Sunday, 25 May 2014

Blue period


John just posted up a picture of a fabulous Laburnum tree in full blossom, and it reminded me that I took this picture of the blue bush at The Bell recently. I am not competing with him, honest.

I don't know what this bush/shrub is called, but I am sure one of you will tell me. There is a period of Springtime when the predominant colour is a fabulous blue, thanks to these plants, Bluebells, Wisteria  and a few others. I think of it as the 'blue period'.

There used to be a good example of this at IFORD MANOR! (just wondering what's happened to the Hattatts - they've gone a bit quiet recently), and we enjoyed looking at it along with the Wisteria every Spring, but since last year, it hasn't been there.

Knowing that plants don't normally get up and walk away, I am guessing that it has been deliberately uprooted, which is a bit of a shame. I think I might know the person who did this too, so maybe he had his reasons and I could ask him.

People moan about British weather, but I don't think I could happily live in a country which does not have four definable seasons. Shivering your wet arse off for nine months of the year is almost worth it just for Springtime, even if you shiver it off for the remaining three months as well.

It's all relative. I worked in Florida during the sweltering Summer, then went back in January to finish the job, when the temperature had dropped to a pleasant 70 degrees. Everyone was wandering around shivering and clutching themselves with both arms. Ironically, I was there to build a massive fireplace, and I wondered why they would need one at all in Florida, even in the 'Winter'.

Egypt is another country where nothing much changes, and the Spring is only evident by the meagre blossom on the palm trees.

When I was there, everybody was terrified about the Secret Police - they probably still are - and the Secret Policemen could be spotted a mile away in a crowd, even though they wore civilian clothing.

The clothing they wore was identical to each other's and they always walked in pairs. It consisted of a thick, tweed overcoat and a woollen bobble-hat.

It would have been startling enough to see one person in a crowd wearing this attire in 95 degree heat, but two together was more than a coincidence.

32 comments:

  1. It's a ceanothus Tom and they really are beautiful when in full flower. We had four in our garden but, after 27 years, two, that we planted when we first came here, have died ….. most plants don't live forever and there are always casualties. I suspect that the one at Iford Manor had just had it's day. In a way, it's not always a bad thing when an old plant gives up the ghost …. it means that you can plant something else and change the look of your garden.
    Alan Titchmarsh you are not then Tom ? XXXX

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    1. Oh, thanks Jack@. Maybe the Iford one just kicked the bucket then. The only thing that Alan Titchmarsh and me have in common is our universal and inexplicable attraction for women over a certain age.

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  2. I don't know what the plant is but it is beautiful. Lovely colour

    I dream of a med' garden, which I am sure to never have living in England.

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    1. Don't even try in Cornwall, Sol. There aren't enough old English gardens with Hollyhocks around the door as it is. Jack@ says it's a Ceanothus - but that still means nothing to me. If it had a second name, like 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost' has, then that would stick in my mind.

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  3. I think it is what is known as a cuntiniastorus and this one is the perpetually flowering blue sub species, not recurring.

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    1. Ah - the situation is getting contentious. The only thing I know about it is that it does not perpetually flower - only once in the Spring. Is that what you mean by 'perpetually', or am I being thick?

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    2. In that case it must be the cuntiniastorus sub species fuctus minor which only flowers in Spring.

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    4. I removed one because it came out twice, nothing more than that.

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    5. Don't over exert yourself.

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    6. I've just read your last bit of Latin, and now I understand. I tend to glaze over with Latin.

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    7. Reminds of the Monty Python Roman name - Bigus Dickus.

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    8. I only just read this. I saw the "here we go" and thought of a million things to say to you and didn't say any of them. I had to decline the Latin verb fuckto fucktus fucktum in a class of giggling 14 year olds. It has never left me. It seemed to me that Jacqueline could have plucked a name out of the air so that's what I did.

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  4. He He.

    Since all our seasons seem to be merging into one wet chilly number anyway I'd rather it was perpetual summer.

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    1. Yes, that was at the back of my mind when I wrote the above. I was thinking back to my mythical childhood.

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  5. We have one that doesn't flower (or grow). I think the Mem-Sahib planted it in the wrong place; she has notoriously 'black fingers'.

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    1. Shouldn't that be 'brown' fingers? I suppose red might be the opposite of green though.

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  6. I believe the Hattatts are in Rotterdam visiting Madeliefe.

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    1. Are they? Thank you Elaine. Is that Daisy the Deviant Artist?

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  7. How fortunate I don't need to call it an hydrangea, the only blue flowering bush I know. I do like the bicycle parked under it.

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  8. Yes…definitely a ceanothus..we had one for many years and then it breathed its last one winter many years ago…(they do suddenly die) they are flowering particularly well this year..must be the warm winter that we enjoyed.

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  9. Dear Tom,
    it is definitely a ceanothus - the species has up to 50 - 60 sorts of varieties. I saw it first in Edinburgh - in front of mellow-yellow sandstone, and asked around what it is. In Germany it is called Säckelblume, (though it is a big shrub or sometimes a tree) - but you should never call a person a "Säckel" around Stuttgart, never.

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    1. Hehe, I am from Stuttgart, and I fully understand Brigitta's comment. She is a wordly woman!

      But, speaking of plants, how is the world famous nightshade coming along in your 'back garden'?

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    2. What nightshade, and what back garden? Am I becoming forgetful?

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    3. I think that Iris means the night stock that you plant in your window box every year. XXXX

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    4. Ah, I see. It's in flower, but we depend on a warm, East wind to get the benefit from the scent. That's a rare thing in these parts.

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  10. Sure looks like a Ceanothus to me. Here in California we call them Wild Lilacs and they grow into quite large bushes in the coastal areas. Usually bloom in early spring although not as vibrant a blue as yours.
    Speaking of seasons, ours may not be as extreme as elsewhere, but we do have four of them and each is appreciated for its unique values

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