Welcome Home, Railway Rose

A little speckle of purple on the iceberg.

The Rockery, that still features only two or so rocks, is full of so many odds and ends. Hence no rocks: No room.

There are three of these in there, two were clones, so they tend to show more.

Almost looks like a marigold.

This clematis just keeps getting bigger.

Well, how’d you get there, buddy?

It’s six feet seven inches, so it’s the same height as me and still growing.

Yo, Dear Reader, the fine weather is staying with us and it has arrived at the perfect time, it’s staying so long even I’m beginning to trust that despite the awful few months preceding it we may yet see Summer proper. I had been thinking about getting a few more cheap smaller trugs for yet more squash, but with the cost of soil I was hesitating and then a neighbour was tossing perfectly fine soil and off I went. I filled three of the four with that free soil, mixing it with the inferior bagged stuff and my own compost from the bins. I had a space where I usually end up tossing pots and odds and ends and decided to use it for the better, can’t toss anything there with four squashes growing. I tend to think ahead and try to remember if I’ll need access to certain spots in the garden later, so even if it’s crowded it’s a good crowded.

Poppy sans petals.

The slightly wild white rose.

They have a lovely gentle scent.

Climbing roses are odd, they get messy and may not even climb all that much.

They could fill that wall in time and it’ll be great.

Such a long time, yet hardly any time at all.

Everything is cramped, but healthy and happy.

The Summer flowers are starting to appear in droves, I had finished up for the day, but when I looked out of the window I saw a flash of pink in among the roses, which are so tall I need to stretch an arm up and over to get better photos, and it turned out that there was a bunch of the pale pink frilled ones just right there. Seems to be a day for surprise because after about two years I have seen the Railway rose, that I have never actually seen in bloom, finally in bloom. It’s also a rose I haven’t ever seen. It’s a wild one, but I know there’s a more common, larger cup style rose that’s scattered about, so this one must be a much older type, which is really great because it’ll mean pesticide free rosehips, which in time means jelly as you may have guessed, Dear Reader. Funny to have a tiny rose be as joyful a sight as hand spanning ones popping up all over.

Baby lilies are getting tall.

The yellowish hue is very prominent right now in the pascali.

Good old figgy.

I think the sweetpeas are still in there.

This is from above, they must be seven feet high.

Dianthus get tossed a lot, then I get them and everyone wins.

I’m never not surprised at how gorgeous they are.

I did have an accident today, somehow the stepladder I was one bent beneath me and I must’ve threw myself away from the rockery and wall, thankfully I seem to have stayed calm enough to not injure my back, which is probably the worst part of a fall. I did bounce so my hip not features a big blob of bruise with a bump, not much pain, but I often wonder why we have to first be embarrassed about the fall. I learned from the last to stay down until I was aware enough to get up safely. Then an icepack and painkiller and I went to finish those baskets, thy torment me every year and I never stop, Dear Reader, I tied them while using a gripper and now they’ll stay hanging straight ahead and I’ll be a bit stiff, but mostly fine. I know you fall more as you age, Dear Reader, but I didn’t know it meant twirling through the air onto concrete. The heat is helping with the stiffness and I’m still tough enough to bounce, heh, back.

There are I think three roses there, all yellow.

Look at it, such a lovely shade.

It also has three heads all in a row.

Had to rush out to see it.

Just reach up and over and took these blind, they’re very pretty, used to be so weak.

Daylilies are reliable and pretty.

A wild flower that has naturalised here.

Naturally the high heat means a lot of watering, it’s been wet so long this feels like a joke because everything is parched. They’ll wilt and revive because it’s just the norm with this heat, but watching a hanging baskets wilt overnight and revive in a few hours after watering is still novel. I currently have a jug of cold brew coffee with a hint of garlic, sorry no recipe here unless you’re a slug, and a barrel of possibly the most noxious fertilizer blend yet, both of which need to be sprayed and splashed about. I tend to be considerate when spreading it around, more so than the farmers who spread slurry about, but I have things to grow and can’t wait forever. I have enough weeds and comfrey in the barrel to maybe fill it again for another round, just enough rain water gathered too, this is the first time in a long time they’ve been empty. Garden is a funny old thing, Dear Reader, you either have far too much to do or nothing at all to do, nothing growing and suddenly everything is. There may be a lesson in there, but I’m too busy right now to think on it. I’ll be back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Next big railway related accomplishment will be seeing fruit on the wild blackberry.

Took this before I finally got them tied up and straight, but the seed mix might be the best idea yet.

I love the rounded orb of petals in the centre.

Other fig might need to go out soon, getting hot in there.

Just cramming everything I could in there seems to have worked.

The slight variations really makes these for me.

Gifted pansies in bloom.


The Curse Is Lifted!

Seriously unreal.

I put two old yellows from different gardens together and can no longer distinguish between them.

Yeah, whatever that cheap rose is it’s going to be a heavy duty one, perfect spot though.

Always need an almost open first.

It’s huge, so, so huge, but worth it.

I have no balcony, but I do have a jigsaw and a drill.

And a brain that likes a challenge.

Both cheap roses are wilder styles, no idea if they’ll be the right colour, but one is in a bed that needs to go wild and this is in a bottomless pot in an old baby bath tub.

The back astilbe is flowering for the first time.

Really should’ve marked these better.

Yo, Dear Reader, it seems like the hot weather is here to stay, I can’t honestly recall a year I have planted squash & not had them pelted by hailstones, literally every year, but this year I’ve planted them in the heat they tend to thrive in. I have finished my planting, for now, probably, it’s a shame I can’t plant later when the garlic is up, but between the weather and the late start it never works out. I know if I mention this offline I’ll be told to not give up by people who have given up on their own gardens, but you have to be realistic about what can grow and use the space wisely. I finished planting the cabbages (Almost planted a flower in the cabbage family by mistake.), both the squash and cabbage have back ups still waiting to go out, many will just be composted, I see some slug damage, but that’s a given early on, later too annoyingly, I’ve tossed down more coffee grinds, bless the bad bag I bought in a known brand, it found a use at least, and am also brewing grinds with garlic granules to make a spray. It’s all natural pest control, but I have to be mindful that there are a lot of garden full of rats so I don’t want to draw them as I deter others. It’s been a rat free zone, only a quick glimpse as it ran past, but annoying as it was from another garden every time, for a while now and I’ll keep it that way.

