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 i think the two  eldest grankids  have the bug passed through the generations , rest easy  archie thomas 



Yes I know these are not pics of a beautiful garden, these are my wild tomatoes and pansies. This is my second year of gardening but it has been like my first. Last year the only thing that survived was potatoes, the slugs ate everything else and what was not eaten by slugs got killed by over feeding, too much rain etc. Well this year my garden has been a source of constant joy and also some disappointment and constant worry. I don't really know what I am doing and I have operated a policy of if it looks fine don't touch it, if it looks sick try fertiliser, water, pruning (hesitantly) and prayer (seriously). Well this year results have been mixed, we have mastered the slugs completely (yipee) but the caterpillars are vicious. I have had bumper crops of lettuce all summer, lots of peas, very small onions (due to not feeding), some coriander and basil, two chillies (yes two) and at the moment I am holding my breath for the tomatoes. I don't want to touch them in case I do something wrong, hence the wild look but I am constantly worrying that some bug will go on attack and I will wake up one morning with no tomatoes left. Also holding my breath for the carrots hoping they have not been attacked by carrot fly which I have heard horror stories about and have lots of little squash but I  don't know if they will get mature as no luck last year. I gave up on cabbage and cauliflower and pulled them out as it seems I was just providing food for caterpillars and have to accept defeat with the maize as late sun meant they only germinated after 3 attempts so they will probably not be ready in time.


I have a similar policy, comp. My garden understands me, if its neglected then it has to man up or go. I understand my garden , if it goes  I sulk and move on. But I have to say the balance is changing as I learn and its me that's manning up and trying harder, and the garden is smiling (smirking) even more brightly.

John Harding

Haven't been on the forum for a while so Hi again everyone. I'm having to study to produce a 4 hour tutorial for Telford International centre in September on the safe use of Abrasive wheels to PUWER Regs (Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) so that has been taking a lot of my time.

So far as the garden goes we've been inundated with Courgettes [about 100 picked so far] - have been supplying family & friends: Tomatoes are getting towards the end but still picking quite a few each day. The Great White (cabbage) butterflies got into the greenhouse and laid a load of eggs and the resulting caterpillars have decimated the foliage and quite a few of the fruits too but there have been plenty for us so no great harm done. The Red Alert (bush variety) have been good but the plants grew so much that it was difficult to control. Lesson learned "don't grow bush types in the greenhouse" The Apero have been absolutely brilliant - small plum type, very sweet and prolific. The Country Taste didn't have so many fruits but the size of each fruit easliy made up for that [1 fruit weighed in at over 1 lb!] they are also very sweet and make the most fabulous tomato sandwiches with ground black pepper & a little sea salt (Yum!). The runner beans are unbelievably prolific this summer - our freezers are filling up rapidly as well as keeping our daughter & family constantly supplied plus ourselves. The variety we've grown again this year is the white flowering "Moonlight"  -  These have a wonderful flavour and are great just to pick & eat straight from the plant which I frequently do as I refuse to use any chemicals on my plants. The ladybirds & their larvae have kept all the blackfly down. Have started picking the Aubergines this week - they are the best they've been for years (Must be the brilliant summer we've had this year).

Had daughter & family round for tea this evening - made a chicken curry & used home grown chilli (Fresno) in it which was good. I wondered if the girls (11 & 13)  would find it too hot but they loved it. Abbie (the 11 year old nearly had a fit when her dad pinched a little bit when he thought she wasn't looking - I didn't know 11 year old girls could be so eloquent without resorting to bad language - bet he won't try that again! lol.

The first new raised bed we had made in June has come on very well. The Castor Oil plant (Ricinus) we were given by a friend in late June when it was about 12" tall is now about 6ft tall and flourishing with some flame red flower bracts and deep copper coloured foliage: I can't remember the variety but it's really attractive. The Dr Ruppel Clematis alongside it is in full flower again too and a whole string of flowers is tumbling down the other (sunny) side of the wall as well as the ones on the garden side.

