Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Disorderly daisies, tall poppies and thrifty gardening

I don't know what you do with flowers that just keep on growing - you can't very well tell them that they are tall enough now and could they please stop or at least slow down - sometimes they just keep on reaching for the stars!  My Shasta daisies are now as tall as I am and are still growing, the only trouble being that they can no longer stand up, even with the assistance of numbers of lengths of string and about half a dozen bamboo poles!  Next year I'll give them a collection of metal hoops to grow through which might work better. I took this photo a week or so ago when they were still relatively upright:

Observant readers will see my runner beans edging in at the right of the photograph. They too are doing well and we have had some delicious beans with our meals lately. Some distance beyond the daisies I have a fine stand of lilac poppies which are really gorgeous:

Both the daisies and the poppies originated in earlier gardens I've tended, from which I've taken rootlets and seeds. What wealth there is everywhere for the price of a little attention and forethought! No one minds; every garden always produces far more plant growth than it can contain, which often just gets thrown out!  Almost the entire garden here is populated from just such origins, so I am always happy to give away my surplus, or to try to persuade friends and family that they have just the place where something from my garden would thrive.

Sometimes I even go to the trouble of planting my surplus in other people's gardens myself: this summer I put in a new front garden for my landlord next door while he and his wife were away, as it took less energy to do so than to go on looking at what had been languishing there in the previous months. Fortunately Neil and Sue had given me full permission to do what I thought fit and were delighted with the result.  I've also planted a row of koromiko shrubs and native grasses along the far boundary of Harry's flat at the back, also with his and Neil's approval. My latest campaign is to persuade Harry how much more he would enjoy the view from his sitting room if he put in a small garden in front of a painfully plain fence, with the incentive that I always have heaps of plants to spare. So far he has tolerated my suggestions with good humour. Gardening is fun, a great means of social exchange, and a delightful and refreshing view is easily created.

After a  cool damp summer we are now in a hot dry phase, so I'd better go out to water the tomatoes.  No pink cheeks on them yet, but if this weather keeps up they are sure to be ripening soon.
Happy gardening to you all!


penelope said...

Fabulous poppies. Will you keep some seed? I have two shasta daisies and runner beans the size of thumbnail clippings. You must be talking to your plants, or singing.:)

Leigh said...

Penelope, I've put some seed heads in a glass to dry for you. They grow any and everywhere! I have red ones too but they are not so interesting. Needless to say I also have a surplus of Shasta daisies. While I'm not aware of singing to them I certainly dream - I do love the earth, but maybe the roots have fastened on some particularly nourishing manure!