Spring 2020

Wow, has it really been 5 years since I updated my Hunts End garden blog!

October 2019

For my 49th birthday, mum gave me an Opal plum tree.

In the rain on the 27th October I cleared a spot close to my pond and planted it following the instructions. I am looking forward to many years of blossom and fruit.

February 2020

February 2020

After weeks of rain, the strong winds toppled a tree towards the bottom of the garden. The rickety bottom bridge now leads to nowhere and will finally need to be replaced. A long overdue job!

March 29th 2020

29th March 2020

The first blossoms appear on the Opal plum tree. Aconites all around the base of the tree.

The lavender garden

5th April 2020
1st June 2020

Now in it’s 10th year the lavender garden continues to frustrate me. The lavender has never really flourished and filled out the patch. It is probably much too dry. This year I have allowed giant poppies to grow between the lavender plants, they love the dryness. I also planted my acer tree in the centre of the garden after being in a pot for 19 years. I will be interested to see how it enjoys the space.

Wall flowers in the front garden

11th April 202
11th April 2020

The wall flowers love the front garden. It is an area that is protected from wind. It gets full sun from morning until lunch time. The soil is shallow and poor quality.

The front garden hedge

April 202

I have pulled out all of the ivy and weeds that tangled their way through the front hedge. A lot of the hedge was dead and so that was also removed. It took about three weekends to clear out all of the dead. New privet has been planted in the gaps. I also sowed some everlasting sweet pea seeds that I hope will trail through the hedge. Daffodils and hollyhocks do well in this area as does the buddleia.


Hollyhocks 19th April 2020
Sweet peas end of May 202

I have been sowing some seeds this year. I enjoyed making my own planters out of old containers. Hollyhocks and sweet peas. Some seeds were collected last year from the dead heads.

May 2020

Bridge building

Using the thicker branches and the trunk of the tree that blew down in February, I created a raised garden where the old bridge used to be. Lilly’s have been planted in the middle and a mixture of plants that will produce white and yellow flowers have been added. All should be okay in the partial shade.


Early May 2015

Amigo checks the posts

Amigo checks the posts

This is Amigo, he is the latest horse to spend some time in the neighbouring paddock. He is very friendly.

Potatoes Early May 15

Potatoes Early May 15

The potatoes have put on a good growth spurt.

When they were about 6-8″ high I banked the soil up over the leaves.

Cauliflower Igloo

Cauliflower Igloo

I decided to sow some Cauliflower seeds in the little bare patch at the end of the row of garlic.

Cauliflower Igloo ‘ trouble free to grow and very productive. This is perfect for growing in small gardens or where space is limited.

Sow into well prepared seed bed drills, thinning seedlings to 2.5cm apart when they have 5 or 6 leaves continue to thin allowing 20cm between plants.

Lavender May 15

Lavender May 15

I weeded the lavender garden and the plants are already rather large.

30th April 2015

IMG_4122Rhubarb April 2015

Both Rhubarb plants have started to grow. I admit that during February and March I had nearly given up on them both.

I know that I won’t get any sticks of rhubarb this year but I am looking forward to the first rhubarb crumble of 2016!

I imagine that the plant behind the compost heap will produce the best growth.

PrimrosesIt has been a good year for Primroses. Not only in Hunts End Garden but also along the hedgerows and over the fields where Max and I walk every morning and evening. The Primroses in the picture above are next to the bottom bridge over the pond.

Cherry blossom tree

The blossom tree is looking beautiful now (end of April)

The lawn has had two cuts and I have sown some grass seed to fill the bald patches

The daffodils have finished


The potatoes are starting to grow, but no sign of the parsnips yet


I have had to put up a complete new wire fence to keep Buddy and Jack (Susan’s dogs) from escaping across the paddock. It wasn’t a problem to begin with but when they started returning home smelling of horse manure… and then they decided that exploring the paddock wasn’t enough, and they ventured further.

Although difficult to see, the pictures are before and after.

22nd March 2015

I planted three rows of potatoes in the veggie patch this weekend. They had been in egg boxes in the dining room since the end of January producing small sprouts. Desiree and Jersey Royals.

I planted them about 25cm apart about 10cm deep. I need to earth up when the shoots are about 20cm above the ground. Hopefully the crop will be ready to harvest June/July

Desiree potatoes

Whilst I was working on the veggie patch I noticed quite a few frogs splashing in the pond. On closer inspection I can see the first few clumps of frogspawn has been laid.

