Six on Saturday 23.3.19

I have been too busy to blog recently, which has been a shame, but today all I have to do is nurse my hangover and take my daughter ice skating this afternoon. Not the ideal combination, but it could be worse. Any old how, there are lots of things to get excited about, so let’s get on with it.


  1. I love an Agave. They are big and spiky though. In my naivety three year’s ago, I bought three big ones which have outgrown their space in a client’s garden, with painful consequences. They are being rehoused and replaced by this, Agave victoria reginae, a much slower growing, beautifully striated one. Rubbish photo, sorry.


2. Muscari are everywhere and very nice they are too, but they leave a mess of foliage behind them which is a bit of an eyesore. Muscari latifolium (broad leaved) doesn’t. I have loved having this in a pot near my front door.


3. So many Narcissus, but what is your favourite? For me, it has to be the dive bombing squadron of cyclamineus. I just love their neatness.


4. One of the things I have been busy with is Ready, Steady, Grow!  the mission to get 500 Walthamstow residents growing annuals from seed. I have been into schools, sheltered accommodation (pictured) markets, street corners and will be going to a madrassa next weekend. Accosting people in the street and asking them whether they want my seed has had its moments, but when properly explained, the response has been very positive! We are holding an event on 13-14th July in a community garden where everyone who has grown will display their plants.


5. Street planters. These featured a little while back and are now starting to fill up with plants. I am hoping that two of them will be big and architectural (Miscanthus, Cynara, Eleagnus Quicksilver, Perovskia) while the other one will be woodland edge (Fuchsia riccartonii, Corylus purpurea, Salix Nancy Saunders, Aquiliga). So far, so good in terms of  litter, plants going missing, damage.

6. Pond. With the help of The Wildlife Trust, the RHS and the Walthamstow Village Residents’ Association, we have nearly finished the pond and bog garden in St Mary’s. It is massive! Well bigger than I thought it was going to be. A toad has already moved in. We were lucky that recent rains have filled it nearly to the brim with rainwater (channelled via our water butts). I love staring at the reflections.

The things I learnt are: think hard about hiding the liner (we didn’t), work on levels and drainage before you start digging, be prepared to deal with a lot of spoil. I am sure that the pond will have phases of murk and goo before it finds a balance. There will be weed. There will be rampant plant growth. I am gong to need to put waders on my birthday list.

12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 23.3.19

  1. You’ve been busy. I can imagine the odd looks regarding the seed! Ponds do take a while to settle. Great to have a toad take up residence already.

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  2. That agave is a good choice for those who like agaves but do not want the problems associated with them. It is much more proportionate to limited space, and is more tolerant to (somewhat) rainier climates. The big agaves can get quite sloppy with too much water. My colleague down South still grows pups from a very crowded colony of Agave americana at the former home of Ricardo Montalban. They had been exquisite for decades, but what a mess by the time he got there! They are nasty to work with!


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