Friday, 26 July 2013

MASSIVE Ladybird

 Earlier this month I was in a friend's garden when we heard jet engines overhead and looked up to see the Red Arrows passing directly over the top of us on their way to the Test Match a couple of miles away.  Yesterday, in my garden, a strange noise turned out to be a low flying microlight buzzing around like a huge fly.  Then today we had this over us:

Have you read 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan?  He can be pretty dark at times and this one begins with a man falling from a rope on a hot-air balloon.  Well, this is the Ladybird balloon of Ladybird Books fame and it passes over us quite regularly on warm Summer evenings.  It has never caused us any problems, unlike some others in the past:

When we first moved here the kids were 7 and 5 years old.  One evening the eldest came rushing in shouting about a balloon which was about to hit the roof.  Sure enough, once outside, we could see the panic on the pilot's face as he frantically ignited the gas to gain height.  Luckily he made it.  The episode wasn't over though as it became obvious he was going to land in the newly ploughed field opposite our house.  Our sons were both in the field excitedly watching the action.  Suddenly the pilot threw a rope out and shouted, "Catch it." 

Our eldest ran after the rope while I was screaming, "NOOOO, don't touch it!"

Thankfully he didn't catch it and the balloon bounced over the furrows in the field spilling its passengers out into the mud.  Strangely, I have never hankered after a balloon ride since!

Visions of a small boy drifting off into the air still haunt me. Stupid really as he grew up and became a fighter pilot for the Royal Navy ...

I've been collecting seeds, sowing seeds, taking cuttings and dead heading this week. Pottering! Love it!

I also love this Lucifer Crocosmia.  It's much taller than the clumps I have dotted around the place and would be perfect as a cut flower ... hope it produces LOTS of seeds for me this year!

Here's a link to a nursery in Cornwall that specialises in Crocosmia. I hadn't realised there were quite so many different varieties of this plant.


  1. The idea of my child being carried off by a hot air balloon is terrifying. But he probably would have loved it! I love that crocosmia. I need to find a spot for one in my garden. :o)

  2. Oh, I love that Crocosmia! One of my favorite plants that I don't have in my garden. Some day. Your story about the hot air balloon had me worried a bit, and interesting that your son ended up being a fighter pilot! We occasionally have hot air balloons flying very close to our house, too. They're fun to watch, but I would feel the same way you did.

  3. I enjoyed reading your balloon story, rather stupid of the man in the balloon to call `catch it´ to the boys, but great that your son became a fighter pilot, sturdy! (don´t know if sturdy is the correct English word). Crocosmias are indeed highlights in the garden at this moment. And yes, it is time for cuttings and collecting seeds again!

  4. Lucifer sure does make a statement in any garden. A neighbour grows in and I keep meaning to ask to bring a chunk over the fence.
    I was having visions of your son disappearing over the rooftops - it was obviously one of those moments when goodness knows what was going through your mind. Maybe somewhere in his subconscious he knew he was going fly, one way or another!

  5. I have Lucifer which was taken from a clump in my ex-bosses garden. Beautiful colour that really stands out. We have a smaller yellow one too but it is forever needing to be split as it ii is very vigorous.

  6. I am glad that the ballon mishap did not end with your son taking flight. I agree with Tammy though, he probably would have loved it. For me the gardening at the moment is all about weeding. It seems an endless task at times.