Monday, 4 April 2016

My Version of Urban Gardening

This planter I bought at auction sparked something in me...
The planter is crudely holding the potted cutting of Shropshire lad.
I live in a permanent mental state of flux.
It was only 7 years ago ( before the iPad) that I finally got my first magazine subscription which was crazy BC I've been a magazine fiend since I was single digit age.
I got married the same year too.
Psychoanalyze that.
So while I liked flowers as much as the next person, I couldn't put down my literal and figurative roots.

I always thought I'd move again which I did on a biannual basis like when I was single.
Marriage has brought a certain static energy to my life which was probably needed but I got an extra dose because I'm married to a Taurus.

Most of my plants I have in front of my house has been jettisoned by moving neighbors or gifted.
My jumbled up stream of consciousness compilation of pot plants as of last summer.

So even though we built the second floor I left the terrace bare with the exception of a lemon tree. 

Oh we will sell anyway soon one day I thought, maybe this year or next year -
testing the theory of time and space.

But I just realized it's been almost 3 years since we did the building work and not doing something because I just might do something else didn't make any sense at all.

So I went through the Royal Horticultural Society plant catalogue for some hydrangeas and herbs and David Austin for his roses using my RHS membership discount.
We had to go to the gardening center three times because we miscalculated soil requirements. 


I was so confused with which plant goes in which pot.
I don't have a garden so I can't just dig in anywhere.
I unpacked in the rear courtyard as I have never ordered plants online before making a mess which LSH wasn't too pleased with.

I hope I have a thriving relationship with these roses.
 I have a great relationship with my yellow roses. 
But my relations with this red rose is a bit more tempestuous. 
The said defendant.
It didn't bloom for three years in a row then in the spirit of talking to plants as told to me by my grandmother who was a huge believer in this practice, I had a very stern talk with the rose and basically did a botanical house of cards ultimatum on it. 

I threatened to kill it even if it didn't perform.
 I explained it was taking up prime real estate in my few planters available and I was having no dissent on my watch.
You're in or you're out.

As if on cue, it bloomed that year.

But it's been stubborn again the past two years.
Of course, science will tell you that I haven't spoken to it in those very two years.
I think this rose takes the stick approach rather than the carrot sadly.
Must be a rep from the rose union or something.


I am still not done re-potting and will update you over the year but then in the world of gardens, 
are you ever done?

52 comments:

  1. Haha! That's so funny. The plant dominatrix!

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  2. I think that rose knows how you carry on with seaweed.

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  3. I love how you laid down the law with the rose! I just successfully killed a potted lily (please, please no applause). But my weirdest plant is my amaryllis. This goofy plant looks dead most of the year, especially at Xmas when everyone comments on how sickly the bulbs look, then wham, bam! about beginning of May it goes into overdrive and produces two beautiful flowers! Ah, what can we do? I am manipulated by a plant! sigh.
    -Susan

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    1. Relationships with any living being is never going to be straightforward is it Susan? ;)

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  4. Good luck with your new roses! I love that name, Shropshire Lad. I trust you'll post pics on their progress!

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    1. It's a sturdy rose and it's a climber so wish me luck!

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  5. We have been "home" for almost 16 years. It's really quite amazing since I was used to moving every two to three years. Once you set down roots you are more apt to put some money into the landscaping. Love it. I do struggle with roses and have given up because we always get the Japanese beetle bitch that bores a hole through every bud.

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    1. It's crazy I kept thinking I'd move but I've been in this home longer than any other. I need to accept it but they are in pots so they can come along right?!

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  6. My favorite app is called Deluxe Moon. It has a section in it about gardening by the moon and which days are good for what things. It's pretty amazing. It seems to be dramatically accurate. Or I'm just so convinced it'll work that it does. Either way, it's fun.
    I have always taken a hard line with plants. Not one to baby a broken limb. I chop it off and tell it it will thank me some day. Love that you gave a rose a "talkin-to" and it responded.
    Also love the static energy your laptop owning Taurus husband brings to your life. We (Taureans) may not crave or enjoy excitement and hustle, but we admire it in other people.
    Okay, back to my g&t and making snarky comments about this month's Bon appetit. They featured the kitchen of an Instagram star who is just so charmingly ***practical*** and ~~one of the people~~~ that she only wants one Le Creuset "I'll just wash it rather than pull out another pan". Yet she has like 35 dollhouse size useless copper pots hanging from a god damn tree limb.

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    1. I am old school and have the farmers almanac and have used it for decades! Yet yesterday was the first time I had soil under my fingernails. I use it for my hair. I cut and color the five days leading to full moon and depilatory is five days leading to new moon! That's why my husband wasn't impressed that we had to do potting in bad weather BC the almanac said the past weekend was only for weeding/depilation. Do you have clients who follow this with hair? My first fab hairdresser told me about this when my hair just wouldn't grow past a certain length. True story.

