We have been forging new frontiers – Thursday was a Lock,Stock and two smoking Trowels day !
Some of our pioneer plants that have a bit a chip on their shoulder rode into town and rode out again into our New Frontier Border next to the house. These are the thugs and the reprobates of our garden . The ones with a swagger and a bad case of droopy jeans and gringo moustaches. You know ,the no-good guys in the westerns, the ones with the bad ass attitude and a tendency to cause just a little bit of trouble.
Well we decided that these bad guys should have their day and fight it out at the high noon under the poplar trees, in the driest most inhospitable wasteland badlands. It is a dry , stony , arid strip and the tumble weed will blow through in the dry summers. Inattentive groups from coach parties may well trample them as they descend from their buses and a multitude of dogs may poo and pee on them .Can these plants survive , fight each other for supremacy and establish their mighty kingdoms ? We have taken the worst of their kind -the big seeders , thugs, ne’er- do- wells , cads and colonisers and put them in a border together to fight it out . Who will win , who will get the upper hand ?
Who is on the Outlaw Roll call ?
These are the awesome eight plants that we have chosen for this stage of the experiment –
Verbena Bonariensis ,Thalictrum Lucidum,Lythrum salicaria,Erigeron Annuus ,Knautia macedonica,Cephalaria dipsacoides, Foeniculum vulgare purpureum,and Echinops exaltatus.
Is this what they call a Matrix Planting ?
well matrix is as matrix does ! certainly the plants are in a random interlaced pattern of sorts. But the theory is ,and this is the exciting bit which should come to pass in time ,they will make their own pattern and hierarchy as they fight it out for supremacy.The strongest will no doubt survive and the weakest shall fall ! Let the fun commence !
Posted in Autumn, Frontier, Frontier Border, Morlands Farm, Pioneer, Plants, prairie, Prairie garden, Seasons, Seeds, Summer, Sussex, Sussex Prairie Garden | Tagged bad ass, badlands, barrels, cephalaria dipsacoides, echinops exaltatus, erigeron annuus, experiment, foeniculum vulgare purpureum, frontier, kingdoms, knautia macedonica, lock, lythrum salicaria, matrix, ne'er do well, outlaw, pioneer, random, roll call, seeders, stock, supremacy, thalictrum lucidum, thugs, verbena bonariensis | Leave a Comment »
or rather, Pocket sized propagation of plants in Bhutan .
This post is all about the ingenious ways we saw plants being grown on a small scale in Bhutan . It was not so much about formal fancy gardens , but more about reusing what you could find as a container , thus reducing waste and promoting recycling and creating your mini garden around your house or appartment.
Gardening for decorativeness is not high on the agenda of many Bhutanese who let it be said ,are more concerned with the greater importance of living day to day and eking out a living from either their small shops , businesses , plots and fields clinging to vertiginous slopes and the ever so demanding landscape.
So it was with a strange fascination that I started to photograph the many ingenious and curious ways in which flowering plants were nurtured and obviously enjoyed by the Bhutanese around their homes.
A popular vessel was the ever rubbery car tyre .. A staple and popular plant pot around prayer wheels.. often cunningly embellished with a painted design but tin cans ,oil containers,plastic bottles also proved useful and were all stripped down and made into pots for plants. Geraniums did feature highly on the list of favoured house plants with many still flowering gamely at incredible altitudes and in all sorts of dusty corners.
There was obviously always someone with a soft spot somewhere keen to prettify their space or home with flowers and foliage. I rather liked their reckless and fanciful combinations too and a spare corner or space could prove useful for that prize cobbled together collection .Here is a group of plants at the village prayer wheel . This plant hoarder even risks having his collection being knocked off by an over exuberant prayer wheel turner !
Posted in Bhutan, Garden, Plant pots, Plants, potted history | Tagged apartment, Bhutan, bookshelf, Car tyres, collection, containers, flowers, geranium, house, plant pot, plants, prayer wheel, recycle, recycled, Reuse, Window ledge | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Bhutan, Plant Hunting, Plants, Seeds, Sussex Prairie Garden | Tagged cheese, collecting, collectors, descriptions, Druk beer, envelope, peril, plant hunters, plants, scree, seeds, yak | Leave a Comment »
Holidays are meant to revive , revitalise and rejuvenate .. but I come back and I’m tired , so very tired… tired of hearing dogs bark night by night .. their terrible cries serenading another night of wakefulness and disruption.
Those dogs that you see meandering about during the day, desultory , and napping on the road become fearful baying hounds of horror at night… packs proliferate and create storms of protest , yelping,war cries of canine careering.
And of course in a tent (we are in Nilgiri, a tented camp,Assam ) they sound so much nearer, so much more feral and fearful, especially ,when after another night of teeth and claw ,we wake to find the actual ringleader happily ensconced in our tent itself giving it it’s all with a surprising range between terrier tenor and airedale alto.
It’s a dog’s life this travelling lark….bark ….
Posted in Assam, Dog, Dogs | Tagged airedale, alto, camp, Dog, feral, hound, tent, terrier, tired, wakefulness | Leave a Comment »
Small front gardens in Assam , northeast India :This is colourful bungalow land.. A low rise legacy of low level living.
We very much enjoy this road side feast of colour and pretty pastels. Imagine turquoise,pink and green painted bungalows and many front gardens reaching beyond just the necessity of vegetable production and seemingly gardening in colour with plants for beauty’s sake.We even see some topiary !
Or maybe it is just the exuberant growth of the Assam climate that gives us this voluptuous array of flowers.Certainly it seemed very out of the ordinary for the typical Indian garden which has more to do with vegetable and fruit production, animal husbandry – pigs, chickens , cows roaming in happy abandon and still the washing gets hung out to dry …..
for practicality’s sake tin roofs of course are still the norm but that rusty patina has a certain charm….and are of course the perfect drying place for those oh so hot chillis.
It is a step beyond the normal indian garden for sure .. where has all the rubbish gone ? Assam is pristine and glorious and quite the little eden to revisit in the future….
Posted in Assam, Flowers, Front garden, Garden, India Diaries | Tagged Assam, beauty, bungalow, chillis, colour, flowers, front garden, garden, Indian, low level, tin, topiary, vegetable, washing | Leave a Comment »
Bottom barers beware there are plants out there who are out to get you ..big time in Bhutan!
In this case we are Talking about Girardiana diversifolia – the Bhutanese equivalent of our common stinging nettle only this one is giant sized with a lethal sting which both Paul and I encountered on a bush loo stop on the switchback road from Samdrup Jongkar to Trashiyangtse.
You see there is little choice in a pee stop perfect place…either brave the positively virtiginous slopes plummeting down the impenetrable wooded seventy degree pitches or skulk into the roadside under the crumbling cliff faces (rockfalls very much an added option)…sites which often bear the imprint of human use previously…with papery abandon…
And of course then there are the thundering trucks blustering by from time to time with a squeal of brakes and leering truck drivers …..
Whilst scrabbling in for a roadside relief we both brushed our face and hands against our deadly foe ..a bristly monster of a nettle bearing pale yellow flowers and looking in all innocence alike another roadside rambler but indeed it was more cunning in its sting and came out all guns blazing..no Bhutan Dock plants nearby to assuage its sting either.(although we were to find this plant at a later date)
Posted in Bhutan, Plants, Toilet | 3 Comments »