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NOT the greatest start to the year but.......!


Hi all…….does anyone actually remember me…..?

I admit, it’s been a long time but those of you who read my last blog back on the 17th January will know of my sad loss – mum passed away after a few years of illness. Mid November brought extended working hours for me along with visits to mum and with Ali working erratic shifts, there just didn’t seem like any time to do anything. Then January brought a heightened focus on mum before a week away in the Cotswolds the day after the funeral. This had been booked before xmas as a treat for us both as we don’t see each other much. Then, on the day we returned a week later, I received a call from my Assistant Manager at work to say that the threat of administration was hanging over our company. After 3 weeks of stress and anxiety, we may be okay but stores will close over the coming 18 months – mine looks to be one of the ones that is safe, thankfully.

So, as you can imagine, my mind has been in many places except in the garden or on GoY! So, just a few short weeks ago, I decided enough was enough and that I needed to get back out there to try and do some prepping for the coming Spring season. I hope to get back on here regularly again to share in all your amazing blogs but forgive me if I don’t comment on all your blogs and pics as I fear I would be doing nothing else!!

Back in the Autumn, I planted a few different bulbs about the place, in pots and borders and we’ll come to those soon. Firstly, after my first years attempts at making the garden look nice – I think this is a more realisitc phrase for me than gardening at the moment – I wanted to try to do 2 things:

1. Grow from seed
2. Save some money on buying too many plants form the GC!

You may remember from a previous blog, that I bought a whack of seeds in Autumn in anticipation of my ‘taking things to the next level’ and on the 11th February, I gingerly took the first step with some Bergamot seeds. I mean, how difficult could it be? Plant some seeds and they grow. I got together the things I needed to do the job:

Small plastic tray…..

A smidge of John Innes…..

Put one inside the other…..

Not very deep these seedling trays, I fancy…..

Try the seeds the other way Dan…..

DUH!…..Try taking them out of the pack Dan! “Not so easy is it, Mr ‘make the garden look nicer’ man?”

Uhum, once planted, I labelled them up and sprayed a little water to keep them moist and I have done this every day since. I’ve been waiting but it appears that my Bergamots are more BergaNOTS as they seem to be taking their time.

Anyway, I put the empty seed pack away in my new tin that Ali bought me for Chrimbo…..

….and now I wait, I guess!

So, back in the Autumn, I planted some bulbs in the hope that I might get a nice show this Spring and Summer. In the reclaimed chimney pot I popped some Crocus Flower Record:




10/03/10 – Come on my beauties!

A splattering of Crocus Sativus/Saffron Crocus, in the woodland border….

I planted a whack of Daffs and Iris’ as well in the border and they started sprouting through the bark on the 21st January….

IRIS Katharine Hodgkin

IRIS Reticulata

A couple of pots on the decking came in handy for Crocus Flower Record and Crocus Striped Beauty:



27/02/10 – starting to show…..

Now, if we move forward a couple of weeks and into March and this is what currently greets me each morning as I step out onto the decking:

Nothing finer than nature turning over to a new page of it’s book every day….

Got lots more to share but will keep some back as I am going out in’t garden today to extend the gravel path slightly on to the grass to allow the new planters I bought last year to sit. Then I can fillem up and plant more seeds!

Before I go, a blog by me wouldn’t be the same without a little bit of wildlfie so over to my feathered friends who have been all around this Spring so far:

Mr Robin….Hello, how are you?

Checking out what needs doing this year. Well, he is my helper after all!

A bit far away from the office window upstairs but I think that might be a Greenfinch I sspy on the new feeding station…..

Just watching the sunset…..


Checking out the new feeding station……

“Sorry, what was that about the BergaNOTS?”

Well, this morning, they looked like this……..

They’ve hit the surface…WOOHOO! Well, some have!!


More blog posts by oddbillie

Previous post: REST IN PEACE NOW MUM xxxx

Next post: Spring planting.......Oddbillie's back!!



~sorry to hear about your troubles but nice to see you back on GOY!
lovely spring flowers always lift the spirits along with a bit of sunshine!

14 Mar, 2010


Nice to see you back Ob, good blog too :-)

14 Mar, 2010


Yes it's lovely to see you back ... even if it's just for a while. Lovely flowers ... just love your collection of pots full of crocus and those irises are beautiful! Here's hoping those seeds take off for you.

14 Mar, 2010


You have had a rough time ob and its nice that you felt like coming back to share your heralds of Spring. Lovely colours, both crocus and iris.
Hope you are feeling ok now, and good luck with your job.

14 Mar, 2010


Nice to have you back we missed you. BergaNOT's lookin gooood!!! so do the pots.

14 Mar, 2010


very nice pics nice to have you back lovely photos of the birds.

14 Mar, 2010


Welcome Back OB, was wondering where you were although I've been a bit AWOL myself. Lovely spring pics, isn't it wonderful to see the SUN! Hope you find time to do some more blogs now things have settled down.

