It Never Rains But It Pours

 

 

Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Starry Eyes’

 

Isn’t it fortuitous that at the end of the last End of Month Review I declared progress would be made.. weather permitting. Perhaps, on this occasion, I had better not make the same mistake.  This month has been a washout. True, there have been occasional pleasant days. Last weekend being a case in point. But I dread to think how many inches of precipitation fell over the preceding days. And, sure enough, the wet stuff is falling once again. Mike blames himself. Justifiably I have to say. Can you think of anything more reckless than ordering ice cream with the grocery delivery, on the basis of three sunny days in March?

And so, I fear, little gardening has been done. There really isn’t much choice when a wellie placed upon the soil results in a foot shaped hole which instantly fills up with water.

 
 

 

February

 
 

 

March

If anything it looks even more bare now because I’ve trimmed back the old fern leaves to allow the new ones to grow unhindered. Please avert your eyes from the growing carpet of weeds at the top of the bank. The rain has much to answer for, does it not. I’ve also gone another round with the Enchanter’s Nightshade, a battle I suspect I will be fighting every month for as long as I continue to garden here.

 
 

Itoh Peony 'Pastel Splendour'

 

Itoh Peony ‘Pastel Splendour’

There’s even been some planting. Four new grasses have found a home on this bit of the hill, they’re a struggle to spot I know, plus this little beauty. Purchased last year and looking satisfyingly healthy I am expecting great things. Or at least living in hope.

 
 

 

February

 
 

 

March

I made a start on the bank which runs alongside the 84 Steps. Not as much as I’d have liked but enough to prove that the effort will be worthwhile. The oil pipe stays unburied for now. Best to have it where I, and the tines of the garden fork, can see it loud and clear. In due course the planting will serve to cover it up. Even Mike has bought into that argument, knowing as he does the consequences of a misplaced prong. Just a pity the wretched thing has to be brilliant white..

 
 

 

Ferns have taken over this border.

I want to retain a few nicely positioned clumps, others will go to allow for more varied planting.

 
 

 

And this is my nemesis. Worse even than the common montbretia. Possibly. The emerging foliage of the Spanish bluebell. There are hundreds of them all over the garden. I can’t imagine what possessed anyone to plant this stuff, not when the woods are teeming with the native English variety. For the sake of preserving the latter I’m afraid the European invaders are coming out. Easier said than done. It will be down to a war of attrition, as with so many things. Haul out the leaves every time they appear and surely, eventually, the bulb will give up?

If life was fair the voles would find them good to eat. Sadly their tastes are far more expensive.

 
 

Epimedium x cantabrigense

 

Epimedium x cantabrigense

Further up the 84 Steps epimediums are starting to appear. I do so love these diminutive little woodlanders. So hard to photograph though on a wet and windy day.

 
 

 

Epimedium ‘Amber Queen’

 
 

In other news..

 
 

 

Oh deer. Oh deer.

“But don’t you love my new furry antlers?”

 
 

 

So pleased with the zoom on the bridge camera I took with me to Australia. These shots taken from my desk, through a not so brilliantly clean window, focused way down at the bottom of the garden where the river is a raging torrent thanks to all the rain.

 
 

 

Ivy Stripping

Ahhh.. I’ll have them on the payroll yet.

 
 

In better news..

 

This month I’ve been totally surprised, but delighted, to be voted Best Gardener Blog by Waltons. If you voted for me, thank you so much! rusty duck also features on the list of 13 Top Gardening Blogs You Need To Check Out at WhatShed.

 
 

And finally..

 
 

 

Last week we stopped off at facebook buddy Helen Brown’s garden, Little Ash Farm, to pick up a couple of Phlomis she had going spare. As you can see, she was far more generous than that..

 
 

 

Here they all are, planted temporarily in the veg garden and looking perky in the rain.

Helen opens her garden, near Honiton, for the NGS twice this year: Sunday 4 June, Sunday 20 August (12 – 5pm). It is a stunning garden developed by that rare beast, a plantswoman with an eye for design. With the glorious backdrop of Devon hills what more could you possibly want? Here’s a shot from my visit last summer..

