beginning of April 2020

Victor amongst the plants, snakeshead fritilary in front of him, auriculas above, muscari to the right (I have it all over the garden and the bees and I are loving it)


view of both cats

First scabious in bloom - I love pincushion flowers.


wider view of that pot with the scabious


A small plant I got at the garden centre in February, Centaurea dealbata, Persian or perennial cornflower. It went from looking quite good to looking quite poorly, even the liverwort in the pot has died. I've never seen that die!

centaurea dealbata

March 2020

Finally dry enough to be in the garden, 3 of my 4 cats joined me, Victor using a brick for a pillow

Scarecrow enjoying the sun, typical plants in my garden: nepeta on his left, scabious on his right, hawk's-beard in front

Polly Pocket enjoying a pot of catnip (nepeta faassenii)

I was able to plant out some small plants I got from Peter Nyssen, scabiosa Perfecta Blue, one in the pot to the left, 3 in the pot on the right

scabiosa Perfecta Blue

I got 6 small scabiosa Perfecta Blue plants which varied a lot; 3 had well-developed buds and looked like they would bloom this spring / summer but 3 had stems cut and only side shoots and the monarda Cambridge Scarlet don't look like much but I don't know this plant well so will wait and see

scabiosa Perfecta Blue

1 scabiosa Perfecta Blue in the centre, 3 monarda Cambridge Scarlet around the outside

scabiosa Perfecta Blue monarda Cambridge Scarlet

2 in this trough with some struggling tulips

monarda Cambridge Scarlet

happy to see I have a few fox-and-cubs seedlings

fox-and-cubs seedlings

I have a few Laurens Grape poppy (which I grew last year) seedlings / small plants self-seeding and I didn't even plant any seeds yet

laurens grape poppy seedlings

my 1 surviving monkshood


I grew primula from seed a few years ago (the seeds were on special) and they turned out to be reasonably easy to grow and survived. Not sure why this one is in the middle of the flowerbed. I think it must have self-seeded.


as part of my tidy-up I found lots of slugs which I put on the compost pile so I'm hoping my plants will be less affected although not sure if these are the ones that feed on fresh growth or decayed matter

the magic of wild flowers in a disused cemetery

drift of white violets

white violets cemetery

more violets, white and red deadnettle

small flowers cemetery

white violets close-up

white violets



dome of pink-sorrel before the flowers have appeared

dome pink-sorrel

three types of viola are in the cemetery

wild violet

white violets


some early Spring rosettes

a huge thistle rosette but not the usual spear thistle I see, I'd love to see it develop and flower but sure it will be mown down before that 

thistle rosette

bristly ox-tongue rosette

bristly ox-tongue rosette

prickly sow thistle rosette

prickly sow thistle

hawkweed ox-tongue rosette

mallow rosette

mallow initial rosette

nipplewort rosette

nipplewort rosette

hairy bittercress rosette

hairy bittercress

hedge mustard rosette

hedge mustard rosette

new Sainsbury's Seeds and Plants

I love trying products related to growing flowers, especially reasonably inexpensive - and conventient ones easily bought at Sainsbury's. I saw some new packs today at £2.50 each so bought 4 (£10 in total - enough for an impulse purchase). Next time I'll get a few more. I will try them all and share the results.

sainsbury's seeds and plants

backs of the boxes

sainsbury's seeds and plants

sainsbury's seeds

bottom of the boxes

sides of the boxes, some nice photos

other sides of the boxes

a few days later, my next trip to Sainsbury's

yellow fox-and-cubs

yellow fox-and-cubs, different species or just a variation?

yellow fox and cubs

difficult to get a shot in focus but wanted to show the entire plant, flower close-up above, basal leaves below

yellow fox-and-cubs

distinctive fox-and-cubs basal leaves

fox-and-cubs leaves

end of October 2019

I'm sad the growing season is over. Surprised to see a new greater knapweed flower today.

greater knapweed

It's growing from the stem in a way I haven't seen before.

greater knapweed

My prostrate rosemary is in full bloom.


still flowers on the shoo-fly but the seed pods are not black like photos I've seen


Starting beginning of September I had an ear infection and then 4 weeks later, after recovering, the other ear got infected. It still is but now I have a cold. I can hardly get the energy to go outside and photograph any plants. Luckily these are in my front garden so not far to go. Maybe one day I'll feel better.

