I love my garden, but it sometimes feels as if I am in constant battle with it. And it with me.
When I first started taking photographs for these garden moodboards, in May last year, I imagined that by the following year my whole entire garden would look beautiful, not just the odd flower.
More than a year later, the beds are still a mass of weeds and mud and I couldn’t even begin to imagine photographing more than individual flowers to show you here… In all honesty, the overall picture outside is pretty horrendous.
Every time I go out there to do a spot of gardening like pruning or planting or thinning my plums (not a euphemism), I get distracted, instead, with pulling out bindweed and couch grass. Which then grows back with such force, that the next time I look there is even more in the same spot.
But it’s not just the weeds that seem to be standing in the way of my Chelsea-winning daydreams ever becoming reality.
A week ago, I planted 16 bean plants, up some lovely wigwams, with a slug beer trap placed right in the middle.
By this weekend, I had four paltry plants left. And those liberally covered with slug munched holes. By tomorrow, there will likely be nothing left at all.
Oh, sure, I’ve killed hundreds of slugs (possibly quite literally) in the beer trap. But I think they choose to have a nice supper of bean leaves first, before heading over for a post-prandial drink (and death, though they don’t know that in advance of course…)
Overall, it seems like I would need to work on my garden, undistracted, 9-5, seven days a week to have it looking even half presentable.
So, I particularly relish the chance to take my monthly moodboard photos. The best bits of the garden, on a nice clean white background; the weeds, slugs and unruly growth all edited out. (Except for that one time I showed you lots of weeds…)
This month is a bumper one for plants, but I was dashing round with the secateurs on Sunday while the baby, sproglet and hubby napped, so I was trying to be super quick before anyone started crying, and have only brought a few of my very favourites to show you.
The pink rose is in the front garden, growing over from the boundary with next door. Our side of the garden is the south facing side, so I suspect we have all the best roses to look at.
The honey garlic was in flower last month, but once the flowers are finished they start to point directly upwards into these amazing seedheads. (When actually in flower they droop downwards in a rather attractive weeping manner – see my pictures from last year.)
I’ve never picked these to come inside before, since I only have a few and they look so stately in the garden, right through into the winter months, but I was suprised — you may say somewhat stupidly, given the plants’ name — by how very garlicky this one smelt once I cut it off at the stem.
The verbena has been going strong for a good month now and will continue to do so until the end of summer. I adore it. The huge, tall spikes, topped with the vibrant purple, but such tiny delicate flowers. It’s one of my favourite plants in the garden.
The front garden looks pretty good right now, I must say, with some towering blues and purples and a lower lying silver carpet, provided by this phlox and the Senecio cineraria.
Out in the unruly back garden, the salvia and daisy I bought last week are now in the ground and brightening up an otherwise rather bare border.
About the only other thing in flower there are some beautiful purple and white campanulas on spikes. They tend to droop downwards, so I need to plant something a bit more bushy underneath them, I think. (Again, not a euphemism. Why does everything gardening related seem to have a double meaning? Every time I type “front garden” or “bush” I giggle a little bit. Childish, I know…)
Finally, I think this white frothy thing is called astilbe. It grows in a great feathery profusion around the pond, just about managing to outcompete the bindweed.
It’s a tricky spot to weed, what with the danger of falling in, inaccessibility of the bit behind the pond, numerous frogs and tadpoles that I’m trying not to disturb and constant requests to the attendant sproglet to please stand back.
Blues, whites and silvers. My favourite garden colours. In reality it’s not quite as refined as this, of course, but I’m leaving the bright red and orange flowers – a legacy from the old owners – sitting happily in their beds.
Oh and one last picture. This little guy came inside on one of the plants so I couldn’t resist photographing him too. He’s pretty splendid, but moved around very quickly and wasn’t too keen to stop and pose for the camera.
And a postscript: a massive thank you to those who commented on yesterday’s post. I was really touched by the kind things everyone said and pleased to hear that this mish mash of a blog, with its random subjects, chosen only from what interests me personally, seems to interest others as well. I shall keep at it! Gardening, crafts, fabric, general chat and all…
Joining in, as ever, with Asa.