Just Because

Saw these today on a trip out. It was cold and raw, but these tulips made me forget that for a moment. So… just because they’re tulips!

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Peacock on Pink

Seen a couple of days ago at Arbor Low, Derbyshire. One of the most beautiful butterflies, I think. I’ve only seen a few this year, sadly.

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/

Freesias

I’m now a fan!

I didn’t know anything about growing freesias.  They always seemed so exotic and delicate: blooms to be nurtured in a hothouse or glimpsed in a prize-winning display. Probably beyond my rudimentary gardening skills, and yet … something attracted me to the prospect.

Vaguely, somewhere in my early memories, I can visualise a perfume bottle with (I think) a pale yellow top, calling to me from my mum’s dressing table; I suspect I must have liked that particular fragrance because I can remember putting on far too much of it. I’m sure it was Freesia by Yardley of London. Who knows whether I had permission? I certainly caused some amusement. Freesias. Freesia. When I heard the name as a small child, I imagined it to have something to do with freezing. 

So I planted some freesia bulbs, a chance find in a discount supermarket, not sure what to expect. I was rewarded with beautiful flowers in four different colours but, as far as I could detect, no smell. Bees loved them. They’ve finished flowering now, so I need to find out what to do next; this link looks like a reasonable place to start:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/3766.shtml