Monday, November 29

Fer's blog carnival

Fer at My Little Garden in Japan invited his visitors to take part in a blog carnival. The idea of this is to get all his visitors to write a blog post on the same subject. It seems to have kicked off a day earlier than I expected so you have two posts to browse today.

One suggested topic was "My Favourite Plants" This would have given me a bit of a dilemma as I wanted to take part but I’m the sort of person who can never choose my favourite anything. Maybe I’m fickle but my favourites depend on when I am asked or what mood I’m in. In the case of plants it really does depend on when I am asked. If there is something that looks particularly good in the garden or on the plot at that time then that becomes my favourite – maybe just for the day or the week but nonetheless a favourite.

Fortunately Fer took pity on the plight of people like me and said we could write about more than one plant so here goes.

 To make matters a little easier I’ll confine my choices to the non edible plants – although I suppose you could eat parts of some of them!

So at the moment my favourite plant is the mini cyclamen. I have a pot of them flowering in my garden and they were beautiful until the snow covered them. They lit the gloom of the day with a bright full stop of colour at the top of some steps and could be viewed from the comfort of the house. I hope they are still flowering once the snow has gone.

Must admit that it was a struggle choosing between these and winter pansies which even put on a cheerful face when they are up to their necks in snow!

In the depths of winter I may have to turn my attention indoors and choose one of my flowering pot plants such as the hoya. The waxy flowers hang down like miniature chandeliers and can only really be appreciated by looking up into the flowers from below.

We have had our hoya for lots years now and it seems to flower on and off throughout the year like many old ladies it just does what it feels like at the time. It has buds at the moment.


Ask me around February and my favourite plant would most likely be the snowdrop. We have clumps of snowdrops planted so we can enjoy them from the house

I really look forward to their appearance as for me they symbolise the start of a new season and the fact that winter may soon start to lose its grip and that spring is maybe just around the corner.

March and I’d have to choose the primrose – not the cultivated variety which although lovely just doesn’t ‘do it for me’ as much as our native primrose. It’s evocative of childhood and walks with my granddad and Rover the dog. Clumps of native primroses take over from the snowdrops in the picture frame to enjoy from the house window.  We also have a whole row planted on the plot. We can enjoy these too as March usually means more time is spent at the allotment. The flowers also have a lovely delicate perfume.

April and May arrive and we start to be spoilt for choice – there are lots of bulbs flowering now each of which are contenders for my favourite or the magnolia but I think I have to turn my back slightly on flowers now and choose ferns. No particular type of fern – I just love the way the new growth forms shepherds’ crooks before unfurling their feathery fronds – although I have to admit an extra special bit of excitement is generated once our tree fern begins to show signs of growth. This means it has survived another winter.

Even more problems choosing a favourite in June – I could chose the rose especially those that have a beautiful perfume but I’m going to choose Sambucus Black Lace as it was really spectacular on the plot last year with everyone who saw it falling in love with it. The pinks flowers contrast beautifully with the delicate cut bronzy leaves.

What to choose for July – now this is really difficult as July is just so full of colour. I think I’ll choose clematis – Princess Diana as I really like the colour and shape of the flowers. There are a whole host of other contenders for the July favourite though.

August is another tricky month with so much to choose from but I guess I have to give August's vote to the dahlia. I love the intricate shapes of the pompoms.

For September I am going to choose another cyclamen – I think it is Cyclamen Hederifolium. We bought a couple of corms many years ago, one was pink and the other white. The flowers appear before the leaves which in themselves are beautiful. Over the years they have seeded everywhere even amongst the grass on the allotment. Some of the corm are as big as dinner plates now.
My favourite autumn plant has to be the chrysanthemum as the colours are just so – well autumnal.
I really don’t know which plant I would choose as my overall favourite as it was difficult enough making this selection and if you were to ask me to do it all again tomorrow then I’d probably choose a totally different set of plants.


  1. Hi Sue; your idea of a favourite for each month was a brilliant compromise! Like you, I have real difficulty deciding which is my favourite veg / flower / cheese / wine etc. It depends what sort of mood you are in, doesn't it?
    BTW, Fer's Blog Carnival didn't start a day early - don't forget that he is in Japan and they are the best part of a day ahead of us in the UK! :)

  2. I'm with you on the favourites much makes a difference...time of year, time of day, mood sunset sunrise....and just the fact that nature is abundant and magical and everything has it's purpose so be it fruit, veg, flower animal or even food substance i would be able to give you one if asked....but it's highly likely if asked again tha answer would be the same!!

