There’s lots of colour and activity in the garden at the moment. All of those seeds that I sowed back in March when I needed something to focus on – they’re all coming good now. I have french beans, courgettes and tomatoes growing in pots, lots of herbs, a big container of orange calendula are just about to burst into flower, as are my white cosmos, which did very well in the greenhouse cupboards and are now looking strong and healthy. Pictured above is my camomile harvest from seeds that came free with Modern Gardens magazine, where I write my monthly gardening column. With these, I did need to do battle with blackfly (I spray the stems with soapy water) to get enough blossoms to make a cup of soothing tea, but we got there in the end.
I expanded my growing into the lane at the back of our house where there was a strip of bare, stony soil. I planted Pictorial Meadows seeds and they’ve really taken off. I did sow a lot of seed to get such a thick, intense ribbon of colour, and I do water them most days. Before we moved in, someone in our road used to spray this patch with weedkiller because they didn’t like the scruffy grass that sprouted. I hope that this will deter them! I have had lots of lovely comments about the flowers, and people really seem to enjoy seeing them as they walk past. They’ve also provided me with lots of garden posies and plenty of inspiration for my paintings.
I love plants to mingle and this clematis and the salvia ‘Amitstad’ are a good blend of moody blues and purples. If we get the go ahead for our extension these will have to come out, but I hope to rescue the salvia at least, as they’re such a lovely deep colour, and they grow tall in front of an unattractive brick wall.
The rose and the ferns were here when we moved in, and that isn’t my favourite colour for a rose, but I can’t bear to pull it out. It has a beautiful scent and it grows by the back door, so I can see it when I’m washing up.
Although I not supposed to be acquiring new things until we have extended, I could not resist this giant zinc bath tub which I saw advertised on Facebook Marketplace. It will be a feature in our ‘new’ garden, and until then, I am using it to give some plants a good soak. It’s been dry and windy here recently, so everything needs loads of water. I’m watering everything once a day which is the reality with a container garden.
Underplanting is something I am very keen on, and which really helps to maximise space when you don’t have much to play with. I put these lavenders under my olive tree last summer. They didn’t do much then, but this year, they’ve really taken off, and it gives the pot a lovely, wispy, soft appearance. Plus, they look very pretty with the zinc. Not the greatest photo, but you get the idea. I feed my olive trees once a week with Tomorite and it has perked them up.
We’re still walking and cycling regularly, and avoiding very crowded places by keeping it local. Yesterday we found another new route, and this rather lovely avenue of oak trees. This is the grounds of a private hall which has a footpath running through the grounds. I could see glimpses of a fabulous walled garden and tantalising views of well kept lawns and perfectly placed garden seats. I look like a ghost here, I’m not sure why. Perhaps the long deceased ancestors of the ancient house are floating about behind me somewhere too…..