Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Day 150, and counting ...

Hot here last week - a shot in our garden 
- but even hotter in Ukraine
Actually, it is day 153. That is, 153 days of the unprovoked and unrelenting Russian invasion of Ukraine. I was aiming to get this blog out three days ago but I'm afraid last week's heatwave got the better of me. How was it with you? I monitored the temperature in the garden here - we had 38 degrees for several hours on Tuesday, short of the 40 degree record elsewhere

Exhausting, particularly as the nights were so hot. Temperatures that they are more used to in Ukraine where, sadly, the war wears on. Meanwhile, the political shenanigans here has driven the conflict down the news agenda

Russian Grad rocket launch
Regular readers may remember that we mentioned the grain export issue some months ago (see blog dated 23rd April 2022). That came to the fore with the signing of an agreement last Friday - only to learn the following day (Day 150) that the key port in question, Odessa, was subjected to a missile attack

A few days before, you may have seen the report of an earlier rocket attack on Kharkiv. One newspaper reported the incident thus: 

"The lone father clutched a small book in one hand as he stared forward reciting a prayer. In the other, he held the limp hand of his dead son. Killed while waiting for a bus in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, Dmytro, 13, was the latest victim of the constant shelling and missile attacks by Russia. His sister Ksenia, 15, was taken to hospital in a grave condition, local authorities reported. The attack also killed an elderly couple. The teenager’s father spent about two hours by his son’s body at the site of the shelling, reading a prayer." (Daily Telegraph 20th July 2022)

Since reading the words of this report I have stumbled across the Channel 4 News video on YouTube. You can see it below. There's a slight glitch in the sound at a crucial point - please see today's endpiece which clarifies what the reporter was saying - helpfully, I hope (perhaps I should warn viewers that the opening sequence is particularly sad and potentially upsetting - certainly moving)

Committed to help
As you know, all the proceeds from our charity work this year is being directed to Ukraine via our friends in Poland.. They are close to the scene and actively involved in a variety of relief efforts. Frequent trips are being made to the east of Ukraine where the need is greatest

Plants still available
This is an Astilbe
We hear that the recent residential weekend for Ukrainian mothers and children was a great success and that another is planned for the Autumn. Remember to check out out tailpiece - another interesting snippet there

Thanks to everyone who has had plants from Codger's Nursery. So far this season donations amount to £700 (to be exact £707.00) - but there's more to come. Some supporters had reserved their donations intending to give online. I am sorry to report that it now looking as though that route won't be set up in time so I shall collecting those funds in cash. Not what I intended but I'm afraid the issue is outside my control

The good news is that it looks certain that we shall clear £1000 before long

And further good news - we still have plants availble that will do well this season. See this week's photo gallery at the end of the blog. Further donations appreciated!

This Hibiscus came over with or friends in 1991
and still doing well!

News from Holland
Although we don't have time to do the detail it's worth mentioning that we met our Dutch friends in Poland. This was in the 1980s when the Poles were valiantly breaking free from Soviet domination. They were taking relief out to Poland at the same time that we were engaged in the same endeavour

The friendship blossomed in a literal sense - many of plants in our garden came over with them from Holland! Sadly, our good friend, Jan, is no longer in good health. However, despite weekly cancer treatment, he still helps to keep Boskoop blooming. With a group of friends he has completely renovated the excellent Rosarium in the town and the result can now be seen in a video - enjoy!

Loads of gooseberries this year

Success and failure
No two years are the same. This season: gooseberries great - raspberries poor. In the latter case, I'm to blame. I reorganised our soft fruit area and did not plant the fresh stock of raspbery plants early enough. Fortunately, I overwintered some of the old stock so was able to pick a little fruit- but a poor showing, I confess

On the other hand the blackcurrants and chuckleberries have been good. I moved then into a sunnier position and it paid off. Believing that redcurrants can cope with more shade, I demoted them - no redcurrants this year! But the blueberries are doing well. I could go on - it is swings and roundabouts

Blueberries doing well
One surprise. I've managed to transplant a sunflower in bloom. The new raspberry patch suddenly sported four of them. One was stepping of the toes of one of the new raspberry plants. I dug them up as a unit. Replanted the raspberry and moved the sunflower - both patients doing well! (The trick is a good rootball and plenty of water - I generally tend to move plants successfully)

