Tuesday, 12 June 2018


I was rather sceptical when Heather told me her wildflower order from Naturescape included Hogweed (a.k.a. Cow Parsnip). Why not a more dainty native umbellifer, like Sweet Cicely or even Cow Parsley, I thought. But I'm won over now. It's a very structural plant and a great hit with the local honey bees (bumble bees seem less attracted).

Not to be confused with the Russian interloper Giant Hogweed (that the media was all in a flap about recently), our native Common Hogweed 'only' grows to about 6 ft rather than 18 ft.

While we're on native flowers not usually granted space in the garden, here's a picture of a 'weed' that turned up uninvited in the pond margin:
Prickly sow-thistle

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Foxgloves in bloom

Mum's foxgloves are looking lovely. Not the classic purple variety we expected but a nice collection of pastel shades. And as for our white ones on the other side of the path: completely decimated by some mystery pest.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018


Out with the old...
... in with the new.
If I'd known this simple little greenhouse would take 2 days to erect (including re-levelling the slabs) I'd have considered paying someone else to do it. Happy with the final result though.

Friday, 13 April 2018


Delighted to find a small clump of frogspawn in the pond this afternoon. We were beginning to think we'd missed out for a second year.
One frog's worth

Nice also to see the fritillaries coming back.
Emerging snakeshead flowers

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Wightwick Foxgloves

Popped in to see my mum in Wightwick on Wednesday. She encouraged us to take a few of the foxgloves plants that are overwhelming her herbaceous border.
These are apparently the classic purple variety, which will go nicely with the white ones on the other side of the path.


Geoff Hamilton was not only a respected gardener and broadcaster but also a clever designer of simple, practical woodwork projects. His 1995 book "Cottage Gardens" contains instructions for several, including a bench, herb table, auricular theatre, planter, cold frame, compost container, and an obelisk. The latter is just what we need for growing sweet peas up!

The timer cost about £12. The decorative piece on top is a cistern ball. Geoff Hamilton would have found and recycled an old one but Wilko sell them for £1 so it hardly seemed worth troubling Beeston FREE-Recycle.

Bog garden

We'll want more bog plants than the pond margin can accommodate, so adding a small adjacent bog garden.

Many differing recommendations on depth. We went for 2 feet.

Don't want it to get waterlogged so the liner is punctured.
A layer of gravel helps stop the holes getting clogged up.