Monday, 21 January 2008

No loving care required

Last year a friend came to lunch and brought me an amaryllis in a box - a bulb, the compost and a pot to plant it in. At the time I was busy cooking so put it in the conservatory and I'm sorry to say . . . forgot . . all . . . about . . . it.
Just before Christmas when I was cleaning, I caught sight of the box from of the corner of my eye and guiltily did the required planting, placing it on the kitchen windowsill - holding little hope for its survival. We went away to Wales and on our return I couldn't believe my eyes, it had grown a green spike of about 2 feet in height and is now sporting 2 enormous flower heads. It is such a magnificent plant with the most beautiful striped petals that look as though they've been dusted with red glitter. I find it quite amazing when plants grow despite no loving care.
© Nicky Linzey 2008

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Great value

It's difficult to imagine that Spring is around the corner when there is week after week of cold wind and rain. I was in my local garden centre at the weekend and spied a display of seed potatoes - it seems too early as I can't plant them until March but I had to buy a sack as I nearly missed out last year.
I've also had a reminder to renew my allotment rent for the grand total of £17 a year. Isn't that wonderful value?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Nature table 4

Illustration of seed heads, pods and cones collected at Pagham Harbour on Sunday.
I walked through the cemetery today and despite the wintry weather I noticed little green shoots here and there pushing out of the cold sodden earth - amazing what is going on underground.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Happy New Year

I had high hopes of this holiday, staying with friends over New Year in this beautiful cottage set high in the Brecon Beacons, I was anticipating a week of walking, eating, drinking, laughing and catching up on reading, writing and drawing. That is until the first day when I went down with an horrendous fluey cold which I could not shake off. They all still carried on regardless and on Monday attempted to conquer Fan-y-Big, the huge mountain behind the cottage. They came back full of it, how high, beautiful, scary, it was. Apparently a mist had come down and they had to retrace their steps in order not to get lost but they'd reached the top! On New Years Eve I was determined to stay up until midnight but was flagging until the lovely Isabella came up with the great idea of celebrating in Dutch time - an hour earlier - so I was able to toast in the New Year with a glass of water and still be back in bed by 11.30pm! On New Years day I decided I would not be left again and joined the others on a Waterfall walk which they had assured me was flat - ok until I found myself struggling up a precarious rock face with a dramatic drop hundreds of feet below me to pounding cold water. I had a hacking cough and could not breathe and wondered what on earth I was doing. They had forgotten about that bit! I think that finally did it for me - I needed to go home to my own bed and so left early on Wednesday just after the others returned exhausted from a second walk up Fan-y-Big, with the grave news that it had not been conquered the other day, apparently they had only just scratched the surface!