Gardening Leave

No, I haven’t quit my job or been given my marching orders, but I have taken a couple of days off to prepare the garden for our National Gardens Scheme open days this weekend. I am fastidious at the best of times, but risk turning a little bit obsessive-compulsive over the next 24 hours. Suddenly every yellowing leaf, fallen petal or stray branch has come into sharp focus and I can see flaws everywhere. Will visitors notice the horrific capsid bug damage and the dirty windows? Well, they will if they read this before coming along; the polite ones will kindly avert their eyes towards the abundant flowers.

Welcome to our jungle!
Welcome to our jungle

No garden is perfect, but in truth ours is looking about the best it ever has done. I was concerned last weekend that we may have peaked a few days too soon, but I was worrying unnecessarily. The dahlias are covered in bloom and I wonder now why I didn’t introduce them to the garden sooner. They seem very much at home in large pots. Joy of joys, the gingers, Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’, started to open yesterday, their flowers like exotic bottlebrushes, towering over my head. The scent in the garden last night was indescribably beautiful.

Hedychium 'Stephen' sparkles
Hedychium densiflorum ‘Stephen’ sparkles

So, here we go, the final push. The weather forecast changes by the hour, but it seems we’ll miss the worst of the showers tomorrow and have a fine day on Sunday. Even at their most ravenous the snails and vine weevils can’t thwart me now. It only remains for me to wash down the paintwork, jet-wash the terrace, put up the famous yellow signs and count the float, whilst Him Indoors bakes for England. See you on the other side…..

Agapanthus africanus and Dahlia 'Amercian Dawn'
Agapanthus africanus and Dahlia ‘Amercian Dawn’