Spare a Jar, Anyone?

The White Japanese Anemone are just blooming now.


Salvaged dahlia is pretty, eaten, but pretty.


Still a lot of roses.

Yo, Dear Reader, I have been given more rhubarb, one piece was so dense the knife could only chip at it, naturally I composted that, the rest was a little tough. I’m not bragging, but I never realised how good my rhubarb has become after years of care and feeding. It’ll all macerate overnight so it’ll be much more tender and, you know, edible, I’m doing one batch of Rhubarb and Orange, with jam sugar this time around, and one Rhubarb and Ginger, same idea just with a teaspoon of ground ginger and a 4cm chunk grated super fine into it. It’s time to use the fruit and preserving like this is ideal. I’ve harvested another four cabbages, more peas of all kinds, a friend took half, she’s more than earned that and the rest will be cooked and frozen. Sometimes it’s just a better option than blanching, just reheat it in the microwave as a pre-prepared side, depending on the person eating it, which funnily you can over look, I’ve been guilty of trying for the perfect preservation, Dear Reader, now I just go with whatever is best. With the pressure of the surgery gone and me finally really realising that things are changing for the better mentally for me. Still a lot there, but this helps.

Still a lot of the yellow strawberries popping up.


Just behind the cinnamon dusted squash you can see the seeds that started have really taken off.


I managed to buy this having also bought one for a friend a year ago.


The Rambler is starting to bush out again, but still has a few flowers.

One things that I can’t say what brought about but I’m glad of is the cabbages are barely touched by slugs, you expect some, but these are near perfect, I used coffee grinds at the edges, onions planted all around and slug pellets scattered away from the cabbages and a few nearer. A little iron won’t harm the soil and that’s about the strongest measure I’ve used, but I’d swear the coffee and onions did as much if not more. Either way I can continue to use both as I go. The red cabbages are slower and I’m not one hundred percent sure what I’ll make. I do have a braised red cabbage recipe, and I’d like to pickle or something similar, but pickled foods aren’t eat much here and selling wouldn’t be an option. Might likely braise and freeze or give away. I thing I grew too many to be honest, but I was rushing and planting what I could before the surgery, sadly the cauliflower were eaten before they even started. I’ll figure out something, I don’t eat it myself and can’t if it’s braised, but if there any Dear Readers out there with experience on using red cabbage I’d be grateful for any tips or advice.

Coffee Plant is still alive and growing.


Naru’s Garden just pulls flowers towards it.


A small friend decided to join the photo.

I haven’t spoken much on my recovery recently, still a little slow on the right side where all the issues were, but it’s healing and I’m starting to feel it more a part of myself rather than a big piece of something just inserted into the skin. I’ve been through far too much with all the weight-loss and the after effects, so a part of my just wants to forget it all and just get on with life, you know, Dear Reader? I’ll likely look back on it in time, but from a greater distance from the most painful parts. I’m eating well, I’ve cut down on my sugar a bit, didn’t need to just had trouble sourcing my icing sugar and decided to just occasionally go with whatever the shops had in junk food, pretty much like I was before really, still feel that eating anything bad should be hushed up despite, you know, me being the poster child for successful weight loss, societal standards and erroneous reinforced perceptions of weight and health run deep, Dear Reader, which is why I speak up now and then. I’ve added hemp hearts back into my diet, just as there has been a shift to whole hemp milled, my “cereal”, a far cry from what was once, even when it was healthy cereal it has so, so much sugar, is just chia seed, hemp hearts, popped quinoa, hard to get now too annoyingly, and puffed rice. It’s…it’s food, Dear Reader, it gets me a lot of good stuff all in one go and sometimes that’s enough. Like everything in life, Dear Reader, it’s a lot more grey than people would like to believe, if I ever stopped this diet I’d likely end up dead or worse, but even with it my myriad of health issues, genetic and effect of the weight and weight-loss, still take a lot out of me, never hurts to remember that you’re never going to be perfect because there’s no such thing as perfect. We can only look after ourselves the best we can and answer only to ourselves, Dear Reader. I’ll be back again soon, until then stay safe and take care.

