Trip to Tokyo for the Cherry Blossom

In April 2018 we were back in Tokyo to see the fantastic cherry blossoms.

Our Koi Pond

Regular readers will have followed the progress of our Koi Bond build, heres the finished result

Singapore Botanic Garden

Whilst in Singapore we visited the botanic gardens, a fantastic explosion of tropical and exotic plants.

Colourful pots

The summer of 2016 saw the addition of a number of colourful pots tp the top patio

Phoenix from the Flames

After the fire came rebuilding and our new Jungle Hut is better than ever!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pyrrosia sheareri

Outside the jungle hut we have a selection of ferns, one of which is Pyrrosia sheareri which comes from Taiwan.

Pot grown for the last three to four years it has proved reliably hardy for us (although recent winters have been reasonably mild in comparison to the years before.

Pyrrosia sheareri
Pyrrosia sheareri with Mark for scale

The fronds can reach up to 60 - 75cm, although ours hasn't reached this yet, the new growth is a lighter green before the mature leaves darken with a glossy almost leathery texture. Apparently it is fond of a free draining humus rich soil, we have grown ours in a pot and it seems quite happy so far.

Pyrrosia sheareri
I'm tempted to try and divide this, but as its looking so good and it has a reputation for being tricky to propagate, we may leave it for a while longer yet. 


Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Blue Pots update

Over the years we have regularly returned to the blue pots at the front of our house. Our front garden is very much on the small side, and when we move in 15 years ago it was a completely baron driveway, block paved and devoid of all live. Over the years we have made a few changes - although the need for a parking space has always limited what we were able to do. A few years back we erected railings and planted a cherry tree. But the long term feature has been a series of blue pots that have featured more than a few times on the blog.

With visits out and about curtailed we thought we would turn our attention back to the pots. The succulents have filled out, and seem to like the south facing position up against the house. There is a radiator on the other side of the curved wall for the bay window which presumably leaks some heat over winter. That said the last few winters have been pretty mild,so we haven't had many low temperatures or much in the way of snow to worry things.

Mark giving everything the once over.

The Cherry - prunus nigra has started to fill out and help give the small spot some height and a bit more of a garden feel.
Three years back  and the plants in the corner by the porch were filling the space, however by yesterday they needed a little more room.


2020 - we spaced the pots out a little more.

On the other side of the bay window, not quite such dramatic growth, although everything seems to be thriving in the pots.

Trichocereus terscheckii by the front door. Often gets comments from passers by.

Aloe polyphylla

Echeveria rosea

It's been a while since we last blogged, work commitments, travel and simply spending time in the garden has meant less spare time in recent years, however we will try and not leave it quite so long until the next one!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Perfect Pots

Although we are keen outdoor gardeners we had often had a poor success rate with house plants, sometimes joking that rather than having green fingers we had the touch of death. This probably came from concentrating our efforts on the garden outside rather than those in the house.

In recent years however, this has changed. The main reason was the addition of a conservatory in the summer of 2013 and a new interest in growing plants in doors. Typically we have steered away from the more usual house plants, opting to grow several agave and aloes.

Of course with house plants, comes the need for pots. In the garden we have used a number of unusual pots or repurposed other objects for something more unusual. However in the house we have not always been able to find the perfect pot.

I'm sure we are not alone in wanting something a little different from the typical pots available, and neither are James and Eleanor at who fell in love with the styles from 1960s Germany. They have set out to bring back a number of these classic designs from the same factories as the originals.

They very kindly sent us the Fernand, amodern plant pot manufactured in Germany by Otto Keramik exclusively for them.

The Fernanda names means 'Adventurous' and features a very bright orange glaze poured on top of a light summery matt blue base as the glaze is applied by hand, each pot is totally unique.

Fernanda from
An instant hit in out kitchen, with the vivid orange complementing the orange bull from Habitat.

As well as a number of other contemporary interpretations of mid century German style they also have a number of retro pots available for sale.

A selection of the pots available
This really is a lovely piece, very well made, with great colours echoing the 60s, I'm sure one or two more of their pots will find a way into our home, and with prices from just £12 these instant classics will not break the bank.


Friday, July 06, 2018

Garden Miscellany

Looking through some of the garden photos we've taken recently, there are those odd photos that roused our interest but not so much to dedicate an entire post about them.

So it's best to combine then in one post instead. A few of our garden miscellany...

Not many gardeners nowadays would recommend or deliberately plant running bamboos near fences or in such a tight space (gardening shows here in the early noughties seemed to have the penchant for doing just that).

Well we have several of such and as part of our maintenance of these plants is to leave surrounding paving stones loose so they can be lifted every so often, to check on rhizomes bidding to escape. Any rhizomes that do just gets cut off then the stone put back into place, easy peasy!

As well as growing plants we also like growing koi from small fish and these lot were maturing inside our growing on pond all of last year right up until a few weeks ago when most were already big enough to be moved to the big pond. And with space created in the growing on pond....

We just had to buy new ones to grow on. Eat up and get big boys and girls!

The Schefflera rhododendrifolia we have on the first raised bed near the koi pond always does this every spring. Not all of the buds survive though but it's a fascinating phenomenon and keep the plant looking 'lush' rather than umbrella like.

And to finish this miscellany...

The first time flowering of this Yucca recurvifolia, fantastic isn't it?

Mark :-)

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Hong Kong: Goldfish, Flower, and Bird Market

We spent a week in May exploring the urban jungle of a city that is Hong Kong. Suffice to say that we took so many photos and even more potential topics about our visit that it's almost too daunting to start this series. But if I get the ball rolling...

Perhaps if I begin by featuring our visit to three quirky markets that were adjacent to each other: The Goldfish, Flower, and Bird Market.

I first heard about the Goldfish market many years ago so when we pencilled in a trip to Hong Kong this was one the first ones I've jotted in as part of our itinerary. Despite the name 'Goldfish' they sell so much more than that but practically anything that is alive and can be kept in an aquarium. So it's an aquatics market, but there's something very quirky about this living pet fish market...

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Post Mortem Embrace

As I was tidying and removing some of the dead plants still dotted around the garden last weekend I noticed this in our utility area (i.e. where some dead plants are also stored to be sorted out later):

It's like the long dead Cyathea australis giving the newly dead Yucca thompsoniana a cuddle,  a post mortem embrace. Perhaps it is giving it commiseration or a welcome to plant hades.

The Yucca came to us many years ago bare root and needing TLC so it stayed in the greenhouse for quite some time. Not long after being repotted it flowered which took up a lot of energy from an already ailing plant. And instead of re-rooting, all pre existing roots that it had rotted away instead. It was a slow death for the poor plant as it lingered in the greenhouse for years, finally succumbing this spring despite being given special care all through those times. Nevermind. And so the remaining trunk is now stashed with other architectural lifeless plant bodies in the utility area.

And speaking of demise after flowering, one of my favourite bamboos in the garden, a very slow growing one yet so beautiful with its bright yellow culms with green stripe on its sulcus is flowering...

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

In Beautiful Brugge

This is going to be a bit of a retro post, rewinding back to the 5th of May when we spent a long weekend in the beautiful medieval city of Brugge.

It is one of those cities that is achingly beautiful and truly lives up to its hype of being breathtaking to behold.