Violence in the name of beauty

9 Aug

“Gardening is violence done against living things in the pursuit of beauty”
from The Decadent Gardener, by Medlar Lucan and Durian Gray

Not that i’m wishing away a whole half year, but it’s time to think about cuttings and seeds while there’s still plenty of warmth left in the year. Later on today i’ll head out to the garden centre to get hold of some growing media as i’m all out of sand, grit, peat and manure. Whatever I get will have to fit in the boot of a taxi as I don’t drive. A pain, but necessary. Anyway I only need the peat and the sand today, for cuttings. I’m going to try hacking limbs off of . . .
senecio mandraliscae
black aeonium
lotus berthelotii
echeveria glauca
euphorbia characias
subsp. wulfenii
Agave americana variegata
and spider plant.

Then there’s seeds. I did look for the apparently shiny black seeds of the melianthus, but shiny black seeds there were none. Alex and I had fun popping the box kite seed cases open though, like tiny paper bags. That leaves the following seeds to be harvested . . .
Papaver commutatum, the ladybird poppy. It’s been great to have these back this year. Best bit of colour in the garden.
Solanum laciniatum. These have been a great success, one of their charms being shiny, green, ovoid fruits containing – I presume – lots of seeds.
Cerinthe major ‘purpurescens’. I read somewhere that this would cross-pollinate with borage and produce rubbish looking bastard offspring, but no such thing has happened. Both are reproducing amongst their own kind. God I sound like some kind of eugenicist. We don’t want those plant races intermingling and producing undesirable children. Well, gardening is unnatural and so is fascism, so there’s basically no difference. Though I think it might just be me that glibly picks up on these dark undertones in the harmless leisure pursuit that is gardening.


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