These are one of the first dahlias I ever bought.


Lilies are so beautiful for so little work.

Ah! Sweet! Ah! My Nose!

What’s this? The third day?


This has been barked since and looks better.


Suck in that light.


For the spot it’s in the fern is really pretty.


Just an ordinary Hydrangea cutting, but it’s growing so I’ll mind it.


Everyday it gets better.

Yo, Dear Reader, two months post-surgery today, still a good bit of healing to do, but it’s all going the right way. I really was going to take a breather and I…well, that didn’t happen. I went around gathering up the edging I had secreted about the garden, they don’t call it the secret garden for nothing, pulled from behind roses, under laurel and where I could take a little of the wall. I took out the stones, threw those, they’re mostly soil, further in, filled the bed with used up soil and then bark, next up is turf dust, the universe didn’t want me to rest, Dear Reader, I’ll have more on that tomorrow. I have bags of turf dust and a half barrel and ideas of course. I’ll put odds and ends in the new bed, no name as of yet, I put in the seeding wild flowers in the hopes that undisturbed they’ll self seed over time. It’s so bright and cheery now whereas before it really was becoming an eyesore. If I can get more edging, I’ll never stop until I do, I’ll build up the wall, I can fill it in tomorrow. I put plants I grew from seed, bits of geranium root, some Hen and Chicks and teasel in there already, but I’ll get primroses, free of course, ands likely daffodils and bluebells or something cheap and quick to establish. It’ll be a mishmash like the entrance to the Secret Garden and I tell you honestly, Dear Reader, having a patch to continually mess around with is so enjoyable. A change is as good as a rest I guess.

Even the chillies are trying their best.


Everything has been stuffed in.


Not the rose it was supposed to be, but pretty.


The Four O’clock Flower is alive, it was such a strange shaped tuber I didn’t know how to plant it.


We need sun, we’re just getting heat for now.


They’re powering on regardless.


It changes a lot as it ages.


So warm I was out at eight in the evening harvesting in a teeshirt.

Red Campion I think, came as seeds years ago.

I’ve had the kids gathering berries twice already, never too old for that, good memories and good food for them, but the raspberries are starting to peter out, they’ve done incredibly this year. Now the Golden Raspberries are popping up and I had to shout out because it’s like eating candy, they’re so incredibly sweet. I also shouted when I stuck my nose in a lily and the scent nearly bowled me over. The garden never stop surprising me, Dear Reader. I’ll freeze the berries, keep the rhubarb for pies, the leaves, third time’s the charm, are stewing in water for a natural rose spray, twice already they’ve been knocked over. I’ll let you know if I ever manage to get to try it. It’d be useful and might be less harsh then the chemical sprays. For the roses I’ll still need those, but having a bit extra that isn’t as rough would be good too. I don’t spray anything else which is why the kids, and me let’s be honest, can stuff berries into our faces right from the canes. Worth the work, Dear Reader. I’ll be back again later, always something happening these days, first cabbage has been given away, also the mange tout, which I can’t say still, are being picked with the sugar-snaps and what was I do doing? Oh, right going away. Until later, stay safe and take care.


Hard to imagine this is older than I am, by a lot.


The reds have joined together.


Some plants are taking months to really start. Weird weather.


Compost leachate from the hotbin is a greater reviver.


Like candy, Dear Reader.


I thought that was a weed, but no, the French Beans are flowering.


Found an onion snake.


The Champagne Rhubarb was over harvested last year, this year it just stores energy.


I know what it looks like, but it’s really good. Recipe here.

The Ins And Outs of Gardening

One day this will have a pleasing shape, just not today.

The too big twosome.

Been a while since I cleared the top shelf. Peekaboo!

I’ve learned a lot about cacti and succulents over the years…year and half?

Lucky Bamboo that I bought in a clearance sale as a tied together stack.