A few days later I ventured out for a short walk. Some beautiful flowers in neighbours' front gardens. Helianthus, not sure exactly which species yet.






October 2019

At this time of year I switch my focus from gardening outdoors to gardening indoors with my bulb forcing. Sometimes they overlap. I planted some allium Purple Sensation and muscari in this trough which the foxes promptly dug up. I've moved it to the front garden where the foxes don't come so much. Some muscari bulbs are also "forced" in small pots. I say forced but in my experience muscari will bloom when it's good and ready and not a day before whether one tries it inside or out.

bulbs dug up by foxes

I basically lost the month of September with an ear infection, then deafness and disorientation then tinnutis so haven't updated here so much. The amazing Japanese anemone still going strong, all on its own with little fuss since I moved here 16 years ago.

japanese anemone

intermittent morning glory flowers keep appearing

morning glory

late sea holly flowers along with the morning glory

morning glory and sea holly

those fantastic intense purple morning glory flowers

morning glory

mid-September 2019

I have a lot of pots! I tend to need to put plants in pots: 1. to keep them away from the slugs 2. to make use of the sun on the patio 3. to have plants in the very shallow flowerbed along the front path which isn't deep enough for normal planting. It's the time of year to review the pots:

1. Pots with annuals that have finished.

an empty pot will be a magnet for forget-me-nots, verbascum and wild basil

2. Pots with perennials that I'll set aside until next year.

the knautia spent stems need to be cut back and guess I should feed them

3. New plants (both grown myself and bought) not planted out yet.

the slugs love the greater knapweed seedlings so still haven't planted it out yet

4. New plants (grown myself and bought) which I'm not sure where to put.



moving the pots about reveals these slugs, the white things are their eggs, those of a sensitive disposition, look away now, I wrap them in a paper towel and cut them in half and the eggs get smashed



one of the intermittent shoo fly flowers today, they don't last long and there aren't that many of them but today when I went outside to take photos, there was one looking beautiful

shoo fly flower

a scabious that self-seeded, maybe small / columbaria scabious?

scabious flower

September 2019

The yucca was here in the front garden when I moved in. The leaves are incredibly spiky so I guess it's good for security in front of the window but it's never been my favourite. In recent years, the hot summers seem to have brought on flowering (I don't recall it flowering in the first years I was here). This year the flowers are earlier and there are two rather than the usual one spike. When photographing them today I noticed bees which I hadn't realized were visiting it. Suddenly I like it a lot more!

yucca with bee

close-up of that bee in the photo above

yucca with bee

yucca flower with bee

Purple loosestrife I bought at a garden centre as my pond was a bit depleted. Only 1 plant of something like this is required - it's amazing.  Looks like some veronica beccabunga is growing. I had it in the past but thought it was gone. It had spread so much I pulled the runners out and I seemed to have done it too much but it survived. On the right, just visible is a water avens I bought at the garden centre at the same time as the purple loosestrife. I look forward to flowers next spring. The pond is a preformed plastic one with a leak so some serious repair / replacement it required. Other plants that haven't survived are a yellow flag and cat tails but now I see the beccabunga I will look for shoots and maybe they're there since the overwhelming calla lily has been removed.

purple loosestrife

I didn't plant any chicory seeds this year but maybe this enormous "dandelion" is a chicory seedling? I'm not sure. Comparing to previous years' chicory seedlings, it doesn't have any upright growth but maybe it's early yet. It would be nice as I didn't even think about planting chicory seeds. I'm going to wait and see. If it's just a dandelion - the bees will have and early (or late) dandelion.

photobombed by a cat - as usual, this has self-seeded in a pot, possibly autumn hawkbit?? one of my naughty squirrel visitors has disturbed the pot, like the foxes, which can be so destructive, they are so cute and I put nuts out for them - and this is how they repay me by burying them in my pots!

In spite of savage weeding and spraying weedkiller my neighbour has not succeeded in totally obliterating the soapwort - thank goodness. Why he ripped everything out of that flower bed - but left a broom, a bucket and other rubbish, I don't understand. The cherry laurel stump is also growing and will be out of control in no time. I pruned it earlier this year but despite him banishing me from the garden, he is not pruning it himself. 

close-up view or the closest my camera can get anyway


Subscribe to garden withoutdoors RSS