Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eek! Tweak! There's only a week!

Luckily, it has been a lovely day here in London, because despite my promise to myself to make an early start with tidying up the garden (well, to be scrupulously honest, to make an early start yesterday), I didn't actually get going until about 3pm.
Today's chores involved a lot of maintenance - staking, weeding, deadheading, taking off brown leaves, that sort of thing. I don't normally need to stake anything, but two of the crocosmia - 'Lucifer' and one of the yellow ones - got so enthusiastic about flowering this year that they nearly fell over.
(By the way, if someone invents a foolproof way of taking the dead leaves off a mature cordyline without a ton of dirt and muck falling down the front of your T-shirt, let me know.)
I open my garden for the National Gardens Scheme a week today. As usual, I'm alternately panicking about it - and worrying that I'm not panicking about it enough. One minute I'm ringing up Crocus and bothering them about what they've got in flower. The next, I'm sitting reading the Sunday newspaper and eating a cookie instead of Getting On With Things.
I've got the week off work, though, and there is something very nice about the prospect of pottering around the garden and the kitchen without interruption for the next few days. And Crocus have my favourite dahlias in stock, so I can use those to fill any gaps. Phew.

I love the canna leaves when the late summer sunshine hits them in the evening. Now what about some flowers, guys?

'Vancouver Centennial' pelargonium. I was wondering the other day whether this was too lurid. But in the afternoon sun, it looks good - as if you could warm your hands at it.

Canna 'Tropicanna Gold'. I casually assumed this was the same as 'Pretoria'. It isn't. Although the leaves look identical when it's in the nursery or garden centre, it doesn't get as big and the flower is not orange, but, erm, gold. As anyone but me would expect.

Ooh, look, a helper. Trouble is, Luigi thinks that "cutting the grass" means nibbling the ornamental varieties. He only comes out in the garden if one of us is out there too - we don't let him out on his own. He really enjoys bounding around, chasing bugs and butterflies ... and flattening plants. Sigh. He's so cute, though, it's impossible to be cross with him.


Julia said...

It's looking great - I can't wait to see it next week!

We have a visiting cat who likes to nibble on the Pennisetum "Paul's Giant". Anyone with a filthy sense of humour can have a lot of fun with that one...

Zoë said...

Luigi is too cute!

Garden is looking good too - might try and haul my lazy bones up this time - have to see what we r doing as celebrating 25 years same weekend.


organicgardendreams said...

Victoria, I love your cannas, the leaves and the flowers! You might just have inspired me to get some for my own garden, too. The little cat is so cute and looks so curious and adventurous. I can imagine that at times he is quite a handful. Good look for your open garden and have a nice week off!

Elephant's Eye said...

But Luigi is such a little scrap he wouldn't really 'flatten' anything. Just smooth it out a little. Grooming it for the open day! He will be safely tucked away on the day?

Dobby said...

The garden is looking wonderful. I've got 2 huge pots (3 feet tall), and my cat has decided to use one for sunbathing. Fortunately I had only put in a spider plant, so not too much damage done!
Hope you have a wonderful open day with the sun shining brightly. Don't stress, it will all be fine on the day.

Lancashire rose said...

Oh, I wish I could be there to see your garden. I hope you have a lovely day for it and lots of visitors. I'll be checking out the weather and don't forget to take lots of photos and blog about it.

Darla said...

I too wish you luck on getting everything just as you want it for the tour...have fun!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

How quickly your open garden has come around again!
Tad worrying that you are removing the brown leaves - I shall immediately go and look for brown leaves in mine.

Have a lovely week off and a fabulous open day, I wish I could visit yours, but sadly not possible
Luigi is adorable - and the garden loks fab.

petoskystone said...

nice of you to straighten up luigis' playground for him :) your garden is looking lush, as usual!

Clive said...

Good luck, I open for NGS the week after yours and know the feeling/panic and have done a blog charting the build up

It does look great though, I look forward to visiting!

VP said...

Eek! I've just seen the weather forecast for London. Double eek!

Hope the forecast doesn't affect your garden - if it does then double the cake baking is my suggested solution ;)

I'm sure it'll go fabulously on the day.

That Luigi is sooooo cute - can't wait to meet him!

Nadia57 said...

What's the name of the bananaskirtlike plants on the left of your picture on top? Is it an ornamental grass?
Looks astonishing!
Olga Beumer, Holland

Victoria said...

Julia: I really hope you can make it! If only to inspect the cycad...

Zoe: I really hope you can make it too, Zoe!

Christina: Thanks for the good wishes. Yes, Luigi is a bit of a handful. It's a bit like having a toddler - he's into everything.

Elephant's Eye: Well, he does that jump that kittens do, straight up into the air and back down again on all four legs. So if he's chasing a bee, and it stops to feed on something in a pot, he just jumps right on top of the pot! It's very funny to watch, tho. On the open day, he'll be safe in the study tho I expect a few friends may be smuggled in to say hello...

Dobby: Thank you, that's so sweet. I have spider plants too, which Luigi regards as yet another toy. I'm sure he thinks the plantlets are there specially for him to play with.

Lancashire Rose: Every year, I forget to take photographs! I'm so busy rushing round, I never get the camera out - not when visitors are there, anyway. But usually someone else takes them, and I cadge off them. The year before last, Cleve West, who won Best in Show at Chelsea, took the pix. Needless to say, they were much better than mine...

Darla: Thank you! It IS fun - I love meeting all the visitors and chatting about gardening all afternoon. But you do feel like a lie-down afterwards...

Karen: My brown leaves are particularly noticeable as they are very big brown leaves. The trouble with evergreens like Fatsia or loquat is that they spend the whole summer dropping endless leaves. Very tedious! Your garden looks fab - I'm so looking forward to hearing about your NHS debut.

petoskystone: He climbed the cordyline today, then promptly fell out of it. People keep asking me how Mario, our other kitten, broke a leg (he's still with the breeder). I say: very easily!

Clive: Oooh, I'm off to visit your blog right now!

VP: I know!!!! I'd just looked at the forecast before I read your comment. Rain, rain, rain and a bit of thunder and lightning just by way of a change on Thursday. So depressing, isn't it? But it might be OK by the weekend. And at least I won't have to worry about watering.

Nadia57: Do you mean in the picture at the top of the blog? They're pine needles - it's Pinus montezumae, which comes from Mexico. It has very long needles indeed and in late summer, when that picture was taken, they look just like shaggy little dogs with their hair tied in a bow on top. Or, as you say, like little dancers.

About Last Weekend said...

Victoria! I've been missing you and your garden. All our calla lillies have been eaten by snails from next door. (They wandered over for a change of scene) Maybe should replace them with Canna leaves (love yours). More tropical and more New Zealandish anyway.

Anonymous said...

can't wait to see the changes in the garden and hope to have a glimpse of luigi! chris

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