About Me

My photo
SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Lost Apostrophe


I was about to post another load of drivel about my garden, but having read the Garden Monkey I thought I might briefly avoid being a ‘bit, meh’ garden blog: I will save that honour for later!

Instead I will tell you about the lost, or should that be found, apostrophe. Most of us know the rules, indeed some people are quite obsessive about where apostrophes go & have been known to correct others when not in any sort of teaching or guidance capacity. One of the rules is that an apostrophe is used when a word is shortened by removing a letter as in didn’t or she’s. Imagine my shock when recently reading Alice Through The Looking Glass to find that can’t was in fact ca’n’t because 2 letters were missing. Now the spell check thingy on here is showing that I have misspelt the word!


Do you think this apostrophe went missing & is the one that is loved & extensively used by green-grocers & market stall holders when it is not needed?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Strictly comes to Kingston


Not ‘strictly’ true, but last night I went to see Craig Revel Horwood’s production of Hot Mikado at The Rose theatre in Kingston Upon Thames.

This small theatre only opened last year, it’s design apparently based on the Rose theatre.

This production has given a modern feel to the original comic opera, or what I would call a bizarre plot with singing, & the songs include gospel & blues & an extremely raunchy version of ‘3 Little Maids’. The actors all sang, danced & played musical instruments which was most impressive. The costumes were a fascinatingly peculiar mix of suits, belts & ties.


What a cracking evening it was. Very enjoyable, toe tapping & funny & a really nice theatre that I have been meaning to go to for ages. Recommended.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Alien bodies?

Alien bodies 001Alien bodies 002

Or are they some kind of strange insect larvae?

I have just dug these, actually loads of them, out of the ‘soon to be re-vamped’ flower bed. They do look a bit other-wordly don’t you think?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Look at me, look at me!

As the only memes I have come across, & that isn’t many, have all been facts about the participant I assumed they were all a bit “me me me” & hence the name. Silly me – or is it silly meme!

According to that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, a meme is a postulated unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena”

Rothschild Orchid invited me to participate/tagged me/whatever the word is: you have to

*Link back to the person who gave you the award;
*Reveal seven things about yourself;
*Choose seven other blogs to nominate and post a link to them;
*Let each of your choices know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog;
*And finally let the tagger know when your post is up.

My initial reaction was not to join in, indeed I can’t really do it ‘properly’ because there aren’t 7 other blogs I feel I could nominate. But then I couldn’t resist revealing 7 really fascinating facts about myself: we all like to be the centre of attention just occasionally.

  • I spent most of my childhood in what was officially classed as a remote area by the County Council. It was North of Hadrian’s Wall but not in Scotland.

Map picture

  • I won a good attendance award at primary school: my dad was the headmaster & I lived next door in the school house!

  • When I fractured my arm I was attended to in hospital by JPR Williams.

  • I have double jointed knuckles.

  • Not long after moving to London I was stopped by a policeman one evening because I was wearing a lampshade on my head.

  • I have 1, yes 1, premium bond which has not yet won me anything!

  • I have some lazy trollop knickers, made ‘specially for me by a good friend, you may be able to guess who….

beej knickers

It doesn’t get much better than that now does it!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

From the sublime to the ridiculous No.2


This was the glorious display on the Plantagogo stand at the Wisley Flower Show. The photo does not really do it justice: all the heucheras, tiarellas & heucherellas really glowed in the morning gloom as did the euonymus (top right).

Victoria has already written about the show & her less than speedy journey there. Sunday morning was no problem, in fact we seemed to have arrived just after we had left home, but the car park was filling up quickly just after 9am.

The stalls did look particularly nice with the white tents snaking along the path from the restaurant to the glasshouse & there were some lovely displays.

018An interesting way of displaying plants: not sure what would happen in the rain!

012013I particularly liked the different displays of sinks planted with a variety of plants. I am now going to chuck the sempervivums out of mine & replant something like the bottom example.

024 Another lovely display of hostas.


The colours of this combination of plants was glorious.

Now I am not really a great fan of flower arranging, I’m a bung ‘em in a vase kind of person, but we had a little peruse of the offerings in the NAFAS tent. There were some quite incredible & complex displays on show & it was fascinating reading the judges comments on every entry. I did love one particular entry which had won its category, though I forget what that was!! I am not sure that photos do it justice. ‘Simple, yet effective’.