 
 

 

I do hope when we go back this time around I won’t find too many gaps..

 
 

Linking to Helen Johnstone at The Patient Gardener for the End of Month View (here).

and Sarah at Down By The Sea for Through The Garden Gate (here).

Click through to see what other gardeners are up to this month. Or why not join in? Helen and Sarah would both love to see you.

 
 
 

pin it?

 
 
 

2017-03-31T14:47:41+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Tags: , |76 Comments

76 Comments

  1. surreycottage March 30, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Spanish bluebells – yes, along with the ubiquitous montbretia, they are also the bane of my existence. NOTHING seems to deter them 🙁
    My peony (no idea what variety) had a bad case of the sulks last year and refused resolutely to flower – think the position may be totally to blame, as the copper beech overshadows that bed when in full leaf. I meant to move the peony last year but university assignments and extra (required) independent study kept me out of the garden. Bit late to do it now!

    One day of glorious sun and then the deluge – this, as my husband reminds me, is why Devon is so green *sigh*

    Love the fuzzy-antlered visitor!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      There is one place in the garden where I’m hoping I have managed to eradicate the Spanish bluebell, by repeatedly pulling out the new growth (I very rarely get the bulb as well). It’s taken about three years but.. no sign this year. So far.

  2. Vicki Emmett March 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on your award! I too made the mistake of ordering ice cream… and have been eating it in front of the fire on an evening 🙂

    Hope things dry out for you soon!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      I bet it tastes just as good in front of the fire! Ours is still in the freezer, waiting for the sunshine to return. How long does it keep?!

  3. Anna March 30, 2017 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    All that wet stuff might not be what the gardener wants Jessica but the plants will be lapping it up and laughing. It’s been on the wet side here in the north west too – my gardening and his golfing have both suffered accordingly. Gardeners are most generous folk and your new plants look most happy in their temporary nursery bed. I’ve seen some of Helen’s photos of her garden and plants on Twitter and would love to visit one of these days. Many congratulations on a most well deserved award!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      The garden is certainly loving it. If only I could have the odd dry day to get out and get more planting done, it’s brilliant weather for settling everything in. Thanks Anna.

  4. Jill Chandler March 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Enchanters Nightshade? What is it, does it have other names. Our nemesis is Bishops weed , thriving already….. Still looks good to me Jessica.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      I wish wordpress would let me put pictures in comments. It’s about a foot high with small white flowers and spreads like wildfire in shade. Latin name: Circaea lutetiana. It’s possible to dig it out but it comes with a tangle of roots and is hard work in my clay soil. It’s also one of those things, like your ground elder, where you need to get every last bit of root or it will return with a vengeance.

  5. Marian St.Clair March 30, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for ice cream! ~Old St.Clair family saying.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Sounds reasonable to me!

  6. Susan Garrett March 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I love epimediums too but attempts to grow them have failed. Love the deer but not in the garden.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      I have such mixed feelings about the deer. They are wonderful animals and welcome if they stay down at the river level. I’ve found hoof prints all over the upper part of the garden though too, even close to the house.

  7. frayedattheedge March 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on your well deserved award!! The garden we had in the 90s was full of the dreaded bluebells, and foxgloves which had freely self-seeded ……. and in the 7 years we lived there, I never entirely got rid of an infestation of buttercups!!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Foxgloves seed in the roof here, one of the problems of having a garden which slopes so dramatically. I’d like foxgloves in the wilder part of the garden but have to remove them near the house. It’s a bit difficult to weed on the roof!

  8. Denise March 30, 2017 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Hurrah for the award, you top notch gardening bean! Shall we have to be tugging our forelocks and doffing our caps henceforth, your ma’amship?

