Walls, balls, squirrels et al.

A while ago I mentioned that I planned to replace my desk seat (an ancient block of polystyrene) with a Swedish ball. I duly bought one… but I go the size wrong. DSCN9306I’d need to have shorter legs, or a very long body to make this workable. So I thought I would use it for its proper purpose – exercise. I checked out some websites and there were some good moves to be done with a flat piece of wall*. So I walked round our house looking for an appropriate piece of wall. We have a plenty of rooms, but – one of our daughters and several of our friends are artists, my husband is an archivist and historian, I have been collecting books from childhood onwards… I could not find a single large enough area of wall for me and the Swedish ball in the whole house. I am still puzzling over this.

A couple of days ago we met the smallest squirrel in the area on his first day out. DSCN9271 - Version 2 DSCN9276 - Version 2 DSCN9278He wasn’t entirely sure who to be friends with, what to eat or where to go.

One of my prettiest acer seedlings, the only purple dissectum, got caught by the frost three weeks ago, DSCN9190 - Version 2and has now definitely bitten the dust. I cannot complain as all the others that I transplanted have survived appalling wind and frost (I have been turning the garden into a ghosttown at night with white fleeces every where). The mature maples are now in lovely spring leaf.

Acer palmatum Sengo Kaku

Acer palmatum Sengo Kaku

Acer palmatum Trompenburg

Acer palmatum Trompenburg

Some spring flowers are already going over, but I still love tulips when they grow blowsy,DSCN9308and the Kraken is awaking (see Monster Hosta post).

Hosta Sum and Substance

Hosta Sum and Substance

We have a friend staying and yesterday went to visit Audley End in Essex. I am suffering from greenhouse envy. DSCN9296

*Memo to self try to avoid text with the words ball, wall, movement etc, it is very difficult to keep it clean.

Tomatoes (plus a little DIY and writing) rule my life

Now that the DIY on our two rotten windowsills, after much resin filler and elbow-grease, is nearing completion, I can concentrate on my writing…

DSCN7843 DSCN7840DSCN7840 DSCN7846 DSCN7848DSCN8106DSCN8102DSCN8027DSCN8107

Except that last year my new greenhouse was a pitiful desert. All I managed to grow were three sweet peppers (on one plant). Everything else got fried or damped off as I was ignorant about managing the ventilation. So this spring, I sowed madly… perhaps a little too madly. I was miffed when tomatoes failed to germinate, so I sowed more. Various seedlings got potted on and moved into the garden and veg plot, but new tomato seedlings – unlabelled – kept popping up in unlikely places.

Apart from three pepper plants, tomatoes now rule the greenhouse and my life. There are more than 34 plants. The greenhouse ones need constant  water, and ventilation and they all need non-stop disbudding (a skill I have acquired late in life, but will lead, I am assured, to more tomatoes and less greenery).

DSCN8100DSCN8099 DSCN8097 DSCN8095 DSCN8088 And the hosta, of course, just keeps on growing. DSCN8024I am still writing, and I have exciting news on the POW letters book front, but I will wait for tangible confirmation before sharing it.


Hosta in the rain

with self-portrait, I see.

This post is a garden interlude as I shall not be much at home in the next week or so. I will be missing more of your posts, so apologies.

DSCN7789In April this tub was empty and on May 3 it looked like this. DSCN7572 A pink peony, name unknown.DSCN7776 Rosa Warm Welcome (beautifully scented and very prickly) above rhododendron Yakushimanum Titian Beauty.DSCN7771


Monster Hosta

A couple of years or so ago the plant in the corner outside our kitchen window died. The area was mostly shady and tended to get dripped on from the gutter above, so to fill it quickly we bought a healthy-looking hosta. It grew and grew and we kept moving it further out from the corner. By July last year this host was taking over and almost meeting a nearby rhododendron.

Hosta Sum and Substance

Hosta Sum and Substance

So in January we moved the rhododendron and paved a whole new section (https://greenwritingroom.com/2014/02/26/the-garden-moves/). Meanwhile the tub looked all small and innocent.

Then a few cracks appeared on the surface and great spikes broke through. After a week or so we had this.

I thought we had been exaggerating the space it needed. Then it expanded a bit.


And a bit more.


I began to move the tub out a little further each day.DSCN5772 DSCN5782 DSCN5786

We may have to move out of the kitchen next; it is certainly planning to move in through the window.

The garden moves

After creating havoc and shifting (with much help) a rhododendron in a barrel (Yakushimanum) and removing a couple more in large plastic posts, we got stuck into the mud and sand and repaved the area.

DSCN4773DSCN4792DSCN4794DSCN4804 DSCN4830

Then we replaced Rhododendron Cupcake (above in grey pot) and tidied up,

DSCN4882feeling pleased that we had solved the Rhododendron-meets-giant-hosta-and-blocks-passageway problem.


Hosta Sum and Substance

Hosta Sum and Substance

But we still had another problem – the second big grey tub, one small (elderly, decrepit) trolley and two (ditto) people.DSCN4865

DSCN4869DSCN4871 DSCN4876 - Version 2And there it will have to stay until other works are finished round the front of the garden.