Yo, Dear Reader, I’m finally done with the check ups, I’m bandage free, still have a good bit of healing to do, but after nearly two months I have my freedom. Now the biggest task is helping myself get away from bad habits and thinking caused by nearly a decade of stress and trauma. Every discussion on depression tends to suffer online because we fall into a homogenous idea of depression, when in reality it’s tailored and shaped by everyone’s individual lives and experiences. So to share we sometimes overshare and in doing so hurt ourselves more. For me I know where the issues lie, where they come from and have a rough idea of what I need to do to combat this, it’ll take time, Dear Reader, and I’ll likely talk about it here and there, but it boils down to just trying to enjoy life again. Sure that’s simplified, but that’s okay too. No one should have to share all their trauma to explain themselves, I’m just sharing a bit of what’s happening to make sense of any future posts that touch upon it. Mostly I’ll be the same pain in the neck, Dear Reader, have no fear there.

Still have the two coffee plants, the other is still unfurling after months, this look so glossy.

Didn’t have a plant when I bought a sweetheart plant and still don’t.

I probably have enough orchids, more on the other side of the room,. but still…nah..

This fern is always dry, even an hour after watering.

I wanted to get everything fed and watered as I have been waiting on the right moment, the weather has been warm, but wet so I’ve found it better to skip a watering than to leave plants sitting in moist soil. I think I must be just over the two year mark for indoor gardening. I tell you honestly, Dear Reader, I killed so many plants because I hadn’t the knowledge I have now, I treated them like outdoor plants and that is so far from what they needed, surprisingly I still have many of the first plants I bought. Indoor gardening at first was removed from the outside, but over time I’ve  mixed things between them, feeds from outside, rainwater and soil have come in and knowledge from years of gardening outdoors has finally mingled with new understanding of indoors and I’m doing pretty well on the whole. It’s a joy in the Winter, when everything else is dying back there’s always a small task inside to keep my mind occupied. I admit I do have too much, but I wouldn’t say no to more, reckless as that is, you know me, Dear Reader, I love experiencing all these different plants, learning all their quirks and sometimes understanding they just can’t exist here in this small space. With this task done I can get outside and weed and clean, a never ending task, but they’re never neglected. I have work to do, Dear Reader, and joys to experience. Until later, stay safe and take care.

We just call it the bathroom plant as it’s hanging in there.

I removed the training wire and the branch has been curved. A small accomplishment, but a fun one.

I’ll move it eventually.

It’s been dormant for half a year, but it’s coming back.

There are just so, so many plants I want at all times.

Mystery Assembly

The first harvest of garlic has been hung to cure.


How it just fits every time is likely because I just roll with it and adjust on the fly.


That and I’m not that fussy.

Yo, Dear Reader, yes I’m back again and I happily have good news and new things to share. I finally received my first appointment for my vaccine, I’m more worried about going to a new place with lots of fiddly rules and regulations rather than by the needle and aftereffects, if any, I’ll be getting a two dose as I wanted to, it might make no difference in the long run, all the vaccines are effective, it’s just if a second jab was required sooner for single dose vaccines I don’t trust our government not to screw that rollout up. I haven’t spoken much about it, I’ve been doing all I can and will continue to after I get full protection, no one tells me what to do and I will keep going until we crush this, but if you can get vaccinated do so. I can give you a litany of reasons, but do it if you can is enough and that’s all I will say on it. I started adding a stay safe when this started and I’ll keep that until everyone is safe. Anyway, let’s talk about gardens and take a break from everything pandemic.

I took these photos and then promptly changed my mind.


I’d still take more if it’s there.


My garden is getting heavier.