Tossed it behind a trellis and found it alive and well months later.

It’s just so pretty.

Mixed up these and thought the astilbe was anew type. Cultivated anemone are short.

Put down the smallest of the cloves in a small pot to protect the apples, now I’ll cure them and use them as food. No waste is ideal.

Didn’t realise I had some hardneck garlic, scapes are great roasted with vegetables.

Never looks real, smells amazing too.

No idea which rose is which in there.

A big, wild daisy.

Clean tidy for a while.

Rescues are worth the work.

I did the yearly argue with myself that I should leave the nettles in the back rose because they’re a hassle and not half an hour later I was gauntleted up, wearing a hoodie in blistering heat while hugging the rose and grabbing what I could inside. It’s a deep slope to it and deadly if you fell in, but the worst, Dear Reader, isn’t the stings or cuts or scrapes, no, it’s the almost grabbing a weed, but not quite being able to reach. Still it looks better and I did see the geum I placed in there, thinking it was a tall variety, not that I knew there were different types, in bottomless pots flowering well so they should establish and give an extra hand to the bees. The raspberry is popping up higher and higher too, whether that’ll flower is hard to say, to be honest, it could be flower down further because it likely has sunk over time. There isn’t a manual to dealing with huge near inaccessible roses grow over junk and in junk, Dear Reader, but if there was I’d probably have written it.

I love watching them fly from flower to flower rapidly.

The love every flower, but especially the foxglove.

Apple trees are a little more secure, needed a long drill bit and long arms to get the hooks in there.

I was threatening it that it better flower this year.

Might see the thornless blackberries yet.

Again, hidden bee.

Guy Janus looking cheery.


Took a lot of effort, but it looks good and ready to flower sometime soon.

Everything is growing over each other.

They seem to betaking the heat better this year.

I had to empty a rain barrel because it was a bit dirty inside, not much really, but I then decided to raise it, this after walking up and down the garden tossing buckets of water at plants, then found that that made the guttering too level and back it went again. I did fix up the hose which was losing some water, it made me notice it has been a good while since we had rain, we’ve had damp for most of the year and now we’re looking far too dry. Again, this is why I say so often you have to really think ahead when growing here, Dear Reader. I also trimmed the laurel and tucked the honeysuckle in, it’s starting to flower so I just pushed and smacked it until it went more level. I have to keep the hedge trimmed or the greenhouse loses light and thus heat, but it’s thick below for any insects inside it and they seem to have been attacking whatever was eating the hedge constantly because it looks so much better. Funny the things that become important to you over time, isn’t it, Dear Reader? A hedge planted to hide the junk is now a vital part of the back. Funnily I managed to use an electric trimmer to shape it and avoid hitting the rose and honeysuckle winding through it. I’ve bagged the leaves and will let them rot for a few months, no point wasting them.

The bee is hidden, but it’s a petty photo.

I think it uproot its stake, better now.

Golden raspberries have really started to grow now.

That’s way bigger than it looks.

Someone moving out gave me this, small, but nice.

Funny how that looks like another rose entirely. Wait, it might be…

Bought in a discount store years ago, one of the root segment types of iris.

This is pretty great too.

Annual Honesty, almost planted it as cabbage!

You can tell I’ve been out in the sun because my batteries have been charged and I am chatty. Funnily I walked in with a slight brown tinge to me and when I washed off my 50+ SPF sunblock I emerged as the palest creature you have seen. I use a cheap supermarket brand and never burn, someone said online that as long as it’s a high SPF and has UV protection too I think, then he rest of the ingredients are just fluff. I can’t stand scents so I just grabbed a kid’s one as usual. If this reads as a PSA to use sunblock then good. I look after myself in the sun because I’m usually in the zone of gardening and will forget anything that isn’t an ingrained habit, it’s a very peaceful feeling. I’m at the point that I’m just doing what I can and taking whatever comes to me. You can’t guarantee what’ll grow, I’ve always said there are odds that are set beyond your control and all you can do is work with them, Dear Reader. Every year is different and it’s the reason I take so many photos, you’ll never remember the little changes and strokes or luck or misfortune that defined the year while you’re in the midst of it. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Took a chunk to propagate and they’ve bounced back already.

This is such a great flower, campion.

Accidently hardened off a tomato plant and let’s see how warm out it is these days!

Poppies popping up.

Under the roses is its own little habitat.

Back ups to back up, but it’s better this way.

Found out this is creeping buttercup, a problem in the wrong spot, but it’s native so I’ll keep it.

Yellow is still the main colour right now.

Smash, Move, Marvel

Arthur Bell is in such an awkward spot I can’t weed it easily.

Self-seeded corncockles are stronger and multi-headed.

Playing a game of Is It Foxglove?.

The mystery bean is climbing happily.

Wild blackberries still tidy and neat.

Delphiniums aren’t as hardy, but they’re still going.

Do magnolia flower this late? I see the bees or wasps have eaten through the flowers to get inside in places.

It’s seeding too.

Yo, Dear Reader, we’ve had a dry stretch for the first time this year that has lasted long enough that the hose had to come out. Can’t remember when the wet started, but it has been too long, I know I’ll want rain later, but for now I’ll take this. As long as the hose is I still had to extend it to reach the Secret Garden fully. Also had to tape up kinks because it’s been sitting in the shed a while and was kinky to begin with. This year though I have made a decision, I am no longer letting the path edging catch my hose on the way back to the tap, no, no longer will I suffer the sudden snag and trip. I hit it with a sledgehammer which seems to solve a lot of problems, Dear Reader, and now at least the hose should be less troublesome, it’s super long so it’s going to be awkward anyway, but less awkward is better.

