Winter is traditionally horticultural ordering season; seed, plants, bulbs.  Take your pick.  Catalogues have arrived with their evil photos and delicious descriptions, emails regularly pop into your inbox tempting you to (with one click) enter their wicked world.  Combined with opportunity aplenty to peruse at pleasure, this adds up to a very slippery slope.  I am talking black ice and cold custard and Vaseline.  Yes, that slippery.

I am resisting ordering more seed as I am expecting my Hardy Plant Society delivery soon (40 packets) and my seed tin is already threatening explosion.  A couple of months ago I panicked at a 50p a packet sale and bought too many to admit to, including at least 5 packets of California poppies.

As for for plants, until I learn to look after them properly I am definitely not buying any more for myself.  My fingers may have been crossed as I typed that.  Metaphorically of course.  Otherwise it would have been very tricky.  And of course that excludes the species dahlias that will be arriving in the spring.  And any other unavoidable accidental purchases or gifts.

However, the recent kind donation of a variety of terracotta pots has given me a valid excuse to buy some bulbs to fill them.  To be more accurate, bulbs and corms.  I’m ever keen to try things I haven’t grown before so for that reason I have chosen Bessera elegans, Chasmanthe floribunda, Nerine undulata, Leucocoryne ‘Andes’  and Zephranthes rosea.  They won’t arrive for a few months, and by that time I am bound to have forgotten which beauties I picked.  Even now I can anticipate the thrill of opening the box of delights.

The stragglers, like this dewed arctotis, are most admired on these dull days, for both their perseverance and optimism.


Nerine, hesperantha

I tip toed through the grass border (with only the odd oops!) to take a photo of the splendid sugar pink nerines.  On closer inspection I was bemused/outraged/impressed to find that an errant hesperantha had seeded itself in the midst of the naked ladies.  The cheek!  With chameleon like powers of disguise, it had me fooled, a least for a minute.

Not that I was surprised.  This was Lavinia’s garden after all.  Another of her disreputable mates. She feigns regret and sorrow at my continual removal of these bullies, but all along I feel is secretly pleased that they test my patience.   She is impressed by their rebellious nature and fortitude.  I suppose I am too, but please don’t tell Lav I said that.