Tag Archives: plants

Brief daylight

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(Click a thumbnail for the gallery)

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A thousand coughs and sniffles

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Last night we walked across the Square, emptied of its Christmas market, the illuminated trees looking like the trees which gave James Thurber’s great uncle chestnut blight, only rather more festive.

The cathedral’s midnight service accommodated about a thousand, most of whom had colds.  It was … tasteful.  Won’t bother with that one again then.  I miss the raw edges of home grown celebrations.

The nearests and dearests have enabled me to see what music looks like – in one format, which is 33 rpm.  Amazing!

With the aid of a twenty-seven-day moon

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and the last hour of a falling tide, it was possible to walk further along than I have been before.  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery.)

Wild as a witch

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With a few gleams of sun on a good drying day, I raced the mower up and down the soggy grass, one eye cocked to the sky for the next shower, and the wind blowing my hair out of its pin into witchiness.

Having got round before the rain, there was time to visit a few neglected perennial pots.

Harebells whipping on their wiry stems

The slightly nibbled elegance of schizostylus

A spot of welcome richness on the grey afternoon

The sort of day when

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Yesterday the garden fair was all ice cream and summer dresses.  Today was the sort of day when the hills disappear, when the rain streams down your face into your mouth in spite of the storm hood, when water runs into your sleeves as you take a bite of damp cake, when you snap no photos and send no texts in case the phone drowns, the kind of day when the legs of your jeans are so heavy with water that they start to pull themselves down off your bottom as you walk.  A few keen gardeners traipsed around, bought a plant or two, and went home for early lunch, no doubt consoling themselves that their £7 entry was going to a Good Cause.  The show was officially declared rained off at three, and we packed up as the angrily-flapping canvas tried to take off in the gusts, and just as the ground paused on the verge of becoming an un-driveable quag.

It was, indeed, the sort of day when you strip off your horrible trousers as you walk into the house, indifferent to the privacy of a bathroom or bedroom (or even a closed front door); and when you utter thanks to those trusty old soldiers in your service –

– feet being the only parts of the anatomy which were still both warm, and perfectly dry.

Setting up

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There’s a gracious backdrop to the confusion of cars, vans, marquees, gazebos, trestles and tables, residue from about a hundred geese, and other impedimenta.   Crucially, we found the tap.

We were slightly concerned by the number of people attaching storm straps or extra guys to their canvas.  We don’t have any for ours.  The forecast is fair overnight, but I find my ear is cocked for a change in the wind.

Nothing whatever to do with chickens

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Because they have all gone home.  Whew.

Leaving me with time to take a survey of the perennials whose seeds I planted back in the early spring.  Some have done well, some started well and then sulked, some looked pathetic and then changed their minds and went woosh.  I’ll never understand plants.

I have been particularly taken with the agastache.  They have a pleasing aromatic foliage, and the bees LOVE them; there’s a continual buzz of bumbles around them (already in progress by six this morning), which has to be good for all of us.

Then there are these rich, dark rudbeckia.  At the moment the plants are a bit on the spindly side, but on this showing I’m really hoping that they live through the winter and fatten up next summer.

Feeling later than it is

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The weather has taken a turn:  sea rolling grey and white, sky heavy.  Avoiding the wind we walked under the trees, past the reeds and brackish pools and a few reposing gulls.