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Posts Tagged ‘garden books’

March 2021

Work and not much rainy reading weather kiboshed my desire to read Monty’s new book in one sitting. However, it proved to be a soothing and comforting bedtime chapter book, and I was able to finish it on a rainy late March day. At just over 400 pages, it’s a good long read. I have already shared the beginning, including how startled I was to learn that all this time, Monty and Sarah had a wild hillside farm in Wales. How it made my head spin that they don’t spend all their home time at Longmeadow (real name, Ivington).

Monty on the farm; the book has several pages of photo inserts.

Isn’t it odd how startling it is….well, to me at least….when a memoirist who we think we “know” turns out to have a whole ‘nother aspect to their lives of which we knew nothing. Montagu (which is what his family and real friends, of which I wish I was one, call him) is a writer whose memoirs, especially The Prickotty Bush, The Ivington Diaries, The Jewel Garden and Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs, reveal much of his own personal life and struggles with depression.

Here are some of the takeaways that I found most informative or simply beautiful in My Garden World, a journal of nature in his two homes.

What he wrote about climate change…

…I found to be so true with the bulbs I plant. Twenty years ago, I could count on Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ and May flowering tulips to be in full glory for the parades that took place in Long Beach and Ilwaco on the first weekend in May. But within the last decade, the bloom time has moved early to where those flowers are in bloom for the clam festival in mid April and are almost all done by May.

The same happens in our meander line pond; tadpoles are hatched but soon after, the seasonal pond dries up. It is worrisome that this year, we have heard no frog songs out at the meander line (the boggy ditch between us and the port parking lots) even when the frogs in our garden are deafening in the evening.

Mr. Tootlepedal has frogs that are photogenic. Mine are elusive.

Mr. Tootlepedal sometimes writes about the cutting of wildflower road verges in the borderlands of Scotland. That unnecessary practice is also hard on Monty.

Our neighborhood had collared doves. I had no idea that they originated in India. Because at one time, Allan and I watched a lot of Bollywood movies, that is fun to know.

The incomplete sentences in my book photos are there to inspire you to read the book.


I agree about elder, not just the fancy cut or colored leaf kinds but also the plain old elder, being welcome in my garden.

When I first moved to my previous Ilwaco home. I had no idea what the tree-like shrub was with leaves that looked tropical to me, on the steep slope outside my bedroom window. It was the red elderberry. I seem to recall that the ones with black berries are edible to humans but not the red ones, so I’m not even sure if the flowers of mine are edible. I have five red elderberries in my large garden today, and I think still they add an exotic feeling.

Monty writes lovingly about clover in lawns.

I have seriously considered quitting any job where weed and feed is used on the lawn. Unfortunately, that would probably mean having only the port and a couple of private clients left.

It is interesting how British gardeners and gardening shows welcome bird’s foot trefoil, which is considered a bane here (partly because it is native).

When I first moved here and saw it climbing into the beach pines in the Seaview dunes, I found it extraordinarily beautiful.

About trying to eradicate snails…

I am reminded of a woman in a northwest gardening forum who attacked me so angrily and repeatedly when I wrote that I do not kill snails…no, not even the invasive European ones….that I had to ask the moderator to get her off my back. It is a personal choice to not want my gardening to be all about slaughter all the time.

Now, if we had the giant snails that are invading Florida, I don’t know what I would do…but I certainly would not be able to stomach killing them. I was also filled with horror to read that snails and slugs in Hawaii can give humans a potentially lethal brain parasite from the slime on salad greens. That’s a ghastly situation that I am glad is not my problem.

Here is something useful when people here freak out about lichen on their trees.

It is fascinating to read about gorse, which here is on the noxious weed list as a plant which legally must be eradicated.

Monty writes about TH White’s book The Goshawk, which, in an interview, he said would be the book he would take to a desert island. And about kites, a bird which is making a comeback in Wales (as we have seen recently on BBC Winterwatch telly show). Kites use wool among their nesting materials. Our garden birds have no interest in the wool I left out for them.

The book closes with a chapter about Nigel, who died shortly after it was completed. I read the chapter twice, once having skipped ahead to see if there was a postscript about Nigel and then again when I came to the end. I wept hard tears both times, because Nigel died in a way similar to my dear cat Frosty, with seizures that must have been even more difficult in a large dog. The eulogy at the end of the chapter about just why Nigel was an especially good dog was comforting, and I, too, feel a Nigel shaped empty space when I watch GardenersWorld.

