The Winter Jasmine has been in flower since early December. It is a welcome sight now that the snow has cleared and a sure sign that spring is not too far away. The blackbirds are very busy this week and call loudly in the early evening. Yesterday I saw Jenny Wren hopping around in the passion flower. After last nights torrential rain and gale force winds it is wonderful to hear the sparrows singing in the sunshine today. Sunday 27 January
It is so wet, the garden is battered, and the lawn a mud bath, the climbing plants have fallen from their supports. We seem to be forever wiping the dog’s feet in an effort to keep the garden off the carpets. But despite all this, a few snowdrops survive.
We went to Hanham Court Gardens near Bristol to see their snowdrops! Later in the month we went to the Isle of Wight to visit Gerard. The daffodils are out on the island! Sunday 28 February
Spring is here, it’s official. We have had some beautiful dry and sunny days. The temperature has risen and the garden is coming to life. The birds are very active; Blackbird, Jenny wren and the starlings are all collecting nesting material. I can hear the finches and the wood pigeons calling, the collard doves are scrapping! I have some pansies braving the wind and the tiny daffodils are looking beautiful. A couple of hyacinths’ are filling the warm air with their perfume. Over the wall the forsythia is so bright in the sunshine. Oh for some energy a pair of secateurs and some twine to rid the winter!! Sunday 21 March
The Flowering current is looking very beautiful and its perfume is filling the air. We have some chives and mint ready in pots. The mint is not really tall enough to cut but I can’t resist a few tips when I need them!The Hydrangea and one of the Honeysuckles are in bud. The birds are still busy building their nests in our Leylandii hedge, which badly needs cutting. In fact the whole garden needs a make over but it is still so wet! Pepsi doesn’t help but she does love to run! The Philladelphus is in bud, she will flower in the warmer days that are sure to come. I saw the Heron on our neighbours roof this week; it was 7.00am so I expect she was looking for her breakfast. She is so elegant, tall and slender, a beautiful bird that I love to see. Thursday 1 April
The weather is more like March, windy and wet and we had a frost last night. Still so overgrown, (a sharp shears and a long weekend is needed to bring it back into shape. but there is lots going on in the garden right now. Paul mowed the lawn for the first time this month.
The Meconopsis cambrica, which reminds me of my friend Pauline, looks very bright and sunny. The lily of the Valley continues to flourish in the gloomiest of corners. Over the archway, the golden hop looks wonderful and the honeysuckle is almost in flower. The clematis (Daniel Deronda) on the patio has two flowers in bloom and the Clematis Montana (white & pink) in the courtyard are in full flower, a little later than most as they are very sheltered, they look so pretty. Wednesday 12 May
We have had some hot hot weather just lately. Last weekend’s efforts in the garden really paid off, it is looking pretty and tidy (in parts!)
The climbing roses and honeysuckle are the best they have ever been in this garden. The Clematis on the patio (Daniel Deronda) is in full flower along with the Wiegela and Solanum. I have lost all but two alliums but they look wonderful! They remind me of mum. When she saw them at the Chelsea flower show she didn’t think it would be possible to grow something so beautiful in an ordinary garden! Tuesday 1 June
We have had heavy rain overnight lately. The garden needs it so badly after the hottest weather for many years.
The roses and lavender are looking wonderful. The blooms on Dads rose (Remember Me) are not lasting though, neither are Irish Eyes but the colours and memories are lovely. The Philadelphus is black fly free this year; the bush is huge with so many blossoms filling the air with her wonderful perfume. Mum’s Penstemon is just beginning to flower and the ever-obliging geraniums are looking beautiful. We have had the huge Leylandii cut; the garden looks so much brighter with the early morning sun able to reach it now! Friday 2 July
It rained on St Swithins day; we are still paying for it! There are probably ten more days left! We have had such fierce winds as well; the garden is wrecked.
The roses and geraniums have really taken a bashing. What has survived is growing and growing. Today we got out between showers to cut our way to the back gate. The plants have grown so much I was getting wet even when it wasn’t actually raining. I took the camera out today though and took the photos for this page. In between heavy rain we have had some hot sunshine so some things are loving it! The Buddleia is 12ft tall the Geraniums are soaked and heavy with last nights rain but they just send up more blooms to impress us. Some of the thistles and nettles are taller than the plants. The beautiful summer Jasmine looks so bright and has the most wonderful perfume. I am trying again this year to find the name of my unknown golden yellow leaves, which look so bright in among the dreadful bindweed which is prolific in this garden. I couldn’t resist the picture of my love. Saturday 14 August
September arrived in a blaze of sunshine; it felt so good to be having coffee in the garden again even though the weeds are taking over! We had a little rain yesterday in Barry but the drive home was through a torrential storm. Today the rain came again later in the afternoon. The garden looks neglected, the lawn needs mowing and the courtyard looks a sorry state having taken everything down to the ground. The Clematis, honeysuckle and roses had no bottom growth left and the tops were very sparse this year. We decided to start again. We want to put a trellis roof across the back to support the new plants, which I will plant into large tubs this time. Fingers are crossed for a dry weekend. Mums rose, Irish Eyes has sent up a few more blooms and the Weigela is flowering again! The apples whose name I have temporarily forgotten look wonderful and along with the Pyracantha tell me autumn is on the way. Monday 6 September
October has been a real mixture of sunshine and rain, warm days and days we have had the heating on. The garden still looks bright with the geraniums still in flower. Their colours are as strong as they were at the beginning of the summer. The red berries on the Pyracantha are so bright on a gloomy day. ‘The Fairy’ and dads rose are still in flower although poor old dad ‘s colour has faded. Paul has mown the lawn today so the garden is looking cared for again. I love the Golden Hop at this time of year; it is a wonderful copper/brown colour. In a photo though, it looks so dull! I think it is a real autumn sight. With the wind today the leaves are starting to fall, the red sycamore helicopters look wonderful in the sunlight, soon the ground will be a carpet of red and copper coloured leaves. Saturday 9 October
November so far has been extremely wet and windy. We have had some beautiful skies though. I have seen a couple of sunrises and of course some wonderful sunsets. The clocks went back on the last weekend in October so we have some welcome light mornings. Most of the trees are back to basics now with their leaves covering the paths with their wonderful autumn colour. The garden still looks bright in places with geraniums still in flower. Their colours are lovely on an overcast day. I particularly like the white ones at this time of year. The red berries on the Pyracantha are still bright but how they cling to their branches with this wind is nothing short of nature’s miracle. ‘The Fairy’ is still in flower although looking very soggy this morning. The poor lawn looks neglected what with the water lying on top of the clay and Pepsi’s frequent visits! Sunday 14 November
We have had the coldest December for many years. Beautiful sunrise followed by frost, snow, icy winds, or morning fog before wonderful sunsets has been the pattern for this month. Most of the plants in the garden are blackened with frost. All but the basket by the back door and the bay tree have suffered in this weather The week before Christmas brought heavy snow which is taking days and days to go. The paths are treacherous but the roads are now clear. The lawn looks like the Somme where snow and Pepsi have been Monday 27 December