Category Archives: gardening

Today in the Garden

Today was all about cutting back ivy – which had smothered 5 panels of the rhs fence.

Image result for english ivy on fence flowersThis is an ancient ivy – or to be more precise ivys because there are at least five different varieties there. The largest leaf variety is covered on flowers and fruits so I am loathe to cut too much back because they are a source of winter food for insects and when the sun is out the flowers are ashimmer with bees and hoverflies (and even the occasional late butterfly).

Likewise the fruits provide winter feed for the birds.


I also feared that it was going to pull the fence down. Having  chopped it back from the end two of the spread I realise that the ivy may be the only thing holding the centre three sections up! So have limited myself to trimming the long non-flowering strands for now.

Also in tidying the edges beneath found that the ivy roots were holding the grey-water drain cover tightly in place. Much swearing and hacking with secateurs has freed it up and pushed the border edge back by almost a foot.

Bin is brimming and I am exhausted but a good job done.

I will start taking pics of my own at some point ūüôā



New Garden

Image result for mixed daffsOne of the reasons for moving house was that the garden at Oldhaven was to big (and steep) for me to manage.

This is my 6th garden and quite small Рa fraction of the size I had previously, with a small frontage and a courtyard garden to the rear. 

A small garden will be easier to maintain but can also present a challenge when every plant and shrub needs to earn its keep. Continue reading

Last Chance Pot

Image result for old orchids rottingSome elderly orchids (I have had them for at least 11 years) being given their last chance. The mulching bark in their pots had basically turned to leaf mould and as a result their roots were rotting through being too damp. Repotted in a mix of pebbles, bark chips and a small amount of orchid compost and we shall see if they survive.
Otherwise the next stop will be the compost heap.
Are you listening, you orchids? Sitting there on the sill looking pathetic.
This is a last chance potting!


With winter well under way there is little colour in the garden but indoors is rather a different matter. I have south facing windows that seem to be perfect for orchids and I take full advantage of it. Continue reading

Green Figs

figThis recipe uses up all of those unripe green figs that are still clinging on to your tree as autumn approaches.

Across most cooler climates is wise to remove any unripened  figs larger than a pea from your tree. This is because when larger fruit are left to overwinter not only will they seldom (if ever) ripen but they are also liable to deter new fruits from forming for the following season.

Continue reading


yewWalking along the path next to the churchyard  overhung by some very large yew trees and happened to glance upward as the sun came out.  The boughs are thick with berries, bright red against the deep green needles and a Haiku simply wrote itself by the time I reached home.

Translucent jewels
Nestling within deepest green.
A toxic beauty

Mollusc Might

I weeded the raised veg beds today and found that the molluscs have eaten every single lettuce and most of the carrot seedlings.

Chickweed they ignore, as they do speedwell and jack-by-the-hedge and every other weed – just went straight for the good stuff…



Much as I hate to relent I feel the purchase of several buckets of slug pellets coming on.


(picture pre raised beds)