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22.09.2014 admin
Profiling plants which we grow in our garden, results, that on occasions my posts may not reflect the current month.
Not the case with the English Rose Darcey Bussell, picture above was taken in November and the two below in July. First of all, for any of my visitors from Aberdeen, its important to be aware that the David Austin Roses do not thrive in the North East of Scotland. Jim Mccoll the presenter of the gardening show Beechgrove gardens, informed me of this many years ago.
Here in our Cheshire garden, this Rose was purchased as a pot grown plant, and planted in May of this year in a west facing border of the back garden. The deep crimson blooms of Darcey Bussel (named after the world famous ballerina) are fully double and have the old fashioned appearance which we have come to expect from David Austin Roses. Although these English Roses have the appearance of the old fashioned varieties, they differ in their ability to bloom freely throughout the season, none more so than this one I highlight today. Well anyway, television, in spite of the awful time in our lives, I was blown away, the first programme my brother and I saw  was (The Grove Family) probably the first British tv soap. It was 1954 when television arrived in Aberdeen, I don’t think it arrived in time for the Queens Coronation in 53 but I may be wrong. The first time I saw a gardening related programme on television was in 1954 when Percy Thrower had a slot on an afternoon show where he was seen potting up plants and so on in a greenhouse. I wonder if any of you other oldies remember the celebrity’s on the tv screen in those early days. The earliest American comedy series which I can recall in those days was (I married Joan)  with Jim Backus and Joan Davis, she played a real scatterbrain in the style of Gracie Allen, Burns and Allen, that was another great comedy show. Where was I, oh yes, the highly optimistic decision to give us television gardening before the advent of colour. This entry was posted in Gardening News, Gardens in general, Our Garden and tagged darcey bussell, david austin, english roses, pruning.
I love the Darcey Bussell rose and admire it each time I walk past it in a GC Alistair, now you are teasing me too – you naughty man! I am a bit younger than you and for obvious reasons don’t remember the TV shows you are talking about but do clearly remember a time when TV shows were not in colour. At 69 I am probably one of the oldest swing,** I mean bloggers around and not much chance of others going back so far.
Being just a bit younger, I remember B and W TV in the early 60s but I can’t say I ever saw a gardening show in B and W.


Hi Alistair, I love David Austin roses and as roses go, would pretty much only consider those to plant in the garden.
We would have had loads of them in our Aberdeen garden if they had been happier with the conditions. During the war it was called Forces Favourites, and my mum always called it that name, so it stuck with me. Got rid of your Passion flower, i’m off to see why, the growth our one has made in such a short time makes me suspect there lies the problem.
Hi Alistair, I would love to grow more roses but the lack of sun and dampness in my garden means that I do not have much success and inevitably suffer from black-spot even with so called resistant varieties. Couldn’t agree with you more Alistair, we have certainly had the best and most interesting years.
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The woodpecker shape is easy to identify, with a large bill and powerful feet for clinging to the trunks of trees.
The call of the great spotted woodpecker is a loud 'kick kick', and in the spring they can be heard drumming on wood. Resident across most of Great Britain, but not found in the far north of Scotland or Ireland.
Populations of the great spotted woodpecker appear to be stable, and there is no indication of any threat. Great spotted woodpeckers are most commonly found clinging to tree trunks, however they will also take full advantage of bird feeders and tables.
Percy Thrower went on to host gardening club in 1955, and for two decades or more anyone showing an interest in gardening would receive a comment like, oh my, a right Percy Thrower aren’t you. What about the comedians, the first I can recall was Max Wall, just about killed me laughing at the age of nine with his black tights and crazy antics. Dont get me wrong many Roses grow well in Aberdeen in fact it was once known as the city of Roses.
A bit before my time, but I do remember the B&W TV my parents had, but we always watched the color TV.
But the only way for me to add more roses is by growing them in containers and I don’t have such good experience with container roses.


I was 13 when we got our first TV at home, in 1977 and everyone else around us seemed to have had TV for ages already.
I think the watering is the biggest problem, especially getting waterlogged with inadequate drainage and as you say drying out at times also. I loved your comments about TV my first true memory was of my parents getting a set to watch the Coronation, and having, what seemed to be most of the neighborhood, crammed in the front room with the curtains closed and no lights on all peering at the tiny screen. The only species with which the great spotted woodpecker could be confused is the lesser spotted woodpecker, which is considerably smaller and lacks the red beneath the tail.
However, our TV was a 28” colour TV and no one I knew had a colour TV so that was a bit special, kind of worth waiting for I guess!
I was looking at some old AGS magazines the other day from the 1980’s and wondered how we used to be enthused by them when we had no idea of the true colour and in group shots could very often only make out different plants by their structure.
In recent years great spotted woodpeckers have been making increasing use of parks and gardens. Darcy Bussell (along with several others) are on my shopping list so I’m very glad to read such a glowing review of them here. Not sure if it’s a soil problem or if they need much more feeding than I give them or if it’s the inevitable stress of drying out now and then – or all of the above. I don’t know if I was aware then, but now with HD TVs everywhere, it is so apparent how technology changed and so quickly.
This may bring them into conflict with wildlife gardeners who put up nest boxes, although this can be prevented by fitting metal guards to the holes. I planted Wildeve on my shady side, just as an experiment, as it is said to tolerate (some) shade – probably not as much as mine gets though.
It should also be remembered that the predator-prey cycle is an essential part of any environment. That’s when my folks discovered I needed glasses, so my first memories are a bit blurry.



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