“Spectacular red, yellow and green coloured flowers, shaped like cigars, opening at the tip of a wiry stem. Named after the daughter of a Californian stage coach-driver and pollinated in the wild by humming-birds”.
December 4, 2013 | Dr Noel Kingsbury and the daffodils
A banner for a recent lecture read: ”The Daffodil – The remarkable story of the world’s most popular flower”. These floral popularity stakes are bemusing. Without a doubt you might single out the peony, tulips and certain roses. But the daffodil? I can count more customers than I have toes and fingers who have asked me to leave yellow out of the planting scheme.
It caught my fancy , this lecture on a a plant that I rather tend to hurry past and shun. Drawn in by the notion of catching up with Dr Noel Kingsbury, plant guru and author of this year’s ‘must read’ for the gardening intelligentsia. “Planting: A New Perspective”. Attempts to get a place on his talk “Plants – The Rabbit’s Eye View” have so far flopped – either Dr Kingsbury is high in his stronghold near Offa’s Dyke or, when randoming out in the wider world he is mobbed by his fans, or botanising.
November 14, 2013 | Intuitive planting
I keep a list in a grubby old note book of plants that are looking good together. I am stumped for the right word here, or phrase. It could be ‘plant associations’ but that sounds like a gathering of heavy-duty plumbers. Or instead perhaps ’companion planting’ Full time carers spring to mind. So I am plumping for ‘intuitive planting’ and am not that happy with that either.
November 13, 2013 | Provoked to think by the Bad Tempered Gardener
I have been reading Anne Wareham’s recent blog post “It must Go” and it ties in with thinking about garden criticism – rolling the idea round like a pebble in the mouth. Beginning with two questions: What is a garden for? What is a good garden? I’ve had undistracted leisure to do so on a long walk across the north spanish landscape. My memory plumped up with a recent trip to The Veddw, Abbeydore and The Laskett. Plenty to feed on as I sweated up yet another hill. Oh and Rousham too, and that one is like the source book from which all others take their text.
October 31, 2013 | Halloween Horror
October 29, 2013 | The hen and rooster Miracle
Santo Domingo de la Calzado had a hard time of it. He applied to become a monk but two holy orders turned him down. Instead he became a hermit and devoted himself to helping pilgrims on the way to Santiago. The original causeway over the rocky torrents of the Oja river was built by him. When he died, he became the patron saint of engineers for bridges and other ways to span water. He was buried in the middle of the Camino and the small eponymous town grew up round him. His tomb is in the crypt of the small perpendicular cathedral. A mecca for stone carvers who arrived, got out their chisels and stayed and created a series of beautiful carvings up the columns, on the capitals and on the exquisite and well preserved tombs.
October 28, 2013 | A few vegetable images from the #Camino de Santiago
Cross the Pyrenees from St Jean Pied de Port at this time of the year and you risk walking in cloud drip, senses brought into focus by the tocking of cow bells. If you are on the Camino to Santiago, hurry for the Atlantic squalls have settled on green Galicia.
October 4, 2013 | Plantaholic Post: A Sweet pea for Show and Tell
I have been badgering Tony for the name of this sweet pea all summer and now, October in, he tells me. It is called April in Paris. It is exquisite white with feint purple tracings. It has flowered and flowered and not done the usual pea thing of shrinking in flower size and stem length as the season wears it out. The stems are long and it is highly scented.
One to sow and show and tell. An offering to close my blog for several weeks as I follow a pyrenean trail in big boots.