14 Mar, 2010


Great to see you back Oddbillie...sorry for all your troubles too.
Your bulbs are looking fantastic...unusual containers...very effective !

14 Mar, 2010


Great to have you here again, sorry about your sad loss and stressful times. Your bulbs are fantastic in their containers. :-))

14 Mar, 2010


hopefully your garden will help aleviate some of the stresses that have come your way. Take care.

love the crocuses too.

14 Mar, 2010


Good to see you back. I've been waiting for seeds to grow too. I'm trying Gazanias. love your chimney pot.

14 Mar, 2010


great to have you back with us Dan and hope this is a better year for you all, a good start with all your lovely spring flowers and birds to, i find being in my garden helps alot when things go wrong, gives us space to think,take care :o)

14 Mar, 2010


Nice to have you back, OB, and I hope from now on everything goes well for you. Your plants are certainly doing well. Great blog.

14 Mar, 2010


Thanks one and all for your kind comments and sort of 'Welcome Back'. Tis always nice to sit amongst friends and share thoughts, pics and advice and it feels really great to be back at last!

Arlene: You're quite right and despite the slight chill still about, the sunshine and sight of flowers I never noticed before, certainly make my first Spring as a novice gardener, one with a good feeling!

Louise1: Thanks, good to be back.

Bernieh: Not just for a while, back for good although we are trying to decorate the living room and sell on ebay to pay for everything! Still, any time spent on here going forward will be a good one. Glad you like the pots:0) Hope you're well over there! Will do some catching up soon.

Mad: Thanks and feeling much better now. Lots to share this year, hopefully and much to get done out in garden but rest assured, I intend to share it with you all:0))

SueB/Sewingkilla: thanks for the kind comments.

Lily: How are you girl? Thanks for the welcome back and hope your absence wasn't due to anything too serious. Looking forward to catching up with everyone so will check out your stuff soon:0))

BB: How are you too? Great to see so many familiar and friendly faces....or should that be avatars!!

David: AAAAAAARRRRRRR, mehearties......Thanks my friend and really looking forward to the pirate garden!

SBG:Stresses starting to subside although still worry about job. Losing mum has given me a different outlook on life though. Live for the moment I fancy!!

GG1: Interested to see how your Gazanias turn out. Chimney pot £20 from reclamation yard last year!

Sanbaz: Great to be back. Looking forward and hoping to get lots done in the garden again. Slowly taking some time back out there. Hoovered all the autumn leaves up tonight....well, most of them! I find being in the garden like being in a land that time doesn't just flies by when you get into it and worries and strains just disappear. Hope you're well and waiting to see your project this year!

Gee19: Thanks Gee and it's lovely to be back. Trying to think about good things this year and I have some news for everyone soon!! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!

Thanks again to all of you for your reassuring and positive comments. Who said gardening was hard?!!! :0))))))

14 Mar, 2010


Welcome back - its always hard - I lost my Mum in 2007 and then had to get a job, retrained and keep my family from just falling apart!! but once you start to plant seeds/plants for some reason it just feels like the beginning of something new - so be kind to yourself and just take each day as it comes!! Lovely pics of the crocuses :-))

15 Mar, 2010


Hiya Dan, ...lovely to see you back and getting into the garden with all your friends around you.....Its been a long hard winter I know but seeing your garden coming into flower again and continuing on with all your plans for this year is good. If you`re like me you`ll have moments but share them with nature Dan, she`s a Mother after all......
As always a good blog with your usual lovely photo`s......Sue

15 Mar, 2010


Thanks GS. Nice to be missed! Know what you mean about the 'feels like the beginning of something new'. Very much looking forward to what Spring & Summer has in store for me!

Lincs: You charmer you....flattery gets you everywhere! It has felt like a long hard winter indeed and one I've been glad to see the back of. Losing mum has given me a slightly different outlook on things but the garden remains a focal point this year. Along with the living mattress.....and so on!! Do it while we can methinks. Yes, mother nature is indeed a mother to behold:0) Hope you're keeping well Sue and thanks again for your kind comments. Dan

16 Mar, 2010


You remind me of myself I lost Dad in 2008 a few weeks after I'd gone off sick with my knee He was 93 and lived on his own but needed a fair bit of help. He knew I wanted to travel but wouldn't go too far or too long with him to worry about. Anyway when he died suddenly I felt he'd given me my licence to up and go and we did go to USA and Canada but my health has been a prob. I should of been having a knee op today but now it's April 9th and until I'm no longer on an Inpatient waiting list I can't get travel ins. So 2009 I took up gardening. Had a complete makeover on my lounge first complete one in 20 yrs and started 2010 with a complete makeover of the Hall Stairs and Landing. Next is the kitchen hope the pennies last out. Hope your plans go well and work too.

18 Mar, 2010

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