A few years ago I tried growing an avocado plant from a stone that was left over. It grew, and grew some more, and then I think I left it with someone when I went on holiday and never saw it again.
A few months ago there was a half-price offer on avocados at my local supermarket. Naturally, I couldn’t resist this great opportunity for healthy eating after the excesses of Christmas. Yes, they were indeed delicious.  Somehow, though, I couldn’t put the two stones in the bin. I planted them in some compost –  a separate pot for each one. They were placed on a table near a radiator (I remembered that from before), and the waiting began. And continued. And dragged on…
They narrowly escaped being binned when still, weeks later, nothing was happening. Then I noticed something. As you’ll see below, it wasn’t pretty.  It could have been a worm peeping out into the brave new world of my living room. But this worm wasn’t wriggling. Could it be…? A shoot! Hope revived. The other plant followed later, as if it reassured by its braver big brother.

At first they were thin, spindly specimens. They were carelessly left outside after repotting and were lucky not to die of exposure. But gradually they became stronger, spreading their leaves in apparent pleasure as the evenings grew lighter and the sun started to filter through the curtains earlier and earlier with the approach of Midsummer’s Day.
So here they are.  When the windows are open, their broad leaves wave soundlessly. In communication? Well, I’ve spent so much time hoping they would grow that I could almost believe so.They are ready for bigger pots again. But the question is: what should I do with them now?

One Small Apple

Snapped on my phone one evening a few weeks ago – in great excitement. I had an apple!

Some progress since the great discovery, but not much, though some of the pictures make it look rather like a minor moon orbiting a distant planet.

There’s only one small apple. It’s a better crop (cue laughter) than last year’s, when the blossom was blown away overnight. I don’t think it will win any prizes, but I’m going to make a point of picking and eating it when the moment is right. Not sure about that little spot I can see on it though…

The common theme in my garden, of course, is unintended chaos. However, as a reward for producing this little gem, I will definitely re-pot this apple tree into a more suitable container and try to prune it properly. One good turn…

Link to RHS website page on growing fruit in containers:


Geranium Rozanne

After being treated very badly (left over the winter in a small container), this hardy geranium is now looking strong and beautiful.  Here are some pictures of it in sun and after rain.  I think it looks amazing whenever.

It’s a prize-winning plant, voted Plant of the Centenary in the public vote (RHS Chelsea Flower Show).

Link to the Royal Horticultural Society page on Geranium Rozanne:



The Ceanothus in our garden has been a pleasure to look at this year.  All the other ones in the area seemed to flower a few weeks earlier (perhaps different varieties, or just in sunnier spots). So I wasn’t expecting such a wonderful show. Bees adore it, as do a host of other insects. I found it quite difficult to photograph the bees because they were just so, well, active!  But here’s my attempt…

There’s another one on my Instagram (katkarradz).

Canterbury Bells

I always think this is a wonderful name for a flower. I hadn’t seen them for years (or perhaps I just hadn’t been looking), but noticed these in a small local garden centre. They immediately brought back memories of my dad’s garden. He certainly grew them one year; I don’t remember seeing them there regularly. However, I do have a somewhat unpleasant memory of looking inside one of the perfect, bell-shaped blooms only to recoil at the sight of a thickly woven web with a crabbed black spider crouching inside it. That could explain why they disappeared off my radar.

Their appearance is astounding: rich, blue, glazed flowers and that impressive (I nearly said striking) shape. They need a name which combines tradition, beauty and joy. And they have one: Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium) also known as the bell flower.  Apparently they were supposed to represent gratitude, or faith and constancy. I’m grateful to have found them again!

I hope to grow some next year.  That spider has frightened me for long enough!