A lot of mint

Websites say just keep it in doors in a jar of water. Last time I did that a bunch of sneaky bugs had hidden their eggs in a way my casual run under the tap did not remove. So now I’m freezing it. Mostly I use it for tea, and presumably the hot water will defrost it immediately.

Spider mites and garden centres

Unfortunately, my croton did not survive. I couldn’t rid it of the spider mites and eventually (after a number of tries) we had to move it to the conservatory for fear that there’d be spider mites wandering around my kitchen. From there, it was even more neglected. It lost all its leaves and gave up.

I didn’t even want to recycle the soil, so I had to put it in the bin. I’m not quite sure where spider mites live, but if it’s within the soil I don’t want to put that in my recycling bin nor my garden compost.

I have a small shrub in my office whose flowers had begun to wilt faster than I expected. I used the “Picture This” app to see if it could tell me if I’d over or underwatered it. Turns out, it was dying because of the small, white bugs which had made its home on the leaves. (I was quite impressed that the application spotted this, as I didn’t with my own eyes.)

I Google around for how these bugs managed to get into my house and office. Both parasites seem to come from the same place: they probably came from the shop with them already. Eggs, babies, or just well hidden and in small number. It’s not likely that a pregnant spider mite found my kitchen and the single plant that they’re interested in in there.

This has sort of put me off growing potted plants. However, croton seeds are purchased by the 100g increment an cost £15 for them. I just want one seed…

The little mower who could (not)

Whilst I’ll be the first to admit that I let this grass get out of hand, it’s not looking like I’ll get this done today.

The ground is still too wet. The grass too long. It all gets chewed up in the blades. I stopped when I noticed smoke..!

Unsure if that means it’s broken, but it’s going back into the shed for now!

Focus thistles

We’ve taken to calling this area of the garden the “focus area” as it’s the only area of the garden I’m actively trying to keep clear. Daily I’m out here plucking grass or other weeds I don’t recognise. And still they come.

But we’re not talking about weeds today, I want to show off how great these globe thistles are! Theres three in this picture. The two left most are standing tall. The right most one is a bit squashed due to a fallen bird (a sad story for another time, maybe). They’re shooting right up and I couldn’t be more pleased.

The lavender you see there is neither dying nor growing. I’d really love to dig it up again and see if it’s bothered taking root or if it’s still kept itself pot bound.

Also in focus are some marigolds that have managed to stand themselves up. These haven’t grown anywhere near the speed that the greenhouse one have. They’ve mostly filled out, rather than growing upwards, which is fine by me.

The tree house

One of the things we loved about the house when buying it was that there was a tree house. In fact, when the surveyor looked around, he suggested that the home owner at the time remove it before we buy it because it’s potentially not entirely safe, yadda yadda.

We emailed our estate agent and requested that the seller absolutely not remove the tree house.

You can see Pebbles and No Pebbles in the conservatory there.

It proudly flies a … sort of… Welsh flag. We’ll eventually get around to changing it, but our current flags are mostly too large.

It is quite sturdy. I’ve sat up there reading at lunch times. Tim likes to stand atop it and survey our lands.

The wood needs treating (or replacing) in some places, but that will be an adventure for another time.

I’m also on the lookout for a more appropriate chair…