Green

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What does the word green mean to you? A mixture of two primary colours, blue and yellow? The green of photosynthesis, plants growing and spreading across the earth. Or green (ecological) politics, trying to get us humans to realise we need to take more care of the world?

If its the latter what small things can we do to help?

You could try growing some of your food from seed. Maybe some tomatoes  or a pepper plant. Even if you don’t have a garden you can try growing things on a bright window ledge.

A bit more space and you could grow a tree. You can buy miniature fruit trees which grow masses of fruit on a small plant. This is done by a process of grafting where the fruit you want to grow is grafted onto a rootstock which tends to be more vigorous than the top of the tree. You can buy ones which bear two or three different types of fruit on one trunk. Or grow some potato’s or other vegetables. Maybe get an allotment?

More green ideas include recycling. The planets oceans are becoming clogged with plastic. That useful but ubiquitous molecule that seems to have over taken modern living. We don’t choose to let turtles choke on plastic bags, but they are doing, mistaking them for jellyfish which they naturally predate.

Green also means letting animals alone. Letting dwindling populations of Lions, Tigers, Elephants, Rhino, Zebra, Polar Bears, and others survive. Not hunting them to extinction. I dread getting images on my Facebook page showing hunters glorying over the death of a giraffe or lion they have just shot.

Why do we do it? There are scarce resources on this planet but we seem bent on destroying or feasting on everything we see.

Where are the inventors who will improve technology and cut our massive use of fossil fuels? When are we going to realise that global warming is real, whether it is created by man or other means. It doesn’t matter what you blame we still need to try and do something about it. We should share clean technologies with less advanced countries so we all gain an advantage.

About a week ago I saw a news item. Children around the country taking a day off school to march and protest against global warming and point out that they are the ones who will inherit our mess and mistakes.

Green must be on all our minds, green should be the first colour we think about. I hope green is the future..

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.

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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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.

 

Bringing the houseplants in

Our houseplants have always sat on the kitchen window sill but they had to be unceremoniously chucked out while we had the kitchen and bathroom replaced. Some of the plants had been here since we moved in about 24 years ago. They were old, battered, pot bound, but they had survived. Anyway the upshot was they all sat outside in the hot summer sun and got watered when the other plants outside were fed and watered. They were all close to the house with lots of plants surrounding them so they were sheltered.

It’s getting cold finally this autumn  The forecast is for cold weather and winds from tomorrow. The other garden plants are fading so it was time to get them back in.

What we found were plants that had outgrown their pots, or ones where part of the plant had crisped and died, but the other side was covered in new growth. So they are all back inside now. Tucked into new pots, with found objects as trays underneath to stop water leaking onto the window ledge. I’ve used a couple of old teacups for the Christmas cactuses that Richard bought a few weeks ago. They are already in flower.

So we have a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom full of plants ….. They might go outside again next year.

 

2017

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Ceramic head made in 1980s
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Bridge at Biddulph Grange
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Tree root
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Phone error…….

These photos were all taken in September 2017,

Starting with a ceramic head I made in the 1980s at a pottery class. It has lasted through many years and many plants. This year its just planted up with lobelia, but the fuschia that was in it in 2017 was spectacular.

The second photo is part of a Chinese bridge at Biddulph Grange gardens. A wonderful garden owned by the National Trust at Biddulph, North Staffordshire. The garden is split into different areas including one based on Egyptian architecture, a Swiss cottage, an ancient grotto, and the Chinese pagoda garden. It’s a fascinating and beautiful place to visit.

One of the odd things they have there is in picture number three. This is an upturned tree root that is covered in moss, there is a whole section  of them lining the steps down to the grotto, the trees must have been huge before they were hewn.

The fourth photo is a phone error. Probably because I had too many images on my phone, so two photos of daliahs are grouped with the hedges of the daliah walk at Biddulph. The picture is totally random, and the colours just happened.

So, I hope you like these.

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Clematis

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Clematis, blousy and purple,

or tiny and pink.

Growing up walls,

Along fences, up high.

 

Clematis, bell flowers,

Fuzzy seedheads,

Growing round trees

Up to the sky.

 

Clematis, spring and summer flowering

Now monumental,

Grown with great love.

Makes me sigh.

 

Clematis, old friend,

Newly open flowers,

Grow bud and petal,

You give me joy