Garden News Column, Spring Flowers and Peach Crumble Cake. April 8 2021.

Bulbs and spring bedding plants are making me smile, after such a long, cold winter. I couldn’t get out last autumn to buy any plants, so I’ve reached spring with nothing to put into containers. But restrictions have lifted- and I’ve had my jab (hurray!) and I’m able to get out there! I can’t adequately describe the shear delight of actually being able to visit a plant nursery and buy a few flowers. Never in my life did I think such a simple thing as going out and buying plants would be so joyful- and appreciated. I’ll never take it forgranted again. Never.

I bought some potted anemone blanda, Bridal Crown narcissus and bellis daisies. I didn’t go mad with my first trip out. Every plant was savoured, the scent enjoyed, the colours marvelled at. I set the Bridal Crown in the centre of a favourite terracotta pot, and nestled the anemones and bellis daisies around the edge. Bridal Crown is perfect for a centrepiece as it’s multi -headed, which means it flowers for a long time. The stems twist and turn in different directions, giving a fountain-like centre to any pot. Anemones have a charming habit of scrambling between the narcissus stems and filling the gaps. Bellis daisies are just so cheerful. I particularly love the double pomponette types. All in all, my plants have provided a much-needed breath of spring, and the containers are cheering up my front doorstep and all the garden table tops, just in case we have visitors, which is now allowed. It will feel strange to have friends and family walking around my plot, after a whole 12 months without anyone visiting.

Here’s this week’s Garden News article, mentioning my treasured plant pots.

Peach Crumble Cake Recipe can be found here:

https://bramblegarden.com/2017/08/22/peaches-and-plums-crumble-and-jam/

And more photos of the containers, which have survived two windswept nights of -3.5C temperatures.

The scent is wonderful.

Just planted. Instant plants can be put together to make a colourful display. No one would know the containers hadn’t been planted last autumn.

Anemone blanda, mixed blues and whites.

I popped in two large anemone coronaria. I would usually grow all these bulbs myself, starting them off in September and October. But there’s so much choice at the garden centres, you can easily catch up now, and they don’t cost a fortune.

Bulbs and corms usually from https://taylors-bulbs.com/

Blue anemone coronaria. I love the inky black centres. Bees love them too.

Bellis Daisy. I usually grow these from seed. Mr Fothergills have this variety: https://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/Flower-Seed/Bellis-Goliath-Mixed.html?ccode=F21PGP&gclid=CjwKCAjw07qDBhBxEiwA6pPbHkNeoDM1SLR8gcldYQP_rNdLZWfQ9HtAJHyWNs49sqz6to8sDiHbthoCV0oQAvD_BwE

Here’s the Superseed Trays I mention in the article. I’m trying to reduce my use of flimsy plastic trays which are not recyclable. The plastic breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces and gets into rivers and streams and out to the ocean.

https://superseedtrays.co.uk/

Behind them there’s a Bustaseed tray, made from recyclable plastic. Again, with divided module cells which can be lifted out without disturbing plant roots. These will be useful for taking cuttings.

https://www.bustaseed.com/

More details of Whinnypoo manure Tea. Very easy to use and it’s making my lemon trees green up beautifully after a long cold winter.

https://www.whinnypoo.com/

I love trying new products and I’m always amazed by the ingenuity of new business enterprises.

I’ve adopted a rescue cockerel. His days were numbered as there were too many cockerels where he came from. Sadly, if you hatch out chicks, some of them with obviously be cockerels and then they become unwanted. I’ve named him Merlin because he has the most gorgeous petrol -coloured feathers. And he has magiced his way into my life, just when I needed something to make me smile again. He’s now been joined by three beautiful bantam hens, so he’s in heaven here.

And finally, the latest photo of my lockdown kitten Monty. He’s been a constant source of joy since arriving here last summer. Hasn’t he grown into a beautiful boy. He’s enormous and very fluffy, but he has such a kind and gentle temperament. And he’s always by my side, keeping me company in the garden.

