an hours daylight to get this done. No longer will the shed be a waste of space in the dark depths of the winter months.  No longer will it be a resting place for my beautifully organised gardening implements and overwintering Agapanthus... Organised bits and pieces Yes, i've seeded four trays with winter greens and winter salad leaves.  I am promised a harvest of green leaves in about a months time, very exciting. My biggest challenge now will be to regularly take a trip outside to water the trays.  I'm looking forward to the harvest towards the end of November.   Fingers crossed, wish me luck! 

Five years

Social media can be a blessing and a curse.   Today it was most definitely a positive experience.  Facebook reminded me that I began my gardening journey 5 years ago today with this photo: Sunday, 13 October 2013 All that remains from that former space is the rose in the foreground, the concrete frog and that dodgy patio. Saturday, 13 October 2018

Winter Survival Kit

As it's World Mental Health Day I have taken some time out to write this reflective post.  Many people write about mental health, wellbeing and mindfulness. Despite my lengthy history with anxiety and depression I have never written anything down like this before. As the nights draw in and the days shorten I am aware that my health may suffer.  It is especially true if I don't make an extra-special effort to take care of me.  My battles with social anxiety and low mood have been a long-running affair that can be traced back to my teenage years. I have always been an inward-looking soul.   People that know me would describe me as a thoughtful, emotive person with a streak of shyness.  Through my love of plants and wildlife I have found a platform on which I can express my creativity.  My urge to nurture and to brighten up every corner of the planet manifests itself in the work I do outside.   As these opportunities become scarce over the winter months I like to find joy