How are we? A little delicate, disappointed, over-fed, over-watered, exhausted, confused, relaxed, relieved, or perhaps a little bit of each on rotation? It is a strange time, this in-between bit; not quite Christmas, not quite new year. Are we living in the moment or eyes fixed on the horizon? Anyone have a clue?
If all else fails a castle usually diverts attention, for a little while at least. Here we have Coity Castle. My manor. Well, as much as any other ancient monument.
Professor Gadget (no dimwit) appears to have an abundance of green jumpy things in his garden. Last week this Incredible Hulk was lurking unabashed on Rosa ‘Wild Edric’. As I struggled, with a cursory hand wipe on my trousers, to grab my camera, he posed and preened, pleading “make sure you get my good side”. Unfortunately, I got his rather blurry side.
Fast forward to today, if you wish you might make wooey/wooshy noises to aid the effect. New week, new green friend. I am not sure this little chap, lurking in the flushed mouth of a gladioli, can leap or not, but he has some fine antennae whatever his preferred style of transportation might be. PG also has lots of feathered and spikey and many legged residents. This is a very good sign. It indicates balance and good organic practice. The rewards of this are minimal disease and few pests.
He might say the major pest arrives on a Tuesday morning, drinks all the coffee, eats a pasty and then scurries home. But I wouldn’t want to put words into his mouth.
There are an awful lot of magpies in these parts, some might say a glut. Perhaps even more than in Cornwall. It was here that a school friend, having been pinched for the upteenth time, declared that as there were so many of these piebald plunderers superstitions didn’t count and from that moment henceforth, in perpetuity (yes, she spoke like that), any spitting, nipping, spinning, counting and greeting was to be banned (she also had delusions). She did have a point though, it was rather time consuming.
Here they often line the garden fence, hopping or lolloping along as suits them, ever vigilant for devilment opportuities. For sport they toss things about, decorative shells, pot lining corks, empty pots and they steal twigs I’ve carefully placed to protect my newly sowed planters. Someone has been plucking out my sempervivum pups, dropping them in random places. I have my suspicions the perp is familiar to me, although have no concrete evidence. Sometimes they are alone, often not. We are thrown from joy to sorrow to boys to girls and even silver and gold on ocassion. Our emotions are frazzled.
This morning I spotted this moth resting on my Pseudopanax lessonii ‘Moas Toes’. After a little googly research I discovered it is a magpie moth. What else could it be?
Shall we cut to the chase. We have known each other long enough to be totally honest with one another. You know what comes next. I give The Prop a bit of a big up and a semi-amusing title, he totally ignores me, I waffle on a bit about stuff that no one quite understands and then I share some photos with you. Same old, same old. Well from now on there is going to be a new me: tough, unforgiving, ruthless. No more creeping around TP, no more nice little Gillykins, I have a new persona – Bad Cop. I’ll give a go anyway. Come on, you motley crew, let’s get this over and done with.
First we have a hitchhiking nasturtium, I love the scary teeth and its insistent ways. It doesn’t let anything stand in its way, it just forces through, taking no prisoners in its quest for garden, nay world, domination. Most admirable. (And the bumblebees love clambering through to the rewards behind.)
Next is Impatiens omeiana, slow to flower even though I have tended it. Some plants you just can’t please. You give and give and they can’t even be bothered to try. (Although to be honest the beautiful foliage is quite enough.)
Then Salvia ‘Neon’ which is looking rather pathetic in the rain. Don’t fall for that romantic raindrop nonsense. (The colour is stunning and not captured by my photo, I always have trouble with strong pinks.)
Now an unknown plant which was in a basket of flowers that my brother bought mum for Mothers Day. As soon as I moved in I chucked it out. Peggy needed to be reminded who was No. 1 child. (In reality it didnt go far and this little beauty is doing quite nicely. I will pot it on.)
Onto Correa schlechtendalii, what a name, seriously does anyone expect me to remember that! (But of course I shouldn’t moan about a word that isn’t familiar to me because it hails from a foreign language. Oh yes, and the flower is very pretty.)
