Saturday, 12 March 2011

Christmas Rose

A bit of a horticultural day today; it's slightly less cold and the wind seems to have abated for now so a bit of a superficial tidy up of all the new twigs and branches that have landed on the grass.

The hellibore (above) is just flowering and I have some pale lime coloured hellibores with smaller pendulous flowers which are just peeping out and adding a bright splash of almost white/green in a still relatively dull coloured garden. The roses I have in two pots are into leaf with new shoots a couple of inches long already.

We bought a couple of house plants today to replace one which is long past its best which we haven't got rid of but now graces the greenhouse. The rest have been repotted, trimmed and tidied and there is a general feeling of a refreshing time in the immediate future.

My itinerent life is continuing next week with a course on the Freedom of Information Act which means two nights away in Cheshire, somewhere I visited many years ago and about which I can remember nothing of interest. Our hotel is in Crewe, a place I've never been I think and of course about which there are many music hall jokes to be told and songs to be sung. I'm sure it's nice, the hotel looks fabulous.

Oh! Mister Porter, what shall I do?
I want to go to Birmingham
And they're taking me on to Crewe.
Send me back to London
As quickly as you can
Oh! Mister Porter, what a silly girl I am.

This is a chorus of Oh! Mr Porter, a song written by Thomas Le Brunn, and composed by George Le Brunn from as far back at 1893. It's the story of Mary Ann who visits her Aunt in London and who got on the wrong train to get back to her home in Birmingham. Crewe is famed I guess for being a town with a major rail interchange hence why, as the main form of national transport in late Victorian times it would attract a lot of interest.

My thoughts this weekend will be with the people of Japan and other places in the Pacific who have suffered and will continue to suffer from the devasting effects of the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. The pictures from the television have been both dramatic and almost surreal.

The power of the water captured by helicopter film is extraordinary and it takes some comprehension when you see whole houses being carried away on the tides of destruction and ships weighing many thousands of tonnes on shore; burning wreckage moving along with the detritus caught in the incoming tide miles in-land. I'm almost in tears writing this.

I'm just about to start reading this afternoon a new book which I am reading as part of a new 'book club' created and founded by fellow blogger Diane.

The Crow Road by Iain Banks, a Scottish writer of whom I know nothing has some rave reviews of the book which was adapted for television in late 1996.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Chat soon



  1. Lovely flower.
    My parents used to have a greenhouse, I loved the smell of that wrong? ;)
    Hope you enjoy the book. I have given up on this months book club book :(

  2. Hello Val
    No it's not wrong at all - it is a very distinctive smell.
    I remember going into pet shops when they were full of sacks of pet food and being overwhelmed with the delicious smell of the mix of dog biscuits etc. Weird eh?
    The book has started really well with a real sense of underlying humour and certainly one extraordinary character has already emerged in the first chapter and it's not the narrator. I've given up on many books that don't ring the bell for me, perhaps that's not right, but I read them to learn and be educated and to laugh and to cry but I want to be interested and to be entertained too. Hope everything is well with you and yours

  3. I have some hellibore flowering in my graden too. How many different colours are there?

  4. Hi Jarmara
    Well, there's a good question, I'm not sure but I've certainly seen the rich purple colour, yellows, lime greens, pale greens, near whites.

  5. Purples, yellows, greens?

    That suggests an acidic soil. Try an experimental garden patch with a little lime. You may find for similar plants you may get reds and pinks.

    Hydrangeas are classic for determining the acidity of a soil. Blue - alkali, red/pink, acidic.

  6. Hi Wheelie
    Years ago when I used to do a few veg, I used to do soil sampling and adjust it with various dressings, but these days, I've never bothered. I test the Ph value of my fish pond water regularly, perhaps I should find out what sort of soil I have. There is a rhododendron which does quite well and they like acidic don't they.

  7. That is a beautiful photograph. Safe travelling. x

  8. Hmm. Rhododendron prefer a pH 4.5-6, which is mid-way acidic, if I remember correctly (without digging out my pH kit) :)

    I know my Budlii is a pain to keep under control, and like a Rhody, south of the Watford gap their both considered a pest. I like 'em. Brings in the bee's

    I have a heavy clay soil, with is low Ph. Since you're much more sea-wards than I am, I'd ha'thought you'd be low Ph too. Let me know? :)

  9. Hi Elizabeth
    Many thanks

    Hi Wheelie
    I'll check - might be useful and I'll post on here