04 March 2010

The great uncloched

There's a house I sometimes wander past Whalley Range way, and come winter I am always delighted to see that the green-fingered soul who lives there protects his or her alpines with a number of cloches. The rockery looks like a mini Moonbase Alpha and it never fails to make me smile. (This garden cloche, or bell jar, as they call it - although I would argue that's something taller and usually involves taxidermy or Sylvia Plath - is available at Hippy Shopper, BTW. I would presume you have to grow the courgettes yourself, however.)

I'm quite a fan of cloches, actually. I don't have any in my garden (perhaps that's why there have been a number of fatalities out there this year; not least a rare pale pink fuchsia grown by my mum from a cutting she pinched off a plant at Powys Castle or some such fancy-pants place), although I do have a mini greenhouse of which I'm quite proud (I put it together myself from an Ikea flatpack, and even varnished it to protect the dowling from the elements).

Cloches seem quite attractive in their simplicity and old-fashionedness. I also like cloches over food - they always manage to make cakes look even nicer, if that were at all possible. I've got a big blue wire cloche-type bit of kitchen paraphernalia to keep bluebottles and black cats at bay. It's quite successful, if a little cumbersome.

Cloche hats are another favourite of mine, being a big fan of 1920s style (I have a bob, don't I? Just because I don't dress the whole flapper hog every day makes me no less of a fan). I once went to a party as Coco Chanel and wore a cloche hat. Looked a treat, although I'm not sure Gabrielle accessorised with a can of Red Stripe.

The word "cloche" (pronounced closh) comes from the French for bell. More cloche definitions are available here.

1 comment:

  1. From my father:

    Message entitled: Thought you could spell!
    - doweling / dowelling from dowel = a wooden pin etc
    - not dowling a proper name as in Dowling geometry etc
    Sorry to be pedantic but your readers demand it. Papa


    Ahem. That's me told.


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