There’s no way to sugar the pill.  This has been a bad week for news and the weather has done little to cheer any of us up.  The early snowdrops are helping to get me through and I’ve managed to weave a few small gardening incidents into the loom of my life.  We can do nothing more than look forward to happier days and this week’s featured six live in the present and look to the future.

Kittens in the houseplants

We welcomed two gorgeous kittens to the household on Thursday.  They’re only just beginning to explore the house but when they’re not asleep they’re running around manically.  So far they’ve been respectful of my houseplant collection but I may need to move some away if they get more inquisitive.  This lovely collection on a wooden box have already been eyed up by them.

The kittens are siblings – a boy and a girl.  We’ve called them Margo and Jerry after the next door neighbours in ‘The Good Life’ TV series.  Margo is very beautiful but also very bossy and Jerry is very chilled.


A few weeks ago I featured some of my favourite houseplants and they included my avocado tree, grown from a stone.  I’d moved it to the landing but as predicted by fellow blogger Fred, the light levels have been insufficient in this gloomy winter.

The tree is now in the bathroom.  It’s very bright in there and pretty warm and humid too.  I think it’s quite happy.

Some useful destruction

Last week I described how I intended to remove the brick pillars behind my rock garden and to create a conifer garden on the slope behind.

We didn’t hang around and that very afternoon we got the job done.  It didn’t take long as the brickwork was pretty loose but oh what a difference it’s made.

Quite allot more work is needed to prepare the bed behind but we’re getting there.  Lockdown will provide a bit of time to plan which fabulous conifers to grow here.

Sweet Pea Seeds

It’s that time of year again where I buy my sweet pea seeds.  I abandoned autumn sowings after they got eaten by mice over winter and I find an early spring sowing works just as well.

Sadly, being a bit late with my order I found a few of my favourites out of stock at Matthewman’s sweet peas, including a lovely white variety called ‘Timeless’.  I’ve chosen a couple of new varieties though including a white one called ‘Wedding Day’ and a pretty two-toned pale pink one called ‘Beth Chatto’.

Sweet Pea Timeless

Sweet Pea ‘Timeless’

Will I be showing these at my local show in July?  Will the shows even be happening this year or be cancelled like last?  Only time will tell but shown or not, a summer wouldn’t be summer without sweet peas.

New Seed Compost

I grow most of my plants in peat-free compost from Dalefoot Compost but this year, just for my seed sowing, I thought I’d also experiment with this seed compost.  The bulk of material is coir (coconut husks) but it has an additional ingredient of something trademarked as Biochar, which is a high carbon form of charcoal and is supposed to provide structure, aeration, water holding capacity and nutrient retention.

The bag says the compost also contains wormcasts, which is interesting. It makes me wonder how a commercial operation gathers sufficient wormcasts?

An optimistic rose

This rose is flowering right now in a cold January and yet aside from a bit of blackspot it’s perfect.  It seems untroubled by the cold, the damp, the occasional snow flurry.  It’s in a sheltered spot but it seems almost miraculous. In a week of bleak news is surely cause for optimism.


This seasonal diary is part of a weekly link-up of garden bloggers from around the world, called Six on Saturday.  For more information and links to other blogs crammed with gardening activity, check the blog of host The Propagator.