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I didn’t mean to buy them; my brain noticed the sale signs, the mouth sprang into action, the purse was opened and money changed hands before I could intervene. Really, it wasn’t my fault. A two pronged attack, then; start the autumn clear-up, whilst taking stock, noting the bald patches and planting the hardy herbaceous perennials purchased by accident.
Passiflora caerulea (blue passion flower)
Passiflora caerulea (blue passion flower)

I observed in passing that “Mme. Alfred Carrière” is still blooming, the palest of roses, faintly blushed with cheek skin pink against the azure seasonal sky. Not a cloud on any horizon, the climber is both bountiful and beautiful. After an early spring storm tore her from her bonds I gave her a stern pruning, as I’m short and couldn’t reach very high. I can’t swamp the roots with homemade compost or other fertiliser, since the plant is close to the fish pond. Any highly nutritious run-off would trickle down hill to join the residents and thus increase the algae and duck weed, which is prone to invade their sitting room. On such meagre rations, the rose arch has been covered with blossom for the last five months.
Coloured leaves & seed heads
Coloured leaves & seed heads

Compare and contrast with “Souvenir du Dr. Jamain”, which resides six feet (2m) away from Madame. When he performs, he offers deep red roses of jaw dropping glory. I’ve seen the pictures. After heaping helpings of garden goodness and a season notable for near constant rain, mine has squeezed out one bud, which mouldered, rotted and dropped without issue. I am resolved to dole out extra water and compost next year. Also I propose to show his stems my fun loving side, with a pair of sharpened secateurs. Sorry mon fils, you’ve crossed a line and I haven’t the room for slackers.
Mostly Acers
Mostly Acers

I realise that I’ve made an administrative error in allowing Attila to choose the occasional specimen which catches his eye. This seems fair in the light of his more onerous duties, except that his taste is more tarty than mine. He complains that left to my own devices, my borders would be green and white, which is a wild exaggeration. If he were steering the ship, the council would be calling to rein in colour clashes which contravene health and safety legislation. I got off lightly this time, as he picked a Hydrangea petiolaris which should thrive on the back wall and will deck itself in subtle cream petals. En route to installing the plant in the preferred pitch, my arm was grabbed by the hardened steel grasp of Rosa “Hot Chocolate”, which forms a major component of the orange scheme. This left me with thorn inflicted wounds reminiscent of one of the more lurid medieval diseases. I managed to complete my task despite dripping gore over the soil. Not long to go before I’m ensconced before a crackling log fire. If I can avoid injuring myself with a crochet hook, I’ll soon be longing for a return to contact sport.

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