Second Time Around

Choisya ternata

A day of mizzle and murk, that is until the moment I clocked off when the sun came out in all its glory.  Life is like that sometimes.

I arrived home to find the scaffolding complete and a quartet of builders in deep debate.  I am not absolutely certain, but I am pretty certain I overheard the words “metaphysics”, “bain-marie” and  “sledgehammer”.  Then I reversed into the drive.  My favourite occupation, reversing with an attentive audience.  You will be pleased to know that I didn’t hit the bins. Close, but not quite.

This Choisya ternata, the fragrant Mexican Orange Blossom, is having another shot at flowering.  Great idea.

Six on Saturday – Disrupted


It has been a disruptive week.  I am disrupted.  Bits all over the place.

Betwixt and between I have half an hour to spare.  What better use of this time than attempting a Six on Saturday.  I mean if Mr K can fell and dispose of a 15m length of leylandii and still contribute to The Propagator’s weekly assignment surely I can make the effort.  So this is it.  My disrupted effort.

Firstly we have scaffolding.  But you probably guessed that one.  They arrived yesterday morning.  One jolly, one with the demeanour of the devil.  That is just what I need in my life, I thought, another grumpy man.  They took out the front window and passed the uprights and crosses and planks and mud through out house.  Then it rained.  And galed.  And we dashed to cover and recover TV and books and chairs and grabbed paintings from the walls and watched our home implode.  Then they put the window back and we tided up.  All was well.  Until they come back to take it down again.

All my pots have been shoved, unceremoniously, into corners and alleys.  Many are out of reach, watering is not feasible, or my occasional tootling and worrying and nosing about.  One of which  has, by luck, found its way to the front of the corral is a garden centre rescuee, a “no label”.  This is when a little bit of knowledge comes in handy, and as you know a little bit is all I possess.  I was a little bit smug when this dark double auricula started to flower.  This is my glory shot.  Perhaps I should have saved it for later.


Now we have the “cosmos that will not flower but is actually considering it now”.  Cheers mate.  About time.


Next a begonia.  These are not my favourite.  I would not choose them, but OH thinks they are reliable and long flowering and trouble-free, all of which is true.  We must remember that it is not my garden, it is our garden.  This of course troubles me on occasion, but I have decided to keep OH for the meantime and therefore the begonias must also remain.


Another compromise, the pyracantha.  Prickly and painful.  But admittedly the fruit is both beautiful and worthy.


Lastly a garden stalwart, an anonymous fuchsia, which without care or attention returns each year with flowers aplenty.  No showstopper, but a fine spear carrier.

That is your lot.  Which is just as well because that half hour passed and things have been done and fine folk celebrated in the meantime.  Now I have returned and am ready to switch it all off. Thanks The Prop for your continuing propping.  Until next time ……







After very enjoyable, but rather hectic, weekend it was a treat to spend the day on Button Moon.  Even better I was joined by my friend Pickle.   First we surveyed the garden.  I was looking for progression and regression in order to make an accurate assessment of horticultural jobs and their relative urgency.  Pickle was compling an inventory of sticks, balls and miscellaneous toys including Pink Piggie.  Later I picked pears and apples, collected seed, weeded re-emerging ground elder and dead-headed herbaceous plants. Pickle rolled in badger poo.   So pleased we didn’t get our jobs mixed up.

Brain Plant

This is one of Nancy Nightingale’s purchases.  I like to call it the brain plant.  That is because I have no idea of the true name.  I am not sure that I want to know.

However the more I look at its bizarre folds of scarlet, and in spite of myself, I am beginning to find it strangely attractive.  It is intriguing.  And a little bit scary.

Six on Saturday – The Builders Are Coming …….

Mirabilis longiflora 'Angel Trumpets'

September, how did that happen?  This “time passing” malarkey is quite disturbing sometimes.  It is Six on Saturday time once more.  What Andrew Lloyd Webber is to musical theatre, The Prop is to the Meme.  But much more handsome.  Take a look at his blog and marvel at some of his greatest hits, the divas and the divans, complete with hissy fits and jazz hands.

“What has any of this got to do with builders?” you may well ask.  Well, the invisible leak in our roof has now become invisible “leaks”, and we are (yet again, using a different builder) going to try to get it, and its new buddy, fixed.  As we live in a three storey house this means a substantial amount of scaffolding.  Which in turn means (dum, di, dum, di, dum) scaffolders and builders.  Don’t get me wrong, they are noble professions, but in my experience they have little regard for what I hold dearly, that is “plants”.  Last time there were tears.  I am expecting more.

“No we definitely won’t be going over there”  “Nor there”  “Five foot (how quaint) from the front and rear, all will be safe”.  I could see the head honcho’s eyes glowing red as he attempted to placate me.  As we are having a royal visit next weekend, yes Her Not So Royal Highness, Peggy of the municipality of Creigiau, is visiting with her entourage.  There will be absolutely no hope of doing anything during this sojourn except fanning and curtsying.  Which means I made a start today.  In a feeble attempt at damage limitation I have started shuffling pots.  The following is what I saw (apart from a lot of sneaky slugs and mud) whilst I toiled and prayed for mercy.

Firstly we have the elegant and fleeting flower of Mirabilis longiflora ‘Angel Trumpets’.  Grown at extraordinary speed from seed this year, so fast that I have taken several cuttings already which are thriving.  It is currently languishing in amongst yet-to-flower salvias.  I don’t think I have placed it correctly.  It is pencilled in for a shuffle next year.

Crocosmia 'Coleton Fishacre'

Now we have Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishacre’ just beginning to flower.  This was a bit of a surprise as I thought it was C. ‘Emily McKenzie’.  Now I wonder where she could have got to?  The scaffolders are definitely not going anywhere near this bed.   I have yet to give the builders my “do not throw anything, liquid or solid, on the borders, do not stub your fags out in my pots” instructions.  For them to ignore.  Obviously.

Armeria pseudameria

Although I only have a mini greenhouse, it is going to have to move, along with all my cuttings, sown seeds and newly potted-ons.  This sixer (all the best things come in sixes) of Armeria pseudarmeria  (that I have been spelling incorrectly according to the semi-diety of the RHS) may have to take its chances in the big bad world.  Needs to toughen up a bit before the winter.  Might be a good thing.  See, I’m looking on the bright side already!

Persicaria filiformis

This Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis, Fili to her mates, is just coming into its own after struggling through the winter.  All we need now is a size 12 steel toecap ……….. but of course this will not happen as neither scaffolder or builder will be anywhere near this area.  Grown primarily for its foliage, which I have always thought resembles a psychological ink blot test (beaked bird, possibly evil with big boots on), but also has the most delicate, and charming, red flower spikes.


This little chap was not happy about his home being shifted.  He lives in amongst the greenery of Dahlia ‘Peggy’s Pearler’ which is being very slow to flower.  There will be trouble if there is no action by next week.  I may have to stick some plastic ones on.  She will never notice.

Dahlia coccinea

Lastly we have Dahlia coccinea, the paintbrush washed orange and red petals are glorious. This bloom sits alongside standard deep red flowers.  It is known to be a variable plant, this might be a reaction to weather or perhaps just an attention seeker.

That is it for another week.   Don’t forget to see what everyone else has been up to at Chez Prop, who I thank for being a wonderfully magnanimous host.

With a fair wind, plenty of tea and chocolate hobnobs, with my menacing look saved for emergencies, in the next few weeks we might have a dry house and an undamaged garden.  Dreams do come true.  They do don’t they?  Tell me they do!