My Instagram  profile photo

It might amuse  you to know that I am now on Instagram. My moniker, and this will probably come as no surprise, is davesunshineshah. Feel free to have a peek.

Apparently I shouldn’t be on there at all, as I’ve been reliably informed that it’s not for ‘old’ people (thanks nephew!!!). It is in fact, a social media platform for young people to show they are having a cool, exciting and cutting-edge lifestyle. The story goes one must sip a cocktail at the world’s trendiest bars (how very exciting!!) or be snapped, posing wistfully at the Taj Mahal. I’ve done the latter, but it was anything but wistful – when in India, do as the Indians do.

So I thought it would be  a great idea if we gardeners, all sign up for accounts and showcase our own cutting edge lifestyle (there’s a faint whiff of a joke there!!). On point captions could include; ‘My fabulous bucket of weeds’, ‘My wild adventures mowing the lawn’ or quite simply, ‘My fave dahlia’. You know all the stuff that makes gardeners the coolest people on the planet. Eat your heart out youngsters!!!

Speaking of cool and cutting edge, check out some trendy pals I made over the last fortnight. There’s also a video called It’s Great to be a Flower…Well it is …isn’t it?!!




A Fond farewell – rust in peace my friend

I’m sad to say my constant companion of many a year, my Honda Izy mower, finally mowed its last lawn recently. We truly did go up dale and down hill in our time together, but in comedy parlance … ‘it is no more, kaput, finito. It is Sir, a deceased mower’.


Happy times, mowing with my chum!!!!!

So I thought readers might be interested to see a mower grave yard. Much like the old steam trains used to line up At Barry Island in Wales, rusting peacefully in the sun, here a mower can rust away, surrounded by like-minded companions. Occasionally the whiff of petrol, the scent of newly mown grass or the distant sound of a mower starting, will bring back happy memories of sunny days spent mowing lawns.


So my friend, I’d just like to say, ‘Thanks for all the good times. I wish you a happy retirement and may you forever rust in peace’.

A Real stunner

One of the flowers that seems to grow in weed like proportions up here, is Schitzostylis cocinnea, ( now reclassified as Hesperantha cocinnea) and thankfully so . It has wonderful open cup blooms in red, white and pink on long wiry stems and seems to flower on and on. In fact, I’ve seen them in flower in December, one particularly mild winter. They are not for the dry garden though, so as long as you have well drained but moist soil they will flourish.  Here are a few examples:



Photography time – the adventure begins

As I mentioned in the last blog post, I thought I’d start a feature for those new to flower photography. It’s basically to try to help people who are just starting out with the things that baffled, (and still do sometimes), me, when I first picked up a camera – so here goes. One of the great things about flower photography, as opposed to landscapes, is that one doesn’t need to go to the end of the earth for a great shot, merely to take a walk around the garden, choosing your favourite blooms.

Flowers mean macro

On most cameras, there is an icon on the dial in the shape of a flower. Set your camera to this selection and begin taking pictures. Hold your camera far enough away from the flower, so that everything is in focus and press the shutter. Note, that if it is windy, the photo may come out blurred, so choose a still day to avoid frustration. The day should also be slightly overcast, because contrary to popular belief, the best conditions for photography are not bright sunny days, but when the light is softer. Here is slide show of a few flowers I found to take recently. Best of luck!



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I’ll go into this next time, but basically, aperture determines how much of the background of a photograph is in focus. Here is a short video to get you used to the concept.

Another prune vicar?

One shrub that has pretty much done it’s job for the year is Buddleia. Thanks to the sunny weather they have put on a great show and it’s been nice to see lots of butterflies and insects.


Now is the time to give them a prune. What I do, is reduce them by at least a half, to prevent what is known as ‘wind rock’. That is to say, the wind catching them and disturbing the roots. You can then go back to them in March or April for another final prune, before they kick into life again.


Well that’s all for now, thanks for your company and I will return on Thursday 27th September 2018 for more gardening tales. All the best and happy gardening, Dave.