Sunday, 12 October 2014


It's my birthday tomorrow.  The big 60. I suppose it is a milestone in life ... step over the line and you enter old age ... they used to give you a bus pass (as compensation perhaps?). Well to me it is just a number. It won't make any difference.  I'm not going to suddenly need a walking frame: I already walk upstairs and forget what I wanted up there! You can't fight age but you can enjoy it. Today was lovely.  We visited Buxton for The Great Peak District Fair

It is an annual Real Ale festival and Craft Fair held in the grounds of the Buxton Pavillion Gardens ... so that's where we started.  The Gardens were designed by Joseph Paxton (of Chatsworth fame) and opened in 1871.  The glass house was beautiful ... packed with flowers and texture and foliage.  I would love to have just one part of the display in my greenhouse! Spider plants tumbling over walls; banana plants reaching for the ceiling; maidenhead ferns waving in the slightest breeze .... everything so lush and healthy. 

There was a large exhibition of work from local artists on display.  Paintings, textiles, multi media and pottery. I was particularly taken by the linocut work of Jill Kerr.  So detailed.  Another favourite was Pauline Townsend, silk painter, I have come across her work before.  She produces beautiful flower images.  Oh to be that talented!

Well, hopefully, I will have plenty of time in my old age to develop new skills and collect houseplants!

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Last of Summer

Nearly time to dig up the Dahlias.

Originally there were only 30 different types of Dahlia but that was back in 1615 when  Francisco Hern├índez de Torres first found them in Mexico.  Now there are thought to be over 57,000!

According to the experts you should dig up Dahlia tubers after they have been blackened by frost or by the end of October if the weather stays mild.  The soil should be carefully cleaned away and the tubers placed upside down to let moisture drain away. Store them in a dry, frost-free place. 

Next year I want a "hot" border with dark Dahlias, Cannas and Lucifer Crocosmia mingled with tall grasses. I have to move a couple of roses and a few lupins but the only other plants in the chosen spot are a dark red tree peony and a yucca so they can stay. I found these inspiration shots on Pinterest:

I think I will aim for the orange/yellow combination.

My 92 year old mum is staying with us for a few days.  We visited Felley Priory yesterday where the Plant Heritage Rare Plant Fair was taking place.  Loved it!  Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so you have to imagine the beautiful gardens with the plant stalls covering the front lawn; the gorgeous tea and cakes; the late summer sunshine and the cars full of colourful purchases.  
Mum bought a chrysanthemum the same colour as her outfit here.  I bought a bamboo - she wasn't impressed as it didn't have any flowers on it!

Felley Priory Garden