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A New Year - and a new Gardening"Career" ???


By david


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!! Lang may yer lums reek!!! (as I always say – ad nauseam, HaHa!!)

Well, I know I’ve said this in past years, and have seen folks writing that they’re away to “Google” it to see what on earth it means. In short, in the past, it meant that a smoking chimney wasa sign that the home at least had heat and light, with a supply of coal for the fire – the focus of a home, where heat, light and a source for cooking hot meals was (still is?) vital. Have these, and nothing else matters. Also ties in with the old Scottish tradition that the first person to cross your threshold after midnight on 1st January should be a dark, handsome Scotsman bearing a lump of coal (sorry, I cannot even begin to pretend to be this – LOL!!!). Just thought, this may tie in with the idea of chimney sweeps of old being regarded as lucky?

Anyways, hope that one is done and “dusted”! :-))

Have also decided that we have to break with tradition here in our themed garden, too, this year, due to a major anniverary in 2010. Normally, our garden themes last two years, mainly because of the time needed to grow the plants.

For 2011 (yes, not a misprint), we had already begun researching plants, etc for a new theme, and one which I, myself, have for long wanted to try.


The theme is “PIRATES” !!

My own suggestion of pirates as a theme was picked up by my children eagerly, who immediately wanted a theme titled “Pirates of the Carribean”. Hmm…. Ornamental Chilli Pepper and Euphorbia “Black Pearl” immediately came to mind. But I persuaded them that we should, perhaps, make it “Pirates” in general, so as to include several other pirates, both fictional, and real (can then include one of my fave wildlife plants – Caryopteris “Bluebeard” :-D – as advertised here on GOY).

The real reason why this has all been brought forward? 9th May is being recognised as the 150th anniversary of the birth of JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan. This everlasting fairytale is as much loved by my children, who watch the various movie versions online, as well as on DVD, and,of course, pirates are central to the story.

In Our Garden Now – Uncinia rubra, (aka “Hook Sedge”)

Aharrh I see that we have some suitable plants already. me ’earties!!!

Our many dark foliage plants will be useful as a backdrop, eg. phormium, cordyline, kiwi, and am looking forward to incorporating “hot” colours for a “tropical” setting,such as yellow, red, orange and lime green (still many choc flavours and fillings here, however).., This will be interesting for me, personally, as an exercise in growing brightly-coloured flowers, which have always avoided in the past, as prefer cool colours myself).

Anyways, asked my brother-in-law, who lives round the corner from Kensington Gardens, with its famous Peter Pan statue, to take a pic or 2 and send me, as have some of us there, but unable to find! He has, as yet, not done so, and have been “reduced” to include an “understudy” – another “stauesque” portrait of “Peter” in Kensington Gardens"………………..

James, Eilidh, Me and Peter (Co-founder of growsonYou), in Kensington Gardens, August 2008

I always knew that I could find an outlet for a pic, no matter how “old” – LOL!

I end, before I get back to my gardening research/ notes/designs/plantlists, with notice that GrowsonYou will be 3 years’old before end of January. We have loved every moment of it, Ajay and Peter,and hope that our fave place keeps on growing, without ever “outgrowing” its wishes!! Many Thanks, again, to you, Guys, and GoYers everywhere! !!

Now, “Must fly”, as the saying goes – see you anon!


More blog posts by david

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Well go take some pics of the one in Kirriemuir!! Its where Barrie was from!!
Happy New Year!!

3 Jan, 2010


D'you think the 'treasure chest' will make it into the garden??

3 Jan, 2010


Excellent blog David me 'eartie!! Can I start you off with a plant suggestion???
Hemerocallis 'Crimson Pirate'.....A lovely red daylily and of course, the foliage is sword shaped!! :o)

3 Jan, 2010


What a fantastic idea ... can't wait to see the results of all your planning! What about a 'String of Pearls' - Senecio rowleyanus - for that treasure chest.

3 Jan, 2010


Good luck with your new theme David !
We had that tradition of seeing a dark haired man with a piece of coal here aswell. My brother had to go round all the elderly ladies in the neighbourhood at midnight. I wasn't wanted with my ginger hair lol

3 Jan, 2010


Good luck David sounds a great idea ........Why are pirates called pirates?......coz they Arrrrrrrrr! (joke from Aidan age 3)

3 Jan, 2010


~ my dad was always in demand with his very black hair plus a lump of coal!

3 Jan, 2010


What a great idea David, love your peter Pan and pirates themes..... ive been on g o y for 2 years this month and love it on here...... long may it continue....
HAPPY NEW YEAR..........

