Progress

 

I thought it looked like a good year for apple blossom. And then, to confirm my suspicions, this happened!

IMG_7123

IMG_7124

It might not sound like much, but there are nine small apples on the (container-grown) apple tree this year. Eight more than last year. Definitely progress!

Advertisements

Peace?

Last summer, a new neighbour gave us some (very useful) old plant pots and a gnarled piece of wood. Rejects from the previous owner’s regime. Turned out the wood had roots, and was the base of an ancient rose bush. Would it grow? Would it flower? Although it looked most unpromising, we planted it in a large container and forgot about it over the winter.

Until this week, it looked doomed, the only signs of life being a few weedy stems bearing somewhat spotty leaves and equally unappealing buds. Then the first flower appeared. Followed by the second. Different colours. And inevitably, a third, a different colour again! What was going on?

Obviously I don’t know much about this. I tried to dredge up any faint memories or scraps of knowledge about grafting or scions or rootstock. Nothing took shape. Then, one of those strange internet coincidences: I saw a picture of a rose called Chicago Peace, which had flowers of different colours! When I checked it out, I found that, in fact, Chicago Peace looks more orange or pink than this one, which is predominantly yellow. So, I think it’s probably a variety called, simply, Peace. Which I like, because I can remember my father mentioning that one when I was a child. It’s also known as Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’.

Of course, I could be wrong, and would love to know if anyone can positively identify it!

Here are links to some information about Peace:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Peace

http://www.rhsplants.co.uk/plants/_/rosa-peace-madame-a-meilland/classid.1240/

Attic Finds

Part One in a (very) occasional series on objects I find as I carry out the Herculean task of clearing out the attic…

It’s like a furnace up in the loft space today. The hottest day of the year so far and I decided to enter that seldom-explored territory of tarry dust and precarious joists, where forgotten possessions glare balefully from their webs of neglect.

Some cry out to be rescued, though, and vinyl albums perhaps have more reason than most. Consigned to the spidery attic of history as soon as technology tired of them, do they dream of being played again? Do they long to spin for one last time, one final dance on the turntable of time?

Here are three. Donovan, Family, Pentangle and Tchaikovsky.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Pentangle cover seems (to me anyway), to have aged the least, with its plain, uncluttered design and bold colour. Family seem to have fared the worst in terms of their look, but listen to the music: it’s definitely worth it! Donovan is just Donovan – a 60s classic – and that’s meant as a compliment.

However, the show-stopper has to be the fourth: a ‘Swan Lake’ album cover. Startlingly pink, with yellow lettering, and a haughty ballerina. Pure 60s, I thought, until I looked on the reverse side and saw the date: 1959. Still, I’m sure that style boundaries between decades aren’t as rigid as we might think. Or perhaps the date referred to when the sleeve notes were written.

 

I brought them downstairs, cleaned the grime off them and took them outside into the sun to photograph them. Rescued at last! So now, will they ever be played again?

More to follow, I hope.