The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Tomato 002 Wm


It’s been a productive weekend. I hope the weather has been good for you too.

In the greenhouse things are finally looking up. Baby tomatoes are beginning to appear.


Cucumber Wm


Cucumbers too.


And at the third time of asking, a decent batch of beans.

At last. Hasn’t it been (sorry!) such a difficult year to get things to grow?


Beans 001 Wm


Perhaps it was meant to be. With successional sowing I will avoid a glut.




But it’s not all sweetness and light.

Remember the Christmas Tree we dug up last year?


Christmas Tree 5 Wm


It doesn’t look as though it has survived.





And then there is the yew tree.

It had got to the point, almost, of us having to walk sideways down the path. Apparently they can grow back from very heavy pruning. Even extreme pruning, down to the trunk. I hope so because I’d really like to save it..


Yew tree Wm


Failing that, garden sculpture perhaps?


2017-11-15T13:52:51+00:00June 10th, 2013|Tags: , |


  1. Crafty Gardener June 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    It has been a slow start to the veggie garden here too. My tomatoes are just getting some blooms, soon I’ll have little green tomatoes like yours
    I used to trim my yew quite a bit and it did send up some new shoots. Hope yours does too.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      If I get enough regrowth on the yew I’ll make it into a ball, or smaller cube than it was before. But we’ve also got used to the extra space and light… might have to get the winch out again if we have to remove it though!

  2. countrysidetales June 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Things are a-moving after a slow start, but then nature always does find a way…

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      The thing is, will my second and third batches catch up with my first…

  3. Jo June 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Goodness, your tomatoes are way ahead of mine, I haven’t even got flowers yet. You look set for an early harvest.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      After last year, I was deliberately trying to get ahead. I started them off in February, but they sat for ages as tiny seedlings doing nothing. It’s only in the last month or so they’ve put on a spurt!

  4. Linda June 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Your tomatoes are certainly well ahead or ours, too. We had problems with beans that burnt out and lost most of a lovely rosemary bush so that it looks that my husband trimmed into a ball shape. It looks rather odd with one side brown and the other green.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Oh no! I hope the rosemary grows back too.

  5. Linda June 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Sorry about that second sentence!

  6. julie thompson June 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Your tomatoes are way ahead of mine and the weather has been pants again since saturday I’m beginning to think nothing is going to grow in my little veg plot! Julie x

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Cold here too now. I was even contemplating a fleece again while outside this afternoon.. “Pants” about sums it up!

  7. justjilluk June 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Dont give up on the christmas tree just yet. Many of ourpine and fir trees are looking very sad, but we have been told its this odd weather and they will come good.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill… Mike had it earmarked for the bonfire. I will rescue it!

  8. snowbird June 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I do hope your poor tree recovers but the writing sure is on the wall for the Christmas tree!!!

    Your veg is looking fab, I’m at the same stage as you and couldn’t agree more re the slow start. I’ve found that lots of seeds haven’t germinated at all and my grape vines still don’t have a bud on them!xxxx

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Much as I’d like the yew to grow back, it is nice to have the space too. We have many trees and shrubs that have seriously outgrown their allotted spot. Radical pruning or removal is the only way to go now.

  9. jabblog June 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    I’m sure your yew will be fine. Our heavily-pruned holly is putting out fresh growth – of course, that could be its last gasp!

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      I think I remember the photo of your holly. It looked much the same!

  10. Denise June 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    No tomatoes here yet, either…but the plants are at last putting on some growth. And our second batch of beans are looking a go-er! Needless to say, nothing has kept the courgettes at bay…haha!

    I think strings of solar powered fairy lights would look lovely in your pruned yew whilst it waits to grow its own natural beauty.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      The squirrels used to hide under the yew when evicted from the bird table… no more! Already the birds have taken it over as a perch while they form an orderly queue.

      • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm - Reply

        I’ve just looked up solar powered lights, didn’t realise you could get them. Some of the smaller ones, picking out the shape of the branches, would look rather effective. Especially as it is by a path. Will we get enough sun, and warm enough evenings to sit out, that is the question.

        • Denise June 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

          We put solar powered fairy lights in the garden in December for a bit of seasonal cheer. They seem to be effective and you know how much sunshine we get in Winter. Not sure how much light they would cast for effective path traversing, but they do look pretty. I love fairy lights!

          • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

            Perfect. Multi seasonal use. In the meantime, I am thinking lazy summer suppers outside, glass of wine, twinkly stars in the yew tree.. I will do it, even if we have to wear three fleeces each.

  11. Em June 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Our runner beans rotted in the pots so we had to buy some plants. So far, they haven’t been eaten!

