Here are the new perennial sunflowers, blooming in the place of the triffid, which is now just an envelope of seeds and compost. As you can see, unlike normal sunflowers, which are one stalk and a flower, these bear multiple stalks, each with multiple flowers, on one plant. This is their first year planted; I cannot say if they will flower earlier in future but here in late October in the northern hemisphere, despite frosts, they are flowering profusely.
Why am I writing about the garden? I am doing so because it is cheerful. The situation with SMIL is grim, she is hitting people with the phone and her daughter is now frightened to visit her. As I am too far away to visit, (four hours return trip with a half hour of difficulty in the middle,) and can only get hold of SMIL on the phone intermittently, though I ring everyday, I am trying hard to focus on the positives. For me the garden is always positive and a great source of optimism and interest.
I had three sunflower plants, bought from a shopping channel as unusual specimens, which they are. I gave one to the GDD in a 14 inch pot with permanent feed, hers is on the balcony outside the kitchen window and flowering away. She is proud of it and does the watering. I put this one in a big pot for me and this one
in a south facing flower bed, where it is happy.
I also have an end of season, cheaply bought, supermarket passion flower, flowering.
The dahlias are having a last hooray
they are keeping the bees busy, as you can see.
Raymond Evison’s autumn flowering clematis are lovely.
I bought one plant for me and one for Sasha next door. I delivered hers in a big decorative pot on wheels, while she was back in Russia, visiting her mother and trying to recover from long Covid. She does not have green fingers, but you need to be spectacularly awful at gardening to kill off a Raymond Evison clematis. You need to buy them from Raymond in the Channel Islands, find him at www.raymondevisonclematis.com. Although Raymond’s clematis are easy to locate in any garden centre, they are, when not bought from him, all too easy to find neglected. Buying them directly from him by post is not cheap but you really do get what you pay for: absolutely top quality plants in peak condition. My plant isn’t even planted properly, I had used up all the John Innes compost for Sasha and, because of the shortages couldn’t get hold of any, so it’s planted in a right mixture, predominantly supermarket potting compost, which does not have the correct structure or nutrients for clematis. I will add the proper stuff when I can get it, a trowel full at a time, meanwhile just look at the blooms. blooming from layers of rubbish, poor thing.
I am also very thrilled that my intestines have suddenly started working again properly, without the pain, after a mere four years of agony. My rib that I cracked a few weeks ago is OK without the Ibuprofen gel and right now next door’s cat is chasing leaves on the lawn.
SMIL is always at the back of my mind. I am trying to leave her there until I pick up the phone. When I have replaced the receiver I allow myself no more than half an hour reflection, then I get up and do something else very deliberately.
Of course it is easy for me, I am not the primary carer. I am trying to support SMIL’s daughter, who is, with my experience, when she asks.
Worry is like a rocking chair, it doesn’t get you anywhere but it does give you something to do. I find success in getting out of the chair and going into the garden, doing hobbies, getting busy. In dementia, I believe family members and other ranks have a duty to care for themselves. Not permitting the disease to consume any more lives than that of the person in whose head it is situated, is the secondary focus, after the welfare of the demented person.
Don’t sit and worry, get busy.