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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Droopy Peonies

We are currently suffering from a nasty case of droopy peonies here at Blighty HQ.

Perhaps I should re-phrase that: my peonies have gone all floppy.  Look.

I must admit I am not really a gardener.  I find it annoying: things won't grow where they are supposed to, and then pop up where they are not meant to be.

And you do a couple of hours weeding, and bingo, you need to do it all over again before you've even had time to get the dirt out from under your fingernails.

Guerrilla pansies, surviving against all odds

No idea what this is but I haven't killed it yet

And the grass. In the summer months it needs mowing every week. This gives rise to the Blighty HQ mowing ritual:
Mr Blighty: I really ought to mow the lawn this weekend.
Mrs Blighty: (pausing briefly to remove her head from her crisp packet) Yes dear.
Mr Blighty: But it might rain. 
Mrs Blighty: It's not raining right now.
Mr Blighty: It looks like there could be a light drizzle.
Mrs Blighty: No, that's just bits of crisp hitting the windows.
Mr Blighty: I haven't really got time to do it now, it's almost lunchtime.
Mrs Blighty: I think you can just about get it done before lunch, dear, it's only 10.15.
Mr Blighty: Well, if it's ok with you, I'll go and do the lawn then.
Mrs Blighty (settling down with the newspaper) Yes dear, what a marvellous idea, DEAR.
Exit Mr Blighty in direction of garden shed.
4 minutes later Mr Blighty re-enters kitchen.
Mr Blighty: Slight problem - I've just realised that Toad is in the Ascendant with a Half Crescent Bagel, while the outlying Moons of Bathmat are orbiting the...
Mr Blighty (in hurt tone): I was just trying to explain that the mower won't start...
I know what this is, it's a...wait a minute, I know this one...

The other thing about gardening is that Grandma Whacker is always being encouraging about it:
Phone rings, it's Grandma.
Grandma: Shall I bring you some rulywumpos and some climbing fingbottles for the terrace? I won't if you don't want me to.
Mrs B: (thinking to herself: Christ, that's the last thing I need) Oh Mummy, how lovely but no thank you, I don't think I'll bother this year, they didn't do very well last year.
Grandma:  Are you sure?  They would look so jolly in pots.
Very bad photos of a muntjac deer in our front garden ( and lovely shot of our bins too).  Muntjac are originally from Asia and started off in a zoo at Wooburn Abbey in the 1900s, escaped and then spread all over the place; they are called ASBO Bambis  - (Anti Social Behaviour Orders given to delinquents)  - they look cute but are very destructive, eating plants, saplings, and they make odd barking noises particularly late at night
Mrs B: Yes, it's not worth it, last year I completely forgot to water them for 4 months which wasn't really a problem as the deer had already chewed off the shoots, and the Boys' Ultimate Tennis finished off what the deer missed, and then what with the slugs, the greenfly and the mixup with the watering can and the weedkiller...
 Grandma: I''ll bring them fact I might get a few hundred more and bring in a lorryload of topsoil.

No idea what these are either but have vague memory of buying them in fit of Garden Centre Madness

 Anyway, I have hiked up my peonies with a stick and some twine.  (Made my eyes water a bit).

Wonder whether stick and twine would work on Mr B and the lawn mower?


  1. Columbine. I can't help you with Mr. B., obviously:).

  2. My thoughts EXACTLY re: gardening Blights!
    And I too have a mother who is INTO gardening in a big way!
    And what is it with Mums and all their good advice?
    How old do we have to be before our Mums let us off the hook with all the smothering mothering?

    Sorry, I think the Bambi is cute rather than pesky - but then you knew I would.

  3. Oh and also, I read that book you recommended - the one up in the Shetland Islands. did you know that your neck of the woods copped a mention?
    Blightyworld is obviously a very premium address what with Babmis and mentions in famous novels.

  4. Dear Mrs Blighty, While I would not seek to defend Mr B's clearly procrastinating behaviour in any way - it can be daunting confronting a lawnmower and an expanse of tall green grass. I had to gird my loins and have a stiff drink prior to mowing my first lawn. Gardening does appear to require a lot of optimism and mulch. You know that Ms FF is going to notice the lack of mulch. Good luck with Mr B and the peonies. Lindaxxx

  5. Oh dear flaccid peonies and feral bambi's. Things have gone steadily downhill post wedding!

  6. The purple flower is called Columbine, and here in the States we just mix a Viagra tablet or two in the water can and it perks those floppy peonies right up!

  7. Blighty...
    we have marauding deer here and they everything that is not behind a 6 foot high fence...they are taking over the area and love peonies and hostas and well everything else...especially roses!

    I have heard of Viagra for droopy tulips so maybe it works on peonies too!
    Let us know if you try that trick what happens!

  8. Cut the peonies and put them in a vase--it's the best part of gardening.

  9. I've got so used to seeing our little Buckinghamshire pocket Muntjaks, that when I saw a REAL PROPER deer the other week I completely freaked out - OMG they're so H-U-G-E!!! I was sure I was going to be crushed to death!

    You can get a sort of frame thing (got mine at Waddeston plant centre) the peony grows through to support them, but I agree with T&C Mom above - cut 'em! xxx

  10. Peonies are prone to having droopy heads - and not behaving particularly nicely in the rain. Which is a shame because rain is pretty much the default weather setting for up here.

    One of these mystery plants is an Aqulilegia (second last photo). Not a clue how to spell it. Also known as Granny's Bonnets. They seed absolutely everywhere so you'll never be without them again.

    I'd cut the peonies and put them in a tasteful display. They'll just get ruined in the rain otherwise.

    Laughed so much at mr Blighty's procrastination that my tummy now hurts. If I burst my stitches it's absolutely your fault :-D

    lots of love

    Ali xxxx


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