Buds on the willow tree

Ooo the fuzzy buds are opening on the old willow tree in the garden. Once they fully open the blue tits will start pulling at them, I don’t know if they get the fluff out of them to use in their nests or if they are eating insects on them?

I’m not sure what type of willow tree it is, I think it’s a wild type, one that floats in on a seed and grows, a bit like a buddlea Bush, we have them too. They sneak in, but the butterflies love them. Which reminds me, I need to prune the buddleas, you have to cut them back by two thirds before they start growing in the spring, so that’s a job to do. Spring is on the way! Gardening begins.

Out on a limb

Growing out and up… A long limb of a tree scrambles to escape the shade of its companions. Thinks, I’m not going to be hidden by all your leaves. Give me light and I will grow into a tree in my own right. I don’t need holding up, I will sway in the wind with the best of them! What’s a bit of tension and torsion to a limb like me? I’m only slightly cracked, that split in my bark will soon heal over, I’m not weeping sap. Oi! Don’t you bring that chainsaw near me! I will survive!


Apparently reflected (using the layout, symmetry app on my phone). These Cyclamen are flowering really well. As they fade the stems curl over and the flower heads start growing seeds that are then deposited in the soil to grow into new plants. This is a large indoor version but we have small groups of cyclamen growing in the garden. The colours go well with the Christmas cactii next to them. OK I think that’s enough about my kitchen window ledge!

November tomatoes

On a tomato plant at the back of the yard. Eight tomatoes in November. We have eaten four but we are waiting for the rest to ripen. But it’s NOVEMBER! How on earth have they lasted this long.

Tomorrow the weather forecast is for temperatures of 19°C. That’s about 8°C above normal. The COP 27 Climate change conference just discussed trying to keep temperatures from going above 1.5°C higher than before the industrial revolution. Only a small rise, but enough to cause damage and disaster. So what? Flooding in costal cities across the world, dangerous increases in the ferocity of hurricanes, tornados and typhoons. Melting icecaps and glaciers. We must all try and do something about it.


Nasturtiums sprawling in the back yard. They are in our front hedge too. There are flowers six foot up in the air. You can tell its nasturtiums because of the shape of their leaves, sort of like umbrellas. The leaves, as you can see, are sometimes variegated. The colours vary from pale cream to deep red. I’ve never seen a blue or purple one? Maybe they will do some genetic modification to change that? At the end of summer they are something cheerful to look at.


Fluff that flies

Aren’t plants amazing? So many ways of spreading seeds around the world. From coconuts, to tiny seeds, and ones that have their own parachutes attached so that they can fly miles. Some plants have built in springs, like himalayan balsam. The seed pods pop when they are touched casting the seeds around all over the place. Obviously some plants don’t use seeds, they can create new roots just by touching the ground. It’s called ‘layering’, basically the new plant is a copy or clone of the original.


I think this was a coot chick (could be moorhen chick) we saw yesterday. I goy a reasonable photo of it although it’s beak seems to disappear into the stony soil on the side of the lake. It’s mum was just out of shot swimming on the lake. I guess they have to be as independent as possible as quickly as they can so that they can go out into the world. But this is a little fuzz ball and it’s still without feathers. I hope it survives to full fledge.

When will they flower?

My orchids occasionally flower, but they haven’t for ages. The new one I bought still has flowers on it, but the buds soon fell off. I’m trying to feed them but I think I need to get bigger pots for them and new orchid compost/ fibre. I probably don’t water them enough and I don’t spray mist them. But I have had them for years. They have lots of ariel roots, there leaves are mostly green. So I will try and pamper them more.


I need to start gardening again. I haven’t emptied out the old pots and put in new compost yet. It’s May and I’ve hardly been round the garden. We are trying to save money and so we have delayed making a start. But the perennials in the main garden are growing. The Russian vine is growing like mad after the rain. We have lots of lesser celandine and bluebells coming up, plus wild garlic. Geraniums are getting big enough to flower and the bushes keep growing. Oh so much to do and not enough energy or strength!