It was half dead then the stem snapped and I stuck it down in the pot and left it in the greenhouse and it’s still alive. Pepino doesn’t want to die.

Iceberg number 1 or 2 I forget the order.

This is the back rose, I need a name for it, but for now it’s the one over Naru’s Garden.

The lupins and germanium look like a single plant.

A slice of white in the purple.

Big blooms on top, but it starts hidden at the base.

Colour matching by mistake.

Never had such a vibrant and healthy red rose.

I’m mostly just spraying and weeding, I brewed cinnamon tea for the potatoes and squash and figured I can brew more, I ended up with cheap bulk cinnamon sticks earlier in the year, and as it’s a natural anti-fungicide I can use it while its hot out. I also added the used sticks to the hot bin so it’ll filter through, never hurts to try, Dear Reader, between blight and powdery mildew I usually have a battle on my hands. You take what you can get when it comes to real natural growing, I’m often loathe to say organic as it’s become such an obfuscating buzzword. Much like rewilding is becoming an over simplified idea of gardening that helps sell unnecessary seeds you have to decide what’s good for nature by doing what feels right and sees results. AS I say often, Dear Reader, if the bees are happy then I am.

Dark Green Gang.

I weed and I weed and still they’re there when I take a nice photo.

Tried to climb the neighbour’s guttering.

Calla lilies out in full bloom.

Swamp lilies haven’t flowered yet, but they’re alive and well.

Turns out I do have a few hardnecks so I’m looking for scapes to harvest soon.

There we go. That’s not just dirt, it’s also coffee grinds for slugs. Funny what you recall just when you need to.

Passiflora is coming up again.

Glad I waited. Takes space, but it is beautiful.

I’m in that in-between stage where I may not be doing much bar weeding, but in a while I’ll be harvesting things every other day. I did realise what I mistook for a pot of garlic was a pot of flowering alliums and I was so glad I didn’t decide I wanted more pesto. I do have a cramped pot elsewhere that I may take up before the bulbs divide to make a sauce with mango and ginger like the basil one. There are also Winter Onions in a trough, not doing much right now, the weather earlier on was really strange, like how it knocked back the rhubarb, which is back again thankfully, though the champagne will rest this year, it’s super sweet and super tender, but also weak. What grows grows, Dear Reader, I had to hit the honeysuckle with a broom handle to tamp it down and then nearly fell over a pot of strawberries I just stuffed down one year. You take what you can get.

Went to get some Cranesbill pieces and a bit of geranium, the cut the bottom off one trough planter to double them up, it’ll take a long time to establish, but once it has I’m good.

Mystery plant is now scented?!

The doubled up bottomless trough had a lily either side and I thought they’d died, but no! I did want to put sweetpeas in there, but it’s hard to get to and has a Trumpet Flower in there now.

The nettles are a pest, completely inaccessible, but still it looks good.

Matching the lupins and clothes pegs accidently.

Took the runner and potted them then no one wanted them so I planted them and tossed them in the back.

It’s a huge unwieldy rose, but they’re just so pretty.

Turning almost white with the heat.

I don’t have any drastic plans right now, I’m mostly just shuffling things around, I had to move three pots, well four one was just in the way, and it resembles that crossing the river puzzle, jostaberry went to the spot vacated by the dwarf mulberry that went where the kiwi was which is where the jostaberry was. It really is amazing all that you can grow, it just takes work and at least some planning or willingness to go with it as things get overly large and cumbersome. I still love that the garden is big and tall, to walk down with rose towering over me when I tower over most flowers, to walk between the honeysuckle and the Back Rose as each casts a shadow over me is always magical. To be a part of so many insects fly, to get in and out of the way as they do the same will never be boring. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Kiwi holding back honeysuckle.

The Back Rose is multi-headed.

Potato flower buds.

They’re tree lilies if I remember right.

The more striking purple is coming soon.

Death Comes Quickly, to do with them being bad for cut flowers. Not a threat thankfully.

Ah, other trumpet flower I almost tossed because it looked dead.

Saw these beside the road and think it may be from bird dropped seeds.

Oh, God, I Can Taste It!

This is a mystery to me, Dear Reader.

The new strawberries established fast.

Sneaky Mario.

Railway rose seems to be multi-headed.

hey start so vulnerable and small.

They’ll either be shoots and that’ll feed me, or they’ll bolt and that’ll feed the bees.

The right flowers for the right spaces takes time to figure out, but works.

Ewww, Dear Reader, I was given comfrey and after standing on it and chopping it up, then bagging it I realised I’d need to empty some of my fertilizer and while I was at it I might as well use it all over and refill it with rain water again to brew the next batch. This one was just dock leaves and nettles and I caught a whiff when I opened the bin, that familiar smell of why do I do this to myself, then I started splashing it around the garden and as usual it was like several people had died, fermenting weeds explains why we don’t use them as health food I guess, but, Dear Reader, this had the added bonus of being tasted via the air around the garden. I was walking around smelling the disgusting, but extremely beneficial stink and then the taste hit me and I wanted to scream and never stop. Now I’ve stuffed the comfrey in there it’ll be worse the next time around, but I’ll wear a mask then. The perils of organic gardening, Dear Reader.

Fledglings are flying all around and this one dropped in to see me.

The back version of this rose.

Looks like the raspberries and tayberries will be out at the same time this year.

Messy, but considering it was a junk heap before this is pretty great.

Sedum are reliable.

Found alongside the soil and also the pot.

They’re all slightly different.