3 Jan, 2010


Happy New Year, David and children. I like your idea of a pirate garden and look forward to hearing (and eventually seeing) more of it.

3 Jan, 2010


What a brilliant idea David. I look forward to it as well. Happy birthday to GoY. I for one am so glad I found it.

3 Jan, 2010


My dad always went out with a lump of coal and it was the only time he would go out by the back door and enter by the front, any other time he considered it unlucky to go in one door and out by another..
Happy New Year David to you and your children..It will be interesting to see your garden progress with a new theme.....

3 Jan, 2010


Happy New Gardening Year David ! Looking forward to seeing your new theme garden taking shape ! Great pics !

3 Jan, 2010


Happy New Year from me as well, will look forward to seeing your Pirate themed garden pics, sounds very exciting.

3 Jan, 2010


happy newyear and gardening david, cant wait to see the new theme garden :o))

3 Jan, 2010


Well, I'm glad to see that this New Year tradition is/was more widespread than I thought. Had forgotten about the part re entering and leaving by other doors, Lincslass. :-))

Hywel, never mind the ginger hair, :-)). Have had your pic of your Fuchsia "Peter Pan" in my faves for some time now, and am on the lookout for one. {-))

Many Thanks, Sueb, and Aidan, especially, for that joke. Yo Ho Ho!!!!!!!!!
Now, I need to find myself a new avatarrrrrrrrrrr :-))

Many thanks, Gilli and Bernie, for those plant suggestions. Yes, if I can find H. "Crimson Pirate" will definitely have. With that name and leaf shape, this one is certainly "double-edged". :-))

Many thanks, also, those of you who have sent plant suggestions and web links by PM. You are, indeed, a sharp lot! :-))
Hi Marie! Yes, have been in correspondence with goyert Scotkat, who knows all about the Barrie events taking place in Kirriemuir this year. She will keep us updated. Also, your magnificent treasure chest is waiting "in the wings" until much better weather arrives. Will post a pic this evening for you. :-))

Many Thanks again! David, James and Eilidh X

3 Jan, 2010


No worries! I'm just glad they liked it!!

4 Jan, 2010


Great idea, David! And good luck with your new theme!

5 Jan, 2010


Sounds a wonderful idea,and what beautiful children you have :o)))

5 Jan, 2010


Another great idea from you, David! Sounds like it will be a stunner! looking forward to seeing some pics of your new garden theme!

I saw a film of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" while we were in Spain! It is the first of these films I've seen! Didn't appeal to me very much but I can understand its fascination on children! Your kids look great dressed as pirates!

While we were in Cuenca, Spain over Christmas on Dec 31st we were walking along the main street of the town when a reporter from the local TV station stopped us & asked us if we wouldn't mind answering a couple of questions. He was asking about people's traditions at the end of the year. I told him about when I was a boy in London we used to open the back door at midnight to let the old year out & then opened the front door to let the new year in! Our interview was aired on TV along with just two others! I even recorded it with the video on my mobile phone!!! Unfortunately we can hardly be heard over the row in the background from all the family.

10 Jan, 2010


The "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies are gr8 for effects, scenery, and "atmosphere". I, personally, am not a big fan, however. Not just popular with children, Balcony! I know of several lady gardeners on GOY who would taker a long walk off a short plank for Johnny Depp - so long as he dived in and rescued them, Yo Ho Ho!!

Can't you/we see this TV interview online at all? Do you remember which Tv station it was? Marvellous, that this links in here!! Sounds like you all had a great time!! :-))

Now, you have just caused me to add another sub-heading to our "pirates" list. The Spanish Main!!!! Not, however, that I am going to be growing every plant with the Latin suffix "florida", of course! :-))

10 Jan, 2010


Glad I gave you some extra "inspiration", David! I'd forgotten about the Spanish Main till you mentioned it!

I could upload the video to YouTube & then put a link to it, but it's not really worth it. The images are very poor quality & there is a lot of noise in the background so I can hardly be heard! My son said he could record it directly from the TV but I told him not to bother as it only lasted 10 - 15 seconds! Besides how many on GoY understand Spanish? Do you?

11 Jan, 2010


Given that you told me the subject, I might have picked up most of it, lol!!

Have been keeping up with the latest news on the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in the Caribbean. Part of the "magic" and "romanticism" of our pirates theme has disappeared, right now.

13 Jan, 2010


I heard about it on the news this morning. It's a terrible thing to happen to all those poor people! They had enough to contend with before the 'quake but now they don't have even a poor roof over their heads & so many dead & dying & injured. :-'(

I agreed it does take some of the illusion out of designing your theme as Hawaii was a pirate stronghold 500 years ago.

14 Jan, 2010



500 years ago???


Have noticed how many GOyers, like me, work/have experience/ in hospitals/ A&E,/triage/surgery/death, etc. -. no doubt, like me, feeling totally helpless right now. :-((


16 Jan, 2010


"Tick Tock...Tick Tock....who's afraid of a big old croc? " Cap'n Hook...that's who!!! LOL... Your children are growing like sunflowers... Yes...the Caribbean is not a happy place at present... given that the United States gave Puerto Rico territory status...perhaps Canada should negotiate an arrangement with Haiti...Our Governor General, Micheala Jean , was born in Haiti! I must have joined GoY early in it's existance... I love to drop in for a visit ...see all the new members pics and blogs and check on other "oldies" like myself... lol... best source on the web for things related to the garden...and nature...Cheers David~!

22 Jan, 2010


Hi Lori, me "ole" 'earty!! :-)))

Took the kids on an outing the other day, to a pirate-themed crazy golf course, with nearby indoor "tropical" forest. Got some gr8 pics, including one of a croc "smiling". I definitely didn't smile back, lol! Will keep the pics for later!

Yes, the kids are growing up so quickly, and I can't keep up! And can't answer their questions with "whitewash" dismissals nowadays. They are in the door after school, and checking out the news online b4 I know it!! So, seeing all the horrible aftermath, chaos, etc., never mind the natural cause!!! :-(( Did notice your Gov. Gen. was a Haitian, btw.!

Anyways, if you could see my lounge right now!!! it's a "disaster area" of the nicest kind! We have lengths of roipe, which we are trying to make ship's rigging from, for climbing plants in the garden, to fit in with the new theme. I insist that we use old sailors' knots to join the pieces together! Having to go back decades here to my Boy Scout days - no local groups here now, alas, they all "folded" (what a sad demise). Another gr8 use of the "'Net" in my house! Yo ho ho - where's me bottle o' rum??


22 Jan, 2010


Ahoy Matey!! Don't know where this comes from but here goes:

"Never smile at a crocodile...
Don't be fooled by his crazy smile...
Or...chomp, chomp...yum yum...
You'll end up in his tumtum...!"

23 Jan, 2010


Peter Pan!! LOL
Hi Lori....Haven't seen you for a while. :o)
David....I've got a whole little book on how to tie knots....I should send it to you....BTW, knots don't work too well when you've been into the rum. LOL

23 Jan, 2010


Ahar, Gilli!! Don't I just know that now, for sure!!

Afore I knew it, was" four sheets to the wind!" and gallopin' along at at a great rate of knots!!!!!!! Cannae wink wi' an eye patch on!! :-))X

24 Jan, 2010


Love your new avatar, David! :-)

27 Jan, 2010


I've got some "jewels" here for the treasure chest, so you can get them next time I see you! Thought theyd look good in amongst the plants!

28 Jan, 2010


well - I have just time to read your blog today - a bit of lazy morning - before I will dive into my assingments again.
Immediately I have thought about a plant wiht wonderfull red colour - crocosmia 'Lucifer' - maybe the name is not very much connected with pirates - but a colorur is fantastic.
And if you still are waiting for a photo of Peter Pan from Kensington Gardens I should have it somewhere in my endless drawer of pictures... and I think also in Kensington Gardens there is an Elf Tree - don't have a good pictures, but it's not a problem to go there and take some more new ones:)

14 Feb, 2010


Here's a suggestion from my herbal catalogue: Motherwort, Siberian( Leonurus *sibiricus*...) As in: Hook needs a mother very badly... and from Pirates of the Caribbean... Marigold..Aztec Gold... Tagetes erecta "Crackerjack"....

14 Feb, 2010


Ah, Okasia, I used to have some very large clumps of Crocosmia "Lucifer" in a former garden. I used to keep dividing the clumps in Spring and give loads away. It would, indeed, be a great colour for our garden now. Yes, am still waiting for that photo. my brother-in-law lives just 10mins walk from the park, but he's not very reliable, haha! The Elfin Oak stands at the entrance to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial playground, which has a Peter Pan theme, with large pirate ship, sand, a crocodile, and "jungle" trail. Yes, have spent hours on end here in the past. Don't know what ever happened to the pics I had of this great place. :-((

Hi, Lori, wel, you have had your thinking-cap on - brilliant suggestions, Many Thanks for these. :-))

14 Feb, 2010

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