Araucaria araucana – The Monkey Puzzle Tree

This is the puzzle – how could a monkey climb through these vicious branches without doing himself some serious harm? Answers of no more than 15 words on a postcard please to: Mrs Nobody Nowhereisland The Universe The winner will be notified before the end of time and will be awarded with a great bigContinue reading “Araucaria araucana – The Monkey Puzzle Tree”

Golden Hornet

Today I am going to sing the praises of the humble crab apple, Malus sylvestris.  To me it is the tree that has everything so brace yourselves folks, my sales pitch is extensive and may involve a PowerPoint presentation with laser pointer. Firstly there is the long-lasting and stunning blossom which heralds the spring andContinue reading “Golden Hornet”

The Best Policy

Just has to be honesty!* * This is a gardening joke so apologies to those who are not of that persuasion.  Explanation as follows:  This is the seed head of Lunaria annua whose common name is Honesty.  The name is thought to be a reference to the transparency of the seed head.  The phrase “honestyContinue reading “The Best Policy”

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrilla gardening has interested me for a while.  I love the idea of improving our environment by planting neglected spaces with food and flowers, doing something positive as opposed to merely moaning about the short comings of those in charge.  In the optimistic hours before sleep I have planned forays to seed-bomb abandoned building sites,Continue reading “Guerrilla Gardening”


Although I haven’t undertaken a controlled scientific survey, my initial observations would suggest that those who visit gardens are generally of a “type”.  These fine folk are generally middle aged and above, sometimes coast path walkers or family groups complete with sulking teenagers.  Anyone under thirty is rare, except under duress (see sulking youths).  ThereContinue reading “Tribe”

Catch them if you can

These are the fruit of Vallea stipularis in various states of repair.  This South American shrub has given me much joy this year.  Firstly there was the thrill of buds which fulfilled all their promise with glorious flowers, blooming just above the deer nibble line.  Then the excitement to find that these rosy pink lampshadesContinue reading “Catch them if you can”

Those Friday Feelings

Tired and tetchy.  In fact I am so worn out I can only muster two adjectives at the moment.   Mind you come to think of it there is always “weary and weather beaten”, “dreary and down trodden” and let’s not forget  “lethargic and leaden”.  Enough self indulgence!  The apricot conserve blooms of Rosa “Lady Hillingdon”Continue reading “Those Friday Feelings”