Sunday 29 May 2011


When it hovers over a flower like a humming-bird, the wings of this moth beat so fast they are hardly visible,

and they make an audible, high pitched humming sound.
The Humming-bird Hawk-moth is a summer visitor from the South of France.

They have visited this garden for the last four years. I have planted Valerian to tempt her to stay a little while.

The first time I saw her I was totally captivated. Nothing has changed, I think she is exquisite.......

Sunday 22 May 2011

The Bee and the Honey Lily

The little bee hovered beneath the honey lily bell for a long time.

He seemed to be trying to work out, how to enter.
Trying various approach paths,

with a little effort,

patience won the day. Happy bee!

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Edibles and garden flowers......

When I first spotted the bright green frog sitting on the side of the pond, I was curious. Could it be?? After a little research, I came to the conclusion that it is the 'edible frog' They are found in scattered colonies in SE UK. I have only seen one so far, but maybe there are others living in the ditch along the back of the garden. Interesting.......

The dry warm weather has brought many plants into bloom. Angelica has the most wonderful scent and draws many beneficial insects into the garden.

London Pride and Pheasant Grass. I love this magical combination.

When I was a child, I would spot London Pride in many a garden. Now I rarely see it. It seems to have gone out of fashion. I shall increase my stock.......I love this plant.

Rhododendrons are in bloom and keeping the bumbles happy.
Red Campion is also a favourite. When the seedheads start to form, I shall chop the plants to the ground.....they will soon put on a second show of flowers that usually lasts until the first frosts.
Aquilegia 'Green Apples' is such a sweet little flower. I grew the originals from seed and now have them dotted all through the borders.
Lupins are absolute stars this Spring. This is a particular favourite. I really like the colour combination.

Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Zwanenburg Blue'. I adore this plant. I remember seeing this in my Grandmothers garden. Again it appears to have gone out of favour. Why??
The blooms are just so beautiful, and the colour, such an intense shade of blue.

I love these old cottage garden plants.....but then I am an old fashioned girl.

How about you? Have you a favourite cottage garden plant, that has gone out of fashion? I would love to know.........the more detail, the better.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Garden ponds hold many secrets.........

I sat by the pond watching the damselfly.

He found a mate. Can anyone id this pretty pair for me??

Thursday 5 May 2011

Wildflowers, bees, butterflies and garden projects.

Last autumn I decided to extend the woodland walk. My aim was for it to stretch the width of the garden. During November I removed the turf, covered it with newspaper, and piled leaf mould and garden compost on top, leaving the worms to do their work. Today I planted 30 foxglove along the woodland area. Mostly white, but also some of our native pink. I grew them from seed last year and they have come on well. I cannot wait to see them in bloom.

I have also added Brunnera. A true shade lover, and such pretty little blooms. Dicentra and ferns are also amongst the planting.
You may be surprised at this addition. Gunnera would not be everyones choice but I saw similar planting at Leeds Castle recently and I really liked it. My thought is that the Gunnera will tower above the woodland plants and shelter them. The Gunnera will get some protection from the trees that surround this area.
The lovely piece of wood you see in the photograph was given to me by my little Grandson Riley. He had found it in the wood at the bottom of his garden, and brought it home for me. Whilst I would not usually encourage the removal of such pieces from wild areas, it was such a sweet gesture and it will be well loved here.

As you walk along the new area wildflowers, ferns and arum italicum dominate.

The ferns have been moved from the copse, the arums are divisions and the wildflowers I have grown from seed. I am so pleased that little has been purchased for this area.
Early spring I decided to extend and add more wildflowers to the butterfly garden. Most of them I have grown from seed.......
I have planted dozens of wildflowers today.

Also cranesbill and cosmos, which you can see in this image.
Herb Robert, our native geranium, so very pretty.
Wild garlic. Takes me back to childhood and holidays in Cornwall.

My great grandmother's favourite wildflower, ragged robin. Did you know this charming native is in decline? How about planting some in your garden, lets keep our native wildflowers, good for us, good for wildlife. If you would like some seeds in the autumn, leave a comment and I will be more than happy to send you some.

Red Campion, a must for anyone who likes butterflies and moths. During the summer months I watch the moths feeding from them........the bats flying above hoping for a quick meal. The circle of life......

Forget me could anyone forget them, delicate, pretty, somewhat invasive in my garden but hey I am not worried....they can travel as far as they like.
Of course, butterflies are the best addition to any garden. The brimstone has teased me for many years. Flitting across my garden, never stopping to say hello. But today she stayed, enjoying the red campion blooms but finally settling on sweet rocket allowing me to take a photograph.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see her here. Did you know that Brimstone's can live for anything up to five years.
I also spotted a comma, peacock and blue today......happy butterfly days.

Sunday 1 May 2011

One day it will be a secret garden........

There is an old saying that tells you to take a lover to secure short-term bliss,

while the traditional recipe for a few more years of joy is to be married.
But if you want your whole lifetime to be filled with happiness and contentment
you should plant a garden.

I remember reading Beth Chatto's words in a gardening magazine, "I think I would die if I could not garden."

Whilst that is extreme, I can relate to the depth of emotion, with regard to her garden.

Yesterday afternoon I had the time to work in the garden. Down on my knees, removing creeping buttercup from the beds.

Several bees joined me, and I found that I had drifted far away. Watching them work had calmed me.......given me a moment simply to be.

I was conscious of myself, and all that was around me,

not wanting to move or to change or do anything at all.

Simply to be.........

"Cup of tea for the gardener" Mr P brought me back to earth. His smile made me smile.

"Have you noticed the gardens closing in?" he said

And do you know, he is right. The garden is starting to wrap itself around me.
This has always been my dream, a secret garden.
A space of tranquility, restfulness,

a place to forget the stresses and pressures of life outside.

I am humbled by the toughness of nature, its ability to look after itself,
the eternity of it all.

I leave you with the words of Bliss Carman........

'Where is heaven? Is it not

Just a friendly garden plot,

Walled with stone and roofed with sun,

Where the days pass one by one.

Not too fast and not too slow

Looking backwards as they go

At the beauties left behind

To transport the pensive mind.

Love your garden and enjoy the sparkle it brings to your life.