My new plant obsession (The Garden – July 2013)
The garden has been a long time coming but it’s wonderful that it’s back and the days of sun we’re having at the moment is making it thrive. It’s interesting seeing how the garden has transformed in just a couple of months. I also have a new addiction: buying plants, in particular flowers. Having all this new space means I have to fill it and in this garden it doesn’t have to be edible. The last week of hot weather has made me really fall in love with our garden. The colour, textures and that the two seating areas we have are glorious to sit in at certain times of the day.
I’ve had a love of David Austin roses for a few years, but only until now have I been able to unleash my passion. Hey they are beautiful to look at and far less calories than cake. The first rose in my collection is a double flower rose called Heathcliff. The colour of it is an amazing deep crimson/fuchsia pink. It’s taking quite a lot of will-power not to buy anymore roses to add to my collection. I have Queen of Sweden & Winchester Cathedral in my sights. As beautiful as the Alan Titchmarsh rose (yes you read that right) I can’t bring myself to buy a rose called Alan.
While I’ve got a bit obsessed with flowers Hubs has been busy over the last week building the raised beds and shifting lots of mushroom compost to fill them. As we had no garden to get our veg plants started earlier in the year we took advantage of a sale at a local council run garden centre and picked up an amazing seven fruit and vegetable plants for just £9. The haul included tayberry, loganberry, golden raspberry, dwarf purple french beans and some golden beetroot. They were chosen not only for the crop they produce but also the colours they will give to the garden. Yes I’m turning into a vain gardener. However our neighbour’s cats have taken an instant dislike to these new beds. We will win.
The grapevine is doing very well in its new place; buds are forming that will flower in the coming weeks. Plus the latest addition to my herb garden is culinary lavender. I’m not a big fan of it in baking, but want to experiment and lavender is always good for bees and butterflies.
The biggest surprise is a plant that snuck into a planter brought from the old house. A couple of years ago we planted some white alpine strawberries but they were frankly rubbish, then this year a little shoot began to flourish. Even if the crop is quite small these white strawberries are amazing little fruits. If you ever get the chance to grow them you must. The flavour of them bursts in your mouth as you bite them like intense, juicy, strawberry sweets. They taste unlike any strawberries I’ve eaten before.
However it hasn’t been plain sailing. It’s almost as if we’re back to square one learning about gardening, we’re almost making it up as we go along. The clematis that came with the house appears to have clematis wilt and I managed to rapidly kill the housewarming hyacinth within 24 hours of it being put outside but it has been replaced with a new one.
Just hoping even with daily watering the lawn doesn’t get too parched. Now I can’t imagine me saying that last year.