There is so much happening in my small garden at the moment. I’m experimenting with growing all sorts of flowers, and some are working out really well.
I have many pots in my plot, which measures just 12m x 5m. In the centre there is a raised bed, around 2m square, and here I have planted roses, salvias, and nepeta. Some Japanese anemones have also planted themselves, and I am leaving a few of them for later summer colour. At the bottom of the garden, by the gate, I have a slim raised bed which is currently bursting with sweet peas. I grew them from seed and planted them in a good, thick trench of home compost, and they seem to love the rich soil and plentiful watering.
A few weeks ago, I entered a small paid partnership with Homebase. I was given a £100 voucher to spend in store, and I found some lovely things. I bought the striped cushions for £5 each, to glow up my sofa, and the Moroccan style solar lantern was £25. This glimmers very pleasingly after dark, and I really like the effect. Of course I bought some plants, too, opting for an agapanthus, some geums, an extra nepeta, and a salvia. The plants were good quality and they’ve settled in well.
Even though I have a very limited space, self seeded plants are popping up all over the place. I really love this poppy, and so do the bees.
I spend a lot of time at my potting bench, and I have devised some shelves above it, using an old baker’s wire tray, with some little wooden shelves ingeniously attached by my clever dad. He is 92 now, but still likes to keep active and busy in his workshop. The old blue roasting tin has been planted up with mimulus.
On warm days, this is my favourite sitting spot. The orange tree is covered in blossom and provides amazing scent, while I sit in the shade under the parasol.
I am opening my home and garden on July 1/2 as part of Peterborough Artists Open Studios (www.paos.org.uk). You can find all the details on the website, but I am open from 11-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. If you prefer, you can email me on the contact form for my address. I will be selling a selection of tea towels, prints and paintings, with prices starting at £10 for tea towels, £10 for tiny, handmade books, £15 for prints, and from £45 – £80 for original, framed oil paintings. I will be serving teas, coffee and lots of different home made cakes, and the proceeds from this pop up cafe will go to the Crohn’s & Colitis UK charity. We now have three family members affected by these unpleasant, genetic, auto immune conditions, including one younger person. They are rarely life threatening, but they can be life-changing. The treatments have not really progressed in the 35 years since I was diagnosed in my twenties, and I would love this situation to be different.
There’s no hard sell at the Open Studios event, I know that many people may not wish to buy anything and of course, that’s just fine. Have a cup of tea and some cake instead. As stated earlier, the garden is very small, but you are welcome to sit on the patio if the weather is kind.
I was very excited to collect some pictures from the framers last week! I have been really busy painting, when I am not doing my day job as a gardens/horticultural journalist. Many of my paintings are flower or garden related, but I enjoyed painting these jugs recently. This original A3 watercolour would be £45, unframed, and it is £55 in a frame, pink or white.
My A3 apple charts are usually popular. This is another original watercolour.
I will leave you with a photo of my new rose. David Austin’s ‘Generous Gardener.’ It has a heavenly scent, and the flowers are so large and lush. I am very happy with it. There is no greater pleasure than coming out of the house early in the morning, cup of tea in hand, and making the very short walk around the garden examining all the flowers. Last year, we had no garden, because of our building work, so this is still a huge novelty and something that we will never take for granted again.