May 29, 2011

My Jungle


The view from the hellhound courtyard at the kitchen door. Enter at your peril.

It’s not absolutely all roses.  There are a few freshly planted dahlias that you can’t see unless you’re really good at differentiating one green leaf from another.*  And how about a nice poppy?

Poppy in MORNING sunlight. That's MORNING sunlight.

She’s just off screen to the left.  Or a nice miniature clematis in a hanging basket: 

Yes, I should PLANT her in her hanging basket. But this is the famous hanging-basket pole that BOWS under the weight of a, er, hanging basket. I found this out AFTER I had Atlas cement it into place so it would stop taking out the rose that climbs up it every time it levered itself out of the ground. If I planted her she'd weigh more.

She’s just out of sight on the right hand side.  Her name is Filigree . . . and in the process of scampering through the Taylors Clematis site to rediscover this since of course her label has been eaten by wolves, I’ve compiled quite the little list of new clematis I’m sure I need.  **

But I admit there are a lot of roses.  That dark red babe on the right is Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which has–heretofore–always been a total flimsy fainting heroine–she even died on me at the old house.  I’m not even sure why I bothered to try again at the cottage when I have NO space for flimsy and fainting.  But–when she produces them–she really does have flowers to swoon over.

Mmmmmm. She also smells divine. It is perverse how many red roses there are that have no smell.

Her first couple of years at the cottage she tried the feeble thing and I was like yeah, yeah, get on with it, either pull yourself together or croak so I can put something else in there.   I do keep feeding her.  Last year she was pretty good and this year she’s amazing.


She grows in a great tangle with Mme Isaac [Periere], who also likes to bow and lean, but of course I have completely failed to get a persuasive photo of this phenomenon.  This is one of those things about photographing gardens that many of you will know:  your eye picks out the flowers.  The camera relentlessly points out that actually the view is mostly green

And the combined scent--Mme Isaac has a notoriously powerful fragrance--will make you drunk. Or at least a little giggly.

The flowers are unmistakably different as soon as you have the chance to compare them.  Mme Isaac is a deep raspberry pink;  Tess is rich dark red.  Mme Isaac is a genuine old rose and Tess is one of David Austin’s little darlings,  and clearly modern.  But hey.  With roses this superb, whatever. 

Roses. Mmmmmmmm. Roses.

To Be Continued. 

* * *

*Plants.  Gaaah.  I have [rmmph] dahlias to plant out, standing in little rows in their little pots.   They arrived as cuttings, and you whap them into small pots to give them a chance to develop a root system, and then you put them where you want them to grow and be dazzling.  You watch them–well, theoretically you watch them–so you can get them out of their little pots before they get cramped and cranky.^   So I’m trying to plant them out as they’re ready.  I have one that’s already a good two foot high so I thought, yeep, get that one planted.  So I Prepared the Hole and tipped her out and . . . she has no visible root system yet.  The faintest of white threads.  GAAAAAAAH.  I planted her anyway.

^ Although I’ve grown some astonishingly large dahlias in astonishingly small pots when I’ve not been paying attention.  Oh, gods, I’d say, and dump a little more flower food on it, and stab in another bamboo pole for it to lean on.

** I also seem to have lost most of an hour.  Hmmm.


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