The days are longer and warmer and I don’t want to come indoors – theres too much happening to miss a moment. Acid green Euphorbias and Purple Sensation Alliums are lighting up the Spring border and the tulips I planted far too late in December have proven the textbooks wrong and are going strong. The fruit trees have loved the weather too, the blossom this year is the best we’ve seen but if our May weather is anything to go by then the lesson is to enjoy it right now before it blows away.
I took cuttings of the scented pelargoniums last September and they’re big enough to pot on now. I grow several varieties but none that I love more than Attar of Roses – it has dainty pink flowers and the best rose fragrance of any pelargonium. I grow them indoors, outdoors, anywhere I can find space. The flowers make a gorgeous decoration on our desserts but a favourite thing is to line the base of Victoria sponges with the leaves before it goes in the oven – heavenly! Just the thought is making me hungry…
The sweet peas are starting to take off and hopefully by the end of the month there will be flowers for cutting. This year I’m growing a general mix as well as Cupani and April in Paris. Cupani is my favourite – being one of the oldest varieties, introduced to this country in 1699, it has a much stronger fragrance than its modern relatives and fills the house with its scent all summer.
The rabbits that live on the hill behind the kitchen garden have been getting very excited by the salad crops – they see us as their local takeaway. It may not be pretty but netting and wire are the only solutions and this year they seem to be effective. That said there is one big fat bunny that hops across the lawn every morning looking as though he has dined well somewhere.
And May is of course the month of the Chelsea Flower Show – Oh I now it’s a ridiculous spectacle of wealth to some and lets be honest the Pimms is unbelievably expensive, but I love it, adore it, would’nt miss it for the world. The inspiration of the show gardens, the variety of show-stopping plants from around the world, the opportunity to talk to the growers and lets not forget the chance to see Monty Don (okay that’s a personal thing – but I cant deny he’s my garden hero!). Every year I swear I’m not buying anything in the Saturday sell off, then that bell rings and all bets are off. This year I came with a 10 foot Scented Jasmine – I think I’m addicted to the challenge of seeing what I can get home in one piece!