      I need to get the BA issue and see this person. copper pots are the foodie equivalent of s fat person buying size 0 jeans convinced they'll use it someday.

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    2. I absolutely use the moon info and especially in relation to Venus. It often governs how I suggest/urge change. I don't think I have any clients who follow closely but you never know.
      I understand how one ends up with a million tiny copper pots. I'm always looking for good deals on big ones that are actually usable but only ever find tiny ones. If I ever go visit Dani she will need to keep her collection of large copper pots locked because I will be tempted to borrow them forever. Just yesterday I saw a one quart oval pan that was adorable but I couldn't think of one thing I could use it for. So I bought three more green glass vases instead.

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    3. I don't concentrate on Venus. Ps it's my only planet in Taurus. I love copper pots but I only have one London sized kitchen. I have dishes to think of and lately I eat way more than I cook! Dani's kitchen is so lovely but you could use that oval pan for hollandaise served with a light summer lunch of salmon and asparagus? But really no. Your creuset pots must take up so much space!

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    4. Have long wanted a small copper pot with a split hinged lid. But have never seen one like it in Oz. There was a restaurant in Paris where they used pots like this for flambe of desserts - they just kept one half of the hinged lid open to pour flaming liqueur onto pancakes. Probably gives greater control of the flames and the alcohol doesn't all burn up before you get to pour it. But haven't yet found one like it. Even in Paris cookware shops. My quest!
      Have a couple of really big Le Creuset Dutch oven type pots - they're fab and so good for Julia's boeuf bourguignon, etc. They've lasted for eons - have told DIL she'll inherit them because they'll still be going strong long after I'm gone.
      PS Seasol -maybe an Oz trade name if you don't know it there. It's made from seaweed I think. Pammie xx

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    5. I think you'll need to go to a professional cookware shop or trowel eBay and see if you find something. It's out there waiting for you!

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  7. Even when you don't garden you are never done.

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    1. Story of my life!!! Of ours all actually

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  8. I too used the "I'm not here permanently" reasoning as an excuse for utter neglect. I even carried out this logic to the extent that I never bought a lawnmower, because If I were to get one at all it would have to be a good one, so not worth it for just one or two years. The result was many years of being at the mercy of the most undependable and aggravating "gardeners."
    --Jim

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    1. I need to start adjusting to life as it is now but understand you completely. I had a guy do my boxes but he always acted like he was doing me a favour even though I was paying him and I think I frustrate them with my utter ignorance!

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  9. Love the name of your roses!

    I lack the patience and attention to detail for anything more complex in my garden than pots of pre grown herbs I get from the supermarket.

    SSG xxx

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    1. I was going to buy those today but I'm worn out!

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  10. Love the House of Cards style ultimatum with the rose. Haha! I have big plans for my garden this year though I tend to fizzle out with it all in the heat of summer. My roses, old apothecary French roses, do very well but I have to hack them down which seems overly aggressive. Two of my best friends are master gardeners and they are absolutely ruthless people, both of them (though they are lovely loyal friends). They tell it like it is to people and plants!
    Ugh thanks for bringing me back to thinking about gardening as I look out the window at all the snow, very done with winter at this point. XO

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    1. Speaking to your plants is a nice way to vocalise what you dreamt last night! Yes now is the time. I fed my roses last month and now I'm glad I did BC they're a little early but the snow is just crazy!! Xx

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  11. Your pot plant compilation of random plants received - or left behind by others - looks fab. Sometimes these arrangements are the nicest, rather than the highly disciplined and staged arrangements of all box plants or all white petunias, attractive though these can be. Try using Seasol (mixed with water) on your roses - they thrive on it (so will all the others probably) and sunshine. And maybe a good talking to! Am also a Taurus. Think Tauruses are meant to be keen gardeners and lovers of nature.
    Fascinating about depilation. Is it true for threading also do you think? Pammie

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    1. I might get disciplined but that's not my style in anything frankly. Will google seasol but I'm feeding it and watering with Epsom salt water. So tired after 2nd day of potting...ps any sort of hair removal is effective and I do go by the moon for hair!

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  12. NO!
    YOU ARE NEVER DONE.................that is the BEAUTY of a GARDEN!There is ALWAYS something to do!

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    1. I now know why gardeners are fit BC after two days I'm knackered!!

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  13. No, Miss CSW, you are never really done with gardening, nor of learning how to garden, a business, which has as much failure as success, as much hope as despair. Of course, the wonder of it all is that we gardeners get to bring forth life, and joy, and beauty, thus doing our little bit to make our world just a little bit better...

