I sat by the pond for ages today. I spotted a new thin creature on the rocks down in the water. They seemed to move fast so I’m not convinced they were leeches. I saw another creature (the same kind?) on some algae near the top of the pond. It had a clear head and body and flexed its back end. The irises have begun to open in Bed 3 and the ones around the pond are days away from joining them.

The lupins are starting to open. This pink one is a transplant after the pond build, so it’s great to see it looking so healthy after a winter in the nursery. Foxgloves, which I suddenly love this year, have started to open. I have white a pink and this deeper pink and yellow one is just starting to open on the ledge.

I’ve marked out where the tomatoes in Bed 1 will go, and where the courgette in Bed 7 will go. I’ve finally got the latter to germinate by putting the seeds on damp kitchen towel in the airing cupboard. After all the trouble I’ve had this year, I’ll be doing that again.

Three of the 4 cucumbers in Bed 7 are now up inside their cloches. I gave them all a water to encourage the last one to get going. At the sides of the bed, I’ve added some cornflower seed. What I thought were cucurbit volunteers are now clearly borage. I’ve learned that they have new reserves of nectar every two seconds, so I’m glad to see them again for the wildlife.

A mad piece of chard had started regrowing in Bed 2, so I’ve moved it to the end of Bed 6. I was going to have a row, but it turned out that I’d thrown out the old seed. I added some cornflower to the middle of Bed 6. Most of the rest of the bed will be Summer Carousel nasturtium.

I did some pick weeding and sprinkled a little more larkspur in the flower beds. There’s little point in having it grow old in a pot. I’ve dumped handfuls of morning glory seeds along the perimeter, just in case it magically germinates and decides it can climb the fence after all.

In the heat of the afternoon I strimmed the edges and the grass. Strimming the edges is always the best way to make the plot look better. I’ve removed the plastic squares from in front of the pond now, as when I lifted them it turned out that the worms had been busy making casts up into the grids. The pond edge looks better without them, but I need somewhere permanent to sit in all weathers, as I clearly can’t tear myself away from the pond’s edge.


I’ve finally cleared all the pond soil off Bed 1 and used it to fill various holes in car park – including where I got stuck in the mud on Thursday. I then covered all the patches with grass seed and went over the big bare patch where the broken shed had lain for so long.

Bed 1 is now open and I’ve roughed it up. It still needs weeding though. It’s covered in ant hills, so I could do with some help from the birds. They’re getting braver, but at they’ll surely peck around when I’m not there.

I’ve put in some apple sticks to try and keep the everlasting peas from immediately going through the fence. They might just help a little.

My transplanted foxgloves are close to flowering and broadcast seeds are coming up. I’m hoping that the red-edged leaves are godetia, which will seed down for years to come like it has at home. 

I did a pretty good preliminary tidy and sweep of the shed. It still needs a proper turnout, but there’s now room to stand and move. It helped that I foisted a bucket of coffee grounds onto Mr B too. 


I weeded all along the ledge and did the same broadcast sowing as usual with larkspur, Californian poppy and mixed candytuft.. I put some corn cockle at the back where the everlasting peas have a bit of a hole, and sowed alyssum at front.

Bed 11 is now looking much better than before. It had turned quite green with mostly poppy seedlings and I’ve now weeded the whole bed. Since I was at the back of the plot, the birds were back on the feeder, including a great tit.

I also had a wonderful visitor when a baby robin flew into the bed and tackled a huge worm. I wish the robins would return to the plot.

When I was sitting on the ground, I saw how good the pond looked and how settled into the allotment it now is.

The hellebore now has new shoots coming at the base. I need to make sure I remove old flowers and leaves as needed to encourage growth.

All the weeding is now done. It’s now a matter of waiting for the seeds to come up – and weeds are already coming up among seedlings in front bed. 


I spent the morning shift sorting out the front ledge of the pond. There were lots of diving beetles to watch and there are now flower buds on both chamomiles. I added mud to the front bank and then added the new stones. The farm stone is better than the bluer paddle stones, but it’s not as wide, so the paddle stones really are the only option to overhand the edge and cover the liner. I managed to get the liner pulled up a bit before laying them, so the puffiness is a bit reduced. I sowed a little candytuft to soften the edges of the paddle stones, but really I want something low and evergreen. It’ll probably just end up being creeping jenny. 

Sticks had been pulled out of the bee hotel by something. I managed to get them all off the ground and put them back in.

Bed 3 is moving on to the next stage with poppies now flowering. The candytuft is coming up, nigella and irises too.

The carrot and beetroot are now up. I had a careful dig to see if the cucumber seed has germinated and it has. So the cucurbit-looking plants outside the cloches are definitely  volunteers.

In the afternoon I weeded all along the triangle and trellis beds. I broadcast sowed larkspur, cornflower, godetia and poppy seed. I’m really hoping i might just get a sea of flowers – which I then have to dig up a little to plop in the odd sunflower. I had a few old cerinthe seeds, which I’ve poked into woodland area just for the sake of it.

I’ve dug up the clump of mystery bulbs from Bed 9 and put them in a pot by the shed. no clue as to what they are so far.

The birds are getting the idea of using the feeder while I’m in the plot, though i have to be far away. Today I saw sparrows and a tit feeding. They could probably do with a more cover nearby, but the hawthorn under the elder is growing so fast, they probably won’t have to wait long. 

