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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Camera Corner

Posted: 03/11/2014 at 19:23


 I know where it was, but I don't know what it was.

Camera Corner

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 20:06


Screening my fence with a hedge

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 12:12

A 3' gap? I'm not all that broad-shouldered and I wouldn't want to have to work in there. I don't see why you'd need a hedge in that bit. Now, if the fence extends all the way along the side of the garden and the greenhosue is just one corner, I could see why you'd hide most of the fence, but I'd suggest some low-maintenance perennials in that gap, maybe food plants for butterflies (nettles: easy to grow and the food plant for peacock butterflies) and bees or some strawberry plants (which will then come up inside the greenhouse and next door because they're creepy like that) or some sort of dense ground cover.

A quick search on a company's website lists Erica carnea, Calluan vulgaris and a couple of Thymus for evergreen and a bunch of Helleborus for semi-evergreen ground cover attractive to bees, and adds Aubretia, Bergenia and Trifolium repens for butterflies. I don't know them personally, so can't say which ones are suitable for the "shove it in the ground, water it once and leave it to do its thing" approach, but they look nice, especially that Aubretia.

For "covering eyesores," which isn't a nice thing to call someone's fence, they recommend a load of Clematis and Lonicera plus Passiflora and ... heh ... Wisteria. Yeah, you're really going to put a wisteria on a wooden fence. What kind of eyesore does one cover with a wisteria? A crashed airliner? A battleship that got washed ashore in the tsunami, maybe?

A cautionary note about Lonicera: it will happily grow up a narrow trellis attached to the face of a fencepost, and can get heavy enough to pull the fence over. You may want to prop the posts up before you start on the trellises and plants.

One thing that might work for covering a fence, but I say "might" because I haven't tried this out, is Hydrangea anomala petiolaris (for shady places) or seemanii (for sunnier places), which will cling all by themselves. No need no screw trellises onto your neighbour's fence!

Christmas stuff in shop

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 11:43

Once upon a time, before light pollution, people paid a lot of attention to the stars. Very pretty, the stars, on those cold, clear nights. To the south, there is a group of five visible in winter in the shape of a cross. They're called the Southern Cross. Fairly obvious geometric shape. The Sun is the source of our warmth and life. Plants turn to face it, it warms our skin, it melts the ice and clears the fog and it allows us to see the leopards coming. That's quite important in Africa. Leopards can be sneaky and mean. Because the axis of the Earth's rotation is tilted relative to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, we have seasons. The Sun appears higher in the sky for longer in summer and lower in the sky for less time in winter ... at least if you're not in the tropics. Get as far north as, say, ancient Egypt and you get seasons, cold winter, beautiful spring, warm (or just too **** hot) summer and fruitful autumn. Every year, the Sun, which is the light that lights the way and the source of all life, sinks to its lowest level. For three days, it's at its lowest, the nights are at their darkest and life feels pretty grim, and the Sun is exactly level with the Southern Cross. Then, a couple of days after the winter solstice, the Sun is just noticeably higher in the sky. Base a religion on this and you have a god who is the light that lights the way and the source of all life, who dies on the cross for three days then is born again or 25 December. What else happens in the stars just before that? Look east, and you'll see the three stars of Orion's Belt, called the Three Kings, lined up with the second-brightest star in the sky (the brightest being Sol). Three kings in the east following a star? Sound familiar? So, we have myths about the way, the truth and the light being born on 25 Dec, his coming heralded by three kings from the east following a bright star and celebrated with brightly-wrapped gifts that cheer up the short, dark, winter days, and dying on a cross for three days. Hundreds of them. So what happened to that? Someone with a lot of money saw a way to get even more money, and made a mess of everything for everyone else.


If you want to give people brightly-wrapped gifts that'll cheer up their lives, go for it. Ignore the date. Party because it's 4 Feb, because it's Beethoven's birthday, because it's exactly 500 days since you received those seeds in the post, because your daughter is now 3'0" tall, not just 2'11.9" tall, because the Sun came up today, because it rained last weekend or whatever. Sod all that ancient mythology and, as Bill and Ted (yes, really) put it: "Be excellent to one another."


I deleted the "15% off our Christmas range" email from zazzle weeks ago.

Camera Corner

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 13:54

My garden's response:

 "Who're you callin' outclassed? I'm gorgeous, I am!"

Camera Corner

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 13:48

 More white flowers. These ones look like they might tickle.

 Yellow ones too.

A vine-covered house.

Now for some pictures of trees.

 ... and finally, a large garden really merits a large water feature:


Camera Corner

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 13:43

 A rockery. Not the rockery. Just a rockery. They have several, some with their own water features.

 The "rose garden" part of the garden. Autostitch coped with a 3x2 grid of images here.

 Roses all the way round the back.

 Statue near the Unter den Eichen entrance, with more white flowers.

 Same statue with close-up of white fluff.

 That's actually the toilets. Do visitors to your garden pause the photograph the view towards your toilet? See? Like I said, outclassed!

Camera Corner

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 13:37

... because the GIMP (also free software) very kindly stands images upright (which means the camera knows which way up it is when I take pictures and makes notes in the margins, doesn't it?) and if you ask Autostitch to stack vertically, sometimes it does this:


 I suppose a Japanese shrine is one idea for that unused corner.

 It seems Lantana camara has purple flowers.

 They even put Latin names on the bins.

 Lonicera something

 ... because anyone can grow a white flower.

 Purple flowers, purple leaves. I'm not sure they'd look good on the same plant.

 The same goes for red flowers and red leaves.

 Red ... wait. That's no plant.

Camera Corner

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 13:26

Ladies and gentlemen, we have been outclassed.

I was in Berlin yesterday. Near the embassies and consulates, there is a garden.

 They have pretty purple flowers in their lawn just there.

 Also pretty purple berries on the berbera. Quite a big berbera.

 Some more flowers.

 ... and some greenhouses. They have separate Mediterranean, northern Chinese, southern Chinese, South American and so on greenhouses.

 I really don't know ... but it looked so flooooffy!

 There's a little area set aside for drinks and snacks, with grape vines growing around it.

 Architectural grassy things, I guess.

 I'm pretty sure they didn't get that flat-pack from B&Q.

 Extra wide-angle photograph assembled by Autostitch (free software)

 Extra-tall images, likewise, but autostitch doesn't do vertical stacking well, so after scaling them down (because I only have 8 gigabytes of RAM) I had to turn them back on their sides.

Camera Corner

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 22:56

The hosue is another "black and white" timber-framed building, so I think being shown in b&w makes it look more what it is. The waterfall bridge and the channel through the mangroves just look like older photographs, late '50s maybe. They don't lose that much but they don't gain anything. The lanterns and the girl both definitely lose something in the loss of the bright yellows. The waterfall looks cleaner in b&w than in colour, so that's a boost. The trees reflected in the still water above it, though, go from green trees, deep shade and still water to threateningly gloomy trees, dark shadow and menacing still water ... or maybe I've been over-exposed to Victorian horror stories. The dawn mountain panorama, I think, loses something in going b&w because it's moodier when it's explicitly all misty blue. Some more "naturally monochrome" shots:

 ... and for Lily:


Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 619
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 425
Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 1698
Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
Replies: 2    Views: 366
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 536
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 933
Last Post: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2326
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned