Category Archives: Gardening

“Stapelia gigantea, its smell is terrible”

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And it is.

My carrion flower has bloomed again, this time with some hilarious results.


Monday. About to pop open, but no seams visible. I did warn Himself…


But as usual, he didn’t hear me, somehow. Can’t imagine why not, we’ve only been married 12 years… 

This is his version of the same bloom, with quote: “Went to shut the blinds & was greeted by this! Yes, I shrieked, it wasn’t open this morning! It’s our carrion plant. Smells like death! Yes, really! (You have to put your nose into it, else there’s no scent at all thankfully) HDR photo for scariness ;)”

I don’t really see the ‘scary’ difference, except he turned our white windowsill purple! But I do find it hilarious that it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been feeding him Stephen King and he actually did make an unmanly sound when he saw it last night. 

For size comparison, the plate that the plant sits on is a side plate; it is not a dinner plate. Maybe what, about 8-10 inches across? I’m not getting close enough to measure the bloom! I’m a super-smeller and to me it smells like bad meaty cat breath. Urgh. Pretty, and pretty strange, however! 

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Spheksophobia

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Hope you don’t have it!

Spheksophobia is the fear of wasps. 


I still have strawberries growing – and apparently they are super sweet! I haven’t been able to find out about the last few because something else has been eating them first. 

I knew it wasn’t slugs, or beetles, or birds, or even earwigs. Wasps are eating my strawberries, and loving them! 

Oh well. If they are fat and full they won’t bother sour old me, at least. Not that I’m afraid of them: I’m very much live and let live unless one is in the house and one of the furry ones is about to get stung. Then there might have to be an emergency squishing. 

Tigridia Time Again

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You know I love these. Last summer I meant to post a gazillion of them, but Spot got sick and I haven’t really been the same since, to be honest. It is a hard thing to associate a flower that I love so much with the death of my best boy, but it is now a ‘thing’ for me. 

Keeping with the maudlin theme, I think that if I ever decide to have an actual grave and not ask that my ashes be spread between Ireland, Florida and maybe Cleveland, I would like my patch to be planted in Tigridia. They always begin to bloom around my birthday, and like life itself they are both beautiful and temporary.

I’m actually not depressed, I promise! How could I be with these beauties saying hello every day?

I Need a Dahlia Expert, Help! 

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I have about eight different dahlias, and I left every last one outside over the winter. But this one…

It was planted late last year, never did much, and I knew it wasn’t planted deep enough at the time. I did have a go at digging it out, but it didn’t want to come so I left it.

It is in a deep pot with tulips and ornamental variegated ivy (unknown variety, I found a bit on the pavement/sidewalk that had broken off from a planter, and made it mine) . The tulips did naught but one bloom this year, but I didn’t expect them to. The ivy was going crazy last year, but looks horrible this year.

The dahlia, however, looks like maybe it has a virus?


Lower leaves and stems look normal, but the budding bits of recent weeks look diseased.


So, should I chop all the icky looking parts off and hope new growth is healthy? Or is this entire plant for the bin? 

Other dahlias in pots, thriving and budding within less than a foot of this one are just fine.

Sunshine Today

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It was lovely!

Morning view
Lilies are opening up. This is the view from where I sit in the morning with my coffee. 

Big damn gazania
The gazanias are loving the sun, too! This is a two year old plant, and is truly enormous. Grown from seed, and is just stunning. 

Gazania 1Gazania 2Gazania 3
Gazania close up shots. The little white specks make me think of bird feathers. 

Hope you have had some sunshine, too! 

Abundance

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I think it’s been officially feeling like summer this month, off and on. Likely about all the summer we will get! My flowers are loving it.

The first roses of the year. I love them all.



Clematis – top one is one of the new babies from last year. Just opened this morning! The others are growing up the weed-willow I have in the corner, and are the main reason why this grey willow still lives here. That and the birds love it. And I have a wisteria growing in there, too! 


California poppies and a sunflower from seed. 


Something for the bees.


Native common orchids going crazy as usual. They have colonised my garden. I’m not complaining.


English lavender. The bees were loving this today. 


Iris iris iris iris iris iris iris iris iris! They are fantastic this year. 

Lilac Love

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I’m so excited! My little girl is all grown up. ” 🎼 Girl, you’ll be a woman, soon…” horrid song but let it go as my lilac has bloomed!


Grown from seed and still well under a yard (or a metre) tall, my little baby is now looking for love. *sniffle*

*sniff, sniff* Oh, how I love a lilac! 

Interim Flowers – Still Waiting to Wait

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I probably said that backwards. I’m only posting to post, otherwise these pictures will fall into the never-never like all of my tigrida last year did after Spottie died. 

So. Here are my bearded iris. Last year only one bloomed out of three varieties planted. Got all three blooming this year, and have now realised they are in the wrong spot as I can’t use my wonderful hose reel or I will break their little heads off. 



Really sorry but I don’t feel up to editing these for size, etc. 

April (nearly) Apres

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Things here are far from normal. I’d prefer not to go into detail, but hubby is again very unwell. Nevertheless, I found a way back into the gardening groove. I’ve done a lot in the last few days, without even getting near the years-old stash of seeds.

Wrong time of year, I know, but I planted the rest of the gladiolus hubby bought me last year (it might die, but it will certainly die if leave in the house another year). I also planted snakes-head fritillary, some ordinary lilies, three spider lilies, and about four other types of bulbs he bought for me last year. I’m almost glad he isn’t well enough to be shopping right now as I have hardly any room left! All these seed packets of potential life are kinda breaking my heart. I need about five more acres of land…

I have had a few happy surprises from older plants.


My peony has a bud! Just one, and it is soooo tiny. Today I saw that new shoots are coming up about 4in from the main plant, too. I think she is happy here!


I have an asparagus! One. Ah, well. 


Celeriac? I tried some from seed two years ago, no joy. This grew in a poor bonsai that himself bought me – bonsai died (one of the things I’m not good at). I dug it out and moved it to the Stupid Girl raised bed. Hope it keeps going as we have discovered that celeriac is delicious


Bluebells! Gift from his uncle. 


I am pretty sure these gladiolus are coming up way too early. Also shown is the world’s tallest gazania, still going strong. Tallest according to Ark, who should know; they are native to South Africa. 


The head of one of the red and black lilies I’ve had for years now. I love how they grow in an anti-clockwise spin. 


Ash tree that decided to grow in one of my containers. There aren’t any ash trees nearby at all! One of two I have. They take up a good amount of space, but I have a friend who wants them both for his very wooded property. He is welcome to have them – I figure if they like me, they will like him, too. 

My one and only tulip. You can’t tell here, but this is about the size of the top joint of my thumb. It is wee! I dug them all out last year and planted them nice and safe in sunshiney pots… I got one. Oh well! There is always next year. 


Mystery things. Look orchid-y with the purple spots, but the stems are just a straight solid shoot. May be another blow in? Garden is now plagued (in a good way) with native orchids. 


Rosemary back to its flowering tricks again. Second most neglected herb I have growing in a pot. I’m afraid to let it loose after what the oregano and sage have become (triffids, I’m not kidding).


Who doesn’t love these?


One for Ark – I rarely see grasshoppers here. This one is so tiny, that white thing is a dog hair. Poor thing was also missing one vital back leg. I ushered it into the grass, maybe it will have a chance there.