May and June seemed to whisk by at the twitch of my nose, but looking back, it was a great start to summer.
The final border that Dan and Piran dug in the early spring is now brimming with young plants which will settle and double in size for a great display next year. I wished my budget allowed me to really go to town so I could have achieved a full and overflowing border, but I have learnt that gardening is all about time, patience, nurturing and achievement. This year I vow to collect and gather seeds and cuttings to fill my garden with next year.
The odd mishap occurred which revealed a previously unseen ruthless side to me! I planted a poppy last year which would flower this year and I waited very patiently for her grand revealing. I watched these beautiful plump fat buds grow and one morning whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, I noticed a flash of colour out the corner of my eye, the first of many buds had finally opened. What was meant to be the most divine soft deep dusty pink poppy called Patty’s Plum was in fact the brightest most orange/red poppy I’d ever seen. It reminded me of my grandparent’s herbaceous border back at Hill Farm in Suffolk, how my Nanna loved poppies, she was clearly having the last laugh! It had to go and I daren’t say whether it survived being lifted or not! On reflection, the initial disappointment just added to the journey of achieving the garden I so dream of having. I will have to be patient and put them on my list for next year now.
My sweet peas seem to be quite far behind, but they’re getting there and hopefully in the next few weeks their sweet scented flowers will unfurl ready for cutting and placing around the cottage. The roses have been lovely, though the old fashioned ones like Reine Victoria, Reine de violettes & Louise Odier are suffering terribly from rose spot. I hope this winter to lift and nurture them a little more. My climber, Paul’s Himalayan Musk flowered for the first time this year in my pear tree, truly delightful, I hope next year Kiftsgate shows her petals off too, she takes a little more establishing, but will look fantastic in my apple tree. Clematis integrefolia gifted to me by the lovely Belton’s is doing brilliantly and I’m hoping to split it in the winter to start and spread it around the garden. The first flush of comfrey is now over, so I have cut it down and its valuable nutrients will do wonders on the compost heap. This now leaves a new flush to grow which will be alive with bees shortly.
The potager itself is looking great, it’s jam packed with cavelo nero, nigella, echineacea, nicotina, neptetas, broad beans, peas and runner beans to name just a few.
Of course the meadow is still in progress and will take years to achieve properly, but the yellow rattle and vetch really took hold this year. The volume of crickets increases throughout the day and butterflies waft their way through the long grass, I’ve seen frogs a plenty and signs of both the badger and hedgehog, so life is thriving in the darkness of night. Surrounding the meadow are beautiful heavy boughs of rosa rugosa and rosa glauca which after flowering are leaving behind large shiny red hips which will decorate the hedgerow perfectly. I bought some campion seeds from the Beatrix Potter garden at Chelsea flower show this year and they have begun to grow, hopefully if I continue to nurture them they will flower in the meadow next year.
Project ‘Garden Door’ is making good progress and the final touches are being added, I will enjoy sharing this in a few weeks time.