Six on Saturday – Depth of Field

Our lives, like our gardens, are made up of the crisp clear images we portray to the world, together with our darker blurred backgrounds.

Marylin vos Savant is very wise. She is an American magazine columnist, author, lecturer and playwright. She is known for many other things, one of which is that she rates as having the Guinness Book of Records highest IQ title. I am learning about her. She has said many wonderful and practical things. A selection of her various words of wisdom advises that you should:

  • be able to cite three good qualities of every relation or acquaintance you dislike
  • be able to decline a date so gracefully that the person isn’t embarrassed that he or she asked
  • be able to hiccup silently, or at least in a way not to alert neighbours of your situation. The first hiccup is an exception.

I have been practicing depth of field photography, and one of her quotable quotes makes the link I’m looking for.

The length of your life is less important than its depth.

Marilyn vos Savant

Enough of this in-depth introduction. Let’s get to the most important aspect of the situation deep down to the nub of the matter. Here I go again with my six this Saturday…

Uimhir a h-aon:

Buzy Lizzies and Privet stand out against the darker blurred background. Prizes for the first five who can identify the background plant on top right.

Uimhir a dó:

I do love grasses and this one has been catching my eye all summer with is tiny purplish tinge. There’s a lot going on behind.

Uimhir a trí:

The upside-down flower, Liatris spicata was featured on Instagram last week. Here it is again, one week on, opening further down. I watched a single busy bee stay on this plant for about twenty minutes a few days ago.

Uimhir a ceathar:

This is a rescue Acer. It had been in the neglected front garden. Now it is being tended carefully and the new growth has made the work worthwhile. Again, there are prizes on offer if you can identify the bike stand. Simple yes or no will suffice. The purpose of the bike-stand is two-fold as explained yesterday.

Uimhir a cúig:

The zonal pelargoniums are in focus amid the other varieties. Some dead-heading is required and these plants will need a long soak in the soak tray. After they’ve had a long soak in the soak tray, I will drip feed them from overhead. Likely, they will need to be checked individually because when potted plants are packed so tightly they suffer because of lack of air blowing through. All of these little tasks are on the early-next-week list. It’s Rule 42b for July and August.

Uimhir a sé:

Rosa ‘Korresia’ wafts its scent as I walk nearby. The flowers are short-lived, but new replacement buds quickly appear go tapaigh.

That’s my Six on Saturday. I hope you pick your favourite in the comments. Feel free also to win a prize or to outline any deep thoughts that come to mind.

Deep Saturday Thought

On the basis that depth of field photography highlights the foreground and blurs the background, would the image be interesting if the background was not there? Our lives, like our gardens, are made up of the crisp clear images we portray to the world, together with our darker blurred backgrounds.

Spoiler alert: The answer is 42. Don’t go there, unless you’re a fan of Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

For easier browsing, why not take a look at what my gardening friends are showing this Saturday by visiting The Propagator? You’ll find details about how to participate there too. And now it’s goodbye from me, but the story continues next week. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig,

Saturday, 25th July 2020.

Six on Saturday – Celebrations

2020 Act 2, the first Saturday of the second half of the year and it’s Independence Day if you are American or Philipino. For those of us who are not, please note that it is my nephew’s birthday, born a little later than the first Saturday of 1776. In advance of multiple celebrations, I spent a while selecting my six for this week, so without further ado, let’s have liftoff…

My first this week is Feverfew, known to some as Bachelor’s Buttons. This one seeded itself in a small crack between patio slabs, as I had written about in early June. I love it even before it flowers because of the attractive lime-green foliage. After you’ve read this blog thingy and other posts over at the Propagator’s HQ, after perhaps some gardening, coffee or other brew, you could return to this picture to count the buttons.

Next up is a shot of Begonia Corner. I went completely over the top with these for the last two years, having forty-two altogether. I mismanaged them last winter and now there are sixteen. They are not at their best yet, but I will enjoy them right up to the end of November.

Last week I described a struggling Vinca. In any case, this is a fine healthy one, planted into the Annual Trough, and blends well with Ground Ivy. Right now it boasts a single small flower.

Nothing speaks to me more of summer than petunias. The dry weather has suited them this year and they look strong.

Can anyone help me find the variety of this light-blue Campanula? (Update: from Fred & Catherine. .. It’s portenschlagiana. Thank you both!). I think it’s Milky Bellflower. It’s just past its best and will get a post-lockdown haircut next week or soon after. A good plant creeping up a dry stone wall in semi-shade, it seems completely unruffled by the large amount of slugs & smails that nibble on it most nights. Goodness knows, even the updated name is a mouthful!

Finally, we move along to Geranium Corner. These ones wintered well and for that I am pleased.

That’s my six this week. For more, pay a visit to Mr. Prop. who started this going. I have to say I’m enjoying reading articles from like-minded garden writers from near and far. Tá an-áthas orm bheith ag léamh scéalta deasa scríofa ag garraíodóirí i ngar is í gcéin.

Independence Day

It’s America’s big day. Heaven knows, they need to celebrate because they are in trouble. I wish them well as they attempt to recover the high ground, and I highlight this quote:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

Ronald Reagan

Regular readers will know by now that I cannot separate my garden from the world. In fact, I try to make a link. I have many very good friends and acquaintances in the US, many of whom have spoken to me about the brokenness of their country. It has always been the dream of Americans to find that they have Irish blood. Therefore I finish today with an invocation: May you once again feel proud of your country; may you realise that we Irish are suffering too, but proud of how we are dealing with tough stuff. Heads up high! Like the waterlogged Geranium, we will recover.

Pádraig,

Saturday, 4th July 2020.

Drought & Waterlogged

Who would have thought that using this vibrant red pot would be a bad idea? Most of my pots are plastic with a few expensive terracotta in the mix, and all have proper drainage. I discovered the vibrant red while doing the twice-yearly shed cleanup. It looked good and I figured it would be a good candidate for the front of Geranium Corner. It was a good idea back in mid-June when there was a drought, because there was no drainage hole. I ndáiríre, there still is none. Unfortunately, when the wheelbarrow-load of rain dropped, I was so taken by how lush everything in the garden looked that I forgot to empty it. Today there’s several inches of water in it, and it is likely  the pelargonium is suffering and the leaves are showing the effects of prolonged water logging. But this is a hardy specimen and will recover.
I call this a geranium. I’m told that pelargonium is more correct. What do you call yours?

On a more philosophical note, I am reminded that my ENTIRE garden is a container, a very large 10×30 metre container. I have placed all my plants in this container over the past thirty years, and the heavens take care of the watering almost entirely. I am so grateful that the garden is naturally well watered.

The resident fairies seem to shy away from vibrant red, so I will leave the pot in place in recognition of Liverpool’s Premier League triumph after many years of adversity.