Late November

 Hello m' ginger snaps,

 It may look like I'm moving house, with all the boxes and tissue wrap...but I'm not! The local weather man warned us storm Arwen would bash the UK's South West coast, and it duly arrived on time on Friday night. This was my resulting Saturday morning 'to do' list -

  • Re-oraganise chintzy bone china cups and saucers
  • Go through wardrobe - dig out favourite 'Scandi Noir' jumpers (fill bags for the charity shop - a girl only needs so many winter jumpers)
  • Look through the Alpine Garden Society's seed list - make a 'wish list'
  • Drink lots of tea, using one of said chintzy cups, whilst trying to look moody in Scandi Noir jumper of the day.

Below are cups and saucers from Royal Albert Bone China (1977) Provincial Flowers series. 

They illustrate -

Left:  'Mountain Avens' (Dryas Octopetala), arctic alpine flower

Right:  'Lady's Slipper (Cyprpedium reginae), said to be the rarest orchid in Britain.

 *I can report that morning tea tastes better in the left cup, afternoon tea in the right. *

Whilst rummaging, I found my vintage Swiss brooch, a gift from Ol' Glass Eyed Mumrah. It is a Gentian Violet (Gentiana acaulis), found in European mountain ranges. 'Auculis' means stemless - the flowers appear to sit on top of the leaves. Isn't the colour just gorgeous!?!


I was happy to find that both Dryas octopetala and Gentianas appear on the Alpine Garden Society's 2021 seed list.

Members are able to have a choice of 23 seed packets (all sorted by volunteers), with a 'reserve/ alternate' list, just in case you don't get your first choice.

With such a huge list to get lost in, I am sticking mostly with dwarf Narcissus, Hepaticas and a couple of funny looking plants that I spotted in a AGS Zoom talk by Diana Clement, 'Alpines from Seed' back in February. 

 

Hello winter sun, skirting the orchard wall
 

 

Clerodundrum Trichnotomum berries and bracts, spotted on recent walk

 

Spot the bird of prey, above the car headlight? What is it???
 

Last weekend, I managed to tuck all the succulents into the greenhouse, just before we received our first frosts -

What's that? ...You're welcome, succulents. Didn't want your cockles getting too cold now, did we?!


As recommended by the lovely auburn haired lady at Surreal Succulents, (see Surreal Succulents - Shiver Me Timbers post here) I brought the tender Tabuliforme inside  -

I don't know what these scented carnations out of the patio think they are doing!

Better late than never I suppose 'eh. 


Right, that'll do for today. 

I'm off to chop some local farm veg up ready for a hearty Sunday roast dinner later on. 

Buttery bake tray of Cauliflowers 'Romanesqco' and leeks

Odd shaped parsnips, to be drizzled in honey and roasted.

Pumpkin pots:  Acorn squash (left) and the most  delicious 'Crown Prince' squash


Hope you are well.

Please send gossip if you get chance.

Lulu xXx


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Comments

  1. Hello, Lulu! Can I come round for tea? I'll bring a bottle!
    I love seeing your note book and all your pretties wrapped up. I've a friend who collects those brooches and always send them her way when I find any, they're so sweet!
    How gorgeous does you greenhouse look? I'm glad you managed to get everything safe before the frost arrived. We're currently under about 4inches of snow with it showing no signs of stopping.
    I'm not sure what the bird is in the photo but aren't the clouds gorgeous?
    Have a lovely week! xxx

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    1. Hello, oh yes of course Vix, you're welcome! I don't wear brooches often, but I love the little match stick sized box just as much as the brooch itself. How lovely of you to send them to your collector friend. Brrrr, 4", that sounds cold. I will be over soon to check out your snow. Lulu xXx

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  2. Hello me old Cornish pasty. That china is stunning and I want it... :-) I'm a sucker for a decent cup and saucer. Those succulents are so pretty and mother nature has really outdone herself when she created those beauties.. Gossip.... our fence blew down in the ruddy wind and we are covered in snow...