A simple practical tip - essential equipment immediately
to hand in a recycled ice cream container 
My next task is to plant out a new strawberry patch - the present area is hopelessly overcrowded. I'll go through the first step as the next item and then go through the succeeding steps in the next episode which is due out in a couple of weeks (a welcome holiday intervenes)

Whilst I'm on practicalities, a useful tip: I keep a trowel, ball of twine, scissors and pruners in a container that can travel around the garden with me. Speeds things up and means that I lose tools less often - see photo above right

Strawberries for nothing!
Here, I've zoomed in on a growing tip
Returning to the strawberries. They are a species that reproduce very easily. If you wish to introduce children to gardening, you might try this. After fruiting the plants naturally send out shoots known as runners. Their tips root very readily and will happily do so without any intervention. You can simply let this happen and dig up the mini-plants later

However, you can bring some order to the process by persuding them to root in small pots. I find it best to use, what I call, a six-pack (see photo)

Simply fill each compartment with potting compost and insert a growing tip - still attached to the mother plant at this stage. I find it best to secure each one with bent wire - acting like a staple

Here are the strawberry runners being to root in an organised way
Keep an eye on the pack and water as required. After a month or two you can sever the umbilical - just check you have sufficient root first. Leave to establish for a couple of weeks and plant out when you are ready

It's worth making start now. That way you will new plants (for free!) that will bear fruit next season. Like us, old plants become less productive with age!

In memory ...
As we finish this week perhaps I should note that since writing the above paragraphs there has been missile strike on another Ukrainian Black Sea port. We hope against hope that the shipments of grain can go ahead (before the invasion one third of the world's grain exports were from Russia and Ukraine)

Returning to our opening story. Old Codger was intrigued, not to say moved, by the extra detail provided by the Channel 4 account of the incident. It made me wonder if the reporter was able to privately interview woman police officer filmed supporting Dmytro's father

What the Telegraph said was a 'small book' was, in fact a Bible. The 'prayer' - and I'm sure it was such - was a reading from Psalm 91 (the glitch in the video sound wasn't clear at this point). Here are the words being read by the father (vv15-16):

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation

One last thing - pertinent, I think. As well as humanitarian relief our Polish friends are distributing Ukrainian Bibles - many thousands with 5,000 recently printed for the current emergency. May the Lord strengthen their hands in the task!

... with best wishes from the Garden Codger

Echinacea are a favourite of mine and I have a few available
As you see, they are in flower now. Sometimes called coneflowers

This smaller form also available

I had planned to say that this agapanthus was available
Too late! It went to Mrs Codger's hairdresser this morning
Incidentally, I'm planning to propagate from the red Cana above (see tailpiece)

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Sunshine & showers

Angela doing a good job
- literally front-of-house!
We need both, don't we? Sunshine and showers, that is. At the plant sale on Saturday we even had both at the same time - but not enough rain to deter the punters. Perhaps I should add that as we were clearing up at 3:15 there was a sudden and heavy  downpour - it was a mercy that it did not arrive earlier

The sale sported a great variety of plants and sales were good. (The Codger household is now caked up for a week - the cake stall was groaning with goodies so we felt obliged to relieve the load a little)

As always, it was good to renew aquaintance with friends old and new - and to see so many willing volunteers helping with the event. All very rewarding - receipts totalled over £1,500 - all of that will be passed on to BCM

This is how they come - with a
simple bamboo support structure
The new Grow-Your-Own section met with some success (see next). It was good to talk to folk who had got into the gardening habit as a result of the lockdowns. The sudden imposition of Lockdown 1.0 two years ago seems to have been the catalyst for many - or so I discovered in various conversations

Post-Sale sale!
Fancy growing a cucumber or two? What about a squash - either to eat or for decoration? Perhaps courgettes are your thing - all are easy to grow. Basically, just keep them watered and enjoy the harvest

We have a few that did not sell on Saturday and I need the space so, roll up! Although I say "just keep them watered", I ought to add, in honesty, that the subsequent growth will probably require an extension of the support so you grow up as well as out. And for great results a weekly feed will be well rewarded