My friend and I ended up making three trips, those slabs are heavy and some even heavier somehow, my chest is healing well, Dear Reader, after lugging these around I feel just fine, my conditioning, what little I have, hasn’t faded much and once I got started and started planning I just didn’t want to stop nor did I have to, I would if needs be, I’m being smart and healing right, Dear Reader. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but two conditions arose, the first was that I had no idea how long the edging would be, never do, the second was how to use a skip bag and a remade pallet. Naturally I could’ve planned and doubled checked and I did none of that, I just plowed in and had a blast checking and moving. I flipped the pallet planter, took off the feet, the ground there is broken because it used to host an oil tank, and settled it beside a lumpy section, that they was covered by the skip bag minus the sides, which fit exactly somehow. Then I started laying the edging at random and when I was done, three levels high, it all was just right. No idea how, Dear Reader, I have a raised section for the small pots and a sunken one for the bigger pots and the willow sits happily in the corner. I found pots and primroses too so they’ve been stuffed in there. I’m rather pleased with it, that are all looked dark and dingy no matter what and now it looks much brighter. If inclined you can also climb up and over into the neighbour’s garden, but they might get mad and their dog might get upset, so I’ll stick to flowers right now. I’ll be back again soon, Dear Reader, possibly after being jabbed, likely before, so until then stay safe and take care.

P.S I can’t stop eating the freshly harvested garlic, the house and shed reek of garlic. I love it, Dear Reader, so, so very much.

It Slices! It Dices! Cleans Your Car! Walks Your Dog! Even If You Don’t Have One!

I mean jelly when I say jam and I can’t seem to stop that.


The Seaside Daisy chunk I took is rooting.


That was fast, it hasn’t been all that long since I found that.


The last of this year’s potatoes. They all came out so uniform.


Clearance flowers are great.


If mini roses survive after the flower die back they can bush out rapidly.

Yo, Dear Reader, I’m back again, blame the garden, it got rain and sun and suddenly everything is coming alive. I decided to harvest the second batch of potatoes, you know the ones to replace the ones that didn’t die?, and I was struck with how funny they sell you on how versatile potatoes are, every single variety is suitable for baking, chipping, salads and anything else, they’re all also perfect for storing, large harvests and so much more! It’s like an infomercial, they’re potatoes, Dear Reader, they come in different varieties, but beyond that there isn’t a huge amount of difference between them. As for Jack I base my choice on a very simple principal, I will share with you now: How funny looking they are. What? If I’m growing them just to grow them you can be sure I’ll pick the oddest breeds, Dear Reader. These were Red Duke of York, they cropped well in fairness, these avoided the frost so take that into consideration, it’s easy to fall into the idea there is a variety that will do everything and that’s always highly dependant on your growing medium, location, feeding schedule and type and so on. I mean by the logic you find online the centipedes I found plentifully in the pot with the most potatoes means they help produce more potatoes! There’s a lot to grow and choosing the right type is important, just not the end all and be all. They look nice at least, good and healthy, not that I can eat ’em.

They take a lot of work, especially the scraggly rescue ones.


I still marvel at the heads forming, no matter how often I see it it’s a wonder.


The marigolds are popping up again.


Lilies are spring up all over.


One of the wilder roses I put in the back. Looks nicer there than anywhere else.

You know, Dear Reader, I find making jam really relaxing. I think it’s the fact you follow every step carefully, preparing before hand and just carrying it out methodically, then sealing it up and storing it away and the clean up finishes it completely. There’s also a joy in choosing the combinations and then seeing, or tasting rather, how they’ve combined. I can’t eat much or hardly any, but I do taste test and ask others to too. This time I went with 100g of mixed currants and 500g of raspberries, what fruit and how it tastes makes the flavours vary wildly and I think that you can’t control it too precisely makes it freeing too. Having my own fruit, with nothing sprayed on it, carefully preparing, straining and then making, is really amazing to me, Dear Reader, I have only been making this a few years and I admit I’m doing well, might as well say it since it’s true, but what amazes me is that it feels so natural and familiar. Like I should have always been doing this. This time the sweet and tart balance was actually too good, it broke my heart I couldn’t just spoon the scalding hot sugary fruit concoction into my face. I owe a friend for pointing me towards this combo, I give her a lot of jam and jelly and only ask she tells me how it tastes honestly. She has great taste buds so I trust her completely. I’m thinking of a macerated rhubarb combined with strained raspberry juice next. I have a lot of each so why not? It’s distracting from the indoor plants currently growing out of control. I assumed a few would die and that’d free up space and no, Dear Reader, they’re just too well looked after and maybe I bought too many, I said maybe!