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      No you will not. There were far more knowledgeable gardeners on the list. Perhaps they felt sorry for me and my constant struggle against weather, weeds and wildlife. Note: avoid anything which starts with a W.
      Thanks Denise 🙂

  9. Kris Peterson March 30, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on the blog recognition – well deserved indeed! A month of nearly steady rain is hard for me to get my head around but I can appreciate how squishy that can make your soil. I do wish you could send us some of your excess as our rainy season, relatively generous as it was for a change, has come to an end and a long dry period with increasing temperatures can be expected.

    I love the Epimediums, which I’ve tried and failed to grow in SoCal being WAY out of the recommended climate range. I hope the Itoh peony comes through for you. Your post prompted me to check on mine and – surprise! – I have some foliage too. Now if the darned thing would just hurry up and get its bloom on before our heat arrives!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried Itoh peonies before, mostly because of the expense. This one was half price. But the herbaceous ones do OK here so we’ll see. I haven’t seen it in bloom yet either. Hope it’s as good as the picture on the label. Good luck with yours!

  10. Erin @ The Impatient Gardener March 30, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    For the record, your deer are far cuter than the ones that raid my garden on the regular.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      They may score high on the cuteness factor with those fuzzy antlers. But I bet they do just as much damage.

  11. susurrus March 30, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Congratulations – very well deserved. I’m looking forward to the peony flowering.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Susan. I won’t be too surprised if the peony doesn’t bloom this year, it’s very new after all. But it would be fab if it did.

  12. Linda March 30, 2017 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Kudos to you Jessica! Well deserved! 👏🏻
    Love that shot of the back of your truck…my kind of gardening!
    Hope you have better weather!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. I’ve plenty of work to do now to find permanent homes for all those plants. Luckily there are still plenty of gaps waiting to take them. If it would only stop raining..

  13. snowbird March 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Oh, I say, congrats on your award! The spanish thugs are rearing their heads in my garden too….despite me digging them all up last autumn…..
    The deeris gorgeous, long may it continue eating ivy and nothing else. Helen’s garden is fab as are her gifts.xxx

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks D. Just pull out all the bluebell foliage. The leaves will probably snap off from the bulb but you’ll weaken it and eventually (maybe not next year!) they’ll give up. I hope.

  14. wherefivevalleysmeet March 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Oh yes, love his fluffy antlers – but like you, I would have the Spanish Bluebells out, they are cross breeding with our native bluebells resulting a strong hybrid that threatens our own lovely flowers.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Exactly Rosemary. I’m already seeing many hybrids popping up here but so far the natives in the woodland seem unaffected. As long as I can remove and prevent any more hybrids establishing themselves I hope all will be well.

  15. smallsunnygarden March 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    And that’s the way it is with gardens: they either fry or drown… Your pics of the deer are fabulous; I’ve never gotten to see one in velvet. For that matter, I haven’t seen one single deer since we moved west. Being a gardener, I’m not actually complaining, however. I do love your back-of-the-car pic also 😉

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      It looks like quite a young deer, maybe last year’s baby. He’s very wary too. I didn’t dare get closer to the window, much less open it, for fear of scaring him off.

  16. Christina Schwarz March 31, 2017 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Hi Jessica, I would love to have your rain problem ;-)! Here the winter rains seem to be already over again and even though we had plenty for our circumstances we would need more right now.
    Despite the fact that you couldn’t garden much, your garden still has changed quite a bit to my eye. Nature does its thing, no matter what.
    Love that itoh peony ‘Pastel Splendour’. It looks already so pretty simply leaving out, but of course, I can’t wait for it to bloom.
    The deer is so beautiful, too bad that they do so much destruction in the garden, they are certainly lovely animals to look at (in other peoples’ gardens, that is I guess). Hope they don’t damage too much in your garden this year. I think eating the ivy is acceptable.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      We have been removing ivy from the bottom metre or so of all the trees so he’s doing a grand job for us, as long as that’s all he does! I would love your sunshine, warmth and blue skies but isn’t that the way of life. I wonder if there is anywhere in the world that has the perfect climate? Probably not. And if there was it would be somewhat overcrowded.

