Holiday Mode



Our “proper” holiday, by which I mean a holiday where I am looked after rather than being expected to look after others, has not come a moment too soon. I’ve had the busiest fortnight at work I can remember, combined with a paltry amount of sleep. “Breakthrough week”, which involves smashing big holes between The Watch House and Polegate Cottage, is scheduled for next week, as is the installation of our new sash windows. It makes good sense to be away – what I can’t see can’t upset me – but I expect I will still fret about it. At least I shall be doing my worrying over a nice tagine and a glass of red wine, by the pool or whilst meandering through the souks, for we are Marrakech bound.

Activities will be kept to a minimum, although I have a few gardens I’d like to visit or re-visit, including Jardin Majorelle and Le Jardin Secret. It appears the gardens where we are staying, just out of town, are pretty verdant too. I have a pile of unread paperbacks, including three by Andrea Wulf, that I’ve been wanting to delve into for months. It will be bliss.


Hedychium yunannense, The Watch House, September 2016


Meanwhile the garden at The Watch House is starting to slide towards senility. Several dahlias have now completely succumbed to red spider mite (on the whole they had a slightly disappointing season) and, having finished flowering, the ginger leaves are yellowing and ruby-red fruits are appearing (above). There is a lot of orange in the garden, which feels appropriate for early autumn, mainly in the form of a very striking coleus (name unknown), Dahlia ‘Tangerine Dream’ (one of my better choices) and Calibrachoa ‘Terracotta’. I was slightly suspicious of the latter, presuming that these tiny petunias would need as much sun as their bigger brothers,  but no. They have flowered and flowered, as has Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’, from late April through to September, showing no signs of stopping.


calibrachoa and nemesia, The Watch House, September 2016


Flaming orange is tempered by a goodly amount of deep purple and lavender blue, which together make a fantastic trio. Looking lovely now are Salvia ‘Amistad’ and Plectranthus zuluensis (below).


Plectranthus zuluensis, The Watch House, September 2016


A good water, a thorough deadhead and final check for stealthy slugs, and I am ready to go. By the time I return the first of the nerines will be in bloom, signalling the beginning of the end of the gardening year. And I will have windows …. and three bathrooms … and an awful lot of dust and flint to deal with.


red coleus, The Watch House, September 2016