Sunday 27 March 2011

Silver trowels and new growth

Things seem to be gearing up as there are now loads of things to do, and not just digging. I have been getting a little tired of doing the same things, and greatly admire Stevens’s commitment to digging and now sifting the same stretch for many months! His collection of found objects grows, and last week he found a plastic lion which has joined Ganesha as a guardian of the site. Yesterday he found a skirt, those man made fibres keeping it all fresh and ready to do something with.
You can ring my bell....well you can if you do a bit of digging...
Launches: I was very excited to go to the NGS London garden book launch this week, where the great and the good assembled in a 160 yr old nursery in Little Venice.  I didn’t quite know what to expect as I waited at the tube watching little old ladies emerge from underground clutching their invites and streaming towards the entrance, however I was expecting to feel quite young!. It was a good evening; where we played guess the cost of the overpriced plants a lot did a lot of people watching. There were also prizes (rumour was that these were the coveted silver trowels) for people who had opened their gardens for 10, 20 and 30 years. I was particularly impressed with a guy getting a 20 year prize as he looked younger than me, I wasn’t fussed asking him about his garden, but more wanting to find out what moisturiser he used but sadly couldn’t find him afterwards. 30 year winners were very impressive, as was seeing the dedication that NGS volunteers was also incredible how much money has now been raised through the scheme which was far bigger than a bankers bonus.

Whole garden view....from this height you dont see the weeds

I am beginning to get a little overwhelmed by the amount of plants I have bought and need to go in, this is hastened by the huge amount of seeds I’m sowing (I think I bought about 40 packets).  Stresses at work have also led to a new plant buying compulsion with an order from Long Acre Plants (after a staffing issue 2 weeks ago) and then extra seeds from Chiltern this week (given 3 months notice to move office). Well at least this compulsion is better than binge eating or drinking!
It looks like a proper garden! Rocket and lettuce seeds emerging, raspberries in leaf (thank you Christopher)
I have a rather Darwin approach to plants in that I like to go for lots of walks around the garden thinking about where things should go, what needs to change and happen (he had a long path round his garden where he did lots of thinking). This is great for de-stressing, although I do wonder if my non garden using neighbours think this a little odd. However there is still a lot of thinking to do as the whole garden vies for attention and I seem to be doing more moving of plants than putting in new ones.
Salvia in the greenhouse flowering away....dont have the heart to cut it back yet

Nasturshum bracy something....bought it a plant show expecting it to be a summer thing, but it flowers now then dies by spring!
Brambles are also giving me slightly sleepless moments as although the new territories are now looking like a garden I wonder how many bits of roots are left and will spring up soon...All a bit ironic as I took big root cuttings from Paulownia and Tetrapanax which Im sure will have trouble taking, where as a 1cm bit of convolvulus or bramble will be out to get me.
So, lots to do. But a great thing has been how many people said they enjoyed my gardening day of action the other week, so I will put on a new one ASAP!
Clematis armandii....good leaves, but flowers fab at mo and scent is heavenly

New life! salvia in pot beginning to grow where others have been cut back to the ground. Ive also noticed than bananas have survived and are beginning to come into leaf! hurrah for spring 

Persicaria red dragon emerging from the depths...


  1. It's coming on really well Clive! I too sometimes wonder what our neighbours think when they see me wandering around the garden, looking and analysing what and where to place some plants.

    Before you know you will be on your way to your 10, 20, or even 30th year of opening your garden ;)

    That's a fantastic bell btw, love your accesories!

  2. Well, it is all about the accessorising!

  3. Look at it all coming along. I can't quite figure out where everything is,but will once I see it in Sept. The extra objects (accessories) in the garden will add great interest. Can't believe how much further along everthing is there. We have daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths just blooming. Keep the posts coming and great work. In my mind I am digging and sieving with you, been there, done that....

  4. ah...thats the element of mystery!

    the squirrels are dong a great job of eating or moving all the bulbs we have (the one in the pot above was actually planted in a trough on a roof terrace)

    In a couple of weeks the garden will just be blue from Forget me nots of which Im a huge fan as they self seed so readily. In a way I would like lots of plants like that as they create a different type of jungle!