  17. Pauline March 31, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

    You must have had more rain than us even though you aren’t very far away, the water in your river certainly looks high. It would be wonderful if you could train the deer to eat all the ivy and the Spanish Bluebells.
    We have visited Helens garden a few times now and really enjoyed it, just 10 minutes down the road for us.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Helen explained the rain thing. It’s because you both (sensibly!) live on the east side of Devon, in the lee of the moor. We get the full force of everything coming off the Atlantic, nothing in the way to halt its progress!

  18. germac4 March 31, 2017 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Congratulations on your award Jessica, I’d give it to you for the sheer persistence with that slopping garden…and deer visits too!! Lovely to see plants coming through, and obviously loving the rain… happy spring gardening!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gerrie. The plants are coming through but so are the weeds. Sunday is looking good though and next week a little drier so maybe I can make some progress.

  19. Vera March 31, 2017 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Well done on winning that award. Your garden, as ever, looks superb even in the rain, some of which we could do with!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      I wish I could send you some rain Vera, I am totally fed up of looking at it. I tried working in the greenhouse today but the roof leaked again. Having cold water drip down the back of your neck does little for motivation.

  20. Christina March 31, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

    You are a hero Jessica; If I had a situation as difficult as your slope I wouldn’t be taking out anything that was growing well, including ferns, Montbrettia and Spanish bluebells!! But I suppose we gardeners like to battle to achieve the ‘best’ possible so I wish you luck in your war of attrition. We’ve had a very dry winter, I’m a bit worried about the ground water for the well (our only source of water), especially with the new farmers pumping out gallens night and day when they plant melons!

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      I can understand your concern. Perhaps melons will need less spraying than broccoli. I do hope so!
      It’s all a bit of a balancing act with the bank. I want to make sure I’ve got all the invasives out before doing any new planting but that does mean leaving it rather bare and other opportunists move in. It’s been left to do its own thing for so many years, the seed bank in there is already frightful.

  21. Torrington Tina March 31, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Congratulations on the Best Gardener’s Blog, well deserved! I know what you mean about the rain, my garden still too squelchy to do much.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks TT. Sunday looks lovely, perhaps the predicted sunshine will help to dry it all out. And no doubt boost the weed growth as well.. 🙁

  22. Jo March 31, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Congratulations on the award, very well deserved. The deer looks as though it’s got one of those antler headbands on, the antlers being so furry. I bought a bridge camera purely for the zoom capacity, a lens for my dslr with a similar zoom would have cost far more than the entire bridge camera. A Panasonic FZ72 by the way, a 60x zoom.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      I am really impressed with the bridge camera. We’ve found that the DSLR is probably better for landscapes but for bringing a single subject closer the bridge camera zoom is so good. That means far less trampling around the borders to photograph plants. Most of the shots in this post I took from a path using the zoom. A big advantage when the soil is so wet! I’ve also enjoyed playing with the macro, another expensive lens we’d need to buy for the DSLR.

  23. derrickjknight March 31, 2017 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I think you’ve had more rain than we have. Congratulations on the award.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      With the possible exception of the Pacific North West and Queensland (briefly) I think we’ve had more rain than anybody. Thanks Derrick.

  24. Diana Studer March 31, 2017 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    After a grey morning, we are hoping to eke out a millimetre, or two.
    Porterville floods a week after we moved in, meant I bought my first Wellingtons, but sadly haven’t had any reason to wear them for years.

    Your garden friend was probably delighted to send her ‘babies to a loving home’.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      You’ve given me an idea. Perhaps I should bin my leaking wellies and buy a new pair? Maybe that will cancel out the ice cream purchasing effect.