I ordered the book from the UK.

Postscript: Had a bit of mix up with the publishing time of yesterday’s post,, which ended up publishing retroactively on Saturday, April 3rd, instead of Sunday, April 4th, oops. At least it stayed in the right order and didn’t shatter my narrative flow

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Saturday, 6 March 2021

I cannot make myself go outside today except to open the greenhouses. My excuses are that, while the sun is out, the wind is cold and strong, with double wind warning flags flying at the port. And I heard a wee sprinkle of rain (but then the sun came out again) and maybe I feel lethargic from the Covid jab and the lingering effects of a powerful “double strength” antibiotic (not to mention I was direly warned to stay out of the sun while taking it). A friend says maybe it’s just age! Maybe it’s good to rest. Yet I get a sensation of panic that spring is slipping away and I have so much to do, most especially sifting compost to fill the two half empty fish totes. I have to remind myself we no longer have the weeding of the beach approach or other Long Beach tasks hanging over us and it is only March 6 and it is not a crime to spend a non-rainy day indoors.

Reading: Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl

On February 25th, I began to read the new book by the creator of the Danger Garden blog. Work and good (non-reading) weather then intervened, followed by a health scare (almost over now) which had me turn to gardening videos because they shut my doom-laden thoughts off better than reading. I returned to the second half of the excellent book on March 4, surprised that so much time had slipped away.

The book itself was carefully designed with showy, colorful page edges.

Because it was a brand new library copy, I handled it with great care and didn’t have Cats on Lap.

Here are my favorite takeaways. (First, you might want to revisit the garden with me to feast your eyes on Loree’s spiky horticultural style circa 2014.)

The book is sprinkled with well-chosen quotations.

I like that Loree collects quotations and that she quoted Luvvie, whom I admire.

I pondered the words of Michael McCoy in the beginning of a paragraph quoted by Loree: “Given the fact that the most spectacular gardeners are the ones that fail most spectacularly, it’s really critical to get over your fear of failure.” At first, I thought, Well, I had no fear of failure in my three main personal gardens, my grandmother’s garden in which I wrought some changes once it became mine, my shady garden behind the boatyard, or my garden now. I then remembered the constant fear of failure in public gardening, where, as a public gardener said in a lecture that I attended, all your failures are on public view. I also remembered that I feel anxious (fearful?) when big city plantspeople come to my garden, that they will go away and make fun of it among themselves for not being cutting edge enough. Or too twee. Why do I care when it is just as I like it?

When I read this…

….I was reminded of these words, which I think Loree would appreciate.

People go through five stages of gardening. They begin by liking flowers, progress to flowering shrubs, then autumn foliage and berries; next they go for leaves, and then the undersides of leaves. -The Duchess of Devonshire

I must continue to maunder on about how things from the book started trains of thoughts about my past experiences. This, about a neighbor’s reaction when Loree first planted her front garden with small plants…

….reminded me of when I planted a small garden for a tiny restaurant in Seaview. The restaurant owner looked aghast at the small perennials that we planted in April and paid us grimly and did not speak to us when she saw us in the grocery store….until that same July when the garden was gloriously spilling over with the floriferousness she had asked for…and then she became warm and friendly again and said “Now I understand!” ….and asked us to plant up two more areas.

When I read that Loree admired the look of Corten strip edging in gardens, “custom fabricated….with bonded corners” and yet “I wasn’t sure where to get such a thing made and was pretty sure it wasn’t in my budget anyway”, I felt a wash of relief. I always feel stupid when I go on garden tours and see things like Little and Lewis inspired water features (or actual Little and Lewis water features) and gorgeous Corten steel low garden walls and have no idea how one would create or acquire such a thing. (I read somewhere that low metal edging without a smooth top can seriously injure dog paws, so keep that in mind. Maybe cat paws, too.)

I had forgotten about the perfect garden design word, “cramscaping”. And when I read this….

….I was reminded of when I cared for a garden at a local business. I “cramscaped” the two main garden beds full of choice plant divisions from my garden, including plants not seen much around here at the time, and the then-manager and staff loved it and took their lunches near the garden. (Pollinators had lunch there, too.) But a new manager came into power and said he did not want any plants to touch. “I’m not the one for the job,” I said, and wouldn’t try to do it his way when he asked me to just try, but instead passed it on to a friend…who later quit when he was told to remove a perfectly good plant in full bloom because it was too big or maybe dared to touch another plant.

