Sunday, January 11, 2009
One of my winter dreams will always remain a dream I'm afraid, I would love to have a house and garden like the one above. A beautiful very old manor house dreaming in the midst of a timeless profusion of old cottage plants.
I have another slightly more realistic dream also - to have my garden looking good right through from early spring to late autumn. I am yet to achieve this dream but maybe this year will be the one when it finally happens.
I'm dreaming this year of more colour like this wonderful oriental poppy. I love the gentle pinks, blues and lavenders but gardens need a burst of strong colour every so often to lift them and it's something my garden lacks apart from these popppies .
Sometimes I get my garden looking pretty good but that is usually in spring and early summer when I'm full of enthusiasm and it's easy to have it filled with interest and colour.
It isn't unknown for it to look reasonable in the winter....
....and autumn can have its moments too but July and August!!!! There are no photos of my garden in those months because it always looks depressing. I am usually short on energy especially if it's hot and often I'm away as well. I usually haven't deadheaded things that I should and I don't do bedding which is where a lot of colour comes from at this time of the year. And yet I know it's possible to have things flowering and looking good because other people manage it and one day I'm going to as well!
The photo above was taken at Parham House in Suffolk in early July, they have a good deal more space in the borders than I have but surely it isn't beyond me to achieve something similar on a smaller scale?
There are other garden dreams too, I'd love to have a bed filled with medieval herbs, there is no shortage of plants to choose from and in fact I have a great many plants from that period already in the garden. What I want though is to have them all together with a little wattle hurdle fence round and a sundial in the middle.
I dream of planting more and more of the lovely old shrub roses like my beautiful Reine des Violettes......
....and Felicite Parmentier who hates the rain but is perfection if the flowers coincide with warm, sunny weather. I love everything about these old roses, the beautiful shapes and colours, the amazing perfumes and the wonderful names. Who wouldn't want roses called Ispahan conjuring up visions of cool courtyard gardens in ancient Persia or Rosa Mundi with it's connections to Henry II and his Fair Rosamund. It doesn't surprise me at all that the Empress Josephine collected roses and made the famous rose garden at Malmaison near Paris.
Finally I dream about all the wonderful gardens that I can visit during the summer months including the one above which is Fanshawgate Hall. This lovely old house is about 10 minutes drive from where I live so I go at least once a year, there's always a good plant stall too. This year's list of visits will include Chiff Chaffs and Snape Cottage in Dorset and perhaps one or two Sussex gardens that coincide with my visits down there - there's Alfriston and Charleston and....... roll on the publication of this years Yellow Book and long, warm summer days!