chimney pot planted up with dark purple petunia and other hanging  basket

Of summers, full of sunshine and of showers

So… can I be upgraded to intermediate yet?

Exciting times ahead. Not only is there the wonderful news of various restrictions being lifted after the weekend, but I have kept my chili plant alive over winter and have just harvested the first, delicious red chilli to use in my cooking. (I realise that these are in no way equal in wonder, but I’m still pretty chuffed about the chilli plant not dying!)

Not only that, but sat next to it is a sweet pepper plant that has also made it through the last, horrendous year with a few peppers growing too. Get in! It only took a winter of my husband complaining pretty much every day about the ‘stupid plants in the utility that are in the way’ and a few panic waterings to keep them hale and hearty! After last years’ success with the basil, I am feeling pretty smug right now, and feel like I might be able to take my gardening training wheels off. Maybe.

Having a greenhouse would probably help with marital harmony vs plant life. Something to think about over summer, perhaps. Whilst munching on delicious and spicy dishes in the sunshine that I am sure will appear soon. There are only so many hail storms the weather can produce, right?

I have also, in between hail showers and torrential rain, been trying to add more pretty flower goodness to the garden. Considering we have such a large garden, there are actually very few flower beds, with lots of shrubs and trees and grass spread everywhere in a fairly non-cohesive style. We have slowly been trying to put our own stamp on it, with a herb border and adding fruit trees instead of lawn at the side of house. Whilst waiting for my husband to convince me that we need to BUY and not hire a digger (because you can never own too much big machinery, am I right? Pah!) so we can landscape, I have been trying to find spaces to plant up.

We have a beautiful rose, a lovely velvety red that reminds me of a fairy tale, growing up the side of one of the stables. But there is a lot of dead space under it, which seems to be a real weed-fest. In an attempt to reduce the hours needed to keep on top of weeds, we have planted it up with perennials that will hopefully spread across as ground cover- candytuft, two different types of phlox, two different types of arenaria and (my favourite) a lobularia: ‘Snow Princess’.   I would like to stress that I did NOT come up with these plants on my own. After careful thought, I decided to find a range of plants that have white flowers, thinking that this would complement the rich red of the rose. Which means I asked my resident expert (my mother) what to get, and then looked at the pretty pictures on labels at the gardening centre (so maybe those training wheels shouldn’t be kept too far away. Oh dear.)

Sam's winter rose border

One trip to the garden centre later, we came back with a lovely range. Already they have spread out with their beautiful flowers, with a range of sizes and textures. And they have made it through the downpours and highly unseasonal hail showers. So I am very happy. Even if I am cross that the ‘hoary headed frosts/ fall in the fresh laps of the crimson rose.’ I blame Titania and Oberon – clearly they are fighting again!

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