Friday, 23 October 2015


Dusty Miller makes an appearance in Snowy's bed. Vinca has settled but I'm still not very happy with it, as chickens keep trying to dig out the paper daisies but at least left wormwood intact.

My $10 reward was spent on Dusty Miller, Amerias (white) and chrysanthemum.

I need to find a solution to my drying out hanging basket with licorice plant because if it goes without for any length of time it droops. Maybe some of that sphagnum moss?

Other than that I'm very pleased at how the sweet peas turned out. Tomorrow am going to pick a whole bunch for my room as there's enough in bloom for a vase. I have purple/red bicolors and also pink ones.

I need to revamp my mangers and decide to put more geraniums in them, removing the sweet alyssum for bedding. I will keep lobelias to hang over the edge, but it's hard to know what will thrive in the small amount of soil there. Strawberries need space to expand. It's kind of too high and dry for sweet peas, although a few make a valiant effort and bloom in trails. So any plant for a long slim trough I'm open to suggestions. Kalanchoes maybe, but they get the frost in winter and die.

Petunias are triumphantly in bloom and pretty in pink. It seems the plant breeders go absolutely crazy over petunias and breed them in all sorts of colours, even stripes and edged ones. I saw one called Bee Limey geddit? It was lime coloured with a pink edge and said to attract bees.
Another one goes by the name of 'happytunia'. Or even 'crazytunia'.

Another plant the breeders come up with all sorts of exotic names are carnations. I've seen fairy ones, ones called 'angel' or 'scent of heaven'. Then there's the movie star hebes. Yea, I don't know if Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn approve, but they are dead now, and I know Audrey loved gardening. Not sure if Marilyn did, but do recall reading a story in which one of her ex husbands, Arthur Miller, wrote that she would stick things in the ground and command them to grow. He thought she was mad, but she could have just been making cuttings.

As for one of my favourite movie stars, Vivien Leigh, she was a mad keen gardener that everytime she went mad and crazy, instead of going into the mental hospital she just stayed home and gardened. It was her therapy. Playing Blanche du Bois in A streetcar Named Desire did that to her, unfortunately. She and her lover/husband/actor Laurence Olivier owned an estate called Notley Abbey together which has been turned into a wedding venue now, but, it was said she gardened the place to life putting in lime walks and flowers (favourites were white ones) and then after they divorced she owned a place called Tickerage Mill which had a lake where her ashes are scattered.

Forget about acting, it was gardening that gave life and made these women beautiful.
Anyway, next on my list of books to read about gardens is this one about Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson, the owners of the famed Sissinghurst. It was written by one of their sons, who knows, may even still be living there now. It's about their unconventional marriage.

I am expecting some kind of rustic Downton Abbey like intrigue. Grand estates do that to people. You never know what's hiding in those bushes. I mean remember what happened to Daphne Du Maurier's Manderley. All those rhododendrons don't survive on just nothing you know. Blood and bone...and nobody gets blood and bone without sacrifice.