Surprise Blooms

Have to admit we are not very ‘green fingered’ over here at Chez H.  Our philosophy being if it grows, great, if it dies don’t bother planting that again.  The problem is the underlying soil is thick, claggy blue clay which does nothing for drainage.  Over the years we have added plenty of organic matter to the flower beds to improve things, yet still, after a couple of years, bulbs like daffs and tulips rot away.  On the plus side primroses, foxgloves and aquilegia (columbine) self seed and flourish.

One of Mrs H’s favourite flowers is the freesia.  Two years ago she bought some corms and popped them in a stone container, nothing happened.  Fast forward to January and we noticed some odd foliage in the container, they had decided to grow!  The freesia is an autumn flowering plant native to South Africa and not frost hardy.  We had a mild winter but covered the container with horticultural fleece at the first sign of a frost and now we are rewarded with these gorgeous blooms.

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Freesias in April

Last autumn we had a large conifer hedge cut down to head height and a third removed.  This left a big gap but the soil was dead and the stumps were left in.  So we built a raised bed, filled it with 1,000 litres (!!!) of mixed compost and grit and after a few weeks to let it settle, popped in some bulbs and assorted plants.  We planted some helleborus orientalis (lenten rose) for late winter colour.  They grew new leaves but no flowers until now!  One plant is in bloom and just keeps on giving.

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The beautiful and intricate pattern of the hellebore flower. Better late than never!

The third surprise bloom is indoors.  Now houseplants don’t have a long life span here, let’s just say Mrs H is not keen on them.  I had a fine collection of cacti once, some I had had for over fifty years!  One day as Tina was dusting the conservatory one beautiful specimen, 3 feet tall with 3 inch long spines decided to ‘bite’ her.  Despite my protests ‘she who must be obeyed’ ordered them gone.  So how many of you have been given one of those supermarket orchids?  Beautiful in flower but when they go you are left with a pot of dark green leathery leaves.  Some people have the knowledge to keep them going, not us.  However having spent the winter on the kitchen window sill look what has happened.

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Miracle orchid

All in all with one thing and another it’s been a funny old year so far.  Before December we thought we had sold our property and bought a new one but it all fell through.  Just before ‘lockdown’ the original buyers came back with an offer as they had now sold their place.  We excepted.  Sadly the house we were buying has since been sold.  We are in a situation where we, due to restrictions, can not look at other properties but at sometime in the next couple of months could find ourselves being homeless!  The future looks, er, ‘interesting’!

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The ‘lockdown room’. After 30 years this could be our last spring here

22 thoughts on “Surprise Blooms

  1. Sounds like your Mrs H is like my Mrs H – hates indoor plants but loves anything outdoors. Strange creatures women. They’ll never be understood by men. Sorry to read you’re between a rock and a hard place with your house. I’m amazed anyone ever gets to move given the chain of events that has to all come together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful surprises!

    Well, the realtors here are getting creative in how they show homes, so hopefully, they are there too, and you’re going to find something you love in the time you need it, and not be homeless since it sounds as if you’re going to sell your house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe this time, though we haven’t heard anything for a few weeks and these are strange times.
      We check out properties on the ‘net but it’s not the same as being there and weighing up pros and cons. Also there have been very few new on the market since we last looked but hopefully something will turn up we like.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda and I are absolutely horrible at flowers and we always make fun that any plants we pick up at the local nursery leave the store screaming for someone to save them – those that do make it to bloom have to be guarded 24×7 from the local wildlife. good thing we are not Dutch ha. Best of luck on the house situation – not sure what your laws are over there, but hopefully it will all turn out for the better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spent a fortune over the years at nurseries just to kill our purchases!
      Our house sale laws are that up to the point of exchange of contracts any party can withdraw from the deal with no penalty. This is what happened last time and we had to pay our solicitor in full for all the work done (nearly £1k). After exchange any party that withdraws are then responsible for fees incurred by the others in the ‘chain’. It’s been a few weeks since the new offer was excepted and solicitor informed and we have not heard anything so at the moment we are totally in the dark!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Best wishes from a person who had experienced the home sale Hell and being homeless. I was lucky on both fronts even though the house sale took 5 years and 7 representatives to actually sell the darn thing. Took it in the shorts bad!! The landscaping was beautiful ( I don’t kill plants, in fact they seem to pop out of the ground if I just walk past, cool talent unless they are weeds….😬). Best wishes to find the prefect fit for you and Mrs H. 30 years is a long time in one place. I have never lasted that long anywhere or with anybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CJ. When restrictions ease hopefully more properties might come on the market. We always said if we could take our home and put it in town in our preferred area we would, but we can’t, so it’s difficult to find somewhere just right. Living out in the middle of nowhere is fine when you are younger but there comes a time when you realise it has it’s drawbacks. I don’t much like towns but a quiet area on the edge will suffice I guess. All the places we have viewed have needed work inside and out, it’s looking for the best deal so we could probably employ someone to do a lot of the heavy work, I ain’t gettin’ any younger!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Brian, for an absolutely lovely springtime post! All of the flowers are wonderful!
    I have two certified “brown thumbs” but I married a gardening genius. Very smart of me.

    Not to worry about the house situation. I’m a firm believer in “one window closes, another opens”. Things will work in your favor. And what a great opportunity a move will be for renewal.

    All here is good. We are abiding by the rules and maintaining one alligator-length apart from other humans at all times. Of course, where we go, most normal humans would not!

    All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad everything is ok at your end Wally. May I suggest two alligator lengths from alligators? 😉
      Meeting people is not much of a problem in our favoured habitats, in fact if folk see me they tend to keep well away! (don’t understand why, must be the smell)
      All quiet on the house front at the moment due to this virus thingy but we will keep looking.
      Stay well.

      Liked by 1 person

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