The comfort of plants and friends

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The view across the fields yesterday as a weather front loomed. We just made it home before the drizzle set in for the day.


My dear friend Mrs Ford (of the delightful Mrs Ford’s Diary) and I discussed our plans for the looming village Garden Safari this morning as we walked our dogs. We decided we should come clean on our blogs and declare that we know each other in Real Life as we’re both likely to write about events such as this. It was she who encouraged me to write my blog and I have her to thank for introducing me to some very lovely blogs and bloggers. If you haven’t read her blog, I urge you to do so. It is beautifully crafted and never fails to cheer me up (and even guffaw loudly). I am convinced that one day she will be Discovered and go from being a Pillar of the Community to an Overnight Sensation and Best-selling Author.

The flowers on the renovated climbing rose look zingy against the new wall.
The flowers on the renovated climbing rose looking zingy against the new wall.

Anyway, back to the rapidly approaching Garden Safari (can you tell I am getting slightly anxious?!). As well as making sure that the garden is in a fit state to be viewed – paths cleared, stacks of planks and posts transformed into respectable-looking compost bins, brash from hedges and bushes cleared away, sacks full of garden waste taken to the tip, as many weeds as possible got rid of – we have rashly declared that, as an added attraction, we will serve Afternoon Teas. Not content with the stress of having strangers wandering round the garden noticing things, we have the added excitement of providing refreshments. Thankfully my lovely children are game for helping out on the day (with the promise of a little financial inducement/bribe), so it will be all hands to the pump.

When it all gets a bit much, I have a wander round the garden and enjoy the small beauties.
When it all gets a bit much, I have a wander round the garden and enjoy the small beauties such as this Nigella (love-in-the-mist).
Our first radishes harvested yesterday. They were delicious (more so because I sowed the seed, tended them and watched them grow).
Our first radishes harvested yesterday. They were delicious (more so because I sowed the seed, tended them and watched them grow).

As well as all this, we have the ‘builders in’… Our balcony is being repaired/relaid and there are two massive piles of old roofing material and discarded stuff at the front where I am planning to arrange chairs and tables for people to sit. This was all meant to be finished a while ago (big sigh). There are men here today clearing the rubbish as I write (phew) and there are other men on the balcony adding another layer of waterproof membrane, climbing up and down ladders and dropping splashes of noxious substance onto the paving below. I am trying not to look at the broken stems on the climbing rose and the odd stains on the lawn.

I remain hopeful that it will all come together enough to be ok. Whenever anyone asks me about it (and a surprising number of people do!), I reply in a very confident tone that ‘everything will be fine’. There are enough interesting works-in-progress, some pretty plants, a view of the sea and, of course, there will be cake.

This really pretty plant is growing out of a wall – it's quite woody with lavender/rosemary-type leaves and the most gorgeous blue flowers. I've looked for it in our books but haven't found what it is. Does anyone know?
This really pretty plant is growing out of a wall – it’s quite woody with lavender/rosemary-type leaves and the most gorgeous blue flowers (but no scent). I’ve asked gardening friends and searched through our books but haven’t found out what it is. Does anyone know?



19 thoughts on “The comfort of plants and friends

  1. If you hadn’t named the last blue plant I was going to ask you the name! So sorry, no I don’t know. I hope that all of the works will be completed in plenty of time and that you can get everything just as you would like it to be. I love Mrs Ford’s blog too, it is a lot of fun isn’t it. Your garden looks beautiful and I am sure that everyone who comes will enjoy it a great deal!! xx


    1. Thanks Amy. I’ve been trying to find out what that blue plant is since we moved in but no luck so far. I’ll let you know if I do.


    1. Thank you Anne. I picked the radishes that looked the healthiest! I’ve a very small patch of about 30 but I’ll sow some more now as they’re so quick to grow.


    1. Thank you Jennifer. I tend to want to get things just right (and fret about doing so) but I think I’ll have to settle for them being good enough in this instance!


  2. Real gardeners will be fascinated by the work in progress and want to know all about your plans and the challenges of the site. Other visitors will come for the cake so you have both bases covered. Take lots of photos because it will be a benchmark for your achievements over the next year.


  3. I also have a garden tour coming, though not until August 1st. In the meantime, there is an insect infestation that is supposed to be done with long before then … but I see no signs of it slowing down.


  4. Your blooms are just amazing Sam! That climber up there against the brick has taken my breath away! And your landscape shot is stunning!!! Have fun getting ready for the garden walk….it will be just fantastic! Here is to a great week! Nicole xo


  5. Our allotments are open on Sunday as part of a local open gardens day so I’ve been weeding more than usual and bringing home my rubbish. Back in the day there used to be much more pressure with children’s’ competitions and treasure trail quizzes to compose and organise. This year we’re having a great allotment challenge, based on some TV show apparently, so in order to promote and support British Flower Week I said we should have jugs of flowers from our allotments for the visiting public to judge. The question is will there be anything in flower apart from Nigella, sweet peas and sweet Williams? I’m sure your garden will look gorgeous. Before and after photos always go down well at these events and will show how hard you’ve been working.


    1. Good luck with your flower challenge. There’s a lot to be said for sweet peas, sweet Williams and Nigella – three of my absolute favourites. I used to love visiting the allotments near to our old house on their open weekends as there was always something delicious to try. Good idea for before and after photos – I was thinking of doing that (if I have time…). Thanks, Sarah.


  6. I don’t think you need to worry … some gorgeous plants, cake, and a friendly welcome is all (in my admttedly limited experience, helping a friend when she’s opened her garden) is all most people are hoping for. You will have all those things and a view besides.


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