Sunday, July 11, 2010

I don't care what you do to them, just be good to me.

Dear lovely reader, thanks for clicking on the link!

So, as promised last week* I have set aside some time to catch-up on my 'catch-up' blog post. Although I'd much prefer to be out watering the garden, my neighbours are having a particularly smokey barbecue. I suspect most of Merton Borough have been confined to their homes to avoid asphyxiation. Merton's loss, however, is your gain.

Should I start at the beginning? Starting a business has been very draining. Horticulture more than other businesses sees us working every hour of daylight, and darkness brings forth a need to complete paperwork and The Books.

There we have it - garden shop in 4 easy-to-follow steps!

For those of you that were able to make it to the Grand Opening, many belated thanks. There was a dearheart that asked for directions to the nearest curtain shop, which I found rather confusing, until she revealed her identity. The weather was perfect, and the booze most plentiful. If you didn't make it, I hope to welcome you soon.

Although I concentrated my efforts on setting up the shop this spring, leaving my business partner Liam to run the gardening aspect of the business, I am now rather keen to get my teeth into some garden projects.

I was in attendance at The Malvern Meet, which was fantastic and superbly co-ordinated by Helen and Michelle. A perfect opportunity to meet many of you bloggers. There were a few people that I didn't get to chat with much, but no doubt our flower-lined (or indeed veg-lined) paths shall cross again. I was most impressed with Dawn Isaac's alcohol-drinking abilities, and intrigued by the bizarre Mad Hatter's biscuit tasting party at The Lighthouse where some of the girls were staying.

Chelsea week saw a brilliant lock-in party at my shop, attended by Victoria, Helen, Michelle, Julia, The Sock, Ms B, and a few other non-bloggers. There was cake and Pimms and laughs and Alan Titchmarsh presenting the Chelsea Flower Show in the corner. The weather was spectacularly fine, and a good time had by all. Reviewed here.

I did attend Chelsea on the Thursday, but it was so long ago now, I've been warned that I'm not allowed to discuss or review it. I'm risking a prison sentence just mentioning it now.

Little Parrotlet came into my life, dubbed 'Rio' (mainly after the song, and due to his species' origins in South America, also Rio is the Portuguese for river). He is a very docile and happy bird, and keeps me company in the shop.

The other highlight for me over the past few months was escaping to Martyn Cox's Open Garden. It's easy enough to get to, only having never been to the East of London, I got quite disorientated. Martyn's garden however, was a joy to behold and a true oasis in the city.

Morbid black Petunias - a preview plant that Martyn got somewhere. Probably a Goth Petunia-lover, in return for his soul.

A "thriving" kiwi vine.

The most sublime Aeonium collection, plenty of fruit and veg, a Japanese film crew and some fellow bloggers to boot. The sun's rays were unwieldy, and an outtake of me may make it onto the Japanese youtube equivalent as 'Incredible Sweaty Face Man'. Reviewed here.

I was so impressed with Martyn's Aeoniums, it prompted me to attend to my succulent collection. I aim to re-pot a number of them into terracotta pots, but for this year, they will be left on the bench to enjoy the sun.

All in all, I've been a bit busy to attend to my garden. I've kept it alive, and have made a few purchases (pictures to follow).

It's good to be blogging again, hopefully I'll manage to keep it up. I'm looking forward to visiting the succulent nurseries on holiday in Dutchland in a couple of weeks' time.

Congratulations to my friend Paul for his Gold Medal at Hampton Court on The Palm Centre stand, and my friend Alex who won a Silver Gilt for her prehistoric carnivorous plant display (complete with T-Rex!).

The picture at the top of the page is of Gladiolus 'Impressive', a supposedly hardy variety. The petals look as though they've been given a sloppy lipstick kiss by a particularly tarty pixie. It's planted on a roof terrace, which I am really chuffed about. Here's a pic;

Over and out.

*time flies.....

....when you're having fun.


Suzie said...

Fabulous shop - really lovely :)

Ms B said...


patientgardener said...

Busy Busy busy - you should be pleased with what you have achieved so far. Just need that waitrose over the road to open and the bakery to close!

Elephant's Eye said...

Your gladiolus looks more like our South African species? And the Time Flies are sitting on an aloe, a Lachenalia?
New shop looks very inviting!

Arabella Sock said...

I don't mean to be rude because I'm sure it's a very sweet little bird and it is a lovely colour but.... your parrotlet doesn't look like it is all there! It looks like it is just a head and a neck with feet on. Are they supposed to look like that?

Rob said...

Thanks Suzie and Ms B.

Helen, sounds like you may be hatching an evil plan..

Diana, many thanks. The Gladiolus is a form of G.nanus. The Time Flies are sitting on Aloe striatula, which is impressively hardy to cold. It will have withstood a good -12C last winter! You're cordially invited to visit my shop!

Arabella, you're right, it does look ridiculous in that picture. If I took a photo of him now, he'd look like a ball of feathers with a beak and eyes on one side. The many guises of a parrotlet...

The Idiot Gardener said...

Good luck with the shop. Next time I'm in the Merton region I'll try to find you!

Urban Dirt Girl said...

You have the kind of shop I could pootle around in for an hour or two and then visit on a regular basis. congratulations, business ownership is stressful but so worth it. UDG

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi. I've just wandered across your blog for the first time and have really enjoyed reading your posts.
Your new shop looks lovely and if I didn't live in the far flung corner of North Derbyshire, I'd be there like a shot! Hope it all goes well for you :)