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Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

DSC01407or 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.

DSC01480Gardening 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.

DSC01947So 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.

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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.DSC01962

DSC01693There 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 !

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Small front gardens in Assam , northeast India :This is colourful bungalow land.. A low rise legacy of  low level living.

DSC01290We 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 !

DSC01322Or 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 …..

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for practicality’s sake tin roofs of course are still the norm DSC01327but 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….DSC01724

 

 

 

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I am happy to still be cutting flowers for sale in our teashop. There are still plenty of flowers to choose from – ranging from eupatoriums, phlox,solidago, molucella, achillea,, veronicastrum, grasses ….and of course the fabby dahlias who go from strength to strength this time of year.The only criteria for a bunch is that it must be wild,free flowing and have  a taste of the wonderful about it.

012 moody ,jewel like colours  and a sense of a voluptuous stained glass window are the colours I favour…imagine the colours of a packet of Spangle sweets(I bet they don’t make them any more !) ..worringly acidic and sharp as glass …their fragments cutting your  mouth with shards like a sherbet lemon sweet, lacerating tongues and tastebuds alike…..if you like pink – just think -we have achillea love parade making candy floss curls through the bouquets.

001and the Marys among us , stop being contrary and look at what you can get from our British cut flower garden only yards away and no airmiles ,honest .. growing British without the groans and grumbles  of a pantechnicon lorry …only the comforting squeak of a overloaded barrow and the rubbery fold of a wellington boot…

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now is the time for the cut flower queens to go forth and cut to their hearts content.And now is the time for you to spoil yourself , your best friend, mum,dad,sister,brother, boyfriend,girlfriend.. any friend  or any foe to the best of the cut flowers available today…as autumn steels its hoary cape across the garden take those burnt oranges and build bonfires of colour in your hand

157gather up the trails of glorious gold and melting ambers, molten vermillion….and fan a flame in your arms…. from garden urn to humble jam jar cut  flowers will always make the final cut !

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An amazing group of ladies came to visit the garden today. The extraordinary and entirely outrageous Worthing Blueberry Muffins chapter of the Red hatters tripped into the tea shop in a variety of hues but predominantly purple and red. The purple actually synced quite well with some of the predominant colours of the garden at the moment. But it was wonderful to see them inching through the plantings, in full sail like an armada, with their red hats like dancing pennants. Sometimes unseen (but audible like a flock of birds) and then a flash of red through the hazy grasses and swirls of colour.

They purport to be women of a certain age(over 50) who take it upon themselves to trip around the country visiting all sorts of places , not just gardens, but the underlying theme has to be one of enjoyment, and I rather suspect, delicious indulgence ,as they made short  shrift of the courgette and apple and apricot cakes on the terrace.

It is a world-wide organisation spanning many continents and seems to be a wonderfully flamboyant bit of fun.It is all about growing old disgracefully and  not at all about “wearing the bottoms of their trousers rolled” ! (sorry TS Elliot !)  These ladies I promised to mention by name , as they all take on personae as befits their character. So we have Princess Protea,Duchess Esme,Madame Gigi (intriguing),Lady Jules,Lady Chatterley (real surname happens to be Mellors so her name could be nothing but!)Baroness Bustickle (saucy!) Scarlet Poppy,and Goddess of the Glen .Some of the hats were positively bizarre but I loved the fun and fantasy of it all.

Apparently it all goes back to a poem by a lady called Jenny Joseph who apparently is distancing herself from the whole chabang.

Here is the first part of the poem which I hope that Jenny will not mind me reproducing…. google her and her poem and find the rest for yourself !

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“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people’s gardens .”

Didn’t see them picking any flowers .. but you never know !

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