Loaded up and ready to go
A special Thank You
A few week's ago I mentioned young Violet who had set up a Platinum Jubilee sale to raise money for Ukraine. Well, I am very pleased to say that she has passed on £37, the amount raised through her imaginative efforts! You can see Violet, and her mom, in the photo below

And some further good news: an anonymous donor has matched Violet's fund raising pound for pound - so, allowing for rounding up, that makes another £75 for Ukraine relief - that will be passed on soon

(We are still waiting for the final details that will mean the giving channel is officially open - please continue to watch this space. We have a backup plan - in the meantime all funds are accounted for. I'll give full financial details in the next episode)
Violet bearing a small reward for her big effort

In the meantime, Thank You, Violet. And also thanks to the many other who have made cash donations - and to those patiently waiting for the details of online payment webpage

Our garden wildlife
It has been a long time since I have written the wildlife in our garden . The unexpected appearance of a new visitor gives me a reason to put that right. It's a tale of flocks of birds, three rats and a hedgehog. 

Starting with birds
We do well for birds - and I think that's for three reasons. First, Codger gardens organically - so harmful chemicals are absent - and insect life thrives. Secondly, we have a pond with a stream - so there's good access to water. Third, through trial and error, I have found what seeds the birds like most

Not much left of the pigeon
Until iIgot the seed mix right I had lots of trouble with piles of discarded wheat being discarded and creating a yukky mess on the ground. To the extent that the pigeons could not devour it all. Slight digression, our pigeons keep the local sparrowhawk fed - you can see the evidence in this photo (left). As you can see, sparrowhawks don't leave much on the plate

I use a humane trap big enough most suspects
The other problem with discarded seed is rats. I thought I had overcome this problem until last week whn we experienced a bird feeding frenzy. This has happened in the past with our sparrows but this time - for a reason I cannot explain - the goldfinches and greenfinches joined in. Within mutues we had piles of seed on the floor beneath the feeders - just like the old days when the wheat in a cheap mix got thrown out

I tried to make Horatio feel at home
A special visitor
I left the feeders empty for a few days whilst the ground feeders cleared up the mess - thank you, pigeons and blackbirds. I should thank the sparrows too - but they were responsible for most of the waste in the first place. Catching a glimpse of movement in the undergrowth, I decided to deploy my squirrel trap and was rewarded the following morning with the sight of a rather disconsolate rat. Over the next nights I caught two more and then, to my surprise, a hedgehog!

Hoping that he (he was 'he', I noticed) might settle in permanently, I fashioned Horatio a cardboard home. However, he stayed the night and then moved on. But, for all I know, he might still be lurking somewhere in the garden. He can leave the premises - following national publicity last year, I a cut a hole in the back fence - so that seems to have worked!

Start with the canes - four and then four more

Sweet pea wigwam
These have proved to be one of Codger's most popular lines so towards the end of May I sowed more seed and I've just around to planting them up. In case it's of interest here's a photo guide to doing the job

Obviously, the number of plants depends on the size of the pot. I usually plant six or eight but start with the bamboo canes. In this case four canes are pushed down to the bottom of the pot and tied at the top. You'll see that there is spare string - this allows me to pull in the next four, giving me eight canes all together

Next, I plant the sweet peas which have been grown from seed in root trainers. This helps develop a good root system - helped by a dose of seaweed feed

Planting and tying-in complete -
just one things more to do -
see next photo!
The plants go between the canes and are tied in as I go - but note two points

First, twirl the anticlockwise around the canes so they spiral upwards. Why anticlockwise? Well, you best ask the plants - that's what they do naturally. Check around the garden - you'll old Codger is right (any readers in Australia or New Zealand please tell me if there's an antipodean difference!)

Second, and this is the hard bit - snip out the growing tip! Think of it as being cruel to be kind - the result is more stems and more flowers. See the photo below

Snip out the growing tip - this will encourage
the plants to produce more stems and blooms
A word about the potting mix. Commercial all-purpose compost is a bit to caggy - lighten it with perlite of grit. I like to include some of my own garden compost. Sweet peas are hungry feeders so I also mix in slow release fertiliser. I use Wilko's own brand that costs about £3.50 - you can pay twice that for posher brands (same formulation as far as I can see)

Place the finished result in a sunny spot. Water regualrly and feed weekly. Thw Wilko tomato feed will be fine (although here I do use a branded product - Mr Fothergill's Seaweed Feed)