Things are growing all around, still a little slow and the weather is also jumping between overcast, still warm thankfully, and real Summer weather. It’s frustrating because whenever the weather gets cooler my arthritis flares up and usually the heat wold provide relief at this time of year so I could get out and enjoy it, but it is what it is, Dear Reader. There isn’t much interest in the garden from the usual sources, it feels as if it’s just me these days, Dear Reader. There’s just so, so much waste and it seems to get worse whenever new restrictions set in, that are mostly just greenwashing anyway, I’ll keep doing what I have been, I even managed to grab bags of unused soil, it had that water retaining cubes and was finely sifted, likely a ton nag that was disposed of after it was mostly used. You may remember the back berries, a pleasing decryption, were plant in salvaged soil and are now thriving. The bins boost whatever compost I use and I’ll take free, even if it’s work, over the terrible soil they sell now.

Seems to be a good year for the roses.

I like how they lighten as they open.

Clematis is really growing this year.

I love the little bits of pink colour that pop up in yellow roses.

Really rich red is hard to get.

Sifted found soil and years later: Fruit!

The squash are mostly down, with two sets of back ups at he ready, it worked out well that I could do two of each, well two extra for the harlequin as they’ll do in the smaller trugs, but when I was counting off my piece of cardboard, I’m organised, just in my own way, I realised I had an extra two pots, I only had two more varieties to plant and somehow I had miscounted…the varieties, there were three to put down yet. I was very excited for a moment. I’m trying a varied mix because all of one is dull and also risky, not that growing them here isn’t inherently risky anyway, I have no idea how they’ll fare, but they’ve been sugar watered, transplant shock, bonemealed and are standing upright after a day. Gave them a splash of the smell stuff today too. I hope things pick up a bit, Dear Reader, or at least we get some more frequent sunshine. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Only scapes are from the elephant garlic this year, so three…still delicious roasted.

A slow to grow astilbe.

Heard cooing and looked up at the roof.

Baby apples are still novel to me.

Store bought garlic is still doing something, might need to cure and then replant next year.

Plenty of buds, just waiting for them to burst into bloom.

I love that burst of peach.

Darker purple is first his year, the other is nearly there.

Bee-dy Building

High netting that’s fine enough to keep the birds away without any risk of tangling, the bottom, near invisible in the photo, is open for the bees, but not the birds. Pegs are just to warn them visually not to crash.

Now loudly telling everyone who told me to keep cutting it how pretty it is.

My Uncle’s Hydrangea will likely be purple, the other is a mystery yet.

The white one is making a break for it.

Turns out a horseradish pot has rotted, with the wetter weather it’s happening a lot more, but now I have yet another piot situated.

Probably one of the most vigorous of the tea roses.

I could take or leave lupins until I saw the bees flying all over them then I liked them a lot more.

Shut it, Rubberlips.

This is budding on top, but I almost missed the blooms at the bottom.

The old entrance to The Secret Garden is now a secret portal.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is still not the way it usually would be at this stage and now we’re getting sun in the evenings which means I might be out in cold winds during the day only to come in and see the sun start to shine, which is infuriating, thankfully it’s warm enough to do no damage. I usually get time out in the sun to help with my arthritis, but this is more like the cooler parts of Spring for most of the day and that just makes things stiffer. I get mad until the sun pops up and then I go out and take photos, Dear Reader, to remind me of all the good there is happening around me, thanks to me too I suppose. I even say a red and black moth today, never seen anything like it. The garden is doing what I always intended it to, it’s become a haven to all creatures of nature.

A bee flew in and crawled inside the strawberry. Never came out.


I love the faint tinge of pink.

So many shades of yellow.

Pretty sure that’s a new passiflora shoot.

Clematis and rose are now really intertwined.

Tried moving that years ago and couldn’t get the root, it took a while to come back.

The trapped rain looks like a gem.

Close to being transplanted.

Spuds are doing well.

I was sitting here thinking about what squash to plant in what quantities and I realised it worked out that I could do two of each as I have sixteen of the 70 litre pots, then me being me, Dear Reader, I thought about getting more of the 42 litre trugs, you can tell I’ve become very aware of the sizing as I’ve been Googling to see what’s going cheap, nothing for the most part, but I do get lucky occasionally. Me being even more me decided I may be able to grab one of two with flowers and reuse them. I had bought a 50 litre bag planter many moons ago as it was cheap and never used it, finally it found a use as a home from a big pot of the Japanese Anemone, which grow in anything, plenty big to slip the mass of roots in. Then I remembered the oldest I used as a pond that has never done well, turns out I never put big enough holes in, I fixed that and now it’s ready for squash. Right now I’m at 18, but I may go for more, why not is my motto these days, Dear Reader, it makes me happy and keeps me healthy.

The top part died back, but it started like this last year and it wasn’t even established then. Passiflora are pretty enough to take up greenhouse space.

Jasmine still lives, despite honeysuckle’s best attempts to consume it.

Lots of buds on the lily in the En Suite Garden.

Found a space for the pot, near enough to the other squash too.

It takes up space, but why people like foot tall single blooming roses so much is beyond me.

Bought this when I had a huge flare up of arthritis and needed to walk.

It’s holding the rain.

I put a lot of those in dead spots. Not dead now.

Somehow became two pieces.

I have been having an issue these days, Dear Reader, I’ve been keeping up my own hodgepodge of weight training and thankfully my arm has been fine since it popped or whatever it was that happened to free that nerve, nothing spectacular, but it keeps me in condition for the garden. When I was lifting the trugs, with my knees of course, I hefted it up and it just kept going and almost smashed my chin. I guess all those curls have found their counterpart in the garden, I’ll have to remember that or I’ll end up with a face full of trug and soil. I do think it’s an important reminder that we should always look to the whole when doing things like this, we should see what we need to deem it successful removed from other’s expectations. I had two goals, one was to perhaps fix my arm and the other to keep in some kid of condition for the garden. If I’d looked for advice beyond the basics who could’ve helped? Being able to just do things for myself, carefully and well researched naturally, none of this I know best that has permeated the internet, without needing validation has been a very important thing. Who would’ve thought I could do so much with the garden? Not me, Dear Reader, not many others bar a handful either at first, but here I am. These muscles are for the bees, Dear Reader, as is the garden. I’ll bee back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

It was gathering dust inside, now it can gather it outside as a faux stone statue.

