beginning of May 2017

maybe I do have the odd Black Star viola from last year

viola Black Star

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday (but so dry! - when is it ever going to rain again??) and the first anemone flowers opened. Most of my time in the garden now is spent watering - way too early in the year.

anemone flowers

anemone flower

anemone flower

anemone flowers

The poppies in the background have large buds. They are the result of sprinkling seed in that pot last summer from the Pink Fizz poppy seed capsules. I didn't need to thin them - they sorted that out themselves - the strongest ones survived, the weakest died.

poppy bud

a few days later and the buds are open enough to show some colour

pink fizz poppy bud

these 3 pots of Little Princess tulips (which are finished now) each have self-seeded plants, this plant appeared in other pots last year, was thinking viper's bugloss but not sure as the others haven't bloomed yet

this one has a viola

this one has verbena bonariensis

I notice things in my photos which I didn't notice in the garden. That looks like the acanthus has come back. I thought the slugs destroyed it last year. (Of course, I noticed how gorgeous Victor looks.)

and here's Victor in another position in the sun

I don't understand how slugs can eat - and love - such spiky plants as acanthus. They also destroyed my milk thistles last year so my new ones are on my "nursery" table (shown below) to keep them away from the slugs.

I seem to have two different delphiniums in that pot. The stems are quite different, this one being very dark and purple. (pic of the other below)

delphinium buds

my first knautia, I love those pincushion buds

knautia macedonia

and in flower

knautia macedonia

My first ranunculus flower which I have now put next to my new ranunculus and I see the leaves are the same so this is indeed a ranunculus and not an anemone. No buds yet on the new plants.


first purple anemone buds, one in each pot


a few days later, the anemones are much more developed


that white pot has the sunflowers (just a free packet of seeds that came with my order) which the slugs were eating but putting the plants away from easy slug access seems to have allowed them to grow


this milk thistle self-seeded in this pot at the front, the seedlings are a globe thistle and foxgloves

milk thistle

my cornflowers in this pot are not doing well, I don't know why, not attacked by slugs for a change


too wet? too dry? (more pics at the Seeds page)


my first calendula flower this year but I see more buds (at the bottom is a knautia macedonia)


I haven't planted any seeds. These calendula self-seeded, some earlier and therefore more developed than others.

calendula small plants

these started growing quite recently

calendula seedlings

I just noticed this one growing on a bit of dirt and detritus on the patio.

calendula seedling

my front garden is on the right, some of the plants have spread to my neighbour's garden to the left, the original ornamental artichokes are on the right, then a clump to the left, self-seeded, then another further left, the same with cerinthe, green alkanet, oxeye daisies, comfrey, aquilegia, bergenia and iris foetidissima, some helped by me

ornamental artichokes

this clump of comfrey, to the left in the pic above, is looking magnificent, much better than mine in the back as it gets so much sun, I grew the comfrey from seed a few years ago, plants get muddled up between the front and the back and between my garden and next door


the next garden along is in the process of going back to nature, with no one to look after it, I can still see green alkanet, cerinthe, ox-eye daisies and an ornamental artichoke which I shared with a previous tenant but the stinging nettles (which actually look magnificent - hope some butterflies enjoy them) and dock are taking over

stinging nettles