Monday 4 May 2015

MIL's garden

Jane and I have been away for a few days, visiting her mother, who lives near Warrington. Since it is a long way for us to go, we don't go very often, and when we do we usually end up doing lots of "sorting out" - arranging things that Jane's Mum either can't do herself or doesn't like doing. One of the jobs undertaken this time was to arrange for someone to attend to her garden, which is very neglected these days. The garden is only small, but maintaining it is completely beyond the capability of someone who is nearly 90. In all honesty though it wouldn't take a huge effort to return the garden to respectability. In amongst the weeds and overgrown grass there are some nice plants.

I seem to recall having a debate with some of my readers a while ago about this one. Is it a Californian Poppy? Is it a Welsh Poppy?

There are lots of Aquilegias in the garden, although mostly they are plain pink or blue ones.

 This patch of Centaurea Montana (Perennial Cornflower) was looking very lush, although the flowers were still in tight bud.

Down by the back fence there is a big Redcurrant bush, its base concealed in foot-high grass, and a mass of Wild Garlic leaves.

The bush is "dripping" with flowers.

Many of them are already setting into currants.

Unfortunately the back fence is almost obscured by huge swathes of Goose Grass, aka Cleavers or Stickyweed.

It has even made its way into the deserted greenhouse, which in former years would have been packed with Tomato plants at this time of year. Desiccated and bleached white by the sun, the dead Goose Grass looks strangely sinister.

Round the side of the house, where a pile of mostly broken pots lurks, a patch of Golden Marjoram is enjoying being undisturbed.

There were plenty of these lurking there too...

I suspect that this clump of succulent Hosta will not remain in pristine condition for much longer, since Hosta is famously enjoyed by slugs and snails around the world.

I doubt whether these Bluebells were deliberately planted, because they seem to spring up in every piece of neglected land, but they look beautiful nonetheless.

We hope that the arrangement that has been made will result in some order being restored to MIL's garden. I doubt that the gardener will make it pretty though. Tidy is the best we can expect.


  1. You can tell the difference between the Welsh and Californian poppy by the foliage. Californian poppy has the smaller silvery leaf. Lovely plants in the garden.

  2. California poppy flowers always face up, and the flowers close when it's not sunny. I don't know about Welsh poppies, but the flower you picture is NOT a California poppy.

  3. How nice that you help tidy things up for your MIL when you visit. I sometimes find it easier to tidy up others gardens than I do my own!

  4. That desiccated goosegrass looks as though it is just waiting to throw out more seed,

  5. I was walking through the neighborhood today and noticed a lot of old neglected gardens that were probably very pretty in their time. But the hardiest of the plants take over if given the chance. Around here that means a lot of ivies and creeping phlox.

  6. From CA- Helen is correct.


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