Saturday, 4 June 2011

BACK TO THE GARDEN Part 2


Hooray! The Add Icon button is working today though I've gone back to the 'old editor' as I can't understand the new Post panel that's come up...


Do you recognise the plant above?- it has furry leaves and a tall spike of tiny yellow flowers which sometimes gets a kink in it! Below is a photo from a few feet away. Yes, it's a mullein and it self seeds around the garden. You can see another one in the background. The one above just happens to be right under the bird feeder so is also decorated with sunflower seed husks...
I have to keep an eye on them as these plants can have mullein caterpillars on them happily munching their way through the leaves - so they have to be sprayed to get rid of them since I can't pick them off and squash them...!

I've had to cut down and burn my clematis Polish Spirit as I discovered what I thought were small brown ladybirds on the dead stems. There were dozens of them, not moving. I emailed the picture to Gillian to see if she could identify these creatures; she came back later with the information that they are scale insects...
The control seems to be spraying but - safety first - since the plant is dying, has wilted leaves all over it and not just a few, we decided the best thing to do would be to cut it down and hope that, being clematis, it'll shoot again from the base in due course. I haven't had a bonfire for decades and nowhere safe to burn anything now so we decided the wheelbarrow would do. Scrunched up paper went in first then all the clematis - and a cloud of burnt paper scraps floated up, up and away...no one's complained, yet! I've since discovered some more scale insects on my decorative vine which has had tiny leaves and no flowers to speak of this year, so that'll probably be added to the list of things for the tree-man to do. Too big a job for us.I took this photo a couple of weeks ago though the plant is in too much shade and needs to be moved - it's a 'Nora Barlow' aquilegia. She was the granddaughter of Charles Darwin, studied genetics at Cambridge as well as raising a family of 6 children. She experimented with hybridising flowers, including aquilegia and this double flower has become known as 'Nora Barlow' though it's probably not bred by her. My book says a similar form was known in the 16th century. (The book's called, 'Who does your Garden grow?' by Alex Pankhurst.)
I first got interested in the idea of flowers being named after people as - long ago - I had a Dianthus 'Mrs. Sinkins'. Her husband was the Master of Slough Workhouse and she was Matron and it was he who developed this scented pink. Slough's town arms has a Bucks swan holding a Mrs.Sinkins flower in its beak.
I realise that I haven't posted any foxgloves and there are enough (self-seeded again) round the garden and there's a cone, one at least, on the Christmas tree at the bottom of the garden, which a knowledgeable friend has identified as a Norway spruce.
I'll post some more pics later.
I have a bit of Stone parish family history research to do for a lady in the south of England now. Must put my thinking cap on...

1 comment:

marigold jam said...

Sad about your clematis. Interesting to hear about the people behind the names of plants. Must admit I'd never given it much thought before!