Tulips

Joyful tulips. Gentle flowers.

Mixed with some white flowers that look a bit like roses, but are something else. These were my valentines day present. They are keeping well. I love the way they open up. The stems bend and buckle depending on how much water they have. When the water level falls they droop. I’ve given them a bit of plant food to keep them going

I was thinking about why a lot of my flowers in my garden had kept flowering late into November and December last year. Then yesterday I heard a report that about 40% of the world’s insect population has disappeared in the last few years. Could it be that they are not around to pollinate my garden flowers. And if they are not here for flowers what about fruit and crops.

Recent bans on nicotinoid pesticides may be lifted although they have been implicated in the death of bees.

The world’s ecology must come first. Otherwise the life of all plants that need pollenation by insects may be seriously at risk.

Happy valentines day

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Another marketing ploy or a chance to show your love for someone?

I don’t know how many other countries celebrate St Valentines day (no not the massacre). But we celebrate it in Britain. Suddenly the shops are full of red and pink. Specially packaged wine, chocolates and flowers. Lots of glitter and gleaming red ribbons.

There ar cards to all sorts of partners, or anonymous ones for people you might not know as well. I once had a yellow rose, from a garden across the road, left on my front doorstep. I don’t know to this day who it was from.

I guess it’s here to stay like Christmas or Easter. If you are celebrating it have a lovely and romantic time. I guess sometimes people hope for a card but don’t get one. I hope you get your wishes on 14th February

Can’t wait for summer flowers.

Every year I get some hanging baskets from a local nursery. They create beautiful collections of flowers and you can specify what plants you have in them. I love combinations of lobelia, begonias, fushias and pelagoniums amongst others. I’m planning to get out in the garden soon to tidy it up for the spring. The old baskets get recycled and replanted to save some of the cost.

Looking at these sunny colours has bought me a bit of joy in cold January. I hope they have for you too.

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Amaryllis

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I have 4 Amaryllis flowers growing this year. The bulb sends out a long shoot after it starts to grow leaves. This flower spike will grow rapidly as long as it gets plenty of water. There can usually be 1 to 4 flower buds. All my Amaryllis plants have deep red flowers but they do come in other colours.

We got another plant in a deep glass vase which was in flower. Now the flower stem has gone over (died back) but its putting out leaves. I have two more plants that I have kept for years. One still has a long leaf on it from last year. Both are responding to being watered by starting to come into leaf again.

A tip, Amaryllis go dormant for a while from autumn. You need to start watering again mid winter to get them to start to grow. If you need to repot them only go up one size. They like to be quite tight in their pots. Use a good house compost, maybe a bit sandy to stop them getting waterlogged. Then sit back and enjoy the amazing flowers.

Trees

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I have a lot of trees in the garden but my partner always wants more. I tried counting them once. We have 3 leylandii, a crack willow, a walnut, 2 cherry trees. A couple of apple trees, a pear tree, an oak, a eucalyptus¬† a plum tree. Also a couple of Ash trees, and a mountain Ash. Oh and a silver Birch tree. A small beech tree, and a fir and Christmas tree. A monkey puzzle tree, a lilac tree, a sycamore and an acer. .. Too many .. Enough!! Plus there are bushes and shrubs….

It’s no wonder I can’t get flowers to grow. Its too shady and dry!

No more trees please,

That’s enough,

Growing tall.

Shades the ground.

Leaves a plenty,

In the sun,

Stops the flowers growing,

It’s no fun.

Give light a chance

Let daffodils unfold,

Bluebells flourish

Campions show pink,

And cranesbills cover the garden.

 

Remembering Devon

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It’s been a few years since we visited Devon and I want to go again soon. When the Sun shines its glorious, the air feels clean and the Sun gleaming off the sea makes you feel alive.

These flowers were in the tangled hedge along the pathway to the shore. I only used my old digital camera to take the shot and I was pleased at how clearly it came out. The stamen were curved into loops, the pink petals had deep cuts in them making it look like they were two petals, not one. The sunlight just catching areas of the photo lifted the dark areas and gave it interest. I was also pleased with the slight blurring in the background.

The whole photo brings back memories of the sandy path and steps down to a small bay, the blue sky and sea. Sitting on a rock as the sea came in to the low cliffs surrounding the bay. And the view out over Plymouth sound. We must go back.

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