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Mike's Blog - Day 115

Foxglove Post firstly from yesterday.

So, it’s a numerical pattern, and the official interpretation goes like this:

The piece, by artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, is of green oak, the initially enigmatic numerals indicating a 'method' - the type of musical or mathematical composition employed by bell ringers. The successive numerals give directions for 'change ringing', with the permutations giving the place of each differently tuned bell in the sequence. The reference is both to the omnipresent cathedral with its bells, and to the bells - tubular flowers- of the numerous foxgloves which surround the post. The work sets out to compliment the pleasingly variegated nature of the gardens with their mixture of wild and formal views. Unlike a sundial, however, it alludes not to the regular succession of the hours of the day, but to the episodic bouts of ringing which punctuate the ecclesiastical calendar.

However, I explain it to the school children as being a bit like nature, like a food chain, each thing leading to the next. If you pick any number on the top line you can follow it down to the next right to the bottom. I interpret the first 3 lines, which are clearly separated, as the 3 things you need for life or any food chain to begin, light, water and an atmosphere. Then you can start with the plants, then the plant eaters, then the  meat eaters, then the things that eat dead things and return them to the earth. Of course nature gets very complex and lots of things can determine how it all works. One big thing is temperature. So, if you had a computer and put all the intricate ways nature works into it you could then change something, such a s temperature,  and see how it effects everything else, in other works “mathematical modelling of ecosystems”

All clever stuff!

We harvested the seeds from the Echium flower spike today (note the invisible gardener with the loppers).

I think a lot of seeds has been shed in the wind, but it had a heck of a lot of flowers so there looks like a good amount of seed still. The seeds we originally bought however only had about a 20% germination rate, so we will sow all the seed in the spring and hope for the best. Chances are there will be plenty of spare plants for the May 2021 Friends plant sale, so anyone wanting to try and grow them can hope to have flowers May 2022.

A nice flower again today on a plant we have already had, it’s very unusual for these to flower and this is the first flower since it last flowered in April. It’s such a nice thing I thought it would be a shame not to send you it. I won’t say what it is other than it’s in the greenhouse, see if you can remember!

Today's plant is one from the cactus and succulent collection. A weird thing, Duvalia.

It was donated to us I think, not fully named and we have not got round to try and identify it. A quick look on the net and these things are normally red flowered (that dead meat look again) “apart from the rare cream one, Duvalia parviflora”. Ours is clearly not red, so perhaps it is a really rare one…

No further forward, this looks nothing like Duvalia parviflora, in fact I’d question if it is even a Duvalia!

Oh well, it knows what it is.

The bamboo has its first marker now, I’ll add another in a week. It’s probably the fattest stem (culm) I’ve ever seen, which means it would most likely be very tall, but once it reaches the canopy it will have to be given the chop.

We had a very heavy rain shower earlier which we thought had passed, so Claire and I went to the bird hide to drop off a new bag of peanuts and seeds. As we arrived the heavens opened so we took shelter, 2m+ apart, in the beeshed. The rain was not easing so we considered leaving the food in there and I could put it in the “badger” hopper (see Day 31)  tomorrow. Looking at the rain even if we ran back to the greenhouse we would be soaked. Then a cunning plan came to me. The feed bags were both plastic...I ripped a side open and made us makeshift rain hats, worked a treat. It must be summer.