Today’s opening – the first few mimulus flowers in the pond.

Actually, I’m not sure if it’s any longer a mimulus, as botanists have as usual been rearranging names and moved a lot of formerly-mimulus to other genera – I suspect it’s technically now an Erythranthe. Tough – I’ll stick with mimulus!

mimulus flower

then and now

Six years ago today, I completed on the purchase of this house. blog post here

It all looks very different now! Solar panels on the roof, pond, fruit trees, shed, raised veg beds … and flowers. Lots of flowers! But still attractive enough to wildlife to have frogspawn, damselflies, and the odd slowworm. I’m still very happy here – it has everything I need, and the garden is a constant joy.

six years ago:

view this morning from roughly the same place – it couldn’t be exact, as the shed is now there!

view looking from the house end of the garden:




The colour theme in the garden today is “red”! The oriental poppies are at the height of their short-lived glory, and the first strawberry is colouring up nicely.

mass of oriental poppies


first strawberry ripening

Byzantine gladioli

To my considerable astonishment, I have flowers on the Byzantine Gladioli.

They’re supposed to be planted in autumn, to over-winter in the ground, in well-drained soil. This lot were a bargain-bin batch bought in March, and stuck in my heavy soil more in hope than expectation. Fingers crossed that they survive to future years – they’re a lovely plant.

flowers on Byzantine gladiolus

fingers crossed!

My “Black Pear of Worcester” has only had one fruit on it since planting five years ago. This year, there’s promise of a lot more … if there are no gales, if I keep it watered , if … Nothing is certain in the garden, but I’m hopeful !

several small fruit on the Black Pear

bloody inconvenient!

I’ve been back in a spica splint for the past few days (due to osteoarthritis in my thumb). Handwashing multiple times a day is a nightmare, and I’ve yet to find a disposable glove that will fit over the splint. So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to take strong painkillers and leave the splint off, ‘cos that would be storing up trouble for the future …

thumb in splint

garden bits

In the garden, the snapdragons are starting to come out. The ceanothus is almost in full bloom (under the shade of the patio umbrella) and attracting bees … which means they zoom past me within inches when I’m sitting in the recliner!



blooming ceanothus, and chair back


The sisyrinchium stratum flowers have just started to open. Only a couple of flower spikes this year – I may have been over-enthusiastic about hacking it back and pulling up self-seeded clumps, but it can be an invasive pest if it’s allowed to be!

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be without it – it’s a plant that I associate with my Mum’s house where it’s self-seeded generously for the last 50+ years.