Another dismal and dour and dreary and dank and drizzly day yesterday. Yet more time in the greenhouse. I sowed chilli and sweet pepper seeds, cucumber and ten of my precious Echium pininana. A friend gave me an echium plant a couple of years ago after I saw them growing in Cornwall. Ridiculously tall, with their awe inspiring tower of blue flowers they were, to me, the ultimate must have. I’m afraid to say, I drooled. They are biennials and my poor, doomed one year old succumbed during it’s first winter. RIP. The same friend has now sown some more seed for me (probably whilst mumbling something rude about my echium raising shortcomings) but I bought some seed myself to try to prove that I too can grow these amazing plants.
I do like an auricula. I do, I do, I do. And as I walked into the greenhouse today this cheered me up no end:
This particular plant is old. It was growing in the garden of a cottage that my partner and I moved into in 2005 and it was old then. For reasons I forget, it had to be moved and so I popped it into a pot and mistreated it terribly. Tucked away behind the garden shed for most of the year, I would grab it as soon as it flowered, whip off any unsightly yellowing leaves and put it centre stage on a sill by the garden gate. When it had finished, I’d stuff it back behind the shed without so much as a thank you – after snapping off a couple of offsets and planting them up.
This winter though it has lived the life of Riley. Toasty and dry in the Priory greenhouse, watered carefully (so as not to splosh water all over the leaves – they hate that) it and all it’s offspring look in fine fettle and are producing lots of bud.
Perhaps next year I’ll make a small auricula theatre at the Priory so that I can share their beauty with others and it isn’t confined to my glass lair (STAFF ONLY).