… from my friends. And from my garden.
When I started gardening here (ten years ago.Ten years? Waappen?) I made some pretty silly mistakes. Mainly because it was my first experience of tropical, as opposed to sub-tropical, planting. And also because I thought, smarty-pants that I am, that 50+ years of gardening in other places made me something of an expert. Wrong!
Anyway, one of the plants I bought, trusting my own judgement and believing the label that it would perform brilliantly was a Viburnum odoratissimum
Bloody thing has been growing here for, what, 8,9 years and never shown any inclination to flower. I left it there since it filled an ugly gap. But I’ve been in a ruthless mood and have consigned armloads of stuff from the closet, the studio, the pantry to the various bins and yesterday I headed across the drive with my heavy-duty ratchet loppers and a determined mind-set.
Hacked a fair bit of branchy stuff off and was about to go in low when something caught my eye…
Buds! Flower buds on the recalcitrant Viburnum! And I’d done such a hatchet job the poor thing was ill-balanced! Never mind, a short session with secateurs and I’ve restored some shape and discovered more emergent buds. I also stank. People, if you want to plant this, take my advice and do NOT plant it where anyone will brush against the foliage. Horrible foetid pong.
Of course, spring in these latitudes is not what most of us think of. If I’m in the mood for daffs I wander around the blogs. Elephant’s Child is a good place to start.
But I do have a few stalwarts, beginning with the Hippeastrums. The dark reds are always first, with pink-and-white closing out the season. One had its stem snapped, but that was no problem – The Man had obligingly finished a bottle of port and the tall, black bottle was just the ticket!
And because I’m a sucker for blue-purple flowers I picked some Angelonia, some Duranta and Petrea. Angelonia very obligingly roots in the vase, but the others sulk and drop their petals after a few hours. Never mind. They are pretty when fresh.
And right now, pretties are scarce around here. I have picture frames all over the place as I sort work for a small exhibition. Yes, I will tell you more about that next time. Right now, I am threatened with mutiny by two cats if I don’t throw them bone…A bone each, that is.
Trachelospermum jasminoides(web picture) is in bud and another of the jasmine tribe ( whose name I forget, but may be J.nitidum) is halfway up the tamarind…
and probably needs to be pulled into line. One day. And the one by the front stairs …
…is slugging it out with a rubbish common fern. Both ideal in this position as they are about the only things that can stand up to rain storms and look or smell good.
And a final word on flowers…the banner is a picture of wallflowers. Can you smell them? I can! Memory is a powerful thing.