So you know how it goes… a good friend says something post-Christmas about a gift they’ve given you, how they hope you liked it etc. and you think-

‘don’t remember getting that…’

It happened to me at the weekend. Friends who had kindly given me a couple of nice garden-related presents referred to some carrot seeds called ‘Nigel’ (my name for those who don’t know me). Somehow I must have missed them (let’s face it a packet of seeds can easily go missing when you’re eagerly ripping off the wrapping paper…).

So, as we missed this week’s bin collection (which happened to be the recycling one with the Christmas wrapping paper in it), I tipped out the (nearly full) contents to see if I could ‘find Nigel’. Well, suffice it to say that I was unsuccessful and came close to serious injury on can edges and other stuff in the process.

So that’s why ‘Nigel’ is plotless on at least two counts for 2013…

More successfully,  I spent a couple of hours yesterday using another cherished Christmas pressy-a pair of Felco No. 2 secateurs (a joy to use) on the grapevine and a rather overgrown Jasminum beesianum in the Old School courtyard. Here are some  images of that to accompany some of other plants looking good in the garden at present. Also the answers to the last Quizzicals and a couple of new ones…


The grapevine grows round the top of three walls in the Old School Garden courtyard. A black variety, it gives a reasonable yield , but lack of sun/ warmth in 2012 led to a dissapointing crop. Let’s hope for better this year…


Grapevine before pruning- new secateurs poised for action…


After pruning- stems cut back to one or two buds above the node.


Quizzical answers

The last two were:

Someone who stalks a 1970s Wimbledon champion-  Virginia Creeper

Four times faster than Roger Bannister- ‘Mile a Minute’

Two more to entertain you (thanks Les):

  • Private part of an old crooner
  • The organ that enables you to say ‘2 plus 2 = 4’