Coveting Camilla — Take a Load Off

April 24, 2009 | By | Comments (15)

I love my readers! Recently, in a comment on my recent post, “Great Small Tree for Your Yard”, Vikki said she was thinking replacing a “coveted mimosa” with a Chinese fringetree. I replied that coveting mimosa was like coveting Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Well, today faithful Grumpian, Jean, called my attention to a fascinating story involving the Duchess of York. Apparently, Camilla was preparing to attend a funeral in East Sussex when nature called. So she popped into the Hare and Hounds pub in Framfield and asked to use the toilet. Extremely excited proprietors Razai and Chris Azerkane were flushed with joy and pride. In fact, the two are still in such a swirl, they’re auctioning off the toilet seat!


“Rarely has a toilet seat borne the weight of a nation more gracefully,” proclaimed British foreign minster, John Loo. “This is a testimony not only to the seat, but to all the Bowles as well.”

According to reports, the incident royally impressed the Queen. Her Higness now believes that in the course of time, the Duchess will be worthy to descend to the throne.

You Ask, I Answer

OK, I know some of you feel cheated when you come to this site and all you find is stuff about Camilla, So here’s a real gardening question about a mystery plant.

Hi Steve!

This is the mysterious plant I was given as a gift this week.  I am attaching two pictures of it–one from a distance and one close up.  If you tell me it is just a green plant that needs a little water and a little sun, I swear to you that I will cry. Lianne


 Lianne, I have conclusively identified the plant in the photo. It is named “houseplant.”

Sorry, I was just being mean. Actually, what you have is a Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum ‘Silver Queen’). It is one of the easiest houseplants to grow, because it tolerates low indoor light and low humidity. The soil should be well-drained and moist, but never soggy. The one thing it doesn’t like is temps below 50 degrees, which will cause brown spots on the leaves. If the plant ever gets too big, you can clip out the top of the central stalk and new growth will ensue.


  1. Syndi

    I’m fairly sure Lianne’s plant is Diefenbachia Camille or Compacta

    April 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm
  2. Linda


    September 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm
  3. Grumpy Gardener aka His Excellency

    Here’s a link to a good article from the University of Florida about transplanting palms. It’s a little technical, but the basic message is that transplanting palms is pretty easy. Go to
    As for camellias, what they want is the light shade of tall trees. Planting them under big oaks, such as live oaks, is ideal.

    September 26, 2009 at 6:29 am
  4. Linda

    Do I need to plant the Camellia in a shaded area or can it take a lot of sun? I have three more to move. I have a lot of oak trees in my yard and I live on the river just to give you an idea. Smiles again, Linda

    September 25, 2009 at 10:25 am
  5. Linda

    Your Excellency: Pop’s Palm is not a sago. This Palm is about 12 to 14′ tall and huge trunk. I have a truck and trailor to put it on and a black cat to dig it up. Just wanted to make sure I can follow the same instructions you gave above for the sago. Also, thank you for the correction of my misspell on Camellia and for the replanting instructions. We both thank you. You are so kind and it is wonderful that you have the talent and love for all the things God gave us. With Respect, I remain. Linda

    September 25, 2009 at 10:23 am
  6. Grumpy Gardener aka His Excellency

    That’s what you get for leaving Camilla out in the storm. She’s very unsteady on her feet.
    Now let’s talk about your camellia. The reason it fell over is probably because most of the roots were cut off during the move. About the only thing you can do for it now is to replant it carefully and then attach it to stakes on either side to hold it upright until it hopefully recovers.
    I’m guessing Pop’s palm is a sago palm. It isn’t that hard to move, provided it isn’t enormous. Try to get as big a rootball as you can when you dig it. Move it to a place that has fertile, well-drained soil and it should be fine. When you place the rootball in the ground, the top of it should be slightly higher than the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil, firm the soil with your foot, and water well.

    September 22, 2009 at 11:54 am
  7. Linda

    Now I have a palm tree that I want to move from my Pop’s house before it is sold. The tree is full grown and simply beautiful. It is the short fat palm. I’m sure you are so impressed that I have so much info. Well, I love it and want to have it at home since the property is selling. Pop gave it to me and I want to transplant it to my yard. How do I make the move and save the beautiful tree. I have someone to dig it up and move it just need to know how to plant it again and prepare the ground for the arrival of the new home of my Pop’s Palm. With respect Linda

    September 22, 2009 at 11:34 am
  8. Linda

    Please help me with my Camilla tree replanting. It was just blown over in a storm from my Dads home. I have moved it to my home but need to replant it. I have some roots left but not a lot. Please help me save this. Pop loved it and has passed away. This was one of his prize Camilla’s from the show in Slidell, La Thank you so very much. Linda

    September 22, 2009 at 11:30 am
  9. John floyd

    Lianne’s plant looks like a diffenbachia to me

    May 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm
  10. Grumpy Gardener

    I’m not sure, but I think it’s on EBay.

    May 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm
  11. mondo

    Hey grump, Seat be damned.
    I would like to buy Camilla’s bowl.

    May 4, 2009 at 9:53 am
  12. Lianne

    And, Hey! That’s my plant–which is doing great, by the way. Thanks for the advice/shout-out.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm
  13. Vikki

    ROFL…From mimosa tree to toilet seats…well actually that isn’t such a stretch considering what most people think of mimosa trees.
    Funny story Steve, I so enjoy your blog.

    April 26, 2009 at 8:39 pm
  14. Grumpy Gardener

    Maybe he’s planning to give it to her as a ring.

    April 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm
  15. Jean

    Grumpy, I cant say these two are coveting Camilla, but apparently they think somebody does! I figure its only Charles and he has bid secretly for the toilet seat.

    April 25, 2009 at 8:10 am

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