New year, new blog

2013 12 005

It’s not every day you lose your job and your son turns eighteen, but both happened to me on New Year’s Eve 2013, and both managed to be foreseeable and yet shocking (not quite sure how that works, but that’s how it was).

Consequently I now feel it’s time (and now I have time) for a new offspring – Duver Diary.  Nearly nine months gestation, so that’s familiar, but let’s be honest, blogging isn’t, so let’s just get on with post #1 and see how we get along.

The trouble with January is that it’s not the most active in the plant and gardening world, and so thought I’d start with a little scene setting.  The picture above shows a misty December view towards Bembridge, and below, the beach at St Helens, looking towards the ruined St Helens church seamark.  The latter images show the dramatic difference between the 1st and 2nd January this year.  I’ve never seen the waves so high at the beach, and yes, I know the ones in Cornwall and Wales were more impressive, but we’re at the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight for goodness sake, this beach has a whole island protecting it!

Secondly, just so you know this blog is about plants too, see below a handful of photos from a recent trip to Madeira.  It wasn’t actually that sunny there either, but the plants were beautifully exotic, and kind enough to flower in December.  The photos were all taken in the charming ‘Magic Garden’ which sits behind the promenade to the west of Funchal (scroll down on this Madeira Parks and Gardens site).  I’m not sure about the top left succulent (please let me know if you know) but think the rest are (clockwise) Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Prickly Pear (Opuntia compressa), Christ Thorn (Euphorbia milii) and Grevillea rosmarinifolia.  I have a couple of Grevillea here, but it’s fair to say they’re not looking as chirpy as this one at the moment.


  • I planted a few bulbs that had somehow missed their autumn window.  I don’t hold out much hope for them but they were looking at me in such a forlorn, wrinkled way I had to do the decent thing and get them out of sight.
  • Weeding.  Not just any weeding, but weeding our lovely pebbly paths which are rapidly turning into lovely wildflower paths.  Now I like a self sown verbena bonariensis as much as the next woman, but there are limits.
  • What I didn’t do was finish cleaning the greenhouse.  You’ll meet the greenhouse soon, but it’s fair to say it’s a good size and cleaning it is not a good job.  I reckon it’s about 60% complete but to get to the remaining windows requires a great deal of shifting of staging and pots and I’ve had a cold you know.

Here’s to a fabulous, floriferous 2014.

1 thought on “New year, new blog

  1. Pingback: (New) England summer | Duver Diary

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