I do like to pretend I've got green fingers, my Mum has them for sure :: you can't run 2.5 allotments simultaneously and successfully without a definite shade of green at your fingertips. And I like to think I inherited them. But if I am brutally honest, I think I am too damn lazy and sloppy to be considered a successful gardener. I can plan, dream, read and partake in garden retail therapy like a pro. I have the kit, see :: pink trug, gardening apron, cute tools and a designery watering can from Heals no less. I have the inspiration and the desire to create a beautiful outdoor space in which to eat al fresco surrounded by greenery and colour and beauty. But the harsh truth is that as I am rubbish at doing any thing at all on time, this seriously impedes my gardening efforts. Seeds sit in the packets. Baby plants get pot bound. Things wilt dangerously. But I persevere and am undaunted. I am knowledgable and enthusiastic.
I can walk round a garden centre and name dozens of plants because in my time I have read dozens of gardening books and seed catalogues. I even occasionally watch Gardeners World. I LOVE garden centres, get all giddy with butterflies in my stomach when I walk round, get slightly overwhelmed at the sheer scale of it all, but love it all the same. I am quite good at garden-related shopping, I consider my purchases carefully.
I buy pots, not too many but just the right number for the plants I plan to have. So far so good.
I buy herbs that I know will come in useful for cooking :: parsley, thyme, sage, mint and chives. A few tumbling cherry tomato plants too. I leave the wacky herbs behind, congratulate myself on being restrained.
Bedding plants are a bit harder to resist. Remember I am a colour junkie, and the colours of summer annuals blow me away. I LOve them. A lot. Purple petunias, crimson million-bells and deep blue lobelia. Lush. I move on to hotter colours :: clashing scarlet and magenta geraniums. I can't stop buying them. I visit the market stall for verbena, marguerites and sweet peas. I notice the supermarket is selling bedding plants right alongside the fruit and veg....ohh I need a loaf of bread, I'll sneak another geranium in my basket too.
All these little plantlets keep arriving into my house through April and May. They look promising, they grow fast. June arrives and their little roots are spiralling round and round and round screaming for more space to stretch. I write "plant out plantlets" on my to-do list. They continue to grow and start looking a little sad, yellowy leaves appear. I procrastinate and feel guilty. Then one day in early June I decide today is the day and spend hours and hours planting stuff. I go mad with it, make my back ache and my fingernails black with compost. I heave big pots around, I go through three bags of compost. I begin to create the modest beginnings of quite a delightful little haven in my back yard.
If you are at all interested, please stop by my place tomorrow and I'll show you around. Come for a cup of tea and a bun and we can sit out a while. See you then xx