Frogspawn 21/03/15

Before pruning

Before pruning

I did some pruning around the large apple tree. Clearing some of the brambles that climb all over the tree and hang down to the ground making mowing the lawn a pain.

After pruning

After pruning

7th March 2015

I took advantage of the milder weather to dig over the vegetable patch.

I removed several sprouting bulbs which I re-planted together next to the pond and I also removed quite a bit of sprouting cow parsley, trying to make sure that I did not miss any bits of root.

Parsnip Gladiator

I sowed a row of parsnip seeds. Parsnips are one of my favourite vegetables and so I will be very pleased if these grow and can be harvested, cooked and eaten with a roast dinner.

A shallow drill of parsnip seeds

A shallow drill of parsnip seeds

Two or three seeds at intervals of approx. 15cm in a shallow drill. When the seedlings appear I need to remove all but the strongest. The crop should be ready from September onwards. The flavour improves once parsnips have experienced sub-zero temperatures and so wait until after the first frost.

Onions and garlic March 2015

Onions and garlic March 2015

My onions and garlic seem to be doing okay. I’m not sure how large they should be at this stage but with warmer weather approaching I hope to see a growth spurt soon.

Rhubarb March 2015

Rhubarb March 2015

You will need to look very closely at the picture to spot it, but I am pleased to report that the rhubarb tuber that I planted behind the compost is at long last starting to show signs of growth. To be honest I had virtually given up hope of it growing at all. The other tuber of rhubarb is still where I planted it and so fingers crossed it may start growing soon too.

25th January 2015

Update from the veggie patch.

I counted 18 onion sets growing well and 17 garlic bulbs at various states of growth.

I think that the horses may have been able to reach one end of my row of garlic bulbs.


Edit: I have just been reading my blog back (18th October I planted a full row of 18 onions and only a part row of 18 garlic bulbs) so it appears only one garlic hasn’t made it to the 3 month stage. 

18th January 2015

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Not much activity in the garden during the last 8 weeks, just some clearing of the oak leaves that fall from the avenue of giant oaks that run along the bottom of mine and neighbours gardens. A very wet winter sees the pond and ditch very full.

Shoots from Bluebells and daffodils are pushng up through the lawn and the Aconites are providing a blanket of yellow flowers.

IMG_6875 IMG_6872 IMG_6866

I have a few jobs planned for 2015 including repairs to the bridge over the ditch and sowing grass seed behind the pond and in front of the fence near to the shed.

IMG_6874 IMG_6871

The onions and garlic are growing well in the vegetable plot. The netting frame that covered the plot was taken into the paddock by the inquisitive horses so I had to re-think. Only low level vegetables can be grown closest to the fence otherwise it will just become free food for my four legged friends. I covered the onions with a poly-tunnel to help protect them against Daphne and the other hens.


1st November 2014

Another warm Saturday, especially for the time of year (18 degrees) so a bit more time in Huntsendgarden.

A bit of tidying up. Trimmed the front hedge and cut back the plants against the front of the cottage. Dead headed the Hollyhocks and the Acanthus. In the back garden I trimmed the blackberry runners that were hanging from the cooking apple tree.

The connectors to make the frame for netting the vegetable patch arrived during the week so I constructed a simple frame with bamboo canes and some netting from work. Hopefully it will protect the garlic and onions when they start to sprout from next doors chickens.

This should stop the chickens

This should stop the chickens

26th October 2014

Clocks went back last night so thats the end of British summertime. I was going to spend the day inside starting some decorating but the sound of lawnmowers in neighbours gardens tempted me out into Huntsendgarden.

Final cut of the lawn 2014

Final cut of the lawn 2014

Where the trampoline was :/

Where the trampoline was :/

The final cut of the lawn (although I thought I’d done that three weeks ago).  I have moved the trampoline to a new position for a few weeks as the ground under is really suffering.

I put some chicken wire over the vegetable patch because next doors chicken has been pecking around in the compost. I hope to get some sort of net frame in the next few weeks to help with protection.

Temporary protection from the chickens

Temporary protection from the chickens

Although it has been one of the warmest and driest summers for a long time, the pond is already filling up. It didn’t dry right out during the summer. I counted the five fish yesterday, I wonder if there will be five come March..

Pond 26th October 2014

Pond 26th October 2014

18th October 2014 part II

Pruned the lavender bushes to about 15cm high

Lavender garden October 2014

Lavender garden October 2014

Planting the lavender garden with Andrew July 2011

When digging behind the black compost bin ready for the rhubarb I removed several clumps of sprouting bulbs. I planted these below the tree with the climbing rose, that is next to the bench.

I wonder what will come up??