Its been quite a while since I wrote a blog. To be honest, my garden is so well established now that I rarely have anything new to write about. I did promise, at the very start of my blog back in 2012 that I wouldn't be repeating myself, and I have managed to stick to that pretty much .
We are all living in strange times. Coronavirus is wreaking a path of destruction around the world and it has touched many including my family. My brother caught it early doors and was very ill with Covid19 and then Pneumonia. He lives alone in a studio apartment with no garden and as soon as he had won his battle we had him come here to live with us for the duration. To see what it can do to a fit and healthy 55 year old is stunning . I am determined to stay out of that bugs way.
This enforced stay at home has for me been brilliant. It has made me realise that I was doing too much before this happened, volunteering, lots of clubs and events and generally never around. Now I have had time to sit and look at my garden and think about a few changes.
The blog started as the story of me building a vegetable garden. As it developed I realised, I didn't actually enjoy growing veg that much and although what I produced was lovely I never really got the knack of succession sowing and the like, the battle with bugs and insects was also depressing, so I switched to growing flowers, for cutting. I really found my happy place. I met my lovely friend Georgie at Common Farm Flowers and the deal was sealed, no more veg in my patch.
My love of flowers has meant lots of research and I am now completely self sufficient all year round. No shop bought flowers here, unless very occasionally a friend gives them to me, but most know now that I am not a fan of imported flowers.
I started with annuals but soon learned that there are so many gorgeous flowering perennial plants that I didn't need to spend ages growing seedlings every year. Most of my beds are now full of perennials but I still seem to have a greenhouse full of seedlings every spring. Mostly to be given away.
But what has struck me most about this period of lockdown is the number of people who have been ringing, messaging on whatsapp, emailing and so on asking for advice about what to plant in their gardens. People who have always just had a patch of grass and some bushes are suddenly clearing out space for flowers and vegetables. Our WI whats app group is a constant round of plant swaps and information for people about who is open and where they can get compost. It seems that in our little part of the UK at least , gardening has become the number 1 lockdown pastime.
I have been steering as many people as possible to all the independent nurseries I follow on twitter and Facebook and encouraging people to buy nice plants that will last them years. I have been thrilled to see lots of these nurseries on twitter telling how their business are so busy with mail order plants and seeds. Ben at Higgledygarden.com has had to close his shop several times to catch up and others like Peter Nyssen, Bluebell Cottage Garden, Hardys Cottage Garden, and many others seem to be keeping their business going. I really hope they all come out the other side and get a well earned rest.
If you want to use one to the many independent nurseries still up and running have a look at The independent Plant Nurseries Guide there will be someone local to you in the UK still working and supplying interesting and good quality plants.
So rounding up. My biggest success of the year so far is my Wisteria. Finally after 8 years of no flowers I had Claire a professional gardener come and give it a proper prune. Her efforts have been richly rewarded.
And to finish, like all my blogs, here is Gibson the resident ever hungry Labrador , enjoying a rest in the sunshine with one of the local ponies on the Common.