  3. Looking at your beautiful dahlia, I regret that I did not try to plant it more this year. Since it is my first attempt at growing them, I only chose one small variety. It is difficult to pick favourite.

  4. Ha ha, I knew you couldn't pick just one. Many of my favourites in there too, but I think out of those my overall favourite would be the primrose, no the snowdrop, but then again...oh, I give up.

  5. Hi Mark
    You're right I had forgotten that!! So I'm a day older in Japan - not good! I'm visiting the rest of the carnival tomorrow so I can find out what you actually chose!

    Tanya - The favourite animal would be impossible and I stuck to flowering plants beacuse if I had added fruit and veg it would have been impossible

    MKG - dahlias do make lovely cut flowers although some on our larger blooms are just too big for a vase

    Hi Jo :D I've never been good at favourites when asked even favourite colour I can't decide.

  6. Covering all bases and why not! If I had to chose it would be the Dahlia. Lovely photos.

  7. I just like flowers Damo - most flowers really

  8. I just loved all your favourite flowers, they are so gorgeous esp both cyclymen and the snowdrops!

  9. Beautiful collection of flowers! They are all so pretty, but my favorite would have to be cyclamen. Too bad they don't flower longer.

  10. So many beautiful flowers! and so many colors and shapes.

    Thank you very much for being part of the carnival! I appreciate all your inputs, all since the beginning.

    I love how you gave us a year of favorites and the nice selection you made. Those hoya look amazing, like a little star. And the snowdrop are like little fairies dancing in the garden. No wonder why you could not pick one.

  11. If I had, had to guess Damo I would have said you would choose dahlias.

    Thanks for visiting P3 - glad you liked my choices

    Hi vrtlarica - the cyclamen do last quite a while for us - that is unless the snow flattens them - I like the larger houseplant version too. The colours are really lovely.

    Hi Fer - I'll visit the other posts of the carnival today. The texture of the hoya flowers is very different too which gives them the common name of wax flower

  12. Thank you very much for visiting the other links!

    I like the little pink asterisk inside the star in the hoya flower, they look very delicate and nice.

    I just until now had a chance to start really browsing around all the nice submissions. I was so amazed when I logged in and they were so many entires and so many beautiful plants!

  13. My pleasure Fer It's good to visit new blogs.

  14. Re dangerous plants: reminds me of Day of the Triffids!

  15. I read that book when I was at school Mark before the film was thought of

  16. I've often wondered what the plant was hanging in my mother's bathroom and now I know - hoya! A great side benefit of this blog carnival, I'm putting names to plants I've often wondered about.

  17. Sue .. I missed the bit about we could pick more than one plant !!!!!
    I would have .. darn it all !
    You are so right about each month .. well for us, not so much in winter?
    I love all of your selections .. they are beautiful as are the pictures : )

  18. Hi Marguerite,
    I think you can also get a variety that has larger leaves and flowers to mine.
    Hello Joy - I think it was because I whinged that I couldn't choose just one!

  19. I always quailfy my choice with "one of my favourites" as I could never choose a single plant. Your picture reminds me I need to buy a Cyclamen for Christmas.
    BTW - I agree with you about single snowdrops - doubles are best viewed from above.

  20. I may even get an indoor one myself Easygardener

  21. Cyclamen are high on our favorites list... especially my wife's. I really enjoy the hardy versions in the rock garden. Lovely photos throughout your post! L

  22. Wow, you seem to have the same problem that I do! I haven't had potted cyclamen in a long time and I'm finding myself tempted to go out and buy some. I'm nuts about the shape of emerging fern fronds, too -- especially the ones you can eat (fiddlenecks).

  23. Hi LC - Glad you like the photos - my camera is always with me on the plot or in the garden. I'd quite like some different hardy cyclamen such as coum too

    Eliza - you seem like a woman after my oen heart!

  24. Yes it is difficult to choose a favourite plant. I love your photographs, I must get a new camera. Thanks for commenting on my Camellia post, they can take a few years to settle down. Off to find you on blotanical. Alistair

  25. You're very welcome Alistair - I guess patience is a virtue

  26. I share a lot of your favourites. I'll be interested to hear how your cyclamen fare after the snow. I tried some a few years ago but they didn't survive the Scottish winter. Seems like we all have a touch of Scottish winter just now!

  27. Hi Linda
    Martyn aka Mr GL has taken photos of how the cyclamen have gradually gone under the snow here

    I am now waiting to see what is left when the snow melts. I just hope they survive as my sister and I bought quite a few between us for some winter colour now our only winter colour is WHITE


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