Six on Saturday

Having been inspired by the meme Six on Saturday, I’d better get on and do mine, I think.  Here goes.  It’s Tulip Time.  Oh, and because I have absolutely no self-control in these matters, there are seven for this Six on Saturday.  Don’t hate me…

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Tulip Charming Lady.  And charming it definitely is.  New to me this year, and I’ll be growing it again.

 

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Tulip Brownie.  This is the second year I’ve grown Brownie, and it’s a gorgeous little tryer, never discomposed by the weather.

 

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Tulip Danceline.  Another one that’s new to me this year.

 

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Tulip Silk Road. Again, new this year.  And it has a lovely fragrance.

 

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Tulip Dream Touch.  Another lovely one, and so far immune to wind and rain.

 

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Tulip Huis Ten Bosch.  Another new one.  Do I like it?  Not sure yet, but it’s definitely different.

My seventh pick is a mistake I made.  Last November, I sorted out the previous spring’s tulip bulbs into those that would flower again, and those that were too small to flower.  There were a lot that were too small.  So, what to do with them?  Give them the chance to grow on for next year?  Or compost them?  In the end, they went in to a new bed that had been sheeted over for a season, but as yet didn’t have a planting plan.  They were just planted in rows, with no finesse.  I expected a lot of leaf, and maybe the odd flower.  This was what I got:

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Amazing.

I wonder where I’m going to put them all when it comes back round to planting time?

Six on Saturday as a meme was started here:

https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

I blame him.  :~))

 

 

 

 

“Give us back our eleven days!”

It’s may!

Yes, you say, soothingly.  It’s been May for a bit, now.

But it’s May may!

It’s mayblossom time, and the hawthorn blossom is out.  Just in the nick of time.

Apparently, back in the mists of history, mayblossom got its name because it was reliably out on 1st May.  Not anymore, of course, because of Change.  Not climate change, in this case, but Calendar Change.

For centuries, Europe got along on the Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar who proposed the idea in 46 BC.  But the Julian calendar and the actual length of the year weren’t quite in synch, and so the seasons started to drift.

In 1582, when the gap was 10 days, Pope Gregory X111 proposed a new calendar, the Gregorian calendar, to get things back in line.  On this side of the channel, the proposal was viewed with dark suspicion, as a Papist plot, although what the endgame of any plotters might be, I’ve failed to understand.

It wasn’t until 1752 that we decided to adopt this new-fangled idea, by which time the difference was 11 days.  There were riots (possibly), and peasants with pitchforks chanting ‘Give us back our eleven days’ (possibly), but as inevitably as, well, time itself, Wednesday 2 September was followed by Thursday 14th September.

And mayblossom now (fairly) reliably is in bloom 11 days later than before, on 11th May.  Today.  And it is.

Incidentally, so that no tax revenue would be lost, the date of the tax year was changed.  Under the Julian calendar, the year began on Lady Day, 25th March.  This was changed to what might otherwise be thought of as an entirely arbitrary date of 6th April.

Who would have thought that taxes and mayblossom could be so intertwined?

Sic transit gloria mundi

One of the topics that my gardening groups always like to talk about is plants that give a long period of interest.

And yet… Perhaps the thing we all value most in the garden is the appearance of fleeting treasures.

I have two very elderly cherry trees, both of them ‘Kanzan’, that great froth of frilly pink frou-frou so redolent of the ’50s.  It lightens your heart for about three days, and then casts itself at your feet in flowery death throes.

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Likewise the tree peonies.  This one will come and go in the blink of an eye.

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Would I be without them?  Not for a minute.

Speaking of peonies – one of mine is about to burst bud, and each bud has its own small party of excitable ants.

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Why?  What are they doing?  They are only on the buds, and only on that particular plant, although the garden is a minefield of both red and black ants.  There is nothing else other than the swelling bud but the ants are running around, rubbing antennae, much too fast for the camera, in a state of high anticipation.

But ants or not, this will be another fleeting treasure, and all the more welcome for it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Why did I start this blog?  Answers on a postcard, please…

I’m not good with journals and diaries, but here goes…  There are three reasons, I suppose.

1   I’m making over my garden, and it’s getting to be a journey of exploration and high adventure.  For example, last year, a well was discovered in the hedgerow.  Who knew?  This year the well is overflowing, what with all the rain.  I wonder whether hawthorn likes growing in a bog?  There are squirrels (grey: pitchfork, anyone?), rats (this rat poison costs a fortune!), partridges, pheasants, the neighbour’s cats and a brimstone butterfly.  Well, lots of other wildlife, and even a large selection of plants.

2  I teach gardening (hobbyist level only!).  I ought to share the disasters and triumphs (and even the asters and triumph tulips) with my friends and students.

3  I’ve been reading the Six on Saturday meme, and became inspired.

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Here are the forget-me-not pools in the orchard.

Well, that’s my lunch break done.  Onwards and upwards with the bindweed…  Thanks for reading.