The other thing to mention is dead heading. Don't let the spent flowers turn to seed - snip off the pods immediately. This simple discipline will prolong flowering

Codger plans to have three or four of these sweet pea wigwams made up over the next couple of days. They will be looking for a good home so please get in touch - first come, first served. Perhaps I should also say that I've still got a good stock of perennials - now is a good time to see them - many are in flower at the moment (sse the photos at the end)

Slipping down the agenda
As I write this final section for today the news agenda is dominated by the shinanigans at Westminster. By the time you read this we might even have a constitutional crisis as we enter unchartered territory. One concern among many is our support for Ukraine as the war of attrition grinds on and we are tempted to look away

Stop press!
As I typed those words a message flashed up: 
Boris Johnson will resign as prime minister today, the BBC has been told. So no constitutional crisis but I think my point is valid - we could easily lose interest in what is happening in Ukraine. Whatever our preoccupations I do hope that does not happen

One again, thank you to everyone who has donated funds that I am due soon to pass on to our Polish friends as they continue their efforts to help Ukrainians in great need - both those who are in Ukraine and, also, those who have been displaced to Poland

[late addition (Thursday 12 noon) - just received further news from Poland which I'll include in the next edition - lots being done]

... best wishes from the Garden Codger

The view from my upstairs study window -
which I really appreciate

I love this bloom - Ensata - Japanese Water Iris
It has just come into flower

Mrs Codger at work, here

As I mention above, there are many plants in flower at this time

Thursday, 23 June 2022

It's Plant Sale time

Peace at twilght - see item on Ukraine
towards the end of this episode
It's Midsummer Day tomorrow, so Codger is determined to get this edition out before we turn this particular page on the horticultural year. If you check out Wiki you'll find that the the occasion is celebrated in surprising ways (even hair raising ways) in different cultures - trying clicking here if your appetite is whetted

Speaking of whetted appetites, I'm glad to report that our first harvests have taken place already. So far, we have enjoyed delicious broad beans, juicy strawberries and delicious cucumber. Excuse me if I have said this before but I think broad beans are well worth growing as a) they are rarely in the supermarket, and b) they taste infinitely better when cooked on the day they are picked. There's a further advantage - they tend to crop early leaving the opportunity to re-use the growing space for another vegetable crop - or flowers if you prefer

Our strawberries have been sweeter than ever this year. I've a few plants left if anyone is interested. Oh! - just remembered - we've got raspberries and loganberries, too. The latter good but the raspberry patch was replanted in the winter and the new plants are a bit disappointing

We have had our first cucumbers from  a variety not previously tried - Socrates. Perhaps brain power will be enhanced. There are still quite a number of cucumber plants available - mainly a German variety called Delicatessen. We also have quite a few squashes of various sorts

AND - dare I say it - we can still help you out with some really nice tomato plants. Not all the fourteen varieties we planted this year but quite a few you might try to your advantage

Quite understandably, flowers are popular
However, we are keen to promote veg as well
Much easier to grow than you may think
Beat inflation - grow your own!
A big Thank You
It has been good to welcome many friends to our garden - to the extent that our plant stocks have been halved. That includes the crates we have sent to the annual charity plant sale that Codger supports - please see the next item

All of our visitors have made generous donations to the funds we are about to send to Poland for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. Those donations in cash are carefully logged and safely stashed away. Other donors have kindly agreed to transfer funds online and are waiting patiently to do so. The technical issues mentioned previously (and completely outside Codger's control - though we chase!) have still to be resolved - please bear with us, we know from your messages that you are keen to give!
Calendula - I've sent some of these to the sale

Charity Plant Sale
Folk who have supported us from the beginning know that the Codger project was inspired by the plant sale organised annually by Angela Webb with help from her husband Keith. Together they have raised thousands of pounds to support the work of Birmingham City Mission. If you are a new reader you can read about BCM here

This year's plant sale takes place on Saturday 2nd July from 11:00am to 3:00pm. As well as a vast range of plants, you'll find lots of tasty goodies, too

We always return laden with cakes, marmalade and chutney. As a one-off, this year, there will also be a plentiful supply of genuine Nike football shirts!

