Wild, and larger than life – My Mother or Verbascum?

My mother (right) Filming: It was alongside a dis-used Railway embankment in Pencader, Carmarthenshire, where my mother first saw spires of wild Verbascum causing butterfly theatrics around their yellow vertical prongs. So good were they at promoting their presence that nearly all their leaves had gone having had the local slugs and snails over to eat too many times.

I tried to grow them from seed at nearby Aber Gwen Mill but they never germinated.

Now we are a few miles further north at the HoBB, and alongside the Mid Wales Railway Line, we’ve found some more growing and have managed to get their seeds to germinate. Not only do we keep the slugs away from their wonderfully soft leaves but their tall complex seed heads are harvested, dried and bees-wax polished for use in the most spectacular of dried flower displays.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

Picture above : My mother (right) Filming: “The Fasting Girl” (‘Pencader’ Platform)

Stronachullin Topiary

Stronachullin Topiary‘Stronachullin’ is Scottish for ‘Blackthorn’ or ‘Sloe’ and it is also the name given to the West Highland village in Scotland where I once lived and worked. I have worked on topiary projects before but never using ‘Sloe’ and for those that don’t know these trees well, they have thorns that dry and can easily snap off as deep seated splinters – so thick gloves are essential.

The HoBB Garden Sloe Trees are being shaped into irregular ‘blobs’ that have been designed to house two sheltered seating areas facing South. As April arrives each year, these trees fire out their white blossoms ahead of their leaves and at the close of Autumn they fill with the very berries that give Sloe Gin its flavour.

If you are starting a garden and looking for a suitable plant for your own topiary dreams, pick Box, Ivy, Privet, Laurel, Hebe, Hawthorn – anything but Sloe!

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant