Gardening Blog: Celandines, Pulmonaria and Forget-me-nots

I haven’t made a great deal of progress since I started trying to get our garden back into some semblance of order. My gardening plan for 2021 as outlined in my previous gardening blog hasn’t got very far.

Keep the grass neat and tidy

I’ve cut the grass once with the new mower. It’s a smaller mower than the one I thought I’d ordered. My mistake not anyone else’s. The metal cutter is a definite improvement on the plastic blades we were using previously.

But I’ve been reading about No Mow May and that might put a spanner in the works. I like the idea a lot but I’m not sure about the amount of hard labour there might be at the end of May. There’s more information on the PlantLife website. I actually first read about #NoMowMay on the National Trust website. The NT is encouraging all gardeners to join the challenge and help out bees and insects. But I haven’t been able to find out if the NT are taking part in the challenge at all their properties. I’m struggling to envisage Rievaulx Terrace as a total wild flower meadow!

I’ve bought two bags of bee bombs and earmarked two areas of our garden where they might manage to grow. But I haven’t scattered them yet as it still seems very cold at night and I’m not confident they’d germinate so I’ll wait a bit longer.

Observe what’s growing

I’ve had a good look round our little patch and we’ve got some clumps of Celandines opening up nicely. The self seeded Pulmonaria at the back of the garage is starting to flower and there’s another one nearby too. In an out of the way corner there seem to be a lot of forget-me-nots coming through. I vaguely remember scattering a packet of forget-me-not seeds that came with some Bunches letter box flowers a while ago so these could be those, maybe. Anyway, they all fit into my wild flower garden concept so they can stay.

Remove anything I don’t like the look of

Goodbye, Rose of Sharon. We planted this shrub when we moved into our house nearly twenty years ago. It’s become really leggy and last year hardly flowered at all. I started pruning it and got carried away and chopped it all down. Just a load of stalks left now. I’ll let it grow for a while and see if it flowers any better after this ruthless treatment. If not, permanent departure!

Plant out packets of seeds acquired last year

For the same reason as the bee bombs, no progress at all yet.

Sit in the garden and enjoy it!

I wish! Although the last few days have been beautiful Spring days with lots of sunshine the daytime temperature has been quite chilly too. Lovely for pottering around in the garden but not yet conducive to sitting out.

After I’d formulated my 2021 garden plan I remembered a teacher I’d had at secondary school who was fond of quoting these wise words:

A man of words and not of deeds

Is like a garden full of weeds

And when the weeds begin to grow

It’s like a garden full of snow

supposedly John Fletcher (1579 – 1625)

I always understood this rhyme to be a longer way of saying “deeds not words” and hadn’t realised that there was more to the rhyme than these four lines.

The origin of the poem is credited to John Fletcher (1579 – 1625), an obscure playwright and contemporary of Shakespeare.

The poem was mentioned in 1899 by Percy B. Green in his ‘History of Nursery Rhymes’. Green states that the rhyme can be found in a document in the British Museum dated 1680 written as a Puritan satire on the changeability of the  character of the restored king, Charles II. Not sure where that leaves Mr Fletcher….

Green’s History of Nursery Rhymes is available as a free download from

in a variety of formats for different types of e-readers including Kindle.

However, the formatting is very poor and the book is difficult to read; I don’t suppose Mr Green ever thought his history would be available across the globe.

A man of words and not of deeds 

Is like a garden full of weeds

And when the weeds begin to grow 

It’s like a garden full of snow 

And when the snow begins to fall 

It’s like a bird upon the wall 

And when the bird away does fly 

It’s like an eagle in the sky 

And when the sky begins to roar 

It’s like a lion at the door 

And when the door begins to crack 

It’s like a stick across your back 

And when your back begins to smart

It’s like a penknife in your heart 

And when your heart begins to bleed 

You’re dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

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