Dahlia’s and Rudbeckia rule the roost at the moment….


They are certainly adding extra sunshine to the garden.  For the past few days our weather seems to have developed a pattern all its own….  Dullish dawn, then clear skies and sunshine and very pleasing temperatures.  Come lunch time and everything changes, very dull grey afternoons that threaten rain and a quick temperature drop.

So with that as a summer backdrop, some extra floral sunshine is very welcome…


What is also encouraging is the abundance of Sweet Chestnuts.  It does look as if we will have a bumper crop this autumn.  Of course they still need to plump up a bit more and also need to stay on the trees for a little longer… so autumn winds can just stay away.

Mentioning autumn, there are some signs of its approach.

Teasels and Fungi, yep, indicators of the change to come

It’s Friday and the weekends ahead, so relax and enjoy… but whatever you have planned….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2021

A Feast of White……


In past years, at about this time, I have been able to take you on a mini tour of the National Hydrangea Collection here at Darley Park Gardens, Derby.  Usually colour packed with all shade of Blues and Pinks, from fine tints to bold statements of rich colour.

The past three years have been rather tough for the Hydrangea’s.  2019 it had been a hard winter followed by drought and heatwave.  2020 we know that CV19 hit us.  This meant that the care these plants needed across early spring and into the summer was not available from the team of volunteers that manage the collection.  To make the situation worse there was another drought and one thing hydrangea’s need is water, with no one to water they suffered, yet still managed to put on a reasonably colourful display….. but some plants succumbed  and needed to be replaced.

So with hope the volunteers looked forward to this year being better.  All their hard work seemed to be working till we had a very late hard Frost, (the only real frost of the year).  Many new flower heads that were forming were just lost. Dead heads were removed, some recovered some still struggle.

The result is that this year there is not the variety of rich colour, true there are some hot spots but the prevailing colour is White.  White varieties seemed to have handled the tough times much better….it is also true that some of these ‘white’ blooms will start to show subtle tints of green and pink but still retain a white glow.

Despite all the trauma, the hard work of the volunteers seems to have paid off. True there are many bare patches of ground but also signs that new plantings, plantings to secure the future of this lasting important National Hydrangea Collection…..  but as always it does very much depend upon the vagaries’ of the weather and some hard work.

Fingers crossed it all works out well. But whatever the future …..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

17th August

(C) David Oakes 2021

The Very Hungry Caterpillar…..


Once upon a summers day, not so many days ago……  we had a great display of Nasturtiums.

Not anymore as we have had a visit from a Very Very Hungry Caterpillar.


At least someone is happy….

At home, in the garden or away on a break……

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

14th August

(C) David Oakes 2021

Lavender Season………..


It is that time of years when Lavender come very much into its own.

Sunshine and scent, a mixture that make a perfect summers day

( Sadly these flower draped garden steps are not ours – if only )

Don’t forget…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

2nd July

(C) David Oakes 2021