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Posts Tagged ‘stem’

The Low Road

December 13, 2015 Leave a comment
The High Road

The High Road

A pink rose arches over some steps.

The photo was actually taken a couple of years ago. Since then more than one shaping branch has come and gone. This Spring, again, I’ll have to saw off the current one to let a younger, higher one take over. Otherwise it will be Duck or Grouse.

If the rose has taken the High Road over the stairway, there’s also a Low Road, formed by settlement of the soil under the concrete of the top step.

This is the domain of couch grass, which thinks nothing of groping its way blindly through a metre-long tunnel in search of new territory.

My latest gardening project is to cultivate the little piece of ground to the left of the steps, but the couch grass the other side has ambitions.

Today I hauled several wiry stems out of the communicating passage; they were obviously the advance party.

 

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Sweet peas

May 13, 2013 Leave a comment
'Casualty vase' of sweet peas

‘Casualty vase’ of sweet peas

Before Chokri started strimming yesterday, I told him that making things look tidy was more important than saving the sweet peas which have seeded all over the place.

Even so I felt acute dismay at the destruction.

There’s one particular colour – a bright, almost lurid pink – which only seems to have established itself on the slope down to the ‘moat’.

I just managed to save one plant; the rest are now in pieces.

Sweet peas are extraordinarily difficult to avoid because they taper down towards the ground, snake along, and often have their root  some distance from the visible part.

On the plus side, I got plenty of stems for my casualty vase.

The smell of the flowers is wonderful, and so evocative that it revives memories I didn’t even know I had.

A ladybird wakes from hibernation

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment
A ladybird in the axle of a clematis twig

A ladybird emerging

This ladybird had a good spot to hibernate in, tucked in the axle of a clematis stem.

It was just stirring sleepily when I saw it.

It will have felt the warmth of the sun, like the fat flower buds around it which will open soon.

Chafing

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment
A chafed rose stem

A chafed rose stem

Pruning the roses, I’ve been noticing for the first time what extreme damage can be done by two stems rubbing against each other.

Maybe it’s because we’ve had such particularly ferocious winds or maybe it’s just that I haven’t looked very hard before.

One or both stems may be worn almost all the way through, and yet the sap finds its way past and produces leaves.

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Sowing seeds

July 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Some of the plants we’ve introduced to the garden have been very successful and others have been dismal failures.

Those that seed well, we like to spread a bit further and introduce to other areas.

In order to do this, we gather the dead flower stems, while the majority of the seeds are still in their various pods or capsules, and distribute them over these virgin territories.

Dead flower stems in a new area

What you can see in the photo is dried stems of love-in-a-mist (above all), sweet pea and poppy, laid along an otherwise fairly flowerless bank.

I hope they take there; it will make for a very pretty display if so!

Peppermint roots

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Multiple stolon of peppermint

Why is it the best things are also the worst?

Peppermint is an easy plant to grow, it smells lovely, it’s useful in cooking, and yet it can invade your garden and turn it into a peppermint farm.

The plant’s main invasion tool are its stolons, or horizontal stems, which creep along and send out roots and shoots at intervals. 

Young stolons are an attractive bright purple, while the grandaddy ones are crusty brown and can be thicker than the base of your finger. Either way they’re a force to be reckoned with.

I’m very reluctant to have an all-out war on this lovely plant, but I’ve recognised the need to pull up some of it.