Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Little Things Mean A Lot

This came in the post,
a coaster, which apparently reminded two very unkind
Canadian bloggers of me.

I realise that making fun of fellow bloggers
safely, from a distance,
is relatively easy; 
had you been close at hand,
 I might have used the rake with violent intent.

My polka-dotted dress
is strictly Sunday best; 
For the garden
I prefer tartan.

Just to prove that I may be down but most certainly not out, I'll let you have a look at three beauties which are brightening up this dreary season of grey skies. For the first time in my long and distinguished gardening career, I have a second flush of delphiniums. It's a big enough clump to take a bunch inside and still have plenty left for seconds and thirds. I have no idea how I did it.

Cotinus and spirea do what they are doing at the moment most years, I can't claim any special powers for their magnificent display.


  1. I like your second flush. I put it all down to a mixture of your skills and the gardener's and global warming. And take a deep breath - one, two, three - and put down that rake! Good, that's better. It's not good for the blood pressure.

    Your garden is lovely.

  2. friko - the tartan rake swinger! wow!! i wonder if that's due to global warming as well?! steven

  3. Hello Friko:
    Braveheart with a rake, what a very fine sight you must make clad in tartan and tending the borders at Chateau Friko. No wonder the Delphiniums are showing a second flush. They know what is expected and they refuse at their peril with their fate on the compost heap.

    We thought the card absolutely wonderful. Bravo Deborah and Kathryn!! Surely we are too close to Transylvania to be threatened?!!!

  4. You DO have violent tendencies, don't you? First, you threatened to make a bonfire out of all my lovingly collected driftwood and now, you'd like to use your rake with violent intent? I fear we've all misjudged you, Friko. We pictured you as a very sweet, Country Lady sipping tea from dainty porcelain cups whilst genteelly nibbling on cucumber sandwiches and those English favourites, "scownes" with strawberry jam and thick, clotted Devonshire cream. Now we know otherwise!

    Your Delphiniums are glorious! Now I'm feeling green with envy!

  5. Beautiful color! My favorite gardening columnist, who is also executive director of the Mobile (AL, USA) Botanical Gardens, wrote about the Gardens' annual fall plant sale held this past weekend. The difference this year is that the director and his passionate fellow gardeners successfully convinced a supplier to start working months and months ago to have native and non-native species raised to the stage to be put in the ground now, species that thrive in the unpredictable swings in temperature, rainfall and humidity characteristic of this coastal area, even more specifically, the Mobile area.

    Local gardeners had choices of dozens and hundreds of flats of plants that offer color all fall and winter!

    None for me though at this stage of stroke recovery. I'm just enjoying the idea!

    I have been in and out of the blogging arena lately. And I know you and your dear hubby have had some health challenges, but is that and your gardening prowess why you were the target of the cartoon?

    Perhaps the cartoon is actually a tribute.

    Just pass that cartoon on to me! First of all, my gardening, even pre-stroke was as sporadic as my blogging! Having the noun "gardener" apply to me would be a thrill! And since my efforts were sporadic, I would try to do everything in one day, with the result of dire stress on unused muscle groups. Didn't make it to the doc ever, but if I did, I would have had to get out of the chair in the waiting room in stages, some of which resembled the cartoon patient.

    The attire in the cartoon would be many steps above my longsleeves and long pants and floppy hat and mismatched gloves, all soaked in sweat due to our warm weather, even in the fall. My look was more of the rag bag variety.

    I have to say, though, that the acute perceptiveness that makes your prose so engaging is likely to be on target. I, on the other hand can be painfully oblivious. Many decades and a dozen post master's ago, I was enthusiastically regaling a colleague with details of how the post master had helped me wade through postal regulations to prepare the 5,000 copies of my agency's newsletter for mailing at the most economical rate. The colleague's experiences had not been as pleasant with that postal administrator.

    "Linda," she said, "If he had been insulting you, you would never have had a clue." That's me. Clueless.

    May you bask in the glory of your beautiful garden with well-earned joy and pride! And thank you for sharing the beauty.

  6. The comments have been almost as much fun as this post. I love the pictures, but your prose has made me crack a smile in the very early morning. :-)

  7. The delphinium is beautiful! I had a nice start of them at my old home. I really miss all of my flowers.
    Love your verse!

  8. Tartan? Somehow I'd pictured a sturdy but worn corduroy for the bottoms and a wonderfully patched, hand knit fisherman's sweater for the top and perhaps an old fedora for the head. I think we all cling to the image of the eccentric British gardener. I know, I know - you're not, strictly speaking, English at all, but your gardening posts (last flush etc) are so quintessentially English, that I sometimes forget.

  9. Oh Friko, it's grand to see that your garden is still putting on a beautiful show! Delphiniums always seem to me to be magically sent straight from a child's picture book.


  10. Friko nice pictures,well done

  11. wow that last pic is a beautiful splash of color...smiles...the pain you through to bring us beauty...smiles..

  12. How wonderful to get a second blooming in your garden - and in such a glorious blue that ooses summer. Everything here has definitely shut-down for the winter. So, here, the biggest danger is slipping on frosty autumn leaves, though, I would not be wearing tartan. Instead, the oldest, most raggedy jumble of warm jeans and jumpers, and gloves of course.

    Loved the cartoon.


  13. I can't raise delphiniums here alas. And Friko gets 2 or 3 is not fair.

    The Spirea is nice. I have two shrubs, but they are very sad. I have too much shade these days which is why I took up growing Helebores.

