Thursday 2 June 2011

Green thumb? Hardly! [for Jackie]

I'm not a gardener. I think I am a Garden Enabler. I only know the common names of plants, some plants, and even that is a hit or miss fact. I once had an acquaintance for whom a Rubber Plant was a  ficus, as in 'My Ficus Elastica 'Decora'  is giving me cause for concern, or 'My Antirrhinums are taking over the border' or, 'My new borders will be a mix of Phacelia Campanuloria, Gypsophilia elegans and Godetias.'  [Thanks to: The Complete Guide to Successful Gardening: Published by Samson and Low 1978]  She was a gardening snob and I never liked her, but let's not speak ill of the long departed.

The basic layout of my gardens,three small interlocking spaces, was laid out before we arrived, all I have done is introduce lots of  compost, bulbs of all shapes and sizes buried in any earth that gave way to my trowel, and planted three trees. I'm a sucker for any sad looking plant on sale that I bring home and nurse with medicine and hope. I seldom weed unless the plant stings, stinks or doesn't even have a flower to recommend it. Three years ago I planted a large bulb that was in a mixed bag of bulbs bought at a garden sale; it was too big to be a daff. or tulip. I planted it deep into a large pot with three Geraniums. The flowers grew and bloomed two years in a row but the bulb lay forgotten.

[All these pictures enlarge beautifully with a click]

 Then last year a small bush grew out of the bulb, flourished and died down. This year it grew again, produced two buds which burst into glorious blossom and announced themselves as Peonies.

 I try very hard to restrain JP's use of secateurs and shears because I love the way that nature finds it's place, and the wonderful play of light on the different shades of green upon green. The plant with white flowers is, I think, a false orange. Pretty flowers but they do smell rather like an incontinent cat.

Seventeen years ago this rose bush was a spindly thing; couldn't make up it's mind to live or die. We left it alone and now it is knocking on the study window.

 Even tiny gardens have secret spaces if you look hard enough. This ivy covered spot is behind the Lilacs and the pear tree.

And this space is under the massive Elderberry tree. No longer simply a bush it has provided me with enough flowers to make a dozen bottles of cordial: delicious.

I have no idea what this blue flower is. Last year there was just one and this year it has seeded the entire border. Love it. Enabling, see?

And of course, a cool spot for Monsieur Milou.

Have a lovely summer.


  1. I love your natural garden and your attitude! I seem to have a black thumb so am entirely happy living in a beautiful natural place where no fussing is necessary.

  2. I love secret spaces! I wish I was small enough to crawl around behind our trees in our garden - when I was a child and much smaller, that's were I found all the fairies! (faeries?)

    Elderberry trees are rare and protected in California thanks to the beetle that lives in them - so cherish yours because they are precious in other parts of the world.

    And those blue (they look purple) flowers look like a possible form of lupine. ;)

  3. An incontinent cat?????? lol oh my stomach!!! You are soooooo funny!!!!!! I love it when I see you have posted! I, too, have a very weak spot for plants that look like they are on their last leg, or root. I brought home an oak tree that had maybe five leaves left on it....people in line at the store were staring. Now, it is at least 18 feet tall and full of leaves year round. I love plants, and am like you in that I know not the names, except for a few....petunias are my favorite flower....the aroma they produce in the summer evening is intoxicating. Thanks so much for the post! You always make my day. I am going to go out and water my thirsty flowers now. :)

  4. Oh Moannie...what a great attitude and garden...I suspect that many people just have a little plot that is mostly green, and not manicured, and yet is somewhere to potter and walk and sit and for making cordial?? wow..that is impressive!

  5. It all looks lovely to ME! (And the pup is a cutie, too.)

  6. I love your garden. I share your approach to gardening. I've never been much of a gardener and knew very little about plants but when I moved here 4.5 years ago to a house sitting on bare ground I knew what I wanted, a Barely Contained Wilderness with secret places where small children can hide. Love your ivy covered spot.

  7. Love your very natural looking garden! Thanks for showing us round.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  8. I shall have to write about my "gardening" activities. The fact that I have to put it in quotation marks will give you an idea of how pitiful a post it will likely be.

  9. That blue flower looks like loosestrife which loves wet ditches and can be very invasive by replacing natural make sure you keep it in your yard. They are lovely and I remember seeing beautiful ditches full of them in Canada.

  10. well skilled gardener or merely a garden enabler, you are ahead of me. i have a black thumb of death and can kill green things with cruel efficiency. its pathetic really.

  11. Milou has excellent taste in spots :)

    I love your garden, I believe you may be more than a Garden Enabler
    perhaps a Garden Goddess?

    I loved that you called me wicked
    you have no idea how that tickles me
    thanks for the visit

  12. I like your garden very much! It looks like you have quite a bit of shade, which is wonderful to work in on warm days.

  13. 'My Ficus Elastica 'Decora' I think I have a couple of those in my living room. Plastic.

    Most enjoyable walk through your garden. Suppose I should go visit mine.