  25. Evan Bean March 31, 2017 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on the well-deserved blog recognition! The last two months here have broken records for rainfall. It’s finally drying out a bit this weekend and I’m about to go out to take advantage of it. I’m going to do some fern editing, too, but in my case I’m digging some of the native western sword ferns from the woods to move into the garden. I do love the zoom range on those bridge cameras. It certainly comes in handy and is easier to carry than the multiple lenses I now need to cover that same range. I hope some dry days come your way so you can continue with your garden projects.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Evan. Our weather seems to have followed a very similar pattern this year. Sword ferns are beautiful, love the architectural quality of them.
      The bridge camera was a great thing to have while travelling. I just slung it over my shoulder with a monopod attached and it would take on pretty much anything. And now back here it’s great for bridging the distance between plant and photographer when there is nothing but a quagmire in between!

  26. Brian Skeys March 31, 2017 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Starry eyes is a striking plant. Does the rain water run down the surface of the bank, causing erosion to the soil? I look forward to seeing all your new plants in the garden.

    • Jessica March 31, 2017 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      The rain tends to seep through the soil and is collected by a french drain behind the house. Now that we’ve got some trees and shrubs into there I’ve seen very little erosion. I’ve been trying to clear one section at a time for just that reason.

  27. Lea March 31, 2017 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    You are so right – if only the Voles would eat the invasive species. But no, they eat my Tulip and Crocus bulbs!
    Great photos of the deer, but I do know how they can eat every new bud in a garden in just a short time.
    Have a wonderful week-end!

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      The deer are a real mixed blessing. Lovely to watch, but not with a mouthful of one of my favourite plants!

  28. grammapenny March 31, 2017 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    love love love epimediums.. can’t wait to see mine soon. we have been in florida all winter.. on our way home now.. will finally see my garden on sunday after being away 3 months.. but….. we are getting snow and therefore i shall have to wait a bit longer… so your white pipe…. could you spray paint it brown or green?

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Florida for 3 months! Now that sounds like my sort of winter. I hope the snow isn’t too bad and Spring finds you soon. Spraying the pipe may well be a solution.

  29. bittster April 1, 2017 at 4:11 am - Reply

    You almost had me feeling bad for you with all the rain, but then when I saw the back of the car I knew it was all going to be just fine!
    Great pictures of the deer, the antlers almost seem too fuzzy to be real, but I’m sure they’ll become more than real enough when your friend decides to rub his antlers on your favorite sapling. Hope he doesn’t make a pest of himself.
    Well done on the multiple awards, congrats!

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Frank. Yes, I’m waiting for the antler rubbing. If he stays down by the river I can tolerate it but what do you bet my young ornamental trees are far preferable.

  30. kate@barnhouse April 1, 2017 at 9:22 am - Reply

    It did turn out to be a rather wet week in the south west, didn’t it? Still, when the sun does shine it’s hard to beat the lushness of the Devon countryside, or so I thought driving home along the A30 yesterday. Good idea re wordpress and photos in comments, Jessica. I was wondering about the enchantress too …. Beautiful close ups of the epimediums, such delicate beauties.

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      I hope you managed to avoid the showers. Very lush indeed here, but most of that is weeds! I love epimediums. And after the flowers those lovely leaves to act as ground cover.

  31. Cathy April 1, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I m sure you did your homework on Devon before you moved, Jessica…! 😉 Reading your blog and others from the SW have made me realise how wet the region can be, which I hadn’t appreciated before. Here in the Midlands it has been a drier March than usual… 😉 Despite your enforced deer watching it is still clear that you have been making inroads this month though. Well done for being determined to oust the foreign bluebell I have a small patch of celandine which I have been waging war on and am glad to see that this year it is getting noticeably smaller. Like with the bluebells, if you just turned your back briefly it would be everywhere, so it is worth being vigilant. Mind you, I am beginning to think it was a mistake to introduce wild garlic to the garden… 😉

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

      Having said to Helen when we visited her at Little Ash that we didn’t have celandine I now find we have.. masses of it! It must have really exploded this year because I can’t think it would have gone unnoticed before. Yet another challenge..

  32. Brenda April 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    This has been a difficult March weather-wise for many bloggers, it seems. Let’s hope that April makes up for it. You know that little deer considers those adorable antlers as a ticket to ravage your garden. Just like our chipmunks!

