Spring in the garden

Picture of cherry blossom in the front garden

Cherry blossom

I love this time of year.

The garden is coming back to life, with bright colours bursting through the greens and browns of winter. The wave of delicate snowdrops has been replaced by an explosion of bluebells. The cherry trees are covered a cloud of blossom.

 

Picture of bluebells in the spring garden

Bluebells all over the garden

Every time I go outside, something new has appeared – primroses, cowslips, honeysuckle and now the purple irises in the back bed. You may have seen some of the photos over on Instagram – check out my feed @muchmore_less.

Previous post: A flower a day over on Instagram

 

Picture of primroses reappearing in the spring garden

Primroses

I was delighted when the snakehead fritillaries, both white and pink, reappeared in the front bed.

 

Picture of snakehead fritillary in the spring sunshine

Snakeshead fritillary

The purple tulips are popping up again too. When the sun shines, the lime tree shimmers with green leaves, and the buds on white beam in the back garden have opened.

 

Picture of a bright purple tulip in the front bed

Tulip by the front wall

The drawback is that the plants I’m less keen on are also invading. The pear blossom in the back garden looks lovely, but the nettles underneath less so. Some of the ivy we hacked back has resurfaced. I headed out to tackle it, only to be disturbed by loud cheeping and an irritated robin on the fence post nearby. So for the meantime the ivy stays, at least as long as the nest does.

 

White pear blossom on the tree in the back garden

Pear blossom

Ever the optimist, I always hope that this will be the year I get on top of the garden.

I have great intentions of uncovering the strimmer, to tackle the long grass, and the shears, to trim the yew hedges. One year, I’ll actually get started on the veg garden that exists so clearly in my head.

I hope you had a good Easter. We didn’t go far, but I did enjoy the break, exploring different parts of Suffolk and heading off on outings with the children. My mother came to stay at the start of the holidays, and the grandparents came over for Easter lunch and an egg hunt at the end. The council decided to resurface the road outside, saving us from traffic noise for a few days, then leaving us with new road markings in a particularly virulent shade of yellow.

 

Picture of the cottages with newly resurfaced road

Quiet street, loud lines

With Easter so late, we all enjoyed the wonderful weather – the children have been back out on the trampoline and pitched their tents on the lawn. We dragged out the garden chairs and parasol from their winter hibernation, so we could sit outside. I have, quite literally, been taking time out to smell the flowers.

With the garden bursting back into life, I reckon it’s time to spring clean my finances too. Do you have any plans, whether to make the most of your garden or your money? Any money matters where you need help? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!

Last year’s post about spring in the garden

 

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16 Comments

  1. Pamela
    29th April 2019 / 12:54 pm

    I’m retired, dramatically downsized, have money to invest . Looking for safe, fairly short time investment which will give me a better rate than inflation. Seems impossible. I’ve done an online course on finance, but that didn’t help. Can you help , please?

    • 29th April 2019 / 1:24 pm

      Hi Pamela – When you say short term, what kind of time are you thinking of? One year, 3, 5, 10, longer?
      Safe and short term usually mean relying on cash, but interest rates are so rubbish right now that even a savings account like Marcus by Goldman Sachs only pays 1.5% a year.
      Historically, investing in the stock market has delivered higher returns over the long term than sticking to cash, but investors have to face some risks in exchange for higher returns, ie they may see their balance go down.

      • Pamela
        29th April 2019 / 6:14 pm

        Thank you for your reply Faith. I might live 1, 5, 10 years, I can’t know but if I’m optimistic my short term investment would be 10 years.
        My real purchasing power is declining and I thought others might be in a similar position and would also benefit from your thoughts on this.
        I was really interested in your post about Vanguard investments and have looked at their information. It’s one thing to know I should do something now, but I’m finding it difficult to plunge into the water.

        • Faith
          Author
          3rd May 2019 / 11:47 am

          Hi Pamela, I think you’re right in identifying that investing over 10 years is much more likely to maintain the purchasing power of your money than sticking it in a savings account. If it helps, remember that you don’t have to invest everything all at once. Could for example set up a standing order for a few hundred pounds a month to see how it goes.
          For me, a lot would depend on the reliability of other sources of income. I’d be more comfortable using investments for ‘nice to have’ spending in retirement, knowing that my basic bills will be covered by the State Pension and a workplace pension. But I’m not a financial adviser! Have you had a free chat with PensionWise? Might help you think through your options, even if they can’t recommend specific products.

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The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.