One of the roses I literally built around in making the rose garden.


I just call it a not-a-marigold.


Finally that vain goose has been thwarted!

I had my check up again, the bottom is uncovered now, the scar is a lot rougher there, it may get better it may not, not much can be done really, the top is still healing, but looks so much better. I’ll take it for what it is, it’s world’s better than it was, but I’m still not denying that I hate having been made to go through so much and to have face so many obstacles that I shouldn’t have had to face. I’m focusing on taking the lessons I’ve learned and making my life happier, as much as possible as things are now at least, Dear Reader. Thankfully my arm seems to be losing the extreme sensitivity in the thumb and numbness in the forearm. I think I’ll likely push most of this part of things away for a long time, you just can’t take it all in, Dear Reader, the brain just refuses to accept it completely and it might be for the best. I’m better than I was, Dear Reader, I’m just ready for a rest from appointments and thinking about it. All things in time, Dear Reader, next up I navigate the booking of a vaccine, which is messy here, and hope I get some kind of protection, not that I’ll stop masking up or distancing, this is far from over and I’ve done what I believe was right all along, no one will tell me to do otherwise until I’m sure it’s right. Wish me luck getting an appointment so I can be finished and just get out and garden with no thoughts other than I better show Dear Reader this plant. Until later, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.

 

I nearly forgot the fig tree, likely decorative, but you never know. Heuchera are the best no maintenance plant, the bees love them too.


I…just grow fruit, I’m leaving the rest to you, tomatoes.


I love seeing the new rose shoots bursting forth.

Carefully Layer Your Chaos

Trying to get good photos before the rain smashes them down again.


This lightbulb is terrible.


You brave the rain for the roses.


This is the super rare orange lily. The original garden’s worth is all dead due to a terrible gardener.


I need to replant that cone…oh, yeah, look a rose!


The I’m Tired of Hanging Baskets basket seems to be going well.


Teasel for finches. I hope.

Yo, Dear Reader, another bandage change tomorrow, I’m getting there, it must’ve been bad looking back on it, but seems to be doing well now so hopefully I’ll see an end to this travelling, I’m grateful, but I just want to be free from any appointments for a while after so long with this whole journey. The garden and these posts have been so helpful in keeping my head in a good space, I’m out come rain or sun, mostly rain right now, a good soaking rain, but like everything it’ll go too far, and I’ve been revisiting ideas that I had through the years, you know, Dear Reader, a pot here, a plant there and then me forgetting or getting annoyed at a gap and adding to it, over and over and suddenly I have the garden equivalent of puff pastry, many, many delicate layers all smashed together. I mean I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s hilarious that I walk through my own garden trying to remember what I was going for all the while looking at several plants forming a super-plant. You know me, Dear Reader, I tend to plan and plan for failure then I accidently succeed too much, that’s not bragging mind, that’s just me and the garden. We have a strange synergy.

The other Hydrangea is changing too.


Pretty sure these are new.


I really, really hope that’s going to flower well because it’s a mess right now.


Oh, forgot that was there, good job!


It rained before I took the photo, they were so perfect, I swear!


This came back, that’s a first.


More irises.

I’m thinking about jam combinations, I don’t want to buy much to add to it and I’d like something broad enough to appeal to as many people as possible, if it were just me, Dear Reader, nothing would be off the table. One thing I haven’t made is chutney because I won’t buy the ingredients, I had to remove the runner beans and move, grab at huge crooked stems, the tomato so it may produce fruit unlike the beans, other beans are fine, French beans I think, so if I could maybe get tomatoes again, they were apparently great tasting last year, I might be able to do something with the onions. Hard to say, but it’s enjoyable to think about. I feel a lot less pressure to make the most of everything to a dangerous degree now. I still have to stop myself at times, but that there, Dear Reader, is probably the balance that gets so much going even if it sometimes goes too well. Not many stories right now, Dear Reader, things are still slow and likely won’t do all that much out of an ordinary year, I’ll keep taking photos anyway, there are always plants, Dear Reader, seems to be the motto of my days. Until later, stay safe and take care.

