Friday, 24 May 2019

Hedgerows in May

Finally, it's half term. The last week has been relentlessly busy and I am so looking forward to the next week off. I have just cleaned the house and filled the fridge, the dog has been walked, children fed, and I am now I'm done. Off duty. John has booked the half term week off too, because we are doing some work on the house. I am really hoping that in amongst the ripping up of old flooring, decorating, trips to IKEA and general chaos, there is a little time to relax and potter.

The cow parsley is spectacular at the moment. Last Saturday started out as a bit of a typical Saturday - errands, shopping, housework, washing - but a spontaneous afternoon walk with my sister and nieces, plus a stop for tea and cake/ ice cream, made the day unexpectedly wonderful. 

I haven't given the garden as much time and attention as I usually do at this time of year. It's looking a bit rough around the edges but it's green, the borders are full, there are currants on the bushes and lots of things in flower, even if they are all purple. 

The sweet peas, however, have been a massive fail. I don't know why. Well, actually, I do have a few suggestions: I planted them much too late, the plants were from the bargain corner in the garden centre and a bit past it before they sat out unwatered for five days before I had time to plant them...oh, and Ziggy keeps burying his bone in the planter. 

What can I plant here instead? What can I plant in late May which will have height (need to hide the awful fence) and colour and interest? And not cost a fortune? Please help me out you lovely lot, with your gardening knowledge. 

In the mean time, I have bought supermarket sweet peas (the shame!) instead.

I cleared everything - plants, cards, flowers, ornaments - from the wooden mantel and put just a few lovely pieces back. All the colour and clutter was annoying me. I like the calmer look and, a week later, it's still looking tidy.

Don't worry, I found a place for the clutter.

I finally got around to buying a new alarm clock, after the cheap one I'd had for about ten years finally packed up. I love it. I really like to know what the time is when I wake up during the night. I've noticed that people seem quite divided about whether they have an alarm clock, or use their mobile phone as one. Personally, I like to leave my phone charging downstairs, I always have done, and I forget to switch my phone to Do Not Disturb mode and get annoyed by the pings during the night. My alarm clock is pretty, is has a low light mode so when the stupid, noisy fox barking in the road wakes me at 2am, it doesn't hurt my eyes.

 Ziggy, at almost two, is finally showing signs of calming down and is now displaying classic whippet lounging behaviour, disturbed only by the sight of a bird/cat/squirrel or the sound of someone possibly opening a packet of something in the kitchen, in which case he's on Full Alert. 

Thank you for your birthday wishes for Angus. The Lego building is still going strong. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll be back soon with, hopefully, some progress photos of our DIY, or maybe just some photos of dusty, half filled rooms and me sobbing into my gin, out of shot. We'll see. 


  1. The countryside around you looks beautiful, I love to get out for a walk as often as possible too. As far as your sweet pea bed goes, climbing nasturtiums are very fast growers (If a bit too much so sometimes!) and also colourful and cheery.

  2. Oh and they are pretty and tasty in salads as well!

  3. You have some beautiful little objects, but I'm not a fan of bits and pieces as dusting everything is such a chore, I prefer clear space with maybe one larger piece. I love country walks, although we don't have any country around here, but if we go out for a drive we try and head inland. Best, Jane :)

  4. My sweet peas are sulking too, which I put down to our temperatures up here bumping along below 10 degrees. It is freezing!! I'm just going to leave them, as there are too many other things to plant, but I'll be feeding them liquid feed to try to boost them. Supermarket sweet peas - I've never seen those. Perhaps they don't make it so far north.
    Definitely with you on the alarm clock rather than phone. My phone is turned off at night. If either of our children (in their 20s and perfectly capable) were to have an emergency, there's the landline.
    Hope your weekend of DIY goes well - I'm sure it will, you seem an absolute powerhouse!

  5. If it's anything like my house then by now the fridge will be empty, the children will be asking for MORE FOOD, the dog will need walking and the housework will be piling up. But oh, that brief moment when it's all been done is glorious isn't it. I hope you have a good week and get everything done that you want to. Your home is always so beautiful. It might be worth leaving the sweet peas in place. Mine skulked around on the ground for ages this year, but they've just started to take off. No idea why - maybe the cold nights? So maybe you could plant something else alongside and give them a bit longer to see if they suddenly burst into life. Hope you have a lovely week. CJ xx

  6. According to Joe Swift on Chelsea the other night, it's not too late to sow runner beans! (They can be quite colourful!)

  7. Sweet peas can look very unpromising when you first plant them , so perhaps give them a bit longer, if not the nasturtiums suggestion is a good one. Be careful not to feed sweet peas too much, they'll be all leaf and no flower!

  8. Good luck with the decorating this week. I dont think I could go to Ikea in a school holiday... have the wine in the fridge for when you get back. Where is your alarm clock from? I love the wood look around the face of it

    1. It's from John Lewis, it's this one:

  9. Try growing runner beans. Nice and tool, pretty when in flower and a lovely vegetable. Seeds go straight in the ground in May or you can buy small plants in garden center.

  10. I have the same problem to cover in garden and planted trailing nasturtium, once they get going they need something to climb, few pea sticks or bit of cheap wired trellis on a roll will do, and you will have abundance for the rest of the Summer

  11. Morning glory grows fast and should do well in your planter. Even here in slightly warmer France it is only just getting going.

  12. I was eyeing up some Thunbergia (Black-Eyed Susan) climbing plants in the garden centre - they had small ones for £3.50 a pot. Everything in my border turned out purple too last year (this year there are still some yellow wallflowers hanging in there) - even things that weren't supposed to be purple turned out purple! Why?!

  13. We've had sweet pea fail before, it's very frustrating when you've planted them. Lovely photos of flowers, Ziggy and homelife. Have a good week, Cathy x

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  15. My sweet peas are brown! We went away on holiday and I didn't arrange for anyone to water them and they looked quite bad when we went. It has not been sunny enough for them.You could plant it up with sweet William seeds but that is forward planning because they would flower next year and you will so saintly for doing it. For this year I would go with some mixed salad - you love to cook so I think it would be good. Jo xxx

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