Clad all in gladness

I had a LOT of fun on the weekend – Catherine’s bought a house with a garden so overgrown that you couldn’t see it has a (knackered) Datsun parked in the garage. The tree growing in front of the garage blocking it in has obviously been there for a while. The brambles, holly, rubble, old kitchen, ivy-covered dead trees, nettles, diseased fruit trees all need removing so the neighbours stop fly-tipping and Catherine can create a small oasis. Note how tall the brambles are in the picture. I do love a bit of destruction. Our glee reached new heights when we remembered the previous owners left an incinerator…

The sun is out, everything’s clothed in fresh green and I got off lightly frost-wise. Lady Christls and my Szechuan pepper are a bit touched and the figs look sad, but their growing tips are fine and they will perk up soon. So now it’s all guns blazing to get plants sown and out. Broad beans are flowering away and the fruit bushes are dripping with baby berries, but there is very little else to see. Ruddy cat has been rolling in the garlic again – and I’ve netted my newly planted and wonderful onions to stop him doing the same there. The interminableness of my digging agenda is balanced out by how fabulously weed-free the beds I double-dug and sifted are on my own plots. If I sound smug, it’s because I really am!

However there is still Wendy’s bed to finish – here’s how I am getting on with it:

I have totally lost track of my seed sowing – flowers have distracted me from the main event, which is veg growing. Various posts on twitter and allotment forums, showing parsnips and carrots waving in the sunshine, are a reminder that my seeds are still in packets. After chasing fat ponies around at the RDA tomorrow I plan on a cosy afternoon marking off the growing list and sorting a feasible plan to catch up. It doesn’t help that I am working off 2 laptops – lovely, shiny newness and the awful overheater, screen held together with clothes pegs. which still has everything on it.

However to end on more reasons for gladness, this year I am helping out on not just one but TWO show gardens at RHS Hampton Court. I’ve been fascinated by the ‘how-tos’ of building show gardens and both of these opportunities will give me a fantastic taster.

Firstly I will be loitering about helpfully on Perennial’s show garden on both Tuesday and Thursday while the show’s on, which is really very exciting. I love that this includes a day at Hortus Loci to see the plants that are being grown for the garden and to hear the designer talk it through. Please come and say hello if you are there, and please don’t test me on every single plant!

On top of that is the opportunity to work on Charlie Bloom’s Colour Box garden with an array of medal-winning horticulturalists. I have a Blue Peter badge and a Bronze swimming award…I won’t be on the garden while the show is on, instead I get to be behind the scenes helping to build it, which I am over the moon about. The theme is how to create a fantastic garden on a budget, and I am looking forward to comparing with the gardens constructed via big wallets.

I’m ending this with a less manic photo – Him Indoors paid a visit to the plot the other day. My hair is, however, competing with the tower blocks in the distance…





4 replies

    • Lots of it has! Hopefully there are enough scavengable bits on it for the vintage car market to snap it up. Laughed so much I nearly couldn’t stand when we discovered it! Her estate agent had discouraged her from looking in the extra bit of wilderness.