Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Seven!

Welcome back! Two Rounds to go!

Here are the answers to Round Six – The Missing Letters Round!

Give yourself one point for each correct answer

  1. AZALEA Loved by Victorians
  2. IRIS Someone over the rainbow (Greek Goddess of the Rainbow)
  3. PETUNIA A good hanging (Hanging basket plant)
  4. DAISY Lawn pest
  5. PRIMROSE Vulgar? (Primula vulgaris)
  6. JASMINE A Disney Princess (no, I didn’t know either!)
  7. HYACINTH A Bouquet? (Keeping Up Appearances?)
  8. LILY Savage (Paul O’Grady – Lily Savage)
  9. VIOLET Ultra? (Ultra Violet)
  10. POPPY To Remember (Remembrance Day symbol)

Round Seven – Multiple Choice!

Choose the correct answer to these ten questions.

One point for each correct answer

  1. From where do Amaryllis bulbs originate?
    a. South America
    b. South Africa
    c. South Korea
    d. South Sudan
  2. Traditionally, white chess pieces are made from which wood?
    a. Ash
    b. Plane
    c. Holly
    d. Chestnut
  3. In England, a Yule log is traditionally Oak. What is it in Scotland?
    a. Pine
    b. Birch
    c. Rowan
    d. Elm
  4. Which is the most popular type of tree sold at Christmas in the UK?
    a. Norway Spruce
    b. Fraser Fir
    c. Nordmann Fir
    d. Scots Pine
  5. Bedford Fillbasket, Cromwell and Wellington are all types of what?
    a. Cabbage
    b. Carrot
    c. Parsnip
    d. Brussel Sprout
  6. What type of bedding plant can survive the cold months?
    a. Petunia
    b. Pansy
    c. Begonia
    d. Lobelia
  7. The leaves and flowers of the Christmas Bush are often used for decoration in which country at Christmas?
    a. Sweden
    b. The USA
    c. Denmark
    d. Australia
  8. Which spice is added to oranges to provide a pleasant smelling Christmas decoration?
    a. Cardamom
    b. Clove
    c. Cinnamon
    d. Carraway
  9. In 1841, Prince Albert erected the first Christmas tree at which Royal residence?
    a. Windsor Castle
    b. Buckingham Palace
    c. Sandringham
    d. Kensington Palace
  10. Mistletoe is a type of what?
    a. Parasite
    b. Epiphyte
    c. Allotrope
    d. Heliotrope

Round Seven answers and the FINAL Round Eight questions will be here on Monday.

Good Luck!

Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Six!

How are you doing with the quiz so far? Hope you are enjoying the challenge! Three more rounds to go!

Here are the answers to Round Five, the Second Picture Round (Slightly More Difficult!)

Give yourself two points for each correct common name, three points for each correct Latin name and five points for both!

From top left to bottom right:

  1. Widow Iris – Iris tuberosa
  2. Pincushion Protea – Leucospermum cordifolium
  3. Hyacinth Bean – Lablab purpureus
  4. Night Phlox – Zaluzianskya ovata
  5. Canary Island Geranium – Geranium palmatum
  6. Chicory – Cichorium intybus
  7. Viper’s Bugloss – Echium vulgare
  8. Bergamot/Bee Balm – Monarda didyma
  9. Leopard’s Bane – Doronicum orientale
  10. Coneflower/ Black-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia laciniata
  11. Arizona beggarticks – Bidens aurea
  12. Perennial Sunflower – Helianthus

Round Six – A Flower By Any Other Name!

Each of the following cryptic clues is a word that is both a flower and a female name

One point for each correct answer

  1. _ _ _ L _ _ Loved by Victorians
  2. _ R _ _ Someone over the rainbow
  3. _ _ T _ _ _ _ A good hanging
  4. _ A _ _ _ Lawn pest
  5. _ _ _ M _ _ _ _ Vulgar?
  6. _ _ _ M _ _ _ A Disney Princess
  7. _ _ _ C _ _ _ _ A Bouquet?
  8. _ _ L _ Savage
  9. _ _ _ L _ _ Ultra?
  10. _ O _ _ _ To Remember

Round Six answers and Round Seven questions here on Friday.

