Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Firstly this has nothing to do with nuns. However, bear with me, it does relate to gardening - in the end, and you will find out why I am showing a photo of ordinary wild daisies.

A habit is an acquired pattern of behaviour that occurs automatically and so it seems to have become.

It has to do with R and her reading the last few pages of a book before she starts. This absolutely destroys a denouement, renders thrillers etc as anticlimactic, and spoils a good potboiler.
I give her a book and tell her that this is a really good read. Then she turns to then back pages and says something like, 'I thought it was him' or 'That was a surprise." Aaaaagh!!!

Now gardening is NOT like that. No matter how one plans, how bad is the obsessive-compulsive disorder the gardener suffers, the ending is, as like as not, different from the expected. Gardening is rife with serendipity. A beautiful seedling (often an opium poppy) destroys a colour scheme, a plant dies, is not the one you thought you had bought, planted, grown, succumbs to disfigurement or is simply wrong. You can head for the denouement as much as you like but gardens lie in wait with the unexpected. That is one of their joys.

It is winter and I am walking beside the lawn when I see common daisies flowering. (They do bloom all year round). Now many lawn fiends will be appalled by daisies in the lawn but as our
lawn is mown field it is not a disaster.

We plant arbitrarily on the banking and find that, in November, The autumn colour of the cotoneaster and the yet green leaves of the variegated mint complement one another beautifully. Nether were put there for this purpose, the mint has thrived and spread to create a special combination.

When we first started to make the garden friends gave us plants. One gave us this Phormium with variegation and a pink stripe - I think it may be Rainbow Queen. It got stuck at the bottom of the washing-line pole by the path into the garden and was forgotten. However, as it has grown and has survived all the weather can throw at it, it has made the site its own and I would not move it now. The colours, thought muted, are there all year round every time I set off down the garden path.
The pole is not gorgeous but it does help get my damp clothes dry - a functional addition to the garden.

No matter how one tries there are things that are not beautiful - like the slithery stems of frosted nasturtiums, almost slug-like in feel. (Only horrible to those who do not like handling slimy slugs)(my brother, when he was young, used to line them up and walk on them in bare feet! Well, whatever turns you on, eh!).

We are well into the rotting season. Some plants have the good grace to dry out, especially grasses, and can be left but others just decay into a gruesome gunk. Grass cuttings in a compost heap, if not mixed with other vegetation,  can go like this. Autumn is slime time, the queasy season.

And the festive palaver is only three weeks away.
When that is over - and the New Year thing, winter solstice, dark January days, my sister's birthday and so on - then we can look for the first signs of snowdrops, birds nesting - wait for the coming surprises and joy -


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