Monday, 27 May 2013

Eddie, Eddie, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

I know the word contrary doesn't rhyme with Eddie, but it fits his personality. He is quite contrary, and is going through a stage when everything starts with a word No. That is almost everything, except when I ask him if he wants to go out in the garden, then he immediately runs in the hall to put on his wellies or sandals. He loves our garden and cries when I tell him it's time to go indoors.

This spring most of the blossom came later than usual in the year. Apple trees are still covered in pretty blossom. We have two very old apple trees, one young tree which had lots of apples last year and a baby apple tree. All eaters, slightly sharp in flavour and crisp.

Every May I look with admiration at the rhododenron in the big pot outside the kitchen windows, which changes colour as the month progresses, from this glorious magenta pink... this pale, almost white bridal négligée.

And each May I send my hearfelt thanks to the lady of the house who lived here before us and who planted this beautiful rhododenron, she's been gone many years, but a lot of "her" flowers and fruit trees and berries in the garden are still prospering and bringing joy to us. It is as if she passed the baton of gardening to me. As we have changed the garden a lot (it was badly neglected after her death), I wonder whether she would have liked what she did with the garden, and hope she would have approved our plans and new additions.

The greenhouse has been a home for the tomatoes for many years, and this year I am growing some mini cucumbers as well. The grafted cucumber from the garden centre is doing well. According to Eddie, it has a peepeeska (that's how Eddie calls a penis, a word of his own creation), but actually it has about five of them at the moment, and hopefully many more to come. I am also growing some cucumbers and courgettes from seeds. I have tried two varieties of courgettes: round and yellow, one variety has all sprouted healthy little plants, another is completely unresponsive, and I have no idea which of the two has failed. Oh well it will be a surprise when the veg appears.
Chives grow in a pot outside. They seem to reappear every year, as well as the mint, though it has gone wild.

The fig tree on the right of the photo below only just woken up after a long sleep, and we have the first leaves. Last year it also started late, and though it had plenty of figs, they were all green and rock-hard. For 6 years since we moved to live here, we had lots of ripe figs only two years ago, and they were very tasty.

Then there are two juneberries, quite a rarity here but very popular in Russia. I believe they are originally from Canada, and can survive really hard frosts. In my home town they are used to minus 30C in winter. As a kid, I absolutely loved their berries, very sweet and resembling blueberries. Hope we get some crop this year, that is if the birds don't get there first, they manage to get under the netting, clever sods.

And that's a baby apple tree next to the sandpit. The grass has been cut last weekend, so it looks more civilised now.

I have strawberries in the strawberry patch with a small raspberry bush. A big well established red currants plant, again raided by the little blighters most of the years while they are still not quite red, and again, supposedly protected by the netting. And the logan berry shows some promise of a small crop this year, I planted it about 4 years ago, and so far we haven't had much luck with it.

As for the flowers, the tulips and daffodils are out of season now, but we have plenty of bluebells and forget-me-nots, yellow poppies and of course, the lilac is in its full glory.
We have put a summerhouse in the garden for the rainy days, so that if we want some fresh air with kids, we could hide in there in any weather. Sasha and Eddie love it.

If you enjoyed reading my post, you might like to see a selection of blog posts on gardening at one and only Mammasaurus's blog linky How does your garden grow?


  1. Your garden is GORGEOUS! I could see why your LO loves it!

  2. Loving your garden! That stone wall is so pretty and a summer house too, how great. How lovely that the lady who lived there before left you some established plants. Really lovely and thank you for sharing - I be you've been enjoying it this weekend!

  3. You have such a pretty garden, and I love your summer house. Gorgeous :)

  4. Ok your garden sounds yummy! My hubby's parents have a fig tree and its great! I love all the colour from the blossoms. Your wee man is lucky to have such a great space to enjoy.

  5. You have so many lovely plants in your garden! All the different fruit! How fab. I have just bought a tiny fig tree so no idea why your fruit was rock hard last year. Perhaps (and a big guess here) the rain may have been the culprit? Not enough sun for them to ripen properly? I had no idea Rhodo's change flower colour like that, really lovely. I have one inherited Rhodo in my garden and some azalea's too. Your summer house is just perfect isn't it!

  6. Thank you, ladies! We are very lucky indeed to have a big walled garden. The walls are pretty tall, but we once found a munjack in the garden, I still don't quite figure out how it managed to get in and out.

  7. I'd love to do a trade some fig cuttings with you if you are interested .I have about 30 varieties of fig trees I can take cuttings from and I also have a large collection of tomato seeds and other garden seeds I can share with you in return. my email is if you want to talk more, thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you.

  8. Thank you, Daniel! For the time being I have too many seeds as it is, and also don't want another fig tree yet. I'm thinking of adding more fruit tress but haven't decided yet. Thank you for your kind offer though.