Someone was clearing out and I now have a lot of thinking to do.

I plant some, birds plant others and then sometimes I toss seeds wildly around and blame the birds.

The traffic cone has new growth.

Now I watch for butterflies. A few cabbages left to plant yet.

Cut it back isn’t being said now. Two years to bloom and then ever after.

Planted in memory of my father and the first of the Rose Garden to bloom.

Such a gladdening sight.

Grow Wild, But Don’t Forget To Bloom

Sorry about the slight blur, the potatoes are blocking everything currently.

Saw a larger bee smack another out of the flower.

As I say slow might be good for the roses.

Little apple tree scion is growing up.

Taken years ago from an old garden, along with the old fence boards that made the planter.

Cheap rose has gone wild, probably, I’ll know by the colour, that’s under The Rambler so I’ll let it spread. A rose is a rose and that area need something strong.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is still not cooperating and at this stage I know it’s unseasonal, but it feels as if it’s been gradually becoming more so every year rather than an aberration, I’m mostly just planning things as best I can with what I have, at least with the heat alongside the rain I’m seeing a lot of green growth around. It feels slower to flower, but that could have the benefit of more blooms, though it’s stalling some of my vegetable planting, then again last year I got stunting heat. UI could do this all day, Dear Reader, but without a benchmark of seasons it’s so very had to gauge in real time how well things will fare, I’ll look back over photos and realise how good or bad it all was, but right now I just plod on and hope.

Had to get a new monitor, fifteen years is a good run, and I have no idea how blurry some of the photos maybe have been. I couldn’t tell…let’s hope not many.

Honeybells bought many years ago when I just stumbled into them in a supermarket.

Popping in and out in rapid succession.

Looking like the rose I planted in memory of my father will be the first of the rose garden to bloom.

Basil is starting to sprout.

Tayberries might be out before the raspberries this year.

We’re nearing a huge flush of roses, but it’s starting slow, I see so, so many buds, but they’re just not quite there yet. No rush, Dear Reader, they’ll be blooming for months. I have a lot of planting out to do yet, but with the weather things are slower so I’m mostly looking at the flowers to see what’s what. A lot of weeds are about too, but I’m refusing to look at them unless I’m yanking them out of the soil. I grow my own way I suppose, Dear Reader, I grow big and everywhere possible, which doesn’t suit the Irish idea of “notions”, nothing more emblematic of a fear of standing out than shortening the term “Notions of grandeur” to “notions”, but for me it’s about the bees and birds and whatever else is hanging around, this is the best way to support them and I’ll happily carry it on.

They’re all around in time for the squash going into pots.

An older yellow doing that fade to near cream.

They need all the help they can get these days.

I had to clean the window, which meant going out onto the roof and only belatedly realised I could’ve taken a better photo. From the garden is fine too, they’re so pretty from the front.

Pretty as a picture. Bottomless buckets can’t be beat.

I’m currently hunting up more masks, you have no idea of the convoluted ways I’m searching with keywords and Google searches and somehow I’m finding more, it’s become a hobby, though one with a narrow window of activity. It’s something of a puzzle so that suits my brain perfectly. I’ve said I do things my own way and I think that’s true of many people, but it can be difficult when many would rather you conform to a comfortably vague idea of invisibility. We’d all be a lot happier if so many miserable people would just keep their misery to themselves, Dear Reader, I spent a long time trying to do things and explain them in a way to make others comfortable and never had that returned. So, I carry on doing what works, sticking my head in compost bins and smelling them to figure out how far along they are and if they[‘re healthy, gathering weeds to brew them into super feeds and apparently angering warehouse workers because a mask came stood on, fine for my needs, but I did get a refund. Not forgetting the bees, Dear Reader, they’ll have a haven here if nothing else. AT least I have you, Dear Reader, to share with and for me that’s plenty. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

Another case of: I Thought You Were Dead!

Logan, boysen anything is good.

The Clematis has climbed into The Rambler. You have to remember that the deader parts are the skeleton the rest grows from and on, hence cutting too much would kill most of it.

Hardy gloxinia.

Got these cutting along with the weeds, Persian Ivy, I think, to be honest I mistook it for an older honeysuckle at first.

Spare Some Weeds?

It was either a rescue or a seed. Nice either way.

From a half dead lump to so, so many plants, many died back, but two still live.

Plenty of bees about.

The lilies are in bottomless pots so I never accidently cut them with a shovel.

Hazelnuts are getting big fast.

The astilbe could be really stunning this year.

Yo, Dear Reader, we’re still having good weather and considering how bad the year so far has been I’m having a hard time trusting it, I’ll take it and use every day to the best of my ability, but I’ll still have a nagging doubt it’s all an elaborate ruse to prank me. Things are in the Summery kick up where everything is suddenly two as large and ten times as plentiful, I see it ever year, Dear Reader and I never get used to and hope I never will. Naturally once the squash start to migrate towards the trugs I have to start thinking about feed, well, more feed. I’ve moved away from buying feeds, just bone meal these days, and more towards making my own as you will likely remember from almost all of these posts. I’m consistent, Dear Reader and obstinate.

Ah, the best time of the year, when the squash start to go out.

Back in August I was give two near dead orchids, one couldn’t be saved, but finally the other has bloomed.

I never knew teasel was huge until it took over last year, this year I’ll keep it in that corner in a pot.

JP faded with the sun so I gave him a spray, I prefer bright simple colours, but this is nice too.

Bellflower was perfect for that little corner.

