New blogs announced on twitter @pwhorticulture
Not the moon but my best shot of the eclipse.
I was planting some trained hornbeam panels which had been splayed out on a bamboo frame when I spotted these Chinese symbols on one of the bamboos stems. I am pretty sure they are upside down but I am intrigued as to what they say. Are they a stock count, a makers name or perhaps just a bit of Kilroy was 'ere? Are there are any Chinese readers who know what it means? I am sure it will be something mundane but it might be a 'Hey I am in incarcerated in this bamboo factory please get me out of here' though that might be pushing it for the number of characters there are.
And just out of interest what do you think he/she might have cut it with? It is very dexterously done.
Each spring I get completely bowled over by the exotic look of this hardy Iris . It flowers regardless of frost but looks far too colourful,and brilliant to be flowering in March. This particularly variety is Iris histrioides 'Katherine Hodgkin'. which I have seen colonise large areas of a rock garden to brilliant effect. It is just a few inches/ centimetres tall but boxes well above its height.
I went to Great Dixter on a day out arranged Garden Media Guild. The first thing I noticed was this view out from the car park away from the garden. This building stood very solitary but also very purposefully in the middle of this sloping field. I hope to have a few shots of the garden itself in the next issue.
If you have never been it is well worth every effort to get there in the summer ,
Great Dixter has fabulous border displays some of which rely on exotic, tender plants such as Dahlias and if you think their over-wintering tubers are stacked neatly in tiered trays think again. Here they all are stacked in the cellar in plastic bread trays (tut - tut) , polystyrene boxes and whatever else comes to hand. It makes a great if ramshackle sight as you peep in through the cellar door.
The wood working shop in the great barn is a sight to behold. The garden produces hurdles, gates, and outdoor furniture from its own woodland and with its own staff . There is a strong tradition of training and the sharing of knowledge and experience not only in the woodwork department but throughout the garden .
The enthusiasm and energy creates an ethos you can almost feel.
I came across this blob of what looked like dense frog spawn almost in the water on the edge of a lake where I was working. I got quite excited because I had no idea what it was and you always like to think you have found something new or rare. On my way home I called in for petrol and was explaining this stuff to the guy on the till Phil Clayton who said, oh yeah that is star rot, almost nonchalantly. I was deflated. He asked was there just the one blob because there are usually two and of course he was right there were two about a foot apart. He explained that it is frog spawn from a frog that has been eaten by a heron or other predator and that because the spawn is very hygroscopic the animal rejects it otherwise if it ate it it would swell up inside it using the moisture from the animal and might well kill the predator. Of course once the spawn gets into the water it can swell to its hearts content. The spawn is produced in two sacks either side of the frog hence the two 'blobs'.
It was thought to be dying stars that had fallen to earth at one time and there still remains a mystery about some of the jelly like blobs that get found on the ground.
It was quite stretchy and sticky.
That's all for now.