Six on Saturday – Greatest Hits

This week, in the pretence of treating you to some joy at this festive time but in reality is because it is tipping with rain and I am in a grump, I will be presenting to you lovely folk six happy recollections of the year past. Whether or not this is permitted, perhaps an addendum in the tome that is the Six on Saturday rule book, quite frankly my dear etc etc. Please feel free to pop over to see what the generally law abiding SoS elves have been up to and if our very own Santa Prop has got his gardening mojo back. Let’s get this party started.

In the eye of the storm I managed two visits to RHS Rosemoor in the space of week. They were both joyful events. This photo is not staged. At the time I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am still undecided.

In February, when we were all still innocents, we had an amazing few days in London. Always on the lookout for the green, on the banks of the Thames I spied some valiant lichen and evidence of a passing angel.

This picture always makes me happy. It is the seedling of, what I believe is, a lesser spotted orchid which has made its home in the furry arms of a large fern at Westwell Hall. And why wouldn’t you?

Onto a green variegated zantedeschia, donated by Mrs Bun to Max. It is always good to share, especially a plant which sounds so unlikely to be beautiful, and never fails to prove you wrong.

My cosmos were rubbish this year. Nancy Nightingale’s were wonderful. More than wonderful.

In August, as a birthday treat, Hero whisked me off in her campervan. After visiting Atlantic Botanic and a delicious picnic, we went for a walk on Braunton Burrows. I spent much of the time with my head down, marvelling at the wildflowers, including this little echium, growing in almost pure sand. A memorable day.

And to finish (and yes, I can count but refuse to cull any of the above photos, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it) three doves. They are the symbol of peace and hope and of course love. Which is exactly what I wish for you all.

Curmudgeon

Kniphofia Happy Halloween

I am not a fan of Halloween. Quite the contrary.

However on this night, when my door bell rings, I attempt to go through the appropriate motions with at least a little feeling.  I pretend to be terrified by the little ghouls and ghosties, I offer hypo-inducing sweets to the adorables in their costumes, I encourage and praise.  But in truth I hate it.  There are several reasons.  When I get home after a hard day on the coal face I don’t want visitors however cutsie.  I want to lounge in my faux caribou negligee with matching mules and eat a giant-sized bag of maltesers without interruption.  And I am a scaredy cat, frightened of her own shadow half the time.  Coming from a city where a knock on the door on All Hallow’s Eve often meant being faced by a trio of pubescent youths, demanding in their crackling voices “Trick or Treat” which meant “Treat or beware”.  No less, there is all the wasteful tat sold for the event, the corporate marketing machine demanding the purchase of rubbish that will be no doubt be binned as soon as night is over.

But for fear of being thought an old curmudgeon, each year, instead of escaping to the pub, or perhaps sitting in darkness lain siege to in our own home, I buy half a hundred weight of treats and wait.  When no one comes, like today, I am offended.  Seriously, there is no way to win.

Sometimes I make things up, that is true.  In my defence it is more “getting carried away” than “bare face fabrication”.  This red hot poker is called Kniphofia ‘Happy Halloween’.  Just the kind of thing that I could have invented.  It is indeed fact, according to RHS Rosemoor.  On reflection, there is always the possibility that they invented the name for the occassion.  How could I suggest such a wicked thing!  Must be something in the air tonight.