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We all love

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Whatever you

   Say about my 

New plant

Astilbe

    Your friend.

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Ancient Gardener's World

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I was thinking tonight (as a gardener) about the history of gardening.

A watering can is the gardener's friend, and I wondered about watering cans in the archeological record. Here's a handsome example from the ill-fated Herculaneum.


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Disbelief

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Bloke down the pub said he built a skyscraper with a thousand floors. I thought, that’s a tall storey.

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Futurologist

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I predicted my business would make money and it did; a kind of self-fulfilling profit, see.

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Sniffle ergo sum

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Why did Descartes get through so many hankies? Because he had a Rene nose!

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Famous Names

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In a list of the most influential French people I’d put Descartes before Dior.

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Solution to Geometric Problem

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Brain Transplant

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I was going to get a brain transplant, but I changed my mind.

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Bucket List

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  • Livestock Bucket.
  • Ice Bucket.
  • Mop Bucket.
  • Bucket.
  • Commercial Mop Bucket.
  • Car Washing Bucket.
  • Ash Bucket.
  • Industrial Pail.

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Dad Joke

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 28 May 2021, 22:37

Q. Why are pollen and nectar the absolute best?

A. Because they are the bee’s needs!

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Restlessness

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Benny Andersen was a popular Danish poet I recently came across. I rather like his witty verses. Here’s the first verse of Restlessness, translated from the Danish by Michael Goldman.

My suitcase opens wide imploring                             
Feed me                                                                      
fill me with socks
stuff me with shirts and underwear
fatten me with folded things
load me with longings and a shaving kit
I beg you
give me one more chance
to be tumbled around in trunks
relegated to backseats
treated like a dog on conveyor belts
let me be emptied
put through customs
and refilled
with dirty socks
half-emptied bottles
abducted ashtrays
let my contents spill out onto foreign sheets
hang on interesting hangers
plop in bidets with a guttural accent.

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A Geometric Problem - Given the angle A is 60 degrees...

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 28 May 2021, 01:47


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We'll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 25 May 2021, 23:52

We'll gather lilacs in the spring again
And walk together down a shady lane
Until our hearts have learned to sing again
When you come home once more

https://youtu.be/T29bxIh_krI


My fellow gardner sent me a photo – is this lilac? It smells lovely – I thought yes but uploaded it to Name This Plant, Microsoft's visual search on Bing, and it came back with Syringa. But a little more digging revealed that is indeed lilac, which is one of about a dozen plant species in the Syringa genus. It originates in the Balkan and the Greek name is paschalia, to do with Easter; pascal is derived from pascha = passover.

The name lilac ultimately stems from Persian nil = blue, which has a variant form nilak, and it has reached us via French < Spanish < Arabic. This made me think of the colour eau-de-nil ("water of the Nile"); could there be a connection.

Well perhaps. The Romans and Greeks called it Nilus and Νιελος, but beyond that the source is very uncertain. However, one possible root that's been suggested is indeed nil, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile#Etymology_and_names




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The First Rose of Summer

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The first rose appeared today and it's a beauty.


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Start-up of an unusual kind

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A Unique Business

We offer a hairdressing service and also a private detective agency.

Visit shirley.combs.co.uk

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Epitaph for a Chicken

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I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE IT

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The neglected garden

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My garden is so overgrown

Nothing there but tall ferns

Which the occasional bear visits.

Everything’s gone to bracken and bruin.

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My Chair

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 23 May 2021, 23:03

My chair

Always complains when I sit on it

I don’t know why 

I’ve done it a thousand times before

Perhaps it’s lonely.

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News From the Wildflower Meadow

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 23 May 2021, 10:00

We've been working hard to create a pocket wildflower meadow on the front lawn. There are a few introduced species; for example Snake's Head Fritillaries and Cyclamens; but also a whole mix of weeds that grow naturally round here. The latter are all wildflowers though, so we will manage rather than remove them. I counted at least 12 flower species on the go last week, not including grasses. We are adding to the variety and have recently put in some plugs of Yellow Rattle, and we shall plant more plugs in the autumn.

We decided we needed a 'cultivated corridor', a mown passage, to get more easily to the herb trough (that you can just see to the right of the path toward the end, but also to show a balance between management and nature.

We hope this little wildflower meadow will please the eye and provide an environment in which our all-important poillinators will flourish.


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What our book club is reading

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I’ve read it before but not for many years, and I once saw it performed live.

Now rereading it, I see what an extraordinary and unique piece of work it is. Whatever could have put this into Shakespeare’s mind? And humour is not often durable, but the rustic players in Act 3, Scene 1 made me laugh aloud; it’s still very funny after 500 years.


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A stunning poem by Cavafy

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AIMILIANOS MONAI, ALEXANDRIAN, A.D. 628–655, epitaph

Out of talk, appearance, and manners
I will make an excellent suit of armor;
and in this way I will face malicious people
without feeling the slightest fear or weakness.
They will try to injure me. But of those
who come near me none will know
where to find my wounds, my vulnerable places,
under the deceptions that will cover me.
So boasted Aimilianos Monai.
One wonders if he ever made that suit of armor.
In any case, he did not wear it long.
At the age of twenty-seven, he died in Sicily.


Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Thursday, 20 May 2021, 01:35)
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The Geometry of Salad

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Denys Watkins-Pitchford's Motto

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When I was very young, I have been told, I was sick down the back of Denys Watkins-Pitchford, a friend of my father. Watkins-Pitchford was an artist and an author of children's books, writing as 'BB' but illustrating them under his true name. His books are less well-known now, but perhaps worth a revival.

At the front of every book BB included his motto, which his father had recorded from a tombstone in the north country apparently.

The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power,
The shapes of things,
Their colours, lights and shades,
These I saw.
Look ye also while life lasts.
I had fogotten this but was reminded when our little book club picked 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' for the next read, and that got me thinking about fairies and then other beings from folklore. I was reminded of 'The Little Grey Men', a story about the last four gnomes in Britain. Then, 70 years ago, we were susceptible to the sadness of this fact, and we'd heard of the fate of the Dodo, but we didn't really register how many non-fantasy species we will probably end up driving to extinction.


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The Hawthorn Tree

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As I was coming home tonight, I photographed this hawthorn tree at the end of my road.


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Blank verse

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