Rhododendrons -The Masters!

I’m a big fan of The US Masters golf tournament played at Augusta National GC in Georgia and love being inspired by the bold, brash vibrant PGA players -who are most probably, inspired by the colours of the blousy Rhododendrons!

Steeped in history the golf course was formerly a plant nursery and the holes are named after the glorious trees and shrubs that adorn them.

A few seasons ago I bought a couple of shrubs from my local garden centre and every year since they’ve truly displayed wonderfully dramatic and satisfying results…just like The Masters 🙂


I get totally wrapped looking back at photos of last years gardening antics !!

It’s usual in January to be hankering for Spring, looking forward to and planing ahead.

I’m a man down this year..I lost my good neighbour, mentor and friend.

A jolly farmer he was, I will miss.

So for this year I’m growing spuds you like, runners of mass production and forever digging it in memory of you x

Fifty Shades of Blaze

Now’s the time to plant shrubs into your garden. I’ve bought 3 shrubs Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ a wonderful ornamental cherry from my local garden centre.  

  Japanese Ornamental Cherries are great for uk gardens. Conditions are good for them here. ‘Kojo-no-mai’ is a slow growing shrub that in early Spring offers delightful pale white blossom on contorted bleached stems. In late
it’s all about that colour blaze !!! -I would love to experience a little bit of Japan one day…x 

Distinct zigzag bleached white stems. Autumnial colour blaze. Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ is my garden showstopper.

Yummy Succulents

Yummy Succulents. No they’re not edible…They’re easy to look after and take cuttings from. 


In winter in this part of the world, they must be kept indoors or in a heated greenhouse. They love toasty warm toes and very little to drink. Definitely no soggy bottoms. Then in Summer they reward you with striking colour and texture. 

This year a large bud appeared on one of my succulents. After a few weeks, it flowered into this…


Hey Mr Bee! 

Still a bit stiff after digging muck into the veggie bed. Didn’t fanny about. Got stuck in again splitting grasses that had become a bit over crowded.Easy soft and fluffy soil forked over nicely. Grasses were easy to lift and separate. All was ok.

 Noticed a few bees. Task nearly done. Busy those bees..!

Realised the bumble bees nest was in the roots I had dug over.

The bees didn’t seem too bothered.

So I asked the Bumble Bee Trust a few questions about what to do with them.
‘These are Early bumblebees (Bombus pratorum), If you can carefully provide them with some shelter and leave them to it they should be fine.

Their nest will probably last until June/July.’
The trust also sent me a very useful link containing lots of information to save our bees.
I’ve checked on the bees after moving them to another bush nearby, and all so far, is good.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a small, independent charity that relies on the generous support of the public. Please help us to continue to add much needed flowers to Britain’s landscape.

Pond Life 

Every year my husband gets naked and leaps into the pond to give it a good clear out and after last years flash floods it needed it.

It’s a big pond we’ve inherited. Given a choice, my husband would fill it in, but I like the wildlife it attracts.

This year we only found newts & frogs. The fish have become delicious pickings for herons.

 A single small Lilly plant has completely overtaken the pond, still…more to share or swap.

Buckets of stinky pond sediment, checked over to be sure it’s free of newts, becomes great muck spread for the veggie bed. 

A good days work.




Succulent Baby

I’m always fascinated by how succulents grow. They are so easy to make new baby plants from just only a leaf.

  After collecting a few of those little glass Gu jars, I stuffed & stacked the jars with leaves from succulents. -Any jar will do..

  With a spray of water little & often and sat on a sunny sill, roots started to emerge from the tips of the leaves.

Once the roots appear, then baby plantlets grow from the roots.


I now have lots of babies wanting their own space to grow into big healthy plants.

Give it a go …

 #lovesucculents #growsucculents

Mighty Greenhouse Clear Out

Time to get started on planting some seeds.  


After a good sort out, pots cleaned, a good hoover round…yes I hoover the cobwebs, spiders & dead bugs. It’s time to check what selection of super seeds I ‘Had’ being the optimal word ! Yes I was hoping to plant out some seeds in my greenhouse BUT unfortunately, over the winter my greenhouse has been invaded by mice, and the seeds (
and most of the packets) have been eaten.

  Then I remembered that as a patron of Oundle Horticultural Society, they kindly offer seeds bought from a seed company at a reduced rate.

So I asked them.. 

“Would it be possible for me to order some more seeds and take advantage of this kind offer? -I will keep the seeds in a tin in future…”

I’ve been a patron for a few years now. It’s a great organisation local to me & have been running for many years.

They hold a prestigious two day summer show in Oundle at Laxton Cloisters, Oundle School. This year will be their 96th show! 
So, big thanks to Sarah at Oundle Horticultural Society 🙂 



Buds of Spring 

After a few beautiful warm sunny Spring days, April has begun with a burst of buds.

Just to wet the buds of what’s to come…

  Tiny green shoots from potted Winged Spindle Trees 

  Towering Lily-of-the Valley …

 Viburnum × bodnantense ‘Dawn’ -it’s scent is intoxicating !

  Topiary tips…

Dazzle daffs..

and lots of very happy bees.