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  14. Hey hun, well I guess this is definitely the perfect time of year to do some experimental gardening. I didn't realise you could order plants online, well that's a silly thing to say you can order everything online these days but I wouldn't have considered ordering plants online. I struggle with understanding gardening at the best of times let alone not seeing what I'm purchasing first. Enjoy your new horticultural venture xx

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    1. I never did it before BC I couldn't understand how they'd package it but it was clever but with big plants it's better to get it delivered BC some stuff was hard to get in the car. But it's nice when the flower blooms xx

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  15. When we bought a house (which we've since sold), our sellers dug up the front and back gardens, including vegetables!) and took them along.

    I don't want to jinx my luck with city gardening, but I do think that pots are the way to go.

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    1. I was surprised at how much soil was. Who knew? I didn't realise how generous people have been to me. But now I'm looking for those boxes that hang over a railing BC space is tight!

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  16. Hi Naomi!... Well done you!!... Don't forget to feed that naughty red rose - she might be a little hungrier than the others - is she getting enough light/sun? I love your 'jumbled up stream of consciousness' too!! xxx

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    1. Oh Jenny, this must be like goo goo gaga baby gardening talk for you!!! You could have your own show and teach! ;) xxx

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  17. Have told this before, but my late father in law' had a great vegetable patch at the rear of his property. He grew everything but couldn't grow tomatoes. The path to his vegie patch was lined with about 20 large pots of his wife's orchids which he despised. He begrudgingly would water the orchids which flowered profusely. After he died, my mother in law hasn't been able to get them to flower for all the love she gives them, but every summer since my father in law passed away, she has had bumper crops of fantastic tomatoes! Go figure eh. Den x

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    1. Den, that story is so interesting and so telling isn't it? It's not just a green thumb in general but targeted to species. It's like the plants have their favourites too?!?! I'm going to tell my hubs this. Xx

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    2. Lovely story.
      Orchids can be so tricky. When we lived in Sri Lanka I had amazingly healthy and beautiful orchid plants but could never get them to flower. I did everything but nothing worked - meanwhile they were growing almost up to roof level. Had a Sri Lankan friend who had exactly the same trouble. We used to stand around at cocktail parties comparing notes on our failure to produce flowers. It turned out we were being too kind. Apparently orchids thrive and flower on benign neglect. Maybe the next person who lived in "our" house succeeded. But I never could. Pammie

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    3. I know a few people who are like orchids so I suppose every living thing has personalities!!

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    4. Yes, know a few "orchids" myself.
      Hi Pammie. You are absolutely correct. My late father in law's bark was worse than his bite & he would scowl at the orchids & complain about them all the time. But it worked! Beautiful flowers for years. Then nothing! Den x

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  18. No, you're never done, exactly. But there are periods of time, at least I'm hoping, when the necessities are handled and we spend our time fiddling and dreaming, dreaming and fiddling.

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    1. I suppose literally and figuratively winter is that time to rest BC otherwise you're just chasing your tail?

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  19. You are never done with a garden. I weed and trim and tidy up, and the next day walk out to find new weeds. I do feel stabbing pangs of envy though that you have such easy access to the entire DA inventory. We have to wait until they've passed quarantine, and someone's grown enough to do a release commercially. Takes a few years for the best varieties someone else has decided on are here. But I agree that sometimes you have to be tough and rip out the under performers xx ps love the mis matched collection.

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    1. Did I tell you that hubs did a workshop about plants but really esoteric stuff not Alan tutchmarsh and the person said dandelion weeds have "great energy" and is much maligned so He's against pulling stuff out. I mean..,

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    2. Git cutoff but you have the advantage of having more space! It equals out. But I'm really hoping it goes well. I did choose English roses so it's all "native". I got two climbers and two shrubs. But now there's no more space to squeeze in xxx

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    3. Suuuuure they have 'great energy'. Wonder what he thinks of Thistles? I let one go too long and then I have a million popping up everywhere. I just did a little turn around my garden to pick some roses, and assess things (my favourite thing to do. Feels very leisurely) and noted that I'll again be spending around 4 hours this weekend weeding. Argh! Of course I could leave them. And then the dandelions will take over and the energy would not be good. At all.

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  20. I've never been into gardens -but now that we have one and have been slowly redoing it - i'm learning so much and shockingly......enjoying it! Of course at the end of an afternoon of digging and wedding I'm sore and dirty and my fingernails are disgusting -but it's so rewarding!

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    1. I hear you. There's something a bit flat when you see dirt and want instant gratification but then when a few months later you get this bloom it's so gratifying and encapsulates all those life lessons about patience :)

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  21. The rose union: fantastic! I have no green thumb. The house I just sold had a glorious garden, which always made me feel vaguely guilty since I was sure I'd kill it off. I envy those with garden talent!

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    1. I'm so happy for your move! I say gardens should be fallow and you only have it a good rest :)

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