Aliens !!!

My daughter is currently on holiday in Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands. I for my sins have been tasked with watering her plants. Imagine my horror when I note that her Lupins are looking very sorry for themselves. Suspecting that I had failed the, one and only, task I had been given I gave the plants a closer look.

Lupin Aphids

Both plants are infested with what I believe are Lupin Aphids (according to Google).

I have treated them with a proprietary bug spray but I suspect they have gotten to great a hold and the damage is done.

Only time will tell if the plants will recover.

Time To Recycle

My shed is overflowing with polystyrene cartons.

Large ones, used by my meat supplier to ship deliveries. I have, for some time, been pondering what to do with them. The local binnies are reluctant to take them. Unless I break them up, which is messy, and disguise them in black bin bags.

So I have decided to re-purpose them. They are going to become planters. We are going to use them for both floral and veggie planting.

Phase one is to coat the exterior with masonry paint. I have chosen battleship grey, as a nice neutral colour, which will provide a good backdrop for the plants.

First coat of Battleship Grey paint.
Nice contrast to the Ivy

My thoughts are that the planters will be light enough for me to move around on a whim. The polystyrene will provide a thermal barrier, keeping the plant roots warm.

I might even try some other colours and possibly textures / patterns as my confidence grows.

I’ll post more pictures as the planters are utilised.

View From The Conservatory

I know we are still officially in Winter, but a little bit of sunshine and elevated temperatures soon convince the plants to venture above soil level.


This is one of two Amaryllis, a gift from my sister. I’m ashamed to say they were neglected and started to grow in the delivery package before I acquired suitable soil and pots. With suitable nurturing it is leaping skywards although at this stage it does remind me of The Little Shop of Horrors.

Outside, on the decking, I now have a number of pots and troughs, starting to show the fruits of bulb planting late last year.

Only yellows at the moment, but time will reveal more, I’m sure.

View From The Conservatory

Today the post is more of a View In The Conservatory.

Over the last few days, with the glorious weather that we have been “suffering” (tongue firmly in cheek), the temperatures have been as high as 41 degrees. While that is far, far too high for a wilting pansy such as myself there has been at least one plant that likes the conditions.

We have three orchids that we have, so far, failed to kill following their initial blooming. In fact we one plant with two fresh shoots growing rapidly and we have this one which is just gorgeous.

You can see why I have entitled the photo “Pretty Maids All In A Row”.

Pretty Maids All In A Row

View From The Conservatory

Today I ventured out into the garden. Thought it was probably safe since the rain and the winds had subsided. The sky is still very grey but all the plants are looking very lush. So here is a sampling from the Wrantz Estate.

The first offering is one of the thousands of Aquilegia that grow in our garden. As soon as they go to seed I shake the pods all around so they pop up in the most surprising places.

The next is just a little humour. This game of chequers has been on the go for several years or perhaps they are just trying to out stare each other.

The Long Game
The Long Game

Gardens are for fun. I’m certain these two are enjoying themselves.

Let's Play Leap Frog

And last of all, for the moment, is this plant which grows in my neighbour’s garden but shares the colours, shapes and style with us by hanging over the fence. Delightful. Just one problem, I don’t know what it is. It does look a bit like Holly though.

Anyone out there know what it is ?

What Is This ?
What Is This ?

You can just see the leaf shape which is very much like a Holly Leaf. Answers on a post card……

Spring Show

Springtime has to be one of the best times of the year. Nature showing all her best bits. Have just driven past thousands, if not millions, of beautiful Pansy’s, Primula’s, Daffodils and Magnolia Tree blooms. So here is a small contribution from our front garden.

Had to snap the back view because they were just so bright. And here they are from the front, some might say from the proper side.

Obviously we are all waiting for the Cherry blossoms to begin their display. Unfortunately, I have noticed that one of our two trees looks to have finally succumbed to the disease which was causing its leaves to wilt. It had managed to give a magnificent display each year even though the leaves would die back. This morning I can find no sign any buds forming. I guess we’ll have to replace it after giving us great pleasure for thirty years or so.

View From The Conservatory

This Chinook crossed the skies yesterday. As you can see the sky was a dull grey at the time. 24 hours later and the sun is shining, the sky is blue and look what I can see today.
This is Masher, showing his metal to the nettle….. he used to live in our kitchen but we caught him scratching at the inside of our stainless steel saucepans. Apart from the appearance we were a bit concerned about the shards of metal turning up with our bangers ‘n’ mash. So he was relegated to the garden.

Ever one for surrounding himself with the bright young things of the world he is surrounded by spring flora. So a few variety of Primula ……

……  and Magnolia ….








All being watched over by Chime the friendly cat ….

View From The Conservatory

Beavering away over a hot keyboard when I looked up in response to a sudden gust of wind which caused the conservatory to creak and groan.

The sun burst out from the clouds and my eyes were drawn to this beautiful blossom in my neighbours back garden..









A reminder that spring is on its way.

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