Sunday, 21 February 2010

Last Ditch Planting and Family Affairs

My mother always laughs at me about gardening on the draining board. And it is true, I do. But what the uninitiated do not appreciate is that sometimes things need planting, as in, right now. And sometimes it is too cold, dark or busy to do it any other way.

So far Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia has been enrobed in a confit of compost in my kitchen (you see what I mean. This is an autumn sowing variety that really should have been in by January, but better late than never and they will probably be ok…). Sweet pea ‘Heirloom Bicolour Mixed’ has gone in too. I have some more sweet peas to do later – and some ordinary peas and mangetout as soon as I get a chance (the picture is of an ordinary pea). The old variety ‘Carouby de Maussane’ is good and I’ll grow ‘Purple Podded’ if I can find some. I also want to try my hand at growing grasses; they look good in swathes but this is expensive to achieve with garden centre plants.

Teasing aside, my mother is a fine and deserving lady and as offspring go, I am pretty slack when it comes to remembering Mother’s Day. However I have just discovered that the RHS is running Mother’s Day events and teas and lunches too. A romp round Wisley or Harlow Carr as a precursor to cake sounds good to me and although it has been chilly so far, the daffodils are getting a stern talking to so it should all be looking pretty good by March 14th.

Unrelated to plants but still on the family theme, my li’l brother has just been described as a 'highlight' in Time Out for his Sonic Sideshow cabaret performance at Volupté, alongside Tom Baker. Good work.

In the wake of my new-found galanthophilia, I was pleased to get a snowdrop Galanthus elwesii ‘Cedric’s Prolific’ from the Beth Chatto Garden a week or so ago. (I have always wanted to visit this iconic garden and it is their 50th Anniversary this year so I should probably make a trip over to Essex). With John Grimshaw’s damning words about planting in the green still ringing in my ears I swiftly gave it a choice, moist spot under a flowering currant. Still looking good…

Not really listening to anything notable today but a friend looked at the Beth Chatto press pack earlier and wondered vaguely why that large bird from The Gossip has a garden named after her. You can’t help some people.

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