During our early morning tour of the garden I asked after the hollyhock youths that were due be planted out. “Oh” said Mrs Bun “I’m not sure, I haven’t been in the greenhouse for ages”.   The hollyhocks were doing just fine, and later were relocated to their new playground, which is more than can be said for the pelargoniums.   They were in an advance stage of decay, being consumed by a severe case of grey mould, otherwise known as botrytis.  The North Devon dank is the nemesis of these South African natives and best friend to fungus.  Although destructive, the mould was strangely beautiful and, I thought, rather seasonal in appearance.  As if the Snow Queen had visited and cast an icy spell.   At every touch the “ice” threw up a puff of spores and I tried very hard not to breathe it in.  I’m not sure there have been any confirmed report of Gardener’s Rot but I wasn’t going to risk it.

So whilst Mrs B took care of housely duties, I spent a happy hour picking over the potted plants, removing the furry, soft and blackened vegetation.  It was strangely therapeutic.  I sung a couple of Christmas carols to myself which I believe was much appreciated by Big Bertha the voluptuous chicken.  Eventually clean bones were all that remained (of the pelargoniums not the chuck), but I have faith that they will make it through the winter to display their cerise beauty next summer. Mrs B has strict “check for mould regularly but barely water” instructions.   She won’t let me down. I told you, I have faith.

9 thoughts on “Faith

  1. George Michael moment?

    “Moments” could become a “thing” eh?

    I’m glad your day went well and that you found “light duties” to justify your presence. Am I doing it wrong by slicing my pelargoniums* off just above ground when the foliage dies, drying them and bagging them up and hanging in the attic with the dahlias? Must have a stern word with the ones that regrew last spring! Would speak to the ones that didn’t but they’re compost by now.

    I’ve got to enrol on a “camera course” to take photos as good as yours!


    * autocorrect wants to change “pelargoniums” to “planetariums”. If if does, please adjust your spectacles accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there are many ways to do many things, if it works for you then stick to it. As for my new camera, what is annoying is that I can’t find out how to make it stay on “close up” mode. Every time I switch it on I have to remember to change it from “normal”. Of course I don’t always remember!


  2. The pelargoniums probably appreciated the Christmas carols, too. Therapeutic all around. I was pretty sure I had it right, but my rendition of “pelargoniums” nearly got auto-corrected to “planetariums”. Hmm, perhaps the aliens are hacking WordPress!


  3. Great photo
    Love the two comments above too
    My pelargoniums ,now four years old,live under the bench in the potting shed in the winter and get a drastic hair cut in the spring


  4. You and your camera are very clever to make botrytis look like a Xmas card .Those planetariums are worth the effort. I am worried about my lovely aristocratic Pelargonium ‘Ardens’ I find her impossible to propagate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, my pelargoniums have botrytis too, it is something I have to stay on top of however much I keep the greenhouse well ventilated. I think I might have a half-way approach and cut back some of the stems so there is better air circulation around the plants, but that would mean cutting off some of the flowers. Decisions! Whatever you are up to this Christmas, I hope it is a Happy one. x

    Liked by 1 person

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