Our garden has extremely heavy, clay soil – the sort you could make pottery from if you were so inclined. Generally it is either too wet or rock solid and I have to wait for a gardening window when digging over the soil or planting anything. I have added loads of home-made compost and grit over the years, which has improved some areas. However, the most important lesson I have learned is to grow plants that are tough and don’t require too much fussing over once established.

Tonight it was so dry that I just had to water the vegetables and annuals. Our neighbour has a pond, but I swear the frogs spend more time in our garden than in the pond. This little chap was sitting under some foliage trying to look cool!

Frog

This pretty little beetle is only about 6mm long, with an iridescent body which looks as though it’s been carefully embossed. I found this one on the rosemary bush in my garden, but they also like to eat the leaves and flowers of lavender, sage and thyme. I tolerate this beetle chewing the leaves of the rosemary, but if it becomes a problem then then environmentally friendly way to get rid of them is to pick them off and squash them!

Chrysolina americana

Although we are just into autumn, now is the time to think about spring flowers in your garden. Daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and crocuses are widely available right now and will give you a stunning display for very little cost and effort. There is something quite uplifting about the thought that in a few months these lifeless, uninteresting shapes will herald the start of a new gardening year.

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