About Me

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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!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Bastard

Kew Gardens 17 Jan 2010 003

This is not a rant or a moan about some despicable individual despite the title, although I am sure I could manage a fair bit of it if pushed. No, this is about a tree; the Bastard Gumwood tree (Commidendrum rotundifolium).

I was happily listening to the radio whilst driving back from Norfolk yesterday when I heard the fascinating story of this poor bastard of a tree on St Helena, the last of its kind, which a scientist from Kew Gardens is trying to save. The problem is that the tree is not self-fertile so they are hand pollinating every flower in the hope that there will be some slight genetic mutation which would then allow self-pollination. The poor thing has also to be covered in netting to prevent pollination from a closely related species. Apparently it was thought this tree was extinct but it was re-discovered! I imagine it was trying to live out its last days in peace!

The news story can be found here.

I just loved the story.

The photo is part of the Japanese garden in Kew Gardens. I would not have one myself, too neat & tidy, but they are very calming to look at.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Oh, what the hell…….

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I am fed up with it but I thought I would put a couple of pictures of the garden under snow taken this morning. It is really just so I can look back at them in future years & gasp!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Despite mouth to gill resuscitation & a great crowd of me rushing round the trolley shouting BP 1 over the odds we were not able to save this, our first casualty of the worst winter since I were nobbut a lad.



Shame, it was our biggest & best with a beautiful tail.  It would have been dead before the ice encasement which makes me feel marginally better!

On the whole it is likely to be some time before we can assess if there has been much permanent damage in the garden following the lengthy spells of below freezing temperatures but some can be seen very clearly straight away.

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My Australian Wonga Wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana), of which I am very proud, had icicles hanging off the flower buds last year but still it produced a fantastic display. I was so looking forward to this spring’s show as the plant is much bigger but I will be lucky if I get a couple of sprays.

ER 005 I should have popped this into the greenhouse shouldn’t I.

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I was very pleased to get an astelia half price in the Wisley sale. It might have been a slightly better idea to put that in the greenhouse too instead of just popping it under the table for a bit of protection! It may recover.




Still, it is lovely to see the hamamelis just starting to unfurl.

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Spring is coming……………………………. honest!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Rumour has it that winter is here again!


More snow, although here in SW London it has been a fairly light covering. It seems that London is surrounded by much more serious conditions & as I write Mr B is still struggling to work through several signal failures.


It will be interesting, possibly upsetting, to see how the garden copes with this extended winter weather. Certainly in areas like this we have probably become quite complacent about what we grow & how well we protect plants during recent winters.

077The photos here were taken at Wisley On New Year’s Day. It was a beautiful cold & sunny day; just perfect after getting home at 3am after a wonderfully fantastic night at the Royal Festival Hall on New Year’s Eve where we enjoyed the music of Bellowhead in what can only be described as a festival in the RFH.