At Nancy Nightingale’s today we planted out more bulbs, dug up dahlias for their winter sojourn and said “NO!” and “DROP IT”, on repeat, to Scooby the puppy.

Whilst stuffing the compost bin with the defunct dahlia vegetation, I rescued some seed heads, certain that my collection needed a boost. Which of course are the thoughts of a delusional idiot. Still, it makes no difference, room for another little bag and they will happily join the throng. When I got home I (unusually) remembered that I had stuffed them into an empty Gladious nanus bag and then into my handbag. I tipped them onto a piece of printing paper and started to process them, breaking open the pale husky layers to reveal the dark potential within. The problem is, where do I stop? I have plenty sorted, more than plenty if I were to be honest. But there is a nagging voice whining in my subconscious; what if one of the rejects, the seed not yet in the “to be dried and stored” pile is The One. The outstanding specimen, the one that folk will swoon over, will arm-wrestle each other just to get a glimpse, who will remortage their homes for a slender tuber. But can I be bothered to continue my search on this dismal afternoon when a new novel beckons and the chance of dahlia breeding superstardom is slim?

Luckily there is a handy equation to help in such trying circumstances:

For those of you unaccustomed to the intricacies of pure mathematics/high-faluting nonsense, I will simplify it for you. The amount of seed extracted equals the potential for a humdinger divided by ennui.

A few more wouldn’t hurt. You just never know. And I can always share my treasure.

Six on Saturday – Peace

Another day, another Six on Saturday. For the uninitiated, take a look at The Prop’s site and you will soon be up to speed with the inner workings of the sophisticated machine that is SoS. For those of you that wish to witness a plethora of flimsily veiled, Grade A cheekiness then take a look at what Mr K is up to. I can’t believe you actually looked?! I am very disappointed. Best to sweep that under the carpet and proceed with the task at hand, all the while silently weeping.

First, we have a crest fallen rose, a victim of this summer’s ravages. It has been suggested before by your clever selves that it is ‘Peace’. I like it. Both the sentiment and the flower.

Next, the most elegant in flower but languid in habit, Fuchsia glazioviana.

Now a disappointment. Yes, another one. This is, supposedly, Agapanthus inapertus ‘Midnight Cascade’. I have been waiting for it to flower for an age or two. After my initial euphoria, I now believe it to be an imposter. Life is like that sometimes, still the dark stem is rather nice.

On to Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’. It is a relatively new arrival but already has been subjected to the trauma of OH trimming the grisselina behind. Which cost it its first flowering stem. I said nothing. Let me remind you; peace is the preferred option.

Now the glorious Gladiolus papilio ‘Ruby’. I can’t beat glorious I’m afraid.

Lastly, a Dahlia coccinea seedling, dark-leaved and sultry. A great favourite of both myself and the slugs and snails. Sometimes I am not quite so peaceful.

That is yer lot you mottley crew! ‘Til the next time. Be safe and happy, my friends.

Six on Saturday – Gifts


I bunked off last week.  There was a very good excuse.  As no one seemed to notice I will continue unabashed.  I will bank the good excuse for another time.

Here we are again, Six on Saturday, the pyramid selling concern started by the President of Prop Towers, The Prop.  This tower should not be confused with Malory, Fawlty or indeed Trump.  God forbid.  There is oodles more intrigue, much better customer service and well, the least I can say is, a better haircut.

The weather has changed.  The rain arrived last night and brought with him a rowdy party of hail, thunder, lightning and gales.  He would have been more welcome on his own.

My first contribution is a flowering sedum.  When my OH appeared with this in hand I humoured him, “very nice, dear” I said, whilst barely raising an eye from my How to Crochet a Rocket Ship book.   When I saw the flower I repeated the sentiment, the difference being this time I meant it.

Lilium 'Casa Blanca'

Next we have Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’, both fragrant and fabulous.  A gift from the generous and kind, cunningly disguised as a grumpy, old man who will probably be even more grumpy now I have said nice things about him, Mr K.  Thanks, they are indeed a wonder to behold and sniff.


Just as I love tigers but wouldn’t particularly want one in my garden, petunias and me are not a happy gardening match.  They are sticky.  They make me go icky.  I like to look at them, admire them in other people’s gardens as long as I don’t have to work there.  My lovely neighbour gave me a pot of petunias for looking after her cats.  I smiled and accepted them as enthusiastically as I could muster.  I admit they are rather striking, attractive even.  A tiger would have been nice.

Alonsoa warscewiczii 'Scarlet'Several years ago I grew  Alonsoa warscewiczii ‘Scarlet’, the mask flower.  A magnificent colour, tough and persistent, it even over wintered for a couple of years.  Then a harsh one and it failed and drifted out of my consciousness.  In mine and Nancy’s “all seed packet 50p” frenzy at the local garden centre I picked up a packet.   Now I am rather pleased I had practiced my Boston crab.

Cautleya spicata 'Robusta'

Now we have Cautleya spicata ‘Robusta’, a member of the ginger family, that was donated by the lovely Phlomis Phlo.  It has been battered by scorch and now rain and wind so is perhaps not looking its best.  The fetching drip on the end of its nose brings a little pathos to the picture don’t you think?

dahlia seedling

And finally a dahlia seedling, whose parentage is a little vague.  Possibly Dahlia coccinea with a contribution from some passing Lothario.   Dark leaved, tangerine veined petals and a central boss of ginger, a beautiful love child.

Thanks Mr P, happy holidays to you.  Who knows what next week will bring?  Let us hope it is all good things.