Well, it's 22.40 now so time I signed off and made some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs !


Good to see you back John! I just picked the last Red Alerts this morning and have some Moneymakers which are just starting to ripen. You're right about the RAs taking over! I had to cut quite a bit of foliage off so that I didn't get any pests. Only got littl egrowhouse so quite tight for space. 

Took some pix of my sweet peas and a lovely big bee as well!



Deanos Diggin It


Gorgeous pictures guy's! 

Shows a lot of hard work n progression being made! 

A few baskets I did early session, now doing good! 


Off to "Pig Out" I'm starving! 


Great sweet peas, and wonderful baskets.  Still so much colour around isn't there.  I shall review this thread (all 78 pages) come the winter months, when I will need reminding of something other than dark and grey

The potty gardener

Archie your grandchildren look so proud

Comp your pansies have those happy faces.

John good o have you back.

Fairy love those sweetpeas. That's one big bee.

Deano wonderful colour in your baskets.

Chicky what a lovely idea. I look back through my own pics in the winter but didn't think to look back through this


Great picture's i love seeing other gardener's flowers and veg keep them coming everyone thanks.


Shady end of new bed has developed prettily.


 Flower garden getting autumnale. Michaelmas daisies will be out soon. Hope they wait until we are back from Venice.



some beautiful pics this year again members.. i have not got much this year.. my garden is dead or dying to lack of rain all year.. and i have been unable to do much on it with my arthritis going into inflammatory arthitis with the heat..

so must say i have had no interest this year and it really shows.. amazing how much work it takes to keep it looking good.... i have had some comments about mine this year.. but hey ho sometimes other things take precident.

but i am hopin with my new wider path (ready for when i am wheelchair bound) and some new borders dug..i will be eager again as i have to fill them up.. so a bit of theraputic plant buying should be good for me


Thanks Potty they have made me smile so many times when I look at them.

Hi all, just signed up and am flabbergasted at the amount of information on this site.  The comments from you all about your experiences have been interesting to say the least.  My Kale and broccoli have also been taken over by caterpillars.  My Money maker tomatoes in the greenhouse are doing well, although they rarely make it to the dinner table.  I have more peppers than I know what to do with.  I'll be keeping a close watch on what you are doing next, so I can copy!!!!!!! and learn.


Hi Caron, glad you're enjoying the site. Lots of people on here to copy from and ask questions. check out the other threads too, always something of interest for everyone.


Hello Caron, welcome, if you fancy a chat try Morning Forkers.


The potty gardener

Welcome Caron, this site is great. So many people with so much knowledge to share and to have a laugh with.

Lizzie your garden looks wonderful as always. Hope you enjoy your trip.

Gardeningfanatic not the best year to have no time to tend to the garden- but I'm sure you will soon get back on top of things. Enjoy your plant buying- I think it's just about my favourite thing to do. You also have seeds to sow.

Thanks for the lovely welcome MrsGarden, Busy-Lizzie, Potty Gardener. Great to know there are people out there!!!  Only problem is I could sit here all day reading and not doing anything in the garden!  Have been tackling a very prickly pyracantha this afternoon.  Bought it as a "burgler deterrant" for the front window, but now I can hardly see through the window it is protecting.  There are no berries on it this year and I've had very little flower this spring either so am hoping a good cut now (hopefully mostly the plant and not my arms) will help to bring the blossom back next year.

Will definately have a look at the Morning Forkers, thanks for that Busy-Lissie.

Potty gardener.....what seeds are you sowing now?


The potty gardener

Caron if you go on the plants forum there is a seed share thread where we are sharing around our seeds.


Took these pix of my gate move - demolition and 'move' in progress:

 and in it's new position with fence re instated:

 just the step to make, and the entrance to sort, and the slabs to move and the neverending painting to do....not much really 

Your a wonder women in the DIY side of things Fairygirl great job will keep you in mind when am going to change my top end of my backgarden well done.