Goldfinch returns with a friend.

Woohoo, our visiting Goldfinch has brought a friend along too.






The very young Blue Tit enjoying the sunflower seed hearts at the top right of the picture. It won’t be long before his crown turns Blue.














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Water reserve

We’re back from an amazing week away and despite all this rain these past few months, we managed to avoid pretty much all of it and had a dry week (excluding the jaunt around the lake district fells where the heavens opened).







Arriving back home I had no idea how things would be like in the greenhouse without being there to water but suffice to say it was quite the surprise to find inside looking like a scene from the Jungle Book…oh wait, it was Bananas not Cucumbers 🙂

Save your empty drinks bottles and plastic milk cartons, fill with water, make one small hole at the base with a pin and site the bottle (or bottles as I have done) on top of the pots and tubs. As the soil dries, the water should be sucked out in a slow drip. That’s the theory anyway and seems to have worked o.k for me this time.

…and if you’ve got room, a child’s paddling pool filled with a few inches of water makes a great reserve for tubs and pots.

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Goldfinch in my garden.

Woohoo, after many months of waiting & waiting, and baiting with my new feeder filled with nigra seeds we’ve finally had a visit by a Goldfinch. I do hope this  colourful fella returns again and maybe will have better luck with my camera next time.

Gold Finch

Coal Tit visit from a few days ago

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Desperately seeking…sun

May = rain

June = lots of rain

July = lots of rain, a hint of sunshine and a downpour to catch you out.

Pretty much sums up summer here and sadly has effected the veggie plot somewhat.

My French beans are a no show after a brief cold spell followed by all this damp.

My peas are looking a little mournful and only a few flowers dotted here and there so I’m not expecting much there.

Although runner beans are in flower, each plant is only 2/3rds the size that they normally are.

Carrots, beetroot crop are minimal.

So what’s good?

Potatoes. All growing very well and looking healthy in the potato sacks and beds. Even the one taking refuge in the flower beds looks pretty good. Will be digging up for a looksee soon.

Salad leaves aplenty in the greenhouse and am on my third consecutive batch of chard, lettuce, pakchoi, rocket, lambs lettuce, cress, oriental and spicy cut and come mixes. Basil, red Basil and oregano seem to like it in there too.




We were away for a few days the other week and fearing lack of water in the greenhouse I installed a 4ft child’s paddling pool in there and filled it with a few inches of water for my tubs. I wasn’t too sure what to expect and hoped that the excess water sitting at the bottom for so long wouldn’t rot the roots. When we arrived home and went to check, we were greeted by a wonderful display of tubs chock full of health salad leaves.

Cucumbers are coming along nicely and the first to crop are the mini’s.


The apple cucumbers are still very small and a couple have aborted, but the overall plant looks healthy and reaching the greenhouse roof.

White cucumbers are aplenty but still got a long way to go.

Tomato plants have flowered but no fruit yet. Unlike previous years, I’m quite proud that they’re coming along quite nicely thanks to mums tips for pot based plants – cut the bottom of a 10″ pot and sit into a grow bag (three pots per grow bag). Water the grow bag rather than from the top of the tub.


The mini greenhouse is also producing plenty of salad crop two and its been great off setting planting with those in the main greenhouse so as not to cause a glut.

So basically, anything under cover = thumbs up. Maybe I should do away with the veggie beds altogether and site a giant greenhouse instead?

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Underwater art


No, this isn’t a CG generated extra from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, this is one of a over 400 pieces by artist Jason de Caires Taylor that reside under the sea off the coast of Mexico.

Using environmentally safe materials, each lifelike statue is exposed to marine life, creating stunning pieces of living art. Amazing stuff indeed.




Check out more stunning images at


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Can water Lily’s change colour?

The other year I thinned out my water lilies in our main garden pond to restrict their spread, rejuvenate and also to give spare tubers to friends and family for their own ponds. I kept a few for myself, had repotted these and placed them in my half whiskey barrel pond. That first year I didn’t get any flower in the barrel pond but this year I have two and surprisingly are differently coloured to that of the parent.

Here’s one of the white/yellow flowers in the main pond.


..and these pink/red/yellow in the barrel pond.


Is this normal? Not that I’m complaining I think they look stunning.

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Wimbledon lawn

I don’t envy these guys and there challenge to ready the court lawns for Olympic games just two weeks after the Wimbledon tennis championship. I bet they know a thing or two about lawn care though!

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