A blog dedicated to one of the loves of my life - gardening. Living in a bungalow in Derby, UK where I spend my time looking after my disabled husband, I also spend time learning what I can about gardening and applying it in our small garden. I hope that you will enjoy the photography and visit again and again and again. The other loves in my life are husband, my two sons, my four grandchildren and music.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snow In Derby In February 2010....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Temporary Takeover...

Hi all

Protea is weeding, on a slug trail - and cooking our Sunday roast - so she is tied up doin 'tother things.

I'll save the best for her, but this photo I took in her garden this afternoon, and I cannot believe that she has got such a beautiful flower so early... imagine what the garden is going to look like in a month or so!
Take care.


Monday, January 29, 2007



1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness


1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends



Hello, I am back to talk about gardening for the new season.

Soon I will get some pictures to show you the state of my garden after the long winter months - dreadful to say the least. However, in a few weeks time, when the weather gets a little bit warmer, I will enjoy going outside and preparing new garden beds and certainly cannot wait to clear up the mess left from the destructive winds.

I took a walk around my present garden today and was very surprised to see the beginnings of the Spring, I cannot believe that a number of Daffodils and Primulas have started flowering rather early at this time of the year. My goodness! I can't believe this my Sweet Williams are also in flower. How the seasons are changing!


As I start to put new ideas as to what I am going to be putting into the 2007 Summer garden I will try and inform you all of the progress. I am getting excited but I will have to keep it a secret from you all for the time being. I will also try and get some pictures for you on the progress (that's if I can get my photographer to venture out of doors) - as I am still paying off the large bill from photographs of my garden last year!

I hope there are many gardeners out there that have just as much enjoyment as I do when you get outdoors and please feel free to let me know how you are doing in your garden.

Happy gardening...


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

General Cont

Hello all,

I am hoping to give you a little more news on the garden, sorry I have not done much in the last couple of days due to having a chest infection, and have not fully recovered.


I grew Dahlia's last year, putting them straight into the borders, once again, I lost almost all of them due to the usual garden pests eating them away. However, my seeds were put into tubs this year and with a lot of hard work, plenty good compost and watering I have been successful with lovely yellows, reds and pinks.

It is a fairly hard plant but unfortunately once again only grow in the summer, although you can take cuttings of shoots as they come through in the spring. Dahlia's must be put in greenhouses in the winter as the frost will indeed kill them off. If you don't have a greenhouse find a dark place somwhere in your home to protect them.

I for one do not have a greenhouse as mentioned previously, and my Dahlia's are in rather large tubs, I will have to move them under the kitchen window and cover them with a black bag in the hope that I can protect them from the harsh winter months ahead.


My neighbours either side of me grew these beautiful flowers this year, from what I could understand from them , these plants like well drained but not too dry soil. Once again they need to be protected from the frost. Unfortunately I did not have any in my garden and therefore cannot comment on them, but intend to go in for them for next summer.


I have been very lucky with these both last year and this year. I saved my Geraniums from last year having put them in hanging baskets and put them inside in winter. This year I have had a variety of different colours and these have made a lovely show in the garden.

Geraniums are a hardy plant and are very easy to grow, my plants from last year were re potted and I got rid of a few dry stems and they survived.

I have a trailing geranium which was put into a hanging basket, it looked fantastic when in full bloom.

If there is anyone that has planted any Geraniums straight into the ground, I suggest you lift them out very carefully before the end of Autumn to protect them from the long winter months and then prepare your potting tubs before the Spring for replanting.


I believe these can be grown in the winter months as well, I understand there are a number of varieties in the Iris, I do not know much about them either, your input would be appreciated.


I understand these are a fairly hardy plant and must be planted in Autumn to have them ready for winter, I do not know much about them and would like to put them into my garden for winter. If anyone else has grown these, I would appreciate your advice.


I have been in the process of preparing some of my potting tubs for the winter as a lot of plants have started to die off now. I have put a few winter pansies of various colours in their place and will endeavour to get some happy snaps once they are in full bloom.

I have also put in a new rose, probably a little late but will see what happens in the next month or so.

Til the next time


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


As mentioned previously when I started my garden two years ago, I was given a few lavender to plant. My goodness, I did not realise how huge they grow and spread. I have had to trim them down periodically, but I love the smell of them.The thing I love about lavender is they are a very hard plant and apart from trimming them down, they do come back each year. Here is a little tip which I tried out myself last winter, that is once the flowers dry out, pick the seeds off, put them into a little jar and put them into any room around your home and you get a lovely aroma from them, and as you all know there are a lot of cosmetics etc, made from lavender - that is, of course, if you like lavender.

Last year I tried my hand at sweetpeas and had a hit and miss with them. I decided to put them in again this year, and, through trial and error, I was successful and had several pickings of mixed colours. Herewith a few tips that I learnt that could be helpful to those starting up gardening like myself:-
  1. Sweetpeas need a lot of watering
  2. The more you pick your sweetpeas, the more flowers you get
  3. Keep topping the sweetpeas up with compost
  4. Be careful not to let your sweetpeas droop, keep tying them to your supports
  5. Keep taking off dry leaves, especially at the bottom of the plant to create new growth
I was told that once your sweetpeas come to an end pick the pods off and put them in a jar in a dark place until about November, then put them into seedling trays, and leave in your greenhouse until they are ready for the summer garden next year.

