The View from the Back Door

Every morning, I pull on my boots to take Morris the fox terrier for a walk and open the back door. Each day the view changes imperceptibly. This is the current view.

herb bed

Four raised herb beds outside the back door, though this bed has been infiltrated by lady’s mantle, antirrhinum and aquilegia, which can stay because I like them. Just close enough to dash out barefoot to grab a few herbs mid-way through cooking.

hen on chair

The fruit trees just beyond the herb beds. It’s good to see that this chair is getting some use. In my mind, I spend lazy Sunday afternoons sitting in the shade of the crab apple tree reading a good book.  In reality, the hen makes more use of the chair.


Every time I walk through this rose arch, I breathe in the delicious scent of the roses and brush past the lavender. There is a bit of ducking as I pass through the arch (must push back that branch so that it grows over the arch and not across) and a little sidestep to avoid the stinging nettles (must pull them out). While the roses are flowering, the pathway is strewn with rose petals, which would be rather more romantic if the main user of the path wasn’t the postman. I hope Colin appreciates them.


first day of summer rain on the window

This is the view today before I opened the back door. Rain. And then more Rain. On the first day of summer. Let’s hope it isn’t a foretaste of the months ahead.

What do you see from your back door? Put up some photos somewhere, send me the link and I’ll share it here. It would be good to know what we all see.

Here are some views from back doors:

Helen at Silverbells Steps Out

Elizabeth on Instagram

Brian at Our Garden@19

And for more views of wonderful gardens, take a look at these:

Jane at The Shady Baker

Cecilia at The Kitchens Garden

Jessica at Rusty Duck

Sam at A Coastal Plot

Julie at Frog Pond Farm



Things to love about February

February lacks the newness of January, there’s not much to do in the garden that doesn’t involve getting very muddy boots and sometimes it feels a bit of a “nothing” month as winter drags to a close. But, there are some things to love about February …

laying the fire

Daily rituals, like laying the fire – building up the layers of newspaper, natural firelighters (dried orange peel and walnut shells), starting sticks and logs – and then lighting it in the evening. Bill and I have different methods of laying the fire and neither of us seem able to light it easily if the other has laid it. Thankfully, the wood-burner is no longer the only way we heat our house though as we’re pretty mean about turning up the thermostat on the central heating, the fire makes the difference between sitting comfortably in the evenings or wrapping up in a rug and still having freezing feet.

frost on gatepost

Frosty mornings. This winter has been mild, with daffodils flowering back in December, but we’ve had a few frosty mornings recently. The shaded west facing side of the gatepost holds onto its white coat until the morning sun moves southwards and warms it up.

Morris in sunshine

The low winter sun shining through the windows. Sometimes, I wonder if Morris the fox terrier is smarter than me, when he spends his day moving around the house to doze in a ray of sunshine while I sit freezing in the office trying to reconcile the VAT.


The knowledge that springtime isn’t far away. There are primroses flowering alongside the track in the fields and the first violets and polyanthus are just showing their flowers in the garden, even if they are tinged with frost first thing in the morning. The days are lengthening and we’ve passed the magic day when the ducks and hens don’t need shutting up until after five. I’m not sure why, but it always seems significant.

Do you like February? Or are you looking forward to March?

the garden in May



Smelling: lilac

Sowing: runner beans, French beans, carrots, beetroot and salad leaves

Harvesting: asparagus and rhubarb

Watching: parsley and chard go to seed

vegetable garden in May

Some years our vegetable planting is planned in January, seeds are bought in good time and diligently sown in gutters in the greenhouse or in well prepared seed beds in the garden. But some years, there are so many distractions that planning and forethought go out of the window. 2015 is proving to be one of those years.


We sketched out the planting plan on the back of the envelope back in January but the envelope inadvertently disappeared into the recycling bin so everything has been sown a little haphazardly. Then the guinea fowl decided that Bill’s beautifully prepared seedbeds were perfect for dust baths and decimated the newly emerged carrots and beetroot. Words were spoken. Guinea fowl and shooting were mentioned in the same sentence. Netting has since been erected.


under the apple trees

The flower border consists mainly of perennials and self-sown flowers and weeds. I’m not much of a flower gardener and often mistakenly pull out the flower seedlings while nurturing what turns out to be a massive weed. That’s fine if the weed is pretty, but alas they rarely are. Each May is a surprise as the border erupts into colour, while under the apple trees the forget-me-not and cow parsley push through the long grass.

All with very little effort on my part. My sort of gardening.