A Job Well Done

Not by me! A month ago, I shared these images of the blocked grid outside our house.

I emailed the council and they came and cleared it the week of the local elections (2-6 May). Then I received an email from the council saying it was on their To Do list and they’d send someone out in due course. I emailed back to say it had already been done, and thought no more about it.

This morning, a council water tanker appeared and cleaned the grid again; and again. I went out to take some photographs of my garden have a chat. It seems that when today’s crew checked it out, there was still a blockage somewhere along the line but they were going back to the depot to take on more water and would be back after they’d had their lunch. Which they were.

Two hours later and it appears everthing is sorted (at least they didn’t ring the bell to tell us it wasn’t, and I wasn’t cheeky enough to go outside again, so I snuck these photos from behind the bedroom net curtains).

Apparently there are only two of these drain-cleaning lorries to cover the whole of our local authority area – 169 square miles of mixed industrial areas near the coast and less populated rural and hilly/mountain areas inland. As you can see (blue arrow), we are right on the furthest edge, close to the boundary of Wrexham County Borough (the very same that has been accorded City Status for the Diamond Jubilee and is off the edge of this map at bottom right).

My mission – should I chose to accept it – is to “keep an eye on the grid and give it a poke with a stick if anything gets stuck in the top”. I wonder how much I should deduct from our council tax bill for doing that job?

I also wonder, looking at the county boundary on this map, who was allowed to play with the office Etch-a-Sketch!

Six on Saturday: 21 May 2022

Good morning from North Wales where it is cloudy with a chance of rain and we have two full lines of washing and the undercover airer is still filled with the towels we washed yesterday. But we have had plenty of sunny weather this week, so here – as they say – are some I made earlier for Six on Saturday. For some reason best know to themselves, Facebook appear to have removed the ‘Preview’ facility; hopefully everything is in the right place and the right order. Moving on . . .

Aquilegias are ever present in my front garden. Every five years or so, I take against them and dig them all out, only for them to come back again. Shades of pale pink, through deep red to dark purple, and white tipped with palest blue (but difficult to photograph),

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Six on Saturday: 14 May 2022

Good morning from a sunny and warm North Wales. After a few days of breezy west winds, all is calm, which means the pollen is hovering, so I will be spending much of the day indoors. Hubbie has been let loose with a paintbrush again, this time painting the facias around the garage. That should keep him busy ’til lunchtime so I can relax with a coffee and whizz through some SOS posts. Here is my effort for this week’s Six on Saturday (mostly colour co-ordinated).

Heuchera ‘Marmalade in the shadiest border, looking lovely with its newer foliage. Time to remove the old leaves?

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The Tomato Diaries: 2022 – Spring


I’ve sown tomato seeds in root trainers this year. I have nine rows with five cells in each and, purely by coincidence, a total of forty-five seeds – one for each cell.

I’m trying cherry tomatoes and succession sowing. These varieties are all determinate (each individual plant will fruit at the same time) and I want to be able to enjoy them without having them for every meal.

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Six on Saturday: 7 May 2022

Did you like the rain I ordered last week? My garden did – everything stood up straight instead of drooping about like sullen teenagers. Since then, it’s been a mixed bag and I’ve been doing the seedling Hokey Cokey – in, out, and shuffling them all about. Salads, peas and bean are all ready to plant out, but have we seen the last of the frost, or will it return? I might just risk it. Here are this week’s offerings for Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator.

These won’t be the first, or the last, images of clematis Montana in my Shady Border. The pink has been flowering for a couple of weeks, the white has opened this week.

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April in the Garden and Greenhouse

What’s hot – and what’s not – in my tiny garden this month.

If you think certain things are missing this year, fear not! I have ongoing and separate posts for tomatoes, potatoes, the allotment, and even loofahs! Yes, this year – along with Monty Don on Gardener’s World – I am attempting to grow loofahs; in my case to use as dish and pan scrubs. I bought my seeds from the internet last year for this very purpose. I’m also growing peas and beans, and new this year, chrysanthemums and dahlias,

Verbena Bonariensis

After germinating and growing just one plant in 2021, I am trying again. With conflicting advice on the internet, I sowed seed onto damp compost and covered it with grit. Suggestions were to put the tray into a polythene bag on a warm windowsill; to cover it with black plastic; to leave it in an unheated greenhouse – which is what I have done. I will not water again until I see seedlings. Fingers crossed.

Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant)

This has FOUR flower stalks! I’ve only had one other flower (November 2019) so I am very excited and will put off splitting it until the flowers are finished. It overwintered in the Tiny Greenhouse but will shortly move outside.


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A Nice Surprise

It’s amazing what you find buried deep in a cupboard while looking for something else!

We have some new members at the allotment who, judging by posts and comments on our Facebook page, have – as yet – little or no knowledge of growing vegetables. As our AGM takes place tomorrow (on May Bank Holiday Sunday) I thought it might be a good idea to take my old copies (2020-2021) of Kitchen Garden magazine for people to borrow and return, as a resource library.

It’s pointless leaving books which will only be destroyed by the local youths who somehow manage to get in, but they might leave magazines alone for a while.

Anyway, back to my find:

Six RHS practical guides. At £4.99 each they would have been too costly to buy singly, so probably I bought through a book club (when we were allowed such things in our workplace).

They were printed in 1999, but the information and guidance is just as valid now as it was 23 years ago, though varieties may have changed. I shall look forward to browsing through them. I can skip the lawn care part as I don’t have one 😃

Besides, May is no-mow month!