Good Luck!

Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Five!

Welcome Back! Hope you are enjoying the quiz. I know some of the questions are real stinkers but there’s no point if it’s too easy!

Here are the answers to Round Four – the General Knowledge Round: Give yourself one point for each correct answer

  1. What name is given to the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower composed of an anther and filament? Stamen
  2. Which small flower, usually with 5 blue or purple petals, is associated with freemasonry? Forget-me-not
  3. What flower did the Victorians call a gillyflower? Carnation or Clove Pink
  4. The anniversary of which prime minister’s death is commemorated in the U.K. as Primrose Day? Benjamin Disraeli
  5. Which blue flower of the genus Veronica is also the name of the ship which was to accompany the Mayflower with the Pilgrim Fathers? Speedwell
  6. The fleur-de-lys is what type of flower? Lily
  7. Which flower according to legend bloomed everywhere that lord Buddha walked? Lotus
  8. Which plant with red leaves gets its common name from the first American Minister to Mexico? Poinsettia
  9. Which daisy-like flower, the national flower of Mexico, gets its name from an 18th century Swedish Botanist? Dahlia
  10. Azaleas are flowering shrubs in which genus? Rhododendron

Round Five – Second Picture Round (Slightly more difficult!)

Top left to bottom right, identify the flowers in the pictures.

Two points for the common name, three points for the Latin name, five points for both!

The answers to Round Five and questions for Round Six will be here on Wednesday.

Good Luck!

Six on Saturday

My six this week are the few interesting things left to show you without having to describe how dreary and dead most things have become. It really has been wet!

The very last flower of Tulbaghia violacea enjoying the relative warmth of the greenhouse. Unfortunately, the confined space causes the garlicky onion smell to hit me as I open the door!

Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’ struggling to open its last flower of the year. A most impressive performance as it has been going strong since early May.

The bronzed foliage of Trachelospermum jasminoides caused by the cold weather, Evergreen it might be, but it does struggle to hold on to its leaves over winter.

Something about this picture unsettles me. It is probably nothing to worry about but uninvited and unexplained fungi is something I have never been comfortable with!

Signs of new and better life to come. I still get excited about new growth on old friends.

This little forest of self sown Cerinthe major purpurascens is totally hardy despite its glaucus foliage and is perfect for pollinators. Big Bumbles particularly love it.

Senecio leucostachys

This is an extraordinary plant. Given by a friend, I thought it would die in my sticky clay but it thrives and hacking it back only invigorates it. Pretty white flowers in May and June, nice!

Have a great weekend

David

Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Four!

Welcome back to Round Four. Glad you are still with us!

Firstly, here are the answers to Round Three, the First Picture Round!

Give yourself one point for each correct common name, two points for each correct Latin name, and three points for both!

Top left to bottom right:

  1. Tobacco Plant – Nicotiana mutabilis
  2. Globe Thistle – Echinops ritro
  3. Leopard Lily – Belamcanda chinensis
  4. Pale Purple Coneflower – Echinacea pallida
  5. Regal Lily – Lilium regale
  6. Maltese Cross – Lychnis chalcedonica
  7. Gentian Sage – Salvia patens
  8. Morning Glory – Ipomea tricolor
  9. Crow Garlic – Allium vineale
  10. Spanish Flag – Ipomea lobata
  11. Climbing Snapdragon – Either: Maurandella antirrhiniflora / Maurandya barclayana / Asarina scandens
  12. White Lace Flower – Orlaya grandiflora

Round Four – General Knowledge

One point for each correct answer

  1. What name is given to the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower composed of an anther and filament?
  2. Which small flower, usually with 5 blue or purple petals, is associated with freemasonry?
  3. What flower did the Victorians call a gillyflower?
  4. The anniversary of which prime ministers death is commemorated in the U.K. as Primrose Day?
  5. Which blue flower of the genus Veronica is also the name of the ship which accompanied the Mayflower with the Pilgrim Fathers?
  6. The fleur-de-lys is what type of flower?
  7. Which flower according to legend bloomed everywhere that lord Buddha walked?
  8. Which plant with red leaves gets its common name from the first American Minister to Mexico?
  9. Which daisy-like flower, the national flower of Mexico, gets its name from an 18th century Swedish Botanist?
  10. Azaleas are flowering shrubs in which genus?

