The gardens around her new house in Urmston, Manchester, are a haven of discovery and are gradually revealing their glories as the months pass.
Ihad to go into hospital this month and recovering from surgery has meant that the garden has pretty much been left to fend for itself. Now I’m mobile again, I’ve been out to inspect our little plot and am happy to report that the plants and seeds appear to have been thriving in my absence!
Unfortunately this includes the grass. It has taken advantage of the recent rainfall and warmth to put on a growth spurt and the lawn is now around 50 per cent ragwort plants!
The morning glory, which has grown up again from seeds planted last spring, is covered with intense purple-blue flowers and is rambling over a lattice that I had intended for sweet peas.
I’ve managed to grow some lovely red sweet peas from a packet of Garden News seeds, but I must admit that in a contest for dramatic impact, the morning glory wins hands down.
Other plants currently adding colour to the borders are the Japanese anemones, the apricot-coloured hollyhocks and our various fuchsias. I’ve also noticed the clematis plants, including the beautiful double ‘Josephine’, are about to produce a second crop of flowers.
I have a ‘sick bay’ of compost- filled growing bags where I plant out anything that appears to be dying to give it a last chance before joining the compost bin. Three dahlia plants that had been chomped to withered brown stumps by the slugs have seized this opportunity and are now a mass of candy pink flowers. I’ve no idea why the slugs haven’t rediscovered them, but I’m so pleased I didn’t just give up on them.
Another pleasant surprise has been the discovery of a long slim stem growing up through a mass of pansies in one of the hanging baskets. I carefully dug it out and replanted it into an empty pot. Now that it’s established, it’s apparent that it’s a sunflower! It’s looking very healthy and my grandsons are checking every time they visit to see if the bud has finally opened.
My frilly double hollyhock in coral, and joyous Japanese anemones
Windowbox displays of begonias, trailing geraniums, ferns and lobelia
These dahlias were given a second chance – they’ve come up trumps!
Stylish red sweet peas – a break from the norm
I love the intense blue of this morning glory