World Bee Day, 2022

I just saw Eliza’s post about World Bee Day, so felt compelled to post something before this day goes by unnoticed. Like Eliza, I ask all gardeners please not to use chemicals to get rid of weeds or pests. There is almost always a kinder alternative that will not harm pollinators.

This is my Peony ‘Claire de lune’ which opened yesterday, with a bee in her ruffles. 😃


In a Vase on Monday: Cheery Tulips and House Martins

This morning, as I was emptying the dishwasher first thing, I noticed the sparrows in the yard (they nest in the garage roof each year) were making even more of a din than usual. When I looked out I immediately knew why…. the house martins are back!

I can’t describe how happy that makes me, except to say that I opened the window with tears in my eyes and a broad grin on my face and called ‘Welcome Back!’ to them as they swooped up and down and around. 😃

Two flew up to the eaves a few times and another two followed. These are the first arrivals and they will wait for the others before moving back in and repairing or rebuilding their nests. I find it a small wonder that these tiny creatures manage to fly the thousands of kilometres from North Africa and then find their way back to where they nested last year, to us. 😊 Here is a link to a short video I made of them all a couple of summers ago:

Wordless Wednesday: House Martins


Now to my vase… some lovely spring colours, with tulips, cowslips, narcissi and fennel.

As usual I am joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme, where she invites us to share a vase of materials from our gardens. It’s a great way of keeping records of what was flowering when, as well as making the most of my flowers when it is too chilly to be outdoors.

The Actaea narcissi are so distinctive and that ‘eye’ goes perfectly with the Apricot Emperor tulips. They grow next to each other in the Herb Bed, by pure chance! 😉 A yellow one planted out from old pots was thrown in, along with the Narcissi ‘Cheerfulness’ and ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’, also growing in the Herb Bed. The feathery fennel foliage is more or less the only foliage I have in abundance as yet, and I love the airy result.

I used my Forsythia vase, which hadn’t been aired for a long time.

Many thanks to Cathy for hosting. And thank you for reading.

Have a great week, and happy gardening!



Uprooted (well, almost!)

We live on an exposed hillside, and when it is windy, it is really windy. All my planting decisions take this into account… usually. But for some reason I didn’t apply this to the annual sunflowers in The ‘Edge. They all have large buds already and were looking so good and sturdy earlier this week…


About 20 sunflowers and Tithonia are planted between the shrubs and perennials in The ‘Edge.

Well, one night we had yet another thunderstorm, but accompanied by extremely strong winds…. I spent a good hour the following morning rescuing and staking them all! With all the rain we have had the ground is so soft that they were almost uprooted. Luckily the stems were thick enough and I could save them all by stamping them back into the ground and putting in sturdy tomato canes and bamboo canes to help them stay upright.

They looked much better a day or two later. I am looking forward to seeing them in bloom. 😃 Do you stake your sunflowers?

I hope that the wind will stay at bay for a while, but the weather patterns seem set for the summer… heat and humidity, then thunderstorms with wind and rain, then a couple of cooler days in between, repeat. 🙃

My title also refers to our new family member… Anouk. Rescued from living rough in a port in Greece she was brought to us last weekend to spend her retirement here.

This wasn’t actually planned, but we think it will work out. Poor Anouk is no doubt feeling uprooted too. But what’s worse is that she is petrified of thunderstorms. So she had a tough time the first few days and we are hoping there won’t be too many more rumbles of thunder this summer.

How is your summer developing? I have heard of heatwaves in the north west of the US and in Canada, and a rather chilly spell in the UK.

Whatever the weather, happy gardening!