I am sitting in the garden eating strawberries and yoghurt for breakfast. I am toying with the idea of fasting for the rest of the day due to an optimistic step onto the scales this morning which then plunged me into gloom. Irritatingly, I know the inexorable rise of my body weight will motivate me only for an hour or so, then it will be back to the coffee cake mid-morning. Heigh ho, on to my six for today:
- My totally favourite rose ‘Munstead Wood’. Named for the Surrey house and garden of Getrude Jekyll, the garden designed by Edwin Lutyens. The rose is a large, multi-petalled bloom, deep velvety claret colour and a sweet scent which is wafting its way towards me as I sit at the table on the patio (I may start to say ‘terrace’ – so much less suburban). It has quite a lax growth and really needed a bit of support this year, but I like the way it sprawls across the mound of erigeron and props itself up on a neighbouring verbena bonariensis.
- There are ten baby apples on the tree that we bought last year. There would have been twelve but MrOG snapped a stem while trying to untangle a clematis tendril. It’s still in a large pot because – sssh… don’t tempt fate – we are planning to move and want to take it with us. It’s an old variety, ‘Red Windsor’, and last year’s apples were tasty, although I think they will benefit from a little longer on the tree this season. We were too impatient to taste our first home-grown apples last year!
- This cloud of violet-blue is hardy geranium ‘Nimbus’. It was planted from a 9cm pot last spring and is already fulfilling its promise of being ‘fast growing and floriferous’. It is covering the dicentra that has gone over and is a good foil for the hostas behind it. The marigolds in this picture are entirely serendipitous – they appeared in a little cluster and are adding their cheerful, uninvited faces to the front of the border. I stopped for a minute just then to watch a pair of buzzards circling overhead and calling to each other. Still quite low, they were being harried in a half-hearted way by a single crow. In that bored way that buzzards have, they flipped a nonchalant wing at the crow, made a marginal change of direction and carried on circling in the thermal that would take them higher and higher over the garden.
- Some of you may remember the single cherry harvest of last year. This year we have an abundance of 15! It’s ‘Morello’, recommended for a north facing site but it’s looking decidedly unhappy against the wall. It has only produced leaves at the ends of the stems and although there was a good amount of blossom it only came to the 15 fruit. I wish they would all ripen at once so that I can at least pick them and preserve them in brandy. Frustratingly they are all at different stages but I will wait a little longer and hope the wood pigeons don’t get them.
- This is the offending clematis that was finding its way around the little apple tree. It’s clematis florida sieboldii and really doesn’t offend at all. It’s a bit spindly at the base because I didn’t prune it back earlier in the season, but it’s still producing lots of flowers. When the buds first open, the outer petals are a delicate pale green and the inner petals almost black. As it widens they turn to papery white and purple and last really well. Behind it is the hydrangea petiolaris which this year has rewarded our nurturing with two flowers. Double the production of last year. Yay.
- And this, dear gardening pals, is the view from where I am sitting. The stone tortoise on the table was rescued from my Dad’s garden after he died and is an everyday reminder. I have been here for an hour or so, lazily writing this, drinking tea, watching the birds, looking at the garden and generally feeling pleased with myself. I told you that the weight-gain-gloom wouldn’t last.
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