Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

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Hebe Hulkeana

Posted: 03/11/2017 at 22:21


I think this is the sought-after plant.  I have this - a gift from a friend, who has  taken cuttings.  I have only managed to get one cutting to root, and it is taking its time to put on growth.  But it is a beautiful plant, so I am surprised it is out of favour - unless it is usually difficult to propagate.


New houseplants!

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 20:37

I am not at all sure about the pseudopanax.  It's not something I have ever grown, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that I would give it house room.  It is a bit spiky and awkward looking. Others will doubtless be better informed.


I am hoping that my Bilbergia Nutans will do as well outside here in Mid Devon as it did in West Somerset where we used to live.  There we benefited from a very mild micro climate.  It's colder here, so I shall keep a couple of plants indoors and also see if a couple will survive in a sheltered corner. As a houseplant I found they bloomed in January.  Outdoors, they bloomed in the late spring.

New houseplants!

Posted: 27/10/2017 at 22:43

Definitely not Bilbergia Nutans.  I have had these for years, grown both as a houseplant and in sheltered spot in the garden.  But Bilbergia Pyrimadalis is a strong possibility.  When it comes into flower, it will be easier to identify.

Eucomis (Pineapple Lily) not growing.

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 20:23

My experience is that eucomis are pretty hardy, and no special treatment is necessary.  I do put mine in a sheltered spot over winter, but that's just about it.


I wonder if it could be worth contacting RHS Cardiff?  Sometimes, for no obvious reason, plants fail to thrive, and the seller is happy to replace the offending plant.

Memorial tree

Posted: 19/10/2017 at 22:08

There's always Rosemary (for remembrance).  I know it's not a tree, but you can always ensure that you have cuttings, so that, if you move, you still have something from the original plant.  


Rosemary can get quite large, so it could serve your purpose, and have an aromatic element to your memory.

Gardening Gloves

Posted: 19/10/2017 at 20:50

I have found the Spontex reinforced rubber gloves for gardening to be extremely useful.  They are (relatively) cheap enough to ditch when they have outlived their usefulness, but strong enough - and waterproof - for most gardening tasks.  Not so good for really difficult brambles etc, but otherwise more than up to the task.  Well, with the exception of pricking out little seedlings, but otherwise pretty good.  And available in the local supermarket, so I can pretend that the cost is part of the overall housekeeping budget!

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).

1 to 10 of 915

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