Here is another great quotation collected by Loree, who wanted to send Monty Don a thank you note for saying “Half of gardening is just grown-ups going out to play.” I also remember laughing with delight when he said that.

She writes of growing bougainvillea as an annual in her Portland garden. I’m reminded that I grew up with one, in love with its pink papery blooms in my grandmother’s heated greenhouse, back when electricity was cheap. It was a sad day when she had to let it go because the cost of electricity rose so much. I could have sworn I had a photo of it, but the picture is just in my mind.

I loved reading that Robert of Felony Flats Garden got the Sunset Western Garden book from his grandmother. I still have the battered, well-thumbed spiral-bound copy that belonged to my grandmother, as well as all her old garden newspaper and magazine clippings that were inserted in the pages.

I’ve mentally swiped several planter ideas from Loree’s book. I won’t share them here; you’ll need to read her book for that, although later I will give credit if I implement any. Must find a rusty ….thing….and a big old funnel….and some skull beads.

Oh, my gosh, this isn’t even a British book and it mentions grit.

Around these parts, the only grit is turkey grit, small and glaringly white. We certainly can’t get the beautiful small amber-coloured stones that we see on British shows. Nor can we get small washed gravel. Loree, what do you use for grit? (I remember attending a workshop at Joy Creek Nursery, where they use 1/4-10 washed gravel in the garden. I wish I had a cubic yard of it, or more.)

A story about the “Felony Flats” garden being divided between the two gardeners made me smile…

….as I realized that probably most of what I like could be classified as “old lady plants”.

I (probably) couldn’t grow (well) at home most of what Loree grows because my garden has such a high water table and such cool summers, and I can’t grow spiky plants in well-drained public gardens around here because, especially in Long Beach, such plants are forbidden. The original guidelines for the city planters said no plants with thorns (or any poky bits), which didn’t stop volunteers from planting ginormous roses, phormiums and barberries in the planters, probably in an attempt to keep people from sitting in them. I almost planted some hardy cactus in containers for a western theme at The Red Barn until I envisioned a horse or dog’s soft nose making contact.

As you will see in Loree’s book, in more sophisticated city public gardens, spikes are celebrated and people and dogs are, I suppose, expected to behave themselves and stay out of the gardens. Fearless Gardening abounds with gorgeous examples, with most of the photographs taken Loree herself, making it even more of tour de force of creativity. I especially enjoyed the tours of gardens public and private that conclude the book.

One of several pieces of advice from Felony Flats: “Don’t be afraid to let the household chores slide during gardening season; that’s what winter is for.” (Unfortunately for the household chores, my winter is for reading and watching garden videos.)

Of course, I added some plants to my growing (and maddeningly unavailable here) acquisition list, and I’ve already shot my mail order budget for the year. My favorite Loree Bohl quotation:

“The only fear that should exist in gardening is, Is there enough money in my bank account?”

Among my new Plants of Desire: Eryngium proteiflorum, whose photo looks similar to Eryngium giganteum which I am having such a hard time growing; Passiflora ‘Sunburst’, which might prove hardy here; Accra sellowiana (pineapple guava). I want and have tried plants like Trachycarpus fortunei, a palm with gorgeous leaves that might do well in my sheltered garden, and Musa basjoo, the truly hardy banana, and tall echiums, with no success, maybe because we mostly lack summer heat. Loree’s book inspires me to fearlessly try again (if I can get my hands on such plants this or next year).



I was interested to learn that Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’ is the true name of ‘Black Lace’ elderberry. Seems Black Lace is one of those trademark names. What a pleasure it was to read a book heavy on plant recommendation and identification after the Julie Moir Messervy design books, which I mostly enjoyed but which tend to recommend what I think are bad plants, and even to misidentify plants, and to only use the sometimes interchangeable common names.

No matter what your gardening style, I think Fearless Gardening would inspire you, too. It is available right here.

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A Countrywoman’s Year by Rosemary Verey

I read this in early December and am finally getting around to sharing my favorite bits. One of my regrets is that I out off for too long writing about the winter reading of Nella Last, several years ago, and of Marion Cran. I must stay caught up.

a collection of her newspaper columns

This is one of those books arranged by months, a style of gardening book that I like very much.

