Due to the fact that my Mean Machine is still at the menders, I have had to walk to work for the last couple of days.  Luckily these jobs have been relatively local and the sun was shining or I might not have been quite so nonchalent.

This morning, on my trek to work, I dipped down to photograph this Kniphofia rooperi in the park.  Not a bad start to the day.



Ginger lilies, hummingbird hawk moth, Canna ‘Panache’, four lovely cats, chocolate biscuits, ginger rosemary cuttings, Helianthus salicifolius, brugmansia, horti-chat, sunshine, Colocasia ‘Black Magic’, road trip, Passiflora exoniensis, fine folk, school day, Ensete montbeliardii, plant aquisitions, dragonfly, Bidens ‘Hannay’s Lemon Drop’ and friends, fabulous visit  – Devon Subtropical Garden.


We have just returned from the Edinburgh Fringe.   We survived.   Not the festival, I had every faith we would return tired but relatively unscathed.  It was everything I thought it would be and more – crazy crowded, cosmopolitan, chaotic and great fun.  We had a wonderful few days with some of my family and did everything on the virtual list we had in our heads.  And we survived.

I am talking about the flights.   I would like to say that the reason that we have only flown twice in the last 15 years is for ecological reasons, but it would be untrue, although that is an added bonus.  It is because I have a mortal fear of flying.  More accurately, not flying.

For me, the prelude and actual event goes something like this:

a)  Sleepless nights for a week before, along with daymare re-enactments,

b) Go to the toilet at least 6 times an hour at the airport,

c)  Sit rigid with eyes closed during take-off, silently weeping,

d)  Relax slightly (only slightly) until we begin to descend,

e)  Sit rigid with eyes closed, make a little yelp as we touch the ground, brake furiously.

f)  Become euphoric that I have survived.

Repeat on return trip.

I know the statistics, I know it isn’t logical, but that is the way it is.

On the homeward journey we arrived safe and sound at Exeter airport, and naturally I was euphoric.  We drove home.  The car was acting a little peculiar for the last 5 or 6 miles and we resolved to take it to the garage soon.  Then we stopped off at the local supermarket, approximately half a mile from our house, to get some essentials (bread and beer).  Fully stocked up, and pleased to eventually nearing home,  I drove off to exit the car park.   Reaching a corner I put my foot on the brake, which rather bizarrely kept going, as did the car.  Luckily we were still in the car park, so glided to a halt and waited for the nice man from Green Flag to tell us that the brake on the left hand side had seized up completely (I glazed over when he began with the technicalities).  He took our car away to be fixed and us and all our bags to our front door.

This could have happened on the M5 motorway.  Or the busy Link Road.  Or on the very steep hill that we were just about to drive down.   Therefore today I am feeling very lucky, and I have thanked my guardian angel, he was certainly looking over us.   We survived.

Six on Saturday – Anarchy

I’m not very happy with my garden at the moment, and I’m sure the garden would say exactly the same about me.  I have once again slipped into a cycle of neglect – no dead heading, no slug watch, no bother.  And it shows.  Anarchy has ensued.  My Six on Saturday this week is a reflection on that state, some have overcome, some have suffered.  If you still haven’t caught on about the cause for world peace that is SoS, then check out The Propagator’s blog and he will tell you all about it and you can also indulge in stories from across the world.

First we have a success, Tibouchina urvilleana, which hasn’t turned a hair through assault by wind, rain and scorch.  The downy buds are almost as beautiful as the deep purple flowers, yet to come.

Next we have Dahlia ‘Candy Eyes’, another plant ear-marked for a client which never managed to escape my clutches.  Situated just outside the back door, it has still been victim of the dreaded molluscs and is fit to bust out of its pot.  Still I think we can look past a few nibbles and appreciate your pretty pink face, no need to hang your head.  I’ll repot you soon, promise.

In the world of mollusc gastronomy, gazanias appear to be the latest trend, the sought out delicacy.  All the cool snails in town are raving about it.  Not just any old part of the plant however, the petals are the most sought after, leaving unattractive stumps in their wake.  No wonder these two new blooms are staying firm shut, too dangerous to go out there!

This is part of the bronze fennel forest that is engulfing the back of one of my borders, squishing and squashing as it expands.  Strange, as the year before last I dug up every last piece.

Now for a plant that gets ten out of ten for fortitude.  This Dahlia coccinea was sheared off at the ground earlier in the year, before rising like a phoenix out of the ashes.  Just coming into bloom, a agapanthus fell on its head.  Some years are like that.

Lastly a fuchsia.  This lives in the front garden and has been subject to the most rigorous of storms over the last few weeks.  Who would have guessed it?

All done, until next time!


Today there was plenty of blue sky to raise our spirits, a good working day with just a tease of a shower this morning.   The return to summer was short-lived as the skies have already filled with grey cloud and gloom.

It will be much harder to un-blue this salvia.