Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Even The Weeds Look Good

 I had to pick some buttercups - remember shining them under your friends' chins when you were little, to check whether or not they liked butter?

 Even at my most garden-smug though I can't see the beauty in oxalis flowers

but the erigeron (which is now counted as a noxious pest) and the forget me nots looked passable.  (Note to self, rip out erigerons next weekend before they take over the entire garden.) 

In the cracks in the footpath things were looking beguiling, though no plan was involved.  Wild violets and escaped succulents were all over the place.

At the risk of sounding boastful and therefore tempting fate, things are looking so good in the garden and so abundant, that all the vases are brimming with flowers  at Shoestring Cottage and even the weeds looked attractive last weekend.  (Some of them, not the onion weed or the oxalis flowers, that would be stretching things too far.)  

All the garden creatures were going about their business with renewed purpose and urgency.  The brick where the thrush likes to crack open snails was littered with snail shell fragments and when I went for a walk around the wetlands I was confused to hear a quiet rustling which wasn’t caused by my footfalls.  Eventually I fathomed out (after a kindly explanation from number three daughter) that it was the skinks (lizards) basking in the sunshine among the dried leaves and dashing away when they heard approaching humans.  It was hard to spot them because they were so fleet and stealthy but the occasional flash of dark skin as they took cover was a give away. 

I have been poking around in the pot where the gloriosa lily has been growing for the last two years but there is no sign of its emergence and I hope it hasn’t turned up its toes (or tubers) and given up on life.  Anxiously I enquired of My Dear Mama (who had forgotten where hers was planted, so was no help whatsoever) and The Duchess of Ringloes (whose gloriosa hasn’t chosen to emerge as yet, either) and I am hoping that it is just the late spring which is causing the delay.  I am trying very hard not to poke about in the pot too much in case I destroy the shoot as it emerges but it is hard to hold back. 

Leaving things to the birds has been my downfall in the hosta department because rather than having lush looking leaves shooting forth there is a rather lacy and holey effect after the attentions of the snails and slugs.  Slug bait may have to be resorted to, though I try to use it as little as possible.  Every year I seem to be just a bit too late with the slug bait because of soft hearted tendencies or a desire to believe that for some reason the slugs will hold off with their attacks. 

The community garden is looking very lush and verdant too, the scarecrow looks prosperous and pleased with himself though rather raffish and devil-may-care

and kindly people brought along their citrus fruit to give to others, which is such a good idea because often when driving around I see trees laden with citrus which falls to the ground and goes to waste.  Much more sensible and satisfying to let anybody use it who feels able to. 

It’s easy to let a long weekend get away from you and so I finally got around to making up the piece of tapestry which has been stretching back into shape for quite a long time now.  It came out very well and was worth the effort though you can't really see the colours here in the strong sunshine

These kind of boring tasks (like mending and repairing clothes) can drag on and on until they seem hardly worth doing so a stern talking to oneself is sometimes needed.  Next I need to complete the tulip needlepoint, which has its backing fabric and braid trim all ready and waiting but no need to toil on less than exciting tasks for the whole weekend.  I did get a lot of stitching done and so can’t complain too much.  I took an old red jacket and started decorating it with bits and pieces from my chaotic sewing room and so far it is looking okay

but I always seem to start these things in the wrong season - this will probably be completed by February at the current rate of progress, no good at all in our climate.  

Wishing you happy stitching or gardening or whatever it is which warms the cockles of your heart, and long may the pansies continue to bloom!