Rare Breed Pigs, Nose To Toes

Black pig sleeping on straw

Posting a picture always involves looking at it anew, so now I’m confident that though this black pig seems to be asleep, she’s more alert than she appears. She’s got that Sunday feeling: she’s feigning sleep so as not to be bothered.

I have a lot of admiration for the ear that gives her away. It’s got a sci-fi character, it’s streamlined, and it looks perfectly designed for its primary function.

It is hard to place her expression. Continue reading “Rare Breed Pigs, Nose To Toes”

The Art Of Bonsai

Twin trunk style bonsai (Acer buergerianum)
Maple and fern | Mendip Bonsai Studio

Bonsai trees provoke mixed responses, although well grown, they can be as beautiful as one of nature’s giants. This Trident maple (Acer buergerianum), grown in the twin trunk style, is around 120 years old. Its eggcup sized companion is some kind of fern. Techniques to keep plants so small include wiring them into shape, then pruning roots and branches while restricting them to very small containers.

It’s tempting to see them and feel torn. Is it unnatural? If so, is going against nature cruel? Continue reading “The Art Of Bonsai”

Echinacea With Dark Stems (And A Request)

Echinacea Dark Stems

Before I post a flower (almost always) I google it. Then (almost always) I take a minute or so to marvel at the different flower pictures that have appeared in my image search results, listed under the same name. Unusually, I found nothing when searching for the name on the plant label, so I’m not sure if it it was a cultivar name,¬†Echinacea ‘Dark Stems’, or purely descriptive – an unknown pink coneflower with dark stems. Continue reading “Echinacea With Dark Stems (And A Request)”

Decorative Arched Footbridge, Desert Wash, East Ruston, Norfolk

Arched wooden bridge with spiky uprights

While this wooden footbridge prompted my post, I thought I’d add a few words about Old Vicarage Gardens in East Ruston where it can be found. Like many English gardens, it’s a series of themed garden rooms that make the most of micro-climates, both natural and created.

Being close to the North Sea, the garden doesn’t have the arid conditions or unrelenting sun we associate with a desert landscape but yucca, aloe, agave, dasylirion and cactus seem happy there in the Arizona-inspired Desert Wash. Continue reading “Decorative Arched Footbridge, Desert Wash, East Ruston, Norfolk”

Rosa ‘Summer Song’ in a Flower Arrangement

Rosa Summer Song in a flower arrangement
Rosa ‘Summer Song’, allium and lisianthus

Some English Roses are unique in colour and this is one of them. An unusual colour brings challenges describing it. Rosa ‘Summer Song’ used to be ‘a sophisticated shade of orange’, or ‘burnt orange’, but in checking, I note its breeder is now plumping for ‘orange red’.

Rosa ‘Summer Song’ is not a cut flower, but I can see why florists would be drawn to it. Here it is but half open – enough to show the promise inside, but closed enough to last for a few days (with fingers crossed). Continue reading “Rosa ‘Summer Song’ in a Flower Arrangement”