6th July 2014
Rosa 'Toby Tristram'
In the garden the languid days of summer have arrived. In my head the languid days of summer have arrived. Unfortunately the body has been slower to catch on
and continues to try and rush at things that would be better watched from a hammock in the company of a glass of elderflower cordial.
Rain from the Atlantic arrived at the perfect moment. Impatiens tinctoria was looking slightly droopy in front of the house when I got home on Friday night
but by saturday morning it was looking perky again. Rosa 'Toby Tristram' marauds along the bank behind the house. The long stems
are reaching up into a Eucalyptus and seem to be pulling it slowly to the ground. The truth is much simpler, the Eucalyptus
fell over in the winter gales and the rose is simply taking advantage.
The pricky growth is filled with pale scented flowers and the pale scented flowers are filled with bumblebees. It is a cascade of wonder
for a couple of weeks, and on saturday morning it was a cascade of cold raindrops as I opened the back door. I made one of those little noises
that I usually reserve for knocking over cups of tea. Lets pretend I was shrieking with delight and it had nothing to do with the shower of
chilled rose water.
6th July 2014
In my head the summer has come and I have adapted to the new pace of life. I can sit back and watch as the world slowly passes by. At least I
can everywhere except the car. I still expect to be able to get into the car and drive to my destination. It is perfectly reasonable that during
the summertime in Cornwall things are a little more complicated. Driving to Penzance on friday I managed to extend my usage of the language
by schreeching at someone "You Thistle!".
They weren't even being unreasonable, simply trying to drive the wrong way up a dual carriageway or indicating left and then turning right. Just the
traditional holiday passtimes in the county. It was what I said but I got a very perplexed look. What I meant was they were a pain in the arse.
Somehow that brings me to Deuterocohnia longipetala which has been producing a long flower stem since October, arching over the path in the
Agave house. I have to move it aside every time I go by and I was certain it would break before the flowers opened. Fortunately it is tougher
than expected. The green flowers are a thrill at the moment and they fade very quickly which is fortunate, before the moment passes.
6th July 2014
Hemerocallis 'Black Magic'
Part of the calm attitude of summer comes from the acceptance of the jobs that didn't get finished (or in some cases, started). I weeded
about a third of the herbaceous border in March and then ran out of time. I had a long list of clever re-organisations to try
and none of them happened. There is always next winter.
I also managed to rescue about half of the Hemerocallis collection from the protective arms of some brambles. They are having a better year
for being able to see some sunlight. The other half of the collection will have to wait until it is cool enough to put on protective clothing
'Black Magic' is distinctive enough to be identifiable even once the label has become illegible (which has been a problem among the big clumps
in the herbaceous border). For a few weeks it will scatter dark stars about and then relax back into decent foliage. I'm still looking for suitable
companions to take over in August when it finishes. I tried a few Clematis thinking that I might pull the stems forward over the Hems
in a tasteful way. It might still happen, but I can feel the sputtering laughter of ridiculous ideas building inside me.
6th July 2014
Unfortunately there is always the gap between a good idea and the reality on the ground (or in this case, in the greenhouse). I bought my
plant of Disa tripetaloides from Julian Sutton at Desirable Plants and it has been a charming and vigorous orchid with small white flowers.
I have raised a few similar hybrids from seed, most notably a legion of Disa Trata that are slightly creamy white (but definately
not yellow). They are all slightly different without any of them being distinctive.
I was immediately attracted when I saw plants of D. tripetaloides Pink Strain for sale at an orchid show. The vendor had raised the seedlings
from a pink tinged parent and was expecting pink tinged progeny but made no promises. It flowered last week, the pure white flowers given a cool glow
by the pure green stems. It should be a warning to me never to spend large sums of money on small variations, but it isn't a warning I am likely to heed.
It seems that the universe is as fond of laughing at me as I am at it. This is my original plant, just opened and much pinker than I remembered
so I have both forms despite my best attempts to obtain both forms. Too soft to be a thistle.