This photo of an emergent azalea was a lucky take when a glimpse of sunlight hit.  It feels as if it was a singular event.   Otherwise it was rain and hail with the odd episode of torrential.   It has been a long and very messy day.

I am now going to eat chocolate.  This may be just as messy but I doubt whether it will take very long.

Six on Saturday – The Management


There have been complaints from The Management.   We are talking Upper Management.   Even higher than our master CEO Prop.  Yes we are talking about Peggy, my mum.   It has been noted, and duly logged, that I missed the last Six on Saturday and my excuses for this week fell on deaf ears.   As I have rarely done as I was told since a I was a very young girl this would usually be shrugged off with a “whatever”.  Then, she took a tumble.  As she hasn’t been practicing her judo rolls she is feeling a little worse for wear.  Anything to get me to do as I’m told.

Can I be honest with you without fear of rebuke?  I thought not.  Rebuke away.  These photos were not taken in my garden and definitely not on a Saturday.  And this is going to be brief.  Concise is a better word.  Let us go.

First Epimedium ‘Frohnleiten’, lovely jubbly.

Second Hacquetia epipactis, splendiferous.

Third forget-me-not, amazeballs.

Drimys lanceolata

Fourth Tasmannia lanceolata (Drimys lanceolata), fandabidosi.


Fifth Synthyris missurica, perfectarooney.

Lastly little mousie magnolia bud casing, stupendimania.

Adios friends!

Myrtle Mania

Myrtus communis

Today I worked beneath the myrtle tree in Max’s garden.  Here, left unfettered, weeds had made a stronghold, finding firm footing amongst the roots.  This is a large tree, and has looked rather sorry for itself since last year’s twin beasts.  Still it is a great favourite, the fragrant pompom flowers and the limbs of peeling bark, looking a little too human on occasion, along with the glossy evergreen leaves make it almost perfect.  Not quite though.  It seeds itself around with abandon, the tough little myrtlings send roots deep and quick.  I must have pulled up at least 3 million this morning.  Then my foot began to hurt just a little too much, the snow clouds were gathering as I retired, promising to return on another day to continue my quest.

Double Vision


A couple of months ago Lady Mantle was invited by Max for lunch.  This was the first time that one of my clients had visited another.  It got me to thinking.

When I lived in Bristol, before I saw the horti-light, I used to visit a hardware shop not far from where I worked.  It was a traditional, fork handles/four candles kind of place.  Packed from floor to ceiling were pots and pans and sandpaper and scissors and mothballs and other such treasure.  Quite why I was such a faithful fan I can’t remember, possibly I was going through my string phase or needed to bolster my collection of galvanised nails.   Behind the counter sat one of two youngish chaps, both with a similar demeanour of “don’t bother me unless you really have to and then don’t bother me”.  They were fine once you got to know them, but were definitely disciples of the “treat them mean and keep them keen” school of customer service.

One day I was in another part of town, in desperate need of some WD40 (we’ve all been there) and I remembered that there was another outlet of this same store close by.  Perfect, my penetrating oil and water-displacing spray deficiency sorted.  As I crossed the threshold I stopped in my tracks and looked about me in disbelief.  It was exactly, I mean exactly, a carbon copy of the other shop.  The same size, the same stock in the same position and behind the counter (which was identical) the same grumpy man who gave me the very same look of disdain.  Surreal.  I poked my head out the door, just to convince myself I was where I thought I was.  Yes.  Fearing the ridicule of Laughing Boy I continued as if this absolute attention to doubleganger detail was all perfectly natural, made my purchase and left slightly disturbed by the whole experience.

When her ladyship said she was visiting I fantasized about how wonderful it would be if, after lunch and small talk, she was invited to look around the garden and found a carbon copy of hers.  There would be no looks of disdain though.  Just laughter at such jolly ruse.  It wasn’t real life after all.