Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The Brown House Garden - 2



Hostas enjoy the cool, north-facing Well-yard, at the back of the house - and slugs and snails are foiled by growing them in pots and chimney-pots. The Early Purple Orchids in the trough seeded themselves in and have mutiplied over the years with no human intervention.
Cardiocrinum giganteum is certainly an exotic inhabitant of The Brown House Garden. It's waxy cream trumpets give off a heady perfume which fills the Well-yard on warm summer evenings. We had one plant, a few years since, which reached 9 feet, but this year it's flowering at only about four feet. The plants die after flowering, but leave off-set bulbils which, given time, will themselves flower.

3 comments:

Atticus said...

I am impressed by your Cardiocrinum giganteum. What a big-hearted plant! I must get one for our garden some time.

billo said...

C, are you ever going to write of yourself again? What on earth happened to the seventies..you never got that far in the story. anyway, I hope you go back to the earlier days. Tell me the story about the dancer again.

are you coming down to Londonistan?

Celia said...

Atticus: that plant is a bit of a teaser. People tell you that it needs massive feeding (a dead sheep under it is recommended by Cumbrians, apparently.) Others say that it if you grow it from seeds or bulbils it'll take seven years to flower. All I know is that it came here as a young plant from a friend and flowered within about two years. After that, it seems to come up and flower every year, quite of its own accord, sometimes flowering at a vast height, sometimes, like this year, quite modestly. The scent is exquisite. Why not give it a go?

And Billo - sometimes just focussing on NOW is hard enough, without dwelling on the 70's! But my association with Ram Gopal (can't believe how forgotten he is nowadays - he was toute la rage of London in the 50's)did indeed result in some curious incidents. Did I tell you about the day I was detailed to attend him while he went to a hatter in the Brompton road to order a new Astrakhan hat ( Nehru, style)? Why my advice was considered useful or necessary I never found out but I was paid profound respect at the hatters and the hat, when finally made, was pronounced the best ever. (Hey, did I miss my vocation??)There was also the day when great publicity surrounded a visit to be made to Ram's Brompton Square flat by the great Margot Fonteyn. The recipe for the chicken curry he was going to serve was published in advance in the Evening News. Come the day, I was sent out to the International Stores (also in Brimpton Road) to buy a chicken. When said chicken had been cooking for about four hours, Ram thought to ask me what sort of chicekn, exactly, I'd bought. Well, it being due to be boild, I'd purchased a broiler, of course - and a particularly tough and intransigent bird it turned out to be. With the ETA of the guest bearing down on us, I was sent out again for the correct sort of chicken, and lunch was served a little late.I was too overwhelmed at the proximity of the great dancer herself to say much - I didn't feel that my three years at Sadlers Wells Ballet School would have impressed her much - and anyway by then I was learning Indian dancing with Ram.

I'll be in Londonistan in about two weeks time - hope to see you then.