Category Archives: Gardening

Dahlias, Darlings.


We bought a load of dahlias early in the year. Of course now is their prime time, despite my lack of care and feeding this year. Some haven’t bloomed at all, but have foliage. Some just keep it up and have since August!

The most recent to bloom – one pic is mine, one is hubby’s. Same flower! 

This big one is going right now, too. It was turned to the side, away from the sun, so I had to hold it for himself to take a decent picture. 

Earlier blooms from the same plant – it is quite prolific!

Plain white – don’t remember buying this one but it is here nonetheless.


I could swear we got a purple and white one, but instead this came up. Oh well, it’s still pretty, and welcome.

Now. Will I remember to dig them out when it gets cold? Likely not!

Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion Flower


I’ve had this plant a long time. I first got it in 1998 or so. I couldn’t bring it with me to Ireland, but I did take a cutting and brought it in sans soil. Lucky for me, it survived a month in the container in a jar of water and damp paper towel. Probably still illegal, but at least I didn’t bring any bugs or weird microbes in to the country. It’s a house plant, here, but is native to South Africa – as it seems a lot of my favourite plants are!

Oddly enough, after 11 years, this thing finally decided to bloom. Not that long ago, I gave it a good soaking, and a wash (the leaves are furry and collect a lot of cat hair), and I guess that finally sparked it into flowering. I won’t read anything into a corpse flower blooming the week my Spotty cat died.

First I noticed was that there was a huge balloon sticking out the side.

Stormtrooper mini-fig for size. We all know how big they are, right?

Then it opened.

Weird as hell, right? And it does, indeed, stink of death. Not that bad, really, unless you stick your face right in it. The scent and hairs are to mimic a dead animal, as this is a fly-pollinated plant. The texture of the bloom is very much like leather, too. This one started to shrivel today, so I cut it off. But there are several more coming, so I am taking better care of it than I usually do. It got another good soaking today.

If you want to learn more about this unique plant. 

Roses for Mama 2016


My mother died 19 years ago today. It’s never a good day for me, and somehow the day before is worse. I have her beloved peace roses growing in my garden, and I think of her every time I see them. She wasn’t a gardener at all, but passed the love of this particular rose on to me.

I just wish I could share them with her.

If you love any of these photos, please save them, but share with someone you love. I would feel as though you are spreading the love of the peace rose on behalf of my mama.

Oh No, or O.K.?


Found new residents in my grey willow this evening. 

There are three groups of this size that I can see.

They are eating the leaves down to the centre vein! Not that I care about the willow, in fact I’m trying to kill it by girdling it (I want to keep the framework for other climbers). I don’t see them in any of my other plants, either.

Any ideas? Are they bad, good, or chaotic neutral?

Peace Out


I have one very very healthy and happy rose bush – my all-time favourite, the Peace rose. It is finally coming into bloom, and I have to say I’ve been able to get the most gorgeous photos of the first bud.

Day one…

Day two…


I’m still sick, but it’s sunny today and it costs little of my energy to sit outside and smell the flowers. I’m so grateful. The peace rose was my mother’s favourite rose, and I have so many good memories of her when I am enjoying this rose (it smells as good as it looks). 

Oh, for Socks: How I did it. I did some photo editing on the first two shots to bring up the ‘black point’ and make the dark green leaves look black. I don’t know if any of the further THIRTEEN buds on this tiny bush will also have the full-leaf background to make this type of shot possible again. 

Rare Tigridia pavonia Mutation 


I found quite the surprise this week in my Tigridia plants. It inspired me to do some research on the tigridia family, and it turns out the different colours are different varieties. The pale yellow ones are Tigridia Canariensis:

Now that I’m done showing off (just the canariensis variety, and just from this month so far), I’ll get to the really amazing one that bloomed on Tuesday. 


WOW! Teenage Mutant Ninja Tigridia! I’ve had tiger flower mutations before but I have never seen this happen. An Internet search found nothing.

My amateur opinion is that this is a type of Siamese twin that happens to be perfectly symmetrical. A Tigridia has six petals – three large, three small. This beauty has nine!

Now, I have no idea if this will breed true, but you can bet I have tagged the ovary and will make sure to collect the seed, if it makes any. I’m likely getting excited over nothing, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if I could cultivate a brand new flower?

Blue Tuesday


Blue and purple today!

The last of the lavender roses.

Violas everywhere

New clematis Mrs N Thompson is a summer bloomer! Yay!

Blueberries are ripening!

The black mondo grass is blooming.

….and I’ve already forgotten what this is! Oh wait, I found the empty pot. Isotoma or blue star creeper. I’ve put it under my massive white rose, as the grass doesn’t like to grow there.

(Post dedicated to Sled)