Pit Stop

Above, Iris ‘Death by Chocolate’.

A recent acquisition. Calorie Free.


I won’t be around for a few days. My computer is sick. It’s been limping along for a couple of weeks now, getting slower and slower and refusing to load the easiest of page. According to the man in the Apple shop it needs a total wipe and rebuild. Eeek.

But it does give me a chance to catch up with the garden. Strap on the ole crampons and get up on that bank. After all this rain the weed situation is dire.


I’ll leave you with the newest member of the feathered contingent.

Robin 013 Wm[1]

Hucknall Junior. Robin chick.

It takes a bit of spotting, he (or she) is well hidden. Look just to the right of centre, a little face is peeping out. See what I mean about the weeds on the bank?


Back soon. I hope..


2018-04-01T18:50:57+00:00May 3rd, 2014|Tags: , |


  1. Jane and Lance Hattatt May 3, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Hello Jessica:

    First, what a superb Iris. Simply fabulous and VERY garden worthy!!

    We love the image of the Robin chick peeping out of the foliage where he/she seems so very vulnerable. We trust that no cats [which we adore] are about.

    So sorry to hear about your computer problems both for the inconvenience and, doubtless, expense.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Hi Jane and Lance.
      I always have the same feeling about newly fledged chicks. Neither us nor the neighbours have a cat so hopefully the robin is safe from that fate. The bank rises vertically behind the house, up to roof level, and the chick was nestled in a nook. We were able to take the photo through a window with a long lens, so didn’t have to disturb it either.

  2. Jo May 3, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

    Awww, isn’t he cute. Hope you get the computer sorted soon, you’ll be needing a break from the weeding.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

      My back is aching already and I haven’t even started..

  3. Chloris May 3, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Gorgeous Iris, what an amazing colour.
    Cute baby, I do hope there are no cats about the baby birds are so vulnerable at this stage. The baby blackbirds in my garden are absolutely gormless.
    Do hurry back, Jessica, we will miss you. Beastly computers; mine has a mind of its own.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 10:53 am - Reply

      The Iris is a stunner… It’s a dwarf bearded, only 12″ tall. Top terrace material. Thanks Chloris.

  4. Linda@arichtapestry May 3, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

    The iris – what a lovely colour! You’ve given me the idea of going straight to the garden centre – too tempting! The baby robin peeping through the leaves is a cute pic. Hope you get the computer sorted. All the best with your gardening weekend!

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It’s a beautiful colour. We took the photo yesterday.. when I went out this morning two more buds had come out!

  5. Denise May 3, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    That is one determined look on at baby robin’s face!

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      I wasn’t sure whether it was a look of determination or a grump..

  6. wherefivevalleysmeet May 3, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    What Robin? – yes now I see it, so sweet. Love the ‘death by chocolate’ iris.
    I have an Apple – how old is yours? I was wondering how much time I have before mine needs a total wipe and rebuild.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      It’s six years old. But I don’t think it’s a mac problem exactly. Received wisdom suggests that the last update didn’t install properly. Hardly surprising, the broadband here is so useless. It look hours and had to be restarted more than once. There is no point trying it again as the same thing might happen, so it is going back to Apple to be sorted.

  7. Sigrun May 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    This iris is beautiful and caloriefree – yepp!
    First I search on the foto – and than I found the litte bird.


    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Mike watched it fly in to that spot, otherwise I doubt we’d have seen it at all. Very well hidden amongst the undergrowth.

  8. Pauline May 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    I can sympathise with both the weeding and the computer problems! The last 4 days have been dreadful, I never realised how cut off I would feel when e.mails in and out weren’t working, I couldn’t even get onto my blog to write the next post and a host of other things were going wrong, hopefully my son has sorted it for me.
    The weeding is absolutely non stop, all this rain has made them spring up everywhere as soon as my back is turned and they are so huge!
    Lovely baby robin, we can hear ours in the garden and also the baby wrens, non stop noise, but a nice noise!!
    Hope you’ll be back soon.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      We have come to rely on computers so much, it is awful when they don’t work. And so much trouble to put right, all the backing up of files and then reinstalling everything afterwards. Nightmare!

  9. Crafty Gardener May 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    gorgeous iris for your garden … adorable little robin … best of luck with the computer … happy working on the slope, hope it isn’t too slippery

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      After all the rain, a couple of dry days. So hopefully not too slippery.. I will soon find out!

