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Wow, I’m even more behind than I was last time. But better late than never. Things have been progressing a lot more recently, and there have been even more fungi and other natural observations.

I have an interview for the apprenticeship on Monday.


Anyway, gardening:

Um, speaking of my career at the Horniman, there was an hour where everyone else was away and I was brought down a peg or fifty by being directed to weed. Weeding?! That’s a volunteers’ job!

I found these beauties though:

And at least I got to keep these – an Atlantic Cedar seedling, a Buxus microphylla seedling, a tiny marguerite, a few mystery bulbs and a mystery rose:

Oh, and this unidentified legume:


The last time I blew leaves is growing futher and further away. Most trees are naked.

Nothing but fog.

London is famous for it. And we have been white and fuzzy for weeks now.

I found these fabulous Candle Snuff Fungi while mowing:

Oh, and of course I moved into the borough of Lewisham in order to be eligible for the apprenticeship. It was about time anyway:

Oh, let’s talk about that Friday!
Possibly the best day I have ever spent at the Horniman.

Firstly, we planted Agapanthus at the front. We haven’t watered them in, but we think it has been wet enough. Certainly too cold for any serious transpiration to take place:

One of my proudest moments. Technically, and this will always be a claim to fame for me, I planted the very first plant in the display garden. A “red willow”. Salix, yes, species, sadly, no. ): You see (and now, un petit rant) currently because of how much I desperately want the apprenticeship all I do is shut up and lick everyone’s boots. I don’t ask enough questions and I rarely show a personality. I wish I’d asked the species names of the yellow and red willows used for basketry. But no, like a boy you’re trying to impress, you pretend you’re not too interested.

First plants in the display garden!
A huge step forward for the Horniman!
We will be ready next year!

I also need to pretend that my eventual (and I mean this, I feel genuine loyalty to the Horniman) aspiration isn’t Kew. But oh! Oh the latter half of last Friday was to be treasured, every moment of it.

I’m grinning smugly just thinking back to that chilly, sunny afternoon spent in the greenhouse pruning the scented Pelargonium sidoides with a Kew graduate. That’s a way I want to spend my days in… decades from now! But a lot of the time it’s very real right now.

Sadly, the smelly pelly blooms had to come off, along with the botritis. ):

And after another sumptuous weekend spent with the man. <3…

Yesterday (for it is Tuesday evening as I compile this):

The best fungus cluster (those blue mushrooms I saw at Kew were a ring, not a cluster!) I have espied all year:

They’re worth the trouble of identifying! I will.

A delivery of hawthorn saplings, bare root:

These will be planted, I promise!
After many, many fungal distractions!

This hairy cap:

Beside the existing hawthorn hedge (which we are extending), I found this. I hope I have captured the texture and coloration of the cap, which appears sparkly or glittery:

And of course, peppering (salting?) lawns everywhere are these millions of tiny whites:

To the hedge:

The existing hedge is abscissing:

Home to sleepy hibernating bees. Sorry bee!

Here, the planted saplings. As usual, the most clearly visible and transforming part of the endeavour is the shortest, after forking over, removing rubble, collecting, composting, liasing and worrying about keys:

We had to remove some layers from a very large cherry laurel. We have hidden a drain with the rooted cuttings:

Sadly, there may be one less floral entity present in the park very soon:

Our oldest cherry tree is very sick.

In other news, as well as extremely foggy, it is also wet:

Things feel very Novemberey.

More mushrooms, this time ‘conical candy corn caps’:

In non-Horniman news,
my new room is dangerously close to a huge Homebase branch, which from the outside looks like the Princess of Wales Conservatory!!

All my life I have wanted to grow a Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum aethiopicum – or possibly A. capillus-veneris?). Finally now is the time. I have heard they are “tough” to keep. This is only because many people do not respect what a moist environment they require. Warm, but not hot (central heating is a killer!), and mist, mist, mist! Stand on a tray of pebbles and water which will evaporate up through the delicate foliage. Touch it, see how papery and un-succulent it is.

Upon repotting, she has been split. This was a delightful operation, which allowed me to get a good feel of the plant. I feel I understand her now.

It’s important to allow plants space to breathe.
Conditions are best when there is no competition.

More blog posts by tralamander

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A very interesting blog. Good luck with your interview.
Wonderful fungi. I've never seen them like that on trees before - only the bracket ones I've seen on trees.
I hope you are successful with the maiden hair fern. Mine is dying off :o((

22 Nov, 2011


I think that legume is some kind of Oxalis. Wonderful photographs, Tralamander.

22 Nov, 2011


Excellent T. Great pics great reading and GREAT news about your interview. Please do not keep us in suspense over the result....fingers crossed for you.
BTW let them read your blogs just to show how enthusiastic, keen and willing you are :)

22 Nov, 2011


Great blog, T. Lovely pics of the fungi. Good luck with the interview.

22 Nov, 2011


Oh Trala what a great blog, must have taken you ages to put on! I too love the fungi on the trees amazing things arent they? I wish you well with your interview, go girl, I agree with Scottish show your blogs!

22 Nov, 2011


Thank you so much, everyone. Your kind thoughts are very much appreciated. <3
Hywel, looks like one can't be both good at keeping cacti and adiantums. I'm going to try though! ):

23 Nov, 2011


I can't believe what I wrote last night - must be the tiredness. Oxalis? a Legume? Go to the bottom of the class, Gattina! Sorry!

23 Nov, 2011


Actually that was my first ID question about it - oxalis or legume? I had that explained to me. We're not stupid! :D

23 Nov, 2011


Fascinating blog and pics ...
... and very good luck with the interview ..
fingers crossed :o)))

23 Nov, 2011


When will you hear how you have got on in the interview, T? I thought I couldn't think of a more wonderful job than you are aspiring to, but there must be moments of exhaustion and frustration - haven't we all been in the shutting up and boot-licking situation? and sheer, downright MISERABLE weather conditions to have to work in. BIG compensations, though.
Good Luck!

23 Nov, 2011


I wish you well with your interview, I always find your blogs interesting and love your enthusiasm in what you are doing, weeding can be a tedious task and lets face yours is not a small space.
Lovely photo`s as well, the fungi ones on the trees are really good, they always fascinate me, I find something magical about them, bit like finding a fairy ring,lol..

23 Nov, 2011


great blog very interesting, good luck in the interview.

23 Nov, 2011


Thank you so much everyone. I got the job. <3

30 Nov, 2011


HOW FANTASTIC, Caitlin! I am so thrilled for you. Congratulations! You deserved it. Will you have time any more for blogging? Yes, of course you will. I've just read today's blog. At this time of the morning! Well done, you. We expect great things of all your recommendations and advice from here on in. AUGURI!!!!!!

30 Nov, 2011

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