Her thoughts on winter (and reading weather):

I welcome winter as a time when I can slightly change my way of life, stay indoors more, read, and give way to a lethargy that I do not have in summer. …”A sad tale’s best for winter”, wrote Shakespeare. I believe he meant this to fit the winter mood of the reader.

(Miss Willmott’s Ghost, supposedly so easy to grow and yet I have been trying to grow it for years to no avail. Maybe next year I will succeed as I have a few young plants on the go.)

Rosemary’s close observation of “nut tree” catkins in a hedge in February put me in mind of the excellent macro photos of catkins and tiny flowers on the Tootlepedal blog.

We all know the golden tassels of the male flowers covered with pollen, but less conspicuous are the clusters of small red female blossoms, now open and ready to receive pollen from the catkins. They are small but you may see bunch of bright crimson pistils enclosed within green bracts. When they are fertilised, an odd thing happens, unique I believe in our garden happenings. The flower is growing on last year’s wood but as soon as it is fertilised it starts growing away from the old wood and forms behind itself a thin twig, four or five inches long, at the end of which it ripens into a nut. As it travels, it carries with it the bract in which the flower was formed and this becomes the cup in which the nuts will lie. The leafy cup has given its name to the tree: Corylus from the Greek meaning a cup or helmet. ……the old British name was Haasel—haesle is a cap or hat and the Haesel-nutu is the hatted nut.

She concludes that close observation with a thought that stands on its own:

Whatever the weather, there will always be some phenomenon of nature to pause beside and admire, to learn from and tuck into one’s memory.

Months later, as autumn arrives:

Now the shortest days are upon us and darkness descends soon after four o’ clock. I can come in from the garden to the welcome of a warm fire and the prospect of a long peaceful evening with all those books which have been accumulating on my table.

Here is my table of books to read….

It includes obscure books that I’ve purchased and many gift books that I long to read. I usually prioritize library books because they have due dates. I hope being half retired will enable me to catch up.

I suddenly envy Rosemary’s freedom from the temptation all social media back in those days. Once upon a time though, I would have written out these passages in my commonplace book and been able to share them with only a few people.

Because it fits so perfectly here, I am adding this from the biography of Verey that I read right after this (which will be the subject of the post).


On getting up shockingly early:

But suppose you stay up till two AM reading, doesn’t that add years to your waking life, too?


On dogs:


On peaceful coexistence:

Or give up on growing hostas, like I did.

I loved every bit of this wonderful little book. I got it via interlibrary loan.

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Monday, 2 March 2020

At last I had the anticipated rainy day and could read the rest of the densely small print book, Modern Nature by Derek Jarman.

Skooter did not want to wake up; he dislikes rain.
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When he did stir, he joined me in my comfy chair.
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I loved Modern Nature so very much. It has more of the garden than the recently read Smiling In Slow Motion, simply because the author was in better health and able to spend more time at Prospect Cottage.

I would be hard pressed to say that I have ever read a gardening memoir with more gorgeous garden descriptions, partly because the seaside setting speaks to me. Derek’s garden in England’s Dungeness is on the shale beach in view of the ocean. His garden book has been a huge inspiration to me. I seem to have lent it out and have forgotten to whom!

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Here are just a few of my favourite saves. 

How we lose time in the garden:76CD5675-F646-4B34-868D-D0A39AE4DC98
When Jarman quotes from The Poetics of Space….

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….I have a quotation from that book on display in my garden: “The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

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I adore his appreciation for the mixed view, the sea and the shale and the lights of the nuclear power station.
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As I learned in his other memoir, Jarman likes to grow red geraniums (pelargoniums). He recommends the one called Paul Crampnel, saying the other modern colors are muddy.

My grandma’s red and pink geraniums:

geraniums

looking down the hill from the path of lawn…Gram grew a neat patch of pink and red geraniums backed with a line of roses. I often wish she had been alive during our present day richness of plant selection. mid 1960s.

geraniums

Every year, she planted this bed of geraniums.

