We can't afford to smash a bottle of champagne against the prow of our new porch to declare it officially open, so just imagine video hos twerking in a semicircle to celebrate the occasion.
Unlike those other bloggy people who pretend they love working together as part of their particular romantic coupley brand, R and I usually end up at each others' throats in the course of practical projects, due to our shall we say conflicting modi. I am proud to report that nobody died during this one, but I feel it was more of a fluke than personal progress. I'm sure plenty of people still got to hear me losing my shit at crucial moments as they walked their dogs past the site.
This structure was necessary due to a month of downpours and high winds robbing us of our treasured purple bird plum, which provided shelter to this spot before keeling over toward the house one morning during a gale, almost taking the aviary with it. It was gut-wrenching to have to cut it down and we will miss the yearly blossom spectacle horribly.
You don't really think about that as you're amassing a collection of tiny little baby plants; the Aloe alooides in the centre of the above image used to fit in the palm of my hand. Now it could scoop the brains from ten craniums at once with its monstrous extremities, if it were so inclined. If you want to save yourself some hard choices, be wiser than me- take a rational moment in the midst of your compulsive acquisition to wonder about ultimate sizes and where all that arrant vegetation is going to live, long-term.
Half an acre and a knack for building awkward polycarbonate structures mean I can flip moderation the bird for a few more years. Here are some of the fruits of those happenings.
The incredibly luscious, neon-emerald velveteen of Tibouchina 'Moonstruck's foliage. I planted the darker purple variety out last year but it shit itself over winter, so I'll keep this guy potted. Tibouchinas are super-draggy in flower but I don't accept that there's such a thing as bad-taste plants.
Below: the lovely silver and indigo stylings of Salvia discolor. It's a brittle, slightly awkward plant but the near-perpetual flowering and scent of blackcurrant cordial pleases me greatly.
With the newish potted garden out the front of the house, I've been getting into Salvia in a big fucking way. These are a selection of the earliest flowering wee jamensis and microphylla hybrids; there are red and yellow varieties just coming on. I have other larger species, including the obscenely green involcruta below left, but they're generally more of a midsummer-autumn thing.
Ambridge Rose: one of the pretty bloody wimpy DA roses I've rescued from very moderate competition in the general garden. Its revival from a single cane is more tribute to the quality of the graft than the plant itself. I persist with this variety because the colour is lovely and the scent is a truely delicious hardcore myrrh. Wish I knew how to quit you.
Notice the ye olde wrought iron fence panel in the background- that's new too. We bought some online a while back that looked like they were probably yoinked out of some Victorian grave somewhere and painted them up to put up along the front garden. Hot tip: paint your rusty iron panels before you attach them to a fence over a 15 foot drop.
The very gratifying Urospermum dalechampii, the Golden Fleece Daisy. The foliage is dandylionsque and the leaves you see at right belong to an unrelated nearby sage. It's supposedly a pest in some places but guess how many shits I give.
Below: much excite-, the slow unfurling of Arisaema speciosa, the Beautiful Arisaema. After getting a bit too fucking optimistic and planting out the Aroids I had amassed, then losing the poor little buggers to our wet winters, I decided to try again and stick to pot culture. This guy is the first one up. I will post more pics when the other species do something interesting.