The answers to Round Four and questions for Round Five will be here on Monday.

Good Luck!

Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Three!

Welcome back for round three!

First, the answers to Round Two, the Cryptic Clues. Give yourself one point for each correct answer.

1. Musical instrument (5) Viola

2. Bovine takes a tumble (7) Cowslip

3. They seek him here – they seek him there (7,9) Scarlet Pimpernel

4. Evergreen drink (9) Hollyhock

5. She’s close to her pupil (4) Iris

6. The Universe as an ordered whole (6) Cosmos

7. A new one sweeps clean (5) Broom

8. Is it found at the Forge? (3,3,5) Red Hot Poker

9. Enclosure in criminal court for prisoner (4) Dock

10. Having a right ding dong in the Emerald Isle (5,2,7) Bells of Ireland

Round Three – First Picture Round

Top left to bottom right, identify the flowers. One point for the common name, two points for the Latin name, three points for both!

Round Three answers and Round Four questions will be here on Friday.

Good luck!

Xmas Quiz 2020 – Round Two!

Welcome Back!

I’m glad the tricky first round of anagrams didn’t put you off! From the feedback I received from some of you, I seem to have set the bar quite high. However, when you see the answers I am sure you will agree that they weren’t really that difficult!

Here are the answers:

  1. pansies suit crocus (of a pheasant) Narcissus poeticus (Pheasant Eye)
  2. I burn brighter berries (prickly) Berberis thunbergii
  3. ant creosote (winter berries) Cotoneaster
  4. no play huts (not primroses) Polyanthus
  5. nesta, joke and weep (invasive) Japanese Knotweed
  6. a balanced, cosy chinchilla (Malteser?) Lychnis chalcedonica alba (Maltese Cross)
  7. fruitier soluble goulash (Corsica?) Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican Hellebore)
  8. aerial storm (of Peru?) Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lilly)
  9. Ooh heck, Alan (hummocks) Hakonechloa
  10. unhurt barnacle busters (commonly a drunken sailor?) Centranthus ruber albus (The white version of Red Valerian but has the common names of Drunken Sailor as well as Bouncing Bess for some obscure reason!)

Round Two – Cryptic Clues

The answer to each of these clues is the name of a wild flower or garden plant – (number in brackets is letters in each word).

One point for each correct answer

1. Musical instrument (5)

2. Bovine takes a tumble (7)

3. They seek him here – they seek him there (7,9)

4. Evergreen drink (9)

5. She’s close to her pupil (4)

6. The Universe as an ordered whole (6)

7. A new one sweeps clean (5)

8. Is it found at the Forge? (3,3,5)

9. Enclosure in criminal court for prisoner (4)

10. Having a right ding dong in the Emerald Isle (5,2,7)

Round Two answers and Round Three questions will be here on Wednesday.

Good luck!

Six on Saturday

It is getting more difficult to find six interesting things to feature on Saturday at this time of year, particularly when it is cold and wet. However, there is always something going on so here goes.

This little delicate Pelargonium ‘Apple Blossom’ is still going strong although now indoors. It is definitely one of my favourites and may keep going through the winter if I can keep it cool and carefully watered.

Most things in the garden are going to sleep or puckered up with the cold but this Anthemis punctata (I think!) never seems to stop flowering. It seems to be happy in this spot and, apart from a light trim in March, is maintenance free. Like all my grey leaved, sun loving plants, I never water or feed it.

The Blackthorn tree at the end of the road is once again laden with sloes, although only at the top where the local foragers have been unable to reach. The blackbirds will demolish them in double quick time. I notice that people on forums are noticing an absence of birds feeding in their gardens at the moment due to nature’s current bounty.

Frost on the sedums last week.

This gorgeous Salvia patens ‘Cambridge Blue’ is flowering again! This time in the greenhouse but still remarkably late.

