Six on Saturday: 17 February 2018

OK, this is a really Trumpian post. You think it’s Saturday but it’s not. I’m not here. If you’re an early bird, you’re probably reading this as I’m swanning along the M4 somewhere. It’s Saturday? That’s fake news. It’s actually Friday. Well it’s not. As you’re reading this it’s Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. Whatever. Use your imagination. Pretend I’m writing this just before you’re reading it.

Thanks, in advance, for your comments. Please bear with me as I may not be able to reply to them for a while. I have no knowledge of the availability of WiFi at my destination, even if the smartphone decides that today (or tomorrow or, indeed, yesterday) will be a day on which it permits me to access my own blog from my own phone.

So on Friday, on Saturday, if not before, here’s my remote six.

1 A Whiff of Spring

As I did my not-so-seasonally-perfect impression of Laurie Lee and walked out of the house this mid-February morning, I caught the first whiff of spring. You’ve got to imagine it as this blog isn’t written in smellyvision. Nor does it have a scratch-n-sniff panel. But it was an overpowering whiff.

I returned to the inside of Rivendell Towers, asking Resident Cat whether that was the reason he hadn’t ventured forth all night.

Then I re-emerged, armed with a plastic bag and a shovel.

The biggest pile of dog crap I’ve ever seen was contained in the aforementioned bag. The smell, unfortunately, was not! So, having bleached the pavement, I ventured further forth to the public poop bin around a few corners in the general direction of North Korea to deposit the aforementioned bag, happily returning home and noticing that the stench diminished as the distance between my nose and the bin increased.

The whiff of spring outside the house was gone when I arrived back home, pondering what the culprit of the pile had been fed with and postulating on the possibility that a cow had strolled past the end of the drive (I have encountered a herd of cows grazing in the front garden before now).

I do wonder, though, why the smelliest public bin in the area is on the post that, higher up, carries the “Bus Stop” sign and also supports one end of the bench provided for the convenience of the travelling public.

2 Frustration

I bought myself a new camera last summer. I have now taken a grand total of three photographs with it (discounting the accidentals of a finger, kneecap, bits of desk and wall and many of the inside of the lens cap).

Why, I wonder, has the propensity for animals to stand still not kept pace with the number of buttons and dials that need to be dealt with before you get to press the shutter release button and take the bloody photo of something that gave up and went home hours ago?

If I’m going to leave all the settings on auto, I could save myself a few hundred squid and carry on using my oldest camera which has an on-off switch, a focus lever and a shoot button. Except it takes crap photos of anything smaller than the Eiffel Tower.

3 Orgy

Well that grabbed your attention! There’s an orgy at Rivendell. The participants are camera shy and disappear as soon as I open the patio door, some distance away, to take a photo. I remembered new Panasonic Lumix camera has a supposedly fantastic zoom (which is controlled by a lever and a button and a dial) so I thought I would try and, for the first time, capture an image. So photo three (see above) resulted. Well at least you can make out a frog, yes?. I’ve got the measure of the lever and the button but the damned dial is too complicated. Seems I have to set i, ii and iii before I can use them. Next I need to find the instructions that tell me what the hell i, ii and iii are and how to set them. The necessary instructions are available online, it seems, at a web address that doesn’t work. So I’m even more frustrated. And I ended up with a rather blurry photo.

Ms H will probably emerge from her covering of little blue pills to comment that Mr Frog looks like me – grumpy! Which, unless I find a working camera instructions web address soon, may well be an accurate comparison.

Meanwhile, back to the Canon camera for the produce so far …….

You can see the grass. Can’t reach it from dry land so I bought a couple of 4 metre scaffolding boards to use as crawling boards to get across the pond to remove the invading grass. Yeah. Damned nymphomaniac frogs creating obstacles.

(Meanwhile, someone on Twitter has beaten Panasonic and pointed me to the manual I need. Twitter can be wonderful sometimes.)

