Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rained off play

It's bucketing down here as part of the meteorological schizophrenia we are experiencing here in the UK.  Already July and I have to suffer the shame of not having my Pelargoniums in flower.  I cannot look the neighbours in the eye.

Here are the scores on the board for the weekend so far:

Hours spent gardening: 3 between rain spells
Trips to garden centre: 1
Purchases: 1 terracotta pot to repot lavender.  Walked away from Lavandula 'Silver Anouk.'
Time spent procrastinating over Lavandula Anouk: 20 minutes circling it, smelling it, texting Le Photographe etc
Slugs and snails killed: huge daily cull.  New method and satisfying method: snip slug in half with secateurs.

A slug paradise.  Note the copper tape defence lines.  Slugs vs gardener: deuce.

Earlier in the week I spotted this slug crawling into a glass of wine.  Beer traps used to be the thing but now slugs are moving upwards in their tastes.  Our road is supposed to be undergoing gentrification so presumably the slugs are catching the fever for social mobility in our borough.

I can finally update on the wine box planter.  Results are below but it's been reasonably successful if you like bright blue.

One of my own photos.  Le Photographe made me write this.
I achieved the effect by sanding the box back and then using a cloth to apply two coats of paint mixed with white spirit.   I then sanded again between each coat before applying varnish.  Another round of sanding ensued after Le Photographe insisted it was not distressed enough for his liking.

The total cost of the project was free as I already had everything at home.  As I type this, I am now sorry for sharing this as it occurs to me how difficult it will be for most people to get hold of the wine box.  One way would be to buy a case of good wine but unless you had already planned to buy 12 bottles of St Emilion Grand Cru 1996 or 1998 (good years according to Le Photographe) then I guess it won't be a saving.

The seedlings in the box are Cosmos, diligently spaced out according to the instructions on the packet.  The pink scabious originally earmarked for the planter have been transferred to the beds.  Le Photographe took great pains to point out the beds at Hampton Court this week where Cosmos are packed close together like sardines, the implication here being that I don't know what I'm doing.  Any advice on how close to plant Cosmos would be greatfully and gracefully received.

Let me leave you with one of the few flowers that have thrived in this season of sunless and permanent damp: Geranium Phaeum.  It also seems to be a matter of disinterest for the local mollusc population.

It's a good afternoon for tennis and for watching slugs coasting across the patio in the wet.


  1. I still have Geranium phaeums flowering too. They are loving the rain....I am not!
    Unbelievably we still have a hosepipe ban in place - presumably this is the wrong kind of rain :-)

    1. Hi easygardener, a few last bans were lifted today - hope one was yours.

      No more lugging the watering can around, if you were up for killing plants by overwatering that is.

  2. I'm impressed by how ferocious you are with the slugs. Have you thought of taking it to the next level by sticking their heads on tiny pikes and setting them around your hostas as a warning? Worth a try, I say.

  3. Ha ha ha, thanks Jason. Your idea has mediaeval overtones, it reminds me of how the Moroccans used to put the heads of traitors on stakes in the main square in Marrakech. Reading back through my blog I realise I do sound obsessed or perhaps even clinically dangerous.

    1. No, you just sound like an avid gardener, but maybe it amounts to the same thing.

  4. Welcome to Blotanical

    Un saludo