Thursday, 23 January 2014

My Fledgling Garden

On a day like today it's hard to imagine my garden bursting into a riot of colour and fancy. On a typical day I will look up from the washing machine, and out of my utility room window onto the garden, at least a dozen times. I half expect to see a miraculous change out there. Some flower waving hello to me from the borders. A little Snow Drop or Crocus. A Daffodil or two would be nice. I am impatient to see it all start up again.

My garden is no retreat or haven at this time of the year. Yes I have managed to spend the odd hour out there, and I am pleased with what I have achieved. But I fear I may be a fair weather gardener; expecting so much from it, and begrudging giving anything in return. It's so easy to waft around during the Spring and Summer months congratulating myself on my hard work and efforts, and reaping the rewards of cut flowers, fruit and vegetables from this little patch. At this time of the year all the garden is used for is to run the gauntlet in order to open the hen house, feed and water the girls, and dash back into the warmth again. Poor unloved garden.

The ground is saturated from all the rain we have been experiencing here in West Cornwall. The colours outside are grey, the light being so poor at the moment. My garden has a northern aspect, so sun doesn't reach us at this time of year. It's hibernation weather, and we bunk down inside watching the rain pelt against the windows. So what to do when I feel so utterly detached from the garden?

Why write a list of course.

1. Choose your veg and flower seed from Sarah Raven and Chiltern Seeds. Order them (check).

2. Take down some favourite gardening books for inspiration and a reminder of what lies ahead (check).

3. Go out into the greenhouse. Tidy. Root out any little pests with shells and ask them to leave (check).

4. Make a note of dwindling supplies - Tomotorite, Baby Bio, slug pellets, twine etc (check).

5. Buy multi purpose and seedling compost for beds, borders and pots (check).


After the list and the action upon said list and the sense of satisfaction, I wandered out  into the garden for a little while today. The rose bushes are already sprouting little leaves. I am ecstatic. I can almost see and smell those beautiful blooms to be. And I noticed green shoots poking through the soil. Not just here or there but everywhere. The Camellia has tight white buds. Not quite ready to unfurl, but it's a promise of what's to come. There are buds on the Hydrangeas, the Forsythia. Everywhere in fact. My garden is alive and growing and it's got on with it quite happily and without complaint. Fantastic!

So for any fellow fair weather gardeners out there, take a little wander outside into your garden and have a look see. You'll be amazed at what's going on, and maybe like me it will spur you onto an easy bit of early Spring gardening. This involves pots and Anemone and Ranunculus corns. Basically it's never too late to plant up some pots. It takes literally no time or effort, and providing you give them some shelter and keep half an eye on them, you should have a lovely late Spring display to place wherever takes your fancy.

I know people who have planted Daffodil bulbs as late as February and seen them flower later in the year. So go for it. Go on. Take the children to the garden centre and let them choose a couple of packs of brightly coloured Tulip bulbs. Get them to plant them while you supervise with a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

To make it even easier I shall provide the bulbs. A little giveaway from this fledgling gardener. I have a box of 20 yellow Ranunculus bulbs and 20 Double Anemone bulbs up for grabs.

These are perennial plants that should flower year upon year. They are hardy and make super cut flowers too. You can plant them in pots for summer flowering this year. A beautiful pairing of form and colour. But why not plant some of your own anyway. You can never have too many flowers.

Just let me know in the comments section if you'd like to be entered, and I shall draw a winner from the trusty hat this time next week. It's open outside the UK too. Good luck!

Leanne xx


  1. I love your gardening posts. It sounds like such a rainy winter you're having but I'm really glad you can see the potential in your garden. It will be spring soon enough. I think the plants are ahead there; most of mine haven't done anything yet. The winter jasmine bloomed several weeks early, but I don't really understand this because I thought our winter had mostly been colder than normal so far. Maybe I have it backward and winter jasmine likes it colder? I look forward to seeing your garden in bloom again, it was gorgeous last summer. I would love to be entered in your giveaway but I have no idea whether they would grow here...hmm.

  2. i love your gardening posts! erm me me me me!!! xxxx

  3. It sounds as though all of your plans and lists are coming along nicely. It is horrid when you want to get out and start to do things and you are stuck indoors at this time of year. I would love to be entered info your giveaway Leanne as I have never grown either of these plants and I would be intrigued to give them a try! Hope that you can get out and do some gardening soon. xx

  4. As always Leanne I have enjoyed your post. All will reveal itself in the fullness of time. Ranunculus are my all time favourite. They remind me if the song Paper Roses. Your garden will be with you, walking by your side so soon x x x

  5. Despite the rain and the greyness, this was a very uplifting post Leanne. I have a long to-do list for the garden and the allotment, I'm waiting, waiting for a drier spell. The giveaway is lovely, count me in please. I do so enjoy your garden posts, they never fail to inspire me. In fact, I'm off right now to check the weather forecast.

  6. I don't even count as a fair weather gardener but once a year in spring I get into action and plant flowering plants. Never with much planning or thought I am afraid. After reading your post I am inspired to go and wander through our back garden and look for signs of awakening. Must cover the rhubarb, too. I have 6 snow drops in the front garden.
    I do love ranunculi and anemone but never planted them before, so please, count me in for your lovely giveaway. What a great idea! Cx

  7. Oooh I am so excited! I've been following your gentle words of encouragement and had already vowed to give it a go when I saw your giveaway. I lack confidence and haven't ever grown anything from seed, corn or bulb before as I can't seem to believe that it will actually flower. I think I'm still haunted by being the only child in my class to kill my watercress.... So please count me in, thank you! x

  8. Lovely!! I like your approach to gardening. I'm good at lists. Anemone and ranunculus are favourites of mine. Xx

  9. I have just found you and am envious of your garden, although we are protected from most weather extremes by the Wash nothing is moving much yet. I do have the pointy green spears of daffodils pushing through in bold defiance, by the hundreds, a pointer to future colour. I was given several large sacks of bulbs from a small holding closure a few years back, as there were so many I shared them with my neighbours and for a few weeks each spring our gardens become co ordinated. I would love to be part of your giveaway. Pam

  10. Lovely post and fab sounding giveaway please count me in x

  11. I love a giveaway, if I win and you're not able to post to me, I give you permission to randomly pick someone local to you out of a hat to win on my behalf........ Xx

  12. Helloo, I am just trying to catch up with reading and YES YES YES please enter my little name for the giveaway. I would love to have a little piece of the so called 'fledging garden' in my garden. Thanks for the fabulous chance. Sending much love xoxo