A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 22 October 2012

Hooptedoodle #69 - Edelweiss

Brand new this morning...


On last year's Austrian holiday, we bought some packets of Edelweiss seeds (leontopodium alpinum) in a gift shop, along with some picture calendars, a silly hat, a cuddly-toy marmot* in lederhosen, etc - as one does on holiday.

We knew the seeds wouldn't grow, so promptly forgot about them. However, this Spring, Mme La Comptesse found them in a drawer (I was going to say "unearthed", but I'm a stickler for accuracy) and reasoned that a plant which is famous for growing at sub-zero temperatures, in one of the most harsh winter climates Europe has to offer, might just make it in Scotland.

Accordingly, seeds were put into little pots and carefully nurtured in the attic bedroom, then the seedlings were moved to a coldframe, and eventually the strongest of the baby plants were planted out. I was highly sceptical about the entire operation, and tried (in my miserable way) to do a bit of gentle expectation management.

Today, despite the efforts of foraging deer and the wettest Summer on record, we have a bloom! Possibly it is partly because of the wettest Summer - not sure how that works - but it looks healthy.

To celebrate this event, I had a look on YouTube - confident that the song Edelweiss must have some of the most toe-curling performances imaginable - so that we could all sing along nicely (sit up straight at the back, please). I briefly considered a heartwarming duet version by John Denver and Julie Andrews, but it was so cute that I had to be dragged out of the office feet first before I suffocated. I also was tempted by this clip, which is getting away from the point a bit but is crass enough to be of interest, but I eventually picked the Hutterer sisters, Sigrid & Marina, with this version - faultlessly sincere, wholesome and - well, just really nice.

If you find you are not singing along, then you should be ashamed.


*By the way - earlier reference to marmots reminds me that I now know quite a lot about them, since this is what Google thinks I meant when I search for information about Marshal Marmont. And, yes - since you wanted to know - the cuddly-toy marmot does squeak when you squeeze it, but - surprisingly - not when you hit it with a chair.

8 comments:

  1. That edelweiss is a beauty. Are you at any elevation to speak of? Maybe its a perennial?
    I did get a palm tree from Hawa'i to grow like that through six winters, sometimes it works. Nice, scenic vid.

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    1. I think we are about 65 feet above sea level, which is about 2000 feet below the accepted comfort zone of Leontopodium. It's a wildflower, so I guess it's a perennial, but Wikipedia tells me it has a short life in a garden. Not sure about that - my wife has a friend who grew an edelweiss in her garden (in Scotland) for many years until her gardener mistook it for a weed and removed it.

      Well done with the palm tree, by the way. I knew of a guy in the UK who bought a baby Yukka plant in a pot for his mantelpiece, and after a while a large number of baby tarantulas hatched out of it, which was unexpected.

      All a matter of luck, as you say.

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  2. I'm glad to hear the flower is doing its best to support the notion that one part of the ECM is as good as another.

    Hopefully it won't attract lonely goatherds.

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    1. It's possible that the little flower, when it got its head out, was deeply upset not to be in the Alps. If it goes into a terminal sulk, we'll know.

      If Scotland goes for independence (and personally I hope, and believe, that we won't) then the edelweiss will have more chance of remaining in the EU than it does at present. We don't have goatherds here, but we have a ghillie (gamekeeper) and a fisherman. Yodel-ay-ee-hoo.

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  3. Forgot to mention that after following the first link, I eventually ended up listening to Abba. One really does have to be careful.

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    1. It's good to talk about these things. It helps, I think.

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  4. Wasn't Marina the barmaid in "Where Eagles Dare"?

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    1. It might have been Marina's mum, Frau Hutterer.

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