Time seems to be passing quickly for some and dragging on for other during this strange time we’re all in.

Misha Herwin


It’s four o’clock in the afternoon and I don’t know where today has gone. Waking at seven, I did the usual walk, my Monday Skype lesson with Maddy, cooked and ate garlic mushrooms for brunch, worked on the computer, watched the news, then sat a little in the sun before planting out the sweet peas and chopping down some more privet. The hours have flown and even as I’m typing, I’m watching the clock to see if it’s time to phone Mum for our daily chat.

There are still a number of things I need to do, the most important of which is to get back to my story plan for the next adventure of Letty Parker. Will I fit them in? Who knows?

The nature of time has always fascinated me. I write time slip novels and one of my favourite books is “The Children of Green Knowe” by…

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Floral Focus

One of my favourite parts of our Italian home is the space outside the front door, this space opens out from the kitchen/diner onto a patio with a large expanse of grass with wildflowers and herbs. I particularly like the patio where I previously had lots of pots filled with flowering plants and my ultimate favourite, my large hosta box that thrived despite the sunshine and heat. The rear of the house has a garden with gazebo overlooking the valley, my orto (veg plot) and the woodland. The rear is south facing so in the afternoon is often too hot to use, so the front patio became our most used area for lunch, entertaining friends and just chilling in the sun.
With our stay in the UK looking likely to become more protracted due to Covid-19, hospital appointments and other reasons too boring to go into here we moved into a new house with a small garden to keep me horticulturally occupied. It has a small rear area, (north facing) and an enclosed front garden complete with border of white stones and a bland square of lawn. As I love flowers; especially cut flowers for the house, the space to grow for indoors is too limited with the garden so I have also acquired an allotment; namely, Plot 51.

My challenge for this year, albeit within the constraints of lockdown is to create a colourful front garden (theme as yet undecided) and a wealth of veg and cut flowers for the home.
The year started with sowing seeds as usual and my electric propagators earning their keep. I’ve scoured seed catalogues and online garden centres but as yet resisted the temptation to buy perennials and herbaceous plants and also I’ve looked away from adverts for allotment ready fruit and veg for sale.

I’ve made a conscious decision to have a change. Thus far there’s not a hosta in sight. I’ll be raising from seed some plants new to me and some that are not widely available on the high street. Some of these being, Catananche caerulea (Cupid’s Dart) a perennial that’s not seen in gardens very often now. Amaranthus (Love Lies Bleeding) an annual that I’ve wanted to try for years but never got around to sowing, Mina Lobata (Spanish Flag) a climber new to me and Molucella laevis (Bells of Ireland) a tall green-flowered plant that has seen its popularity fade in favour of more modern vibrant coloured flowers. There will be sweet peas on the allotment: What is summer without a vase of perfumed peas on the sideboard? But for a change I’m going to try another plant that I’ve always passed over, for my trellis at home, I’ll be growing, Morning Glory. I’ve sown two varieties of these blue flowered vines, Grandpa Otts and Star of Yelta. Fingers crossed all goes well for a successful flowering season. I’ll no doubt keep you updated.