And some geraniums which appear each year in Cannon Beach:

geraniums

geraniums

And the red and pink geraniums that we used to plant every year in Jo’s garden.

geraniums

geranium (pelargonium) walk

You can see Derek’s favourite geranium here. Because I am easily embarrassed and prone to feelings of inferiority, I have let myself be influenced by friends who make fun of red geraniums.  Well, to heck with that. The sharp scent of the leaves takes me right back to life with grandma.  I still have one red geranium from Jo’s garden that I have nursed along through winters as my grandma used to do with hers.
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I was surprised to learn that slugs and snails live on the Dungeness shale.

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I so much love what he wrote about disliking clothes shopping.  You can read the entire passage about it here in an article which includes one of my favourite photos of Derek in his garden.  He finds clothes shops “intimidating and rarely ventured into them”.

When he mentioned a friendly day out with author Penelope Mortimer, I was excited to learn that she had written more books than the ones I’d read back in my twenties. I have ordered those that the library has and will seek them all out.  He also alerted me to another memoirist, Keith Vaughan, whose book I have ordered online…there are only so many interlibrary loans I can make at one time.

Toward the end of this memoir, Jarman’s health rapidly worsens.  He had been diagnosed as HIV+ three years before; he spends time in hospital away from the garden as his condition tips into having AIDs.

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He was well cared for under the NHS, able to stay in hospital for as long as needed instead of being booted out as often happens here.

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He used Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera as a motto when ill.  Just a day or so before  reading this book, I was using it, too, over various health and future concerns.

Did Derek feel he would not be remembered?

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He will be.  I could read this every day and never tire of it:

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He might have feared for the future of his garden because of what happened to the garden of one of his gardening mentors.
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Now his Prospect Cottage garden is under threat  after having been preserved for decades. A fundraiser is trying to save it by the end of this month.

I have been inspired to try to add more driftwood artiness to the port gardens. This is not only from Derek’s ideas….

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…but also from memories of my Gram’s garden. Although none of the photos I have of her garden show it, I remember the driftwood in it. If any friend went to the beach, she would ask them to bring her back a piece, a few of which were substantial. I am sure she rewarded them with bouquets and baked goods.  Her low rock walls in her back garden were made in the same way, by asking everyone who visited her to please bring a rock. (She did not drive and so scavenging on her own was limited, and there was certainly not enough money to order a load of rocks.)

When I told Allan of my long held desire to add some driftwood posts to the port gardens (also a long unrealized desire for the boatyard garden), he said that I would worry that people would poke their eyes on them. No, the poles will be either tall or fat!  It would be hard to dig the holes in the rubbly soil. Then I will dig the holes! And so on. My main problem is that I know where to get some driftwood, but it is on a steep bank and I cannot do it on my own. Watch this space to see if it happens….probably without lobster claws on top.
Also watch for more Derek Jarman passages; I saved some that apply to certain plants and certain months. How I wish I had known him and could have joined him and his friends searching for rusty debris and perfect rocks with which to decorate the garden.

Read more about Modern Nature here.

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Monday, 15 July 2019

We had rain overnight, not enough to make me regret running the sprinklers, but enough to delay watering Long Beach and Ilwaco till Wednesday, with other jobs to do tomorrow.

I finished a book that I’ve been reading this week.

Gardenlust by Christopher Woods

Here are my takeaways (probably impossible to decipher if you are reading this on a phone, for which I apologize).

A poetic dedication

Each chapter is about a garden made in this century, mostly public gardens.

I loved that The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, in the Huntington Botanical Garden, has a “Pavilion for Washing Away Thoughts”.

Kevin Scales, who designed Quinta da Granga in Portugal. made me happy by not being formally trained:

It struck me as unusual and daring that the author would criticize a garden, in this case the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London:

I’d love to tour the gardens of Carrie Preston, a Dutch garden designer:

She likes fading tulips: “That is the prettiest moment for a tulip, just as they start to fall over in a sigh.”

I like this:

Landschaftspark, a garden built around the ruins of a former iron plant, is one I’d like to see.

Look, Gasworks Park gets a mention.  Although it is mostly lawn around the old Seattle gasworks, as I recall.

The photos show that Landschaftspark has much more of a garden feel.

About a public garden in Australia, and public gardens in general:

In a chapter showing high rise vertical gardens:

About her Fisherman’s Bay garden in New Zealand, Jill Simpson says:

Out of all the gardens, hers and Carrie Preston’s are the one I would most like to see.

Gardenlust has a combination of large and glorious photos and thoughtful, critical prose.  It is a heavy book, one that you will want to read in a comfy chair.  You can get it from Timber Press or, if you are lucky like me and have access to the Timberland Library system, they have a copy.

