1 May 2012 - 12:53pm

NGS garden open with Kates Cuttings book launch 6 and 7 May

Whenever you read this you can be sure that one of the following is happening here at Charnwood. I am either:
• panicking that the garden will not be ready or will look awful when we open on 6 and 7 May;
• weeding;
• chasing the rabbits, pheasants, pigeons and/or squirrels off the plants;
• watering (if it’s dry) or praying for sun (if it’s wet);
• driving Peter mad (actually that applies most of the time) or, if it’s after 10pm:
• asleep, assuming I can nod off in the midst of the aforementioned state of panic.

Anyway, please come if you can! We are open 1-5 on Sunday and BH Monday. There will be cream teas by Friends of South Wolds and plants for sale, mostly from the garden and some of them unusual perennials and herbs. This is also the date and venue for the ‘Kate’s Cuttings’ book launch. Kevin Pyke, who took the most beautiful photos of the garden throughout the year for illustration, and I will both be around to sign your new purchase; how can you miss that?! A donation from the sale of every book will go to the Friends of Tollerton School, so it is all in aid of good causes.

The daffodils have put on a fantastic show this year. My favourite (I think!) is ‘Thalia’ (see picture by Kevin) – a really elegant, long lasting white narcissus that mingles beautifully with the bluebells under our weeping pears. ‘Hawera’ is smaller and very dainty, it flowers quite late, even into May and is so pretty but rather apt to disappear. ‘February Gold’ is hugely reliable, although tends to flower in March despite it’s name. We have a big group on the back lawn that increases steadily and flowers come what may. ‘February Silver’ appears a couple of weeks later and, as the name suggests, is a paler, more ethereal cousin. ‘Tête à tête’ is small enough to look good on a rockery or at the front of the border; also at its best here in March this year. If you go to the katescuttings.net website you can see more daffodil pictures and descriptions as well as my regular blog about what is going in here in the garden and how to get hold of the book.

New to ‘Charnwood’ this year is our jungle hut. We had an old sycamore cut down as it was smothered in ivy and getting dangerously unsafe and a gap appeared. The obvious solution – to me at least - was the hut and, now it is nearly finished and looks perfect in its woodland setting. I’m now searching out jungley plants to make it feel at home. Check out http://mad-hutter.co.uk for the fab new company who made it.

My proudest purchase so far is a clematis ‘serratifolia’, a member of the tangutica group that includes our native ‘orange peel’ clematis with yellow flowers and fluffy seedheads. It claims to be scented. So I have visions of sipping my Pimms in the jungle hut late in the summer with a citrus-like perfume (as it says on the label) wafting in the air. Fingers crossed!