How are you all doing? Are any of you managing to get out and about and see friends and family again? It’s a while since I last wrote on here. We had several very sad deaths amongst friends and family. The latest being a dear friend, Jo, who died just six weeks after a diagnosis of cancer. We will be attending her virtual funeral on Friday, and I’ll be planting a tree in her memory.

Take care everyone, and thank you for reading and for your friendship and kind comments. This has not been an easy time for any of us, but there’s always hope for the future.

I’m @kgimson on twitter

Karengimson1 on instagram.

22 thoughts on “Garden News Column, Spring Flowers and Peach Crumble Cake. April 8 2021.

  1. Karen I am so glad with all my heart that the restrictions are gone and you can go out and see your family and friends, I love it !!!! Being able to have seen your dear Mother, your daughters and bring Joan flowers to the nursing home must have been a unique experience, full of love and feelings: I love it and I am very happy for you, Karen !!!! Karen the bulbs and spring plants make you smile, me too, and you had your jab going to a nursery to buy plants: potted anemone blanda, Bridal Crown daffodils and Bellis daisies and put them in a terracotta pot in the front door, it is magnificent, wonderful, divine, I love it. Also containers on all the tables in the garden to cheer the view and in case you have visitors, that now you can have them !!!!! I love your article in Garden News this week, you give great advice, talk about new products, … a lot of things. Thanks for the link for the peach crumble cake recipe, which is so easy to make and looks delicious, I love it. How cold at night, yes they have survived and are divine. The containers are magnificent, splendid, I love them. Anemone blanda azul I love it. Coronary Anemone I love the white and the blue, they are divine. Bellis Daisy adore them. I love the recyclable plastic trays with modular cells – they are terrific. The horse manure tea is great and Karen I’m glad your lemon trees are doing great with it, I love it. Karen thank you so much for adopting a rescue rooster, I love it. He has a magical name, Merlin, and he’s gorgeous; I’m so glad that it makes you smile again, I love it !!!! Now with the three beautiful rooster hens that you have brought to Merlin as a company, you have a “New Family” to take care of and that will make you smile and have a good time, I love it. Monty is a big and loving boy, very handsome, a kind and cheerful gentleman, an inseparable friend who gives you all his unconditional love and the company of him: I love it. Karen my condolences on the passing of your family and friends. I’m really sorry. But Karen with you very well you say “there is always hope for the future.” And there is, never lose hope and courage: think positive – you have already seen your mother, your daughters and Joan. It is a new life in which anything, no matter how small, makes us happy. We don’t need as much to live as we used to. Karen missed you, she apologizes for the great length of my comment. Health, strength, positive thinking, hope, a lot of love for your whole family, Mr B and for you especially Karen. Loving caresses for Grace, Meg and Monty. Take care. Much love and best wishes for friendship. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx 😘😀🌷🌞💟

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  2. Pingback: Quick link for Garden News Magazine Readers – Peach Crumble Cake- and spring flowers 10 April 2021 | Bramble Garden

  3. Good to year from you again, and I am sorry to hear you have lost friends and family recently. It must have been so uplifting to be able to get out after such a long time, and of course it is not surprising that a nursery was your first port of call! Your almost-instant pots look lovely.

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    • Thank you Cathy. Currently there’s skylarks singing over the garden. They have moved over from the far plateau field. We have tadpoles in the pond, and all the tulips are flowering. It’s been an awful year, but nature and gardens provide healing and lift the spirits. You are right, nurseries- and my mum and daughters- were first on my list on my first day out. We can even take flowers to Joan in the care home now. So there’s much to be grateful for. Enjoy the weekend. Take care. Karen xx

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      • How lovely knowing the skylarks are singing above you – for many months we had a buzzard close by and I loved to hear its call. I am pleased you have been able to see your Mum and daughters too – you have been shielding? I am lucky to see one daughter weekly as Thursdays are Grannie Day, and we are going down to see the other one in Surrey later this week. Not sure when we will get up to my Mum’s – obviously not before mid May. Pleased to hear you can take flowers to Joan now

