So, firstly, what has this week entailed?
Very busy at work. Our annual audit by the UK Accreditation Service for the lab accreditation to ISO17025. As QA manager this is my big week of the year. Happily all went really well. Despite evidence to the contrary I do know what I am doing apparently.
After this I decided that my old brain needed a break so I spent a happy day on thursday with a box of tools, re-plumbing the vacuum system of a mass-spectrometer in my lab.
Today I have been at home learning to use Affinity Photo and it has gone well so far.
My profile has now appeared on the website of King Street Studios in Lancaster. The photo was taken by my lovely friend Dominique in Montreal last autumn. Beware that the link in my profile brings you back to this blog. I am not sure what happens if you do that. The resulting loop could cause a space-time paradox and we could all end up in a parallel universe. You have been warned.
Winter growing climbing Nasturtiums
Chile is home to a number of climbing nasturtium species that grow from tubers. Many of them escape summer drought by staying dormant in summer and growing through the winter months. These make fun but untidy and unruly plants for a cool greenhouse. These are the few I grow:
Tropaeolum brachyceras has tiny yellow flowers which are quite attractive en mass.
Tropaeolum tricolor is a bizarre looking thing and is the most cold hardy of the lot, often surviving the winter in a cold frame here. It finds its way to the frame because it produces loads of tiny potato like tubers that find their way into other pots at repotting time.
Tropaeolum hookerianum ssp austropurpureum is a lovely thing.
All the above will sometimes hybridise to produce offspring with reddish purple flowers.
The most coveted one is Tropaeolum azureum which has flowers in various shades of blue. It is not the easiest to grow, sadly, needing extra care with watering.
Finally – a bit of fun.
Me triggering the pollination mechanism of the Australian orchid Pterostylis curta x nutans.