No, no way you’re uniting!

I was looking up about invasive weeds, seems to be a hobby these days, Dear Reader, surrounded by them as I am it makes sense that I should be informed an in passing I say mention that dock leaves, or just dock as I’ve seen it called, being a souse of calcium amongst other things, calcium deficiency being the cause of squash blossom end rot, otherwise known as “No! Not My Squash”, now thins tend to roll around in my head colliding together and sometimes the right idea knock one another and things happen. I had been out to just look around and somehow ended up pulling nettles for fertilizer and I remember seeing dock leaves in a neighbour’s garden. So, yeah, Dear Reader, off I went with gloves and a bag and came back with nettles and dock leaves and stomped them, bagged them in mesh sacks and stuffed them into my rain barrel brewer. It’ll smell ungodly, but mixed with the two different types of leachate, hotbin and wormery, it’ll be powerful feed. I even walked around cutting off seed heads and old stems for the hot bin. It takes a lot of unseen work to grow things like they do here, Dear Reader, but it is worth it.

I wonder if they can exceed four feet, there’s a lot of growth left yet.

It’d be fun that’s for sure, they’re so long they’ll set seed as new flowers open.

I’ve seeded a lot of these around, even found ones growing in he stones where an old pot of flowers sat years ago.

Last tulip of the year. Probably.

Poppies that have been there long before the Rose Garden was a thing, grow through the pots and then seeded over the matting. I took some chunks and grew them around the garden too.

These all do better in very little or heavy soil.

Think it’s Geranium Cranebill.

Right now I’m almost finished planting seeds, I put down the last of the carrots today, I’ll see how they fare in the heat, they can sprout and promptly die off completely if they dry out for too long. Cabbages are coming out in stages, but I’ll try to plant them mostly together, that way I can cover them and leave them be, funnily I read you’re better to plant in slightly compacted soil rather than freshly dug, I imagine it forced them to grow greenery rather than rooting too deeply. Last year wasn’t a good year for cabbage, a freak heatwave stunted them for nearly a month and they never recovered, but I’m no longer counting how many of anything I harvest, I see so much growing and so much life attracted and nourished by that growth and that’s all that matters. I’ll carry on doing what I can to keep it all going, which seems to involve a lot of weeding, I’d like to lose that part, Dear Reader. Here’s hoping for good harvests. I’ll be back again later, until then stay safe and take care.

That has been there for as long as I can remember, once it dies back you can’t ever find it and it’s so slight in stem you can’t even take a chunk without harm.

Tree Lilies and Foxglove are a nice match.

Bathroom cactus is now a trio. Found it as a broken piece.

Kiwi is such a pretty plant.

The Rambler is getting ready to bloom.

Saved it many years ag and have been slitting it and sharing it around since.

Crisscross Clothes Pegs

Thankfully it worked because I was stuck otherwise.

Painted Bebop’s “glasses” and now he looks like he’s sneering.

Peas Table Talk, Russian and Oasis, all jumbled because I just like growing not saving.

Seriously a lovely rose.

Mul stumped me until I realised it’s Mullein.

Messy, but it looks cool.

Stepping in is like playing a gameshow game of agility.

My apple scion is all grown up.

Raspberries are reliable.

Accidently made a Rose Cloud over Naru’s Garden.

Yo, Dear Reader, I’m beginning to think that I may be allergic to being hit in the face by nettles. Bless the ubiquity of hand sanitizer, it helps it dry and causes the barbs to fall off. What am I doing being smack in the face by whip like nettles? Swearing mostly, Dear Reader, but also clearing out beneath The Rambler as best I can and in doing so discovering a hosta. I’m gathering weeds for fertilizer again and was reading up about Japanese Knotweed, as is my wont on occasions where I get paranoid about it, and found out, somehow in all my reading I missed this, there are female and male plants and the female just spreads by root which make so much sense and eases my worries a bit. In looking up that people like to eat it, where mine was growing is suspect at best, and also use it for homemade feed and also that dock leaves, never knew it as just dock, have calcium so now I have to ask a neighbour to forage in their garden. This is how I learn best, Dear Reader, in fits and starts and interconnected pieces.

Plant that looks like achillea, but with fleshy leaves.

The right timing for starting this year.

Messy, but that used to be a huge hedge, then a gap, then I made a bed from granite chunks and turf mould.

Heuchera is great if it lives, seems to just die out at random sometimes.

Currants are grat for adding alongside other fruit in jam.

Really late bluebells this year.

Another rescue lives again.

Last year’s saved Hydrangea, yes I have another this year too.

I was going to take the day off, I’ve been in the heat for a few days and the day started as overcast, but somehow I ended up outside and putting up netting, unsuccessfully at first, the pegs couldn’t hold the fine netting and the less fine mesh, I realised I needed something to give it to grip and then it hit me that I could use two pegs, I did wonder, Dear Reader, if this was just a normal use for heavy clothes or something else, but no, just another useful, but extremely specific piece of gardening advice. The netting is held tight and that’ll keep the butterflies out and stop the need to kill them, they have plenty around, but whenever the netting comes out they suddenly really like the vegetable bed. I’d swear it’s genetic memory at this stage.

Tree lilies suit that spot.

The Rambler is getting tall. Messy, but beautiful.

Can’t believe it keeps flowering.

One of the newer front roses.

You cut any of that it won’t bloom. People kept telling me to cut it, now I cut only the bare minimum.

Another piece of the oldest peony.

My red hydrangea from a cutting, years ago.

Back Honeysuckle has smaller flowers, but lots of them.

Back Rose getting ready to bloom.

Nothing better than freshly cured garlic.

I’ve lost track of which is which, I’m just happy to see them bud.

Dogwood from a cutting I was told I could toss.

