Archive for the 'Flowers' Category

Last of the summer whines

Carrots, beetroot and dahliasThere’s a shitload more carrots where those came from, but the beetroot is all done for 2009. Ditto the dahlias. I picked the last ones this morning, and the frosts are on their way.

So summer’s definitely over, and you won’t hear me moan about weeds and lack of water for a while.

I’m not too sad. Too bloody busy, what with all the wretched digging.

Guess what I’ll be moaning about now?

Posted on 14th October 2009
Under: Flowers, Roots, Summer | 4 Comments »

If you like dahlias, you’ll LOVE this

Big dahliaOutrageous. Never seen anything quite like this dahlia. It was so huge it could barely hold its head up.

Have just been strolling around the chateau gardens at Flamanville in Normandy. Quite astonishing and breathtaking – the biggest field of dahlias I’ve ever see. All gorgeous.

Field of dahliasMost of them had labels to tell you the cultivar, but inevitably all the ones I liked best had lost their tag. That said, I’ve got a dahlia shopping list as long as my arm for next Spring.

Talking of Spring… it’s a bloody long way off, isn’t it?

Posted on 27th September 2009
Under: Flowers | 7 Comments »

Dahlias go nuclear

Outrageous dahliaOutrageous dahlia. I’ve had buckets full of them this season. Another thing that seems to appreciate warm, dry conditions.

Total failure to blog for the last week; and to garden. The plot is weed hell, and I’m looking at an autumn of seriously hard work to get it back under control.

Can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

Posted on 1st September 2009
Under: Flowers | 4 Comments »

Back to a land of plenty

Week of growth

Say you missed me. Life was meaningless without me. You’ve white-knuckled your way through my absence, gagging for your hit of Soilman magic… right?


Hey-ho. Too bad, because I’m back from my Spanish holiday and I’m full of beans. Don’t give the tiniest shit what anyone thinks, and am ready to crow about my allotment successes. Sickening, innit?

Here’s the week’s worth of veg that grew while I was away. A few torpedo marrows, but lots of good ones. Plus some sensational corn, carrots and beet. It’s turning into a terrific allotment year.

Posted on 2nd August 2009
Under: Cucurbits, Flowers, Roots, Summer, Sweetcorn | 13 Comments »

Gordon Brown: What an arsehole

It had to happen: First the Obamas, then the Queen, now Johnny-come-lately Gordon Brown jumps on the grow-your-own bandwagon.


What an A1, gold-plated, card-carrying arsehole.

Posted on 19th July 2009
Under: Flowers, Rants | 14 Comments »

Lilies in June

Regale lily Asiatic lily

Doesn’t get much better than this. I have six pots of Orienpet and Asiatic lilies on my patio and a flower bed full of Regale species. My pride and joy are the Black Dragon hybrids, which are 7ft high.

The smell at dusk is take-your-breath-away sweet. I’ve been under the weather today, but had to drag myself from my sickbed for 5 mins to breathe it in.

There really is no lovelier aroma in all Creation, fact fans.

Posted on 15th June 2009
Under: Flowers | 5 Comments »

OK, enough rain already

Ophelia roseI must have been crazy to write that last post. First rule of gardening: NEVER pray for rain. Sunshine, yes – whatever you say, it won’t happen in the UK – but asking for rain hereabouts is like asking for the pox in a whorehouse.

So, predictably, I’m now living in a swamp. Only my roses seem to be enjoying the deluge. Everything else has its head down, hunched up against the horizontal rain.

Worst of all is the wind, which blows perpetually, as sharp as a guillotine blade. It’s been cutting through me for five days now. Much more of it and I’ll go crazy. Clearly I could never live on one of those western isles up in Scotland. The wind would put me in the funny farm in no time.

Dear reader: If YOU live in the western isles, do tell how you cope with the wind. I need the full ‘Gale Survival Guide’.

Posted on 17th May 2009
Under: Flowers, Rants | 8 Comments »

Heatwave approaching!

RosebudsHurrah! It’s going to be a long, hot summer. The UK Meteorological Office says so. It must be true!

Bloody hope so. After the deluges that passed for summers in 2007 and 2008, we’re owed a Jamaican-style tropical meltdown, I reckon. Confess I’m daring to hope, because I’ve had a feeling since February that the summer would be good. I can’t point to one single thing on the allotment that’s been, well, ‘different’. It’s just been a feeling.

There’s warm weather in the air. I’m sure of it.

Posted on 30th April 2009
Under: Flowers, Summer | 7 Comments »

Indoor gardening

Cymbidium King's LochThe weather turned nasty. So I’m stuck with indoor gardening again.

I have a week off work next week, which is exciting; I expect to finish the infamous bramble digging and mix in some good compost.

Well, that’s what I expect. In reality, I’ll probably achieve bugger-all. Except perhaps a few blisters.

Posted on 26th March 2009
Under: Flowers | 3 Comments »

Emerging lilies

Emerging lilies Yes! Yes! Yes!

Here they come – the highlight of the summer. I’m addicted to the smell of lilies in bloom, and I grow a dozen varieties in pots and flower beds. Come July, the smell in my garden is strong enough to kill at 100 yards.

On a different note: Anyone know anything about globe artichokes? I sowed some seed a fortnight ago (in an unheated greenhouse), but it’s done nothing. And I mean nothing; I poked about in the compost and the seeds are still obstinately intact.

Is this normal? Will they only germinate in warmer weather? Or do I have dud seeds?

Posted on 21st March 2009
Under: Flowers | 7 Comments »