Clueless with Claire

Oh, I’ve had so so so much fun this week, I hardly know where to start. The weather has improved somewhat and Gary and I have taken to having evening chats about the garden. We even took a few strolls around his work to take photos and get ideas of plants I’d like in my our garden 😉

I have a fabulous app on my phone and iPad which allows me to take a photo of a plant and it tells me it’s name and use and how to care for it. I am using this everywhere! I am determined to learn all the names of the plants I use and like…although as usual I may be taking it a bit far when I screech ‘Stop the car!’ at the top of my lungs whenever I see a plant I like growing on the roadside, almost causing whoever is driving (which could be me!) to crash. So if you see some odd woman taking photos and squealing with excitement at the side of the road…run! As fast as you can, as far as you can. Seriously. This advice could save your life 😇

I have so much to share this week, because I have spent hours in the garden. I don’t always achieve much but I do ponder. A lot. Apparently gardeners do that. Who knew?

I had a lovely visitor last Sunday. A friend popped round with a collection of salad seedlings that she had grown by herself for me to plant out in my garden. I was overwhelmed and chuffed to bits. And they are much stronger plants than those I spent a fortune on at the garden centre:

Thank you Anna!

My big goal this week has been to start clearing the bed I want to transform to a cottage garden flower bed. It is overgrown in the extreme. But I have been out there with my new favourite snippy tool. I cut back a sprawling Winter Creeper bush, dug out a huge clump of weeds, transplanted a small red valerian and dug out a large bush which was taking over the whole bed:

I still have loads to do. Unfortunately, the large snippy tool has such a pull on me that I grab it each morning and look for things to snip…literally anything I can find! Gary has bought me a new small snippy tool (secateurs??) hoping that I will do perhaps less damage with a smaller blade…

I am also learning to divide and transplant plants I already have. So, in keeping with the goal to empty the bed, I dug out three different types of trailing plants, split the clumps into three of four separate smaller ones and planted them out in the bed opposite:

I also bought a couple of perennials from the supermarket and planted those out. By this point I really wanted to try to remember the names of everything I looked up on my phone. I have an atrocious memory and looking them up every few seconds was becoming tiresome. So I treated myself to some labels:

And labelled all the plants I didn’t know:

When I came to planting out the sedum I had bought, I dug a hole, turned round to pick up the plant to dump in said hole, only…

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The cat, who shall remain nameless to protect his dignity, was using my hole as a toilet. So, I took another photo, thus not preserving his dignity at all. If he wants to be dignified he can find somewhere else to do his business!

I did eventually get to, y’know, actually plant the sedum, urine and all. I guess I should be thankful it wasn’t a number two. Labelling it, I was very pleased how everything was looking:

Slugs are fast becoming the bane of my life. I dream about them scaling down our walls each night to the theme tune of Mission Impossible. They then eat every important plant and deliberately leave every weed alone. Am sure they do it to irritate me. There are many:

I believe they are closing in, and are coming for us soon. The Day of the Triphids (remember that? A horror film of these huge walking plants which took over the world) is fast becoming the Day of the Slugs (a new film about giant slugs who come and get you in your sleep and suck you into their slimy vortex…). I mean, I can not even have a bath without the threat of some slimy creature interrupting my relaxation:

IN THE BATHROOM, PEOPLE!! That’s it. I’m moving out!

I have been trying to foil them (ha! Geddit? Foil? I am too funny!) by using foil and rosemary as a deterrent:

Unfortunately, this does not stop the slugs that are scaling down the walls with rope…or perhaps they are hand gliding?

Slug pellets are looking more attractive by the second.

Last but not least, I deheaded (or should that be beheaded?) the roses and tied them in a bit more…no, wait. I remember, it’s called dead heading? I think? Whatever. I cut off the ball things on the rambling rose using my large snippy tool. In retrospect, the small snippy tool would have been a more appropriate tool for the job. Lesson learnt.

I’m going to leave you with a photo of my very favourite place to be. My potting area. Happy, happy sigh:

Any advice on slug and snail removal is very welcome. Especially from the bathroom…


  1. I’ve heard beer bait works well. Pour some in a cup or container and put it in your garden near where the snails/slugs are a problem. Evidently they are attracted to the smell and the alcohol kills them.

  2. I have heard of using beer as well! I pour it in a shallow dish & leave it out for them. Don’t know if cats will leave it alone or not! 😉 Your garden looks beautiful & is inspiring me to get going on mine.

  3. LOL! You are so funny, Claire. Your garden is looking wonderful! And the cat!!!! Seriously LOL over here. We don’t have a lot of snail and slugs here, but I use diatomaceous earth on lots of things. It is quite natural, so safe inside and out. I can’t imagine finding one in the bathroom, but I hope you figure that out soon. Looking forward to your next Clueless post!

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