Turn up the heat – the response!

Had a lovely reply from DT Brown today, it went as follows:

Dear Mr Simpson,                                                                                                                 I’m down on my knees, how silly of us, 200 degrees!                                                         Was it the printer or was it just missed                                                                                   It could be the designer who had a slight lisp.                                                                       Your email has given us all a big laugh and therefore I  say on all our behalf               However it happened we really are sorry                                                                             And am sending a packet that will cost you no lolly.

Regards                                                                                                                              Deb Nicholls

It just goes to show that even in big business there is a place for humour and time to have a laugh!

Thanks Deb. You made my day!

Plucky Perennials

This is Lychnis chalcedonica ‘Dusky Salmon’, a lovely early long flowering perennial with strong upright stems and gorgeous pinky salmon cross shaped flowers hence it’s common name of Maltese Cross or Jerusalem Cross.

It produces masses of seed and I decided to sow some fresh in early October to see if it would germinate. As you can see, it did, all of it!

At the same time I sowed a few Galega officinalis ‘Alba’, another hardy perennial and a member of the vetch family. It too germinated easily straight from the seed pod.

How wonderful nature is! It never ceases to amaze me!

Plant of the day

There are so many beautiful flowers in the garden at the moment but my plant of the day today is the dainty Gaura lindheimeri. There are many white and pink forms of Gaura and I have both but prefer the tall, plain white variety called ‘Whirling Butterflies’ because of it’s simplicity and visibility. Sitting here in my kitchen I can see the plant gently waving it’s wiry stems covered in small white butterfly shaped flowers a good 20 metres away.It seems to like my alkaline clay soil and grows up to 150cm high in full sun and, being on the edge of the footpath, is much admired by passers-by. The pink flowerbuds start opening progressively in June and continue up the lengthening stem into autumn with the last few at the tips still around in November. No scent unfortunately, but you can’t have everything!

I find Gaura to be quite hardy here but it is so easy to grow from seed that it wouldn’t matter if you lost some in a cold winter. They flower in their first year and grow into a good sized clump if they are happy. They seem to work well in a mixed border and act as a foil for other bolder colours and leaf forms. They don’t need deadheading and I wouldn’t be without them.


I am madly saving seeds at the moment to send off to the Cottage Garden Society for their annual Seed Exchange. The organiser wants them by 30 Sept but it has been such a mild, wet summer that most are still not ripe or dry. However, sometimes I find the seed pods as beautiful as the flowers themselves. Take Canna iridiflora for instance, first the flower:

And then the equally pretty seed pods swell, darken and burst with ‘Indian Shot’

And in the case of the enormous and beautiful Castor Oil Plant, Ricinus communis, as well as having fantastic dark reddish green foliage, it produces some fairly insignificant flowers

followed by these brightly coloured seed pods the size of chestnuts!

Seed pods of Ricinus communis ‘Impala’