The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

Never mind the Spring, here comes Summer!

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

Last week there was snow in some parts of our country. This week, we have leap-frogged and landed slap bang into the middle of Summer. We've had temperatures of 26C this afternoon, a whopping 20 degrees higher than when I last blogged!

Having so many plants hardened off and ready, I've actually found the last couple of days too hot to plant them out, so picture the scene: It's 9pm and the light is fading fast as The Man that Can and I are making the most of the cooler temperatures to help the newly planted veg and shrubs settle without the added stress of the heat. By the time we got around to the watering, it was dark. Another reason perhaps to convince our neighbours that we are indeed mad!
There is something of a method in that madness however.  When temperatures are so warm, watering is often more effective done as the sun goes down because there's less evaporation. It also helps prevent scorching flowers and leaves. If you water in the mornings, the sun is often already high enough to do some damage should water sit on the plant, it acts like a magnifying glass. There are times though when you can't avoid having to water in the mornings, especially hanging baskets and containers as they can dry out very quickly. I find either a small watering can with a long spout or a jug to get the water right down to the soil rather than wet the foliage or flowers. Another good tip is to use a small squash bottle with the bottom cut off. 'plant' it into the middle of the basket when making up your containers/baskets. The plants will hide it, and when it comes to watering, it's just a case of filling up the little bottle. This method also works extremely well for your growbag crops too. I put one beside each of my tomato plants, and it makes watering so much easier.

Enough waffle, lets have some colour shall we?
Obviously these were taken well before the sun went down. I have a pot of these in a stone-effect container on the patio. Bright and in your face, pink phlox I believe. Over the cooler months, the chickens made this plant one of their favourite places to dine, and I feared they'd caused it's demise. A little trim and a feed, and they've perked up somewhat.

A much needed job finally done. I'm really hoping that nature has finished with all the cold weather now that the bubble-wrap has been taken down in the greenhouse. Of course at the moment, it's very warm. The automatic window opening doo-hicky is at full pelt, and the door is often left ajar. I've been raising the humidity inside by 'damping down' the floor of the greenhouse as mentioned previously. Hopefully now the bubble-wrap has gone, my tomatoes will finally put on enough growth for me to plant them up in their hanging baskets. If this weather continues, some shading may need to be added.

We began harvesting the lettuce today. If we don't eat it, it'll bolt in this weather, and then it'll be a little less tasty. It's a good job we like salads. This was taken after the harvest. I tend to take a few leaves from each plant, that way they'll throw up new ones to replace them. This is called cut-and-come-again. A very useful and economical way of cropping your leaves.

A bit more of a nosey around the plants still in the greenhouse, these are the dahlias. They'll be hardened off too this week, as will the pelargoniums (bedding geranium). I'm going to plant these en masse to create a bold impact.

Minibell tomaotes are exactly that. mini. The peppers have performed poorly so far too. Lets hope they improve with the higher light levels

These are courgettes...

The potatoes growing in sacks have now been moved outside the greenhouse. I think they've gone a little mad in there.

Lets pause a moment on our journey around the garden to savour the only saving grace of  the pine tree. The acid-green new growth.

In the lawn bed, this vibrant azalea began life as a gift. One of those potted house-plant affairs. I hadn't expected her to survive her first year outside, but here we are three years on, and one very harsh winter later, and she's flowering her socks off. Not yet in bloom, but I have a white one too behind it.

This solomon's seal was taken from a neighbours patch. I popped it into the tiny border beside the patio just for safe-keeping really, and everytime I look at it, I tell myself I'm going to move it to the front garden where it is shadier. I seems to be doing ok here for now though. Maybe I'll move it after it's finished flowering.

Having hardened off nicely, I've allowed my hanging baskets to begin flowering. Once they're in full bloom, I shall move them to their rightful place either side of the front door.

And finally, one of my many hardy geraniums (cranesbill) has begun flowering. Within the week, I would imagine this one at least to be covered in these lovely blue flowers, which the bees flock to.


  1. How I love wandering around your garden with you in here Hayley. You have a wonderful way with words, it makes me feel I am with you in person.
    Thank you for such a wonderful blog.
    hugs Colly

  2. Aw, bless you Colly. Thank you *beams* xx