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    1. Hello m' old fruit gum. You shall to wrestle me for it in the china department! Oh no, poor fence. You have snow too Cherie! I'm coming to see... Lulu xXx

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  3. Dear Lulu
    You've been busy! I am still insulating pots, but the majority are done, just as well as it has turned rather chilly now, hasn't it? The veg looks delicious and I bet it was, too.
    I have dug out my thermals now...(not sure if that counts as gossip!)
    Have a good week
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Hello Ellie, you are good insulating those pots. Better than a hot chocolate. Veg was super delicious thanks. The thermals are out!... well I don't think gossip can get any hotter than that ;) You have a great week too. Lulu xXx

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  4. I hope Storm Arwen didn't do too much damage, but I'm glad you had the foresight of tucking in those lovely succulents before the first frosts arrived. Your greenhouse looks wonderful and well-organized. I am every so slightly envious, particularly as I haven't got the pleasure of owning one, and I definitely would have to move if I were to find space for one.
    How delightful are those bone china cups and saucers! I've got the same Gentian brooch and a baby one too. A friend told me they're 1930s and I hardly dare wearing them in fear of losing them.
    I've no idea what bird of prey it is, but it's magnificent. And I can't get over how amazingly delicious that bake tray of Cauliflower 'Romanesqco' and leeks look!
    Have a great week Lulu! xxx

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    1. Hello Ann, how great that you have the same Gentian Violet brooch!!! Well, I suppose if anyone was going to have one, you would, with your fab brooch collection! Really good to know it may be 1930s. Oooh, the Romanesco was delicious thank you, much crunchier and nuttier than normal cauliflower. Lulu xXx

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  5. Ah a lovely couple of cups there - perfect for a brew, I have heard that lovely bone china cups like these are not a luxury but very relevant and necessary for serious tea drinkers to get the best flavour from their tea at the right temperature. I love your little mountain flower brooch, it's really special - I would wear it pinned to a beret. Your garden looks all tucked up and cosy for the Winter. I don't have many jumpers - as I just found out whilst packing for my trip to Edinburgh - which charity shop did you send yours too? I might need some more...

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    1. Oh yes, thank you Betty, very relevant, necessary and possibly backed up by some obscure scientific paper. I like the beret idea! Can you believe it... I wasn't able to donate my bags to the chazza because it was a 'wet day' ( 'no donations on wet days')!!! So they are still in my boot, waiting for a 'dry day'! :0 Hope you have a fab time in Edinburgh. Lulu xXx

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  6. Yes - my succulents are also tucked up and away from the snow - of which we have had a decent dumping of the white stuff. Gossip? no water in the village - cue panic and closing of school causing loads of working parents an awful lot of bother!
    Stay warm, wear jumpers and drink tea - sounds like a very good mantra 😁

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    1. So glad you got your succulents in before the snow! Hope the village water has been restored, and the schools reopened. 'Working from home' with kids is near impossible :0 A very good 'stay warm' mantra indeed Kate :) Lulu xXx

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  7. Love those fancy cups, they remind me of my grandmother. When we went to visit out would come the fancy, almost delicate, cups and saucers. I think it was the tea that gave her such a long life - she lived to 103! My preference, though, is tea in a white mug. Thanks for the interesting post, all good wishes.

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    1. Hello Mike, well I think your Grandmother must have truly known the secret to life. 103 - amazing!!! Yes, I think I'll drink a bit more tea in bone china! How wonderful that she had visitor cups and saucers, and made a fuss of you. Lulu xXx

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  8. beautiful vintage tea cups!!
    but i miss a pic of you in your scandi noir sweater..... :-D
    the gentian brooch is stunning - and the colour is very realistic actually - i saw a many on my hikes in the alpes.
    alpine plants for the garden sound fabulous! i wish i had the micro climate for them.
    we had a strong frost on saturday and today some snow - but it gets warmer already, so it will not stay. we inspected the trees and scrubs around the garden, making plans for the cuttings in the january/february.......
    stay cozy! xxxxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate :) I shall have to do a Scandi Noir fashion shoot. I am in awe that you've seen Gentian violets in bloom on your Alpes hikes. It will be a first for me growing alpines from seed. They may have to stay in pots, so I can alkaline - up the soil and keep them on the dry side (we have very acidic soil in Cornwall... and lots of rain :0 ). You stay cozy too, Lulu xXx