After its wind burn, flower buds have suddenly appeared on the callicarpa and it looks much better. Just along the bed, the pear tree has lots of pears coming.


Germination rates have not been good this year. Only a third of my marigold come tray has come up so far, even after resows. Nasturtiums either didn’t turn up or are all leggy because they’re inside. So I’ve done a new tray of marigold and sown more nasturtiums, candytuft and zinnia. These have all gone into the grow house, with the hope for warmer weather giving them the right growth rate now.

The magnificent tray of morning glory has turned out to be a seed mix up – they’re an unnecessary tray of corn cockle. So I guess some will be donated to home. I’ve packed up some old seed to take and scatter at the plot once the next beds are ready.

I thought I was only going to get 8 (half) of my sweet peas, but not long after pinching out those 8, more seeds have germinated.


I fetched some wood for home from the field yesterday and brought back a big stone too. There was a bunch of broken rock in various sizes, which had been turned up by the plough. I went down to the plot to do the first mow of the year today and added the stone to the pond. It looked great on the beach, blending quite well with the pebbles and green slate.

The forget me not at home is flowering, while my much younger plant is now growing hopeful-looking new shoots. The irises all around the pond have started to fatten up and form flower spikes. I saw three different diving beetles while I was messing about in the water.

The bug hotel looks great, littered with a good mix of things I’ve planted and weeds that have self-sown – and a couple of bulbs that came from the pond soil. The callicarpa looks less great, with some brown leaves. I’m hoping it’s simply wind damage.

There are lots of seedlings coming up in the front bed now. I checked on the veg beds for progress. The cucumbers aren’t up yet, but there are a couple of probably cucurbit seedlings coming up outside the cloches.


Most of the sweet peas have been pinched. Some are a little behind, marked for the future with clippings from the others.

There’s a mystery bulb in Bed 10, which has very suddenly emerged. This was only a flying visit, so I’m still undecided on leaving it here for a bit longer, or getting it into a pot while it’s still young.

The first shoot of the loosestrife has bent in half. I’m not sure if it’s suffered from not being wet enough, but more shoots are coming. I must try and get more earth on it, but if only it would get its roots down to the water, we’d be laughing.



Today turned out to be the day for the woodland corner. In the morning I finished clearing the mint and grass out of the bed under the elder. When I came back after lunch I saw a couple of sparrows on the feeder at last. The soil below was littered with food, which isn’t usually the case, so I must get ground feeders of whatever kind in my absence.

I went to put the hellebore in the front left corner of Bed 3, forgetting that I’d sown seeds there. I started carefully scraping a hole and uncovered a load of germinated candytuft seed!

I put a tile in to try and stop the clump of mint I’ve left from spreading out from below the tree. I put a few grape hyacinth back behind the tile too, to help out.

The bottom go the old bug hotel had completely rotted and just had a slug and a few woodlice inside. I’ve set it into the ground a little, against the fencepost. The hellebore has been planted in front of it.

I planted the three lungwort along the bed, the middle one towards the front to give room for the volunteer hawthorn to grow. I may regret this as the earlier volunteer under the elder is already 3′ tall.

The grape hyacinth bulbs have been separated into smaller clumps and dotted around the main plants. I arranged the last logs I have in the bed and then broadcast sowed larkspur and cornflower. I put a few corn cockle at the back and I hope some morning glory will go back there too. I’ve made another apple and willow screen for them to grow up and to try and keep the grass back a little. There are a couple of holes in the chicken wire which is probably where the hedgehog (which has been back recently) is getting in, so I kept those clear.


The car park had been mown this morning, which was wonderful as we were able to take 4 bags of compost straight to the plot. One went on Bed 6 to build it up, one on Bed 7 and the other two are stored for mulching. Bed 6 is pretty deep now, so could possibly be left next year.

We put up a small wigwam for the cucumbers and I’ve planted the seeds under sealed plastic bottle cloches. I watered around them afterwards, hoping it’ll soak in as needed. A row each of carrot and beetroot is finally sown too.

I gave the perovskias their spring prune, doing it the asparagus way, snapping the branches where they readily snapped. They both have a few leaves coming now.

I moved the foxgloves from near the pond to behind the big log and moved another big potted foxglove to next to the other big transplant. It would be nice if they could settle in and start to spread.

I cut the grass back around the paving slabs and now the gate shuts properly at last. I hadn’t realised how overgrown it all is.

The pond is fine, a little low, so I topped it up with two watering cans to help out.

I broadcast sowed candytuft and godetia at the front of the left bed and put cornflower and corn cockle at the back. Then I covered that with compost. The veronica and physostegia seem to have died back a lot.

I made my first rough apple and willow fencing with my saved and foraged branches for the fence behind the foxgloves. I may be able to get morning glories or nasturtiums climbing up there.


I’ve potted on all the tomatoes and buried them a little in the soil. The Romas look good, while the Red Alerts leave a little to be desired.  It was chilly outside and I protected them as best I could and put them back inside a quickly as possible. So hopefully they won’t have been affected by their time outside.

All the cosmos and trailing nasturtiums have been moved on too. Again, with the hope that they’ll buck up a bit. Not all the bush nasturtiums are up yet. The marigolds have a terrible germination rate so far. I’ve covered the resown seed with a little compost now too as leaving them open to the light had achieved nothing at all.