Sunday, 11 March 2007

Garden gallery ... early March

On the whole daffodils don't really do it for me, if I'm honest. I know a lot of people love them, and they are very welcome at a time when not much else is flowering, but I've never been a big fan. I do have a few nice ones though, and my favourite is this one, the native English wild species daffodil, enigmatically named Narcissus pseudonarcissus.

It may not look much different from a garden daff, but it is smaller, finer and more delicate looking and catches the light so beautifully. Although they're native to the UK (they were the subject of that daffodil poem by Wordsworth) I've only ever seen them twice: once in some ancient woods in Essex and later in the wooded grounds of an Oxford University college. This one is part of a clump I'm establishing in the 'wild' patch at the bottom of my garden, but of course I was careful to source it from a firm who supplies cultivated stock, not plundered from the wild.


Part of the legacy from the garden's previous owners are some very old fruit bushes, including this lovely eccentric gooseberry. The lady who lived here before was a soft-fruit enthusiast and brought them from her previous garden which she had been tending since the 1940s. I have no idea what variety any of them are but they're all different and all delicious. They've been here since 1967 but most are older than that and although they're aged and diseased I'm making every effort to keep them going.

This symbolic hedge-witch bridal effigy is made every spring as a gift to the garden goddess to ensure fertility for the coming season.

Only kidding. It's a novel way to protect my early pea crops from the ravages of March winds, using recycled old lady's curtains to break the airflow up a bit on the western side without losing too much sunlight. So far it seems to be really helping.


I use twigs pruned from my various trees to protect newly planted crops from being scraped up by toilet-crazed cats. With garlic it's fairly easy, I just place a row of short crossed twigs over the row at planting time, as I did with this rare Persian Star garlic kindly supplied by Patrick. It works very well, unless of course you have a kitten who eats twigs. Oi! .... gerroff!!

Not sure what's going on here. I started off this small batch of Ezethas Krombek Blauwschok, a Dutch heirloom purple-podded pea, and one of them shot up like a rocket. I don't know if it's down to a genetic mutation or whether it just felt like growing like that. But I'll be keeping a close watch on it anyway to see if it really is different from the others.

7 comments:

Carol said...

I liked the story about the gift for the garden goddess!

lilymarlene said...

I originally found your blog through "Musings From a Stonehead " (I think.) Unfortunately I can no longer access his blog. Could you tell me how to get to see his daily jottings. I have joined Wordpress but still can't get to his blog.
Thanks if you can help me....!

Patrick said...

The Ezetha's Krombek pea is a little bit of a genepool mix. About 10% of the pods are actually green. I suspect you just have one with fast growing genes...

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

yeah me too Carol!

lovely photos

Rebsie Fairholm said...

Thanks all!

Sorry lilymarlene, I don't know Stonehead's blog and my attempts to find it got the same non-access as you. I'm often unaware of people who link to me, unless I stumble across their blogs by chance...

I didn't know about Ezethas Krombek being a bit variable, but it would make sense because even in my small batch there's variability in the amount of red in the leave veins.

Nancy said...

There are a couple of Tennyson daffodil mentions, but are you thinking of Wordsworth?

Rebsie Fairholm said...

Thanks Nancy! Yes, you're absolutely right. I'm getting my poets muddled. Well spotted!

I'll go back and correct it. *blush*