I’ve been spreading seeds from easily propagated plants over the years, some wild, some just older ands more hardy, and the biggest issue I have is the sheer volume of invasive seeds that blow into my garden from, well, the whole street, Dear Reader, you may see people with scrubby grass marking out beds and if I did that I’d have a field of weeds in a months or so, no exaggeration, I have to keep on it and it never really stops. On the flipside I have learned about a lot of weeds and wild plants and can mostly distinguish them or at the least find a use for whatever I have found. Getting to some of them is a hassle, I had to plant a foot on the slope at the back and grab nettles like my life depended on it and under The Ramble I have to nearly lie belly down on the small wall and yank, even folding up the nettles wasn’t enough, hence the smack in the face, I’ll add a snood to my leather gauntlets and hoodie next time. It’s all part of the process, Dear Reader, but I’d like less me getting burned, cut and stung.

Since this the cabbages have been thing and the squash are bigger.

Bees love the raspberries.

Since thinned, small Golden Acre and narrow Dutch something.

Impish Billy looking like a smug rosy cheeked schoolchild.

Peony looking good in the sun.

May finally see the railway rose in bloom!

Yarrow from seeds.

Looks like a decent year for strawberries.

Guess I spread the seeds around, these were in a pit not that far from the original.

Foxglove is starting to look good.

I’m getting things out of the greenhouse and waiting on the basil to start, the tomatoes will soon be potted up and I see a few chillies starting to sprout, the weather is pretty decent, but with all the variation day to day I’m still weary, I think I may have three times the squash I actually need, but I’d rather do that and not run out again. Sadly the timing of when squash need to be planted here and the garlic being harvested means I won’t be able to put them into the garlic pots of the bathtub, we don’t get the long Autumn other countries get, if we get it all before it turns to Winter, so I can’t leave them until later and if I keep them in pots they’ll get pot bound and won’t grow. You can tell I’m been thinking far too much on this instead of accepting that I have enough, considering I have I think double last year’s capacity of large pots I should be content, but nah, if I ever settled there’d be noting fun, Dewar Reader, and we can’t have that can we? I’ll be back again later, until then stay safe and take care.

Gerald is finally painted.

You can’t tell, but the buds are huge.

Never, ever cutting that rose.

No idea where this came from, the top is full of buds too.

A slow year seems to be good for the plants.

Geum popping its head out.

Garlic harvesting won’t be far away.

The graft died, but I kept the root and now look at this apple tree.

Had to grow the rose to see it in bloom, might be the only part remaining at this stage.

The old back rose, still in a sunken bottomless oil bucket, how all the yellows come despite being varying ages together is a mystery.

I Said Secret Not Squeeze

Our Snowball tree.

A gifted magnolia has bloomed, my other is budding again.

Forgot they fade to near white as they age.

Clematis getting thick after years, grown from a small root.

Lonely fig will have a friend in time.

A little ingenuity and messing around and that corner is now by far one of the prettiest parts.

Foxgloves are reliable.

Yo, Dear Reader, the weather is still screwy, but funnily though it feels horrible things are actually ahead of where they would be last year, I’ll soon have my peas planted, one issue with the weather being so erratic is not knowing when it’s a good time to plant, I have back ups and I’ll have back ups to those back ups, but I’d like them to actually survive, flashbacks to the year a sudden late May frost killed all but a few of my squash, dark days, Dear Reader. Starting the peas inside again is now the best way forward, there was no way they’d germinate outside before they rotted in damp conditions. I’ll have cabbages and a chunk, how can I measure plant by pots when I can’t even remember what pots they’re in at this stage?, of the wild flowers for the front garden, the hanging baskets in four segments are out and look green and relatively upright at the least. The edges are always a gamble and paying out way too much for store bought plants that’ll get hit by cold or frost just isn’t worth it. I tried just wild flowers last year, but they tend to go to seed faster than a Summer mix so I mixed both and we’ll see what comes up.

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Saved from the skip, was a Christmas Tree, why it was on a grave is a mystery.

75+ peony, might have new peonies this year too.

Must be eight feet by now. Was red and slowly turning to green through orange.

Mistook that for the honeysuckle for a moment.

Was worried it’d grow to the field too much and now it’s a wave of rose moving towards the house.

It’s that time of the year where you’re shouldering plants out of the way as you wend around the garden and I wouldn’t have it any other way, Dear Reader, people have weeds as high as their walls and I have cultivated roses three feet higher that’ll explode with blooms. I have seen some really awful gardens recently and it breaks my heart to see wasted spaces, let them be wild with berries and useful plants, but not just weeds. I’d love to have more garden even if I am at my limit right now, Dear Reader, I have so much going on only I can do it and I can even explain most of it, it’s all garden brain and it seems to be working just fine. I do love to see the bees everywhere, a carpenter bee decided to describe the most dizzying pattern as I tried to photograph him, jet black and large and a lovely sight. The bumblebees are busy in the berries and though I had a starting issue with sawflies in the currants, again, this isn’t new and I won’t use pesticides, I moved the netting that had slipped down, used to protect the berries from birds and in Autumn the plants from aphids, and removed what I could, the next day i think the birds had a field day because I can’t see any more. Nature finds it’s balance if you work with it, Dear Reader.

People tell me Iceberg roses are unreliable after a few years and this one was near dead when I got it and is now threaded through the laurel and happy. Another is entwined with clematis and I think those people were just bad at growing roses.

Ajuga…bless you.

Inverted pot of gold.

No idea where this came from, pretty though.

Mock Orange is budding.

A wild daisy I seeded in the pot alongside the first.

As messy as they look the cages keep them surpringly tidy when I pull them out.

You get either a shoulder of rose or honeysuckle or possible a pocket of jostaberry….need to move that.