A tip from old Codger - the early birds catch the worm. If you need the address of the plant sale (Angela does the sale from her home garden) - then drop me a line. (Bots are at work so you have to decipher the gmail from Garden Codger - but without the space - just supply the monkey tail. Got it?)

Squash large and small available
reay to grow on at home
Codger's Nursery
If cannot see what you want at the sale - just give me a call. There's a wide range but we also gets plants to order. In addition to the usual range of perennials and annuals I'm making up some grow-your-own squash - including cucumbers and courgettes. See the photo (right) for the set-up. Why not have a go?

Helping Ukraine
Readers will know that, plant sale apart, we are raising funds for Ukraine. The money will go to friends in Poland who are staging a magificent effort getting relief out to where it is most needed in the East - as well as supporting many Ukrainians who have relocated to Poland

Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas
You may have noticed that the conflict in Ukraine has dropped down the news agenda - 'Ukraine fatigue' Boris calls it. And, true enough, those under the greatest pressure are fatigued, frustrated and depressed by the awful suffering inflicted upon them. But so many reports continue to emphasise the utter determination not to capitulate to tyranny. Their fortitude is absolutely remarkable

Do you remember the bit of history we did a few weeks ago where I mentioned the 1.7 million forcibly deported from Poland to the Siberian gulags in 1940? Soon after researching this piece my ears pricked up when the premier of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, gave a forthright speech referring to the experience of her own country. Not only were there forcible deportations during the WW2 but after the war as well. Taken together, thousands upon thousands of nationals were removed by the Russians from the Baltic states. (If you wish to check this out yourself at gulagonline, click: here). Or you could watch the introductory video, which will also give you access to a 30 minute documentary:

The Estonian Prime Minister's point was it is possible to seek a peace that is not peace. It is salutary to note that many of these treacherous expatriations took place in 1949, that is, long after the peace delared in 1945

I am reminded of Churchill's words: the farther back you look, the farther you can see into the future. I understand that this quote is favoured by our own Queen - or so I heard during the Platinum Jubilee

Well, much more could be said. But for our part we are glad to support the people of Ukraine at this momentuous period in their history. Gardening must seem a strange way of doing so, but we will press on. Thank you for your kind support. For now ...

...best wishes from Garden Codger

PS. I'm still getting ready for the plant sale so just a few shots to close off this week. Hope to see you at the plant sale

Codger (aka Captain Birdseye) was delighted to be invloved in the Brigade Awards at our church recently
The image of an anchor is associated with Brigade - perhaps you know why (?)
Anchors were once forged in Tipton - this one can be found at the aptly named Neptune Health Centre

It is possible to grow some tomato varieties in hanging baskets. As you can see, this is Garden Pearl and already in fruit


The rose Peace has been prolific this year

Here's a tip. During high summer you can move plants into what might be shady areas at other times of the year
These are positioned at the front of our house - the variety of the pink/white geranium is Apple Blossom
(a few still available - well worth having)

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Well done, Paddington!

Seems impossible that it has come and gone so quickly. The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, that is. It must have been inattention on Codger's part but he was expecting a two-day job. There was much in the four days that was really enjoyable - we certainly had significant reasons to celebrate Her Majesty's record-breaking reign

What most most memorable? I can't help admitting that I enjoyed Paddington's audience with the Queen. For me, that look the well-poised biscuit - or, rather, the marmalade sandwich

I even wondered if there was a hidden message in support of Ukraine - but perhaps that was pure coincidence. Did you know that the Ukrainian voice-over for the original Paddington film was done by none other than Volodymyr Zelensky? In somewaht happier times for him as an actor and TV personality - he can have hardly planned to be a wartime leader of an invaded nation

His appearance on the world stage has been truly remarkable. May he serve as well as our own Queen has done. And draw strength in the way that she does - see endpiece

This amazing young lady staged her very own Jubilee
fund raising event. Well done, Violet!
Supporting Ukraine
Before we turn to gardening matters, a quick update on donations for our Polish friends who are very actively supporting Ukraine. You may remember that we wish to set up a giving channel that works in a similar way to the one we did for BCM. There were unexpected delays at the very busy Polish end and then we ran into our own national shutdown for the Jubilee. I'm very much hoping that I can write again next week annoucing that the giving page is well and truly open!

