Friday, 15 January 2010

The Spirit of...

Erysimum Bowles’ Mauve!! Still blooming as it appears again from under the carpet of snow that has lasted 4 weeks. Having faced temperatures of at least -12C, I’d say this perennial wallflower is worthy of an RHS medal for its spirit! It doesn't have one :-(

I'd like to wish a Happy Bloom Day to all celebrating flowering plants (especially those of spirit) with Carol on the 15th of this month :-D



The Spirit of 1940 is worth celebrating too and that’s exactly what the Television Channel Yesterday is doing. Being screened tonight on Sky 537, Virgin 203, Freeview 12 at 5pm. They also have a blog and some threads on a forum too.

The first programme covers Ration Book Britain and will have TV chef Valentine Warner cooking up some meals too. I know I’m a bit tight for time posting this but it is also repeated later on Sky 538 at 6pm, Sky 537 at 9pm and Sky 538 at 10pm.


Growing fruit and veg to supply food for your family is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world but back in 1940 it was absolutely necessary. I wonder if your relatives have shared any stories with you? Perhaps you’ve seen photos?

If you’d like to share any stories and photos the programme would love to hear from you as they are trying to collate as many memories as possible of life during the Second World War - not just gardening ones.

I’ve been having some interesting chat with the toddler in the photo opposite – my Mum. I intend coming back to this with a posting.


Meantime, let’s celebrate the past and present together through the power of the internet, YouTube and some original footage from the Ministry of Information. Gosh… would they ever have believed it would be shown 70 years later like this? Enjoy…



It’s almost the weekend, rain is expected here. Whoopee!! Wishing you the weather you would like for this weekend :-D


The wallflower photo was taken on January 15th 2010. Please do not copy the Black and White scanned photo taken around 1935.

21 comments:

patientgardener said...

The only plus side of this snow is that I have had Fieldfares, Redwings and a Brambling in my garden. Have to say I am looking forward to the rain to get rid of the snow now

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - like you I was amazed today walking around a rather soggy melting garden to discover all those things that have been coming along under the snow... many bulbs already pushing through the soil - I love Erysimum - such a wonderful plant! Enjoy your week Mx

Anna said...

That wallflower is a real good doer Shirl. Had one once upon a time - must seek a replacement :)

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I love the picture of your Mom! Will wait for your post...

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Love that Erysimum - I took cuttings from one last year and have just checked on them in the greenhouse.

Back to wet wales here - hope your thaw continues.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow it is amazing that you have something blooming outside. Glad to hear your area is thawing out.

Penny Reeves said...

I always think Bowles Mauve is such a good plant to have in the garden - we had one at our last place, and it just went on and on. At the moment in our garden here the only thing flowering is a pink hebe - the snow and ice did for the fuchias and everthing else, even the winter jasmine, sadly. Roll on Spring!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Now I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can see how my 'Bowles Mauve' is doing. I hope I didn't step on it when I was brushing snow off the conifers. We're supposed to get a big thaw this weekend.

ShySongbird said...

I seem to have missed commenting on your last few (brilliant as always) posts Shirl but I really have enjoyed them all, I had the perennial Wallflower but unfortunately it failed after two years...my fault, I'm sure!

It was lovely to see the Tree Sparrows on a previous post, I haven't seen any here since I was a child. I also loved seeing the female Blackcap photos, I have caught glimpses in my garden but this year she has eluded my camera so far!

I also loved the look back to your Summer garden visit, what a lovely reminder of better days and clearly a very nice place to go.

I hope your snow gets washed away soon, ours has just about gone at last and now it rains and rains and...oh well!

Have a good Sunday Shirl and stay warm and dry, I hope all is well with you and the family.

Chookie said...

I've been pondering the Dig for Victory video, and wondering about the soil. It has to be cut up with a spade, yet it looks dry as dust (in Great Britain?) and appears not to contain any organic matter. What on earth is it, apart from 'dirt'?

shirl said...

Hi Helen, I agree completely. Wow… that is a collection... I’d particularly love to see a Brambling visit my feeder.

LOL… for once the rain is popular! I was looking for it too and it hasn’t half shifted the snow. Still some larger piles around but great to see green again :-D

shirl said...

Hi Miranda, yes I finally discovered some bulbs peeking through yesterday too. How quickly the seasons move on.

