A Bit Squashed?

squashedAs always when one goes away, even for a few days, there was a lot to sort out this morning and I nearly allowed myself to be swamped by some minor irksome things; fortunately I made it outside instead and did a bit of poking and prodding and trimming and picking. The winter squash shown above were a pleasant surprise, as although the lower right was an early arrival and deemed itself ready to be picked today the others came as a complete surprise when I lifted the leaves – being a complete novice with squash I was unsure about their likely progress but had been tempted by posts from other bloggers last year.

The white sweet pea ‘Aphrodite’ (trialled for Which? Gardening) was also a surprise and apart from the rather feeble ‘Navy Blue’ I showed a few weeks back is the only sweet pea worth sharing with you as the knee high ‘Bijou’ I have in pots have not been in the least bit floriferous. Aphrodite also had a perfume, which Navy Blue lacked. The phlox is one I have had for a few years and is labelled ‘Lilac Flame’ which I rather think is a misnomer, and has perhaps been muddled with the label-less lilac phlox I have had for a similar length of time:

phlox.swPDaily dahlia inspection will show little progress, but after a few days away I could see that these buds were a little nearer opening (well, just a little):

dahlia.budsThis clump of Cyclamen hederifolium is definitely spreading year on year and although I don’t remember white ones in this little group before I must be wrong:


The unseasonable Hellebore ‘Ellen Picotee’ has gone from strength to strength since those unexpected flowers appeared earlier this month and is now a late star of the woodland edge border, narrowly avoiding being affected by piles of brick and mortar mixing during construction of The Wall. It won’t be many months till we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of next year’s crop of hellebores and other late winter and early spring delights….. winter?! spring?! …. we are only just getting used to the idea that autumn is hiding round the next corner, waiting to jump out and surprise us!



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18 Responses to A Bit Squashed?

  1. Squashes are very rewarding and should keep for ages. I am sure you know this but they are ready when they sound hollow and can be left on the plant until it is nearly dead, or picked and left in a dry sunny spot for the skin to harden off.
    I have had butternut squashes that have kept for four to five months

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Debbie – I wasn’t really sure. I probably picked that one too early then but it did more or less come away in my hand

  2. Anna says:

    Now those dahlias are not far from opening by the looks of it Cathy – I think that they could well be there this time next week. Ellen seems a rather confused character but oh how pretty. It will be most interesting to see what she gets up to in the spring.

  3. As always I enjoyed the window into your world. Blessings, Natalie

  4. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Ah, I do hope your Hellebore is OK, and blooms again for you next spring! I’m thinking it might not – Some of mine bloomed in June/July last year and two didn’t produce any blooms this year.

    This year I didn’t bother sowing Sweet Peas, thinking I’d move. But I did buy some to put in pots next to the backdoor for anyone viewing the house to enjoy as they walk past. I try not to cut too many blooms off it so when I go out I meet its lovely perfume – well worth it and I think I’ll continue this trend in future.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for the warning about the hellebore, Liz – I have not had one flower at this time of year before so wouldn’t know what to expect. I have to say there is only ONE white sweet pea and perhaps a couple of the blue – I really shouldn’t bother with them in future, I think!

      • Liz says:

        Hi Cathy,

        It might just be my Hellebores, and yours may well bloom in spring! I guess a lot depends on the weather we get between now and Jan/Feb πŸ™‚

        Have you kept the sweet peas well watered? One thing I’ve learned over the past 5 years of keeping them is they like water and do best when they get plenty of it regularly. They’re perhaps the one plant I make sure I water well!

  5. There is always something special about photos that show the progress of the garden. It is always a pleasure to take a look at a healthy garden

  6. Annette says:

    Nice to see your cyclamen – I’ve planted some last year and hope my dream of a cyclamen will come true in this new garden. They’re such a heart-warming sight when grown en masse. Hope you had a good time with your mum – have a nice weekend, Cathy πŸ™‚

  7. Anna B says:

    How unusual about the hellebore! Adam saw some daffodils flowering last week and I was a bit spun out by that too! I’m growing those same winter squashes this year too! Aren’t they just the coolest shape!

  8. Like the look of that squash…fall is starting to show itself a bit

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and it already reminds me that there will be autumnal pleasures to come – easy to forget when one is enjoying summer πŸ˜‰

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