I got my blog caught up just now and, within minutes, Devery will be here to bring us her cat, Jazmin.  We are adopting Jazmin because Devery is going to visit family for awhile.  We hope she will return to the peninsula that she loves so much.

Meanwhile, the back bathroom will be Jazmin’s haven, with the tray of fresh green cat grass from Lezlie, lots of comfy sleeping spots, and her own litter box and her bed that will remind her of her home with Devery.  She once lived right next door to us in the Nora house.  Within a couple of weeks, we hope to have Jazmin incorporated into the entire household and, eventually, the garden.

Later:

We had a farewell visit with Devery.

One More very blurry photo of Jazmin in her new haven. She is an affectionate cat and was happy to be petted.

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In the effort to catch up in book reports, I will begin with the book I recently finished.  (This means I have skipped over the two Morville books by Katherine Swift; I hope to catch up on book reporting later this autumn.)

The Prickotty Bush by Montague Don

Those who have read Monty and Sarah Don’s The Jewel Garden know that they loved and lost a garden due to financial woes, long before Monty was the famous garden show presenter that he now is.

I read The Prickotty Bush, the story of that garden, slowly over a few weeks of this exhauting, rain-free summer, just a few pages before bedtime.

Its somber cover goes along with the somber subject of a garden under siege by the bank and an obsessed man trying to make a garden as quickly as possible.

Here are some of my favourite bits:

On the imposition of order by pruning:

Also known as Something Shiny Syndrome:

The bullying wind:

On doing it all oneself:

Interestingly, in one of the next books I read, Marion Cran wrote about the same thing.

Below, I identify with Montagu’s urgency.  I felt, at age 55, when I started the Lake Street garden, that I had to get it laid out the first winter during a two month staycation, no matter what the weather.

30 December 2010, gardening in ice-crusted soil

On time in the garden (shared because I love what he says about human aging):

On how to look at your garden:

On garden design:

On plant names:

Friday, 14 September 2018

Frosty rejoiced that I had the day at home.

He was vocal about it.

Rain gauges from last night:

Even the slowest filling rain barrel was almost full:

I think I might need to remove a hebe.  I set it in the spot below, in a wooden planter, and it has rooted into the ground, broken the planter apart, and is about to block our path.  It pulls debris out of the wheelbarrow when I pass by. And yet it is so grand.

From my window I had seen an exciting glow:

Kniphofia ‘Earliest of All’

I had tried in late winter to divide it and transplant some to the center bed.  So far, this is all the transplants have done after many months:

puny

My goal today was to deal with the basket plantings brought home from Long Beach.

In bin two, I had a pile of all green debris on top of brown.  I wanted to layer them, green and brown, into bin four.

Four hours later:

I got just this much compost from bin 2, which had not had much time to decompose since the last time I turned it.

Because I feel anxious about the financial aspect of retirement, I rejoice in any compost that I can make instead of buying mulch.  It’s good practice for more frugal years. Compost turning and sifting is an activity that relaxes and pleases me ever so much.

After a couple of rains, the rest of the basket root balls will be easier to break apart.

I wish I had a before photo of where Allan helped me dig out a big orangey grass that had seeded into the front of the east bed.  I needed some room for other plants, and have many others of this grass that I originally got from Pam Fleming’s former nursery.

left, some of the many that are left; right, a new empty space (not for long)

Salvia africana-lutea and an matching spider

Saturday, 15 September 2018

At last, I had a glorious rainy reading day, all Marion Cran.

First, I went through my book marks in her first book, which I finished two nights ago,  to photograph my favourite bits to share in a later post.

When I first opened my used English edition of The Garden of Ignorance, I found these inside:

All the way from Old Blighty, perhaps; there is nothing on the back of the picture.

Today I read all of The Garden of Experience and more than half of the third book of her autobiographical series, The Story of My Ruin.  She will get more than one of a series of blog posts when I have time to write more about the summer’s reading.

Here is just one excerpt that echoes Monty Don’s words about having to make one’s garden all by oneself.  In Cran’s world of the 1920s, that meant with the help of a gardener, but the garden owner also knew where every plant was and did much of the work herself.

I hope to offer you many more shared thoughts about Marion later this year.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed the endpiece to The Garden of Ignorance:

 

 

 

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