“There is always something new to see in the garden” is a line describing Cliffe Garden in our NGS blurb. I wouldn’t be surprised if many gardens use the same enticement, assuring visitors that there they won’t arrive just as everything has packed up for the season. When I read it now it sounds somewhat of a cliche and expect one day to be challenged on this extravagant claim. Well, disbelievers, actually it is true. For me at any rate. The sherbert lemon stamen and the sea anemone like violet pistils of this Pulsatilla vulgaris took me totally by surprise this week. I had never noticed this cosmic combination before; you may well be giggling behind your Beano at my schoolgirl omission, but I have seen this Pasque Flower many times and don’t previously remember this adornment. Mind you, it does help to have a goldfish memory.
I must apologise if I was a little brusque the other day. It was the evening of my talk to a local horticultural society, so it was all a bit of a rush to get home, hose off the mud, grab a bite and get out the door again. My subject was “A Year in the Life of Cliffe Garden, Warts and All”. All I had to do was
witter on about plants for a while with a sprinkling of everyday adventures. What could possibly go wrong? Well, to cut an embarrassing and soul crushing story short, I forgot to pack my laptop lead. As it appears that Georgeham is sponsored by Apple Mac there were no local substitutes; another solution had to be found. Unfortunately there is the need for more sums. My talk was at least a hour long, allow an hour and a half. The life span of my laptop battery is approximately a pathetic 30 minutes, on a good day. The time of the discovery of said omission was 7.00 and the start time was 7.30. Home, where the errant lead was residing, was a round trip of at least 50 minutes not including searching for the missing article. So you see we had ourselves a problem Huston. My brave OH volunteered to make the mercy dash whilst I started working out whether I could fit a cartwheel or two in the space in front of the screen if he didn’t get back in time. There was nothing for it but to begin, and I launched myself into the unknown. It it didn’t take long to forget the sword of Damocles that was suspended by an ever thinning thread above my head and I quickly got into my slightly erratic stride. That is of course until the dreaded “find another power source” sign appeared followed swiftly by the inevitable termination of the show (just as we got to the mushroom compost which may have been appropriate). This was greeted by a united groan from the audience and a sick stomach from me. It crossed my mind to take advantage of the sudden darkness to make a run for it, but I held my ground, smiled sweetly and the troops rallied. Coffee was served, the raffle drawn, some questions answered and the Pony Express arrived with every lead in the house and a lamp (don’t ask). Soon we were back on track with hardly a beat missed. My head is hung in shame at my amateurish error, but I have learned from this mistake. I have learned that the folk of Georgeham Fruit and Veg Society are a sterling lot, kind and resourceful and fun. They are visiting the garden in September and I look forward to welcoming them and returning the magnificent hospitality and patience they showed me. Warts and all, huh!
This is the photo is of Euphorbia x pasteurii bashfully revealing its emerging flowers.
Today things were calm, accepting and productive. The sun shone (always good for an extra 50 points), a box of eagerly awaited plug plants arrived in good condition (more to follow so only scores 10), I met a bull mastiff called Gus (from a cautious distance on both our parts, plus 30), bracken was removed from tender plants (a garden milestone so 40 for this), we had a laugh and a singsong (definitely another 50, is was opera after all) and my cheese and salami on toast for lunch was almost perfect (only a 20 for this as I burnt the toast). This photo however was the defining moment of the day. On my way to the compost bins with my final load of the day, I suddenly caught a glimpse of where I had been working (surely this view can score no less than 100). So with a quick tally up, and carefully checking the logarithm charts, this adds up to a pretty good day.