The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection

Small flowered daffodils

My sweetheart was sorry to hear that his affable gardening friend Ralph Sowell of Jackson, Mississippi, had died and, because his printing company’s property was to be repurposed, his raised beds brimming with many dozens of award-winning daffodils and hybrid daylilies had to go.

It turned out that the garden needed to be emptied more quickly than expected, and unfortunately the daffodils were at the peak of bloom or just about to flower. Bulbs physically empty out when they produce flowers and need a few weeks of sunlight energy hitting the growing leaves to re-fatten for next season. The size and diversity of Ralph’s collection added an extra challenge. Continue reading “The Last Days of Ebullient Ralph Sowell’s Daffodil Collection”

Bramble or Blackberry: Would a Fruit by Any Name Taste as Sweet?

Bramble leaves can turn red in autumn

If you want to know the difference between a bramble and a blackberry, you’ll find various definitions online:

  • A bramble is a blackberry and vice versa.
  • Blackberry is the fruit and bramble the bush.
  • Bramble is wild (Rubus vulgaris) and blackberry (Rubus fruiticosus) is cultivated.
  • Bramble is the northern name and blackberry the southern.
  • A bramble is any rough, tangled, prickly shrub, usually in the genus Rubus.
  • Some people combine the two to specify the type of fruit: blackberry bramble, raspberry bramble, loganberry bramble.

Continue reading “Bramble or Blackberry: Would a Fruit by Any Name Taste as Sweet?”

Santa Rita Garden, Painting With Wine and Just Asking

Santa Rita Living La Vida 120 Garden
Award-winning drought resistant garden

Some of you may remember seeing the Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show a few years ago. Alan Rudden’s design won a Gold medal and Best World Garden. Boldly coloured burnt-yellow steel feature walls, chunky gabion walls of bright rough stone and seven pollarded strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) were memorable features. Continue reading “Santa Rita Garden, Painting With Wine and Just Asking”

Edible Plants

Purple apple
Purple apple

If I suddenly had to survive by foraging alone, though I have some knowledge of plants, I’m not sure I’d last long, especially if the whole of the country was foraging too. While one man’s meat is another man’s poison, anyone with an apple tree would surely be thinking themselves lucky. Continue reading “Edible Plants”