Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year Revolutions

Pah! to resolutions - made in haste and broken even faster.

No, this year, I thought I'd try something a little more fun. A little more of a challenge. I thought I'd try and kick a bit of bottom, horticulturally. OK, so it'll end up as a damp squib, but at least I will have got a few things off my chest. We want a Revolution!

So I shall start 2013 with an attempt to get a few New Year Revolutions going. Perhaps I can change a few things, to make the world a better place - for me, at least...

Revolution 1:
First against the wall will be all gardening journalists who refer to a few clashing flower colours as "outrageous" or "courageous". No, just a bit bright.

Revolution 2:
Start up a new gardening magazine. It will contain normal sized gardens. Too long have I had to put up with a single patronising "small gardens" issue per annum. Yes, I'm looking at you, Gardens Illustrated. Of course, it will flop as I expect I'm the only person who would like to see interesting smaller gardens. I suppose others prefer to see identikit rolling acres with huge herbaceous borders and natural swimming ponds the size of a small sea.

Revolution 3:
Singlehandedly make candytuft the "must have" plant for 2014 (I thought 2013 would be pushing it). It's so retro it's futuristic. Candytuft will be in all the Chelsea gardens in 2014, mark my words. By 2016, it will be everwhere, and the plant snobs will begin the backlash.

Revolution 4:
Develop a new form of parasitic nematode. It will parasitise smug proselytisers, such as rabid organic souls. Parasites can do some really weird things to their hosts. Good. I try to garden organically, but find it ironic that organic gardening allows a range of chemicals which I find hard to believe could be classified as "organic".  I've wondered about organic gardeners' use of Bordeaux mixture for some time, as it is harmful to wildlife, but at least is is being banned from Feb 2013. I have to say, I'd develop a similar parasite to attack those gardeners who have spraying regimes which would put the American army's use of Agent Orange to shame. Blackspot isn't the end of the world, you know. Sorry, that one was a bit of a rant. Still, it is *my* revolution - I can rant if I want.

Revolution 5:
Ban any more bl**dy heuchera cultivars. Especially those that are the colour of sick (i.e. most of them).

Revolution 6:
There is no revolution 6.

Revolution 7:
OK, a garden can be critiqued like a piece of art, but some people really do visit just because of the coffee and cake. They have busy lives, and think about lots of other stuff in a deep way. Perhaps they just want to take a deep breath and admire the achilleas. Chill out about it, please!

Revolution 8:
Require that all references to bumblebees are superceded by the term "foggie toddler". Any non-compliances will be dealt with severely (i.e. forced to give garden room to spray-painted heathers).

New Years Eve addition:
Revolution 9:
Er, helloooo! Gardening magazines (or those contributors asked to write the "25 must visit gardens" reviews). Please note: once you get north of Oxfordshire, there aren't just barren glacial wastes. There are a few gardens up here. Well, I say up here, but I only live in Cheshire, and there's quite a lot of the UK above me. I realise that in these straitened times travel expenses might be reduced, but not every garden up north has been dug up by whippets wearing flat caps and drinking stout. I think Scotland and Wales might want a word, too.

Happy new year. And remember, if you want to be ahead of the fashion for 2014, get growing candytuft!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Nothing says 'Christmas' more than a...

...banded mongoose, I think you'll find.

My dear, meerkats are just so 2008.

Merry Christmas to you all, and a happy and healthy 2013 xxx

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh, the shame...

A knock on the door yesterday afternoon. SomeBeans answered it.
"Hello. Would you like your front garden tidied?"

 Oh dear.

If only the chap had come by in February, when the dwarf irises pierced through the soil and early crocuses offered their throats to the sunny skies.

Or April, when tulips and forget-me-nots waltzed together in the borders. Or May, when the Centaurea exploded like blue fireworks.

Or June and July, when the peonies managed to dodge the rains and flowered like the most plumptious of scented pompoms.

Where was he in August? Aster 'Monch' was the star of the show.

 In September and October, other asters took over, to the delight of bees, hoverflies and butterflies. In November, Japanese anemones were still flowering.

Even a couple of weeks ago, the garden was shining. Frost scintillating on spent flowerheads and on evergreen foliage.

And then it rained. For a couple of weeks. Sparkling flowerheads offering their seeds up to goldfinches have turned to brown mush. Cardoon and Japanese anemone foliage has slumped and blackened. Fuchsia leaves have dropped.

And someone offers to tidy my garden.

Oh dear. For now, I'll continue to watch the goldfinches, blackbirds and wrens foraging through the sodden udergrowth for food. And then I'll get round to a bit of tidying. Probably.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

11 years...