Today I thought I’d have a look back at my gardening year, highs, lows and everything in-between. It’s not been the greatest year due to the poor summer weather and my bad shoulder, but here goes anyway.

Since having a new battery fitted the big mower is doing just fine, thank goodness.

I don’t have much success with indoor houseplants, and I’v been trying to replace a lovely cyclamen we had without much luck. It’s latest replacement was on it’s knees earlier in the year, so I gave up on it and took it outside to the boiler-house with the intention of dumping on the compost heap when I had a moment.

Before I had time to do this, and to my utter amazement, I detected signs of life, so started watering it again. Now, several months down the line, it’s back in the house flowering beautifully. Just goes to show, you can never tell.

I first saw ‘Salvia Patens’ and ‘Toad Lily’  last October and loved them both.  So earlier in the year I bought seeds for the Salvia and a small Toad Lily plant by mail order.

I’m pleased to say both are doing well. The Salvias were a bit disappointing, mainly because their vibrant blue flowers last for such a short time. Blink, and they’re gone. Happily they seem to be getting their second wind and are producing new flower spikes as I speak.

The Toad Lily is just flowering for the first time. To be honest I planted it a bit too close to a dahlia, so it is struggling a bit, but the dahlia will be gone next year, so I have every confidence the Toad Lily will thrive.

I bought a Goji Berry at the same time as the Toad Lily. It struggled in the dry Spring/Summer and I thought I was going to lose it, but it seems to be more settled now, and I think it will be OK.

My cauliflowers, cabbages, basil, lettuce have all been a disaster, as has the sweetcorn for the second year running. Just about everything else has been pretty normal, except the peas and strawbewrries which have been sensational, thanks to their fleece barriers.

One of my favourite successes is Sylvias Sunflowers which have been an absolute joy, after a rather shaky start.

But by far the biggest and most un-expected success this year has been with the ants, or perhaps I should say lack of them. Previous years they have been a huge problem in the house. We’ve tried everything or thought we had.

Off the shelf ant and insect killers, powders and sprays, even talcum powder, nothing seemed to get rid of them, we just hoped we were controlling their numbers.

This year for no good reason we bought ant traps. To be honest, I don’t know why we haven’t before, maybe after all the years of trying we didn’t believe they would work.

But guess what? They do. Ant numbers have been reduced by 90% on previous years, and we’ve had no big flying ones in the house at all. I’ve already bought my ant traps for next year!