Finally, another flouncy show-off attempting the dewy eyed look, AKA, the second Hibiscus syriacus in my temporary garden. (It is a large shrub and in the far corner, so I picked a few stems and put them in a vase for Peggy to admire.)
Over and out. (How did I do?) (Have a good week) (Take care and stay safe)
We visited Cowbridge Physic Garden today. A scant half-acre walled garden, it manages to cram in everything you could ever ask from a physic garden. It is a magical place and I snapped my way around, greedily grabbing scenes of knot garden and pleach and fountain. At its farthest reaches, we stepped through an arched doorway, from brightness into shade. Unbeknownst to us, we were now in the Old Hall Gardens, admiring a pendula lime, ancient yew and tulip tree. The shaded border was plumptious with astrantia, thalictrum and Solomon’s seal. And a stand of perfect red poppies, dramatically spotlit. It was the shot of the day.
If it wasn’t for May, I think June would be my favourite month. There is still optimism in the air and the ravages of reality are yet to pay a visit. All is good. Anything is possible. Today is the first SoS of my second best month. All the pots have now been transported from the tender loving care of brother and sister-in-law’s garden to Peggy’s patio. I am very happy to be reunited. One was left behind, Magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’. This glorious tree is part payment for their kindness and a magnolia really should have its feet in the earth and not in compost. What is more, there is a perfect spot for it. Luckily/unluckily, Lazarus the acer failed to rise again this spring so there is prime real estate ready for moving into. And of course I am not the only Heavens in town. If you would like to take stock of this fabulous month in all its glory, at the four corners of the known universe, than you could hardly do better than to visit The Gamemaster and see what the other SoSers have been up to. All good clean fun, I am quite certain. Now we really should proceed.
First a self-seeded scabious that is possibly the godzilla off-spring of Scabiosa ‘Blue Jeans’. It is already attracting attention from the local bee population.
Next we have Aquilegia ‘Egg’ so called because …. suddenly I have a distinct feeling of deju vu. As I have told you the story a few time before, I will just precis it as follows: farm, eggs, aquilegia, heinous crime.
The sempervivum are picking up, seemingly nonchalant as to whether their most glorious and talented mama are by their side or not. To be truthful the same can be said for all of the other plants. I am trying not to take it personally.
Onto my yearly joy at the flowering of Rhodohypoxis baurii or equivalent. I am very happy to be corrected in its identification, but not by the fact they are little gems of wonder.
Now, we have something flowering in the little tufa planter that in its Devon life languished in the Frozen North. It seems, for some unexplicable reason, that since it has been in more convivial conditions it is growing splendidly. Any answers to this conundrum, please put them on a postcard and send to The Guilty As Charged. I think it is a lithodora, but I’m not certain. But still this blue makes my toes tingle.
Lastly, we have Potentilla atrosanguinea cosing up to Lilium ‘Forever Linda’, I have a feeling in my bones that we are all going to get on very well here.
That is your lot, my friends, have fun and be safe, until next time.
A few days ago I sowed some “just within the sow-by date but I wasn’t going to pay you any heed anyway” veggies. Some french beans, some broad beans and some cucumbers. “Do you mind if I put a few pots on the kitchen window cill?” I shouted through to Peggy, although in truth the deed was already done. I’m also planning some cut-and-come-again leaves and various oriental salad whose names escape me. I ran out of compost so they will have to be patient. I will grow them on in large pots and give them my undying love and affection. One cucumber seedling was eager to get going, having foolishly believed my intentions and declarations, greeting me this morning when I staggered into the kitchen. The sight of a germinating seed never gets any less exciting. And I like it that way.
It wasn’t until I looked at this photo of a beautiful and anonymous rhododendron in Max’s garden, that realised I had missed something. In the background, as I admired the most wonderful bee-hugging blooms, a cloud monster waved his arms in anger. I bet he was upset that I was ignoring his voluptuous curves, but it is so easy to be distracted by the plethora of blooms at the moment . Springtime is a tough one for cloud monsters.