How should you spend a Sunday, when you’ve got a horrendous deadline and have had a weekend workshop cancelled, one which you had booked almost a year ago? Working on your project, glad of a couple more days’ grace?
And anyway, my thumbs hurt. That’s my alibi, and I’m sticking to it.
I needed a break from the keyboard, and my friend Karen at An Artist’s Garden had her lovely garden open under the NGS. Due to the cancellation of aforementioned workshop, I could help. Well, a bit. In plant sales.
And I even managed to leave with only one plant. I think that was very restrained, but I know me (all the willpower of a maggot) and so I had walked down the hill to Karen’s garden quite deliberately. No car, no boot, no easy transport = no temptation.
The garden looked fabulous. The vegetables were neat and abundant,
and I was very envious of the courgette crop – especially as mine are getting very mildewy, grr – and the tomatoes and beans looked lovely. In the greenhouse the chillies were beginning to ripen… sigh.
So far, so yummy, but for me the stars of Karen’s garden are the textures and the colours, so different from anything in my own garden. Yes, there are wonderful individual plants, but it’s the way they work together which I think gives away the fact that she works with textiles, and does so in a not dissimilar way. Time for a quick round up of some of the sights this afternoon, I think.
This particular pond – there are three – is the one which made me lust after a pond for my garden (of course, I also want the willow tree)… A friend and I spent five minutes checking out the wildlife: lots of water boatmen dimpling their way across the surface, a small newt swimming around. That’s what I need.
And this is by another pond. See what I mean about texture?
Some wonderfully spectacular grasses gave an additional aspect to all the texture – I’m sure there’s a more elegant way of putting that, but I can’t think of it – by adding so much movement. I managed to catch this one by the large pond in a brief second of almost-stillness, and sunshine:
OK, that’s texture, now what about colour?
This is a time of year when my own garden is basically green, with brown, some yellow and what can only really be described as beige. Lots of beige. I have to do something about this, and I will. And if I need inspiration, all I have to do is walk down the hill.
The juxtapositions are great. I used to be a real fan of dark-leaved plants (not that you’d know it in my current garden), largely because you can do some wonderful things when they’re a backdrop. Mmm.
The bees loved the range of plants too:
And so did the humans. I seem to be getting back to textures…
Plus, of course, this being a good NGS event, there were teas. Very popular teas, with a whole menu of home-made cake choices (carrot – excellent) …
But out of the whole day, there were two surprising things. One was the weather. Yesterday was appalling, the sort of day when you begin to wonder if you shouldn’t be building some sort of raft out of your logs rather than putting them on the stove. It was raining when I woke up and it was still raining at midnight, and that was raining with knobs on, times three. But it had cleared by 7.30 this morning, and we had blue sky. Well, some blue sky. Derek, Wales’s Weather God, had apparently said that we’d get rain here at 4.00 p.m, and he was almost bang on. A few drops at 4, torrential rain – again, boring – by 5. When the garden was due to close anyway.
The other amazing thing, of course, was that I only bought one plant. Guess what it was?
(But I do think that salvias may be catching. I thought I’d got them out of my system many years ago, when I had a real salvia phase, aided and abetted by the RHS seed distribution scheme. Evidently I’m heading in that direction again. It can only be a short time before this year’s list is ready. Wonder what they’ll have this time?)