Garden cleanup time gives a gift of frogs

  This has been one tough winter, with snow so deep it buried several trees, including my nearly two-metre tall dwarft pear tree. Broken branches, trees bent to the ground, rosebushes in pieces on the ground: the damage has been great, and the budget will have to stretch to several replacement plants. But it’s not […]

Is there heather in Switzerland?

A lovely photo in The Guardian of an all-heather award-winning small garden from the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show appealed to me because it’s on different levels. With our mountainside slopes I have vague plans and dreams of some day building low walls to make terraced slopes, but these are projects for someone with more […]

Gloves on, cleanup list in hand, but spare the tadpoles

Two weeks of very unusually warm weather and, even in the mountains, we’re tempted to call it spring. My elderly neighbour, who has spent her life here and who remembers the weather from past years, like a good farmer, says we’re having August in April, “and that’s not normal!” she worries. I resisted the temptation […]