Sunday, May 29, 2022
Well, this happened yesterday -- the first bloom of the season on our Asiatic lily. Looking good! Remember last year, when I kept it indoors and it developed such a terrible case of aphids? Well, this year I've kept it outside in its pot and there are no aphids to be found. Nature strikes a balance.
Our blue lupines (British: lupins) are looking good too.
But the red Beefeater lupine has put up just a single small flower spike -- nothing like the huge flowers we saw the past two years. Maybe I need to put the pot in a sunnier spot. Or maybe the plant is just getting old. Still no blossoms on the pink Rachel de Thame or the yellow lupine, but Rachel has a flower spike so some should be forthcoming.
Speaking of aphids, we usually have a terrible aphid problem on the lupines and I wind up having to clear them manually from the plant with my hands. (Not a pleasant job!) But this year, I haven't seen any. Apparently this has been true all over the UK because of our cold, dry spring. Come to think of it, maybe that's also why there are no aphids on the lily.
Isn't this an exciting blog post?
Well, in order to give you any thrills and chills I'd have to make something up, because yesterday was pretty mellow. Dave was gone almost all day, first getting a blood test and then at a school jazz concert. I spent the morning reading and doing laundry.
Speaking of laundry, I went to the laundromat to pick up our bedsheets, which you may remember I get washed "professionally" because they're too big for our home machine. Well, the woman behind the counter charged me £18, which is £5 more than I usually pay. When I questioned the charge, she pulled out a notebook filled with neat columns of figures and showed me exactly how they arrived at that amount -- £5 for the machines, £2 for soap, etc. Except that the figures clearly added up to £13! She wound up charging me £15 because she said she thought they might have had to use a larger machine and I didn't want to quibble. She said they'd give me a £3 discount on my next load. The whole episode was a head-scratcher.
I took Olga to the cemetery and we had a good walk. The weather was cool and sunny and although Olga seemed content to stick to the paved paths rather than forging through the underbrush, she clearly enjoyed herself. I haven't heard the turaco recently -- not since March. I wonder if it's still around?
Oh, and speaking of exotic birds, I had a conversation with Mrs. Russia upstairs in which she complained about the parakeets on our bird feeder. She says they're too loud. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do about that, aside from not putting out a feeder, and I enjoy the feeders so she's just going to have to deal. The Russians are very persnickety about keeping everything just so. I suspect they think we're slobs.
Here's another thing they don't like -- the way we've allowed the pink valerian to grow out over the front steps. I think it looks charming, but Mrs. Russia said the plants obstruct the path. Her husband is talking about pressure-washing again. (sigh)