Before I started gardening, I thought I was fulfilled.
However, my Experiments with Plants directly and indirectly filled voids that I hadn't even recognised, lifting my happiness to a higher level.
This is a blog about a garden near London, England, and how it is changing my approach to life.
Sunday, 6 January 2013
Lotus Flower (06 JAN 2013)
I've mentioned how I discovered a volunteer plant called ammobium in my garden which, despite its diminutive blooms, fuelled my lotus flower fantasy. It started flowering before the nicotiana, a long-flowering plant itself, and continued after.
Nicotiana & Ammobium
Ammobium is also called "winged everlasting" due its winged stems and its suitability for dried flower arrangements ...
Living & Dried Ammobium - Winged Everlasting
... which still delight me today, posied in a mug on my kitchen table. I can't find any UK web-sites which sell these dried flowers; their on sale in the U.S. from $4-$20 per 4oz bundle (about 50 flower stems), which I estimate is the full yield of one plant per year. I'll definitely try and propogate this one, considering that it's made itself at home in a dry flower bed (until last year) in which nothing else except roses will grow.
The plant looks like it might survive the winter, it's supposed to be perennial (in its native Australia), but it's not inspiring many fantasies at the moment.
They say it's not advisable to buy your dream car, because you're bound to be disappointed by the realisation, but what if destiny led you to it and gave you the key? Wouldn't you just go with the flow? ....
The gutter attached to the roof at the back of my house has a small hole which I never noticed before last year. It's not a leak, the hole is perfectly circular, my gutters were designed that way to prevent standing water. During the recent downpours we've had, water gushes from the small hole and I've been preoccupied with water management and drainage like never before. I installed a water-butt under the hole as an interim solution until I figure out if I should invest in a better drainage system.
The night after, I was woken by an incessant thudding as drips dropped from a height of two floors above into the hollow vessel. The next morning, I sawed off the top two-thirds of the water-butt, filled the bottom section with gravel and connected the butt to a drain with a hose-pipe which seems to have done the trick. The top two-thirds of the butt will serve me well as a rhubarb forcer.
It's quite satisfying to hear water dripping into the butt being echoed by gurgling in the end of the hose-pipe by the drain. So I was sitting on the back door step being spritzed gently by the rain, wondering if Archimedes had ever had to deal with an over-flowing gutter, dripping on one side, gurgling on the other when I had a eureka moment of my own. Hadn't I always wanted a pond? (... but not enough to do the digging, lining and maintaining). More precisely I had imagined a lotus flower in a pond.
I remembered seeing a picture of one on a box at the diy store. On my next trip I noted that it was a white waterlily kit not a lotus flower. I was confused because my vision included the large flat leaves and floating flowers of the waterlily but the intriguing seedpods of the lotus flower (I'm not sure what waterlily seedpods look like as Google images also seem confused between the two). I bought the white waterlily as a xmas present for myself.
In the past I would have stopped to think that huge lily pads would not fit into my small water-butt, but as you can probably tell gardening has affected my rationality. Who knows? ... maybe the leaves will adjust their growth to the size of the water-butt like goldfish in a bowl, or maybe the restricted growth of the leaves will promote effusive flowering. For now I have a mug of dried flowers, a damp, brown stump in gravel and the potential for a dream to come true.
water lily kit ... installed in a sawn-off water-butt
For more tips on water management, check out Stacy's blog :