I am in the business of making our world a better place.

So far, so good, though I wish my neighbours would water their plants.

Their laziness astonishes me! I end up doing it for them!


Glady's looking nice next door.

Mine own inherited white ones doing OK too...


TBH, I could do better, but nobody else seems to care. What sort of people are we? This is where we live. :confused:
Fruit trees seem to have a mind of their own! My apple tree is doing exactly zip this year. Not one apple!

The Plum tree is having the time of its life. We may break a local record at 10 bags of the blighters!



My good neighbour, Lorna, is expert at makng Plum Jam. I can see myself delivering the product to her. Hope she's got enough jam jars. :)

Best Regards from Steve in Portsmouth, UK.
We have a few Kestrels around here. But the pic is of one in a nephew's garden in Suffolk. He happened to have his tPhone in hand at the time.
The pic won a regional wildlife pic award.

The Kestrel is a master killer...see the way he has a foot on the prey's throat!


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I have to admit that Nature is Cruel. Seems like every species eats something else.

But somehow it hangs together. I mean what are these things doing?

Red Adiral Butterfly.jpg

Regular summer visitors to my Garden, and doubtless yours. Red Admirals. What are they up to? The answer is nobody knows. :)
I read through this thread with interest and admiration. Our little 2 acre patch in Brittany could be quite wonderful in the right hands but I have to report that regardless of our efforts and copious amounts of cash, care, and attention it remains "The place where plants come to die".
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Well, a "weed" is just a plant that you have decided is out of place.
And plants matched to conditions do not require daily tending or exquisite care.
So, an approach is to just let things ride and then decide which hardy volunteers are "pretty" and remove the rest.
Then you could call it "A native plant haven / garden", especially if the "pretty" ones are the local wildflowers for the local (non-honey-bee) pollinators.

Maybe there is a local Master Gardener group that can point you toward plants matched to conditions?

In El Paso, TX, I rented a house with a small back yard while I was working 16-18 hours a day, so what happened was entirely luck: in addition to no time, I didn't have a lawnmower. So for the spring, I just pulled up all the [non-grass plants] every time it rained (sandy soil and so I could get the roots). Somehow that [type of grass] was exquisitely matched to conditions. The grass grew green, thick, and tall - but without [seed stems]. I never mowed it (I may have used a weed wacker a couple times at the start, but not more that 3-4 times). It ended up about 6" maybe a little taller but not really that uneven. Apparently that grass variety choked out the weeds sufficiently, because after that first season, I might have pulled 5-10 weeds every couple of months or so. Been trying to figure out how to replicate that ever since.
Following up on Post #22: So maybe no so much a garden as it is a backyard. At least not yet. I plan to surround the maple tree (amur maple) with some flowery plants yet to be determined. The BBQ will move onto the deck once I've built a little stand for it out of leftover deck boards.

The deck frame is pressure treated wood. The top and facia are cedar. I used CAMO screws for a fastener-free look. The total area is ~23 m^2 (250 sq ft). The deck is surrounded by a cubic yard of Alberta Rainbow Rock.


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I must have been bored last night, but I looked up my first home as a baby system7 on google maps as it is now:

66 Blenheim Crescent South Croydon.jpg

66 Blenheim Crescent, South Croydon near London. Typical suburban 1930's semi-detached.

I can't believe it looked as ratty as this when MY mother (a gifted gardener like many in our family) lived there! :D

I could transform that.. and at least they haven't turned the front into a parking area.

My current project completed yesterday was the winter hanging baskets. £17 for plants. £5 for compost, £10.50 for baskets X3. Punctured plastic bags to line for water retention.

Cyclamen and Primulas. Will add some trailing lobelia later.

Hanging Basket 1.jpg


Hanging Basket 2.jpg

Notice my anti-theft device of a nylon ziptie through the chains. Druggy types and drunken students will steal anything round here. :mad:

Really it happens! Best, Steve.
@jackinnj, I am well aware of the Hellebore. In fact have rescued my neighbour's white hellebore from a sunny and dry position to its preferred shady and damp one.

Alas, the man has no idea that it is important to clip off the old leaves around NOW! Thus ensuring fresh green and virus-free leaves as per my sister's ideas:

Hellebores at Big Sis'.JPG

Look at the state of his Hellebore right now:


Severe Fail, if you ask me. But sometimes lessons have to be learnt the hard way.

Apropos, I have been out on a Gardening Expedition tonight. I have got fed up with low hanging trees impeding my pedestrian passage to the local hostelry in Southsea, Hants.

This is intolerable, and I have previously warned these bad neighbours I find it so:


I decided ACTION was needed. I took my clippers out tonight (undercover of the darkness, which is how Angels work) and solved the problem:


Someone has to save the Planet! :)
Whose Wife is this? I notice your imprecision... try saying Warwickshire and Leicestershire before your arrival in our blessed Green Lands:

Upton House and Gardens Warwickshire.jpg

Spring (or its harbingers) has hit Portsmouth, UK in a big way this morning:

Crocuses 12 Feb 2024.JPG

It was actually a close call if the Daffs made it out first!


Happy Days!

Best Regards from Steve in Portsmouth, UK. YMMV depending on latitude.