Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jardinerie

Another nice day in the garden. I reek of wild garlic: I've been chopping down a climbing rose which I underplanted with Ramsons. It's a not unpleasant smell. Mind you, this is a single male household.

hardy geraniums The hardy geraniums and euphorbias are full of buds, promising a good display in the next week or two. In the sunny parts of the garden (and throughout what should be a paved walkway) G. macrorrhizum and G. oxonianum have seeded and spread their way with gay abandon. The former's a tatty-looking evergreen with smelly leaves; tough as old boots and smothered in bright magenta flowers all summer and well into autumn. The latter is just erupting soft green leaves; in a few weeks' time they'll be a sea of silvery-pink flowers. I've rather lost track of things in the shady part of the garden. I started off by planting a few of the mourning cranesbills (G.phaeum). I followed on with a couple of wood cranesbills (G. sylvestris), some white G.ph. alba and a job lot of the "Splish Splash" meadow cranesbills. They all have a tendency to be overly-friendly with each other and I've now got a mixture of mongrel seedlings under the trees, all rather pretty in shades of purple, mauve and white. The star of the show is just showing itself in the sunniest part of the garden by the living room window. Geranium palmatium has big, lime green glossy leaves and spends the summer throwing up huge clouds of big magenta flowers, sometimes four or five foot high.

While I'm doing all this there's a flurry of activity in the garden. The starlings are dead busy feeding young and come in twice a day to fill themselves up at the fat feeders. So intent are they that they're not fussed that I'm an arm's length from them thoughout. No sooner have they gone than a pair of long-tailed tits turned up; they don't give a monkeys anyhow so I spent a delightful five minutes watching them up close before they decided to go and look for greenfly in the roses.

The one disappointing note is that I've spotted another couple of casualties of winter. One of the brooms has snuffed it comepletely. Next to that I've got a good-sized Olearia, which I know is only semi-hardy. It's formed a natural standard, forking for the first time about four feet up the trunk; one fork's apparently dead and gone. The other half looks perky enough: shiny grey-green, holly-like leaves and quite a few small buds forming. In a couple of months this will be covered in small, silvery-grey daisies, which is a pleasing sight on a warm day surrounded by geraniums and marjoram. Fingers crossed.

Ooh... ooh... five baby figs (figlings?) on the tree on the patio. Hope I get more than just the one this year!



Postscript: no, the bastards cut them down

14 comments:

Madame DeFarge said...

You do make this sound so idyllic. When I return home, I shall gaze on my expanse of wilderness and feel that at least I am giving something back to nature. And start weeding.

Kevin Musgrove said...

you have to bear in mind that I bullshit for a living

Scarlett Parrish said...

Is there a lot of money in bullshit, then?

If so, why am I not a bajillionaire?

Re: your garlicky smell. Just as well I'm not a vampire then, eh?! :D

Vord verification: "i rest". More like "i wish".

gaw said...

So that's your brown-fingered secret: successive applications of bullshit do make your garden grow. Roses especially. Got any Albertines?

Madame DeFarge said...

Ah, Mr Musgrove, re your earlier post, the bigger the bull, the bigger the bullshit, to quote Mr J Thackray.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Charming. I'm amazed that nearly all my newly planted shrubs survived the Transylvanian winter, even the lavender and the campsis ("Trumpet vine"). I've just worked out that the sun clears the top of the house from late spring and so can site me cold frame and build a rockery in what I'd thought was a dark corner. But the soil's still a bit impoverished: what I do really need is a pile of actual bullshit.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I read about the cherry trees and the bastard lawn council workers, I get very upset about that sort of thing.

To contrast I've been reading about the flourishing victory gardening going on in the US

gaw said...

I've just noticed your comment about the cherry trees and went back to your post on them, which was really quite beautiful. When you live in an urban environment there are few things (if any) more heartening than a tree. What is the matter with these people? Why couldn't they build around them? It can be done you know.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ms. Parrish: there's a lot of money but it's not me making it. You need no sense of shame to make the proper money.

Gareth: Albertines are lovely but I'm in enough trouble as it is. Ta for the comment about the cherry tree post.


Mme deF: how true those words are...

Gadjo: Heavens, man, if you can keep a Campsis going you must be able to do a Camellia. And to think: some of the most beautiful rock plants come from poor soils in the south-east of Europe...

You and me both, Lulu. Living near the Imperial War Museum North, as we do, I've provided my dad with a pile of Dig For Victory supplies.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Possibly the poor soils of Mediteranean south-east of Europe, Kevin, but PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong.

Kevin Musgrove said...

some of the best campanulas and dianthus are from Carpathia, honest

Scarlet-Blue said...

Those cranesbills seem a bit oversexed...
Sx

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oh, ok, that sounds very encouraging, thank you!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Ooh, it's like Gardener's Question Time here. I'll know who to come to next time I have aphids in my hellebores. Nothing worse.