Kniphofia Ember Glow and also Lemon Popsicle. Great additions to the back garden with Ember Glow still blooming in October.
Red hot pokers, at one time as far as I can recall, there was no choice in the UK, just those large thick stemmed variety that would bloom in June, orange and yellow flowers, didn’t really like them and certainly wouldn’t have known them as Kniphofia.
In Aberdeen we tried growing the ones which I think of as new generation pokers. Didn’t have success, it may have been our soil or perhaps they did not like the cool Summers.
I often go on about the soil in our garden back in Aberdeen, what I probably have not mentioned, is the fact that we destroyed the structure of the soil.
How did we do that, well it was easy and completely due to ignorance.
When we moved in, back in 1985, the quite large garden was bare of plants, so the first thing was to improve the soil, a lot was made of the benefit gained by adding peat (heaven forbid) Well, we took this to the extreme, it had to be that rich dark peat., and wow it didn’t half make the borders look good,
We carried on doing this for quite some time, Rhododendrons grew well, at the time we didn’t really know why, Myra loved pinks (dianthus) well as you probably know, they just hate acidic soil.
It took some time for us to recognise the error of our ways and make amends. The experience made us all the more determined to create something special. Take a look at my link (our garden) at the top of the page for a peek at our Aberdeen garden
We ended up being extremely proud of it, but even after twenty eight years there was still reminders of the soil problem which we created.
Kniphofia Ember Glow in our Cheshire garden did not start to bloom until late August, We had the feeling that it was going to let us down, mainly because Lemon Popsicle started flowering in late June.
A little research would have let us know all was well.
Ember Glow has been very striking, we planted three of them together in the main border of the back garden, The blooms are a bright orange which stand out without looking gaudy. well perhaps that’s just my opinion. As they age, after several weeks, the lower part of the flower turns yellow.
Ember glow started blooming in late August and is still looking good in October.
The plant has a clump forming habit, the narrow sword shaped dark green foliage is evergreen.
When the clumps start to get too large, lift and divide in early Spring.
Some research shows this plant as having more yellow in the lower part of the bloom. Perhaps this is the case under certain conditions. Our plants are extremely orange, and I have no doubt as to the legitimacy of the form.
Height – – – 18 “/ 2ft
Hardiness – – – fully hardy
Bloom time – – – August/October
Position – – – full sun/ free draining soil enriched with garden compost
Kniphofia Lemon posicle, all details just as Ember glow except for the colur and the bloom time, which in our garden was late June through till mid August.
Back in late August we had a trip to Liverpool. Its about 35 miles from where we live, never been there before.
I was pleasantly surprised, the city centre is buzzing with quite stunning architecture. Large areas are traffic free with buskers young and not so young to keep you entertained.
A zip wire on one street had the more adventurous gliding down high above in a totally vertical position, made all the more exciting when for whatever reason one guy was left trapped, dangling in the middle, it took some time for him to be rescued.
We went on a ferry across the river Mersey, well, more up and down than across. The ferry, a real colourful, psychedelic affair which was clearly representing the swinging sixties, and yes, we sailed off to Gerry and the pacemakers singing (Ferry cross the Mersey)
The city, rightly so, still cashes in on their success of the sixties where so many pop stars of the time were discovered.
I was right in to all that stuff, having been born at a time which made my youth land smack bang at what was the greatest decade ever to be young.
First to come to mind is of course, The Beatles, The Searchers, Billy j Kramer, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy Fury, so many groups had success. One young working class girl from Liverpool introduced to Brian Epstein by John Lennon became an absolute smash hit and ended up dominating British light entertainment for over four decades ( Cilla Black)
Cilla’s first smash hit was Burt Bacharach and Hal Davids (anyone who had a heart) It turned out to be the biggest selling British record by a female artist in the 1960s. This was a cover version of Dionne Warwicks US hit. As much as I liked Dionne Warwick, Cilla’s version was more punchy, dynamic, full of feeling and an all round better production. It is allegedly reported that miss Warwick was furious and she and Cilla forever remained rivals.
Cilla followed this giant success with (your my world) which was equally successful for the down to earth Liverpool singer, and was a minor hit in America. Cilla had a go at breaking into the American market without success, I guess they just didn’t get her.
When first introduced to the public she was prompted to posh up her scouse accent, this she did, but soon fell back to her home tongue, everybody loved her for it.
In 1965 Cilla was asked to sing the promotional song for the upcoming British movie (Alfie) starring Michael Caine and Shelley Winters. Seems like Cilla was in a, not very typical diva frame of mind and wasn’t keen to record a song with such a stupid title. However her manager Brian Epstein convinced her to do it. Cilla thought she would lay down some rules, she would only do it, if Burt Bacharach was to come to London and personally take charge.
Burt did just that and being a perfectionist,(understandably so) apparently had Cilla reduced to tears, some reports have the recording of the song with 18 takes, Burt has it at 31.
Burt was looking for that something special for Alfie, often describing it as one of his favourites. In ballad mode, Cilla totally nails it, the punchy stuff, well she could sound a bit shrill. In the closing credits of the film, its neither Cilla or Dionne Warwick who sings the title song, it is in fact Cher, in the American version, British version, some mention of Millicent Martin, a singer who had a part in the movie, not sure though? its well worth clicking on the image of Cilla to watch the story behind it all.
Sadly, Cilla died at her holiday home in Spain this year on the 1st of August. She had a bad fall and suffered severe head injuries.
Below, using my new found slider method, I have added a few pictures taken on our trip to Liverpool
© 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.