I hope this will be of some help to you for next year.

I was given a foxglove this year, it flowered once and then seemed to die off, although I have kept in the pot and trimmed it down and watered as usual, it does not seem to be doing anything. If there is anyone else out there that have grown these, please let me have your comments.

I also acquired a Lupin which I put straight into the ground, pink in colour, this flowered once and also seemed to die off. I don't know - I don't seem to have much joy with plants that I am not familiar with and once again would appreciate your comments.

I forgot to tell you about these veggies - a friend gave me a few last year, and told me to grow them in between the flower garden as the slugs would leave the rest of my plants alone, well the slugs never came near the cabbages and went straight for the other plants, needless to say we had plenty cabbages for our own use.

I put two plants in last year, they did not seem to do too well, when clearing the flower beds out the end of summer last year, I thought I got rid of them. Well, what a surprise when walking about my garden, I discovered they have come back and in full bloom although the flowers are drooping. I was wondering whether to lift them out towards the end of summer and put them into tubs and perhaps put them into hanging baskets for next year, although I am a little worried about doing this in case I kill them off - once again I would appreciate your input.

Recently, I took a walk around the area I live just to see what other peoples gardens look like, I was so impressed with the layout and the different designs and borders others have, it made me envious of them, especially given the tiny space I have to work on but at the same time it has given me some ideas for my summer garden next year.

I am hoping that I can keep a lot of my plants that are in my garden at present for next year in the hope that I can cut down my work load. I would therefore only have to work on the tubs and hanging baskets. However, I am one that gets bored of the same things every year, so will have to get other ideas on other plants for next year.

If any of you have any comments please do not hesitate to contact me.


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Having just started my blog, I would like to thank those people for visiting and secondly thank you for your advice I do appreciate your input.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our dear friends who have given me various plants from their own gardens (Lorraine & Gollum) to fill the gaps in my garden.

How many of you have squirrels in your garden? Last year I had a baby squirrel come into my garden; he and I became good friends, although there were times I could have done without him, as he would bury his food amongst the flowers, often breaking my plants in the process. His favourite place was getting into one of my hanging baskets - needless to say not much grew in that particular basket. Unfortunately, I have not seen him this year - rather sad as he did make me happy.
I recently bought a mini rose - which I am going to put into a tub rather than into one of the borders because of green-fly as mentioned previously. I do not know much about roses and I understand they can be hard work. Is it too late to be planting roses at this time of the year? Your comments would be appreciated please.

This is the 'mini rose' that I bought when I went 'walkabout' early this week - I will be repotting it tomorrow (hopefully) - that's if I can get the one armed bandit (Mandebvhu) to drill some holes in the new pot for me!!

I would also like to know when roses are to be pruned, as I have three bushes from last year but just left them.
Due to the change in the weather, there are a lot of plants dying off - I thought they would keep blooming at least until the end of September and have no idea what to put in their place - come on all you gardeners out there - help...!

Please note that all photographs that I post, unless otherwise stated, have been taken by my husband (Mandebvhu - again!) and are from my own garden...


Friday, August 18, 2006


I need to tell you a little story about when I started my summer garden this year.

Whilst preparing my borders and digging up all the weeds and throwing lots of compost etc, into the soil, I bought seeds and seed trays, once I had prepared all these, the seed trays were carried into the bathroom everynight and taken outside again for about 10 days, this was only because I do not have a storeroom/greenhouse, how does the saying go, where there's a will there's a way. However, my husband would help carry the seedling trays out before he could have a shower and without his support I do not think I could carry on with this project and he like myself has not got a clue about gardening.

This hard work payed off - talk about talk to the trees, well I would talk to my plants and was so excited when the seedlings started coming through. I have to be honest, a lot of the flowers that did grow and were transplanted I could not remember the names of them, but the colours are truly magnificent. However, I also had a lot of disasters, some of the plants did not take, those that did were hit by black-fly, I was told to put soapy water on them to get rid of this fly, but to no avail, I ended up buying a spray and trying that, but it was too late I had to dig them up and throw them away, before this menace spread to my other plants.

Not only did I have black-fly, I discovered green-fly attacked my roses, well I was near to tears by then, but alas I once again bought sprays and managed to save the roses.

Another thing I have problems with (like all gardeners) are slugs/snails, how do you get rid of these horrible things bar using pelletts, which I use in small quantities because of domestic animals. Help... before they destroy my garden.

If there is anybody out there that can give me more advice on the black/green-fly, please e-mail me at protea (at) ntlworld.com.

This week I was treated to a day out with a friend and we went first of all to a Nursery, I have never seen such a beautiful place, the plants/shrubs and flowers were amazing, a few plants that I would like to obtain for next year are Cyclamen and Lewisias. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to speek to the experts at the Nursery, once again any information on them would be grateful.

From there we went onto a place called Bridgnorth - well Bridgnorth was truly breathtaking, as you walked in the high street there were huge hanging baskets outside every shop/pub. These baskets had a variety of flowers in them of every colour you could think of. Unfortunately we did not get to the River Gardens, too far a walk but on the way back home the coach drove over the bridge of the River Gardens, this sight was amazing with huge hanging baskets, flower beds with every colour you could imagine, a sight not to be missed and will endeavour to go back there again.

Will write again soon.