Nancy Nightingale is not a woman of restraint.   The word does not come into her vocabulary.  It is one of the reasons that I like her.

The morning was spent planting some of the hundredweight of daffs, tulips, more daffs, iris and more daffs she has recently bought.   I am not totally without blame.  A few weeks ago I sat next to her as she pushed “buy” with increasing intensity, as I feebly whispered “I think that might be enough now”.  My entreaties were to no avail, she worked herself up to a purchasing crescendo and fell exhausted to the floor as her credit card exploded.

We planted in colourful trugs, painted metal planters, pots and in the borders.   And still there are more.  They will have to wait until next time.  My back may have recovered by then.


Starry, Starry Night

It has been a very strange week with very little gardening and much mouching, more’s the pity.  Today I worked for couple of hours at Nancy Nightingale’s and then had a singing lesson.  We sang sad songs.  I do love a sad song.

The afternoon at Bill and Ben’s was aborted as they had double booked with the power tools men, so I went home.

This is a zinnia in NN’s garden.  Strange really, as neither of us remember planting either this one or its compadres.  Those fairies are up to their tricks again.

Coconut Ice


There is still a lot going on in Nancy Nightingale’s garden.  Obviously there is the singing, dancing and a little rough housing, but also there are dahlias, rudbeckia, cosmos and calendula.  Although past their best, looking a little windblown and tatty around the edges, they still contain enough vibrancy to restrain the tidy instinct that is strong at this time of year.

This ageratum, grown from a mixed packet earlier in the year, keeps drawing me back for another inspection.  Coconut ice, pure and simple.  And that, of course, is a good thing.

Brain Plant

This is one of Nancy Nightingale’s purchases.  I like to call it the brain plant.  That is because I have no idea of the true name.  I am not sure that I want to know.

However the more I look at its bizarre folds of scarlet, and in spite of myself, I am beginning to find it strangely attractive.  It is intriguing.  And a little bit scary.


This is Nancy Nightingale’s garden.  After a whole month of total neglect.  Yes four full weeks of being ignored.

Our very own NN has been abroad on a secret mission and her home in the meantime been home to wannabe surfers and possibly hipsters.  Not a gardener in sight.

When I visited yesterday I was expecting carnage, instead I was met with voluptuous, marginally anarchic, beauty.  The cosmos and dahlias, asters and sunflowers, agapanthus and canna, gladioli and lavatera, were tangled together in a deep pile carpet of pure joy.

After a dead-head-athon, the purple beans and plum tomatoes were harvested and a few of the most obvious weeds tugged.

All is ready for her return.