Expat Life Lately: Meeting a Friend in the Most British Way + Gardening

tea rain

The other week the clouds were just beginning to spit as I made my way through town from the bus to home. As I was passing the grocery store I made the snappy decision to pop in and grab a few things, figuring the rain would pass while I was doing my shop.

The rain did not pass. It absolutely pelted down with no end in sight. So there I was without my umbrella or my wellies, standing in the entrance to the grocery store with about 20 other shoppers who were also not keen on getting soaked through.

Off the shoppers went in their cars, braving the weather, one by one until there were just a few of us left. One was a girl about my age who, as I got talking to her, had made the same poor decision to pop in for a few things instead of bustling home from her bus before the downpour.

As it turns out she lives on my street and we ended up having lots in common; we both work in education, love reading and history and drinking tea. When the rain let up a little she shared her umbrella with me and we dodged puddles back to our respective houses. Last week we met up one night for dessert and, of course, tea.

It’s taken over a year of living here to finally make a friend in my area. Perhaps I should make pour decisions (see what I did there?) and get caught in the rain more often.

Things have been coming along nicely in the garden. I have now harvested my first 2 and a half Zucchini’s. I say two and a half as my yellow ones seem to be staying very small and not getting any bigger. Somehow I’ve also grown a stripey variety of zucchini; this photo doesn’t do justice to how big it is.

courgette1 courgette3

I’ve also picked 3 large baskets of lettuce; 1 each weekend and we’ve had some lovely salads with it.


The toms have just started appearing but are still very small; we’ve had an abundance of rain and not much sun for two long months. I hope we will get some ripening sunshine soon as I don’t think my tomatoes are pluviophiles (lovers of the rain).


Annd, I have my first red strawberries! I plan to pick these two tonight. One for me, one for my honey (don’t think we can quit grocery shopping just yet lol). My Honeoye berries seem to be doing the best so far; they are the only ones beginning to turn. My Cambridge Favourite berries are growing but smaller and still green, and my Hapil berries sadly don’t seem to be making much progress at all.


And what would a garden be without some vibrant blossoms. The current star of the garden are the Penstemon’s I planted last fall. They’ve spread and cropped up a stunning bunch of bell-shaped pink and white flowers.


Our Geum that we planted last month is still blossoming beautifully. I love the burnt orange and salmon colour of it’s fluted petals.

geum geum2

We’ve had this year’s first appearance of winding Clamatis. And now that the stunning violet Rhododendron has dropped it’s blooms, the baton has been passed on to our periwinkle Hydrangea which is just beginning to flower.

clamatis Hydrangea

What is your favourite flower in your garden right now?

Cheerio old chaps and chapettes!


7 thoughts on “Expat Life Lately: Meeting a Friend in the Most British Way + Gardening

    1. Thanks rebekah 🙂 things with us are wonderful im so happy. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me 🙂

      How are you and your man? Xx

    1. Thank you! It’s my favourite place to be other than the beach 🙂

      I finally gave in and had to use slug pellets around the wooden box. I tried the gel but it just wouldn’t keep them out; I was picking about 5-6 slugs out of that box everyday for weeks. Felt a bit bad as I like all creatures (even ugly, slimy ones) but there are just so many this year I wouldn’t have had a piece of lettuce to myself.

      Good luck with your lettuce! I know what that losing battle is like

  1. I’m with you – garden or beach and I’m happy! I had to buy the pellets too and I still have nightly “slug hunts.” My husband thinks I’m ridiculous 🙂

  2. Ugh slugs: have you ever tried scattering broken eggshells around the plants/planters? Probably not the most attractive thing to put in your garden, but I heard snails and slugs don’t like the sharp edges. Your garden looks so lovely in these photos!

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