Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Feathers and Geraniums

Remember V.V. Rouleaux, the tassels and trimmings shop I blogged about last year? Back then it was covered with colorful ribbons. Well, I happened upon it during my walk through Marylebone on Saturday, and this year, it's covered in red feathers!

Even more interesting, it's not the only feather-cloaked shop on the street. Clearly there's a theme going on here...

An interesting idea, and definitely eye-catching!

I did some research on our geraniums yesterday. They're looking terrible -- many of their leaves have dropped off and the ones that still exist are curling and mottled. At first I thought they had a fungal disease, like rust, but actually I think they have oedema, which apparently occurs when a fleshy plant (like a geranium) gets too much water. The leaves develop fluid blisters, which create yellow spots on top of the leaf and brown nodes beneath. That's exactly what's happened to ours.

The geraniums sat next to the tomato plant all summer, and it required watering almost daily. When we watered the tomato, we also watered the geraniums. Aha!

I'm hoping they recover if we let them dry out some and give them an airier, more open and sunny environment next spring.


  1. Water boarding geraniums! You Yanks are cruel b******s!

  2. My mother referred to herself as Mrs. Black Thumb for precisely this reason: Overwatering would eventually lead to plant stress or death...

  3. We don't have buildings like that in Alberta, what fun it would be if we did. Just dropping in to let you know, that I enjoy your blog very much,I love your photos. When I am having a very bad day, sometimes, I come just to feed the fish! Calming. You can try and save the plants, but sometimes it is better to start over with new and healthy.

  4. Feathered buildings? Who does that?! Jesus. The man hours or woman hours must have been tremendous.

  5. feathers? seems like a strong wind would do them in but it is fun to look at. I've never had geraniums so can't help you there but it seems like just letting it dry out would help tremendously.

  6. Feathered shop fronts? Must be a fly-by-night outfit :)

  7. I cannot raise geraniums. I gave up rather than frustrate myself. Good luck with yours.

  8. What a bit of joy those bright colors bring to the street.

  9. Mike really has to watch himself or he overwaters our geraniums too. You can hear Pinky saying, "Oh no, not the watering man again!" And speaking of her, earlier this fall Mike put some fertilizer in her pot. And now she's in the bedroom. Guess what happens when he waters? Peee-ewwww! Ah well, it can't last forever, can it?

  10. At first glance at that first photo, I thought you had converted to black and white with only the red showing. That red pops out so brilliantly and the lady in the red coat adds to the effect. That is quite a place. I need to put it on my list of places to visit the next time I visit London. I may have walked by it when I was there this fall. I spent some time at the BBC Headquarters and from there I walked over to the Wallace Collection and since this place is in a path between the two, I might have walked by and not noticed it. It's very eye catching and it's even better with the cafe and the clothing store participating too.

  11. We have a few featherly decorated shops here too. I wonder if it's a marketing thing by a chain. Never mind. Looks lovely.

    We just ignore the geraniums from about the end of Oct. onwards - they are now hibernating in their window boxes in the basement, where it is cold and no sunlight (but daylight). No watering and no attention until March or so. They have survived several winters beautifully.

  12. The geranium discussion is very timely for me - we were given a pot of mixed plants in early summer and as I was going to put it on the compost on the weekend I saw that the geranium was still green on the bottom half. I hadn't figured out what to do with it over the winter but Sabine saved me an internet search - thanks, Sabine.

    I hope those are fake feathers! There's always some new marketing scheme every year, it seems.

  13. What happens to the feathers when it rains? Besides getting wet?

  14. YP: 'Murika!

    E: I always thought outdoor plants were somewhat immune from overwatering -- that water there would just drain away or evaporate, particularly if the plant was sitting in direct sun. But in this case the plants were gradually overshadowed by the tomato, so they couldn't benefit from enough sunlight and air flow.

    Wenda: Thanks so much for visiting! I love that little fish gizmo. I've had it on my blog for years. It IS calming!

    Ms Moon: Yeah, I don't know exactly how they did it. I'm sure there's a secret. It's a cool effect, though!

    Ellen: I think they're attached pretty securely!

    Shooting: HA!

    Red: We've had success in past years but we just got too crazy with the water. They need bright sunlight and somewhat dry conditions.

    Catalyst: Aren't they great? I love the idea and that several shops cooperated.

    Bug: We never fertilize ours. Maybe we should. (In the spring, when they're outside!)

    Sharon: It seems like a very cool store, though I've never been inside. You were indeed fairly close on your walk!

    Sabine: I don't think it's a chain -- the businesses, in this case, seem to different to share a common owner. But maybe they're sharing ideas across Europe! Your geranium method is interesting -- I've read that some people take them out of their pots, wrap them in paper and leave them dormant for the winter before replanting them. We don't go that far, but we'll cut back on water and let them rest as best we can.

    Jenny-O: I think the feathers are quite real!

    A: I don't think anything. I didn't see any evidence of running dye or anything like that. If Rouleaux spearheaded this effort, they're probably very good quality feathers that can withstand a few months outdoors.