    • Jessica April 2, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      Next thing I know the squirrels will be turning up with strap on antlers to try and pull the same trick. For what it’s worth the weather forecast is suggesting a dry week. They are frequently wrong. In fact I seem to remember they said the same thing last week and it rained every day.

  33. Caro April 3, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Don’t you just hate it when you’ve gone out to take some photos and sudden breezes appear from nowhere to thwart you? Happens to me all the time. Frustrating- but you’ve managed a great shot of the epimediums. Your little deer is so cute, he’d be welcome in my garden too if he has a taste for ivy. Deer in London? Now there’s a thought. Love the car full of hort bounty – at first I thought you were going to tell us the car had crashed into a hillside and that vegetation had gone all the way through to the back. Love that garden, so lush, so rained on!

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      Epimediums are horrendous to photograph in even the slightest breeze, so wafty! The deer would be welcome here too if he ate ONLY ivy. Sadly he prefers a more varied diet.

  34. Anna @Suffolk Pebbles April 3, 2017 at 10:52 am - Reply

    I have just taken on a new garden that is a tiered design and often think of your Precipitous Bank and its challenges whilst I am working there! Also, in my own garden my tulips were eaten by a Muntjac (I think) – somehow I never really understood your rants quite so much while I was happily gardening in my critter-free town garden!

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Living in a more rural environment certainly has its challenges critter wise. I’m sorry to hear about the tulips. I was at RHS Rosemoor today and there were clear signs of rabbit burrowings in the borders. Nobody is safe!

  35. Ronnie@Hurtledto60 April 3, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Hello! I am a poor visitor who doesn’t pop by your blog often enough. Congratulations on being a Waltons winner, I was on the list and more than honoured to be even considered. Spanish bluebells are a nightmare in my garden too. 16 years ago when I moved in the garden was over run by ivy and the bluebell thugs. I pull them up every year, but even leaving a slither of bulb behind means they don’t go away. I do admit to keeping a contained small few right at the back of the end border for colour but they too will be pulled up this year. I love the deer with its furry antlers.

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      The Spanish bluebells are thugs and they certainly take some shifting. Either our predecessor planted thousands of the things or they spread like wildfire too. I must admit, I do like the swathes of colour. But then the native bluebells come out, so much more delicate and a deeper blue. Those are the ones I need to protect.

  36. Sol April 4, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I love the Epimedium ‘Amber Queen’. Its so pretty. the whole garden really is amazing. I thought for so long that woodland was just leaves and moss. All the lovely things you have put in are really sympathetic and really lovely to look at.

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sol. I do want the woodland to stay looking natural. It’s really exciting getting to learn about shade loving plants. People think it’s a difficult area to manage. Actually it’s not, there are some superb plants for shade, epimedium being just one.

  37. karen April 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    I’m not surprised at your blog award. I love your photos and writing. I always have a quick look to see what you are up to whilst I’m tucking into toasted tea cakes in the pottingshed (That’s most days too). Love the deer pictures. I’m still um-ing and ah-ing over what camera to buy. I have lots of weeds. I’m trying to learn to love them to be honest.

    • Jessica April 6, 2017 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Learning to love weeds is a good strategy. Some are more lovable than others though. Brambles feed the birds and dandelions are quite pretty. I’m not sure what Hairy Bittercress has going for it.

  38. Peter/Outlaw April 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Spanish bluebells seem intent on world domination. I’ve been digging, ripping, and all out battling them for years and they seem to somehow multiply. How fortunate that Mike blames himself for the rain. Can I blame him for our rain as well? Love your deer visitor and hope he doesn’t do too much gorging at the lovely salad bar you’ve set out for him.

    • Jessica April 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Amazingly we’ve had no rain at all for the last few days and have been able to eat through the ice cream whilst sitting out on the terrace. In keeping with living on a south facing hill composed largely of clay I’m now wishing for rain again. Almost..

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