Saturday 31 July 2021

Taken by Surprise (again)

I can't believe it. Outside the kitchen window, right next to where I wash up (and I wash up at least twice a day), there was an ash seedling growing in the columbine plant.

The columbine (I don't know if it's the correct name) was originally from seedlings dropping seeds from my late uncle's house. The house was bought second hand by my great grandfather and put on the site in 1923 and it has been sold now, so I sort of want to hang on to it. I hadn't noticed that there was the ash seedling starting. I found this pic of a plant in flower, and it looks very like it.

I need to get into the garden. I currently have a thumping headache and I'm feeling quite out of it, but tomorrow I need to make time. For example, I was surprised to find this.

It was very coyly tucked away under the leaves. In fact, there are a handful of runner beans probably ready to go. I failed to pick from the courgette plant which expired during the heat, but I'm determined to get something out of the runner beans. Besides, I like the flowers, and the more I pick the beans, the more flowers I get. 

They're not doing bad, to say I've pretty much ignored them. Fingers crossed, they'll become a nice barrier between us and the hairdresser.

Today has been a gentle tootle. I haven't gone anywhere but just pottered with a little ironing, some washing and editing. DH and bear made a wonderful tofu stir fry for dinner. I suppose that they could have included runner beans. I think I will get off and see how to harvest the things. 

Hugs and good health to all. 


  1. You are correct , it is a columbine, the Latin name is aquilegia vulgaris but I like the but I like the common name ladies bonnets.

  2. Beans always hide, you just have to keep looking and you'll probably find loads on the plant. There's nothing like the taste of freshly picked runner beans, lightly boiled and served with salt and butter - I could eat a whole bowl for dinner right now, but instead I have masala cauliflower sausages, roasted cauliflower and whatever starch I can lay my hands on first. I'm trying out all the different Heck brands of vegan sausage, as we tried one and thought it was the best fake sausage we'd had. Most taste to me like stuffing.

    I think the flower you pictured might be an aquilegia (possibly not spelt quite like that). The village where I used to live once had a huge avenue of horse chestnut trees along along the main street, but they got old and rust invaded the area and killed most of them so they had to be cut down. By the time I left I don't think there was a healthy one still standing, they were just marking time until they became too diseased to be left up. But forward-thinking gardener grew seedlings from one of the few healthy ones left and handed them out to all of us with a big garden, so in about 40 years the horse chestnuts will rise again to their spike-flowered grandeur in the early summer. It's nice to think of the continuity, isn't it, when saving saplings?

    Losing all your edits must have hurt. It's happened to me before too, but I do find that the second time around you can sort of remember them and do them faster. Not that it really makes up for all the lost hours. I do hope it hasn't made you feel too dispirited.

    I really like the look of that red white and blue hat, I can rarely find wooly hats that fit me that aren't boring. Most of mine are navy or black. I really need to learn to knit or crochet basic hats and headbands but somehow I never get round to it. And I can no way guarantee that I'd finish anything as I have a very low boredom threshold - maybe I should start with egg cosies?

    Enjoy your runner beans.

  3. Columbine, or Lady's Bonnet is a variety of Aquilegia. It will self seed in abundance if you let it. We let it form seed heads, collect the seeds and sprinkle them along the fenced border of our front garden. The back garden is about 50ft by 35ft, but the front is just over 90ft long, and can look very empty very easily, so as Aquilegias self seed so easily, after the first season, they give a good border with very little work or expense!