Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Milton Keynes is about two and half miles away, as the quetzal flies.

Evergreen conifers. No, wait - come back! These are pretty interesting ones. These are species that were around at the dawn on time. Ones that dinosaurs would graze on, before getting stomach ache, presumably.

Winter is a pretty boring time in most people's gardens. All the Delphiniums and Dahlias that looked so nice in the summer, have shrivelled to a rotting mess. This is the reason why I've concentrated my efforts on plants that look good all-year-round.

I started off with palms and yuccas, then succulents and ferns. The list goes on. I suppose I first became interested in these ancient conifers after having see huge Monkey Puzzle trees growing in public and private gardens. Those weird sort of plants appeal to me.

I bought my Monkey Puzzle (Araucaria araucana pictured above) several years ago. It's actually grown quite a bit since I bought it. The little plant in the same pot is Ruscus aculeatus 'John Redmond', which holds on to red berries through the winter.

The tall conifer in the picture is the Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis), rediscovered in the 1990's in Australia after having been thought to be extinct for millions of years. I have been reading the progress of Julia's Wollemi Pine on her great blog We're Going to Need a Bigger Pot. In a similar manner to Julia, I am naming my plant, Wollemina.

Another ancient Australian conifer is Araucaria bidwillii. This is my one below. The last two winters have been hard on it, but has so far survived happily outdoors. A friend bought it back from Australia in 2003, and it has been outside ever since. The native Australians used to eat the 'Bunya Pine' seeds as they fell. The cone bearing the seeds is especially large, and people are advised against walking under these trees in years of heavy coning.


The problem with these amazing trees, is that they grow up into very big plants. Oh well, I hope to have a bigger garden to accomodate them!

Now for something completely different, Pseudowintera colorata;


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One must defeat the evil gnomes in order to save the golden duckling.

Firstly, apologies to any gnomes reading. I realise there are both good and bad gnomes. This is Cyclamen coum, which has just started flowering under my apple tree.

Several weeks ago, I was reading the blog of the lovely Di. Here's the post on comment moderation. You might have a blog that doesn't have any comment moderation set up. I would urge you to follow the instructions on Di's blog post.
My spammers seem particularly keen on this post; Giant Redwood for whatever reason. I found the comments quite amusing.

Have a row of shots ready, and when you read 'Harare'... DRINK!

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I shall be disappointed if any of my readers are still standing after my drinking game.

After installing comment moderation, and my reason for looking back at my Redwood post, I recently had another suspicious comment.

"Let me assure you this is a beautiful picture but Africa is full of lot more beauty than shown in this picture. However, seeing is believing is definitely not wrong. I have been to Africa in my child hood. I have witnessed the precise craftsmanship of God. Words can't describe what god has done on the land of Africa. Just look for cheap flights to lagos and/or other cities of Africa and witness the endless series of miracles with your own eyes."

Amen to that, brother! I bear the same sentiments, see.

I hope this will encourage everyone to moderate their comments.
As a footnote, please visit the blog of the inimitable, mysterious and utterly lazy Ms B, at Lack-A-Daisy. Percy needs a good home in Ms B's garden.