Sheila May's Blog
If you are working from home, homeschooling children, or having to take care of all aspects of your own life without your usual support network, you might not have even more time to mow your lawns (or if you are like our elderly neighbour you might run out of petrol for your mower and be reliant on others to get you more). Why not let the grass grow?
On the spring equinox – 20 March – as the schools were shut indefinitely; my sister, step-mother and mother had all entered 12 week shielding in locations far far from me; our daughter was in lockdown in her care home and our son and family was also social isolating as our youngest granddaughter had been sent home from nursery that week with a high temperature I went out in the beautiful sunshine into our garden in a very worried, stressed state.
Whilst as you saw last month I spent January reviewing our vegetable and fruit production, obviously this is a wet weather/darkness type of job. As with all gardeners, as soon as I can after the Christmas/New Year festivities I am itching to get back into the garden to start the big winter clear up.
When we moved here we inherited an orchard of mature plum, pear and apple trees. It was our intention to also grow a lot of vegetables to help us eke out our income and stop us blowing our savings and for many years we only ate fruit we grew ourselves, and continue to grow and store vegetables for our whole year.
Continuing on from last months’ blog article regarding this particular bed in our garden I will start with my favourite plant in this border - Rosa glauca, planted centrally to the bed. I just love this plant – its glaucous grey leaves, its delicate single pink flowers so fleeting and so enchanting against the leaf colour, and then its cinnamon coloured hips that gradually change to deep red as the autumn progresses.
Opposite the Acer walk I talked about recently in the gravel garden is the grandly titled Shrubbery. This is a rectangular bed that has the steps down through the gravel garden on one side, and the boundary fence on the other
I don’t know why it comes as a bit of a shock each year, but by late July I suddenly go into a bit of a panic about collecting seed for the Hardy Plant Society seed distribution scheme. Each year I think I’ve run out of time and each year I have to remind myself of the date by which I need to send the seed to the designated collection person.
In the 80’s I assisted an ecology/botany graduate friend of mine to lead a botanical/walking holiday in the Plakias area of Crete in the spring to see and identify the spring flowers. We were not at or on beach level, but walking through the foothills above the beaches (where all the original villages were), and enjoying the beautiful Maquis environment.