Any Port In A Storm


The end of an era, the old greenhouse has come down.

Mike carefully loosened each piece of glass, recruiting an assistant to climb the ladder, teeter thereupon and attempt to keep a grip on the sections of glass while he removed their fixings from the safety of solid ground. The side nearest the camera was easy enough. The ladder held firm on paving slabs. On the far side of the greenhouse the assistant had to balance the ladder and herself in the shifting sands of the ex lavender bed, spreading her weight to find that all important centre of gravity such that the whole set up didn’t collapse and tip her inelegantly face first into the dirt.

There may have been a wobble. “DON’T let that ladder tip towards the greenhouse” cried he, “horticultural glass is very brittle you know..” Sigh.

Having removed the glass without too much incident Mike and his able assistant carried the aluminium frame (still heavier than you’d think), down the hill and across the path to the relative safety of the patio. And there it still sits. A sort of greenhouse graveyard. Lest Plan A turns into some sort of doomsday Plan B and we might need it again.



Enter the digger man.

Of course when all this was planned several weeks ago it seemed perfectly safe to assume that by mid May we would be out of the danger zone for frost. Well that’s all right then. Not. Because every time I’ve checked the forecast over the last few days the night time temperature has dropped another degree nearer the negative. And a greenhouse without glass is about as much friggin’ use as a garden fork without tines. Which has also been part of the fun this week so don’t let’s go there.

Fear not Dear Reader, the Strelitzia is safe. Mike had a brainwave and a cunning plan. What other space do we have where plants can be stored under cover and frost free?



No late lie-ins allowed, for the plants or us. The sitting room had to be vacated again before the builders arrived back with the sparrows the following day.

But I didn’t even need to hoover up the mess.



The new terraces are taking shape.



Quite a difference already..

As you know it saddens me to remove any tree but the oak tree, centre of shot, was only six feet from the house. Quite apart from the loss of light it could well have caused structural problems had it got much larger. We managed to remove the stumps with the digger. Or to describe it more accurately, the digger man did.


Armeria juniperifolia 'New Zealand Form'


Armeria juniperifolia ‘New Zealand Form’, a really pretty thrift.



The strawberry bed, freshly lined with ‘straw’.

Woodrow Woodpecker has been up to his old tricks again. If only he could confine his activities to the pecking of wood. It would be marginally less bad if the woodpeckers used the bits of our roof in the process of building a nest. But no, they just winkle out the three foot lengths of wheat reed and let them fall to the ground. It is expensive and inconvenient to get a thatcher back each time to replace them but at least I can make use of the end product. It lacks the suppleness of normal straw but in the absence of the real stuff it will have to do.

Phormium 'Chocomint'

Phormium ‘Chocomint’

This is a first for me.. a flower spike on a phormium. Immediately adjacent, Itoh peony ‘Pastel Splendor’. I’ve counted at least nine buds.



The Bay Tree with the spiral truck was a gift to my mother many moons ago. Sadly, in her later years, it got rather neglected and was returned to me barely clinging to life itself. I did my best but last year gave in to the inevitable and chopped it off at the top. The thing about bay though is that it suckers. I was forever cutting the shoots off at soil level but have trained one of them, growing close to the old trunk, up through the spiral. It’s now at the point where I have stopped the vertical growth and let it fill out to form a new head. So far so good..


Strelitzia reginae


And finally, Strelitzia reginae