Pandemic diary 40: Faun-tastic Day!

It's been quite the nature day today, although I've seen it through heavy-lidded eyes because after saying my sleep was ok yesterday, I slept fitfully (if at all) last night. Just surfacing from a long nap. Also I just realised it should be flora-tastic not fauna but the Haircut One Hundred pun doesn't work that way so, yeah, sod it.

Picture post ahead… the screamers are because I am amazed!!!

Excuse the typos, I'm too tired to proofread.

Seeds are go!

This morning I noticed that my free seeds from Sustainable Life, planted on 14th April, had finally started to sprout. The dill and coriander (for humans) and nasturtium, borage and English marigolds (for the rabbit) are on their way.

Tree tour is go!

At 3pm I went to an online tree identification tour, again Sustainable Life, which looked at idents for hawthorn, goat willow, Norway maple, rowan, elder, oak and others along the 'other side' of the River Rea Route. Some eejit has planted an avocado tree. Keep it native, people! This is how gorse took over New Zealand iirc. Is this a sign of the dreaded gentrification of Stirchley?

They are running more online events via their FB page. Recommend. They also offer free seeds if you want to have a go yourself.

Rhubarb giveaway is go!

I hate rhubarb but there is a legacy monster rhubarb plant on my allotment so every year I give it away so it can get a prune. Last year someone (Anne!) made me some gin, which was actually a way I can 'eat' rhubarb. This year, a few people have offered to come and collect some from the doorstep. I've put out five bundles – about 15 stalks – and they've all gone. I like to think people are making rhubarb crumble with it this weekend. There'll be more in a week or two when the other stalks fill out a bit.

I may not like the 'barb but it does look lush!

Mistletoe cactus gets a haircut!

I inherited this houseplant from my Mum and she had it back in the 80s. I never really thought about houseplants living for DECADES but here it is and it's about 2m high.

It lives on the highest bookshelf in the living room but has now shifted to the bathroom (Pete lockdown activity) where I gave it a haircut – so many dead strands and split ends on the underside of this.

Thanks to neighbour Sarah on Instagram for identifying it as a Rhipsalis or mistletoe cactus. We just called it Old Gregg (Mighty Boost ref). Doesn't it look good!

Houseplants go in the shower!

Pete, for his lockdown strategy and also missing jigsaw piece hunt, cleaned the living room from top to bottom – and that meant the dusty houseplants went in the bath for a hose down. Makes the bathroom look quite tropical, I think.

Bonsai back from the dead!

On a friends' WhatsApp group, Camilla offered a bonsai that was about to be composted to see if anyone else wanted a go at rearing it. I got a delivery a couple of weeks ago and gave it a massive drink by immersing it in water. This week it got the same, plus a feed. It's lovely to see all the shoots on it. I am patting myself on the back for this as I have previously killed off a bonsai through neglect.

New cherry tree is alive!

My work clients are lovely. I've had an 'Endless Summer' surf film poster from one as a Christmas present, now hanging in the hallway. And the other sent me a bare root tree in the post for my birthday. Yes, a tree. In a big cardboard box. It's a double cherry tree 'Stella and Morello', small enough for containers, but I wanted to put it in the ground. It arrived as a big double twig but has now started sprouting leaves. Can't quite believe I didn't kill it.

Firethorn is glorious in golden hour!

My garden plant of the week this week – the yellow firethorn / pyracantha – is about to hand over the title to a ceanothus but, as it sheds its yellow flowers all over the lawn, here it is again making one last glorious show of colour at sunset this evening.

Farewell great firethorn, another inherited plant from my green-fingered Mum.

Thanks Fat Fluffs! Fame at last!

The sound of me laughing probably echoed around B30 this morning as I clicked on the new Fat Fluffs website, which has been a long time in coming and is finally here. And who should be there in all our dorky glory, the poster boy and girl for future volunteers, but me and Pete. Laugh away. I did!

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]