The carnations are opening.


I thought these had been eaten, but no, they honeysuckle protected them.


No idea what the little green spreading plant is, but it’s alive at least.


Likely I won’t see squash, but they’re alive at least.


They’re the other beans from now on.


The Painted Harlequin Orchid, so striking.

Hose The Garden

My dear friend, RTC (Reduced To Clear), now in it’s fourth or fifth? bloom.

Still curious how much this has changed with age, it’s well over twenty years old.

I…I have no idea, Dear Reader, I’m thinking dog something and I have no idea why. (Edit: Round-headed Garlic!)

I have so many lilies and no idea what any of them are.

The soil is rich there, this is just its first year.

I’m not sure which rose is which now, both have intermingled. Pretty regardless.

The first of the Secret Garden roses. Watch It. a great name.

They’re doing well.

A friend pointed out how nice they look from a distance.

The other orchids are doing well, but RTC has flowered before them despite starting later.

Yo, Dear Reader, not a lot is happening of note right now. I made my gravy cubes, a big mixed batch of young onions and fresh bulbs with green garlic all caramelised until they melted and melded together and that was mixed with fresh herbs and blended. The cubes are freezing and will keep me in gravy for quite a while. I have another check-up to change bandages, I can’t see the surgeon until the week after so I’ll be awhile yet, things are healing well and feels good, looks good too, just use your imagination, Dear Reader. The most exciting thing to happen is they had a cheap thirty metre hose in the shops and I found out that’s roughly the length of the garden. The old one was twenty or twenty five and too short to water the very back so this will save me so much hassle with this dry weather. I will use rain water when I can carry more, right now I’m much better but still taking it easier on the heavy carrying. With the garden as large as it has become this is necessary anyways so I’m glad I remembered because I almost missed it and ambled off to the shop out of the blue. The weather is threatening thunder constantly and my head is muddled. I’ll leave you with the photos, Dear Reader and I’ll be back again soon with even more, whether that’s a threat or a promise depends on your perspective. Heh. Until later, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.

The Curry Plant is bushy and smells strongly of chicken curry as you walk past.

Big roses.

Pretty sure this was dead last year.

Biollante Jr. wishes to be free.

These are the only batch of Naru’s Flowers, if these don’t seed that’s the end. Four years wasn’t a bad run. I’ll hold out hope.

The other roses are nearly there, just not yet. Watch It reigns supreme for now.

The honeysuckle is trying to steal the trellis now.

The Rambler remains a joy.

Having so many vining plants was a great idea when they were small cuttings and whoops.

Heartbreak Mango is still here and now I can’t close my curtain more than halfway.

The Yearly Joke

Still smells so nice.


If you crouch and walk in this is what you see.


Pretty sure that’s one of the 50+ roses.


Tomorrow gravy cubes!

Yo, Dear Reader, it’s that time of year again, yes, the year I make the joke about this being a recipe blog and then we all laugh and laugh and go back to talking about the garden. Hey, I’ve put in my time and I’m always here to talk food and help with recipes, it’s just with all the limits I hit a wall, but I’m in a good place with food so it all balances out. This time of year is all about using what the garden brings, Dear Reader, it’s bringing a lot of confusion right now as there are onions trying to divide instead of forming full bulbs, which I’ve never seen, I did once see garlic get hit with such ferocious sudden heat it started to sprout while still in the ground, little did I know it was still edible, lessons are learned often, Dear Reader. So, when I saw fresh bulbs, young bulbs, bits and bobs of alliums I thought I’d go for another round of caramelised onions for freezing, recipes linked throughout this post, Dear Reader, and then thought I’d go one further and grab the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and make gravy cubes. I had mangoes that were sweet and creamed coconut and spent yesterday making a rough and ready coconut, mango, ginger and garlic all purpose sauce…do I even have a recipe for that? No, but lemme think…

