brown beetle
Beetle Agonum Marginatum

We saw this large golden brown beetle sat on some cow parsley alongside the River Thames yesterday.

I’m not entirely sure which particular species it is but I am guessing it’s a Agonum Marginatum beetle.

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mayfly on bridge

Mayflies along the River Thames

On a stroll along the River Thames between Shiplake and Wargrave today, the mayflies were out in force. Doing thier thing of hovering up, dropping back down and repeating non stop, no doubt in search of a mate to complete their short life cycle.

mayfly river thames


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sun flower growing competitionline

..and so the annual Garden Posts Sunflower growing competition commences.

Who will grow the tallest Sunflower this year?

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cow parsley
Cow Parsley – Anthriscus Sylvestris

Cow Parsley growing in the dappled sunshine in the hedgerows of England at this time of year is as good as any cultivated flower in my opinion.

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bean shoot eaten

An uninvited guest has been eating bean shoots in my greenhouse shortly after the seeds have germinated.

This is the third case of the missing shoot and the culprit has yet to be identified, however, as soon as he or she is caught in the act, justice will be served swiftly.

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swing seat
Garden Swing Seat from Sitting Spiritually

Ever since we moved into this house, we have been looking for a wooden garden swing seat, however, every time we went to look at any, we were never impressed with how durable they appeared. That was until we visited RHS Wisely and sat on one overlooking the Trial Fields.

This seat was well built, incredibly comfortable and looked like it would last for years and years.

We discovered the seat was made by Sitting Spiritually. So, one Sunday afternoon, I sent them a contact form via their website and to my surprise I got a call back within minutes (on a Sunday!). I was impressed.

We ended up ordering the same design we had sat on at Wisely. It’s a 3 seater Tranquility in oak with fan back, steel suspension springs and wine shelves (of course).

When the bench was finished, Sitting Spiritually emailed over photos of our seat before collecting the outstanding balance and arranging delivery.

swing seat in workshop

The seat was delivered at exactly the time promised and was erected onsite by the delivery company.

Here are a few picture of our seat in place.

swing seat fan back







swing seat sitting spiritually logo

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bee on wild strawberries


Here we are on a relativity cold and damp May day and the bees are busying away preparing the wild strawberries.

Judging by the number of flowers, I think we could be in for a bumper crop this year.

Here’s to thinking of a bowl full of wild strawberries and cream and maybe even a glass of something fizzy.

bees on wild strawberries


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Tomatillio – Physalis Philadelphica

Last year I had some great results growing cucamelon which were seeds from the James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution seed collection, so I thought I would try some more of his unusual seeds this year.

This is a first for me – growing Tomatillo. I sowed the seeds in individual seed pods using John Innes seed compost and popped them in a heated propagator in the greenhouse.

As you can see, the seeds all germinated nicely, however, I suspect I was a little slow in getting them out of the propagator and into more natural light. They have shot a little tall, searching out more light, than I would have liked.

My plan is to do what I would do with normal tomatoes and plant them deep when I plant them on.

Wish me luck.

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cape gooseberry
Growing Cape Gooseberry (Physalis Peruviana)

Cape Gooseberry is the fruit of the Physalis Peruviana plant. The fruit is sometimes called Inca Berry, Aztec Berry, Golden Berry and a number of other things around the world.

I sowed the seeds back in early March, about 10mm deep using John Innes Seed Compost in individual pods, then placed them in a heated propagator in the greenhouse.

cape gooseberry seedlings
Cape Gooseberry Seeds & Seedlings

Every seed germinated nicely and have been growing nicely in the greenhouse ever since.

cape gooseberry seedlings 2
Cape Gooseberry Seedlings

As the seedlings are now about 3 – 4 inches tall, I decided it was time to pot them on.

I potted them on into individual pots using John Innes No.1 and they are back in the unheated greenhouse growing nicely.

potted on cape gooseberry
Physalis Peruviana Plants

I anticipate planting them out into grow bags or individual 30cm pots later in May.

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pea meteor seeds
Pea Meteor Seeds

Once my pea ‘meteor’ crop was over, I left the last of the pods on the plant to dry out.

As you can see, the pods have completely dried out, so before the rain came today, I collected a good number of them and tucked them away in a brown bag, ready for next year.

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sweet pea flowers
Sweet Pea Flowers

These are some sweet peas that were sown in pots in the greenhouse in early spring. The tops were pinched out when they were about 7 inches tall. I then potted them on individually, before transplanting into a large terracotta pot, placed outside in late spring.

The seeds are ones I collected in January 2011, so these ones were free!

flowering sweet pea
Flowering Sweet Peas

Related links:
Sowing Sweet Pea Seeds
Collecting Sweet Pea Seeds

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