Every now and then I like to write a blog post that is nothing to do with my professional field… As I have gotten older, the simpler things in life bring me the most happiness; spending time at our beach hut, running along the sea front as I train for marathons, the laughter I have on my training courses, every second I get to be with my darling wife and of course, my beloved garden.

This time of year is usually that funny time when Spring blooms are fading and Summer is yet to fully introduce its abundance… But this year is slightly different. We have had a really sunny and mild Spring and so everything has started flowering early and all the seeds I planted are rising up faster than usual. Today I thought I’d share a couple of snippets from my garden; somewhere that keeps me in a perpetual self-hypnosis session.

These are my broad beans and peas which were planted very early in the year and are much bigger than usual for the time of year. They were planted in staggered timings to prolong the harvesting season and one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon in the garden is eating a salad of cooked broad beans and peas with some freshly picked herbs and butter.

Here is the spinach and a couple of varieties of Kale. We have been using the early leaves in salads so they may look a bit sparse. Plus they are in a darker part of the garden so not benefiting as much as others from the additional sunshine.

The herb garden here is punctuated with the purple flowers of the Osteospurmen, though the chives have very attractive purple flowers too. On display here is parsley, varieties of thyme and sage, with lavender in the background thriving and attracting insects. Further around the corner we have rosemary (my favourite), marjoram and varieties of mint that get used in Summer mojitos and in my beans and pea warms salads.

These are calendula flowers I grew from seed, the petals can be eaten and used in salads, but they importantly attract good insects into the garden which eat aphids and the like.

I also grew French marigolds from seed and potted on, mainly to attract ladybirds which munch through the aphids that hang out on the vegetables.

My favourite cottage garden flowers are Foxgloves (none are flowering yet, so not made this entry, but are growing tall and readying for there characteristic huge bell shaped flowers) and Lupins. One of my Lupins is already flowering which is amazing and I can’t want for the rest to join in, they look fabulous when they all flower together. The garden is filled with these and make June and July very colourful.

Here are a bunch of varieties of Penstemons and Antirrhinums which I also love. They are accompanid by many Delphiniums in other parts of the garden but none are flowering yet.

Now this bad boy is nearly two metres tall already – a Campanula. I have a couple of these bulbs in the garden and they have shot up already and look a bit lonely as none of their neighbouring flowers are anywhere near their level of growth. I think they are spectacular.

On the left here is my last Rhododendron to flower, the others are long finished flowering, and beside them are my purple primulas, more Pentstemons and a strawberry pot in the background with some fruit ready to be picked.

Here are some other Primulas, these are yellow, the seeds of which I bought from Glendurgan garden, a National Trust garden in Cornwall that we visited a couple of years ago. In the background, the first of my Geraniums to flower after a winter in the greenhouse, very pink!

Then we have the very last of this year’s Tulips, very colourful, some of the deep purples are stunning and amaze me that they occur in nature.

And finally… The other thing blooming, is our cat’s unhealthy interest in the birdbox and it’s inhabitants! We have had to take measures to stop him terrifying the blue tit family residing there!

There you have it, a small insight into some of my garden… I wish I could import the smell of my roses in the rosebed which are about to flower and show you the fruit on our cherry tree (we had three cherry pies from it last year, yummy!), the huge leaves of our rhubarb, the damson tree, the blueberry and blackberry bushes as well as our pear and apple trees! Later this year we’ll be cracking open the first bottles of last years perry cider, can’t wait!

I’ll be back writing about hypnosis tomorrow, have a great day.