So, HRT. Of course we had to buy something, sorry, things, despite Mr B announcing we were not to spend any money. Personally I think it was the consumption of a large piece of bread pudding that softened him up!

Having decided to change our ‘alpine’ sink we bought a Blechnum spicant from Fernatix, a Heucherella from Plantagogo & a teeny tiny hosta, Blue Mouse Ears, from Mickfield hostas. Then finally, from the latter we treated ourselves to a Hosta Sum & Substance: a giant that we have always slightly lusted after.

003002At last, the sublime to the ridiculous of the title. Even the lady from Mickfield hostas had a laugh when she sold us these 2 specimens!

Monday, 14 September 2009

From the sublime to the ridiculous…..

….. or is it art?



Went to Wisley yesterday morning both to see the show (more later) but also to have a look at the sculptures on show in the Surrey Sculpture Society Trail. We like to do this every year. There are a huge variety of sculptures & quality. Here is a small sample. What do you think?






052 Mr B referred to this last one as the 3 Bums but he was actually 1 buttock out.

Go & have a look yourself & play the ‘How much do you think they are trying to sell this for’ game!

Friday, 11 September 2009

A Right Royal Romp


Sorry, no salacious gossip on some minor royal, and 'romp' was well over the top as it was a rather more sedate walk round Hampton Court Palace gardens & park.

Whilst looking in the London edition of the NGS booklet recently I noticed that there was an evening visit to the above, the last of a series of evening openings with specialist talks. We used to go to Hampton Court quite frequently, often armed with an M&S ‘picnic’, and wander round the grounds. But when they extended the area which you had to pay to enter we more or less gave up. It was thus very tempting to have a wander round after joe public had left. Missing tickets due to the postal strike did not deter us & off we went yesterday evening.

The specialist talk was about trees so we were accompanied by a most handsome chap who told us all sorts of interesting facts about the Hampton Court trees. For instance these trees

042originally looked like these trees

040At the beginning of our meander I saw the largest clumps of mistletoe I have ever seen



The top picture shows the privy garden which was re-created as it was in 1702. I have added a few other snaps.




The yews are trimmed every 3 years. This shows all the lumps & bumps that gradually appear over many years of trimming. Should they be trimmed to produce even shapes as the newer topiary in the privet garden is or should they remain as currently with their own unique shapes?

054 In the park we saw one of the few remaining original lime trees planted in the early 1700’s. Apparently limes become hollow as they age which of course does cause problems although they support a hugely diverse wildlife population.

Finally, as it was getting dark we went into the 20th Century garden which I, & many other people, did not know existed although it is open to the public. It was, until recently, used as a training garden for the gardeners & contains many lovely trees & number of beech hedges containing archways.

A really enjoyable evening & very interesting. It could have done with being a bit longer & perhaps started earlier as it was tricky seeing things by the end. This was followed by an excellent meal in our local Indian restaurant – perfect!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Victoria’s Verdant Wandsworth Wonderland

I was trying to think of a title all with v’s, but I could only think of Victoria’s Verdant Verges which didn’t seem quite respectful enough!

I am a relatively recent reader of Victoria’s blog, discovered whilst idly clicking on names on another blog. As a resident of SW London myself I kept reading & was interested in her writing. So it was not far to go when she opened her garden on Sunday as part of the ‘Yellow Book’ garden openings, aka NGS. I love having a good nose round other people’s gardens, particularly small ones like my own, to see what they have been able to achieve with a little imagination & much hard work.

Victoria’s garden is larger than mine, not that I am jealous of course, & I found a delightful & very calm green oasis. Again, not like my busy crammed space.



It had many large tropical or tropical looking plants which gave an exotic feel.



A huge phormium was very dominant.

006I loved the fact that there were several places to sit out. My favourite was the pond which was a good size, high enough & with a wide edge so it could be sat on comfortably & I thought he box balls at the base of the pond were a nice touch – but then I do like box balls!

005I suppose I have always had a (very) vague fantasy that one day I could open my garden, but in reality, even if the overall design was adequate, the effort of getting it into a tidy & respectable space would probably be beyond me! Mr B would hate it too! But I can still dream of people admiring my little space. We all have to have our little fantasies & in the meantime, respect to Victoria & others who do put in all the effort, raise money for charity & let us have a little snout round other back gardens.