  • 1 Mango, peel and cut into chunks
  • 100g Creamed Coconut (The solid block, but canned cream would be fine too.)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (Nearer an entire head for me really, but you do you.)
  • Chunk of Ginger (About a thumbs worth? More or less to taste, but I find even a lot still taste mellow and I’m not huge on ginger.)
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Blitz that and off you go. I don’t cook it so much as just heat it and then toss the pasta in there, it’s just a good way to get a quick dinner filled with the good stuff, I also kept meaning to use the creamed coconut up and had the rest to hand. I ended up with too much butternut squash too and made Buckwheat Muffins, this time of year makes me want to fill the freezer, Dear Reader and with my sense of taste back I’m happy in doing it. This feels like the most I’ve talked about food, but as I’ve been running on autopilot with all that was happening with the surgery wait it wasn’t as high in my thoughts, it’s fuel at the foremost with me, Dear Reader, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with it too. It’s why I started the garden in the first place, as a supplemental supply to my diet. I just got carried away.

Bee burrowing in.


Yellow roses just showing off at this point.


I have no idea where that came from or what it is.


The birds and I are on good terms.

I made the rhubarb and orange jam using the frozen rhubarb, just tossed that in the sugar without defrosting as it would sit all night anyway, and it looks fine. This time I left out he orange segment and just diced the whole orange instead, last time I was lazy and just hacked it, this time it’s more even. It’s setting up lovely already and I’ll be making more jams and jellies as the month goes on. I’ll likely freeze juices for savoury sauces as well, being able to taste makes a lot of difference and provides a lot more motivation to cook more varied and complex meals. There are odd times ahead yet, Dear Reader, who knows what else the garden with yield, I’ll use it whatever I want and just enjoy it in my own tinpot way. I’ll be back later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

Struggled for a few years, but back again now.


Okay, that was dead last year…


I’ll make more later.


Ruffly and messy when they fall.


The yellow strawberries are still popping up everywhere.


Like I say a lot is being made right now.

Albino Purple Potato


The soil is dry so they come out polished looking.


I swear this looks like the most expensive of roses and it only cost €1.50.


I tidied up, not that you can tell, but even so I did.


The yellow rose turned almost white with sun.


This seems to have a pink part that’s growing alongside the yellow/peach.


A good year for roses.


The peas are starting to flower finally.

Yo, Dear Reader, I went out to try to recue some of the rambler from my neighbour’s garden, I think it may have taken root, after that I went into the very back with carboard to smother the nettles and help the rose gain even more dominance and then went off to harvest potatoes…I’m doing well in other words, Dear Reader. I’m not worrying how things will be used and if they will, the frost did do some damage to the purple potatoes, but what I harvested were like shining jewels, all perfectly healthy, only fed with natural, homebrewed feeds and never sprayed for blight because I swear the year I did they did poorly. Sure, it might be risky, but three successful, maybe four?, harvests and a rare unsprayed on at that makes it worthwhile. It isn’t so much about how much you harvest, but how close to nature it remains, for me at least, Dear Reader. I amended the pots with a bucket of compost each and they’re ready to rest for next year. I’ve gotten into this routine and it has worked well for me over the years. I do have the potatoes I planted for the ones that didn’t grow, the ones I harvested today that is….what? I mean I assumed they’d died and whoops? Those are red potatoes, they’ll be a month or more yet before I can harvest them. I don’t know who’ll eat them, but likely a friend will take them as I’m nightshade intolerant. They’re fun to grow, Dear Reader, what else can I say?


First ever tayberry. Tart, but they’ll make great jam.


Whether I’ll go for blue again next year is hard to say.


I put cardboard to help smother the nettles and give the rose even more room to spread and dominate.


Small lilies.


Such a great rose.