4 Decisions

Many moons ago, when Hamamelis was yellow (unless you lived near some trendy nursery that was breeding today’s multi-coloured dreamcoats), Loropetalum  appeared (pronounced, in Liverpudlian, Lorra, meaning “lot of”, and “petalum”, meaning petals). Not long afterwards, someone decided that this was too simple and added chinense, meaning “Chinese”. Back then, the people wot decided these things, decided that Loropetalum was not related to Hamamelis and that it was pretty damned hardy. In this those people displayed the same tendency to accuracy as the Television Match Official at last weeks England-Wales rugby match. Now, Lorapetulum IS part of the Hamamelidaceae family and IS NOT pretty damned hardy.

I had already tried growing my purple Hamamelis but had decided that it wasn’t strong enough to survive a winter outside and was going to quickly grow too big to grow in a container or dig up every autumn and move indoors. I tried fleece on new plants for a second winter before deciding that purple was not to be. I don’t want a yellow Hamamelis.

Thomas’ Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Orange Peel’. Nice. His photo. More photos in the link just below this pic.

Thomas Stone found one I liked. But all of a sudden, SoSers all over the world are posting photos of gloriously-coloured non-yellow Hamamelis. And now I can’t make up my mind which one to get. I only have room for one (unless I don’t get the Camellias that Jim has coerced me into buying (he has a site devoted to them as well as his blog, you know)).

5 Continued Non-Appearance

Around the garden, established patches of bluebells have been springing up. I won’t give you photos of those emerging bulbous things. I’m hoping that I’ve succeeded in removing all the Spanish ones. It’s hard to tell from the leaves so I have to wait for the flowers. As you all know the English bells hang like this whilst the Spanish ones hang like that. (The Welsh, of course, hang low, like sweet chariots.)

But I’m now more worried as the tardiness of the new bluebells and also new fritillarias in this little border, which I’ve featured before, is getting beyond. I mean, you expect the odd bulb to be unproductive but 200 of them?

6 Growth

Nope, still no photos of emerging bulbs. This is growth of Edifice 2. Having assembled the core of the curvy bit, I’ve now decided my plans were too modest. It needs to be higher. Well at least higher than the pile to which I allude in 1 above. So additional parts are en route to Chez Rivendell. Incidentally, for those interested, what you see in the photograph took me less than 5 minutes to knock (literally) together and is as solid as the proverbial brick s***house. No sucky sweets were consumed (regular readers will understand this) as this was foreplay. I was more restrained than the amphibians in the pond.

So …

Talking about restraint, I have restrained myself from commenting on last week’s match. A controversial win, the error now acknowledged by World Rugby.. When one team wins clearly and fairly, whoever it is, fine. But when there’s controversy the losers claim a fix and the winners can’t bask in unadulterated glory. Oh well. Poor Fred in France, though. No controversy there. The French came out fighting and were on top of Scotland in no time. But by the end of the first half they were flagging. Not enough to give Scotland a fighting victory but enough to let them score penalty after penalty. Penalties are the easy way out of a running game. I’m looking forward to Wales facing France. Two great teams with a lot of background in common. It’ll be a match where we enjoy the rugby and, whoever wins, we will celebrate together. Which is as it should be, eh Fred?

So that’s my “in advance” six for this week. Will I manage another next week? Will Thomas Stone convince someone else to add his six Saturday plants plus his plant of the week to their garden? Will my bluebells wake up? Will Gill Heavens wake up in time to post her six before teatime? Who knows. But, in the meantime, if you pop over to the blog of Propagator Jon Seedsowing (who does not reside near the local bus stop), look for his post of the day and then ignore everything he says but scroll down to the comments, you’ll find lots of links to the international SoS team. If you right click those links and select “open in new tab”, you can just flick back to the next comment and won’t send his stats through the roof so much. This is being kind as he only has his own ten digits plus his wife’s ten and four children, with forty between them to count the hits on. Unless, of course, the entire family have washed their feet and it’s safe to take shoes and socks off.

Until whenever, enjoy your garden (and smelly feet if you have them).

18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 17 February 2018

  1. I feel your pain re: Spanish bluebells. I have been waging a war since we moved to this garden 4 years ago. Tenacious little buggers, aren’t they?

