I am probably the wrong star sign for gardening. Leo. People usually say “oh” when they ask and try to change the subject. Apparently I am domineering, melodramatic and stubborn. Perhaps. Anyway today I tackled the Road Bank, the home to many of our more exotic family members; the hedychiums, bananas (both ensete and musa), cestrum and kunzea. The shelter belt of assorted trees has been trimmed back hard to reveal a leaning habitation of colquhounia, buddleia and euphorbia, desperate to be brought down to base and given a fresh chance to grow upright and proud. The rule book said “no”, the lion said “if not when?”. Maybe the cocky mare will be taught a lesson, maybe not. Maybe I will tell you if I’m wrong, maybe not. Oh no, another leonine trait “painfully honest”, drat!
ps photo is the trunk of caustic sap-dripping Euphorbia mellifera, luckily I remembered my gloves.
It is pretty, it is pink, it is petite; but it is also tough, flowering now and continuing to do so until some nasty big old frost smacks it in the teeth. Even then it tends to take a deep breath, give itself a little shake and start all over again. I hope that is good enough.
The second of my advent posts. The title should really be “Puppy Pip on a Bean Bag” but even I couldn’t bring that round to a christmas/horticultural theme. Anyway it is my blog and if I want to put puppies on it I will, so there! And the bean bag is red.
This Brazilian salvia is a reintroduction into the garden, having lost our previous specimen a few years ago (to the frost not just mislaid somewhere beneath a particularly rampant geranium). Previously I wasn’t totally convinced by the colour of the flowers but this year I am totally smitten. These velour covered blooms are an unusual orangey/pinky/red held on a deep pinky/red stem. The leaves have a curious scent when crushed, it has been suggested there is a semblance to cooked meat but I’m not convinced. The marketing people have quite sensibly decided not to use Eau de Spam as a selling point. It has enjoyed the glorious summer and is still flowering well when many around have retired for the season. Purchased at the horticultural candy shop called Sampford Shrubs, it is definitely a keeper.
Ever since a visit to Abbey Gardens, Tresco I have wanted, nay lusted after, a Cyathea medullaris, or the Black Tree Fern, the goth of tree ferns. Tall, elegant with a trunk of midnight, the kind of plant one of those eversotrendy vampires would have in their garden. So when I saw this close relative Cyathea cooperi “Brentwood” on the website of those fine chaps at Tropical Britain, to paraphrase those poor misunderstood Borg, “resistance was futile”. On reflection that would make a perfect TB catchphrase. This fern is no poor substitute, although tender and today transported to Costa del Greenhouse, it is as dear to my heart as that brash medullaris would have been. The new shoots curl sensuously into delicate lacy fronds and what is more are covered in fur! Only a heartless monster would not want to adopt this fern, take it home and give it a lovely life.
This is the first of my Christmas themed blogs, well it is December after all and the serious countdown has begun. If I was more organised then I would have written an advent blog, one christmasy thing for every day in December up until the glorious 25th. But I am not organised, so you will have to make do with the occasional, sometimes tenuous, festive treats. This angel was revealed when the tree surgeon’s cut down a beech. You can see it too, can’t you?!
Throughout last week the lone bloom on Rosa “Purple Climber” shone out like a beacon. It may not be truly purple and as yet is a pathetic excuse for a climber, but it certainly has all the dramatic timing of a pro. Whilst much of the garden is merging into murkydom this cerise (definitely not purple) prima donna is glowing, giving the garden the look of a hand tinted photograph.