Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gardening

At this time of the year one's soul aches for the summer flowers, spring flowers come and go, the countryside is blossoming in showy clouds of blackthorn and hawthorn. But it is in the planting of seeds, lily bulbs, vegetables that ones heart takes great pleasure in. Somewhat restricted by space, runner beans, their shiny purple colour are planted in two tubs, two tubs of the mixed green salads, so fashionable and so sensible now..instead of waiting for 'hearted' lettuce, there can be a mix of dark purple and green salads, with a dash of rocket seeds. Bright yellow calendula flowers for warming up a dull corner. Boxes of the tiny violas under the trees, there soft mauves ranging from dark to light, a splash of pale lemon pansies - the big sister of the pretty violas, interspersed (with very expensive) cranesbills, Ingersen variety, and a pale chalky pink one called Wargrave Pink. A cool white aquilegia, the dainty fronds of its leaves complementing the viola, and Tellima Grandiflora with its pretty heartshaped leaves and tall spike of yellow flowers to set against the bamboo. Hollyhocks set against the wall of the garage to take advantage of the dry rubbly non-soil that they seem to love, and Purple fennel leaves, thyme, marjoram and chives are the herbs planted. Two mints, the soft furry leaf of the apple mint, which makes a good tisane, and the dark ordinary mint leaf so beloved of lamb and mint sauce. There are many different types of mints, and Suffolk Herbs catalogue is one of the best places to delve into for these.....
Nasturiums the short and tall clinging ones to bring the clear yellow and orange flower to decorate salads, leaves to add spice.
And a book to recommend, mine's a 4th edition, The English Flower Garden by William Robinson, an extraordinary list of the plants that you would find in a Victorian garden......

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