The weather it has been warmer, nothing amazing, but better than it has been in months, you can see where the plants just didn’t have enough sun when they needed it, but that’s nature, Dear Reader, not that I’ll accept it, I’ll understand it, but I refuse to accept it quietly. I put down thinly planted beetroot seeds, it’s late, but so are the seasons and the other unthinned one is…well, a bit wild. Next year I’ll have no surgery to interrupt and you can be sure, Dear Reader that I will still make these mistakes. Half the fun of gardening is you just keep going, there is no failure because it never really stops and you can always try again. Most of the planting is done, I have some flowers growing in the greenhouse and some basil, but right now it’s all growing and waiting on harvests. Hard to say what’ll pop up but I’m glad for anything at all, I always say I never eat as well as I do this time of year. I hope the weather stays, Dear Reader, I’m getting most of my mobility back and my arm seems to be recovering too, still not quite right yet, there’s still a little of the warm numbness, but less extreme sensation. I’ll get there, or close enough, until later, Dear Reader, stay safe and take care.


Those roses have done so much better stuffed in the back than they ever did anywhere else.


Ah, the fern is flowering.


I have work to do, but old efforts are paying off.


One of the peas has purple flowers…I forgot to check which variety.


Yup, it really has gone into the neighbour’s garden.

All Natural With Added Jack

This has gotten so much stronger.

Everything is a circle. There are irises in the front again.

I’m glad pre-surgery me bought new roses.

The setting sun set off the roses.

The question is which set of discarded dahlias are these?

Lot of red lilies blooming right now.

This just looks so goofy it cheered me up.

I need to grab more of these seeds from my neighbor’s garden.

Should have another purple rose soon.

There are so many similar, but completely different rose types.

When they’re not eaten by aphids the pansies are great.

Yo, Dear Reader, the fruit harvest, shhh, don’t tell rhubarb it’s a vegetable, is still ongoing. There’s a lot more raspberries than I expect and with the heat the strawberries are coming on, the sweeter variety hasn’t flowered yet, but it’ll get there. These berries are the first ones I was ever given, they’ve also made me sad there aren’t green spaces filled with these rather than the performative wild patches filled with short time flowering weeds that get razed to the ground come Summer because they’re ugly. Can you imagine a supermarket surrounded by berry bushes, oh, right, yeah. Really though there are a wealth of wildflowers that’d be so much better suited to planting for bees and even cultivated varieties can be planted with the idea of as little time between blooms as possible and covering as much as the year with flowers as viable. I go out, Dear Reader, with a jug to gather berries, unsprayed, fed naturally with composted kitchen waste, and the bees come to see if there are flowers and they just hang around a while before moving to the flowering blackberries brambles. I just imagine rows of garden’s filled with whatever was easiest to manage for the owners, each one giving out what they have a surplus of and taking in what they need. I also think of being surrounded by anything other than weed ridden gardens…dreams are free too you know, Dear Reader.

An anemone style dahlias.

I hope all the wild flowers seeds and spread over that open patch.

Slowly turning into a green carpet once more.

No idea what the tall stalks are…I was look at the amaryllis.

It’s a year for failures to become success.

The world’s a dark enough place right now, Dear Reader and I won’t add to that if I can help it. I had another bandage change and the vest is off, I’m getting there and as the surgeon told me: Nothing succeeds like success. I feel good, still not fully back to myself, but doing much better. There’ll be a lot of harvesting soon, finding out what has survived the year will be interesting, but I’ve learned over the year to take whatever comes, to cut off the bad parts and cherish the natural produce. I’ll be making jam here and there, mostly for selling later in the year, but some jars are reserved for a friend, the currants are a lovely mix of flavours, the white are sweet with hardly any tartness, whereas the red and black have a lot of the good tartness, just short of sour. They make for a great second flavour in jams, raspberry and currant has been a favourite of many people over the years. I’ll have a few fun stories to share and hopefully the warm weather stays a while more. I’ll be back again later, Dear Reader, until then stay safe and take care.

The rambler is really flowering well, needs a little care, the frost did damage, but it’s a far cry from two stick buried in a bush.

The daylily I mentioned that took several tumbles and didn’t fall out.

Going to be making jam soon.

Allium Moly get better year to year.

Which dahlias are you is my question whenever I nearly trip over something noticing this.

Need to yank it back from the neighbor’s garden.

Where these are is a mystery, they haven’t been planted in years and yet here they are on Naru’s garden year after year.

Gloxinia getting there, still looks like a flowering cabbage plant.