  10. Antoinette May 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Love that iris. We have both bearded – a deep royal purple and paler classic mauve “liberated” from a ruin down the lane, as well as bulb iris’. As for your weeds – yours are mere babies! We have a triffid forest to deal with but, like you, it has been rainy and chilly so we’re running behind…

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      Good luck with the triffids. Be sure to let someone know where you are going, before you start out.. 😉

  11. Amy at love made my home May 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I hope that you get the computer sorted soon – that sort of thing is so annoying isn’t it. Your iris is beautiful, such amazing colours and the speckles on the petals remind me of those speckled chocolate eggs! I take it that there is no chocolate fragrance! Happy weekend!! xx

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I left it in the greenhouse last night and I do believe there is a fragrance, although not chocolate. You’ll need the chocolate cosmos for that!

  12. frayed at the edge May 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Sorry about the computer woes. Love the little chick. Good luck with the weeding!!

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm - Reply

      I’ll need luck with the weeding.. thanks!

  13. Em May 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    A well earned break. x

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      As long as I don’t break anything.. thanks Em.

  14. Joanne May 3, 2014 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    That is a fabulous looking Iris, very pretty. We had a Robin chick we named Oscar a couple of years ago. I like to think he survived even with all of the neighbourhood cats around.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      It seems that baby robins can fly quite well when they leave the nest, so at least he has a chance of getting away if a ground based predator finds him. Love Oscar!

  15. Cathy May 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Perhaps we won’t recognise the bank the next time we see it…. 🙂 Our Robson Junior is a bit less shy and was taking a bath in our trough outside the kitchen window yesterday – love those spindly legs! Perhaps good to have an enforced break from the computer? Hope it’s soon sorted, anyhow

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      You wouldn’t recognise the bank now! 🙁 It looks to be fairly dry over the next few days, so I’m hoping for some good progress. We shall see.

  16. Sue@GLAllotments May 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Eek indeed. As for baby birds, they always look to be in a strop!

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      It must be the big turned down beak they have at that age. Or maybe it’s just being kicked out of the nest that does it.

  17. Jane@hoehoegrow May 3, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Gosh, do baby robins look like that ? I never knew !
    Gorgeous iris btw stunning colour !
    Good luck with your computer. Mine slowed down and then died on me just before xmas (of course !!) so I had to buy a new one. I was stunned by the speed at which it did everything. Guess I had got used to the old one winding slowly down. Hope yours comes back all bright eyed and bushy tailed !! And fast!!

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      We were unsure about the variety of chick, then parent come along and proved it.
      Maybe there is a shiny new computer in my future?

  18. islandthreads May 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Jessica sorry about the computer, hope it will be sorted soon, though I sometimes think it’s good to turn the computer off and go do something else, love the grumpy chick photo, good luck with the weeding, Frances

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      It will be good to get a bit more fresh air, I must admit. Thanks Frances.

  19. Anna May 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    I like that sort of chocolate Jessica. A total wipe and a rebuild sounds painful though sometimes I think that I could do with one. Hope that all goes well and that you and the most fetching Hucknall Junior are back soon.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      I like all sorts of chocolate.. unfortunately! Thanks Anna.

  20. Wendy May 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    The Robin chick is gorgeous. I saw one little Robin fledgling from the nest close to the house and it looked just as vulnerable – but it’s still thriving and calling out for food weeks later. Good luck with the computer.

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      The parents were visiting the bird table quite frequently, so I hope they’ll bring the youngsters with them at some point.

  21. CJ May 3, 2014 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Stunning iris, fantastic name. Sorry about your computer woes. We’re always having to be wiped and reloaded. It’s so annoying when technology goes wrong isn’t it. The robin photo is wonderful, and how lovely to have a chick living nearby. I hope you enjoy the rest of the long weekend and that you manage to fit in a little relaxation. CJ xx

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm - Reply

      I think I like the name as much as the Iris!
      It seems computer woes are part of life here. I can’t help but think there’s an underlying reason, but it’s very difficult to pin down exactly what it is. Hardware, software, wireless, broadband. It all amounts to one big headache.

  22. nataliescarberry May 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Mine recently had to be wiped clean and reloaded and it worked beautifully. I hope it does the same for yours. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Natalie, that is very encouraging. Thank you!

  23. CherryPie May 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Good luck with the rebuild. My really needs a bit of attention but I have been putting it off…

    The chick is so cute, it took me a while to spot him 😉

    • Jessica May 3, 2014 at 11:51 pm - Reply

      That chick was well hidden. We cropped the photo as far as we could, but taken at a distance and through a window it was never going to be the sharpest.

  24. colleen May 4, 2014 at 7:45 am - Reply

    I so like irises, the small pert ones as well as the larger graceful ones like yours. Something of the garden dowager about them don’t you think?