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  9. You were very astute to plan all these cosy inside activities for Arwen's arrival! I hope she wasn't too mean to you!
    Your Succulents, including the special inside-brought one, are really pretty. OOh, I see that bird of prey but what it is, I do not know!
    Your swiss brooch is really pretty! What a nice present Mumrah brought you!x

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    1. Thank you Kezzie :) The wind was a bit wild, but we were tucked up and warm, unlike the poor folk up t' north with power cuts. Oh dear, succulents are very addictive! The bird or prey did not seem to mind too much about us passing, its beady eyes scanning the grass. Mumrah is the best. Lulu xXx

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  10. That vintage brooch is so beautiful. It's good you were able to prepare everything before stormy weather hit. Your succulents are so lovely. It's good to know they are kept warm. :) I don't have much plants, but I have had some nice surprises from those I have. The little lemon tree I planted last year gave us two lemons recently. I wasn't expecting anything because it's so tiny and small but somehow it managed to grow two nicely sized lemons. I found that one hyacinth sprang under one of my succulents. I totally forgot about it being in that pot (to be honest) and planted the succulent on top. I supposed that it was confused by the warm weather we're been having (lots of rain but no real cold). Now, I removed the succulent and replanted it somewhere else, but I'm not sure should I take the pot with hyacinth inside.We still don't have bellow zero temperatures, so so far I left most of my plants outside. Is it possible that the hyacinth will blossom? Should I move it inside? I don't have much experience gardening.

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    1. Hello Ivana, great to hear from you. Wow, I've always wanted a lemon tree. How great to get lemons in your first year! We have to move citrus trees indoors during winter to get them to happily fruit here in the UK. Judging from your beautiful seascape paintings, I believe you are by the Adriatic Sea in Croatia (?). If so, you'll have a warmer micro climate (unless you live further inland where there are frosts), so it may not be necessary to bring your pots in. Also, it is usually the combination of wet AND cold that kills tender plants off, not just the cold, so if you have a covered balcony, that's a bonus. Hyacinths are really tough. They can handle cold. I would just let it do their thing outside, even if they do get confused by the fluctuations in temperature. There's a very good chance they'll bloom come spring. Lulu xXx

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  11. Why am I a sucker for a pretty broach I will never know my boss gave me one yesterday and it says the future is naps, now that’s what I am talking about! I love China I have a cupboard full of Japanese tea cups and I collect them, some designs are a bit o er missus but I love them all the same.
    I have a real problem with succulents I am a killer but I don’t mean to be! I over water them and kill them that way. And jumpers I love them as well!!

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    1. Hello Allie jane, lovely to hear from you. Yes, love that - the future is naps ! (Actually, I've been zonked out with some non-Covid lurgy, so naps are essential at the moment) The more o er missus the better :) You are being too kind to your succulents, gotta treat them mean ;) Stay warm, Lulu xXx

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  12. Hi Lulu, I’m hoping you came through the storm relatively unscathed. I love the idea of a scandi noir, bird detective who only drinks tea from china cups! I think the mystery bird may well be a buzzard. Your plans for those exquisite vegetables have got me drooling and it’s only 10am! xxx

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    1. Hello Claire, sorry for the delay, I have had a lurgy induced digital wipeout. Ah yes, a buzzard! Thank you, I think you are right. I am surprised it didn't fly off. Must have been some tasty rodent activity on the grass. Veggies for elevses? Lulu xXx

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  13. The last picture is the best ..... with the Crown Prince' squash.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Haddock :) The Crown Prince squash is courtesy of my local farm shop. A very sweet, tasty squash. Delicious chopped up, roasted, then mixed with crumbled feta, pomegranate, toasted pistachios, caramelised red onion, fresh salad leaves, squeeze of lemon - yum! Lulu xXx

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