How does your garden grow?

The weather has been against us gardeners this year. A month of chilly days and bitter winds has burnt the leaves and stalled growth of anything that was planted out. Six packs of seeds direct sown into the ground have produced not a sign of life. The slugs have been loving the damp and have chomped through all our sunflowers. Lettuce went from zero to past it with only one tasting.

We have been pruning back interloping shrubs and trees which have started to dominate, and which we have quietly hated for a year. The result being lots of bare patches.  So these past two days have been spent filling the gaps- thanks to the generosity of my father-in-law who stopped by yesterday with a boot full of sweet peas, cornflowers, stocks, sunflowers, courgettes and one random runner bean, we were on our way.

Then today we made a visit to the garden centre, my witchy fingers hungry for more herbs. I found a few: aloe vera, a lemon verbena and pulsitilla. And marigolds… but only French ones, our calendula officialanis that we seeded straight into the ground are looking very sad (does anyone know can you eat French marigolds?). Heartsease pansies, silver bedding plants and some yellow daisy types – our garden is looking distinctly less halopetia-ified, and the colours are singing. The purple side of my herb garden (thyme, lavender, rosemary and chives) are now counterbalanced by a sunshine yellow side of daisy types, courgettes, marigolds and golden marjoram and lemon balm.

And a fuschia to greet visitors to replace last year’s one which bit the frost.. shortly before they fall over the sword and mop and pile of videos for the charity shop which fill the doorway.

The wild strawberries are fruiting more and more – and wonderfully the kids find them too sour, so they’re all mine! The roses are coming out, as are the pinks and nasturtiums. And the fox gloves, how I love fox gloves, that I patiently planted last year are out- white fingerlings with purple ink splots.

The wind is wailing again, and my newly planted sweet peas are not happy. Come on summer, come on sun!

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