Continuing to carry out my Services to Poorly Plants (or those that have flowered, failed, died back or whatever) by rescuing several Kalanchoe from the local Homebase store, where they were being sold off for 10% of their original price. As you can see, they are (only slightly) past their best, but even when the flowers have gone, this plant will give long term glossy leaved pleasure in the winter conservatory.
I get a lot of fun by rescuing plants (which are sometimes of poor quality and overpriced in general DIY stores) and will happily purchase those that look as if they have seen far better days. It is a challenge that I enjoy to resuscitate them, and is often a case of just giving them some TLC: Fresh air (if they have been crammed together) - light, water - and sometimes a severe 'haircut'. I have been rewarded with some miraculous revivals - and a conservatory and garden full of some choice plants as a result - it's always worth giving them a chance.
The provoso is that I will also willingly pay the asking price for good plants from a nursery where I am also paying for horticultural knowledge, advice, and knowing that the plants have been properly cared for. (I realise as I am writing this that I see plants very much as I see animals - with the same needs, and the same requirement for rescue and nurturing if circumstances dictate it!).
I am blessed with a fine example of caring and knowledgeable plantsmen (and women) at the local Penwood Nursery, very near to me, very trustworthy and taking such good care of their plants. I never look for 'Sale' tables there - they never have them. They don't need to - all their plants are of wonderful quality and value already, and always come with good advice and information on the needs of the plants. Even with all those extras, am astonished at how often their prices are considerably LOWER than the superstores. I respect them and their work, and I'll always pay full price for that!
And now - back to the tapas table. Margaret, Jamie, Fran, Brigitte - you are all very clever! From the back row...curried potato salad, olives (kalamata & green garlic-stuffed), chipolata sausages in fig & balsamic vinegar chutney, sun-dried tomatoes, (second row) - squid in oil, smoked oysters, mackerel fillets in tomato sauce, king prawns in sweet chili sauce, smoked salmon pate & pimento on sunflower bread, (front row) - veggie stuffed mushrooms in garlic butter, grilled courgettes (zucchini) & tortellini. Many of them prepared in advance, everything easy, and all a happy reminder of days in Lisboa!
Mmm - feeling quite hungry now - I feel a stuffed mushroom or two coming on - see you on the weekend, mes amis!!