Pompom dahlia

Dad used to grow these. You can see why they are called pompom dahlias. He had a whole patch of them in the back garden. I found some in the local garden centre so I have bought a packet of tubers just to see if I can grow them.

The best place to see dahlias in the area is the dahlia walk at the Biddulph Grange garden in Biddulph, Staffordshire. The National Trust owns the house and gardens. The building is only accessible in a few rooms, but the gardens are magnificent. Part classic gardening, part themed garden it is worth visiting and you have to see the Dahlia Walk in late summer. Sections separated by hedges on either side of a central pathway are filled with all sorts of Dahlia plants in all sorts of colours, for example red Bishop of Llandaff ones. Other sections in the garden have various themes, a Swiss cottage next to an Egyptian tomb, grottos and stepping stones and a Chinese temple and giant stone frog and golden calf!

Worth a visit if you are in the area.


Now’s the time to order our hanging baskets for the year. The lady that puts them together asks me what colours I would like. Usually I don’t specify what theme I want but I’m definitely going for a rainbow theme this year. I think because there are so many different flowers and shapes and colours that would really brighten the yard. Last year was mainly red white and green so I bought in other flowers to broaden the spectrum.

Going out of the back door and seeing all this colour lifts my spirits. I usually order them and then collect them 6 to 8 weeks later. It’s a bit expensive but I have never been able to grow baskets as beautiful as hers. The summer arrives and I bring the baskets home. Then we have a riot of colour until late Autumn.

Lesser Celandine

One of the plants that appears in Spring, this is lesser Celandine. It has mid green shiny leaves and yellow and white daisy like flowers. This plant is one of the things that used to be on a website where people recorded when things appeared in the Spring, like butterflies, moths, flowers, tree blossom for example. It was a citizen science project. I don’t remember what it was called.

Lesser Celandine spreads by little bulbs (bulbils) that can stick to shoes or animals feet. It’s pretty, but if you get it in your garden it can spread like mad. I’m not sure if animals van eat it, it just looks cheery in Spring.

Spring Helibores

I think of daffodils and crocuses at this time of year, or snowdrops and later tulips. But an often overlooked plant is the Helibore. The flowers tend to droop their faces towards the ground and they have larder five lobed leaves. There colours can be a mottled grey green, white with green splotches or a greyish pink. This is a manipulated image to show how interesting they can be. Lift up a flower and be captivated by its hidden subtle beauty.

Playing with silhouettes

A previous digital drawing of a fence against a colourful background. My Sketch app on my phone has silhouettes of trees and plants that I rarely use. I also added extra texture and overlays in Photodirector. These are a couple of the art apps I have on my phone that I use frequently and don’t want to remove if I have to get the Jetpack app. Am I irritated? Yes. Must stop going on about it. Creativity isn’t important after all is it (sulks)…. Sorry!


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!