Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

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Plants we wish they'd stop selling.

Posted: 27/09/2017 at 16:28

All the plants that are in full flower, sucking in the unwary who buy with their eyes.  By the time a plant is taken home and planted in the garden, it is past its best, and looks like rubbish.  And if it is an annual, then its short life is wasted.  

I try to buy bits and pieces that I know have lots of buds/cutting material etc.  Nothing better than "free" plants!  I bought a pot of primula candelabra a few weeks ago.  Divided it into six healthy plants.  Sowed the seed from the seedpods left on - and have lots of little ones growing, too.  It may be long-term - but so satisfying.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 26/09/2017 at 20:16

I think that's what I was trying to say Frank - it isn't just a dance competition.  Maybe it was in the beginning, but it has become a pastiche of its former self.  So, take it as it is.  Keep the blood pressure under control.  And rather than wishing it were something else, just take it as it comes.  After all, you know and I know that, in the end, the better dancers will come to the fore.  Whether or not they are true dancers is another matter.  But the process entertains.

By the way - do you remember Tom Chambers from a few years back?  He won, and even with his dramatic background, showed himself to be a more than accomplished dancer.  I saw him on stage in Top Hat.  I knew that he could never match the late, great Fred Astaire - but he was, nevertheless, absolutely brilliant.  So out of the show as it is, some come forward and truly shine! (and I know it wasn't strictly ballroom - but I wouldn't want to take issue with Fred on that one! )

Strictly is back!

Posted: 26/09/2017 at 19:12

As ever, our informed dance pundit (aka palaisglide) hits the nail on the head.  Me?  I'm enjoying being entertained.  Yes, the show has morphed into a light entertainment show, and I so wish that the dance was first and foremost.  But - what comes close in the entertainment stakes on a Saturday night?

I find myself swept up in the glitz and the glamour.  I know full well that there are many who will rapidly fall by the wayside.  I also know that we, the great viewing public, are asked to vote for our "favourite" - not who we think is the best dancer.  

Thus the Widdie effect from days of yore.  Thus the Russell as a cannonball seasons ago.

By the time we have got beyond the natural winnowing of the obvious also-rans, we will have those who can show at least a passing ability to dance.  And, no, it isn't always fair.  And it isn't going to allow those of certain years/weight etc to shine.  But the final will have some smashing routines (hopefully not of the slip'n;flip gymnastic sort) and we will remain entertained to the end.

A beacon shines through the Autumn schedules.  I take it as it comes.  I would love it to be about the dance - but have to accept that dancing is subsumed by costume design/sequins/music/fame.  It is what it is.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 15/09/2017 at 19:26

Peter West was a cricket commentator, and also commentated and compered lots of stuff on the "wireless" and television.  I remember him in a Dinner Jacket - suave and seemingly sophisticated.  I think he disclaimed any great knowledge on anything, but morphed into a personable commentator on anything and everything.  (I think he died several years ago, well into his 80s).

Strictly is back!

Posted: 15/09/2017 at 18:57

I've never heard of him, either.  But didn't Peter West do it for a while?  And, of course, in latter years, the memorable Terry Wogan.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 12/09/2017 at 19:13

The Frank & Peggy Spencer formation team was a sight to behold!  My cousin was a member, so, when we watched the (old format) Strictly Come Dancing, we always felt duty-bound to support the South East, represented by their formations!

 It was generally good fun, although I hated the dresses in the ballroom dances - ". . . and here is Betty, who sewed on the 1,000 sequins herself, on the million yards of net"  Ugh - they were huge and ungainly.  At least the modern costumes, still glittery, of course, are less voluminous!

I know that I shall be frustrated by all the hype, the silly lighting, the unrecognisable music and swooping camera shots.  I know that there will be the contestants with two left feet, who face either the "fun" public vote or early doors - but it is still something to be enjoyed through the dark days of autumn!

And I have no idea who a lot of the celebrities are.  At the end of the day, it probably doesn't matter.  Last year's "Singin' in the Rain" number was my personal favourite.  I hope there is another stand-out performance this year, too.

On the Plus side

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 21:41

I've done that twice already this year Lyn.  The chives have come back each time, but I guess because of the damp grey weather we have endured for what passes as a summer, the problem recurs.  Oh, well - like all gardeners, I look ahead and assume that next year will be better!

On the Plus side

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 19:29

On the plus side - my climbing French Beans have exceeded expectations.  I am giving lots away, freezing lots and eating copious amounts.  On the minus side - the bees are getting in through the back door of the runner bean flowers, and thus not pollinating them.  But just as I thought that wouldn't be a problem - the sparrows (plus side again - several broods raised and well fed on our bird seed etc) have decided to eat the flowers!

And then there is the rust on the chives.  And the blight on all the outdoor tomatoes.  And the caterpillars (presumably) that are chomping on the foliage of the chillies and sweet peppers - and when they get bored with that diet, drill small holes into the peppers themselves!  And other critturs chomping on the leaves of the perlargoniums.  And the grey mould on the hardy geraniums.  And .  .  .  .   why the heck do I do it?  why do I try to garden against all the odds?  

I don't spray stuff as a general rule.  I don't worry about lacy leaves.  I know that butterflies and moths mean caterpillars.  But why me?  I feel as if I have been singled out by Mother Nature to deal with all sorts of trials and tribulations.  Hopefully, though, it isn't just me!  

Last edited: 27 August 2017 19:30:22

Overhanging clematis

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 20:33

Perhaps being charitable they didn't realise the full implications of their "pruning".  So a chat over a cup of tea would be a way to show them your frustrations and get them to realise that a bit of neighbourliness goes a long way.

It may not work, of course, but it's worth a try.  Otherwise you may end up inwardly seething and looking for problems, however minor in the future, that simply end up blighting your life.

Neighbours can be a blessing - or a curse!  Try not to let them become the latter if at all possible.

Easy planting for a new grave

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 16:34

Perhaps one of the smaller hebes - Heartbreaker or Magicolour is pretty all year round.  I have found them easy shrubs and I do like the variegated leaves.  Have a look at the many varieties and see if there is one that would be happy where it is to be planted (you don't say which part of the country, and the far north would be a more difficult region than in the southwest, for example.)

Bulbs for the spring - rockery daffs (like tete a tete) are pretty sturdy and they can be left in place and will increase over the years, too.

It is sad to have lost your mum - but how lovely that you and your dad can find a way of keeping her memory alive.  Personally, I much prefer growing plants than cut flowers on a grave (and plastic ones are even worse!).

1 to 10 of 909

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