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Now why oh why did I do that?


I got home a couple of days ago with a mustard yellow dwarf perennial wallflower. I have to ask myself why. I dont much like the colour mustard and I am certainly not keen on dwarf plants. It wasn’t expensive but I can hardly just dump it and wallflowers can last for years. How ridiculous.

It made me wonder why I choose the flowers that I do. Take my Lime Green Nicotiana for example. When I was a child I thought that having Nicotiana – (or tobacco plant as my dad would call it) was really glamorous – almost as grown up as smoking a pipe. Of course I wasn’t allowed to smoke a pipe being only 8 so I kept my distance, admiring the flowers from afar. Now don’t get me started on Opium Poppies. Anyone for a packet of hemp?

Then there is my obsession with cultivating every last foxglove seedling. My mum told me with a very straight face that the dots inside the flowers are the pairs of shoes that the fairies take off on their way to the ball. It took me years to wonder where the ballroom was, but I still think that the bees are on their way there as they barge in, and wonder what the fairies must make of all that fur.

My oddest purchase recently though must be a tray of rather gaudy Calendula which I eventually found a place for after scratching my head a while. I think I got them because Vita Sackville West once said ‘Grow Marigolds if you must but dont expect me to visit.’ What a terrible snob! I found myself humming the theme tune to Citizen Smith as I slid a packet into my trolley at the supermarket the other day, so I think that they were probably an act of gardenning rebellion.

At least I have managed to stop myself adopting another family habit of being drawn to the sad and ailing table in the garden centre just because every plant deserves to be loved…………….

If all this sounds rather mad, then go with the flow, at least I’m happy. But one good reason for buying annual morning glory on Tuesday is that I am in love with Bamboo’s avatar – let’s hope they grow.

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Wasn't she a member of the Bloomsbury club, recon she'd be at home with 'Wallflowers' Nice blog Sarah.

30 Apr, 2010


I love your Mums story about the Foxgloves! As for the 'sad and ailing table' I bought 2 very healthy Climbers at a lovely old Nursery last year, on the way to the sales counter I spied 2 bedraggled Aquilegias and thought they could be revived with a bit of TLC. Upon paying for the plants, the young lad serving said, oh thanks for bringing these over, they've had it ! Blushing, I explained that I would buy them, he looked amazed and said just put a donation in the charity box! LOL : o ) ) ) PS they DID recover and are in bud again this year.

30 Apr, 2010


Nice blog again Sarah, Marigolds are good for deterring greenfly so strategically planted they can help invasions....

30 Apr, 2010


I have got some lovely plants from 'casualty corners' over the years. Nothing wrong with giving them tlc. :o)

30 Apr, 2010


Thanks Potty G - I find giving the greenfly a stiff talking to has no impact whatsoever so a second string to my bow will be good!

Ok confessions then. I do have a new hydrangea aspera rescued from the sad and ailing table, I was just too embarrassed to mention it. It was completely dead to within a cm and more snow was forcast. The place was deserted and the plant was being reduced from £40 to £20. I was rather shocked and said as much to the chap marking it up. "Why would I buy a dead plant for £20?" He came right back and said "Well how much would you pay for a dead plant?" Touche! We settled on £4 and I am pleased to report it is now thriving happily, though more by luck than judgement.

1 May, 2010


: o ) ) ) )

1 May, 2010


I bought a shrub from the ailing table at a local Garden Centre last autumn. It was only £2 and I couldn't see what was wrong with it - it looked healthy enough.

1 May, 2010


Perhaps the ailing table is really just a way of extracting a few more pounds for shrubs that are going over and not looking their best. I saw a really large Ceanothus Puget's Blue that had taken some frost damage on one yesterday. I have resisted the temptation to buy it so far because you can't cut back onto old wood apparently, but I cant see me getting through the whole of the bank holiday weekend as I love P's Blue !

2 May, 2010

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