One either loves it or hates it.
And I am one of those who loves gardening and to whom a man like Monty Don is a saint.
I came back to House from three days in the Big Smoke last week to find my sunflowers had burst into bloom and it made me feel so happy that I broke into a huge smile as I opened the bedroom curtains. I distinctly remember this bold yellow disk grinning at me so that I just had to whisper ‘Wow.’
Vita Sackville West’s White Garden at Sissinghurst is iconic and many gardeners, myself included, have tried to create their own little piece of that superb garden.
My own lasts about 2-4 weeks in spring, a much awaited sea of white before the summer dry begins. VSW wrote for The Guardian’s gardening column and in 1950, this is what she said about the idea of growing a mono-colour garden:
Sometimes it pays to take time and to LOOK as one rushes through the garden at this time of year.
I found some beautiful white spring crocus which I had bought in March at Bream Creek Show and completely forgotten that I’d planted. Look at the amazing white vein down the full- length of the leaf. Stunning. Can see Jane Nicholas doing this in stumpwork.
I garden for the love of it. It’s a form of organic meditation. Worries become smaller within the scope of the outdoors and there is the tremendous reassurance that life is solid and strong and that good things come again and again. And in between 84,000 words here and 90,000 words there, it’s a regular part of life…
My veggie garden. This is what I do to de-stress. I love being in the garden…
Snow peas and sugar snap peas.
A bowl of delight.
For Christmas I’ll pick and pod peas, pick, pod and par-cook broadbeans and slip them from their skins, pick baby carrots, make a ratatouile with fresh yellow and green zucchini and dig some kipfler potatoes. Who cares about turkey when we can have all that plus a mango and mint salad and a beetroot (from the garden) and feta salad?