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The aliens are coming!

Just looking at the Gunnera plants springing to life, the weirdest plants in the garden. I suppose there isn’t really room for them but I put them there just the same. They are 4 years old now and starting to get really big & ugly.]


Will it reach out and vilolently attach to my face one day?

They so remind me of the film ‘Alien’ as they have just the right shape and look to them – they even have the protective slime on the young leaves. The flowers are really eccentric too, twisted reddish and green knobs that unfold from within the plant.

They are quite intimidating plants and there isn’t a lot of others that want to grow around them. The main exception to this being the snake head fritillary that has popped up amongst the gunneras – it seems quite happy with it’s spot.

snake head fritillary


Asparagus and carrots


Ok, this is going to sound a little weird to some. The first two Asparagus shoots appeared the other day – it is so exciting! I have been waiting two years for the opportunity to eat some home grown asparagus & hopefully the wait is nearly over.

So far I only have two (smallish) shoots but with any luck these are the first of many. My usual appraoch with plants can be a bit careless but with these I took no chances. When I planted the crowns I read up how to dig the trench, weed it, fertilise it etc – I treated them exactly as they should be.

First winter, two out of the original six didn’t make it so I replaced them with a couple of shop bought ones. This year what will happen? who knows!


Really like carrots – especially if I can get the ones that taste of carrot, i.e. not like some of the things that you can get in the shops, These have the right shape and coloutr but don’t really taste of anything much.

I have tried over the last two years to grow them, the books & TV programs say that this is easy! – not in my experience. I had decided that I would give up but I was reading Carol Kleins book & decided to give it one last go.

So – I have weeded and dug and added organic matter (home made compost). I have also removed stones until my back hurt. Pictured below is the freshly sown earth & neat lines where hopefully the carrots will make their appearance – again, watch this space.

OK - I know this is the least interesting picture ever but just think how good it will look when full of carrots!

The Ferns are back


This garden has a great many ferns growing in it and I have always wondered why. I have particularly noticed these on sale in Garden centers or seen them in other peoples gardens. I have never gone out with the intention of buying one and don’t recall ever hearing Gardeners World talk about them (Having said that, I found this from the BBC)

Half way down the garden are two neat rows of ferns. In the winter these fade down to dense bracken but at this time of year they are one of the fastest growing things in the garden. Luckily for me, I quite like them. As well as growing quickly, they are dense and tough and God only knows how I would get rid of them. They would easily shrug of any attempt at hand weeding and I am not confident that even fire (or hard radiation) would do the trick.


Much more delicate looking ( but I suspect just as tough) is this smaller fern. It is also just coming to life and has it’s own variation on the fractal crosier theme of the fern pictured at the top of the post.

Spent today at work, sat inside looking out at a nice day – damn! In one of my many absent moments I was imagining what the garden was doing in the sun! Plenty of rain over the last few days and this ( allied with the sun) will make things grow.

Some flowers inthe garden today.


Day lillies out now – these have started to bloom just as I dead headed the last of the Daffodils, which were great this year & I miss them already. Quite pleased with the day lillies as I divided them last year because they were getting congested. Now have three or four clumps, all of which look better for my being a bit brutal with them in the autumn.




Primroses still going strong, have a lot of yellow ones of course and some inky purple as well as some odd, nondescript browny yellow things. Took this photo of some purple ones alongside a Dandelion – very arty!

Primrose and dandelion

Primrose and dandelion














Tulips got them as a freebee : quite pleased with them

Tulips got them as a freebee : quite pleased with them





Tulips I don’t normally go for Tulips. Have admired them greatly in public displays and can see the attraction but I have had little luck with them. Usually, mine only flower for a day or so before losing petals & making me think that the compost bin would be a good idea.

This after weeks of watching them grow & looking forward to seeing them flower. This lot were free with something else so I had them. Actually quite a pleasing shade of purplely/ black & have them outside back door.




Bought these late last autumn to give some colour over the winter. Did absolutely nothing colourful over the winter & only escaped death by composting in January because they were too frozen into the pot to move & I was too lazy to throw them. Now look at them! Blazing away in bright yellow as if that was what they had always intended. Had a similar pot in the front garden which gets quite hot in the sun – killed the lot of them!

Pansies : Nearly met a bad end in the winter

Pansies : Nearly met a bad end in the winter