Long time no writing, I know. Caring for conophytums and other small plants is keeping me busy at the moment, as well as working on tidying and improving the house’s interior. The ‘postage room’ (which is really the dining room) is now as organised and ergonomic as all the spaces for plants.
That improvement has facilitated the consistent weekly sale of around a dozen plants. I’ve rid the collection of over 50 already this month, mostly by selling, but I gave a few away in that Facebook swap group I’m so fond of.
I haven’t slacked off in taking photos, at least. Or recording work by taking notes – tangible paper notes now, which have so far helped me memorise far better than digital notes, which get lost among other windows.
Keeping busy has kept the winter blues at bay. We have a good Christmas planned to look forward to, and there’s less than a week left until the days start lengthening again.
This year I’ve made plenty of progress with acquiring and propagating winter-growing plants. All the mesembs (and of course I’ve just sent off for more from the BCSS list! 😅), and bulbs that I keep are reliably entertaining and beautiful in the darkest months.
Highlights at the moment include: Asphodelus acaulis, which I haven’t taken a decent photo of yet; Narcissus ‘Nylon’ has buds on the way; Aloe albiflora has just begun to flower; Faucaria and Fenestraria are still in flower. While the gasterias have all given flowering a rest, the haworthias have just kept going, with more buds on the way. And there’s this Clivia:
The unflappable agaves suit this time of year. Being sharp and often cold-coloured, they’re a genus that feels wintery. But they look very good in summer too!
Euphorbia horrida ‘Snowflake’ is another foliage (well, stem) favourite:
Daffodil leaves are already emerging, which is always a hopeful sign:
Updates out of the way, the intention of this entry was to celebrate the anniversary of the new site. Exactly a year ago today, Tom and I moved in.
In that time, we – and the dog – have settled in, both to the house and garden, and to the local community. Here feels like home and I think we’ll be here for a long time, so I think we all feel content now.
I’m not going to review the year, as that would be repeating much of what’s already described elsewhere in this journal. Although there’s always room for improvement, and I’d like to document things much better in the future.
And a write-up of the La Gomera visit is still needed.
From travelling, reading, listening and observing, I’ve learned a lot this year, and a lot of things feel easier and seem more achievable.
After winter has passed, I’ll be able to give a more full evaluation of the new roof structure – aka the greenhouse with only two walls! But it’s safe to say it is certainly doing its job so far! The agaves and aeoniums look pretty content too:
Soon I’ll dig more beds parallel to the already dug raspberry bed, which broke the ice by being the first thing we cut into the ‘paddock’. That was another satisfying achievement of this year.
In late spring those new beds will be filled with dahlias; cut flowers, especially home-grown, are always appreciated, and who knows, maybe I’d even go commercial with that one day too.
And the usual general maintenance jobs keep emerging in need of doing.
Snow and hail were forecast today, so last night I covered the tender plants at the edge of the roof area with two layers – blankets and tarpaulin:
Of course, there was no interesting weather today, just a lot more rain. But it was a good test of this method, and one less rainy winter day won’t hurt.