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      I hope it stays that way.. until they are eaten by you anyway!

  12. Vera June 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    No tomatoes in ground, and veg plot looks as nude as it did six weeks ago, but supposed to be having high temperatures over the next few days so that should get everything going!

    Hope you yew tree wakes up as well.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      Hurrah! As long as it doesn’t get too hot and frazzle everything as it tries to grow.

  13. Paula @ Spoons n Spades June 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    I think the sunshine lately has helped things on a bit, especially the veg. I have tomatoes but no cucumbers yet, mind you, mine are outside. I hope your Yew Tree recovers, but it also looks great as a bit of sculpture.

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      We are getting quite attached to it.. just as well really!

  14. Wendy June 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    It’s a shame about your trees, although I hope the Yew recovers. Great to see this year’s tomatoes are looking good. Yours are ahead of mine, but then I was so much later this year with my tomatoes (and I was early last year and lost the lot!)

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      It’s so difficult to know what to do these days isn’t it? The weather is so unpredictable.

  15. Josephine June 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    We are about a month behind on crops this year, the cooler Spring weather and rains are the culprit.
    Your tomatoes and cucumbers are coming along nicely, won’t be very long now !

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      I enjoy growing them, but can’t stand eating them.. they are all for Mike!!

  16. sharon @ June 11, 2013 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Wow your tomatoes are way ahead of mine; I don’t even have flowers yet – good for you!

    • Jessica June 11, 2013 at 9:42 am - Reply

      I started them much earlier this year to try and extend the season, last year they were only just beginning to ripen at the end of the summer!

  17. Simone June 11, 2013 at 9:30 am - Reply

    I think the secret to growing this year is little and often throughout the year so I am with you on successional sowing. I only started off my french beans a week ago and already they are coming through. Your tomato plants are doing so well. Mine are still to flower!

    • Jessica June 11, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

      I’ve been trying to get successional sowing right for a while – too few at any one time and you don’t have enough for a plateful.. it’s a balancing act!

  18. BadPenny June 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    only sweet peas planted so far & some tomato plants. I put them in my raised beds which is in full sun but don’t suppose will do anything !

    • Jessica June 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      If we get a bit of decent weather they should be OK. I’ve put some tomatoes outside too, as an experiment. Keep the faith!

  19. CherryPie June 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    It looks like you had a very fruitful day in the garden. It is a shame about the Christmas tree though.

    • Jessica June 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      It is. At least I got one year’s use out of it, if it doesn’t survive. And it was going to have to be dug up anyway given where it was growing.

  20. Jacqueline June 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica ….. It’s so lovely to see your hard work bearing fruit { so to speak !! }. Hard work usually brings it’s rewards ……. not to worry about the Christmas tree ….. perhaps this years will survive. My aunt planted one and for years she used to bring it in, enjoy it for Christmas and then plant it back in the gaden again ….. until it got too tall to bring in. In the end, it grew to about 30 feet !!!! XXXX

    • Jessica June 12, 2013 at 9:38 am - Reply

      They do grow quite large! Perhaps this year I should be thinking ahead – dig one up now and get it established in a pot outside while conditions are a bit more conducive to growth.

  21. CJ June 12, 2013 at 6:58 am - Reply

    Lovely little tomatoes, lucky you having a greenhouse. Mine have to take their chance outside; I don’t think I had a single red one last year. I hope the yew regrows, they are some of my favourite things. Your cucumbers look wonderful. I always struggle with them, I don’t know why – everyone else seems to get a glut. I have a house full of cucumber-eaters (including the guinea pigs) and I hardly get any. Doesn’t stop me trying every year though…

    • Jessica June 12, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

      This year I’m trying the mini ones. It’s the opposite here, only one cucumber eater. But even so, I can’t seem to grow enough!
      The yew was planted (not by us) in completely the wrong place, you can see how narrow the border is there. I am hoping that, if it does regrow, by restricting it to a confined shape I can keep it.

  22. Janet/Plantaliscious June 15, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Lovely healthy tomatoe-ettes, very promising sight, and so welcome given how slow everything has been to get going. Sad about the Christmas tree, hope your Yew shows a little more resilience. As for beans, I spotted some popping up this morning, so perhaps all is not lost, but I really must sow some more. I definitely won’t have a glut this year!

    • Jessica June 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      No gluts here either. I’ve just spotted the first mange tout – about two each!

  23. Anny June 17, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    What about stringing tiny rope ladders between the yew branches and putting a few egg-cups filled with petrol around the roots – a little mousy play park to attract them away from the shed?

    • Jessica June 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Like your thinking.
      Maybe with a cage to catch them at the end of the rope… like that Mousetrap game we used to play as kids?

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