callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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In my garden again

At four o'clock it's already dark but this morning it was bright and sunny for a while, completely different from yesterday. As well as buzzing around town I actually did something useful in the garden, the first time for ages. In the days of great estates and cheap labour, women and children would be employed to do nothing else but clear lawns of débris. The recent stormy weather has brought down a lot of wood and I filled the barrow twice over with sticks, some of them quite thick. I also tidied up the lily pots. Took out the stakes, cut down the stems, put the pots away in the shed for the winter. I do this not because of the cold but to stop the bulbs rotting in the wet. The pots stay inside until the first shoots appear. Then I scrape off the top compost, top up with leafmould, take them outside and give them their first watering.

Now here's something you won't see every day...

It's Danae racemosa, a wonderfully useful little shrub for a shady garden like ours. Lovely shiny leaves and the best crop of berries I have ever seen on it,

probably due to the dry summer. It's not very well known, possibly because it grows so slowly and would not be an obvious sell-on-sight plant at a garden centre. I bought it years ago from a small but rather famous nursery in the New Forest. The pot was virtually thrown at me with the words, "Four years in the pot! Any nurseryman who grows that is a fool!" Just the way to make your customers feel welcome, eh?

Growing without any effort on anyone's part is masses of misteltoe.

This is on a (Bramley) apple tree but there's plenty more of it on other trees. I've known people desperate to have this in their gardens, carefully nurturing it but unable to make it take. It loves us to bits, obviously. Here's some more berries.

I couldn't see any holly berries at all so when I cut greenery for Christmas it will be with the holly not bearing a berry as red as the blood. Plenty of other evergreens for a vase or two, though. Don't look for any Sarah Raven-style wreaths and swags from me, much as I admire her.
Tags: gardening, mistletoe, rare plants

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