Rain and shine

Since my last update two weeks ago we’ve had rain, sunshine, hail and wind! Seeds have been sown, plants pruned and the garden has really come alive.

Sunflower seedling in pot

Sunflower seedlings

The seedlings above are sunflowers. I sowed them along with peppers and chillies indoors; the sunflowers were first to germinate. It doesn’t matter how many times I grow things from seed, it amazes me that a whole plant emerges from something so small! Nature is amazing.

Wild violets have started flowering in the front again; I think they came from a seed mix I scattered. Technically they are weeds — but a good food source for pollinators so I’m leaving them in. A weed is only a weed if it’s unwanted.

Purple wild violets

Wild violets

Check these two out! The ladybird on the bottom looked like it had dozed off. The one of the bottom however, had enough enthusiasm for both of them. Even the sight of my prying camera lens wasn’t enough to put it off. Just watching was exhausting!

Ladybirds mating on leaf

Ladybird love

Dusky pink hellebore

Hellebores

On Sunday we finally put our cold frame together! It didn’t go totally smoothly — we snapped a drill bit and the screw heads kept threading because the ones included were cheap. Gah! But we got there in the end. No substitute for a greenhouse but it will help us get a head start on a few things. Hopefully the mice will have a harder job stealing our beans this year too!

Pots in cold frame

Cold frame

Bluebell buds are starting to appear. I’m considering digging the bulbs up later in the year and moving them to a damp shady patch in the back garden. They don’t seem very happy where they are.

Bluebell bud

Bluebell bud

More ladybirds! Happy to see them, we need as many as possible to win the aphid war.

Ladybird on leaf

Lavender shoots

Lavender shoots

Blue forget-me-not flowers

Forget-me-not

Cowslip in flowerbed

Cowslip in the garden last year

And lastly, I have a mission for you! You might remember me mentioning a plant called cowslip in the past? It’s a native UK wildflower in serious decline due to loss of habitats. If you’re trying to decide what to plant in your garden this year, why not add some cowslip? You can buy plug plants online and I’ve seen mature plants for sale at my local centre — so I’d imagine others would sell them too.

11 Comments

  1. so beautiful and green and spring like. and those lady bugs…. too much. everything is looking lovely

    • Thanks Claudia! It was all looking a bit swampy last week, things have turned around for the better…

  2. I’m always amazed that you can keep a packet of seeds for ages but once you put them in soil and water them they start to grow stuff! There seems to loads of ladybirds around at the moment which can only be a good thing.

    • I’m the same. Would really like to do some proper seed saving and build up a collection I can add to/use every year.

  3. First of all beautiful photos Gemma! I’ve been put off by ladybugs since the Asian versions have been rather a nuisance inside our doors. Perhaps I should be more welcoming? I have a plan for sunflowers and think I need to put it into action before it’s too late.

    • We had some of the Asian ladybirds camping out in our wooden window frames a couple of years ago — every time we opened them they’d fall out onto the windowsill. I think there’s still plenty of time for sowing sunflowers 🙂

  4. Firstly…

    HOLD THE PHONE! NEW THEME!

    (I’m slow on the uptake)

    I love cowslips – I’ll keep an eye out for some next time I’m at the garden centre, thanks for the heads up Gemma! I’m really keen on planting things that will look more natural and countrified 🙂

    Ladybird action – fnarrrrr!

    Thanks for joining in again pickle, hope all is good in your hood x

    • Haha! You’re not slow, its only been up for a few days! Decided it was finally time for a change. I’m all with you on natural and countrified — cowlips are a great plant for this. Thanks for keeping your eyes peeled for some. x

  5. Spring is definitely in the air for those ladybirds! Well the guy on top at least 🙂
    The pictures are lovely and your cold frame looks fab. I agree with you, it is really magical seeing life spring out of those seedlings. Can’t wait to see how big the sun flowers get. x #HDYGG

    • I don’t think the ladybird on the bottom has got the Spring memo yet 😉 These sunflowers should grow to around a metre tall. I chose this variety so I can snip a few off for the house.

  6. I’m going to have to build something to protect my seedlings but from the heat not the cold, think I’ll copy the cold frame idea but cover the top with shade netting

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