The buds and blooms begin to brighten the garden

With buds fit to burst, and flowers opening all over the garden, there’s something new to see in the garden every day.

I had a walk around my garden this morning – the birds were singing, it was pretty mild even though the weather had cooled a little and there was some overnight rain/drizzle, but as I sipped my tea, I noticed that there were lots of new flowers open and plenty more buds beginning to swell.

Summer is en route, and my garden is ready for it.

The Foxgloves

I transplanted into the garden, some of the Foxgloves that had self-seeded into pots at my previous home a year or so ago. There’s lots of them – once you get a foxglove, then you’ve probably got them for life. These plants are descendants of the Foxgloves ‘Excelsior Hybrids Mixed’ plants that I grew from seed back in 2011.

Foxglove plants
The Foxgloves only a few weeks ago – no sign of the flower spires.

Thankfully they tolerate shade, and my back garden gets shaded at various times of the day either by the shadow of the house, or by one of the side fences. There’s one spot where I don’t think it gets the sun for very long at all, so these Foxgloves were perfect for this spot.

A foxglove flower stalk
A Foxglove ‘Excelsior Hybrids Mixed’ plant sends it’s flower spire skywards.

The bees love foxgloves, and soon rush to enter their bell-shaped flowers as they uncurl their colourful spires towards the sun. I suspect that in about 10 days, many of the foxgloves will be open or right on the verge of being open.

From memory, I’ve only ever had pinks and cream coloured foxgloves, with the pink colour seemingly more common in my gardens.

A pink Foxglove 'Excelsior Hybrid Mixed' on flower
A transplanted pink Foxglove ‘Excelsior Hybrid Mixed’ in 2017.

Despite their beauty, foxgloves are of course poisonous to humans, cats, and dogs, so use gloves when touching these plants, or make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

The Roses

Last year, when I broke the tired lawn, in the blank garden, I planted some roses. One of these, Rose ‘Just Joey’, led the way with the flowering and had opened a wonderfully fragrant peach-coloured flower by the start of the second week of June.

This rose, which I’m not entirely convinced particularly enjoys it’s spot in the garden, has budded up again for a second flowering year.

A Rose 'Just Joey' fragrant flower.
The fragrant bloom of Rose ‘Just Joey’ was the first rose to flower in the garden.

I’ll be pleased to see it on flower, and hope that it also puts effort into growing its structure a bit more – it looks a bit weedy. In contrast, the other Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’, has grown very large but shows no sign yet of any buds.

The purple Geranium Himalayense

In the corner of my garden is a Geranium ‘Himalayense’. I planted this last year and it sent out a number of bluey-purple flowers. My parents have always had one of these in their gardens, so I decided that I should get one too.

I wasn’t overly convinced that I’d planted it in the correct spot, and even though they die right back during the winter (and what a winter it was!), I was pleased to see the emergence of green shoots just a few weeks ago.

Geranium 'Himalayense' on flower
The Geranium ‘Himalayense’ has emerged and flowered again.

This morning I caught it with two flowers, and I’m really pleased to welcome it back into this corner of the garden – right near my backdoor.


I bought three Aquilegia plants from my local market a week or so ago, and I’m still yet to plant them out (the hot weather has put me off planting them out, as they’re shade-tolerant).

However, two of them have begun flowering. Aquilegia ‘Spring Magic White’ has thrown out some delicate-looking white flowers, and it is joined by Aquilegia ‘Winky Red-White’.

Aquilegia Spring Magic White plant
Aquilegia ‘Spring Magic White’ with its delicate flowers.

I think it must have been a slow day when they chose ‘Winky Red-White’ in the Aquilegia department. Honestly?! Crimson? Love? Blush? Heart…? Surely they could have done better.

Aquilegia Winky Red-White plant
Aquilegia ‘Winky Red-White’ on flower,

The remaining Aquilegia plant (Aquilegia ‘McKana Group’) is not yet on flower, and it is also the same variety that I attempted to grow from seed at the back of my fridge months ago.

I saw a butterfly the other day – not sure what variety as it swiftly fluttered along in the sunshine, but hopefully it won’t be long before I can plant out all the plants that are making my windowsills creak, and fill the garden with flowers, veg, and fruit.

As ever, happy gardening, and thanks a lot for reading. If you’re using instagram, go ahead and join me over there for a few extra photos of the garden 🙂


The first Rose blooms in the new garden

The first Rose is flowering in the garden.

A couple of months ago, I planted out three Roses that I’d bought from a local market. I’d carefully picked out ones classed as ‘fragrant’ or ‘very fragrant’.

This week, after weeks of watching them grow and develop buds, one of them decided to flower.

Here’s the Rose Just Joey budding up on 29th May.

Rose 'Just Joey' budding up.
Rose ‘Just Joey’ on bud.

Aphid attack

As you might be able to spot, the aphids found that rose bud, so armed with a plant mister, some water and a little washing-up liquid, I up-sprayed it to the underside of the leaves and lightly over the buds.

This seemed to get rid of the aphids, who disappeared overnight, and I was pleased to find a ladybird on a different rose bush in the front garden (fingers crossed it’s texted it’s friends to the party). Hopefully they’ll munch their way through any more aphids now that they’ve found a few.

Yesterday, the large, delicate, pinky-peach petals opened and although the rose is quite short in its first year, and the flower isn’t at nose height, the flower is wonderfully fragrant.

Here’s the same bud on 8th June.

A Rose 'Just Joey' fragrant flower.
The fragrant bloom of Rose ‘Just Joey’ is the first rose to flower in the garden.

It looks and smells wonderful, and hopefully some more of the roses are going to open very soon.

As ever, thanks for reading and have a happy gardening weekend,


Choosing the Roses for the new garden

I beg your pardon, I most certainly did promise myself a rose garden – and I’m choosing the rose plants now.

Over the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had Roses on my mind. I love them, and in particular, I love sticking my nose in them and having a sniff, or even walking up to them and being enveloped by a beautiful fragrance.

With my new garden just 10 days away, I’m reminded that it’s devoid of any plant other than patchy grass and a few brambles in the backyard, so I’ve got a blank canvas, and I need to add roses in there for those moments of early evening fragrant wafts as I sit out on my patio and survey my Eden. Well, you know what I mean.

I happened to be in Ely on market day a couple of times over those weeks, and I spotted a stall offering 2 hybrid tea roses for £5 (or £3 each). They had all sorts and of a good size.

My first visit saw me pick one ‘very fragrant’ red rose named Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’, which I bought, almost with a ‘it’s too early’/’at least get the keys first’ guilty feeling. It’s a lovely plant, and I hope that it goes on to bring the fragrant red blooms that the label promises.

Rose 'Ernest H Morse'
Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’

Then on Saturday, I walked by again and once again they had the same offer. This time, I had little guilt and so bought 2 more – this time a pinky one Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’, and a golden yellow Rose ‘Just Joey’. Again, these look like good plants, and they’re all marked as very fragrant.

Rose 'Fragrant Cloud - Tanellis'
Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’
Rose 'Just Joey'
Rose ‘Just Joey’

I can’t wait to plant them into my new garden, alongside the Rosa that I rescued from Poundland a month or so ago.

There’s an alpaca farm and horse stables near my new house… I wonder whether I can get a free bucket of manure for them…

Thanks again for reading, and happy gardening!