7 June 2020
It's rose time!
Never have we felt so lucky and privileged to have a big garden than we have in recent weeks. I have an elderly cousin in poor health who lives in a tiny flat in Leicestershire; she lonely and climbing up the walls. My heart goes out to people in that position.
So Peter and I have been spending a lot of time in our own oasis of calm and as a result the garden has never looked better. The wisteria has been stunning , clematis are coming into their own and our peonies are looking good, if only for a short while. If you indulge in social media, Peter has been posting photos on Facebook @peterfoale and I've put a few @katescuttings
Roses are the next Big Show and one of my favourites, a climbing rose called ‘Laura Ford’ is flowering its socks off outside the study window now. It is yellow, fading to a gentle pink round the edges and smells fabulous with an old fashioned tea rose scent. If you have a small garden and want a well behaved rose to climb a short wall, this is a good choice. The other great do-er here is a lovely single red shrub rose with a white centre and yellow stamens . It takes its name from ‘Biddulph Grange’ (see photo) , a National Trust property Peter and I visited it on our wedding anniversary in June several years ago. It has flourished and is really healthy and rarely without flowers from now until early winter. I will put a photo of both roses on my website so you can see the colours properly. A new rose to us last year is ‘Champagne Moment’ a pale cream hybrid tea. It is growing well and looks really healthy. Since we both like the occasional glass of fizz it seemed an appropriate choice!
Like many of you, I sowed a fair few plants from seed this year, once I tracked some down as they were like gold dust just after lock down. I have a lovely lot of cosmos, always easy and good value, and managed just three Tithonia out of a whole packet of seeds. In fact two packets, the bloomin mice ate the carefully sowed first tray full. If you are not familiar with Tithonia, their common name is Mexican Sunflower. They produce fairly small, but many deep orange flowers on tall, branching plants. So 3 will probably be enough as they positively zing out of the border. I also managed to raise a decent tray full of Sarah Ravens deep purple Nicotiana from seed, or tobacco plants to you and me. Here’s hoping they thrive before they end up as rabbit food. I have a wonderful vision of red dahlias, the Biddulph Grange rose, purple tobacco plants and the Mexican Sunflower all looking fab in my sunny border by the greenhouse. Here’s hoping!
Vegetable seeds have also been hard to come by so I had a root through my shed and found an old packet of runner beans, my favourite summer vegetable. Much to my surprise they all germinated so they are now gently climbing up their canes in the veg patch, in between some sweet peas. Watering them is a bit of a pain but I won’t be complaining if and when I get to eat them! No joy with garlic though, any tips on how to get that growing appreciated.
So let us enjoy our gardens when we can. Stay safe and well everyone.