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Absolutely! This one’s a bit of an in-between, being only 12″ high. But it gives me the same opportunities for ‘punctuation’ in shorter planting schemes that I would get with the taller ones elsewhere. At least that’s the theory..

  25. sustainablemum May 4, 2014 at 10:25 am - Reply

    What a delightful colour 🙂

    Hope your computer is rebuilt in a timely manner, we thought ours was a gonna this week but managed to sort it out ourselves.

    It took me a while to find the wee bird in your picture hope he/she is thriving, you could make some nettle tea or soup with your harvest of weeds!

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      The baby robins are underneath the rhododendrons now.. Mum (or Dad) has been ferrying bits down from the bird table all day, flying within a few inches of Mike’s nose at one point..

  26. LINDA from EACH LITTLE WORLD May 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Love that iris, esp. the fact that it is short. Ugh, computers. I love ’em except when I hate them. Shocking how much we depend on them, and there is no replacement when you have to do without. Is that tall weed garlic mustard, by chance? That’s an invasive in our area with much attention given to eradicating it. Now that it is finally warming up here weeds will spring up. The maple samaras are all popping up. They always manage to root.

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Had to look up garlic mustard, but no. It’s the common or garden (for the UK) stinging nettle, Urtica dioica. Glad to hear that it is warming up there at last, even if that does mean weeds!

  27. starproms May 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Dear little chick! Don’t forget to leave some nettles for the butterflies. It will ease your conscience and reduce your workload. That iris is gorgeous.

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      We have so many nettles I think there will always be some for the butterflies, how ever hard I try!

  28. Janet/Plantaliscious May 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Good luck with the rebuild – and the precipitous weeding adventures. I now have serious iris envy…

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Planted it today. It really looks the business with the orangey geums… 🙂

  29. Mark and Gaz May 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Little bird looks cute! Enjoy your mini break 🙂

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      Little bird is very cute.. and now costing us a fortune in bird food!!

  30. SeagullSuzie May 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    That iris is fantastic, and just love the image, so crisp and clear with a beautiful light. What a lovely photo of that chick.

    • Jessica May 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks. The iris photo was taken late afternoon, I wasn’t sure whether we had enough light!

  31. snowbird May 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Hucknall junior is a beauty….now you can’t go clearing up his hidey hole!!! Hope all goes well with your computer. Love that iris, how very unusual.xxx

    • Jessica May 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      I think the robins have vacated, I’ve seen them flitting about in another part of the garden, but there is a blackbird’s nest in the bank as well. Don’t worry, I won’t get too close!

  32. Christina May 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Love that Iris, a definate for the LIST! good luck with Apple.

    • Jessica May 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      It’s a beauty that Iris. Just wish they lasted a bit longer than they do.

  33. Caro May 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Phew! Hope you make it this far down the comments, Jessica – and I hope the apple boffins have managed to sort your computer. Had to really look to see your robin chick, lovely photo, well spotted! All those ‘weeds’ are only soup waiting to happen – and nettles and brilliant food for butterflies (but I bet you knew that already!). Fabulous iris, my gosh what amazing glorious colours! I could sit and look at that all day so might have to sort some for my balcony! Great name as well!)

    • Caro May 6, 2014 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      PS. have answered your question about training strawberries up trees in my blog comments. Will also see if I can find out more … !! Cx

      • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

        Re strawberries.. thanks, I’ll pop over. That would give the slugs a bit more of a challenge eh?
        Although maybe not the blackbirds 🙁

    • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm - Reply

      The iris is stunning but didn’t last very long at all. Hopefully next year when it’s got itself established.

  34. Sarah May 6, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Lovely picture of the robin chick. Hope you have enjoyed the extra time in the garden away from blogging! Sarah x

    • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      A couple of days, but yesterday the rain was dire… and tomorrow too I gather. Hey ho.
      Thanks Sarah.

  35. Linda May 7, 2014 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Hurry back…..you will be missed♥️
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Getting there. The iPad had crashed some of its apps too, had to reinstall them to get them all back. Why is nothing ever easy? Thanks Linda.

  36. knitsofacto May 7, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    That has to be the best name ever for an iris, and what a beauty.

    Sincerely hope the Apple man can do his thing quickly, efficiently and so effectively that you don’t stay gone for long x

    • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      I had to have it, if only for the name!

  37. BadPenny May 8, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    oh Hucknall Junior is gorgeous !

    • Jessica May 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      He is… and now running his parents ragged for worms. And the bits off the bird table.

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