Spring 2018

This is my kind of Easter activity. How many plants / weeds can be identified? (this is also on Facebook so you can comment if you want)

with labels added

I think this must be the largest hairy bittercress I've ever seen. The long spiky bits are the seed pods. There is a tiny hairy bittercress in the centre of the pic above.

hairy bittercress

this is the first green alkanet I've seen this Spring, one of my favourite flowers

green alkanet

forsythia is magnificent for a brief period in the Spring


Hampstead Heath was a rather disappointing place to see plants this week (ground too trodden on by people and their dogs) but around Kenwood House I saw a few small bulbs including this chinodoxa. I love the intense colour of the closed buds.


close-up or one of the chinodoxa flowers


view from Hampstead Heath, Post Office Tower far right

view from Hampstead Heath

best buys from the garden centre (free from the skip!)

I bought some plants from Peter Nyssen, Bear's discovered the nepeta (catnip). Between the cold and snow recently and Bear, they aren't looking too good.

a couple more colours of polyanthus are blooming, and that blue "zebra" one I couldn't resist from the garden centre


angelica I bought from the garden centre last year as a "wildflower", good value, it's a biennial so will bloom this year after last year's planting


the cyclamen coum has survived the slugs, campanula and other seedlings near it

cyclamen coum

I plant out my previously forced hyacinth bulbs, they do bloom again but in a very subdued way. The garden withoutdoors overlaps with the garden withindoors

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garden

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garde

previously forced hyacinths blooming in the garden

I now have a huge pile of spent hyacinth bulbs to plant in the garden. I think it's warm enough now - for the moment - before the latest cold snap due before Easter.

spent hyacinth bulbs

bulbs want to grow! these tiny bulbs were on the patio or somewhere last autumn and got accumulated in this pot, I had forgotten about them and this spring started doing what they do

tiny bulbs

March 2018

I love these small daffodils. Tete-a-tete as far as I know but they're only small like this in the right conditions, otherwise they can be tall and leggy. These have been outside all winter.

small narcissus

from a packet of mixed colour polyanthus seeds, yellow; seems to be the strongest colour from any mixed packet of seeds (annoyingly)


It's hard to believe that this bulb bowl of hyacinths,

hyacinth bulb bowl

was under snow a week ago

bulb bowl under snow

garden under snow

end of February 2018

daffodils covered by last night's snow

daffodils in the snow

tête-a-tête daffodils in the small amount of snow we had a couple days ago

tete-a-tete daffodils

tete-a-tete daffodils

Chinese Lanterns

I'm a bit of a bore about Chinese Lanterns but I just think they are so amazing: they look great even in winter, they've grown and spread in my front garden without any effort on my part, they are incredibly tolerant of my poor conditions.

Chinese Lanterns

I tried to force a lot of muscari indoors the last couple of years (see gardenwithindoors) so had a lot of bulbs to plant outside. They seem to be quite early this year.


I love moss. The bright green moss surrounding the muscari is so nice - and I did nothing to add it to this pot, it just appeared. Deadnettle seedling on the left.

Vintage terracotta pot + small flower bulb + moss =  magic.


Winter Flowers Jan/Feb 2018

There's been so much work along the Regent's Canal near King's Cross/St Pancras. They've moved the gasometers and built flats inside two of them and made a park in the third (black one on the left). I was interested in what weeds were growing in the wall by St Pancras Lock but I couldn't see them well enough and the towpath is closed there at the moment with all the construction. I hope to get a closer look soon.

St Pancras Lock and gasometers

I've been walking a lot recently and I see a number of plants and shrubs blooming, even though it's winter.



Vachellia karroo (formerly known as acacia karroo).

vachellia karroo

I'd seen this before but didn't know what it was until this week when I researched it and found it's winter jasmine.

winter jasmine

and a weed I've not seen up close and personal before, lesser celandine (the previous pic in my Weed Guide was shared by a reader, now I have my own); I'm impressed this can grow and bloom in the middle of winter, as with all the flowers I've seen recently

lesser celandine

lesser celandine bud

lesser celandine bud

another yellow flower, closer to home in my garden, mahonia


a colour I much prefer to all that yellow, purple/blue rosemary flowers

rosemary flowers and buds

Polly Pocket venturing out on a nice day; the prostrate rosemary is covered with flowers and buds

prostrate rosemary flowering

a neighbour has naturalised crocus in their front lawn


I've been fascinated with this seed pod I saw nearby a couple weeks ago. Thinking it's thorn-apple? I didn't notice it in bloom last summer. Not sure if it's annual or perennial but I will look out for it this year.

thorn apple seed pod

I also collected some seeds from another pod that was brown and opening so I hope to sow those and see what I get.

thorn-apple seed pot

my first rhubarb emerging


first flower of 2018

My first flower of 2018, polyanthus


the polyanthus seedlings are distinctive with that wrinkled first true leaf (the 3rd leaf on the seedling), I grew the plants above from seed last year so got to know the seedlings

polyanthus seedling

polyanthus seedling

I love buds, sometimes even more than the flowers. These are rosemary buds. My rosemary has been blooming on and off through the winter.

rosemary buds

St Pancras Old Church and the Hardy Tree - January 2018

Happy New Year

I seem to be in St Pancras Old Church Yard quite a lot taking photos, I thought it would be nice to present it properly - and the Hardy Tree. In the centre background is the Crick Institute which is behind the British Library on Euston Rd, London NW1. On the left background is just a bit of St Pancras Station. This historical church and churchyard has survived, against the odds, extremely close to central London.

