Houseplants and Hydrangeas.

Well, due to the incessant rain I am desk bound this afternoon, chasing soil fertility reports, trying to identify houseplants for my brothers Fiance along with looking at tree options that will cope with whatever conditions climate change is going to throw at us.

It was interesting looking up the Houseplant. It is being grown in Tromso, inside the Arctic Circle. They lose the sun 26th November and it doesn’t rise again until January 26th. Days then get steadily longer until May19th when they experience the midnight Sun until July 26th. Challenging conditions for any plant, even with artificial light inside.

I think this is why the leaves are narrower than on most of the Ficus benjamin pictures I have looked at. They don’t seem long enough to be the variety that has more lanceolate than elliptical. On the houseplant topic completely, try as I might, my gardening stops at the back door. Tragically, I seem to be completely incapable of even keeping a basil plant alive. This one lives next to the sink, in my eyeline when I wash my hands and I still manage to kill them on a regular basis. I think I can still revive this one with some very timely H2O. Phew. I think it is quite funny you can see the well watered thriving Zinnia in the pot just outside the window. what a difference a roof makes.

Coincidently, there was an article in the Guardian the other day about a company called Behemoth Patch setting up a hotel like facility where you can check in your houseplants whilst you go on holiday. Very similar idea to taking your dog to kennels, People often have several house plants though and some can be quite sizeable. I’m not sure, unless you only possess one of the very trendy terrariums or a small bowl with similar succulents in it is a very practical solution to the holiday watering problem. Maybe there is a market for a house sitter for your plants? I could travel around staying in peoples homes whilst they are away, watering the plants inside( I will really try!) and out. Added bonus of a burglar deterrent too. Um… Maybe I could throw in a bit of weeding too. I’ll set it up and pack a suitcase.

Nail varnish to hide the muck, people often comment on the fact that my nails are painted. This usually means they are looking particularly scruffy and the paint hides all the muck ! I have experimented with many different colours to see which hides the muck the best and then which brands make it through the next days work the best. Definitely don’t try red, shame as it is my favourite colour but it looks dreadful.

Ok, on to the garden this week..

Working in the rain is soggy business but working after it has rained can be just as damp.

Hydrandea’s are one of the garden stars at the moment. I prefer them later on when the flowers take on their Autumnal hues and even into the winter when they look wonderful kissed by the frost but for now lets enjoy the amazing variety of flower shapes around.

I love the structural stems on the aspera, its furry leaves and the bees love the flowers too, swarming all over them. The plant literally hums.

Cosmos brightening up the main crop Potatoes.

National allotment week, this week is celebrating a ‘Shared Harvest’ in 2019. I think it is apt for this year as due to the weather we have had this year we will need to share the harvest. Courgettes and Squash along with my outdoor peppers, chillies and Tomatoes are really struggling this year. The onions haven’t swelled as much as in previous years but Beans and Peas are the saving grace doing well. With the shortage of Cauliflowers and Brussels being forecast by farmers here and abroad it isn’t going to be a bountiful feast.

Just before I go and see what needs rescuing now the rain seems to have passed over. Watch out on your roses for Rose Sawfly. Usually in this country its Large Rose sawfly or Arge pagana. The eggs are laid in the soft new growth on roses and the caterpillar larvae, yellow and black defoliate the leaves as they grow. Whilst spraying can be avoided I would remove those you find. I usually take off what is left of the leaf with the caterpillars hanging off it. I may sacrifice the leaf but at least I have hopefully saved the rest. Good weather for slugs and snails tonight. Happy days in the Garden x