    I am happy to hear you are not down and out. When I can't grow plants in the main gardens, I will grow them in pots. I saw some lovely tree roses in pots yesterday....Hmmm ideas, ideas. Dianne

  14. No , polka dots would be too silly .
    One of those green jackets with a multitude of pockets full of dog treats , baling twine , plant labels and dibbers seems more likely .... and perhaps a big red wooly scarf .
    Your delphiniums are beautiful ... to get a second helping is lovely ! My Borage has gone on and on ... and on and on and on . Weed or not , I love its blue flowers and am grateful for anything at all in October .

  15. Well, it seems to me, sometimes thoughts of violence are well-founded. Polka dots, INDEED. See, now that I have no garden myself, I can live vicariously through yours. And those delphs? I mean, really. THat's just a little too unfair, though.

    This blog and comments have been fun today. But I guess I've put off actual WORK for too long...

  16. I am a gardener down this week. My back hurts so I take Ibuprofen. There is so much to do before the rain comes. I have a huge pile of stuff that I have ripped out and I mean HUGE. It is about 30 feet long, 10 feet and 10 feet high. And my back hurts.

  17. the comments are funny .. that last photo is lovely!

  18. Friko, my garden and plants look so sad compared to yours. Still - the everlasting rain and damp has made it hard to give the much needed TLC

  19. The delphiniums are gorgeous! What a beautiful garden you have!
    I really enjoyed this post and comments :)

  20. I feel I must reassure LC that you were never, could never be a target unless in the sense that Cupid's arrow had one.

  21. Someone told me that we are scheduled for snow today, but it can't possibly last long at our recent temperatures. I'm betting its just rain for the next two days.

    I have a headache and didn't understand the humor of the cartoon (?), guess I am slow today. I am off to bake a cake, German Chocolate, and have some coffee.

  22. Hee hee hee. See? Even those of us who seem to have slipped off the blogging radar are still reading you faithfully. I will erase the polka dots from my imagination and replace them with tartan, madame. Rude Canadians? I thought we were known for apologising to lamp posts when we bumped into them. Throwing poutine at you, Kathryn.

  23. What beautiful colours. I have just found your Blog and I am enjoying reading it immensely.

  24. what with good-humored poetry, stunning flower displays and gorgeous trees, this has been an altogether satisfactory visit!

  25. I like hte blue flowers


  26. Nice. The night blooming jasmine is happening in my yard at the moment. Not much to look at but it's wonderful to go out of doors in the evening and simply breathe in the aroma.

  27. The pink leaves in the last photograph look like they're about to take flight.

    Absolutely beautiful. Makes the eyes feel healed.

  28. Oh, those delphiniums! How luscious and how lucky. Their reappearance proves that gardening skill is vital but it only goes so far to account for the mystery.

  29. Lovely delphi's. Makes you wonder what's got into the local water supply, doesn't it? I've been a little unnerved by a rhododendron in full bloom right now. Is it early or late? It had flowers in late spring as well.

  30. The beauty of your garden is surpassed only by your wickedly delightful sense of humor. Well, tartan, of course. To the rakes!

    Well, they are Canadian... :)

    ...with equally good senses of humor.

    Your delphiniums are making me miss summer already. :(

  31. "Very unkind Canadian bloggers"? Oh my goodness. I've been saying Canada's international reputation has taken a beating, but I didn't realize it extended to gardeners as well.
    Tsk tsk.
    Ah well, you have your beautiful colours to sustain you, my friend. And beautiful they are, indeed.
    I'm actually surprised more gardeners don't end up in emergency wards with back injuries. Just the thought of weeding makes me cry.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  32. Oh, what pretty blossoms! If you can grow things like that, you can wear anything you wish in the garden, dear!!

  33. Ah, too true: compost heaps and polka-dots simply don't mix. The flowers are gorgeous--surely the healthy feeding and care you clearly give them must have something to do with the result, no?

  34. There's something about delphinium blue that strikes my heart and sends it soaring.
    Matching it with tartan (your clan tartan of course)is a completely refined touch.

  35. Sorry to hear about your grey skies at this season. Our autumn is wonderful with high, clear blue skis and cool and crisp air which make up for the miserable summer of ours. Despite the weather, your flowers and plants seem to have pleased you constantly. Your Delphinium are so gorgeous that I must wonder what magic spell you casted them on, but such a miracle sometimes happen... or, you surely have a green thumb, Friko. Thanks for the Beauties around you for the week.


  36. Tartan? I would have had you pegged as a paisley sort. ;)

  37. For the garden
    I prefer tartan

    Hilary, I see her much more as the tartan type. :)

  38. Delphiniums in October! How wonderful. Like an extra-special bonus from Mother Nature.

    Tartan for gardening? I can just imagine it - plaid skirt swinging with every sweep of the rake.

  39. Very fun! And that heavenly shade of blue delphinium has me reeling...oh to have such color and in October!

  40. Isn't it funny how we all have different images of our bloggy friends? I wonder how many get it right? I didn't have any luck with delphiniums but yours could be just the inspiration I need to give them another go.

  41. LOL ... and what glorious colours :o)

  42. I never had any luck with delphiniums...maybe if I wore plaid in the garden?

  43. Ah Tartan!

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  44. Hi Friko - what a great card .. and I love pictures of the garden - green fingers must be growing somewhere?!

    Cheers and look after yourself - Hilary

  45. Have you put your back out chuck?
    Di :-)

  46. You are in good form for any bantering today, as I suspect you are everyday.

    Your delphiniums are just beautiful! I love the deep blue. I actually had a "second flush" on my delphiniums this year too. I was quite surprised to see them blooming day before yesterday. The blooms were not full-bodied as yours are, but they were blooming. I should have snipped them, or at least taken a photograph, because yesterday we had freezing temps and snow.

  47. You're a 'proper' gardener - I bet you do double-digging - so you deserve extra effort from your plants! Lazy gardeners like me are not so rewarded.
    The coaster is great!


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