Frosty January mornings, snow in February and the first signs of spring in March. These images from 2021, follow the reassuring pattern of the changing seasons.


Mild, bright days in early April coaxed the spring bulbs into flower but by May the seasons seemed to be going backwards with bitterly cold wind and little sunshine.


Despite grey skies and chilly mist, spring crept on and bare soil disappeared as the borders filled with new growth.


In late June we finally finished the pond that we’d planned as a lockdown project in 2020. A few days from filling, the water turned bright green but (helped by a jam jar of water from a friend’s established pond) the alga was soon devoured by rapidly multiplying water fleas and snails. The pond quickly became the heart of the garden, a perfect place to linger with a cup of tea and a magnet for wildlife. Birds discovered bathing places in the shallows and diving beetles appeared as if from nowhere. Towards the end of the summer a brilliant green dragonfly spent several days laying eggs in patches of moss just above the water line.


In 2021 I branched out into selling flowers for the first time, delivering six bunches a day in a bucket to the village shop, just round the corner. The cut flower season started with simple bunches of wallflowers in April. As the supply of wallflowers dwindled I tried out mixed posies, which proved popular with the shop’s regular customers.  Sweet Williams and snapdragons were followed by cosmos, dahlias and rudbeckias, keeping the buckets full into October. I learnt a lot about cut flowers in the year, including how much work there is in the growing, picking and preparing. I’m not going to be scaling up to wholesale production this year!


The first row of apple trees lost much of their blossom to cold north-easterly winds but some of the younger trees, protected behind them, still set a lot of fruit.  Shiny red Discovery were ready for eating by the end of August, while the russet Ashmead’s Kernel clung to the tree into November. By October the aromas of half a dozen different varieties were mingling in the apple store – the rather grand name for a rodent proof box at the end of the old goat shed.  The last few Sunset saw us into the New Year.  Now there’s just the Ashmead’s Kernel left.


Gardening is often a solitary pursuit but there can be few gardeners who don’t enjoy sharing their gardens in one way or another.  My photos show a few of the insects which share our garden but not the birds, the small mammals and, most important of all, the people.  As the seasonal round starts again I’m looking forward to green shoots and blossom, seed sowing and planting, cups of tea, meals in the garden and maybe this year even a party or two…