Saturday 7 January 2023

It is with great sorrow I am writing to say that Joanne passed away on 
Wednesday 28th December 2022.

With Mike by her side she left us after a two year valiant fight against 
Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Joanne was always busy creating. Be it dressmaking, knitting, jewellery making, upholstery, spinning, weaving or tending to her beautiful garden. She was an inspiration.

Her battle with Lyme disease for nearly 20 years brought her many challenges but with it many great friends.  Despite her own health struggles she never stopped being an advocate for others on their difficult journey though Lyme. Even at the end of her life her efforts to help further the understanding of this dreadful disease never ceased.

Joanne will be desperately missed by Mike, Rachel, Rebecca and her 7 grandchildren.


Friday 24 June 2022


Lots going on in the garden despite the rampant ground elder and bindweed.

I put weed suppressant and bark chip in this little border it helps but as you can see doesn't stop either ground elder of bindweed. These three hebes were cuttings taken from Marjory Fish hebe. 

The poppies were a welcome sight but when they dry a bit more I will take them out to make room for the dahlias which are very slow growing this year.

This is a little corner near the back door which I tried to make a little more private now we have new neighbours who enjoy their garden

The back terrace rather full especially as the hostas have done so well by using copper pipe under the pots.

A view back along the terrace

The Regale lilies are doing remarkably well and still no red lily beetle thanks to garlic spray.

The variegated hosta are not doing so well and overrun by weeds doesn't help.

This is another border where I put weed suppressant and bark chip and it's saved so much work the agapanthus nearly all have flower heads so fingers crossed they will look lovely soon.

This is such a lovely tree Eucryphia lucida 'Pink Cloud

Red Clematis Rebecca with Prince Charles above in blue.

Cecile Brunner

Lovely pink Blush Rambler with a Sanders white in next doors apple tree. 

Cottage Rose 


You get the idea of the extent of the uncontrolled weeds.

and again in this corner

This New Dawn has been nurtured for many years from a cutting but this year it has excelled partly because the neighbours laurel was cut back hard.

Although this part of the garden has an abundance of roses and herbaceous plants it really is the vegetable garden

This overgrown path has actually just been tidied up.

Tomato plants have really struggled this year and I am not sure why.

This is my idea of cutting back on taking cuttings but they are reducing.

A bit of fun taking cuttings of elderberry and the purple one. I don't often take softwood cuttings these were a bit late and the weather has been very hot but standing the pots in mushroom trays and the water bottles without bottoms fitted like a glove over the tray and made a wonderful cold frame keeping moisture in and these rooted in a very few weeks.

This area renamed the dell was the first area I covered in weed suppressant and bark chip this year I added more bark chip and in general it has been successful.

I grow sweet peas in old half barrels and placed by the hedge helps to keep them a bit sheltered from the sun.
So the reason for the 'Lost gardens of Merrow' is self evident we are really struggling this year to keep in control but despite the weeds there's still lots of flowers and plants to enjoy.

The reason we are struggling with the garden is partly age but also health. I was diagnosed last year with Triple Negative Breast cancer treated and chemo but found in December it had metastasised in my lung.

Friday 3 June 2022


Just a few snaps of the garden during May. I am belated at posting a blog post but lots of gardening is being done mostly by Mike. I am slightly side tracked with my spinning and weaving projects. See my other blog

So many weeds ground elder and bindweed predominantly, but the plant height detracts from the weeds and gives pleasure.

The box is surviving the Box caterpillar using regular spraying of Topbuxus. I grew all the box plants from cuttings many years ago so I was devastated to see the damage from box caterpillar a couple of years ago. 

The catmint Six Hills Giant works so very well in the Box boxes with the roses.

The vegetable beds are flourishing thanks to Mike's diligence.

I always feel sad when I see these empty seats they need our six grandchildren to visit but visits have not been quite so often for a variety of reasons. The wooden and iron seats, benches and table were given to us by a kind neighbour and Mike refurbished them all.

I love Hosta and earlier this year I put all my pots on copper pipes because slugs and snails will not crawl over copper. I have to be careful other plants don't bridge the gaps.
But I also discovered that garlic spray also stops slug and snail damage.

Quite by chance I realised the garlic spray was drifting onto the lilies and clearly preventing the red lily beetle invading them. Now I spray deliberately along with other plants such as dahlia and hanging baskets. I haven't seen any signs of the lily beetle this year.

Meg was determined to get in at least one photo.

 So far so good the Hosta in this little bed is sprayed regularly with garlic spray and I have only seen two slugs on my regular nightly vigils.

Thursday 23 December 2021



2021 didn't start very well for me. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast cancer early in January, had a mastectomy early February and started Chemo therapy in April ending in June - Urgh! the chemo totally wiped me out.

Mike did a wonderful job in the garden which I was unable to tend to for many months and he's done a wonderful job this Autumn tidying up for the Winter.

So here are some photos to give winter cheer.

Thankfully I was well enough to plant the Dahlias out and although we lost some of the large flowering ones in the late very cold spring in the cold greenhouse, most survived.

We really struggled with our hanging baskets, all the plants we bought on line were awful, most died but thankfully our daughter Rebecca managed to buy a second lot from the garden centre in Chessington. I particularly like to use Surfinia Petunias because they flower so well. 

Mike takes particular care of the hanging baskets and tidying the front garden - I think he just enjoys the excuse to chat with the neighbours.

This is the first year I have grown these large begonia from tubers bought on line. They performed very well so fingers crossed they survive storage for next year.

This lovely bench was given to us by our next door neighbours as the wood was rotten. Mike bought new wood and restored it. It makes a useful seating place especially with family visits outside, due to health concerns. This was the first of several restorations.

In the bottom left of the photo you will see a small section of edging tiles which we were given from our daughter Rachel's garden. They are lovely and Mike painstakingly put them in around the sides of the front garden.

A birds eye view of the front bed with the white Phlox making a good display. Many years ago they were pink as can be seen in blog posts years ago. Very strange how they have reverted to white.

These lovely Galtonia Candicans I have grown in pots for a few years but decided to bring the pots into the front garden, they were much admired by passers by.

I got Mike to bring the evergreen Agapanthus, which are large flowering varieties to place in the front bed. They add another dimension to the riot of colour.

Clematis Vitacella Etoile Violette still doing well. I have lost most of the other clematis from the front garden down to just three these days.

I tried some Hollyhocks from seed I collected from a local garden, although affected by rust they were lovely flowers.

I often forget to post photos of the Agapanthus, which look lovely surrounding the grass in the back garden. Thanks to a kind neighbour giving us a table another bench and chair and Mike's restoration we have a lovely seating area for when family come to visit.

This lovely evergreen Eucryphia is always worth celebrating.

Cuttings from Hydranga always look nice in pots when they start to flower often in their first or second year.

Not a very good photo but this is another Eucryphia  Pink Cloud, it is a smaller tree and such a delight well worth growing even in small gardens.

Despite my bad start to the year I have had a ball with my new hobby of spinning and weaving which you can see on my other blog