And thanks to her mom, a Codger reader
In the meantime we wish to thank all those who have given during the last couple of months. I am currently sitting on £350 that has been received in small cash donations. More significantly, a number of friends have agreed to delay their donation and to do an online transfer as soon as the giving page goes live - this could mean that we will be touching our first one thousand. (These good friends will be testing the system for me, thank you!)

Meanwhile: essential assistance
I hear frequently from Henry Krol who is leading the relief effort within his organisation - the one we are supporting. Since we last wrote four vanloads of essential supplies have gone out. That's 700kg each time and they are reaching the East where the need is greatest. Readers will be aware of the intensification of fighting in the Luhansk area

Henry says the key needs for the Ukrainians now staying in Poland is mainly housing and a job. So his team are running a scheme to help Polish hosts to extend and adapt their homes to provide accommodation. Six individual projects have been completed and nine more are under way. This support is really needed. (Something easily overlooked is that Poland has an historic housing need of its own dating back to the ravages of WW2 and the subsequent years of Soviet domination.)

In addition to meeting physical needs, much is being done on an emotional and spiritual level. A residential long weekend is being planned for lone mothers with teenage children. Obviously, the menfolk are back in Ukraine serving the country - usually in the military

A little blossom soons attracts the bees
Lockdown over - gardening continues!
Codger's own project started over two year's ago when folk had unexpected time on their hands and started to dabble in the garden. Well, many are back in the workplace but garden dabbling is still allowed. Here are some ideas where we may able able to help ...

Posh up the patio! We have pots of flowers that will go on flowering for months. Shown here (below right) are petunias - always a good bet

We also have marigolds, nasturtiums and zinnias. All will produce an instant lift with a buzz of colour. Sweet Pea wigwam: these have been hugely popular (is it the scent?) - out of stock at the moment but more on the way - I've had to do an extra sowing of sweet peas but they are doing well so you'll get late flowering

Tickle the taste buds! Yes, it's tomato time again. If you have children, or grandchildren, why not try Garden Pearl

Look carefully - see the fruit!
These come ready-potted-up and are about to produce fruit. I beleived the advert and it was correct - they are a very early variety. Small plants that pack a punch - lots of bright red cherry tomatoes. We have plenty of other varieties - just ask and I'll advise

Bang up a basket! hanging baskets are now coming on stream - in a range of sizes to suit most requirements. The basket shown here is small but packed with colourful calibrachoa. I tried these for the first time last year - a great addition, sometime known as million bells

Small hanging basket with colourful calibrachoa
Perk up the border! Doing some weeding this weekend? Rather than leave bare soil why not try a new plant? The list is endless - you are welcome to drop in and see what we have - from low-growing heuchera for the front to delphiniums at the back

Do remember that these are example - we have a very wide variety of plants that might find a place in your garden - or any space you have. Strictly speaking, we don't sell - but apprecaite any donation you care to make (no expenses taken, of course)

Looking back

Perhaps I was just a little flippant in my recollection of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations - although I do think the Queen's readiness to exercise a little humour was a sign of true humility. (and carried off remarkably well)

I was freshly encouraged when, at church on Sunday, we were reminded of some of Her Majesty's sentiments expressed in various Christmas messages:

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. 
God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general (important though they are) – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. (2011)

This is the time of year when we remember that God sent his only son 'to serve, not to be served'. He restored love and service to the centre of our lives in the person of Jesus Christ. (2012)

He makes it clear that genuine human happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than in being served. (2008)

Back to the garden
There's plenty to do at this time of year so I'll draw a line there for today. I've just checked - half-a-dozen Garden Pearls left - so I want to pot them with a little supporting bamboo, ready to go. But hope to be with you again very soon ...

... best wishes from the Garden Codger 

I've said little, if any, about the garden which is looking fairly good just nowa few photos to follow ... ...

Photo copyright Garden Codger: supplier to loyal readers

"Two dozen cosmos, ma'am?"

We can oblige

Just get in touch!

Peonies are a bit special - yet so easy to grow

This is Colin. I'm his temporary custodian. He may slow but he can certainly eat fast!

A warm spot on the patio - great for tomatoes in pots

Sweet peas - can you smell them?

Hardy geranium or cranesbill - a really useful plant

Roses looking good just now - and this one has even escaped blackspot