Another happy day with help in the garden 🙂

Bob (of tree monkey fame ) came and did some heavy work for me: clearing a space and planting a plum tree, laying some slabs for a path by the shed and planting a ‘weed’ tree he came across.

The plum tree came to me by circuitous means, someone who has moved to France to raise bees (envy!) had to leave this tree behind at the last minute. As I ended up giving all my fruit trees away when I left Hucknall, this is a very nice turn of events 🙂

DSC_0089There is an elder tree already at this, the drive end of the rockery, and I did consider asking him to dig it out – but then I thought of fruit preserves – I love elder blossom too and I imagine I can keep the guys from chopping it down if I remind them about wine 😉




I had a last few gladioli bulbs to set and some cyclamen to plant in a ring now the space is cleared (Bob earned his fee!) and will add more now there is a path from the bbq area along the shed side of the rockery. The slabs were lifted from the front edge of the bbq area and chosen because they were smaller or broken. I’m hoping I can wheedle David and Ben to lay the big slabs I freebied from Bulwell Hall Gardens as a replacement and continuing as a path along the side of the new raised bed – which has a pile of organic peat free compost at one end now:



I’ll be planting some tomatoes and summer squash there soon, I made a celery, courgette and garden leek soup last week that reminded me why I love picking veg and going upstairs to cook. And courgette leaves are good for making lots of bulk for next years compost 🙂

I planted out my pea seedlings today, easy tip for spoonies:


buy a roll of garden mesh or netting, this was from a £shop, thread some bamboo canes through the mesh to anchor the ends in. Now place extra canes at 12″/30cm intervals and plant your 4″/10cm high pea seedlings by scratching a drill with your trowel and heaping compost round the plant. Press it down with a Dutch hoe (bad back) or your hands. As the seedlings grow, I will tie the plants to the mesh and the mesh to the extra stakes – but right now, I have saved my hands some work and can keep planting.

There are statice seedlings in there too, but they don’t show from this angle. Like the lamium they bring the bees who will pollinate my peas, lovely little friends that they are 🙂

Traditionally in companion planting, alliums and legumes don’t share well, but the green garlic is well on its way and the second set of peas are away to the side, to fill in as I harvest pea SHOOTS as well as peas. I bought an organic home sprouting variety and plan to put them in salads at regular intervals, while encouraging the main shoots to make peas. That’ll be June-ish and I take my garlic out on the solstice, so it’s only 4-7 weeks…

I’m planning to put the hyssop in the middle of a bed as the bees love it, and I only harvest it for scented sachets once a year, so it can be out of reach 😉

I want to get at the blackcurrant sage much more often, so it has gone in next to some bulbs and pansies which are dying back on the near end of the rockery:

DSC_0080-001I’m hoping some of those millions of tiny green seedlings are feverfew and camomile returning…

Some of the best plants in the garden are total surprises, I love how much green alkanet (thanks Suella and Jen for helping me identify this!) there is roundabout…again, more green manure for the compost when it stops flowering.




and the bluebells and violets are one of the reasons I chose the flat, of course.

I don’t remember ever seeing mauve bluebells before, these are lilac/pinky. My photography was a bit off today, but I noticed how the spring flowers stand out in the grey light we had today – the blues and pinks all sang out against the soil and the shade… the kind of thing that is very hard to paint but nature manages effortlessly 🙂