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    • Oh wow, fancy that, Anne. I’m so glad you like my Merlin. He’s making us all laugh at his antics. He’s crowing for the first time – and he looks so surprised each time, as if to say, ‘who’s making that noise?’ Thanks for your kind words, which are always appreciated. Enjoy the weekend xx

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  4. Thank you for lifting my spirits Karen, with your lovely news and photographsy.
    Should you want freshly minted Whinnypoo, straight off the fields, just contact me and I’ll bring you a bucket ot two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Suella. What a good idea! A few bags would be good for my roses… I’ll be in touch to pick some up. I hope all’s well over there. We have tadpoles, skylarks and hedgehogs. Wildflowers are up and attracting bees. I have some very good news, which I’m e mailing to you. Enjoy the weekend. Lots of love, k xx

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    • Oh that’s such good news Cathy. So glad you’ve got your jab. The last 12 months really have made us stop and think. I’ll not be going back to my rushing-about former life at all. We have learned to live with less and we like it. Have a lovely weekend. Xx

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  5. Monty took some recognising from my memory of how he looked as a kitten. He is a corker! Very proudly holding his head high. How does a cat get on with a wingéd Merlin and Bantam Hens? Who’ll get to the eggs first….

    I love Anemones, in their many colours they make the most delightful posies. Daisies are versatile.

    Take care, enjoy yourself and your visitors when they arrive. x

    What a psychological difference having a jab makes. Our ‘local’ wee garden centres can’t open yet, it won’t be long now.

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    • Thank you. Well…. Monty has been stalking the hens. He thinks they must be just some kind of bird. They smell like birds, they must taste like birds….. But then he notices they have sharp beaks and they flap about a lot. So he thinks he better not try anything. We are keeping a close eye, but so far, the hens are totally unperturbed and Monty is being sensible and leaving them alone. Luckily, he’s not too good at catching anything. He’s caught a few short- tailed voles and brought them into the kitchen, but he doesn’t seem to have an appetite for killing anything, fortunately. We catch them in a margarine container and release them unharmed in the wood. Anemones and narcissus are so cheerful. Coinciding with the jab, their flowering displays are memories I’ll probably never forget. I won’t take them forgranted again. I do hope your garden centre can open soon. Enjoy your weekend. Xx

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  6. You sound so cheerful and I can feel your joy at getting out again through your writing. So lovely to hear from you Karen. Your pussy cat is adorable and the cockerel too. We are going through a very very cold spell again which was a shock after some wonderful warm sunshine before Easter. My moods seem to match the temperatures… up and down, up and down. Will be glad when this rollercoaster ride is over. Your post today with those lovely anemones has given me some smiles just when I needed them Karen. Thank you! 🤗🤗🤗

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    • Hello Cathy. It is exactly the same here! Lovely sunny weather, then arctic winds and -3.5C at night. Similarly my thoughts have been up and down alongside the weather. However, with determination, I’m sticking with the ‘up’ as there is no other way to be really. I think we will have to get used to a new way of living. Some things will be better, and some worse. I’ll certainly never take anything forgranted again. All my life I’ve been able to go anywhere, have virtually anything I’ve wanted. But these last 12 months I’ve lived the life my grandparents must have led, being very home-centred and concentrating on looking after themselves and their gardens. None of my grandparents ever went abroad, on a plane or over the sea. And yet, they were contented. They didn’t keep buying things all the time, they had what they started their married life with, and repaired and looked after things. I always wondered if they were happy, as I seemed to live in a parallel universe of travel and buy, buy, buy. Well, these past 12 months have given me a few answers. I’ll try now to split the difference between their lives and our former life, and I’m sure I can be happy. Enjoy your weekend. Lots of love. Karen xx 😘

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