My passion in life is gardening and specifically growing flowers from seed

Bulb planting 

I love spring bulbs especially tulips and daffodils and like to have them in pots so I can bring them to the front when flowering and hide them away afterwards. In the past few years I’ve bought about 5 or so bags of new tulips each year and planted them in pots but with little repeated   flowering the following year. I have noticed, however, that daffodils seem to be ok in pots. So I have bought 3 bags of the ones below and potted them in bulb fibre with some grit in the hope they will do better for the improved growing medium. 

I was about to plant the below anemones but having my pot ready I noticed they must be soaked overnight first so that will gave to be done another day.

I will likely post next spring when they are flowering.

I have nearly completed all my winter preparations in the garden now, just a few more annuals to remove, home made compost to spread and greenhouse to fill once it’s insulated. 


Wordless Wednesday – Callicarpa

Tidying up…

I thought I’d start with something amusing. Last weekend we were forecast stormy but warm weather as part of Storm Ophelia. So I got in my car to come home after church on Sunday and it said ‘warning there may be ice on the road’ and showed -1 degrees. It was actually 18 degrees! Poor car. She was back to normal by evening. It has and is still is windy here but not as much as forecast. 

So back to gardening. I read a recent blog about laid back and extreme gardeners and I’m extreme apparently which means I like the garden to be tidy and if possible weed free for winter. I start the job of removing dead annuals, tidying up peranniel plants, compost spreading earlier every year and hardly ever get finished. This morning I was compost spreading from our own bin. We put all vegetable matter, coffee grounds, tea bags, shredded paper, dead plants into it. No weeds or rose cuttings, grass cuttings or hard wood. It looks pretty good but while the tea inside the bags rots down the bag itself doesn’t.

I have still to clean and insulate the greenhouse, treat my poor unhappy rose (diluted jeyes fluid after removing all leaves), finish tidying peranniels and more compost spreading and I’ll be ready for winter. I must add that as soon as it gets too cold I hibernate until it warms up, so it’s a race against the weather to get finished! Wish me luck.

Lastly I have a few things still in flower including a confused hellebore (should be flowering in February).

Alstroemeria that has been flowering for months

Michaelmas daisy rather late to the party and sometimes forgets to flower at all.

White scabious that I thought should be blue – doing well though!

Confused hellebore 

October colour in my garden 2017

So this month was slightly more challenging as I have been regularly posting pictures as part of the ‘Wordless Wednesday’ feature and I don’t like to post the same picture twice. However, I’ve found a few things. We start with my little owl planter whose recently had his eye glued back and a new plant for winter. 

A new penstemon I planted this summer which is flowering for the second time and is such a pretty colour 

Finally a tender Fuschia who spends winter in the greenhouse. 

Late September colour in the garden 

Here is what is currently flowering/ has pretty stems in my garden. 

The first picture is of a helenium, in fact there are 2 the same next to each other in what I call the long border (my inspiration is Arley Hall in Northwich and I’m hoping to take my friend next week whose never been). They are new and the first time I’ve tried to grow these plants. I hope they do well for us, the colour is one I love to see in gardens. They have replaced a white daisy which goes mad. 

A Euphorbia with lovely red stems. Monty on BBC Gardeners world told us to cut the flower stems down on Friday but actually I think they look nicer now than when flowering!

This bulb is all over our garden no matter how much we try to dig it out! White sweetpeas in the background are above ready to be composted now but have been lovely.

This Persicaria Red Dragon has gone mad with all the rain this year and is growing over the grass

Wordless Wednesday- Japanese Anemones

Summer review 

Greenhouse seed sowing – cosmos and zinnia have flowered well.

The cornflowers have been mostly good but have faded quickly maybe due to lack of deadheading? Foxglove plants look good but won’t flower til next year. 

Sweetpeas bought as little plants from the greenhouse. The ones in pots grew very quickly but have quickly slowed down in flowering whereas the ones in the ground were slow to grow but are still flowering happily and have less mildew than container grown plants. I have a few pink flowers on plants which are supposed to be white, but that seems a common theme in my planting this year, see previous blog anomalies. There has also been mixed success with my wigwam support frames 


Bedding bought from garden centre – stocks have flowered once and died quickly. Antirhiumms flowered ok and eventually had a second flush. Dianthus are flowering a second time now

Peranniel plants – lupins flowered well to begin with but have quickly stopped and become covered in aphids, the 2 potentilla and knautia haven’t flowered as much as usual. The crocosmia lucifer flowered well but has already finished. The roses are all doing well. The hydrangeas are also flowering well and clematis too. The honeysuckle was beautiful with a lovely scent. The Rudbeckia is doing very well and is largely ignored as it grows very well without. The foxgloves from last year were very pretty and lasted well.

Fruit – we had 3 tasty cherries. A few stawberries and blueberries (a new plant) and a huge amount of raspberries – 12lbs to be precise. The tomatoes have tasted lovely but plants look slightly strange and are largely forgotten about. 

2 mini potatoes also came out of a strawberry container.

In general I think plants haven’t flowered as long this year maybe due to unusual weather conditions – warm early summer, but wet and sometimes cold just lately. I have been feeding the container plants, sweetpeas and some new plants fairly regularly. Do let me know your successes and failures.

Something funny…

We now have a new tenant for my late grandparents house so spent our last morning there finishing off the garden tidying and bulb planting.

Here is a picture of what I call a ‘grandpa-ism’. A ladder in the hedge to keep it growing inline. He was always making things rather than buying them and the garden was full of strange things buried here and there such as glass shelves, a tripod, old suitcase and a sink!

Just noticed…

I haven’t spent much time in my own home garden for about 3 weeks now since my late grandparents house became empty and the garden needed seeing to and some house jobs too. This is nearly finished now and I managed to get 8 plants in this morning as it wasn’t raining (we’ve had torrential rain on and off here for a few days now) but the soil was sodden.

I have been leaving my garden stuff at the house to save me constantly transporting which is fine but I could have done with my garden wellies just now. We have plenty of everything else.

I decided to do a quick tidy up here as firstly it needed it to prepare for winter and I like to start early as I often don’t get finished and also we have been given weather warnings of severe gale force winds for tomorrow. Therefore I wanted to chop some things back to prevent wind rock.

As I was doing this I noticed a pretty pale pink Achillea in flower I wanted to show you.

Also a new Rose mum bought this summer has new buds on it

Lastly a bit different to normal but I’ve been doing a 7 day photography nature challenge on Facebook, each day posting a picture and nominating a friend to do the same. I’ve been challenging myself to post pictures I haven’t previously included on my blog. Here is today’s from my late grandparents garden:

Autumn flowering bulbs

My friend gave me a pack of Peacock orchid bulbs for my birthday in February and the first one is now flowering- isn’t it pretty.

Also I noticed our autumn flowering crocus is now flowering. It’s a strange plant with flowers only at the moment and no leaves