The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

February chill

While we were in Cambodia, the UK apparently enjoyed a heat wave and Storm Doris. 

On our return I was itching to get outside to look for any changes; I was not disappointed. 

All the snowdrops are flowering. I'm embarrassed to admit I do not recall any of the variety names, nor those of my earliest narcissi below.

There are plenty of hellebores still in flower, even those which were divided last month!

Despite it being so cold this week (2-7c average), so much colour is appearing in the garden.

And there are hints of what is to come:

Sambuccus nigra 




Rosettes of sedum

Yet more tulips.

And a clump of white astrantia.  These need splitting along with the neighbouring pink clump next month.

I won a dibber that arrived the day we flew out so was unable to share the photo until now.  I had it personalised for my lovely husband.

Rose on a Ramble


The Man That Can, Bumblebee and I have just returned from a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia.  An average of 5-10c in the UK,  February in this beautiful country experiences temperatures around 35-37c!

The main draw were the temples of course, but I had to share some of the photos of the hotel gardens as they were so lush and exotic - some good ideas to borrow too!

I like the shadows of the palm type trees on the canopy, something we can recreate in our Yen Garden. 

The base of the palm trees have been dressed with ground cover. 

A group of three can fit into a small area, making the canopy denser.

Water features quite significantly here, with great bowls of waterlilies and other, bold statement foliage plants highlighting steps. Another possibility in the bottom garden at home.

Orchids lend a punch of colour around the mainly green foliage.  Here they are fastened to the trunks of the palm trees.  A recent revelation suggested my own orchids can spend the summer in our garden, after watching an episode of Big Dreams Small Spaces on the BBC with Monty Don.  A gardener from the Philippines I seem to recall had done something very similar. Happy days!

I have a bit of research to do to discover what plants I can safely plant in Yorkshire, and what substitutions are acceptable to borrow these planting designs.  I really like this topiary. It seems to use something similar to Pittosporum. 

Clearly a hart's tongue fern can be used to copy this idea in a shady spot, topped with pebbles. 

And this idea of using pebbles is easily achievable. 

I have some reading to do.

If you ever get the chance, give Cambodia a thought when planning a trip to south East Asia.  You will not be disappointed. 

Blooming lovely!

Last summer Bumblebee bought a cactus from one of the plant sales at the Botanical Gardens. There was a bit of a jostle in the queue and it was knocked out of his hand, spilling onto the floor and some of the little "babies" were snapped off.  The gardener who sold it took pity on him and fetched him another, letting him also keep the damaged one.

We researched the variety and how to propagate it.  A couple of days laid out on a dry paper towel to seal the end, we learned then to add them upright into gritty compost - we just potted the around the main plant since it was the perfect growing medium.

Each of the babies has now produced roots.

And the "mother" plants are flowering! 


I'm not sure that spring is around the corner just yet, but it is said that snowdrops are harbingers of that season.  Since February tends to bring bitterly cold temperatures and snow usually, I think they are named appropriately and should not therefore be a sign of spring.  That said, they do warm my heart.

Around the garden other bulbs are thrusting their way through the soil. 

The pond is so clear that the brick upon which the pump sits is visible. 

The terrace has become a little green in places over the winter due to lower light levels so a stiff brush and a bucket of very diluted bleach has made short work of the algae. 

It has been mild for part of the week, I even caught a glimpse of a bee on this viburnum on Saturday morning.  Today, Sunday however was damp and dreary once more with little sign of life from insects on the wing.  

There has been much chatter from the sparrows as they arrive back to fight over premium nesting sites in the conifer hedge.  The tawny owl has been heard around 10.30pm for the last couple of weeks and this morning at about 6.30am. (we usually miss him arriving home due to getting up earlier for work).  The robin is fiercely marking his territory, and I think I may have spotted a chiff chaff....but it may have been the wren. I need to gen up a bit more.  Last weekend we took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and saw almost nothing in comparison to this weekend. Murphy's Law.