Information for the amateur gardener

The Environment and I January 31

What’s in the garden today

Hamamelis Arnolds Promise

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The Rhododendron bud, promise of what’s to come.

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The environmentalists, I suppose for me the story starts in my childhood in the 1950s. First of all may I say I have nothing but admiration for those who behave in a sensible manner regarding the environment.  I like the majority of you play a sensible part in recycling, I hate to be wasteful, and my gardening habits have changed to a degree which would morally be rather more acceptable than it once may have been.

In the early to mid 50s in the UK living standards, I think it would be accurate for me to say were rather Spartan. However before I talk of how life was for me, consider how it was for my 90 year old mother as a child back in the 20s and early 30s. For the underprivileged, optimistically referred to as the working class, life for many was nothing less than tragic. My mother the eldest of six children  tells me of times when there was no money for food or clothing. Without shoes they were forced to get boots from a charity organisation, and on Winter days went to school in a thin Summer dress. Those who were lucky enough to have fathers in work would laugh at the unfortunate waifs. When my mother was fourteen years old her own mother died, she would only ever tell us that it was of a broken heart. Mother was old enough to get work in the fish houses, her siblings were taken in to care. Mother strived for the rest of her life not to be beaten by the challenges which may befall her.

As for myself, in the 50s we were well enough cared for, there was very little money, but we got by. In the late 50s our living room flooring of linoleum was lifted and a carpet was laid. Soon after we had our first television set, wow things were looking up.

Now the environmentalists of today, well I am talking now of those who take every possible opportunity to ram it down your throat. They were probably born between 1970 and 1985. They have never known what hardship is, everything was handed to them on a plate, and possibly were spoiled little brats.  Don’t they just love telling you how good they are and if you do not share their inflated enthusiasm you must be some shallow cretin who does not have the understanding which has been placed on their wonderful shoulders.

So yes, I have grown up with a materialistic attitude which I am not ashamed of and still love stuff.

Some serious gardening to do tomorrow, but first I really do have to go to the recycling depot.

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Meconopsis Sheldonii January 29

Meconopsis Sheldonii a truly magnificent hardy perennial. Planted in the woodland garden it always grabs the attention of visitors.

Deep rich to pale blue flowers in late    Spring, early Summer. This beautiful flowering hardy  perennial, often described as short lived fairs much better in the cooler Aberdeenshire climate and will indeed survive and give pleasure for many years.

Although not related to Papavar this plant is commonly known as the blue poppy. Meconopsis definitely grows best where summer tends to be cool and damp, no problem there then. Read more…

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Acer Griseum January 25

Acer Griseum, absolutely outstanding

For ornamental value in the garden the Japanese and Chinese Acer is high on the list of must have plants.Grown for their attractive foliage of red, gold, variegated forms and many with fantastic Autumn colour, it is easy to understand the popularity of this plant. Read more…

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