Finally, the cold frame is now full of young plants which will hunker down for the winter and burst into life next year to fill gaps, replace losses and fill the sales tables at gardening club meetings…if we ever have any!

Have a great weekend and why not have a bash at the Quiz!

David

Xmas Quiz 2020!

Welcome to the Xmas Quiz!

As an antidote to all the bad news and bad weather, I thought we could have a bit of festive fun and test your knowledge (and your memory!).

There will be several rounds over the next three weeks including straightforward questions, multiple choice, anagrams, “Who / What am I?”, picture identification, cryptic clues and more. Do as many or as few as you like. Dip in and out. Take it seriously or do it just for fun.

Jot down your answers on a piece of paper and check them against the answers I provide a few days later. Keep your score for each round and let me know the total at the end of the quiz.

I can’t hand out prizes due to the current restrictions but I promise to drink to your health!

I make no apology that the questions are at the tougher end of the horticultural spectrum but I know how clever you are and you wouldn’t want it too easy!

Open to everyone. Followers of my blog will get a notification, Cottage Garden Society members will get an email or a WhatsApp message and it will be posted on our Facebook page for others to join in.

Every three days, I will leave the answers to the previous round and set the questions for the next round.

Round One – AnagramsName that plant or flower

One point for each correct answer

  1. pansies suit crocus (of a pheasant)
  2. I burn brighter berries (prickly)
  3. ant creosote (winter berries)
  4. no play huts (not primroses)
  5. nesta, joke and weep (invasive)
  6. a balanced, cosy chinchilla (Malteser?)
  7. fruitier soluble goulash (of Corsica?)
  8. aerial storm (of Peru?)
  9. Ooh heck, Alan (hummocks)
  10. unhurt barnacle busters (commonly a drunken sailor?)

Round one answers and round two questions will be here on Monday.

Have a great weekend and good luck!

David

Six on Saturday

It has been a very cold week in my part of the Cotswolds. Hard frosts followed by glorious blue skies and warm sunshine. I have friends who tell me that’s why they go skiing. I hate the cold and would never go skiing! But I do like frosty mornings and the way plants take on a new look.

Rosa ‘Darcey Bussell’ and Penstemon ‘White Bedder’

Iberis sempervirens and Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’

I popped outside to chase away next door’s cat from my bird feeder and came across this fuchsia which, I readily admit, I had completely overlooked this year. It was hidden by dahlias and agapanthus but was obviously fine with that as it grew into a fine plant which I will endeavour to look after better next year. It was one of a pair that I planted some years ago but is now a singleton. Supposed to be hardy and up to 5′ tall but I have been routinely hacking it back to the ground in my annual February border clearance!

Fuchsia ‘Whiteknights Pearl’

Sometimes, foliage is enough. This is particularly true if it is variegated, evergreen and glossy like this beautiful Osmanthus which is part of the ‘bones’ of the front border and is gently expanding into an attractive and trouble free shrub.

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

I hear from all quarters that it has been an exceptional year for Hesperantha. Gardeners are reporting it to be the best year ever and I must agree, mine have never looked so good.

I know I have mentioned this before, but when it’s as beautiful as this it deserves another plug. Hesperantha coccinea ‘Pink Princess’ is simply gorgeous and is today’s star performer. She shrugs off cold and rain and opens her pretty blush pink flowers as soon as the sun shines. One of this years best buys and will hopefully spread and perform as well as this next year.

Hesperantha coccinea ‘Pink Princess’

I love watching the early morning frost turn to water droplets which hang like pearls on flowers and foliage. These are some examples from Thursday morning.

Salvia ‘Trelissick’ and Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

Photinia ‘Red Robin’ and Euphorbia characias

Poinsettia

A few years ago I gave up on Poinsettias for Xmas. They hate draughts and central heating, are fickle about watering and humidity, and almost always drop their leaves and go leggy by The Big Day and are consigned to the utility room. However, I am weak and prone to whims, so this little beauty found it’s way home with me. Pretty don’t you think? Like someone was painting nearby!

Have a great weekend and stay safe

David