Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Life on the edge

Something that continues to fascinate me about gardens is the relationship that exists between the gardener and the natural world. We might be allowed to think we’ve got the upper hand for a short while, but this is just an illusion. Where the gardener seeks to impose their will – the tidily clipped hedges, fruit trees trained into espaliers and fans, or the neatly manicured expanse of baize green lawn – little more than a momentary distraction provides the opportunity for Mother Nature to reassert her dominance. And it seems to me that this relationship is nowhere more evident than around the edges of things.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer solstice

All too soon, the longest day of the year is upon us. Just at the moment we realise we can be outside at ten in the evening and still see our way along the garden path without the aid of a torch, we turn the corner and the nights begin to draw in again. Of course, this picture of balmy June evenings is entirely fanciful – having spent most of the past fortnight utterly sodden, rainsoaked and windswept, there’s been little chance of pottering through the twilight garden, beaker full of the warm south in hand. A mad dash to the shed to shelter from the heaviest of showers has been more typical of late, but for all that, it’s been wonderful to seen the effect of the rain on our gardens, transforming them from parched spaces to verdant jungles within ten days.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

In the box

Every now and again, you have to give into temptation. Some old floorboards leaning against the shed have been crying out to be turned into something altogether more interesting and useful. We’d been thinking about introducing a line of vintage effect wooden garden planters if there’s sufficient interest and, needing an original gift for a good friend, the chance to make a prototype box and plant it up with a selection of mediterranean herbs seemed too good to miss.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

In praise of peonies

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’

Firstly, I should say, hurrah, it’s June! At least, I think that deserves a ‘hurrah’ – the year is rushing past so quickly and gardens everywhere seem to be gathering momentum, building towards either a most amazing, bountiful crescendo of floral splendour, or a parched, arid period of drought where only the toughest of our Mediterranean garden imports looks chipper. Ever the optimist, my money’s on the former...after all, Wimbledon fortnight is soon upon us, and so rain is inevitable.