Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In praise of the Aspidistra

Aspidistra elatior is an old-fashioned house plant, which was probably more popular in the 19th century than it is now. At first sight, it does not seem to have a lot to offer. It has no noticeable bloom, and it is rather awkward looking. However it is a plant that is particularly undemanding, extremely reliable and easy to grow. I have grown to like it more and more as time goes by.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Garden Ornaments

I find that choosing and placing ornaments in a garden is interesting, but rather difficult. There are all sorts of ornaments from the reproductions of formal statuary to decorative scarecrows or urns or pots, all the way to garden gnomes. Some work quite well (that is to say, they improve the garden), but many don't. Why does some ornamentation seem attractive, while other ornamentation doesn't?

Plant supports as ornaments (Government House garden, Victoria B.C.)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


In the pre-Internet days I made a sundial for the garden. Of course you can buy sundials, but the ones you buy are simply decorative. A "proper" sundial has to be made for a specific place, taking into account the latitude and, if it is to go on a wall, the wall "declination". Creating that first sundial required some complex calculations using equations I found in a book from the public library. Nowadays, there are Internet sites that will not only find the exact latitude and longitude for any place, but will do all the calculations you need and design a sundial for any spot you have in mind! So I have just made a new sundial for the garden.