Right now is the give Jack your useless things time of the year. I ended up with two spruce trees, gave one away and a raised bed on legs and on the way out say a caddy being tossed and took that too. It was all junk and it was too good to waste, I might have also agreed to take a tree and I missed whether it’s an outdoor or indoor, ah well. I bought a plant for the greenhouse that’ll have to stay in the house instead, a pepino, half dead and then the stem got caught and has been splinted and I’ll hope it stays alive and then I bought a fig for indoors that’ll need to go into the greenhouse and then outdoors because mercifully it’s frost hardy here. When strange or at least rare plants are four Euro you don’t leave them, Dear Reader, when they’re free you can see a little cloud of dust as I dash away with the plant in tow. Not much else to add today, Dear Reader, the pictures say it better anyway, I’ll be back again soon,, until then stay safe and take care.

Almost tossed it, this is he hazel I thought started, a weed had wound around the split seed, but has actually started.

Not that I need this many, but it’s fun.

Seriously a waste if I hadn’t taken it.

Straight up, Spruce.

Getting basil planted, should be hot enough now.

Such a lovely scent and sight.

I love seeing the bees.

Virginia Creeper…sounds like a terrible woman.

So much popping up I never remember planting.

New Member Introductions

A wet coat is always the start and is always messy.

First rose of the year, as always it’s the Neighbour’s Wife’s rose.

Rhubarb is slow this year, abundant last year so it makes sense. I’ll take it fresh and freeze until I need it.

This is an odd one, comes from a Korean Movie, is based on traditional Korean masks, I was stuck until I realised it looks like a benevolent Uncle, so: Uncle.

Poinsettia I grew from a cutting from a diseased plant.

Kryten after a TV character.

RTC in bloom again. I love this plant so much.

Jan because it pairs with Jim.

I had called it something else, but now it’s V.E.R.N a reference to the Rampage arcade game, I joke it stands for Very Earnest Really Nice.

Lilac, three years to get it to bloom, but worth it.

So pretty this year.

Peas have been hardened off, well some, so the netting needed setting up despite the weather.

Yo, Dear Reader, it’s been an uneven few days, which has scrambled my brain and I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve been doing in the garden, I have been doing a lot, but as I mostly think about it or blog about it, interest in anything other than complain about various silly things has taken a dip these days, which is why I like blogging, you can read it or leave it and no one is any worse off for it existing. I’ve finally finished most of my painting, I keep saying I don’t like doing it, but if I do a job I’ll do it to the best of my abilities. These scattered showers during extremely hot days is also a bane to painting, I’ve managed to luck out and do things at the right time for them to dry, but I could do with a few days of sun, Dear Reader, just a few short weeks is it so much to ask for months of sun? No, no it isn’t.

It just looks like a single plant instead of two.

Hanging baskets from seed this year, hope they do well, really varied mix.

Slightly more ordinary.

I was told this is Butterfly man and who am I to argue, Dear Reader?

Aquilegia grows like a weed and the bees love it.

Baby apples are still a joy to see.

Gifted magnolia is blooming, just a little rough.

Well, I have no recollection of planting these.

First Iris, I pulled the nettle later.

The snowball tree is going to be a spectacle this year.

I have the first round of plants hardened off, more in and a lot more to come, lots of different rates of growth, I know we may see frost, but with the slow start and dull weather that may be the norm going forward, I’ll have to chance what I can because left too long they won’t grow as well, funny how too hot becomes an issue when it was the rare ideal for so many months. Still there’s always a lot of variety year to year, one set of plants growing rapidly where they stalled in previous years as other take a year off. I just take it as it comes as much as possible, Dear Reader, not hat I can be lax, but I try not to worry too much about what might grow and instead assume everything will. It’s worked out well so far.

When putting up the peas frame netting I noticed just how many flowers there are on that apple tree.

A Japanese Demon mask, hannya, named Majima after a videogame character with a tattoo of it.

The western version of that movie featured Salvador Dali masks for some reason, I don’t watch them I just buy them, well the rip-offs, so: Sal.

Glad it’s done, brightens up the place.

Like God dropped a penny on the garden.

Mushmouth because look at that mouth.

Bees don’t really care what flowers there are.

Maaddog a pair with Majima. Funnily looks little like either of the masks that made it.

WAs wondering where the third hosta was and right there apparently, lots growing there, but I like it filled in.

The biggest stress aside from using an actual ruler to paint with, no really, is naming the masks. They need good names, Dear Reader, how else can I walk through the garden greeting them? If they had ill suited named I’d be ashamed and the looks, oh those yes, Dear Reader…as I say it’s mostly been me in the garden these days, I may be losing it slightly. I’m reaching the cut off point for making more comfortably. Funny how I’ve developed a very specific system with varying skill sets and the end results is so very specific and goofy. I need a month to cure after three days curing before I can paint so I need to factor that in with the weather, I got caught last year by rain. So rather than stress I’ll build up supplies of masks, getting rarer because I’ve exhausted the cheapest and none are cheap now. Still they add something unique to the garden and I have had more fun just doing something solely for my own amusement.

A modded Guy Fawkes mask, the single most common mask, which just looks like a normal person hence: Normal Guy.

Rabbit foot fern needed repotting, not much greenery, but it’s healthy.

Good old Taz.

Amaryllis growing again.

A lot larger since I took this thanks to the heat.

Right now I’m trying to get the greenhouse emptied enough to start the basil, I usually just sow directly into the pots, which are now blocked by the various trays of, well, everything. Carrots are getting there, I got stalled by the painting, I’m using sand to try to get a better dispersal, though knowing my usual luck I’ll end up with one cramped pot and one empty one. There’s a lot to say about the state of the world, but instead I’ll just carry on doing my best, I have the bees again, Dear Reader and they’re always a cheering sign, but they much like me need sunshine too. Hopefully the weather turns brighter and I can just lose myself in the garden more, even if it’s only me and you, Dear Reader, that’s enough. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

Still looks like someone I know, really, really too like them…anyway: The Joke.

Kiwi is growing again.

This Side Up.

Ajuga is popping up everywhere.

The oldest aquilegia, smaller this year.