Previous photos etc.

June 10th 2008
A wonderful change in the weather just in time for our Open Day on Sunday. The sun shone and it was H O T!
Visitors came, and stayed for hours, enjoying a relaxing time in our garden - it was wonderful to see, and we would like to thank everyone who came. We enjoyed your reactions to our beautiful garden. Please come again.
Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.

May 5th 2008 
Click on each thumbnail to see a bigger image.
 The first May Bank Holiday weekend and the weather is quite a bit warmer, although we are still having April-type showers. Last week I saw some of the biggest hailstones I have ever seen - what a racket! Fortunately the hostas were not out in full leaf or they would have been shredded. We also had tremendous winds which blew the young leaves off our balsam poplars - the whole garden was covered in soft young leaves. Another sign of spring - the wonderful scent of the balsam poplars in the warmer and slightly damp air.
Things change on a daily basis now, and every minute is precious. Dead-heading the daffodils is one job I can manage, and also some potting on in the greenhouse. We are rapidly running out of space. I can't resist buying far too many seeds.
We have been pestered by mice in the shed where we store the birdseed. All the sacks are kept in dustbins, with lids firmly closed, but the little blighters manage to get in. The sonar repeller had no effect at all, and Dave has been busy setting traps, baiting them with chocolate. The catch now totals 40! Imagine how many there would have been if they had been breeding as well. Soon it will be time to give the shed a good cleanout, and see if we can find another way to repel the invasion. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

April 6th 2008
We are now relaxing after our first Open Day of the year, and what a day it was! The weather forecast promised us snow, hail and extreme cold. When we awoke this morning all was white outside. Should we open at all? Would anyone come, we wondered?
After a while the sun came out, and the snow started to recede. It was still very cold, but we decided to get ready for the few brave souls who might be foolish enough to venture to see us. I went out with my camera about 10am, and you can the photos below.
In the end we had a very successful day, making more than £300 for charity in between the snow showers. Particular thanks to Sam for all her help, and especially the wonderful cakes. Andrew looked after the tickets, and I wandered round as usual, talking to as many of you as I could. Thank you for coming.
Your compliments made all the hard work worthwhile, and we hope to see many of you again in June.

March 30th
I can't belive what a beautiful day it is today. Weather like this NEXT Sunday is exactly what we want. We are all keeping our fingers crossed.
The frogspawn shows signs of growth, with minute tadpole shapes appearing. Similarly the perennials are moving on, including the ornamental rhubarb, and the garlic is getting sturdier.
Dave has constructed a new climbing frame by the Summerhouse. We have honeysuckle and climbing roses there, but the woodpeckers had made the previous construction unsafe, so we have to start again.
Our experimental project looks very interesting - there should soon be some signs of growth, and we are awaiting the arrival of some more plants.
Now the grass border has had its annual haircut, the view over the hedge is much more open. In summer our garden divides into many  smaller areas, but when the trees are bare the views are quite different.
Daffodils come in many shapes, sizes and colours, and celandines are equally colourful! The daffodils in the blue pot are next to some fuchsias hiding under bracken - hopefully this will have kept them frostfree.
These photos were taken today, March 30th. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger picture.

Easter Monday 2008
I decided to have a walk in the garden about 11 am. The sun was shining but it was freezing cold. I found the first hosta showing new shoots, and some tulips in flower, although something had nibbled the leaves - and the woodpeckers have been busy making holes in some of our old tree stumps.
Yellow is the colour of spring, and the daffodils never fail to please. The rockery is looking good and there are new shoots everywhere - the herb garden and the borders. The hop starts afresh each year - it's hard to believe how much growth it makes, and the ornamental rhubarb has the most incredible pink shoots!
Dave has been pruning the climbing roses - they look almost sculptural on the black shed. The hydrangeas look ready to prune, but it is easy to do this too early - I think we'll wait till it is a bit warmer. The pond has also had a clear out, so there will be some waterlilies for sale on our open day.
Radio Derby came out to see us last week, and it was nice enough to sit out under the walnut tree by the pond - no such luck today. Only 2 weeks to go to April 6th - hope the weather warms up a bit.

March 11th, 2008
The sparrowhawk's lunch was interrupted, and the frogs are really busy in the pond. Spring flowers are coming into their own, and some of the winter's construction projects are now complete. Ornamental grasses give enormous value - here they are just before being chopped to the ground ready for the new shoots to appear. We have cleared out some overgrown areas, hazel bushes have been hard pruned, and walls and paths have been repaired, ready for our visitors.