Hints & Tips
Not everyone can see the point of growing flowers and, to be honest, that has pretty much been me for some time, having always said the only Flowers I’m likely to go for is a pint of Flowers in a straight glass. But sadly Flowers Ale went the way of many beers and now only exists in the memory of the enthusiast or in a recipe… boo to the big accountancy run globally branded, multinational institutions that call themselves breweries. However, back to the Fuschias (I did it again). It seems that for my wife, Lady Marmalade, flowers have been a growing obsession and part of a long-running power struggle that has obviously been developing for a long time… in her mind.
She has decided she would like to grow some flowering plants on my…er…our… allotment because, to use her sainted words, “It’s all looking a bit grim and I’m tired of looking at carrot tops and poly-tunnels all day. ” (She’s says all day but to be honest she’s not up there that often, being more involved on allotment days with making jam, losing my socks and underwear somewhere between the washing machine and our bedroom and telling her friends what an idiot I am). Anyway. I was adamant that the plot is for vegetables and I fought my corner manfully and firmly. The discussion happened in the kitchen where my good wife, Lady Marmalade and I were preparing lunch and went something like this…
LM: I’ve decided to take on a bit of the plot to grow flowers
LM: I’ll be going to the garden centre this afternoon to buy them.
LM: (picking up a large and scary looking courgette from the worktop and waving it in a threatening manner) You don’t have a problem with that do you?
ME: Shall I drive you darling?
See? What a master and commander I am.So. After years of putting up with my singular vegetable obsession she has decided to take on a little corner of our foreign field (just near the shed as it happens) to grow a variety of colourful and lively examples of nature’s frivolity including Sunflowers (Helianthus) which are a good choice as they are hardy, pretty much cope in most kinds of and don’t need a great deal of looking after once they are in.
She’s also planted zinnias which are pretty and also easy to keep (they are related to sunflowers) there are many types and sizes.
Also Delphiniums and Geraniums as well as foxgloves, nasturtiums, pansies, and cornflowers. Finally she has bought some Fuscias to put in hanging baskets – hence my perennially punny title. Fuschias are interesting plants as they are named after Leonhart Fuchs who was a Fifteenth century German botanist. He didn’t, however, discover Fuschias. They were discovered in the Caribbean by botanist Charle Plumier in 1703 and named after Fuchs as one of the fathers of Botany.
The Fuscias should last some while and will flower all the from Summer way up to Autumn.
Whether Lady Marmalade’s Fuschias will last that long is hard to say. First of all… she’s not got the greenest of fingers, and though she is enthusiastic it’s all she can do to keep me fed and watered, never mind the plants.
Secondly, she has hung these things on my shed. MY SHED! A testosterone filled cave. A place of industry, sweat, tears and devotion to the art of vegetable growing, potting and dedicated tool maintenance…
…well usually. Anyway. If I can find a way to divest myself of these baskets, I shall do it. Watch this space.
However, if you are thinking of brightening up your plot or garden, now is a good time to get some flowers in, so your future efforts in the garden will be accompanied by glorious scent and vibrant colour so get out there and have a go and… enjoy your garden. Drew Hardy
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