Tuesday 29 September 2009


This is on the top of the North Downs at Newlands Corner. We have been having some lovely sunny days and so went for a walk last Sunday. It is about 30 minutes walk from home up hill all the way but Sunday we cheated and drove and parked in the car park and then walked along the top. The car park was featured in a film about Agatha Christie not one of her books but about her something about leaving her car there and returning by train to London.
The trees are still very green which surprised me because down the bottom of the hill near where we live they are well into their autumn colours. I suspect that we live in a bit of a pocket of dry climate because we often miss rain that deposits all around us and think that we must be in a shadow and perhaps on the top of the hill the rain falls as the clouds rise. I cannot think of any other explanation as the hill is chalk so very free draining and the types of trees are much the same.

Yes our faithful friend Beth who put in an appearance for Alison.

Walking out of the trees the views are spectacular across towards the South Downs but unfortunately the sun was not in the best place.

Looking back East, Alison you may remember walking along here on your earlier visit to the UK.
Further East beyond this tree line featured in Midsummer Murders film last week. They had a cycle ride along the track and ended up supposedly in the remains of an Abbey which was superimposed in the valley. So clever what you can do with photography.

I had to try and zoom in on the village in the valley and church it is a long way away hence the fuzzy picture.

Friday 25 September 2009


I have just found out that Joanne's Cottage garden is in the finals for the Blotanical awards of the best urban garden. I am so touched that you voted for me and thank everyone so much it means such a lot to have got so far.

The above shot was the best I could find at short notice I am not sure I should have let the flash go off lighting the foreground and I was a little late to actually get the sunset properly, I was hanging around for the bats but missed them too.

What you don't see is the housing estate at the middle distance. Which I try to pretend isn't there.

I would appreciate photographic advice at any time it is such a steep learning curve for me but fun.

I have to thank Karen from an Artists garden as she was the person to introduce me to Blotanical and the many friends I have made there.

I know I bore you all with Lyme Disease and you are good to come back to my blog after my constant rantings. I have actually been really struggling recently. Not in health that's doing well thank goodness, but I am struggling with the burden of hearing about so many sick people but especially children who have struggled with this illness before diagnosis and are still struggling to get proper treatment.

I spend hours trying to raise awareness and trying in vain to get a journalist to take five minutes to find out what is going on that affects so many people when simple antibiotics can help us. I despair when I hear about the controversy and Blotanical and all you blogging friends help counter that despair so thank you and keep safe from tick bites.

Tuesday 22 September 2009


Just a few Autumn Belles. Rudbekia, given to me by a neighbour a couple of years ago. With Michaelmas Daisy beginning to open nearby.

A hardy fuschia name unknown but originated from a friends garden in Newquay Cornwall.

The last of the Cosmos and Lavatera flowers.

The hanging baskets on the lamp post never did as well as the others this year not sure why not possibly got a bit too hot and dry at the start of the season.

A cutting from my mother in law's rose taken by my sister in law. It's always nice to have plant associations adds such pleasure to a garden like greeting long lost friends I always think.

This hanging basket had a trim when the Petunia went over and has still remained interesting for a while longer.

I couldn't resist another Morning Glory photo as they are popping out all over now.

Third flush of The President but much smaller I suspect because I haven't watered as well as I should have done.

More Morning Glories.
A second flush of Trachelospermum Jasminoides.
These flowers in the last few photos were all saying hello as I put the washing out, so I had to get the camera to capture them. They can be seen from indoors too, so double pleasure.
I struggle to keep Colchicums away from the snails and was pleased to see these flowering, but look closely there's a darn snail under the duck's bill waiting it's next feast. Ugh!

Wednesday 9 September 2009


I was never a fan of Dahlias but this year they have excelled themselves in my garden. I grew some from seed several years ago and overwinter in the garage. Usually I start off in pots in the greenhouse and then later get Mike to plant into the vegetable beds as they become empty. They make good cutting flowers for the house.

Earlier in the year I was well enough to tackle several areas of badly neglected ground elder and other weeds, thus leaving some rather bare soil. Bare soil is not part of our gardening schemes and reluctant to plant up with perennials, I decided to plant out the Dahlias around the edge of the front bed. It proved successful and when I remove them for overwintering it will enable me to have another good weed.

There has been no shortage of bees in our garden this year. I did see a pink one but didn't get my camera in time to photograph. He/she was collecting pollen from a pink Lavatera and the pink pollen made the bee look pink.

The ground elder gets it's roots under the pavers and so around the edge of this bed was rather overgrown. Yes I know we could lift the pavers but such a task and they never go down as well. One day I will get the systemic weed killer on the ground elder but have probably missed my opportunity for this year.
Still I am pleased with what I have achieved after having had several years of not being able to garden.

Friday 4 September 2009


I had a lovely trip to Bath with my daughter last Wednesday and so decided to combine a post on this lovely town with one for VP's OOTS. Out on the streets. The above shop looked so prettily decorated with flowers. I saw it whilst walking from Sally Lunn's back towards the Royal Baths I think it was facing Abbey Green.
These are the famous Royal Baths and well worth the visit.

Yes that is steam rising from the hot spring water as it enters the King's Bath and yes it is hot although you are not supposed to we couldn't resist putting our hands in a rill. It certainly dried my hand noticeably I guess from all the chemicals in the spring water.

The King's Bath

An arched overflow part of the Roman engineering arrangements.

There was so much to see and photograph and it was such a treat to see it all.
From the brochure.
'The water we see today fell on the Mendip Hills many hundreds or even thousands of years ago. It percolates down through limestone aquifers to a depth of between 2700 and 4300 metres where natural heat raises the temperature to between 64 and 96 degrees C. Under pressure the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults through the limestone beneath Bath.'
Bath is a beautiful town with so much to see, the Architecture is so well preserved keeping the character of the town.
For those Jane Austin fans there is also a Jane Austin museum which we enjoyed visiting.

Thursday 3 September 2009


Introducing Heavenly Blue isn't she a beauty? The only one to flower so far but then I started them late and the pot this is growing in was hidden by the gate and went without water whilst I was away. There are more buds that are coming so fingers crossed.

This is nearly 4x the flower size as Light Blue Star. Many years ago at I think the glass house in Parham House gardens I saw a Morning Glory similar to this growing through the roof light but with flowers the size of dinner plates mine are not quite as big as coffee saucers.

Seed manufactures clearly haven't much idea when it comes to advertising what would it take to put an idea of flower size on their packets.

For someone who has spent hours pulling Columbine out of the borders I can still get excited about these lovely half hardy annuals.