St Pancras Old Church Hardy Tree

St Pancras Old Church sign

st pancras old church

hardy tree

hardy tree

this is the west side of the Hardy Tree, in the background is a new wall they erected when working on the railway lines out of St Pancras Station, just peaking above the wall are the gasometers they've moved and re-erected as part of the canal redevelopment

Hardy Tree west side

north side of the Hardy Tree

Hardy Tree north side

east side of the Hardy Tree

Hardy Tree east side

south side of the Hardy Tree

Hardy Tree south side

an old twisty tree, corkscrew hazel? in the churchyard

tree St Pancras Old Church

stonework St Pancras Old Church

I first saw butterbur in the churchyard


mahonia, unlike mine with rather flat sprays of flowers, this one has upright branches of flowers

mahonia St Pancras Old Church

horseweed, in the background is the coroner's court / mortuary that was built in 1886

horseweed St Pancras Old Church


late scabious

the fatsia japonica have striking seed heads developing this time of year; this one is in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church

fatsia japonica St Pancras Old Church

another burial ground, St Andrews, off Grays Inn Rd

euryops pectinatus

another burial ground, St George's Gardens, and a view of what I seem to see wherever I go: the Post Office Tower

St George's Gardens

a close-up of that euphorbia; I'll go back to see it in bloom


the euphorbia with aucuba in the background

euphorbia and aucuba

another view of the Post Office Tower, from St Pancras Lock

Post Office Tower from St Pancras Lock

from the flowerbed near there, I'll check what that is but I love the cage around the bud -update- rudbeckia?

back in my garden, late scabious surrounded by spent globe thistles and sea holly


I was trying to capture the buddleja at each side of the bridge when I noticed the interesting graffiti; I couldn't fit the whole bridge in one shot

Camden Rd bridge buddleja

Camden Rd bridge buddleja

ivy seed head

ivy seed head

Autumn 2017

PLEASE do not re-use cut plastic bottles as cloches for plants in the garden.

This is a horrible result. Animals, in this case a fox, can get caught (later died). Please consider everything in your garden carefully.

Image may contain: plant and outdoor

(Mama Cat Trust Fox Rescue)

Cosmos on a gorgeous sunny day, 22-9-2017 first day of autumn, Avenue Gardens, Regent's Park. I didn't notice those shiny buds until I was at my pc - I love them. I must go back for another pic.

cosmos Avenue Gardens Regent's Park

phlox, I love the colour and scent but in my garden the slugs love them too, also in Avenue Gardens

phlox Avenue Gardens Regent's Park

I'm not sure what this is (yet) - Bidens? can't find the exact one.

Scarecrow and the yucca flower

yucca flower

the angelica I planted earlier this year won't bloom until next year but it looks like it's gotten well-established


a wall of wall lettuce

wall of wall lettuce

Plants Behaving Badly

hanging out at my local watching a giant crane (and London is a land of cranes at the moment so that's saying something) working on a building site by the Regent's Canal in Camden Town - and looking at weeds

giant crane Quinns Camden Town

close-up of those weeds, left to right wall lettuce, smooth sow thistle, dandelion and oxalis throughout

weeds Quinns

epic fails

new building, new garden with bamboo - and a giant dandelion! the largest I've ever seen, round the corner from me, London NW1

dandelion and bamboo

It's about 50 cm across

giant dandelion

a public area planting that's going a bit wrong, that bramble, not the thickest I've ever seen but going in that direction, Hampstead Rd, London NW1


the russian vine is consuming the sign for Warren Evans which is not readable now, Camden St (Camden Road station in the background)

russian vine

the Virginia creeper is escaping, nearby road, London NW1

virginia creeper

that squash my neighbour is growing has taken over that tree

squash in tree

ridiculously small window boxes, not enough soil to grow much of anything and how do you reach them to water them? nice collection of horseweed, Whitechapel, east London

window boxes

Seeds want to grow no matter what. I can't tell what they are but I'll pot them up and see. Probably deadnettle, maybe snapdragon.

- update -

I planted those seedlings above and yes, they are indeed deadnettle

deadnettle seedlings

another damn yellow composite, I am going to study these in more detail and try to come to terms with them, Warren Evans courtyard car park, London NW1

damn yellow composite

damn yellow composite

damn yellow composite

underside of one of these damn yellow composites, Camden Rd, London NW1

damn yellow composite

these damn yellow composites could turn into my life's work and it's only 1 page in my wildflower book!

damn yellow composites

not sure if this is creeping thistle or another, will go back and look at it further


I think it is creeping thistle. It's just a small example, just off Camden Road, 15-9-2017.

creeping thistle

creeping thistle flowers

one of the foxes knocked a large pot over revealing these slug and snail eggs, I've mushed all those I could, they rolled away and were difficult to get

slug and snail eggs


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