A bank of celandines (Ficaria Verna) is a sure sign of spring, and I was cheered to see this large patch of them during my Boris/Nicola-permitted walk a few days ago. Celandines are not just a plant of the countryside, I find lots of them in the garden as well, where they are in someContinue reading Celandines
Every year, at some point during the spring, there is the magic moment. Now, I always grow my tomato plants from seed, planting them in a heated propagator in my study, usually in early February. Before the magic moment, the plants in my study are growing away happily, and any that I am unwiseContinue reading The magic moment
One of my birthday presents last year was a proper, official-shaped rain gauge. It took me a while to get around to setting it up, mostly because of the difficulty of picking a good spot in the garden: almost everywhere is close to a wall, under a tree, or is a place where a rainContinue reading Gauging the Rain
Well, I am still on strike. At least it means I can take advantage of any non-horrid weather to get some garden jobs done. This time of year is when I do one of the most physically demanding tasks: removing last year’s compost from the greenhouse and putting some fresh compost in, so that itContinue reading Compost, lovely compost.
My current science/garden project is this sundial. The pillar is a pile of bits that we found in the garden, cemented back together. They didn’t all fit; there must have originally been two pillars, of which we have some of both and all of neither. We found the dial in the cellar of the house,Continue reading Sundial
It is peak season for columbines (aquilegias) in the garden right now, so here are some pretty pictures of them. I have a somewhat ambiguous attitude to this plant. On balance, I like it. It has pretty flowers (which the bees like), attractive foliage, and it flowers in that gap when the bulbs and treeContinue reading Columbines
I have written before about my enthusiasm for peas; I’m always excited at this time of year to get my pea plants out and growing in the garden. I was about to get a tray of well sprouted Telephone and Oskar planted out when I saw that they were harbouring a strange interloper. An albinoContinue reading Doomed albino peas
There is something a bit sad about this time of year. The soft fruit and the peas are more-or-less over, the nights are drawing in, and the new academic semester is approaching like an express train through a tunnel. One thing that I do look forward to every autumn, though, is the arrival of theContinue reading Hard graft
One of my favourite signs of spring is the first bumblebee. This will always be a queen who has hibernated over the winter and is now out looking for nectar and a nest site. They seem impossibly large, compared to the worker bees that are all over the garden later in the year. They areContinue reading Spring is a buzzing.
It is that grim time of year when almost no sun comes into the garden and it looks like an untidy mess of dead stuff. It is a bit less untidy since I replaced my dead petrol lawnmower with a shiny new rechargeable battery one and had to try it out, despite the fact thatContinue reading Planning and planting