of pests and petunias

I used to love petunias and geraniums and all the vivid windowbox flowers whose colours brighten up grey days and grey urban spaces. But I fell out of love with petunias when the ones I was growing in pots on the deck in California developed an infestation of caterpillars. I can’t bear to kill creatures of any sort, but nor am I impressed to see my small gardening efforts reduced to the buffet at a bug-feast.

Later, in the early 90s in Spain, my love of geraniums was sorely tried when there was a plague of butterflies – Cacyreus marshalli – in Madrid. Their larvae bored into the stems of many plants around the city and wreaked havoc with the traditional Mediterranean balcony displays of scarlet flowers bursting between wrought iron railings.
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looking down on stars

Wikipedia shows that there are many plants known as “starflower“, including shrubs, succulents, alpine plants, bulbous perennials and the summer-flowering herb that I know as borage.

Although the flowers of borage are undoubtedly star shaped, and usually a really rather lovely heavenly blue, they tend to face earthwards and grow so low that you end up looking down at their backs, which is not the usual angle for star gazing.
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more or less the same

It’s that time of year. The time when everything seems to be growing and all the trees and shrubs are coming into flower.

It’s all very well to walk round gasping at the inexpressible beauty of it all and taking photos to post on social media, but it’s very frustrating not to have any idea of what type of blossom any of it is.

I think I might be right in identifying blackthorn due to its utter exuberance.
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rumours of spring

My co-author, Lucía, and I are still working on the final pieces for the third of the Modern Pagan Prayers books, which will include pieces for each of the eight festivals of the wheel of the year.

We’re definitely on the home straight, but the last few weeks haven’t been very productive, not least because it’s not particularly easy to write about summer and harvest time in the middle of winter when temperatures are sub-zero or the wind is wuthering and the rain is soldiering down.
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A big as your imagination

I commented yesterday that I hadn’t had room in my brain recently for all the thoughts I wanted to think. But it seems I must have disconnected enough this weekend to start more ideas moving, as I woke up early this morning wanting to get writing.

At the moment, I’m not sure there’s much clarity among the ideas, which are tumbling out fairly haphazardly – and almost simultaneously – into several documents, all open at the same time.
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