    1. It’s not that I don’t like the look of them but they are choking out our native English bluebells (even here in Wales) and they spread like mad too. I tried a few years ago to get rid of them but I didn’t get them all and as soon as I reintroduced English ones, the Spanish mated and took over again. I’m hoping I’ve done it this time.

    1. Well, I’m now working through the manual. Canon support is definitely better but this camera is definitely more capable (which equates to more complex). I guess. It would have helped if the mini-manual that came with it had pointed me to a working web address in the first place. My Canon had a CD with the necessary in the box.

  2. New camera with or without manual .. you have managed your photos of your frogs and as you said, they seem to be nymphomaniacs (like all other amphibians elsewhere …). Returning to rugby I do agree with you and I look forward to the match between Wales and France,… it’s always a great sporting moment, a friendly match with often 2 teams of the same level and the best will win, that’s for sure !

    1. I got home this evening and found another half-dozen clumps of spawn, all in the area of invading grass. Oh well. Whoever wins, I’ll raise a glass of something with you and celebrate the victory of the best team.

  3. Is that your poo artwork? Asking for a doggy friend, you know. She could provide you w/copious material for future projects.

    1. I nicked that image from the web. Though I thought it appropriate. Chemical warfare by someone. I don’t need help thanks. Resident cat used his litter tray (unusual overnight) but it was the lesser aroma!

  4. What a six! Packed full of defiance, impatience, controversy and (my favourite) a little grumpiness. I like the witch hazel Jelena, but I am sure there are many others just as good. Love your edifice (said with straight face). Be patient, the bulbs will appear, they can’t all be duds. A horse unloaded right outside our house the other day, and no I didn’t rush out with a shovel. As for the camera, just ignore most of the functions, that is what I do and it seems to work out OK. And the rugby, yes, I think it was a try, unfortunate as, as you say, no one is happy. Happy weekend, wherever you might be ….. 🙂 Now better get on with mine …… I will just watch the curling first.

    1. II will introduce you to my erection in stages as it grows in a short series of posts shortly (or longly or highly). Lots of people have their recommended Hamamelis. I’ll decide soon. As I’ve forked out for the camera I want to use the features I’ve forked out for. Though I think I should have gone for an EOS (like the car). I will now look for your six. Along with all the others. Once I’ve investigated this earthquake we’ve had.

  5. Less of a Trumpian post and more of a Whovian. Can totally see the Doctor spouting the today/tomorrow/yesterday line.
    And for the Hamamelis, you didn’t ask but I am going to offer an opinion anyway- choose with your nose! the colourful new ones can have little to no scent..and who wants that?

    1. Oh, Chicu, is that why my lovely orange thang didn’t have a smell? I’m so glad to know that. Now looking for a smelly one.

      1. If you want a smelly one, I’ll nip back round a couple of corners for you.

    2. In this case, scent isn’t a worry. The Hamamelis won’t be in smell distance – it’s a visual thing. Though I’ve tried to sniff the various suggestions and now need to clean the noseprints off my screen. When ordering online, you can’t experience the scent, of course, and I’m resigned to the fact that no nearby nurseries can help.

  6. My bluebells aren’t in flower yet. Some time to go methinks. But I’m concerned about my fritillaries. If they don’t show soon I’m going to blame those squirrels! Happy travels.

    1. It’ll be a short while before my established ones flower but I am getting a little concerned that nothing is even poking a tentative head above ground in my new little border. Squirrels are not a problem here though underground mice may be.

  7. Oh dear John, that sounded like a very unpleasant John first thing!!! Rather you than me I may add. I hope you have a great time away and yes you need to get orange peel! Don’t worry my 6 isn’t that full this week !

    1. Orange Peel remains my favourite to be honest. I don’t know what its scent is like but that won’t be an issue anyway. I had a booster shot this morning on the way to the plant show (from which I returned with about a dozen plants I was determined not to buy). I have something unusual for a future six – Lachenalia bulbifera – to tempt YOU with maybe.

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