Monday 31 December 2012


The last day of 2012 is rather wet but still the garden has something to show the Garrya Elliptica has been lovely this winter.

As has the Viburnam  Bodnantense but with the added wonderful perfume.

Mike has reinstated some of the trough which the birds delight in, tossing plants and moss all around.

Just a few Winter plants to enjoy by the door.

The front cottage garden seems at present a far cry away from the summer beauties that entertained us for so many months.

It was December before we lifted the Dahlias and then only because we needed to plant the Wallflowers out not because they had finished blooming although it was only a few days later before the frosts would have done the job for us.

This kaleidoscope of colour was meant to be posted in August when I took the photos but sadly I am always so busy I have neglected my Garden blog but not so much the garden.

Mike has done wonders with the hanging baskets I think the best year yet.

We decided to put these two on the gate posts and they have been much admired.

One of the many interesting insects we get in the garden a Stag Beetle I think they must breed in or near the compost and the few piles of rotten wood we deliberately keep in the back garden because we often see them.

The Red Kites have been spotted a number of times but it is so difficult to get the camera and zoom in enough to take a decent picture more often we just stand or sit and admire their acrobatics but you should see the pigeons scarper when the Red Kites are around and actually that is a good indicator to look up high into the sky.

Another not uncommon sight passing overhead sometimes a little low for comfort, ours not theirs they have a choice we don't. Still it is an indication that for some the effects of the recession are not being felt - perhaps more slack Cameron should be seeking out instead of knocking the underdogs all the time.

In memory of Beth much loved and sorely missed taken December 2011.

Taken all round 2012 has been a good year, my time is taken up with gardening and helping raise awareness of Lyme Disease. The science emerges at quite a pace and still our Dept of Health have their heads in the sand, well perhaps not much longer as they were involved with research recently that shows there are many uncertainties, hence current guidance given to doctors on Health Protection Agency website is not all substantiated. As many Chronic illnesses can be involved there is some urgency in developing useful and accurate guidance and acknowledging the gaps in the science.

My Joanne's Cottage Garden blog has been rather neglected this year due to the time I spend on my Looking at Lyme Disease blog, but with 300-400 page views a day I guess the Lyme blog is achieving far more than I set out to do and providing me with a useful reference place to retrieve information. With contacts I have made throughout the World I have 'spoken' with doctors, researchers and patients some diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, RA, MS, MND, Parkinson's, Autism, and recently Alzheimer's who have discovered their condition to be driven by Lyme Disease spirochete and on appropriate antibiotics are slowly making improvements.

What a fascinating world Mr Google allows us to be involved with.

Happy 2013 to you all from Joanne.

Saturday 30 June 2012


A Rose Chafer Beetle enjoying my roses
The flowery vegetable garden
Rosa Mundi


Sweet Juliet

Mayor of Casterbridge

Looking across the vegetable garden

Delphiniums under the Gleditsia 

White Flower Carpet

Francis E. Lester

Rosa Gallica Officinalis

New Dawn

Will Goodwin

Sir Edward Elgar

Mrs N Thompson


Marie Bissolet



What more can I say? June in the garden has to be the highlight of the year.

Saturday 26 May 2012


The lean to is looking so much nicer since I added the hanging plants.

It's Hosta time again         

The President recovering well after a hard pruning last year.

I do like my pots as you may have noticed but in the current hot spell it does make such a lot of work especially since we have a hose pipe ban already.

What's that in the Hosta bed?

Ah a better look.
Nelly Moser already putting on a show

Hosta bed but we will ignore the ground elder in the bed behind, sigh!

I decided to put two Acers in the shady corner as they were suffering from too much sun last year.
Mrs N. Thompson

The Empress Josephine

Mari Boisselot

Belle of Woking

Pink Fantasy

Lots happening in the vegetable area.

At last seedlings are becoming plants after a rather prolonged cold spell in April

Hanging baskets waiting to be hung out
Cosmos and Lupins and some cloches of clematis cuttings which have now been moved to a shady spot

It is really strange having so much more space since the Leylandii hedge was removed - however it is rather sunny for my nursery although the Laurel are full of shoots so it won't be long before we have a decent and more easily managed hedge again.

Wadas Primrose

Sadly the Wisteria is struggling to grow so we decided to put another plant in, another casualty of the decorating work last year due to new windows. We really missed our beautiful flowering Wisteria this year.

The Wallflower are still looking lovely and colourful
We decided to move the barrel and connect to the downpipe with a coat of paint I think it looks ok.


 There has been someone sorely missed in Orange Cottage Garden this Month. 

                                                         Sadly we lost our Springer Spaniel Beth. 

    There is nothing quite like a dog as a companion in the garden or on walks in the woods and she is constantly in our thoughts as we go about our daily tasks.

'The death of a pet leaves a much bigger hole in the household than the space that they occupied in life.'
Monty Don  wrote in his book The Irvington Diaries.