Monday, 13 July 2015

Rosie is my relative?!

Attempted cannibalisation of a distant relative
Nothing to do with that delightful book by Gerald Durrell, I'm afraid. Just a bit of trivia -  but one that I found fascinating enough to write about. And yes, it's gardening trivia.

So:  plants need nutrients - and there are all sorts of plant foods available that you can sprinkle around the roots, dig into the soil, or dissolve and water with. Someone (in case you're here reading this, Sathish, it's you!) told me about the different minerals that, when added, can help growth in specific areas of a plant.

Nitrogen - good for foliage (leaves and stems)
Potassium - good for fruit and flower development
Phosphorus - good for roots

And then Sathish mentioned how plants and animals have things in common, and similarities between us in terms of various mineral deficiencies. So I did a quick Google, and have come to the following conclusions:

1. My skin, hair and nails are my foliage. They suffer if I have a nitrogen deficiency. My muscles too (presumably my stems), and my blood (my sap).

2. My ovaries are my fruits. Well, that one was obvious. Potassium helps with things like ovarian cysts. Also the heart - apparently particularly susceptible to potassium deficiency. But the song goes, "Life is a flower" and I've got poetic license, so I've decided my heart is my flower. 

3. My bones and my teeth are my roots. They need phosphorus to grow strong and stand firm. Not too sure why the teeth fall in this category, so I am going to assume that something teethlike in plant roots chews up useful nutrients before sending them along.

Amazing. I love this evolutiony stuff.

Of course, I am no scientist, and yes, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". But sprinkle with some over-active imagination and water well, and it grows into something fun for me and my readers to enjoy (perhaps with a pinch of salt).


(That last paragraph, in case you hadn't realised, is probably the jolliest disclaimer I've ever written, and also a subliminal suggestion to go make yourself a margarita).

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Roses and farts.

I have made an interesting discovery. The most beautiful roses, the ones that look almost carved to perfection, the ones that seem to shout out, "Hey, look at me!" tend to have no scent.

It is the same with farts. The louder they are, the less lethal their odour. It's the silent ones that are deadliest.

Which makes me wonder ... do the most beautiful roses have the deadliest thorns?

An imperfectly carved, but perfectly scented rose in my mother's garden

Monday, 6 July 2015

Getting closer to my anthurium

When you have pots of brilliant anthurium, and a very nice camera on your phone, it follows that

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Roses, roses.

Roses are difficult to grow, they say. So it was only after a lot of googling that I finally got the courage to invest in a few rose plants last month:

Of course, they all look lovely to start with - one can't help but buy the plants with the prettiest blooms (and the most scented - which, oddly enough, is a hard quality to come by - a lot of roses these days look lovely but have no scent at all!) but the thought that's niggled my mind was what these beauties would look like after they'd been in in my hands for a few months!

All these blooms have now wilted, withered, been snipped off (at just the right point - which is just above the first five-leafed stem beneath a bloom) and made their way to the composter. I studied those shorn tips for quite a while, and quite nervously, but have finally been rewarded with two little buds appearing on two of the plants! I suppose only children and garden-lovers will understand that wild joy that comes with getting a stick in the earth to grow into something! I am both child and gardener, and am doubly joyful - or perhaps it's just pre-menopausal hormonal fluctuations that makes my heart flutter so!

I can't wait for them to blossom, and share my new home-grown blooms with you.