Category Archives: Plants

Poppy seed heads

The Drug Baron’s Veg Bed

There are always a heap of weeds in my veg bed, I pull out a lot in the spring but I always leave some of the borage, foxgloves, dandelions and poppies, plus a few edible things that come back every year, and occasional other weeds that look pretty. Pleased with the lack of competition, the chosen few grow into monsters. This year there has been a particularly fine crop of opium poppies, so much so that it is beginning to look like a drug-barons veg bed. There is veg in there somewhere, too. The veg would do better without the weeds, but I have happy bees 🙂

Poppy seed heads

Poppy seed heads

Multi-tasking with Arthur

Multi-Tasking

I am multi-tasking: I am picking black currants, and I am stroking Arthur. This is not the most efficient way to pick black currants, but it makes Arthur happy.

Arthur is also multi-tasking: he is being stroked and he is also being happy. He experimented for a while with the concept of sharpening his claws on my bottom at the same time as the other activities, but my sudden surprised yelps were intended to suggest that this was taking efficiency one step too far.

Multi-tasking with Arthur

Multi-tasking with Arthur

To the Cactus

To the Cactus

Apologies, venerable cactus,
that I do not have time to draw your portrait properly on your day of glory,
but the kitten is eyeing you beadily,
and I have work to do.

So you must return to your safe windowsill,
secure in the knowledge that you have outlived 6 cats already with no comment,
favouring us only with a rare spectacular display
to check that we are still paying attention.

Oh, and that I once spent 3 hours in A&E,
following an incident in which you were not entirely uninvolved.

To the Cactus

To the Cactus

Guarding the Aubergines against the carelessness of one's human

The Vigilant Cat

Do not think that this greenhouse vigil is because it is warm and sunny in here, nor even because of the nice blanket one finds discarded by a careless owner. It is because of the frail and vulnerable Aubergine seedlings that one has discovered yet again stand out here without protection. Two nights ago one’s human forgot them entirely and left them out all night and they almost died, so one has to ask, if one’s human forgets the Aubergines, what else might be forgotten?

Guarding the Aubergines against the carelessness of one's human

Guarding the Aubergines against the carelessness of one’s human

catus interruptus

Catus Interruptus

I thought I would draw something in the garden, so I had settled down to draw the veg patch, with its newly sprouted broad beans and its very fine rhubarb forcer. It is not an easy thing drawing outside in bright sunlight with this phone that I do the drawings on. The surface is too shiny and the brightness of the screen too weak, and it’s all reflections. And cats. It is especially hard to see through cats. And it is especially hard to draw when being circled by a certain orange person who will neither stay still for a portrait nor get out of the actual way. I did my best.

catus interruptus

catus interruptus

Ready for Spring

Spring into Action!

Arthur is ready! Spring is just around the corner. He knows this because he has once again found there are some  small pots of compost which require guarding, and will no doubt become seedlings soon with the proper feline attention.

It is fortunate indeed that the pots seem ideally placed in front of the warm Rayburn for his convenience, because he was busy guarding that, too. One can never be to careful with Rayburns: several hundredweight of hot cast iron is liable to just wander off when nobody is looking.

Ready for Spring

Ready for Spring

The Theory of Brambles 2015

The New Theory of Brambles, 2015

I have a New Theory of Brambles and the pruning thereof. I have had a New Theory approximately once a year for the last six years or so. I am aware of the accepted horticultural Theory of Brambles; I posses a large book on the pruning of things, and I have even read it.

The problem is, the brambles are the wild illiterate boisterous sort, and they have not read the pruning book, hence, about once a year I have a New Theory of Brambles. I cut my brambles according to the current theory, I manage them, often for some months into the growing season, but at some point the Theory breaks down. Every time.

Still, we have a freezer full of blackberries, so I’m not doing too badly. Arthur and Percy have been overseeing the pruning work, they say the Theory is a good one this year.

The Theory of Brambles 2015

The Theory of Brambles 2015