Gardening addictions

Gardening addictions

How does your garden grow? Full of spontaneous plant purchases?

Despite not having my own garden at the moment, I’m still dabbling with plants and produce in my poor parents’ outdoor space. They’re inundated with plant pots, and I’ve only gone and picked up even more recently. Oh, and a new plant…

The Knautia macedonica, brought over when I moved out of my grandparents’ home, are finally just about flowering. It’s been three years or so since they were transplanted and boy have they struggled. I really can’t explain it given they went on and on and self-seeded everywhere in Hillsborough. As you can see above, the red Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is going over, buffeted all onto the ground by the last week’s torrential downpours.

The Gunnera manicata is going from strength to strength after a slow and shaky start. It’s still nowhere near the height to block the gap down towards the neighbours, but it’s promising. Doubtless the interspersed sunshine and showers have gone a long way towards its development.

My olive tree, several years old now, is also going strong, and I feel looks a lot more appropriate in its larger terracotta pot. With the sun on it here, things are about as Mediterranean as they’re going to get in this little corner of Yorkshire… The Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ specimens I purchased back at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show are surviving, making a glowering statement at the base of the olive. I’m just happy they’re surviving so far – touch wood – as I’ve never grown them before. They’re a relatively new like of mine; I used to see them in a friend’s mum’s house, isolated in their own pots, and strongly disliked their naked, rough beige stems and dark heads. As gloomy foils amongst other vegetation, I’ve discovered a new appreciation for them.

Oh, you may also have spotted some stripped green stalks in the pot with the olive and aeoniums, looking very, very sorry for themselves. They’re what remains of my dahlias, ‘Karma Irene’, also bought at Chatsworth. The were fine for a couple of weeks, right up until the slugs and snails invaded out of nowhere. The molluscs have wreaked havoc in my mum and dad’s garden this summer. No dahlias, no salad leaves, no peas…

Unbeknown to my parents as yet, is that I was rather taken by this Hydrangea aborescens ‘Annabelle’, a captivating white-blooming variety with lime green foliage. It enjoys full sun or partial light, and as such I’ve planted it in a bare spot down by the hut at the bottom of the garden. It looks right at home there, in a more “woodlandy” environment.

The plant geek that I am, I could just go and sit and stare at the hydrangea, as happens with any other new specimen I plant out. I just wish I could have got more than one and dotted them about!