Yep… I never thought a wallflower would make it into my top ten. Thanks, wishing you a good week too :-D

shirl said...

Hi Anna, it certainly appears so doesn’t it? Fingers crossed it will survive the rest of what winter throws at it.

Definitely worth replacing! If I do lose these plants I will do the same and take plenty of cuttings this time :-D

shirl said...

Hi Tatyana, thanks, it is sweet isn’t it. She’s looking through old photos and I’ll post once she’s done. She’s looking for a particular one :-D

shirl said...

Hi Karen, yep me too now. Yes, I remember you saying you took cuttings. Guessing they are happy in your greenhouse. Look forward to seeing pics in the future ;-)

Yep, we’ve had rain here too but the sun is managing burst too. Ah… now should we brace ourselves for more snow? Hope not :-o

shirl said...

Hi Lisa, I totally agree! This plant was already on the list of ‘would it survive a winter in Scotland’ but it has faced one of the worst in temps for many years. If it gets hard frosts now without its snow blanket it might not be so lucky.

Thanks, the thaw is ongoing with just the larger piles of snow to shift now. Hope we don’t get more to follow! Hope your garden is faring okay at the moment with your colder than usual temps too. Stay warm :-D

shirl said...

Hi Penny, yes, this plant does seem to get praise from everyone. I am so glad I have tried it out. Now, your hebe seriously surprises me!

A number of years ago we had very cold temps (without a snow covering at the time) and it wiped out all my hebes here… even the ones taken as cuttings from my first garden :-( I always had hebes before that. I never risk them now except for the low growing pagii. Another lovely plant that’s great for bees. I miss it.

What a shame you’ve lost flowers from your Jasmine. One surprise for me was all the berries that were left on the lower branches of my small pendulus cotoneaster tree have been hit too… they are all black now.

I’m not too much in a hurry for Spring yet. I like to have the rest period for a while before it all kicks of in the garden for another year :-D

shirl said...

Hi MMD, I bet you can’t. Ah yes… its easy to squish things unintentionally when snow covers the garden. If I remember correctly this is a new plant for you too.

Hope you got your predicated thaw and it didn’t do or reveal too much damage :-)

shirl said...

Hi Jan, time passes, it’s easy to do particularly when you read posts on a phone like I often do and then intend leaving a comment when next on the PC… but you forget. Sorry, I’ve done that with you a few times. Thanks for your generous comment :-D

Pity you lost your wallflower, perhaps different varieties aren’t as hardy. The jury is still out on this one. It escaped cold temps as it was under a snow duvet I’m quite sure. Without that now perhaps it won’t be so lucky.

Glad you enjoyed seeing the Tree sparrow and it brought back memories for you. This was a first for us and always special. You have some wonderful ‘through a window’ photos of visitors to your garden. Perhaps you’ll get the female with your camera yet.

Oh… you’ve no idea (well perhaps you have) how much I enjoyed sorting out my photos of Culross Palace Gardens and remembered details of our visit :-D

Thanks, the snow is vanishing pretty fast with the exception of the larger ‘shirl made’ piles scattered around ;-) LOL… for the moment I have welcomed the rain. It’s not been too bad though and we have spells of blue skies and sunshine too :-D

Thanks, we did have a ‘slow’ but productive Sunday! Hope you had a good one too :-D

Thanks, at this minute C is sitting her first Uni exam after being unwell so fingers crossed it goes okay for her. She is ‘mega’ nervous and stressed about this one far less the big one on Thursday. Hopefully she’ll get a good sound sleep for a couple of hours this afternoon to recharge herself :-D

shirl said...

Hi Chookie, yes I agree it does look quite dry doesn’t it. Dirt is a very apt description :-)

I don’t know how your soil compares across Australia. Perhaps Sydney gardens have a different soil that those in Perth?

Here, in Britain it varies a great deal from very, very free draining sandy stony soils to sticky thick clay soils you can get your boots stuck in. The colour varies considerably too. As you’d expect many gardeners face challenges in growing the plants they want to and need to add to their soil to improve its structure.

We are lucky here with a nice dark brown loam soil that holds water enough and drains away well too :-D

donna said...

The black and white photo of your mum is adorable. You mention the photo being from 1935. I was born in 1948, so your mother is not all that much older than I am.

You have an interesting blog and I'm glad I stopped in for a visit.

donna