As in Magnolia Stellata
As in Magnolia Stellata
After a run in with the five verses of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ with the East Bristol Chorus on Sunday, I’m a bit off traditional greenery. On the other hand, the camelia I’ve been pampering since last spring has repayed my care by flowering right now and so I’ve moved it to the front door where it makes as cheery a sight as any holly wreath. I’m just a bit worried what will happen when the promised snow arrives.
For another non-traditional approach, sci-fi lovers, or anyone looking for a laugh, might like to hop across to Jonathan Pinnock’s Write Stuff and follow the links to a free short story by Toby Frost called ‘The Celery and the Ivy.’
Has a certain ring, don’t you think?
Last night I watched The Constant Gardener which I enjoyed for its langorous pace, great photography, and the appearance of the inimitable Ralph Fiennes. I am actually a very inconstant gardener, but a quiet Sunday was a chance to make good.
In fact after several weeks of neglect and some typically English weather (rain, sun, rain, sun, rain) my own patch is absolutely flourishing: things are blooming that have never bloomed before; things are growing that have never grown before. Well, that’s what I thought, but with the test match (good grief, when did I get interested in cricket?) ticking along on Radio 5, I thought I would take a closer look, and all was not as it seemed. My roses, coming to the end of a second flush, are under attack from all kinds of worms, visible and otherwise. A magnolia growing to a fine stature turns out to have leaves reduced to a filigree by unknown predators. In between all of this mayhem, weeds and brambles are taking hold.
It took about an hour to to clear out a lot of undergrowth and sprinkle around some noxious blue pellets. Job done, at least until a gardening friend can advise on my sick roses.
Can I find some way of making this a reflection on writing? Aha, got it! Gardens, if left to their own devices, will usually grow. Novels, on the other hand, stay just as you left them. Or is that a good thing?
I’m always disappointed when my garden does no more than reflect my own sporadic efforts , but it’s all the more gratifying when something turns out right, especially today when I am nursing a minor writing bruise in the form of a rejection (complimentary but still a rejection) from a well-known writing project.
Not the biggest bloom in the world, but one dear to my heart as the plant has suffered a few setbacks, not least when a hanging basket fell onto it in a high wind.
So hurrah for unexpected success - may it be a sign of things to come. And thanks to camelia lovers everywhere (you know who you are!)