Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Garden Mysteries

When this pot full of primroses stopped blooming in the spring, I left it on the back patio, beneath a plant stand, where it's basically been fending for itself. I was surprised to see the other day that it's blooming again, as are some yellow primroses in a hanging basket on our walnut tree. Durable little devils! It doesn't seem like a great time to be flowering -- there don't seem to be many pollinators around -- but who am I to question the cycles of nature?

Primroses have been around a long time. I guess they know what they're doing.

Here are my newly repotted foxgloves, now with room to keep growing before being planted out in the garden in early spring.

I haven't got a clue what this is. It grew in the pot holding our passionflower vine, and at first I thought it was just borage. But the leaves have a slightly different look and it has a stalk, whereas borage grows as a rosette from the ground. I'm waiting to see what it becomes!

The pops and crackles of Bonfire Night fireworks have been audible for the past several evenings. Fortunately Olga, unlike many dogs, doesn't seem all that bothered by them. Last night was the big event, celebrating the failure of a group of plotters -- including the infamous Guy Fawkes -- to blow up Parliament in the early 1600s. We didn't actually see any fireworks, but I heard a ruckus next door at Mrs. Kravitz's so I think she had some kind of back-garden celebration.


  1. Your mystery plant looks very similar to the foxgloves! Mine are about the same size as yours, still 4 in 2 large pots where they will stay until the spring.
    Good to know that Olga isn't bothered with is distressing to see a dog that is frightened. The yorkie that used to live here was. She would head for the downstairs toilet and cower in there as it is in the middle of the house. I would put her bed in there and she felt safer I think. Alexi growled a bit last night when he heard a slight bang, but hoping it just stays that way. Luckily not had any really close ones. Enjoy the sunshine today!

  2. "Who am I to question the cycles of nature?"...Mickey Mouse? Saint Thérèse of Lisieux? Dick Dastardly?...I give up.

  3. Your Primrose are beautiful. I do hope you will bring them inside before it is too cold. I'm not sure what the mystery plant is, so I'll be interested to see it when it gets bigger. My Pogo is okay with the fireworks as long as they are not too close to us. Then I cuddle him close and turn up the TV. It seems to help. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  4. The leaves on the mystery plant look like the primroses to me but the stalk? Don't know.
    I have two different plant ID apps on my phone and neither one is exactly great.
    It's just so...British...that something which happened over four-hundred years ago is still the basis for an annual celebration.

  5. I was given a primrose for my birthday once & planted it in the bed that we put the daisies in. You may recall that the daisies totally overtook that bed, but the primrose gamely came up every year & bloomed :)

  6. the leaves of the mystery plant look like the foxgloves to me. primroses are annuals here, our summers are just too hot. Minnie hates fireworks or anything that even sounds like fireworks. even a distant pop of a gun will send her running to the back door to be let in.

  7. Primroses are tough. I wonder how much this has ti do with climate change?

  8. I was visiting London at this time of year about 15 years ago and I remember seeing (and hearing) all the fireworks and celebrations. In fact, that was the time I visited Wales and on the late night train ride back to London, I could see fireworks in the distance all the way back.
    Those are some hardy plants, blooming in November. Maybe they like a bit of chill in the air.

  9. Your plants all look very healthy. Perhaps London's damp climate contributes to that.

  10. I adore primroses. I don't know why. Why are any flowers more beautiful to us than any others? I don't know. Primroses are perennials here but only bloom in spring.

    I'm glad Olga isn't bothered by fireworks.

  11. the Primrose looks so similar to African violets. One being a houseplant and the other, well, as we can see, thrives out of doors.

    Glad your pooch is not disturbed by the fireworks and noise. So many are. I'm not a dog, but I know the sound of fireworks drives ME up a wall! I know some places do 'silent' ones, but I've not yet experienced this.

  12. Very pretty. I hate firework noise and my cats never liked it either. Olga is a very hearty dog.

  13. Frances: Similar, but even the foxgloves don't have such a prominent stalk. Not until they flower, anyway.

    YP: St. Thérèse of Lisieux is my drag name. How did you know?

    Sabine: That is a VERY good guess! It might be. We have comfrey in our garden that's supposed to be seed-sterile, so it shouldn't be reseeding anywhere. But Mrs. Kravitz had some wild comfrey next door. It could very well be that.

    Edna: I believe I've left our primroses outside in winters past and they do fine. London never gets super-cold, unlike New England or the northern USA.

    Ms Moon: The primrose leaves are shinier and the mystery plants are softer and fuzzier. Hmmmm...

    Bug: They really are very hardy. We put some in the wildflower bed and they came up this spring and bloomed, but since then the wildflower bed has become a thicket, and I wonder if they've been smothered. We'll find out in a few months!

    Ellen: They DO look foxglove-ish, but foxgloves, like borage, form a rosette and not a stalk (until they bloom). It's the stalk that has me stumped.

    Red: I think they've always been a persistent plant here in England. Wild ones come up in the cemetery every spring.

    Sharon: What a cool train ride! Yes, I think primroses DO like chilly weather.

    Catalyst: There's a reason it's been called a "green and pleasant land"!

    Jenny-O: I like them too. I think part of the appeal is that, like petunias, they come in such an incredible variety.

    Tara: That's true, they DO look a bit like African violets. I never thought of that!

    E: Yeah, cats can definitely be skittish about loud noises. I remember mine never liked them either.

  14. Definitely climate change..they think that it is spring....