Monday 24 December 2012

12 days of Christmas (aka some things I would like next year please)

Season’s greetings, Happy Christmas happy winter equinox and all that stuff....apologies for being a bad blogger. I continue to wander the garden not much is going on beyond a balance of clearing/tidying and leaving enough debris for overwintering wildlife. I’m also peering at a lot of things as I seemingly want to move everything round as lots of stuff is quite close together. This isn’t quite on the same scale as my textile designer neighbor who plants so densely that his gardener used to despair, however I do need to move things. Any tips on how to move a 15ft Paulownia?
This sums up Christmas at Pankhurst towers...
So it’s the end of the year far I’m only half stuffed...this may be due to Lidl selling out of mini extra butter marzipan stollen, however the Xmas gluttony begins, and a big thank you to my cousin for hosting our family get together yesterday. It was particularly amusing watching his children immediately open their present of face paints from my brother...he had meant this as a time bomb to be opened when he was well clear of the house but he ended up being straight in the line of fire. Unfortunately Lottie’s attempts to make him look like a panda mainly involved smearing his face with black paints leaving him looking like a cross between a black and white minstrel and Diana Ross...

Anyway onto festive stuff and I thought I would come up with my own rendition of the 12 days of Christmas as a I figured Steven is probably still stressing about what to buy me so here is an aspirational list of things anyone can get me for the garden in 2013

On the first day of Christmas my true love bought for me

A parakeet in a Scheffera macrophylla tree: This is still the must have for all tropical garden enthusiasts as it is so tropical looking, unique and rare (I still think you can only get it from Crug for about £100+) I’ve only asked for 1 as I’m not convinced how easy they are to grow...I did have one and used to gaze at its large svelt leaves, however it suddenly died in may a couple of years ago. I also think Will Giles’s one died 1 will be enough, thank you! Parkeet wise I’m also doing ok as they are continuing to spread across the UK and how regular visitor in the garden

2 temple guardians (from Bali) I still swoon for Balinese sculpture and loved their guardians.....failing this I would also settle for a couple of Lions. I think everyone needs a grand entrance....

3 completely hardy Cyathea medularis....the love for tree ferns continues and I have a feeling that my heartbreak this winter will be for killing yet another Cyathea medualris. I think I mainly killed one last year from it drying out, so fingers crossed this year it will survive in the greenhouse. I was also inspired from posts from a Dutch gardener about his surviving outside.

4 huge stone water jars.... you see these all over Asia, huge pots where they would keep water for the house, now mainly decorative....sometimes about 3-6ft tall. I love!

5x 10ft plus Trachycarpus (mixed species) ok ok I already have about 2 large T. 5yrs in the ground one which seems to have suddenly found its stride and is growing 1ft a year, however the other 9 are still small and I am very impatient and need huge forests now! My T. Princepts, nova and others are also still in 2litre pots. Grow my pretties, grow....

6  meter square pond (like Mark and Gaz)....for people who don’t follow their blog they have had an epic project to build a Koi pond which seems almost finished after 18 months??? Of planning and creating....these 2 have the patience of saints, and what promises to be a fabulous pond! So yes if they want to come and build one here that would be great!

£7 (000!) of vouchers for Crug Plants. Still the most exciting nursery around for me, although this year I have also used, and liked, Hart Cannas and Cotswold garden flowers a great deal

8 (00) meters of irrigation system.....I think this could be the way forward as this is the one main thing that could make a huge difference to the garden. However I’m not actually a massive fan of gardens that need lots of water to survive and prefer a balance of plants that can fend for themselves and are just topped up if there is a very dry spell....but I have seen how good irrigation systems reduce the amount of water compared to using a hose. What I love is the work around rain gardens which is where you collect and store rain runoff to reuse with planting that copes with varying conditions. Writing this it looks very simple and sounds like you just need a water butt, but no, look it is exciting gardening developments

9 jars of honey: I had a total of 4.5 jars of honey this year, so 9 would be rather nice next year! This was a bad year for bee keepers and yields of honey in London are down by 80%... So doubling my yield and having my ladies get through winter would be rather nice

10 meters of mature bamboo screening....I saw something recently where someone said bamboos go through a cycle of sulking, rooting and shooting which I can believe as last year they began to look better and I have aspirations for the next year. However 10 more meters of mature 10ft plus screening would be good to hide the neighbors as how can you do nudey sunbathing with all your neighbors watching?

11 meters square of Thai style sala/pavilion complete with hot Thai massage guys and a gamelan orchestra: Well one can dream!
This kind of thing would do just nice...
12 shipping containers of Balinese stuff...and a trip back to Bali to supervise it. Ok so this was number 2, but there is so much stuff in Bali that I like that I need at least 12 shipping containers, the sculpture, carvings, umbrellas, pots, design stuff, banners, wall carvings..I want it all!

All these carvings are just waiting for me in Bali..I want I want I want!

So that is my dream for next year, Steven if you could arrange all that it would be great!

So a ho ho ho to everyone, and I hope your own wish lists come true!